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Video reportedly shows Israeli forces killing Palestinian woman at Zaatara checkpoint

Oct. 20, 2016 2:44 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 21, 2016 10:38 A.M.)
Israeli forces gather at the Zaatara checkpoint after Palestinian woman Rahiq Birawi was shot and killed by border police on Oct. 19, 2016. (Photo: Israeli police)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A video posted on social media on Thursday reportedly showed moments when a young Palestinian woman was shot to death by Israeli forces a day earlier.

Rahiq Shaji Birawi, 23, from the village of Asira al-Shamaliya in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, was killed by Israeli border police on Wednesday as she allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at the Zaatara military checkpoint.

The video, filmed on a cell phone by a bystander, shows four Israeli border police officers shooting at a figure already lying on the ground several meters away from them.

At least ten shots can be heard in the first two seconds of the video.

Birawi became the 234th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since a wave of unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October 2015.

The violence has been largely characterized by alleged, attempted, and actual small-scale attacks committed by Palestinians against uniformed Israeli soldiers or police, mainly using knives or similar weapons.

Rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases, denouncing what they have termed as a "shoot-to-kill" policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner -- amid a backdrop of impunity for Israeli forces who have committing the killings.

Dozens of Palestinians have been shot at military checkpoints, included at least four who were shot dead at Zaatara.

Wednesday's killing came amid severe restrictions on Palestinian movement across the occupied territory over the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, and tensions surrounding holy sites in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the high holiday season last year were a main contributor to the uptick in violence.

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