JERUSALEM (JTA) — A young Palestinian woman who was shot by Israeli soldiers at a West Bank checkpoint ignored calls to put down the knife she was carrying, an Israeli army investigation found.
An Israeli officer attempted to disarm Hadeel al-Hashlamon, 18, peacefully for five minutes, and fired his weapon at the ground during that time, the investigation into last month’s incident at a Hebron checkpoint found, The Jerusalem Post reported. He then shot at her leg and ultimately shot her in the stomach when she lunged at him with a knife.
Hashlamon died of her wounds.
The teen had set off the metal detector with her knife at the checkpoint that separates the city’s Palestinian and Jewish sections and she continued to approach the soldiers, according to the investigation.
“She came under suspicion from the force at the military point, and had been passing through the checkpoint for a number of days,” an Israel Defense Forces source told The Jerusalem Post. “Soldiers told her to place her bag down so that they can check what was inside. She lifted up her left hand to place the bag, and the company commander then saw that she had a knife in her right hand.”
A Palestinian eyewitness later told the Palestinian Maan news agency that the teen did not understand the soldiers, who were speaking in Hebrew, and did not resist them.
Following the incident, the military released a photo showing the knife allegedly used by the teen. The group Youth Against Settlements released photos that appeared to show the teen without a knife and far from the soldiers before they opened fire.