Palestinian girl, 13, shot in leg after ignoring guards’ orders to halt at checkpoint


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A teenage Palestinian girl was shot in the leg after she ignored instructions to stop at a West Bank checkpoint, Israel’s Defense Ministry said.

A civilian checkpoint guard fired a warning shot in the air, then aimed at the legs of the girl, 13, after border guards repeatedly called on her to stop and she began to reach under her shirt, the ministry told the Israeli media.

The incident was first believed to be a stabbing attack, but security officials who searched the teen and the bag she was carrying did not find a knife or explosives.

The girl, from the nearby Palestinian city of Qalqilya, said during questioning, “I came to die,” according to the Defense Ministry. She is hospitalized in Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba in central Israel.

The incident comes as a new surge of Palestinian violence against Israeli security forces and civilians began last week following a period of relative calm in a wave of violence that began at the start of Rosh Hashanah last year.

The teen’s aunt, Rasha Owaisi, 23, was shot by security guards and killed at the same checkpoint last November after she approached the guards waving a knife, The Times of Israel reported. The aunt left a suicide note.

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