Israeli occupation forces opened fire on Palestinian siblings “without cause”, an investigation conducted by human rights NGO B’Tselem has concluded.
On 31 October, Muhammad Musa, 26, and his sister Latifah, 34, a married mother of five, were driving from their village, Deir Ballut, to Ramallah.
When the car arrived at a roundabout near Halamish settlement around 8.45am, two Israeli soldiers emerged from a nearby military post. They ordered the car to stop and one soldier opened fire, continuing to shoot even after the car had passed him.
Muhammad was struck in the upper body, and Latifah was injured in her shoulder. In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, none of the soldiers, police officers or Israeli paramedics gave Muhammad first aid. When Palestine Red Crescent medics arrived, soldiers halted their work.
Muhammad died of his wounds shortly after arriving at hospital. Latifah was released from hospital on 5 November.
B’Tselem’s investigation found that “the soldier shot and killed Muhammad Musa and injured his sister, Latifah Musa, without any justification and without facing any danger.”
Eyewitness testimonies “also indicate that all the Israeli personnel on the scene – the soldiers originally present, the security forces that arrived later and the paramedics – refrained from giving the injured Palestinians medical treatment for several minutes.”
According to media reports, B’Tselem notes, the Military Police Investigation Unit has launched an investigation into the incident, and the commander of the force in charge of the military post has been suspended. However, the NGO adds, “based on past experience, this is unlikely to result in the prosecution of the persons responsible for the illegal killing, certainly not senior ranking officials”, with such investigations nearly always ending in “whitewash”.