Israeli occupation forces shot and killed 60-year-old Palestinian business-owner Hamdan Al-Arda yesterday, during a raid of Al-Bireh, in the central West Bank.
Al-Arda was driving in his car when soldiers opened fire, killing him.
The Israeli army stated that “a terrorist attempted to use his car to run over IDF soldiers who were conducting operations. An IDF soldier was lightly wounded. Security forces at the scene responded with gunfire and neutralised the terrorist.”
However, eyewitnesses, the man’s relatives, and even Israeli sources cast doubt on these claims.
As reported by Haaretz, “members of his family said he suffered from hearing loss that they thought he must have failed to hear soldiers’ warnings”, and “added that he likely veered off course when he was surprised by the soldiers’ presence.”
The paper noted that hundreds of Palestinians marched yesterday evening in Araba, the man’s hometown, to protest the killing and accusing Israel of killing Al-Arda “for no reason”.
Israeli media “citing defence sources” reported that “the incident was likely not terror-related”, adding that Al-Arda was killed “a short distance from his business’s headquarters”.
According to reports at the time, Palestinian Red Crescent medics were prevented by Israeli forces from reaching Al-Arda after he had been shot.
Eyewitnesses said, “the incident was merely a car accident, as the driver was surprised with Israeli soldiers in his way and attempted to turn away from them before the heavily opened fire at him.”