idf soldiers 311.
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Two Palestinians who tried attacking soldiers with a pitchfork and a broken beer bottle were shot dead by the IDF on Sunday near Nablus, bringing to four the number of Palestinians killed by the military in 24 hours.
The incident took place in the morning at a random checkpoint that four soldiers from the Kfir Brigade’s Nachshon Battalion had set up in a field east of Nablus, just below the settlement of Itamar. The field is off limits to Palestinians without authorization from the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria.
The two Palestinians, both 19, approached the checkpoint dressed as farmers. The soldiers separated the two and asked them for their identity cards, which the two claimed they did not have with them. After several minutes, one of the Palestinians began mumbling what appeared to be a prayer in Arabic and then pulled out a beer bottle filled with stones, lifted it in the air and began moving towards one of the soldiers, who opened fire and killed him.
The second Palestinian, who was carrying a half-meter-long pitchfork, pulled out a syringe and stormed another soldier, who opened fire and shot him as well.
“There is a violent atmosphere in the West Bank today that has increased the level of violence in general, which can potentially spin out of control,” said one IDF source.
Palestinian Authority security sources identified the men as Muhammad Faysal and Salah Muhammad Kawarik, the Ma’an news agency reported. Both were from the Awarta village, southeast of Nablus, and were on their way, according to the Palestinian news agency, to farmland while carrying agricultural tools and pesticide.
IDF sources said that the soldiers at the checkpoint likely thwarted a larger-scale attack that the two Palestinians had intended to carry out in Itamar.
The IDF continued investigating the deaths of two 16-year-old Palestinians who were killed during an anti-Israel protest on Saturday at the village of Burin, also near Nablus. IDF sources said that the Central Command was considering launching a criminal investigation into the incident.
Useid Kadus, 16, was shot in the head, medics said, and Muhammad Kadus, also 16, died of a wound to the chest.
The IDF stressed that soldiers were under strict orders to use rubber bullets to disperse the demonstration.
The military did, however, admit that rubber bullets are not supposed
to kill, and that the IDF was considering launching a Military Police
investigation to check whether one of the soldiers had used live fire
in violation of orders.