IDF Says Palestinian's Death at Checkpoint Caused by 'Misunderstandings'

Man kept approaching soldiers despite verbal warnings and subsequent shot in the thigh.

Israel Defense Force soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian on Sunday at a checkpoint in the Jordan Valley as he was walking toward the soldiers holding a glass bottle.

An officer in the Central Command said the incident seemed to have been caused by "a combination of misunderstandings stemming from the Palestinian citizen's inexplicable behavior and the high state of alert of the soldiers" and that a thorough investigation was under way.

Qalandiya - Daniel Bar On - Sept. 17, 2010
Daniel Bar On

Mohammed Dragma, 20, from the northern West Bank town of Tubas near Nablus, had been approaching soldiers at the Beka'ot checkpoint, outside the lanes where pedestrians and vehicles undergo security checks.

Dragma apparently kept on walking after one of the soldiers told him to stop. The soldier reportedly called on Dragma three times, cocked his weapon according to procedure, and when Dragma still did not stop, he shot him in the thigh. Apparently, Dragma still did not stop, and other soldiers then also fired at him, killing him.

The newly appointed commander of the Jordan Valley Brigade, Col. Nohi Mandel, is investigating the incident, whose details are not yet clear. Some soldiers said Dragma had a knife on him, although it turned out to be a glass bottle. Dragma apparently does not belong to a terror group, nor did he suffer from a psychological disorder.