Arab-Israeli Shot by Army in Apparent Smuggling Attempt

The shooting occurred during an attempt to smuggle Palestinians into Israel, according to the army, yet the incident was not initially reported by the soldiers at the scene

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The West Bank separation barrier, earlier this year.
The West Bank separation barrier, earlier this year.Credit: Amir Levy

A 22-year-old Arab-Israeli man was shot by the army on Friday near the separation barrier in the city of Baka al-Garbiyeh. The Israeli army suspects the man was attempting to smuggle Palestinian workers into Israel.

The suspect, a resident of Zemer in central Israel, was taken to a clinic in Baka al-Garbiyeh, but later transferred to the Hillel Yaffeh Medical Center in nearby Hadera where he is hospitalized in serious yet stable condition.

According to the Israeli army, soldiers spotted several individuals next to the separation barrier, as well as a vehicle approaching the fence from the other side. An initial investigation into the incident revealed that one of the soldiers fired towards the vehicle as the driver was attempting to escape, though the full circumstances of the shooting are still under review.

The initial investigation also revealed that the soldiers involved in the incident didn't report the shooting, leading to the Military Police also investigating the matter.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that the IDF will conduct an in-depth investigation and draw lessons from the incident.

The father of the injured man told Haaretz that the authorities did not inform him or other family members of the incident, saying they "were shocked when we heard about it in the media. We don't know anything about the shooting, nobody has told us that he was shot by the army. We want answers about what happened and are requesting a full inquiry. My son isn't poor, why would he smuggle people?"

The father added that the vehicle was shot multiple times: "From what I've heard, several people shot at the vehicle. The person who took him to the clinic in Baka al-Garbiyeh was his friend, not the army."

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