Twelve-year-old Boy Killed by Israeli Army Fire, Hours After Palestinian Man Shot Dead

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Members of Israeli forces are deployed during a Palestinian protest against Israeli settlements near Beita, in the West Bank June, 2021.
Members of Israeli forces are deployed during a Palestinian protest against Israeli settlements near Beita, in the West Bank June, 2021. Credit: RANEEN SAWAFTA/ REUTERS

A 12-year-old Palestinian was killed by IDF gunfire on Wednesday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, a day after Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian near the evacuated outpost of Evyatar. 

The boy, identified as Mohammed al-Alami, was shot in the chest by live ammunition from the Israeli military in the West Bank town of Beit Ummar, according to initial reports. He was subsequently rushed to hospital in Hebron and was later declared dead.

Mohammed al-Alami.

According to al-Alami's uncle, the boy's father and two of his siblings were on their way home when they saw a military checkpoint in the entrance to Beit Ummar. After the father decided to turn around and go back, 13 bullets were shot at their car, one of which punctured al-Alami's chest.

The Israeli military said that soldiers had identified suspects leaving a vehicle near a military outpost and digging a hole in the ground. In the hole, the soldiers found a dead baby wrapped in a plastic bag and suspected a connection with the Al-Alami's family car, which was traveling in the vicinity. The soldiers tried to stop the vehicle while following the rules of engagement, the army said, but was also looking into the possibility that the boy was killed by weapons fire from the soldiers. 

Shadi Lutfi Salim of Nablus.

In addition, the military confirmed that the circumstances of the incident are under investigation.      

The victim on Tuesday was identified as 41-year-old Shadi Lutfi Salim, a plumber who was heading home from work when he was shot dead near the city of Nablus. 

On Wednesday, the IDF said that the man had quickly advanced towards soldiers with an object in his hand that was later identified as an iron bar. According to the IDF, after the man did not stop when warning shots were fired, the commanding officer fired at the man. 

Shadi Lutfi Salim of Nablus.

According to deputy councilor Mussa Khamayil, however, the victim was a plumber who regularly maintained the main water supply in the area. Witnesses say they saw Salim walking from his car with a wrench toward the main faucet on the night of the incident, and heard gunfire soon after. 

His brother, Saad, said that Shadi worked for Beita council for over ten years as a water inspector. "Every time there was a problem he would go and check what's wrong, that's why he had a wrench,"  he said. "We are waiting for his body to be released, we don't know why it's being kept, and no one is giving us any answers. This shooting was a mistake of the IDF," Saad added. 

Salim left behind three daughters and a son.

The Israeli military said it will investigate the incident which occurred near Route 60 just south of the entrance to the village.

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