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RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Witnesses to an alleged stab attempt on Israeli border

police at a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank Wednesday said two
siblings shot dead during the incident posed no threat at the time the Israeli
officer killed them.
Witnesses told Ma’an that 23-year-old Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail, five
months pregnant, and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim were en route to
Jerusalem when they took a path intended for vehicles, not pedestrians, into
Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah. The two were apparently unable to
understand Israeli officers yelling in Hebrew, and stopped walking.
Witnesses said it appeared that Ibrahim attempted to grab his sister's hand
and move away from the officers, when they opened fire on her. Maram fell to
the ground and when Ibrahim attempted to aid her, he was shot in his tracks.
A Palestinian bus driver present at the scene, Muhammad Ahmad, told Ma’an
that the Israeli officer who opened fire on Maram was standing behind a cement
block some 20 meters away from her at the time. The driver said it did not
appear that Maram or her brother posed any threat when the officer shot them.
Palestinian local and witness to the incident Ahmad Taha told Ma’an that Israeli
officers approached the two after they had been shot and had fallen to the
ground before opening fire on them again “to ensure that they were dead,”
adding that the officers “could have moved the two away without opening fire.”
Taha alleged that the officers planted knives on the scene, photographs of
which were distributed by Israeli police who said they had been in Maram and
Ibrahim’s possession.
The witness accounts collected following the incident contradict Israeli police
reports that the officer opened fire after Maram threw a knife in their
direction.
Local sources said Maram was the mother of a six and four-year-old, and five
months pregnant. She had reportedly obtained a permit from the Israeli
authorities to enter Jerusalem for the first time when she was crossing on
Wednesday.
Maram and her 16-year-old brother are among over 200 Palestinians to be killed
by Israeli forces or settlers since October, the majority during small-scale
attacks that have left nearly 30 Israelis dead.
Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip denounced the deaths Wednesday and
called for continued resistance against the Israeli occupation.
Daoud Shihab, spokesperson of the Islamic Jihad movement, referred to their
deaths as an “execution,” while Fawzi Barhum of Hamas said the move by the
Israeli officer to shoot the two was “systematic terrorism” and a “hideous crime

” Maram and Ibrahim’s deaths come in the wake of mass criticism towards what has been termed Israel’s policy of “extrajudicial executions” towards Palestinians.that has crossed all red lines. A reduction in stab attacks has been attributed to security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. . Popular Palestinian support for stab attacks -. coinciding with a relative drop in the frequency of such attacks that initially surged in October. Israel's excessive use of force against Palestinians has brought allegations from local and international NGOs. according to polls. according to polls. senior UN officials and foreign leaders.widely explained by Palestinian and international leadership as a natural response to the effects of the ongoing Israeli military occupation -.has hovered below fifty percent for the past two months.” adding that the “crime would not go without punishment. and prominent US congressmen that Israeli forces regularly carry out unlawful killings. which most recently came under spotlight after an Israeli soldier was caught on film shooting a prone Palestinian through the head from point blank range. as well as to general public sentiments that the attacks are not effective in resistance against the occupation.