A Palestinian teenager who was repeatedly shot by Israeli forces at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank has died.
According to an Israeli army spokesman cited by the Associated Press, Hadeel al-Hashlamon had “attempted to stab a soldier”, resulting in the soldier firing live ammunition at her “lower extremities.”
Images taken by an anonymous European activist and shared by Youth Against Settlements show the 19-year-old being confronted by armed soldiers at the checkpoint shortly before she was shot. Graphic pictures also show Al-Hashlamon lying on the ground, bleeding.
Hadeel al-Hashlamon died after being shot several times by Israeli forces
Al Jazeera reports it later emerged that the university student had been shot several times, including in the chest. The soldier was not wounded.
Eyewitness Fawaz Abu Aisheh told the New York Times al-Hashlamon was opening her bag for inspection when the soldier began shouting at her in Hebrew to stop.
Abu Aisheh, who also appeared in the photographs said: “She was like a nail, she was in shock. I was shouting: ‘She doesn’t understand Hebrew’.”
One eye-witness, believed to be pictured here, said the teenager had been opening her bag for inspection
He added: “Even if she had a knife, she would have to leap over a barrier about a meter high to reach a soldier. There were six or seven soldiers with heavy weapons. There was no need for that assassination.”
The man who took the photographs told the newspaper: “She was trying to show him what was inside her bag but the soldier shot her once, and then shot her again.”
The army says Al-Hashlamon was taken to an Israeli hospital in critical condition but local media claims the teenager was left bleeding on the ground for up to 30 minutes before soldiers allowed doctors to reach her.
Electronic Intifada writes: "Video shows her being pulled roughly out of the frame of the camera, her scarf coming off as her head drags on the ground.
"Israeli settlers and soldiers can be seen standing around, and in some cases smiling and laughing in the background."
Al-Hashlamon was identified as a 'hit' in a statement by the Israeli military
Al-Hashlamoun died in hospital of her injuries, her father Salah al-Hashlamon said.
The military said forces opened fire and "identified a hit" in the West Bank city of Hebron.
The violence comes amid rising tensions surrounding Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The site, holy to both Jews and Muslims, has been a flashpoint for violence in recent days.
Hours before the incident, the military said a Palestinian was found dead in a village near Hebron allegedly after an explosive device he was handling went off.
No Israeli soldiers were reportedly injured in the incident
The military said it arrived in the area to respond to rock throwing. The Palestinians said the circumstances behind the man's death were unclear.
Tensions boiled over last week on the eve of the Jewish new year holiday of Rosh Hashanah when Palestinians barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque and, in clashes with police that would continue for days, threw rocks and firecrackers at officers. An Israeli man was also killed in Jerusalem when Palestinians pelted his car with rocks.
Several rockets from the Gaza Strip have also been fired recently, and Israel has deployed its Iron Dome rocket defence battery in towns near the Palestinian territory.
Speaking in Paris on Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for an end to the violence. "It's extremely dangerous. We don't want to see this continue," he told the media after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande.
Ahead of the Yom Kippur fast, which begins on Tuesday evening, Israel reinstated a rule banning Muslim men under age 40 from the Al-Aqsa Mosque as a measure to ensure calm during the holiday. It also said West Bank and Gaza crossings would be closed during the holiday, and would reopen Wednesday.
Police said security will be beefed up during the 25-hour fast, which comes two days ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. Eid al-Adha commemorates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim - or Abraham as he is known in the Bible - to sacrifice his son in accordance with God's will, though in the end God provides him a sheep to sacrifice instead.
Near the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, police were seen preventing men and women from entering the mosque Tuesday.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said some women were being barred from entering because they were part of an outlawed group that sees itself as defenders of the Muslim holy site and tries to disrupt Jewish visits to the site.
The age limit for men at Al-Aqsa has been put in place intermittently after protests erupted at the site, with mostly younger Palestinians throwing rocks clashing with police at the compound and elsewhere.