On the morning of March 4th Israel’s occupation forces opened fire on three people in a car after a collision in the village of Kufr Nimeh, northwest of the city of Ramallah on the occupied West Bank, killing two youths and wounding one.
According to eye-witnesses, the victims were leaving to work at 03:30 am when their car collided with a stationary Israeli occupation forces’ armoured personnel carrier, hitting it behind a back wheel, at the entrance to the village, after a slight curve in the road. Palestinian sources say that the incident appears to have been a normal car accident resulting from bad weather conditions.
One Israeli occupation soldier is claimed to have fired all the bullets, between 15-20, which hit the victims and their car – according to Palestinian source. Israeli occupation media reports that there were multiple shooters.
Those killed were Amir Mahmoud Daraj(20) from the village of Kharbatha Al-Misbah and Yousef Raed Anqawi(20) from the village of Beit Sira. Both villages are in the Ramallah area and are situated close to each other.
The wounded is Haytham Basel Alqam(20) from the village of Safa. His wounds are described as ‘mild’. All three youths worked as guards in a school the town of Beitunia or in a bakery according to different, conflicting reports. .
The victims were shot while they were inside their car after the incident, the driver further incapacitated by the airbag, which had inflated. Photograph show a vast pool of blood mixed with rainwater beside and under the victims’ car.
Israeli occupation forces left the victims’ bloody clothes behind, which means that they were undressed in the cold and wet conditions. At which point Al-Misbah and Anqawi exactly died, and whether anything could have been done to save their lives, is unclear.
Two Israeli occupation forces soldiers in the military vehicle or standing near it were injured according to Israeli occupation, one ‘seriously’.
In the aftermath Israel’s occupation troops besieged the entire village of Kufr Nimeh, blocking travel in and out of the village. Occupation troops have raided the village and attacked demonstrations against the killing of Al-Misbah and Anqawi, including on Friday March 8th in Anqawi’s home village of Beit Sira. In that attack on protesters Israeli occupation soldiers used live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas grenades and sonic grenades, wounding 5 people.
Israeli occupation forces had raided the village of Kufr Nimeh before the incident late at 02:30, clashing with locals and kidnapping a man named Yousef Mahmoud Al-Deek(42). The occupation forces’ vehicle involved in the incident had broken down at the village entrance as a result of ‘a mechanical failure’ during the raid according to Israeli occupation.
The weather was described as rainy and foggy by a driver who passed the site of the incident just before the victims. According to him he was just 6-10 meters from the occupation forces when he recognized them as Israeli occupation soldiers. He briefly spoke with an occupation soldier in Arabic, who told him to go away and that their vehicle had broken down. He was still so close to the site when the incident took place that he heard 15-20 gunshots after the collision.
ISRAELI OCCUPATION CLAIMS
Israeli occupation immediately declared that the victims would have tried to commit ‘a car ramming attack’ and almost immediately ordered their family homes destroyed; collective punishment is a war crime and now it comes in the immediate aftermath of an incident, based not even on a cursory study of what took place, but a prejudice based on the identity of the people involved. A case of what ‘law and justice’ looks like under Apartheid.
That it was late night before dawn, rainy and foggy with low visibility and a wet and slippery road, and that the victims were unlikely to know that an occupation vehicle was at the side of the road nor recognize those in it and around it as occupation soldiers far away enough to react and deliberately hit the vehicle doesn’t play any role in Israeli occupation version of the events, based on the same racist occupation attitude. The only thing which Israeli regime takes into account are the ethnic-religious labels.
The claim of ‘a car ramming attack’ seems to have no basis in facts. No confirmed vehicular attacks against occupation forces or illegal Israeli settlers in which more than one person would have been in the vehicle have taken place in the occupied territories at least in the last decade. They are acts of individuals, who tend to leave behind wills or messages to give the incident a context from their own point-of-view.