An unarmed Palestinian woman walking to college and a teenager were shot and killed by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday.
Reuters reports that Israeli soldiers shot and killed 21-year-old Lubna Hanash of Bethlehem as she headed home from al-Arroub College on the road between Bethlehem and Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank. The young woman was shot in the head. Another woman, identified by the Maan News Agency as Suad Yusuf Jaara, was shot in the hand by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops during the incident, which occurred at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
Witnesses told the Maan News Agency that the Israeli troops were traveling in a civilian car near the entrance to the al-Arroub refugee camp when they shot the women. The Jerusalem Post reports that the IDF claims one of its jeep came under attack by "several" molotov cocktails, prompting the deadly response.
An IDF spokeswoman said that "soldiers were attacked by Palestinians who hurled multiple firebombs at them while they were traveling near al-Arroub. Soldiers returned fire and the circumstances of the incident are currently being reviewed."
No Israeli soldiers were harmed in the alleged firebombing incident.
Electronic Intifada points out that "such Israeli claims are routinely made to justify arbitrary killings of Palestinians and almost never result in credible investigations." Last month, Muhammad al-Salaymeh, a 17-year-old Palestinian from Hebron was shot dead by Israeli troops who claimed the boy had brandished a weapon and taken a hostage. The Israeli claims were proven false by a video of the incident.
Earlier on Wednesday, 16-year-old Saleh al-Amareen of the al-Azza refugee camp in Bethlehem died in an Israeli hospital after being shot in the head during a clash between camp residents and IDF troops. Hundreds of mourners turned out for the boy's funeral, where clashes again erupted with Israeli troops, who fired dozens of gas bombs and 'less-than-lethal' projectiles at infuriated Palestinians.
According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, al-Amareen is the fourth unarmed Palestinian killed this year by Israeli forces illegally occupying the West Bank.
On Saturday, the Times of Israelreported that 21-year-old Uday Kamil Muhammad Darwish of Dura was shot in the back after Israeli troops opened fire on him for trying to enter Israel illegally.
Last week, 17-year-old Samir Ahmed Awad was shot dead after he and some schoolmates threw stones at occupying troops.
In Ramallah, occupied West Bank, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the recent rise in Israeli killing, which has coincided with the United Nations General Assembly vote (138-9) to recognize Palestinian statehood.
"The crimes committed by the army are part of ongoing violations carried out by the occupation," a statement from the president's office said. "Israeli soldiers are committing their crimes with impunity knowing they can get away unpunished."
Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is illegal under international law and scores of United Nations resolutions. Israel claims it is not illegally occupying any of Palestine, including the West Bank and Gaza, which were seized during a 1967 war.
Israel's claims are based in large part on the Zionist belief that God promised the Jews, his 'chosen people,' Israel, as well as the fact that Jews ruled kingdoms in Palestine thousands of years ago. Zionists believe that Jews have a legitimate claim to all of Palestine despite the fact that they made up less than 10 percent of the population there from ancient times until well into the 20th century.
In reasserting their claim to their ancient homeland, Zionist colonists from Europe, many of them fleeing anti-Semitic pogroms, committed their own campaign of terrorism and ethnic cleansing that saw more than 700,000 Arabs expelled from Palestine in 1948-49 and another 200,000 forced out in 1967.