A senior Biden administration official called Thursday to offer condolences to the family of an unarmed Palestinian woman who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers earlier this week.
The appeal by George Noll, head of Palestinian affairs at the US Embassy in Israel, to Ghada Ibrahim Ali al-Sabiteen’s family represents a relatively rare government decision to intervene in the murder of a Palestinian who is not an American is citizen.
However, the 47-year-old widow and mother of six had American parents.
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“The United States welcomes Israel’s decision to investigate his shooting death,” the Palestinian Affairs Unit tweeted in an apparent reference to the IDF’s explanation of the incident on Sunday, which said it “explained” what was happening may be. The IDF has not yet announced an official investigation into the matter.
Asked Thursday for an update on efforts to determine the circumstances of Sabiteen’s death, an IDF spokesman made the same statement the military made four days earlier.
In footage of the incident, Sabiteen, who was partially blind, could be seen raising her hands as she ran to a makeshift checkpoint in her West Bank village of Husan when soldiers shot at her and fell to the ground.
The Israeli army said the woman approached Israeli soldiers “suspiciously” and refused to say whether or not she was armed. However, a military spokesman later confirmed that she was unarmed.
“The soldiers opened fire on them as part of a procedure to arrest a suspect that included warning shots. Since the soldiers did not stop, they shot at the lower part of her body,” the IDF said in a statement.
#See The moment the occupying forces executed the martyr Ghada Sabateen in the city of Husan, west of Bethlehem.
The martyr is a widow and mother of six children. pic.twitter.com/vvtp6WTp3j
— Newpress | New Press (@NewpressPs) April 10, 2022
Israeli soldiers administered first aid to Sabiteen, after which Palestinian doctors took her to Beit Jala Hospital, where she died of bleeding from a ruptured artery in her thigh.
Reach out every day hairnet, Sabiteen’s aunt Mona recalls hearing the shots and trying to rush to the scene before being blocked by the soldiers. “I tried to leave, but the soldiers pointed their guns at me and told me I wasn’t allowed to. I told them she was my sister’s daughter – how could I stay away from her? I asked a soldier if they had anything against them and he said no. did she do something He answered no. The soldier said to me, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’ »
“Why did he shoot him? He could have pushed her away and she would have fallen to the ground,” she asked.
A reporter from Palestinian TV who was in Husan to cover the impact of temporary IDF checkpoints in the middle of the city filmed the incident.
Witnesses said Sabiteen panicked when he heard the soldiers firing in the air and ran to the fence before facing the troops.
Her family denied that Sabiteen was trying to end her life as she was fully devoted to caring for her children.
PAU chief George Noll spoke to Ghada Sabteen’s family yesterday to express our condolences. The United States welcomes Israel’s decision to investigate her death by firing squad.
— US Unit for Palestinian Affairs (@USPalAffairs) April 14, 2022
Sabiteen is one of 15 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the beginning of the month.
Hamamra said Sabiteen is a widow and mother of six who lived in the small village with her children and parents. She lived in Jordan for years before returning to the West Bank after the death of her husband, said Taha Hamamra, a member of Husan Municipal Council times of Israel.
The last time the Biden administration considered the death of a Palestinian was after Omar As’ad, 78, a US citizen, suffered a fatal heart attack after being tied up, gagged by Israelis at a construction site in the cold in January and had been exposed to soldiers.
The State Department condemned the incident and called for an independent investigation.
Following the death of a Palestinian-American during an operation in the West Bank in which the military called “lack of judgment” and “lack of moral consideration”.
Aaron Boxerman contributed to this article.