Senior US diplomat calls family of Palestinian woman shot dead by IDF

A senior Biden administration official on Thursday called the family of an unarmed Palestinian woman who was shot dead by Israeli troops earlier this week to offer his condolences.

The call by George Noll, who heads the Palestinian Affairs Unit in the US Embassy to Israel, to the family of Ghada Sabateen represents a relatively rare decision by the administration to weigh in on the killing of a Palestinian who is not an American citizen.

The widowed 47-year-old mother of six did have American relatives, though.

“The United States welcomes Israel’s decision to investigate her shooting death,” the Palestinian Affairs Unit tweeted, in an apparent reference to the IDF’s statement on the Sunday incident, which said it was “clarifying” what had happened. The IDF has yet to announce any formal investigation into the matter.

Asked Thursday for an update on the effort to ascertain the circumstances of Sabateen’s death, an IDF spokesperson issued the same statement the military made four days earlier.

In footage of the incident Sabateen, who was partially blind, could be seen raising her hands as she ran at a makeshift checkpoint in her West Bank village of Husan, when soldiers shot her, causing her to fall.

The army said at the time that Sabateen had approached Israeli soldiers “in a suspicious manner.” A military spokesperson later confirmed that she was unarmed.

“The force opened fire as part of a suspect arrest procedure that included firing into the air. After she did not stop, the soldiers fired at her lower body de ella, ”the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

Soldiers administered first aid to Sabateen after which she was rushed by Palestinian medics to a Beit Jala hospital, where she died of blood loss from a torn artery in her thigh.

Speaking to the Haaretz daily, Sabateen’s aunt Mona recalled hearing the gunshots and trying to rush to the scene before being blocked by the soldiers. “I tried to get there, and the soldiers raised their weapons in my direction and told me I couldn’t. I told them she was the daughter of my sister — how can I stay away? I asked a soldier if they had anything on her, and he said no. Had she done something? He said no. The soldier told me, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’”

“Why did he shoot her? He could have pushed her away from her and she would have fallen to the ground, ”she asked.

A Palestine TV reporter who was in Husan to do a story on the impact of the IDF’s makeshift checkpoints in the middle of the town caught the incident on camera.

Witnesses said Sabateen panicked upon hearing the soldiers fire in the air and began running toward the fence before turning toward the troops.

Her family has denied that Sabateen was trying to end her life as she was dedicated to taking care of her children.

Sabateen was one of 15 Palestinians shot dead by Israeli troops in the West Bank since the beginning of the month.

Sabateen lived with her children and parents in the small village of Husan. She had lived in Jordan for years before returning to the West Bank after her husband’s death, Husan local council member Taha Hamamra told The Times of Israel.

The last time the Biden administration weighed in on the death of a Palestinian was after 78-year-old Omar As’ad, an American citizen, suffered a lethal heart attack after being bound, gagged and abandoned at a construction site in the January cold by Israeli soldiers.

The State Department condemned the incident and demanded an independent investigation.

Two junior officers were removed from their positions over As’ad’s death, and the head of the unit, the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, was formally censored, but no other disciplinary actions were taken following the Israeli probe.

Aaron Boxerman contributed to this report.

We’re telling a critical story

Israel is now a far more prominent player on the world stage than its size suggests. As The Times of Israel’s Diplomatic Correspondent, I’m well aware that Israel’s security, strategy and national interests are always scrutinized and have serious implications.

It takes balance, determination, and knowledge to accurately convey Israel’s story, and I come to work every day aiming to do so fully.

Financial support from readers like you allows me to travel to witness both war (I just returned from reporting in Ukraine) and the signing of historic agreements. And it enables The Times of Israel to remain the place readers across the globe turn to for accurate news about Israel’s relationship with the world.

If it’s important to you that independent, fact-based coverage of Israel’s role in the world exists and thrives, I urge you to support our work. Will you join The Times of Israel Community today?

Thank you,

Lazar BermanDiplomatic Correspondent

Yes, I’ll give

Yes, I’ll give

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

You’re a dedicated reader

That’s why we started the Times of Israel ten years ago – to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.

For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREEas well as accessing exclusive content Available only to Times of Israel Community members.

Thank you,
David Horovitz, Founding Editor of The Times of Israel

Join Our Community

Join Our Community

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button