Israeli occupation forces shot a 24-year-old Palestinian man in the neck on Friday as they attempted to confiscate a generator from a group of Palestinians.
The man, identified as Harun Abu Aram, is currently hospitalised and in critical condition, Israeli rights group B’Tselem said in a statement following the incident in the village of A-Rakeez in the South Hebron Hills.
Abu Aram, along with three unidentified men, was seen on a video captured at the scene attempting to stop five armed Israeli soldiers from confiscating an electric generator.
In the video, Abu Aram, who was barefoot, grappled with the soldiers along with the other three Palestinians, attempting to stop them from taking the generator. One soldier can be seen striking Abu Aram in the head with his assault rifle.
Moments ago, Harun Abu Aram of al Rakeez, located in the South Hebron Hills, was shot by #IDF forces as he attempted to prevent his property from being confiscated. Israeli soldiers had entered the area in order to confiscate a generator belonging to the victim of this violence. pic.twitter.com/gyzmr6JX9W
— Good Shepherd Collective (@Shepherds4Good) January 1, 2021
Several other Palestinians, including at least two women, approach the chaotic confrontation before the camera angle turns to the gravel path and a gunshot is heard. The video then angles up and Abu Aram can be seen lying on the ground.
The Israeli soldiers appear to retreat out of camera view towards a military vehicle, abandoning the generator. As the other villagers cry out in anguish around Abu Aram’s body, a second gunshot is heard. Villagers on the recording then begin screaming out for a car to evacuate the wounded man to a hospital.
B’Tselem said Abu Aram had been helping with construction at his neighbour’s home before the incident.
According to the rights group, the Israeli army demolished Abu Aram’s home on 25 November.
“The soldiers arrived with the intention of confiscating equipment that the family was using for the construction, including a generator,” B’Tselem said in Friday’s statement.
“Abu Aram was shot in the neck from a close distance as he and other Palestinians were attempting to retrieve the generator from the soldiers.”
According to witnesses who spoke to B’Tselem, the soldiers also shot at the car of a Palestinian attempting to remove the wounded Abu Aram from the location.
A spike in the number of Palestinian homes and infrastructure demolished by Israel was recorded in 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent financial crisis.
“This is part of a policy designed by the Israeli government to create a hostile environment for Palestinian communities, in order to force them out and take over their land,” B’Tselem said.
The Palestinians of the South Hebron Hills and the area surrounding A-Rakeez, Masafer Yatta, are currently waiting for a ruling of the Israeli High Court that may approve the forcible transfer of more than 1,000 residents.