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Jana Zakarneh: IDF admits shooting 16-year-old Palestinian woman, calling it ‘unintentional’


The Israeli army admitted on Monday that its troops shot Jana Zakarneh, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl who died in a raid in the occupied West Bank on Sunday evening, saying she was killed by “unintentional Israeli fire” aimed at armed men. ”

“Following an initial investigation, it has been determined that the young girl who was killed was hit by unintentional fire aimed at gunmen on a rooftop in the area from which the force was fired,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) statement said.

“The IDF and its commanders regret any harm caused to uninvolved civilians, including those in a combat environment and in close proximity to armed terrorists during exchanges of fire,” the statement continued.

Jana’s uncle, Majed Zakarneh, told CNN on Monday that his niece “was shot four times, two in the face, one in the neck and one in the shoulder.”

The Israeli army “was firing heavily everywhere. Jana was inside the house with her family and when she heard people screaming she went to the roof to see what was going on,” Zakarneh said.

“Twenty minutes after the soldiers left the neighborhood, her father went looking for her… He found her lying on the ground, her face full of blood,” Zakarneh said.

Speaking before the IDF admitted responsibility, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said he wanted to express “his sadness for his death, as for any death of someone who was not involved in terrorism, if that were indeed the case”.

The official Palestinian WAFA news agency said two other Palestinians were injured and three were arrested in the raid. The Israeli army confirmed that three people had been arrested “on suspicion of involvement in terrorism”.

A general strike was declared in Jenin on Monday after Jana’s murder, WAFA said, adding that “hundreds of people” took to the streets to protest “the ongoing Israeli aggression”.

In a statement released on Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, “to investigate the crimes of the occupation and put Israel on the blacklist “. Gamba is currently visiting the West Bank and Gaza.

“The murder of child Jana Majdi Zakarneh adds to the horrific murders of children that occupation soldiers continue to commit,” Shtayyeh said.

Zakarneh’s death brings the total number of Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank so far in 2022 to 166, a level not seen in more than a decade, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Israel says most of those killed were militants or engaged violently with soldiers. But human rights groups say bystanders were also killed.

Israel also recorded the highest death toll from Palestinian attacks this year in nearly 20 years, with 31 dead.

The Israeli army said in its statement that it had arrested three people during the raid.

“Security forces have apprehended three wanted persons suspected of involvement in terrorism,” the statement said.

According to the IDF, the suspects threw explosives and fired at the IDF soldiers, who responded with “live fire”. No IDF injuries were reported.

On Thursday, a 16-year-old boy died after being shot dead by Israeli forces in Ramallah, according to a separate statement from the Palestinian Health Ministry last week.

“Al-Rimawi, 16, was wounded by two bullets in the back. The first came out of his chest and the second came out of his abdomen,” the statement said.

The IDF said in a statement that Israeli soldiers “shot suspects” for throwing stones and paint bottles at vehicles “endangering the lives of passers-by” near the town of Aboud in Ramallah.

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