As violence spikes, the killing of an unarmed Palestinian mother highlights awful toll of occupation

Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Ghada Sabateen during her funeral in the West Bank village of Husan on April 10. In the well-appointed house in the West Bank village of Husan, members of Ghada Sabateen’s family welcomed a stream of mourners with bleary eyes. Saba teen, a 47-year-old widow, mother of six, and math teacher, died from her wounds after being shot in the legs by Israeli forces near a temporary military checkpoint in the village on Sunday after the Israeli army said she didn’t heed verbal warnings and ran toward them as they fired warning shots in the air. She was unarmed, according to the Israel Defense Forces. But Sabateen was mostly blind, her family said. They believe she ran toward the soldiers because she got confused and panicked after the warning shots. Her children, including 14-year-old Jamila, say she was a woman “full of love and kindness” who always tried to stay out of conflict.

Her six children, who range from 11 to 22 years old, looked dumbfounded as they sat in the formal living room of their grandparents’ house, their family members speaking through tears.

Similar Scenes Of Families

Palestinian Similar scenes of families mourning a loved one lost to this cycle of violence gripping Israel and the West Bank have taken place in Israeli homes, just a few dozen miles away, after 11 civilians and three uniformed security officers were killed in a wave of attacks, including a mass shooting last week at a busy bar in the center of Tel Aviv.

After those attacks, Israeli military operations in the occupied West Bank increased as forces conducted raids they said were connected to the attacks or aimed at preventing future ones. The atmosphere has been incredibly charged. Since Sunday, at least four Palestinians and one Israeli were shot dead by Israeli forces. In all but Sabateen’s case, the Israeli military said soldiers opened fire in response to violent acts. In one of the cases, a woman stabbed a border police officer in another. A man threw Molotov cocktails at cars, the army said.

Sabateen Families

Sabateen’s family said that after she was shot it took at least 15 minutes before anyone was allowed to approach her. By the time she reached the hospital, she had died from blood loss, Sabateen’s aunt said. The Israeli military said its soldiers followed protocol for a person acting suspiciously and gave initial medical aid. Video from the scene shows a soldier working on Sabateen, her body shielded by pieces of cardboard for modesty reasons, the IDF said. The IDF said it is investigating the incident.

Mourners carry the body of Ghada Sabateen during her funeral in the West Bank village of Husan on April 10.

Saw The Video

Representatives of the European Union and the United Nations have condemned Sabateen’s killing. The EU’s delegation to the Palestinians said in a tweet “Such excessive use of lethal force against an unarmed civilian is unacceptable.”Sabateen’s family said it wants the soldier or soldiers.

“I felt very angry when I saw the video, I do not know where to go with all this anger,” Ghada’s 20-year-old son Mohammed said. It’s hard to pinpoint a trigger point for this latest wave of violence. Israeli officials say the attacks are “lone wolf” actions, without any grand organizations behind them. That makes them harder to prevent. And though Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the attacks on Israeli civilians, he remains under pressure, not least from the United States, to withdraw financial support for the families of people who carry out attacks.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett

Facing his own political crisis after losing a parliamentary majority — has vowed swift action to prevent further attacks, saying on Sunday “the State of Israel has gone on offense … there are no restrictions on [Israeli security forces] in the war against terrorism.”Such rhetoric has set off red flags in the West Bank, as Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh. Accused Israel on Monday of enacting a “shoot to kill” policy. Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, president of the Palestinian National Initiative political party. The recent wave of violence stems from the Israeli government pushing aside any sort of political peace process. And instead of promoting a policy aimed at opening economic opportunities for Palestinians, like more work permits. With the hope that it will achieve peace.”Trying to say Palestinians will just accept the situation if their economic situation will improve is a myth,” Barghouti said.


Barghouti said Palestinians are angry not only at the Israeli occupation but also at the US for breaking. Its promises about reopening a consulate for Palestinians. And perhaps just as important, there are deep frustrations with their own political leadership. For failing to hold democratic elections, and also with the international community for what Barghouti. Said is a double standard as they watch the West sanction Russia for its actions in Ukraine while ignoring Israel. But things could get worse, especially if the religious tensions mount even higher during Ramadan, Passover. Easter all overlap this weekend. Israeli officials say a group of Palestinians vandalized the site believe to be the burial. Tomb of the Biblical prophet Joseph in the West Bank town of Nablus.

At the same time, extremist Jewish groups have announced they plan to go to the Temple Mount. Known by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and home to the Al Aqsa Mosque. To pray and practice the ancient Jewish ritual of sacrificing a lamb before the Passover holiday. Such an act is seen by the Palestinians as incredibly provocative. Under the agreement put in place with Jordan in 1967 that manages Jerusalem’s holiest site.

Jews are not allowed to pray at the compound, although in recent years increasing numbers. Extremist Jewish groups have been openly praying at the site. Palestinians want East Jerusalem, where the compound is located, as the capital of their future state.” The most dangerous thing is provocations against the Al Aqsa Mosque. It could lead to an explosion in the whole area,”. Barghouti warned, evoking the 11-day war last May between Hamas-led militants in Gaza and Israel.