A 16-year-old Palestinian girl who was shot to death by Israeli forces in Jerusalem on Sunday was “executed in cold blood” eyewitnesses said.
Fatima Afif Abd al-Rahman Hjeiji was riddled with bullets near a checkpoint close to the iconic Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem.
Israeli authorities claimed that the girl had approached the checkpoint carrying a knife and shouting “Allahu Akhbar”, leading to soldiers shooting her.
They also released a photo of an alleged letter the girl had written to her parents which “included verses from the Quran and was signed ‘martyr’.”
However witnesses countered the claim saying Rahman was ten metres away from the checkpoint and troops used indiscriminate force to kill her, The New Arab reported.
“One of the soldiers started to shout ‘knife! knife!’ and moments after that, about five soldiers opened fire at her from every direction,” a witness told Maan news agency.
Soldiers “continued to fire at her back”, after she was hit in the chest and fell to the ground, the Palestinian media outlet said.
The teenager became the seventh Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in 2017.
The spike in deaths has been attributed partially to the relaxation of rules of engagement for guards at checkpoints in the Occupied Territories.
A photo of Rahman lying face down after she was shot has sparked outrage across the world.