Witnesses deny Israeli claim that Palestinian detonated bomb

Israeli authorities accuse Palestinian woman of detonating car bomb while witnesses state that it was electrical problem that caused explosion

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Israeli police stand around a vehicle damaged from an explosion near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim October 11, 2015.

Reports provided by eyewitnesses on the ground contradicted Israeli authorities’ claims that a female Palestinian motorist heading into a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, detonated a bomb after she was stopped by Israeli police, in an attempt to injure Israeli police officers.

A witness told Palestinian news agency Ma’an that “a Palestinian woman was driving her car to Jerusalem with her child in the car.” He added that some 300 meters before the Israeli military checkpoint near the village of al Zaayyim, an electrical problem ignited a small fire inside the car and the woman panicked and started to scream.

“When the woman managed to pull over, the driver’s airbag deployed emitting drizzles of powder,” he added.

At first, police forces stated that the woman driver was killed due to the bomb explosion, but later the authorities retracted their statement by saying that she had been seriously injured.

The female driver was initially pulled over for "driving suspiciously," according to reports by the Israeli media.

Israeli police spokesperson, Micky Rosenfeld told Ma'an that an Israeli police officer approached the car and "the explosion took place inside the vehicle."

The witness who spoke to Ma'an stated that an Israeli police patrol prohibited the woman from leaving the car as she was in shock following the alleged electrical fire, claiming that she set off an explosive device.

The witness emphasised that the car had not suffered any damage and its windows and windshield were intact.

A photo showing the car’s front bumper partially detached was used by several media agencies, while other leaked photos surfacing on the internet showed the car completely intact.

The incident happened amid the recent unrest between Palestinian civilians and Israeli authorities, leading to the death of four Israelis and 23 Palestinians within 12 days.

On Saturday, Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip shot dead two Palestinian children aged 13 and 15 during confrontations.

Israeli security forces also killed two Palestinian youths at an East Jerusalem Refugee Camp earlier in the same day, one of whom reportedly injured two ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in a knife attack, an Israeli spokesman said.

A relative of Palestinian boy Khalil Othman, 15, who was shot dead by Israeli forces on Saturday, mourns at his family house in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 10, 2015.

The latest incident comes as Israeli security forces continue to use noticeable brutality against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Just yesterday at least seven Palestinians were reported killed and more than 20 wounded during a Palestinian protest along the Israeli border, east of Gaza City and Khan Yunis.

Israeli police uses a wide array of weaponry against Palestinian youths, including tear gas, rubber bullets and as well as live ammunition.

On Wednesday Oct. 7, undercover Israeli policemen in Ramallah mixed in with a crowd of Palestinian protesters and started throwing stones at security forces, thus inciting the Palestinians to do the same.

Two Palestinians were shot with live ammunition and were seen bleeding in a video, they were seriously injured and repeatedly beaten by both the undercover agents and the Israeli security forces.

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas had previously warned that the unrest could trigger “third intifada” and the situation has been steadily escalating since October 3.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported on October 7 that, “Since Oct. 3, at least 500 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, 41 Palestinians have been injured by live ammunition, 134 by rubber bullets and 307 by excessive tear gas, while 18 others were beaten.”

The Palestinian Red Crescent has added that on Saturday alone, 614 people were wounded, 26 of whom were injured by live ammunition.

Footage and photos often surface on the internet, showing police brutality against Palestinian civilians and the use of live ammunition against unarmed Palestinians.

An Israeli border policeman shouts at an old Palestinian man during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron October 10, 2015.

‘Bibi go home’

Israeli protesters held banners reading “Bibi go home,” outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence.

Among the protesters, an Israeli woman named Dana, stated that the violence is not the correct solution to put an end to the conflict.

"We are here to demonstrate against the government because of the incitement that we believe comes from our side and not only from the Palestinian side. Perhaps, mostly from the Israeli side, the Israeli government. And of course this is also a demonstration against violence because we believe it is not the way," she said.

Several Arab towns in Israel have also witnessed protests, during which protestors blocked roads and threw stones and firecrackers at police.

Left-wing Israeli protesters participate in a demonstration against the recent rise in Palestinian-Israeli violence in Jerusalem October 10, 2015.

Israel limiting Palestinian access to Jerusalem's Old City, aggravated many Palestinians and a number of Israeli leftists, igniting the fear that Israel aims to change the religious status quo at the site, an accusation which Israeli authorities have denied.

Al Aqsa Mosque compound, a frequent flashpoint for clashes, is Islam's third holiest site, while the Jews view it as the Temple Mount.

TRTWorld and agencies