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Israel's Ben Gvir salutes officer who shot and killed Palestinian child

The minister said shooting the 12-year-old boy in Jerusalem's Shuafat camp was 'exactly how you should act'
An Israeli soldier shot dead Rami al-Halhouli, 12, near occupied East Jerusalem (Screenshot/X)

Israel's Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir praised the killing of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy by a border guard on Tuesday.  

In a Telegram post, the minister, who is considered an extremist even within Israel's far-right ruling coalition, applauded the soldier and expressed his support for his actions.

“I support the border guard fighters who are operating at this time and are risking their lives now against dozens of Arab rioters in Shu’fat.” Ben Gvir wrote.

“I support the soldier who killed the terrorist who tried to shoot fireworks at him and the troops - this is exactly how you should act against terrorists - with determination and precision,” he added.

In video footage capturing the killing, the Palestinian boy, identified as Rami al-Halhouli, was shown playing with fireworks and holding them above his head before he suddenly falls to the ground after being shot.

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The killing took place in the Shuafat refugee camp near occupied east Jerusalem during what Israeli officials said was a response to a “violent disturbance”.

In a statement, the Israeli police said they “fired towards a suspect who endangered the forces”.

After Halhouli was shot, family members and other Palestinians could be seen gathering around his body, with a woman screaming his name. 

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The child was taken to Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital’s trauma unit, where he was pronounced dead shortly after. 

An Israeli police spokesperson said that there were no casualties amongst the Israelis deployed to the camp. 

According to local media, residents of the camp said the fireworks were not directed at the soldiers, and did not pose any threat or danger to the Israelis.

The report added that Ben Gvir called for the soldier who killed the boy to receive an award and not be investigated by the Mahash, the department of police investigations. 

On Wednesday, Ben Gvir also headed to Israel’s Department of Internal Police Investigations (DIPI) to express his support for the officer and lambasted the DIPI’s questioning of the man.

“It is outrageous to me that the Department of Internal Police Investigations even dared to invite the fighter here for questioning, it is shameful and disgraceful,” he said, accompanied by the officer's lawyers.

He added that he had previously reinstated police officers suspended by the DIPI, and that he would give his support to the questioned officer, claiming he and his colleagues were “doing exceptional work”.

Other West Bank killings

The killing of al-Halhouli came on the same day Israeli forces shot and killed a man and a child near the town of Al-Jib, northwest of Jerusalem.

The man was identified as Zaid Warif Shukri Khalifa, a 23-year-old, who arrived at a medical facility in Ramallah already dead after sustaining wounds. The other was identified as 16-year-old Abdullah Mamoun Hassan Assaf. 

In the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, two others were killed and another four were wounded after Israeli forces opened fire near the entrance of the Jenin Governmental Hospital.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified one of the men killed as Rabee’ al-Nursi, 19, and Mahmoud Sbu al-Hija, who both succumbed to their wounds after being shot. 

The Red Crescent Society described the four wounded Palestinians as being in a serious condition.

Eyewitnesses in Jenin said that around 30 Israeli armed vehicles and bulldozers stormed the city and were deployed to several different neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the refugee camp.

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