IDF Troops Kill PA Gunman

IDF soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian Authority Arab Wednesday after he opened fire at their unit. PA sources claimed "he was a farmer."

Hana Levi Julian , | updated: 1:31 PM

Rifle and bullets, some spent found near body
Rifle and bullets, some spent found near body
Israel News Photo: (IDF)

IDF soldiers shot and killed a 67-year-old Palestinian Authority Arab early Wednesday after he opened fire at their unit during an overnight counterterrorism operation near the PA-controlled city of Jenin in Samaria.


According to military sources, soldiers found a hunter's rifle and some ammunition near the body of Mohammed Abahreh although local Arabs claimed he was a farmer. IDF soldiers found more weapons and ammunition after they searched the area.


Several Israeli media reports stated that Abahreh was shot "as he herded cattle in the village of Al-Yamoun." However, livestock are not herded at night, nor are they herded within Arab villages. They are taken by shepherds to pasture in the hills during the daylight hours and returned at nightfall.


Some media sources also claimed the gunman was left for two hours to "bleed to death." The Reuters news agency, which on more than one occasion has been caught fabricating or distorting news facts, wrote that Abahreh was a "shepherd" who was carrying the shotgun "as protection against rustlers." The news agency quoted his son, Taher Abahreh, as saying that his father "never used his gun," adding that the troops had left him to "bleed to death and preventing an ambulance from reaching the area quickly."


An IDF spokesman, quoted by Reuters as well, categorically denied the charge, saying soldiers not only did not prevent access to the area, but in fact "guided the Red Crescent ambulance to the site so it could reach the area as soon as possible."


Taher Abahreh had originally been quoted by Israeli media as saying that he had arrived approximately an hour after neighbors reported hearing gunfire and found IDF soldiers unsuccessfully trying to administer medical treatment to his father. He added that the elder Abahreh had been guarding his livestock in a small enclosure outside the town at the time of the incident.


Sources in Jenin quoted by Voice of Israel government radio said Warrad Abahreh, Taher's brother, was a commander in the Fatah-linked Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades terrorist organization who was killed in July 2005 during an IDF counterterrorism operation.


The PA recently has deployed American-trained armed troops in the city in an attempt to prove that the Fatah-led authority is fighting terror. Israeli military officers have repeatedly stated that the Arab troops, who do not operate in the middle of the night in the area, arrest criminals and traffic offenders but not terrorists.