Violent PA Arab demonstration
Violent PA Arab demonstration Israel news photo: Flash 90

Reports varied wildly Wednesday afternoon over the fate of a 22-year-old Palestinian Authority woman who participated in a riot aimed at IDF soldiers in the PA Arab town of El Aroub.

The town, located in Judea south of Gush Etzion and Bethlehem along Highway 60, is a hotbed of terrorist activity. IDF soldiers are permanently stationed at the access road to the town, which is off limits to Israeli vehicles.

IDF sources said the woman hurled a firebomb (Molotov cocktail) at the soldiers, who opened fire in response to the attack. An IDF soldier was also hit with rocks during the riot. His condition is unknown. IDF sources added that the woman was being treated at the scene. Several reports said the woman was critically injured.  

No additional details have yet been made available from the IDF.

The PA’s semi-official Ma’an news agency reported the incident entirely differently, claiming the woman had been shot to death in an unprovoked attack by Israeli soldiers. 

“According to the sources, there were no confrontations or stone-throwing incidents in the area” at the time, Ma’an news reported in a blazing top story on its Arabic-language home page.

In Arabic, Ma’an reported that IDF soldiers fired at the woman, critically wounding her in the head. Lubna Munir Hanash died of her wounds shortly thereafter, according to the Bethlehem-based news agency.

Medics told Ma’an that the soldiers also shot two other PA Arabs, Suad Yusuf Ja’ara and Salah Abu Hashhash, wounding each in the hands. All were transported by ambulance to the Al-Ahli Hospital in nearby Hevron, according to the PA news outlet, which added that IDF officials "launched an investigation into the incident."

Israeli drivers, motorcyclists and passengers in cars and busesregularly face road terror attacks on the road that passes El Aroub, as do the soldiers who must staff the outpost at the site. Earlier this month, an IDF soldier was burned by firebombs hurled at his unit by PA Arabs in the town.