November 14, 2022: Folla Rasmi Abdul-Aziz Masalma, 15, was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers who fired a barrage of bullets into a car in which Folla was a passenger, killing her and severely wounding the driver of the vehicle.
Folla would have turned 16 on the day after she was killed, and had been preparing for her birthday party. She was in the passenger seat of a car that was driving along a road in the Palestinian town of Betunia when they saw a bunch of Israeli soldiers crouched behind military vehicles up ahead of them. The driver tried to turn around, to back up and go another way, but the Israeli soldiers began firing from two different locations.
An eyewitnesses said that the soldiers fired at the car in three separate barrages of bullets in a short time. In addition to shooting Folla in the head, the driver was also shot and wounded, but he managed to get out of the car heavily bleeding and raising his hands in the air.
The soldiers then approached the vehicle and, according to eyewitnesses, roughly pulled the heavily bleeding child from the car and dropped her on the ground. They then tore off her clothes and appeared to do a few chest compressions, then dragged her to one of the army jeeps. That jeep was full of soldiers, so they carried her roughly to a second jeep – all while she was bleeding heavily from the head wound their gunshots had caused. They then put her in a third military jeep, on the floor of the jeep, by the feet of the soldiers in that jeep.
According to an eyewitness, the driver “was bleeding apparently from his hand, before he stepped out of his car with his hands up in the air. The soldiers took him to one of their jeeps. The girl was then taken out of the car and placed on the ground. She has bleeding when the soldiers carried her but dropped her on the ground, then carried her again, and took her to one of the jeeps that was at a distance.”
“But the jeep they took her to already had the wounded young man who was detained by them, so they placed her on the ground, and then took her to another jeep that had no space, before moving her to another jeep where they placed her on its floor and drove away…. she was bleeding… I don’t think there was any more blood in her body by then…”
“The soldiers then bought Shawarma and were driving away to eat it, this is how coldblooded their murder is!”, he concluded, “The blood was everywhere, even on their shawarma they were eating…”
An eyewitness, Bakr Armoush, 30, told WAFA Palestinian News Agency that the attack occurred approximately at four at dawn when a military force was deployed in the area after invading it 30 minutes earlier to abduct two young men in the Schools’ Area.
He added that the car transporting the slain woman was driving slowly, and when the driver saw the soldiers approximately 200 meters away, he tried to back away before more Israeli soldiers, who were hiding in the dark, started firing at the car, which came to a complete stop.
Later on, Palestinian medics managed to regain custody of Fulla’s body, and brought the child’s corpse to the Ramallah governmental hospital, then transferred her to the Doura governmental hospital near Hebron, in preparation for funeral ceremony.
On Monday evening, the Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed that Israeli soldiers killed, at dawn, a teenage girl in Betunia town after shooting her with a live round in the head and added that the name Israeli military had published the incorrect name – misidentifying the child they had killed. The Palestinian Health Ministry was able to find out the actual name of the child and correct the mistake that was issued by the Israeli military.
Her family is originally from Beit Awwa town, west of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, but lives in Al-Biereh city near Ramallah.
The Health Ministry said the soldiers took the body of the slain girl and initially provided the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee with a name of another woman who apparently had nothing to do with the incident.
Media sources said the soldiers shot Anas Hassouna, 26, before abducting him, and also abducted two Palestinians from their homes, Akram Silmi and Tareq Al-Emwasi.
According to the army, the soldiers were operating in the town and “signaled the driver to stop, but he accelerated before they opened fire,” wounding Anas, the driver, and killing the young woman in the same car, and added that it is reviewing the incident.
The army said it invaded Anata to arrest three “wanted” Palestinians from the town and one from nearby Betunia.
A surveillance video from the scene debunks the Israeli allegations and shows soldiers barricaded behind parked cars, opening fire at the car after the driver stepped on the brakes when he saw the army, and the car came to a complete halt.
The head of the Palestinian National Council, Rawhi Fattouh, denounced the Israeli crime in Betunia and said the soldiers, encouraged by incitement and racism from the Israeli political leadership, are ongoing with their crimes against the Palestinian people, knowing well there will be no accountability.
Folla was originally from Beit Awwa town, west of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, but lived in Al-Biereh city near Ramallah in the central West Bank. Source: IMEMC