Salah Tawfiq Sawafta

August 19, 2022: Salah Tawfiq Sawafta, 58, was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers and killed as he was leaving the mosque after morning prayers in Tubas, in the northeastern West Bank.

Salah was rushed to a local hospital and was admitted to surgery but succumbed to his serious wounds, especially since the soldiers shot him with a live round in the head.

Medical sources said the soldiers had invaded Tubas and were in the midst of attacking protesters with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades, when Salah exited the mosque following dawn prayers. The soldiers fired live ammunition at his head, causing a critical head wound.

Palestinian medics provided the urgently needed treatment to the injured man before rushing him to a hospital due to the seriousness of his concision.

Local sources said the family was preparing to celebrate his daughter’s wedding scheduled to be held on August 26th.

According to field investigations and an eyewitness’s statement to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)’s fieldworker, at approximately 05:45 on Friday, 19 August 2022, Israeli forces moved into Tubas city, where Israeli snipers topped the roof of the 4-storey public prosecution building that is located on the left side of the city’s main street.

Afterwards, Israeli forces cordoned off a house located next to the family house of Akram Hakam Jum’a al-Kharraz (20), a student at the American University in Jenin, while Palestinian worshipers were leaving the Old Mosque in al-Kharraz neighborhood in central Tubas, amidst IOF’s sporadic shooting.

At that moment, Salah Tawfiq Mohammed Sawafta (58), who was wearing a traditional jalabiya, rushed out of an alley into the main street and then headed to al-Sarraj bakery in the area, which is about 150 meters away from the building, where IOF are stationed.

Before Sawafta’s arrival at the bakery, an Israeli sniper stationed onto the roof of the public prosecution’s building opened fire at him and wounded him with a live bullet in the right side of his forehead. As a result, Sawafta fell on his left side.

Afterwards, a Palestinian ambulance arrived and took him to Tubas Turkish Hospital that referred him to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus due to his serious condition.

At approximately 11:20, medical sources announced Sawafta’s death, succumbing to his serious wound. Before their withdrawal, Isreali forces raided and searched Akran Kharraz’s house and arrested him.

A footage captured by a surveillance camera fixed in the area showed Sawafta walked alone on the side of the road and rushed to take cover inside the bakery, as gunshots could be heard, before falling to the ground at the bakery entrance.

PCHR’s investigations affirm that there were no events or movements in the alley, from which Sawafta exited, and in the area, where he was wounded. This means that IOF’s shooting at Sawafta was without justification, although the soldiers stationed in the building were in plain sight.

PCHR reiterates its call upon the international community to take immediate action to end Israeli occupation’s crimes and double standards when it comes to international law.

The soldiers also shot a young man with a live round in the thigh during protests that took place after the army invaded Tammoun town, south of Tubas.

The soldiers stormed and ransacked many homes in Tubas, and in Tammoun town before abducting five Palestinians.

Kamal Bani Odah, the head of the Tubas office of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), said the soldiers abducted Ma’moun Na’im Abu Odah, Mustafa Bani Odah, in addition to Moath and his brother Ayed Farhan Bani Odah, from Tammoun, and a college student Akaram Hakam al-Kharraz from his home on Tubas.

Salah was from Tubas, in the West Bank. Source: IMEMC