Israeli forces shot dead three Palestinian young men on Thursday morning after an alleged shooting at the “tunnel” military roadblock west of Beit Jala, northwest of Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

The three slain Palestinians are:

  1. Abdul-Qader Abdullah Al-Qawasma, 26.
  2. Nasr Abdul-Afo Al-Qawasma, 17.
  3. Hasan Ma’moun Qfeisha, 28.

Eyewitnesses said that occupation forces stationed at the checkpoint fired live rounds at three young Palestinian men who were allegedly behind a shooting attack that led to six injuries, including one who later succumbed to serious wounds and two who were moderately injured.

After the incident, occupation forces imposed a strict siege on the area, closed the tunnel area and “Bypass Road 60”, deploying many soldiers at the eastern entrance to Al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, and the road leading to Beit Jala.

Initially, the army announced that seven soldiers were shot, including one in serious condition, before announcing that he had succumbed to critical gunshot wounds.

Israeli daily Haaretz has confirmed that the six injured Israelis, including the one who died from serious wounds, were soldiers.

The Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas resistance movement, claimed responsibility for the shooting attack.

Soldiers later stormed the city of Hebron in the southern West Bank, and abducted family members of the three Palestinian men accused of conducting the attack.

In a clear act of collective punishment, prohibited under international law, soldiers abducted the wife and son of Nasrallah Abdul-Afo Al-Qawasma, after invading their home.

Meanwhile, soldiers abducted the wife of Abdullah Al-Qawasma in addition to their two sons, Salah, and Ayman.

Soldiers also abducted Sheikh Shafiq Al-Qawasma, the elderly mother of Abdul-Qader Al-Qawasma.

Bassam Jabr, the Director of Education in Bethlehem announced that schools in the area were evacuated to protect the children.