“I saw an Israeli soldier on the main road firing gunshots haphazardly, so I put my left hand on Lubna’s back, and grabbed her to try and run backward. A gunshot hit my hand, and I shouted as I ran.
“I thought Lubna was running behind me until I reached the security guards of Al-Arrub College who took me to a clinic in the camp before an ambulance arrived and took me to hospital.”
This, says Suad Jaara, 28, is what she witnessed Wednesday afternoon when Israeli officers near al-Arrub refugee camp shot her and her friend Lubna al-Hanash. Lubna, 22, died hours later.
Speaking to Ma’an, Jaara said Thursday that she and Lubna were walking on the campus of Al-Arrub College about 100 meters from the main road when they came under fire.
“An Israeli soldier was shooting from his rifle while a white car was parked on the roadside. There was nobody in the area except Lubna and I. He was a criminal … yes, a criminal who opened fired at us in cold blood killing Lubna and injuring me.”
Jaara’s testimony contradicts claims by the Israeli army’s chief of central command on Channel 10 Wednesday evening that the woman was trying to hurl a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli vehicle.
An army spokeswoman also told Ma’an on Wednesday that “soldiers were attacked by Palestinians who hurled multiple firebombs at them while they were traveling near al-Arrub. Soldiers returned fire and the circumstances of the incident are currently being reviewed.”
But Jaara says she and her late friend were the only ones in the area, walking around and enjoying the scenery.
“Lubna arrived two days ago to visit her sister, who is married to my brother. She had heard about Al-Arrub College and she wanted to visit it. I accompanied her to campus and she admired the area because it’s in a charming natural landscape. When we decided to leave campus, a criminal fired at us and Lubna died a martyr.”
Jaara is an employee at the Ministry of Prisoners Affairs. Her brother Jihad was a gunman in Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigades in the Bethlehem area. He was deported to Ireland after the Nativity Church siege in 2002.