The Israeli army confirmed that soldiers had shot Sufyan Nawwaf al-Khawaja, 32, in the head as he drove through the village of Nilin, in the central West Bank district of Ramallah. The army added that Khawaja’s body was taken from the scene.
Nawwaf Khawaja, the slain man’s father, told news outlets that Israeli authorities had informed him they would withhold his son’s body – in line with a much decried Israeli policy regularly carried out with killed Palestinians. Nawwaf told journalists that Khawaja had been sitting with relatives making jokes before he left to go to his car.
“Sufyan went out to buy some basic supplies after the Palestinian government announced the imposition of the curfew”, Nawwaf said, referring to measures brought in to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
It was on this errand run that Khawaja drove from his family home in the centre of Nilin towards the al-Muhallal neighbourhood, which is near an Israeli road leading to the illegal settlement of Nili. It was near the settler road – use of which is reserved exclusively for Israelis – that Khawaja was killed, Ahed al-Khawaja, a relative, told Middle East Eye.
“His mother collapsed and her health condition has deteriorated after being informed of Sufyan’s death”, Ahed said. “The whole family is in a state of shock and sadness.”