Hala Khreis and her 5-year-old grandson Taim Abdel

Palestinian woman Hala Khreis was shot dead by an Israeli sniper on November 12, 2023 while fleeing with her 5-year-old grandson Taim Abdel, also shown here.

(Photo: screenshot from a family photo shown in an Al Jazeera report on the killing)

Video Shows IDF Allegedly Killing Palestinian Woman With Child Waving White Flag

"Summary executions take place everyday, they are just not often caught on camera," said Palestine's United Nations ambassador.

Relatives of an elderly Palestinian woman allegedly shot dead by an Israel Defense Forces sniper while fleeing with a child waving a white flag along an IDF-designated "safe" evacuation route from Gaza City pleaded for justice on Wednesday following the publication of video showing the killing.

Footage recorded on November 12 and published this week by Middle East Eye shows Hala Khreis and her 5-year-old grandson, Taim Abdel, at the head of a group of Palestinians—many of them waving white flags—as they followed Israeli instructions to flee the relentless IDF bombardment of Gaza City. As a shot rings out, Khreis collapses and Abdel, still clutching a piece of white cloth, runs for his life.

"The woman got shot! The bastards shot the woman," the person recording the video shouted, according to a translation by The Palestine Chronicle. "No one should go out into the street!"

Malak Khateeb, Khreis' niece and an eyewitness to the killing, toldAl Jazeera that she "stood still on the road not sure what to do," fearing that "if I moved forward, I would be shot like my aunt."

Eyewitness Heba Khreis, who is the slain woman's daughter and Abdel's mother, said she has not seen her son since the incident.

"I couldn't even go look for him, fearing that I would get shot too," she said.

Khateeb pleaded for "human rights organizations and the Red Cross to provide us with a safe corridor so Taim can come back to his mother and father, and I'm sure there are many like Taim."

The IDF has not commented on Khreis' killing, which is a likely war crime.

After IDF troops shot and killed three hostages held by Hamas—Israeli men who were waving white flags and shouting in Hebrew—IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said that "it is prohibited to shoot at people holding a white flag and attempting to surrender."

"And I want to tell you something no less important," Halevi added. "What if it is two Gazans with a white flag who come out to surrender? Do we shoot at them? Absolutely not. Absolutely not."

However, there have been numerous documented incidents of IDF troops shooting civilians, including women, children, and elders. Palestinian civilians have also frequently come under attack while fleeing along routes the IDF claimed were safe.

Khateeb told Al Jazeera that her family is asking "the court of justice and the international community to investigate the execution of my aunt Hala, who was killed in cold blood in front of everyone."

"We ask the entire world to stop pretending that you don't see or hear us," she added.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague is preparing for Thursday's opening session of an emergency hearing in the South African-led genocide case against Israel. This, as the number of Gazans killed, wounded, or left missing from Israel's 96-day, U.S.-backed assault on Gaza recently topped 90,000—or about 4% of the besieged enclave's population.

On Tuesday, Pakistan became the largest in a group of nations—including Turkey, Venezuela, Malaysia, Jordan, and Bolivia—supporting South Africa's case.

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.