Tillawi, a journalist and program host for the official Palestinian Authority radio station Voice of Palestine (VOP), was killed after being shot in the head by Israeli gunfire during protests in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The incident occurred late in the evening around Ramallah's Manara Square.
According to Palestinian sources, Tillawi was both covering and participating in Palestinian demonstrations that had erupted there in protest of the Israeli army's siege of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's headquarters. Journalists and VOP officials said that Tillawi was equipped with a tape recorder and a jacket marked "press."
An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson was quoted as saying at the time that Tillawi was among the rioters and was not distinguishable as a reporter.