(ANTIMEDIA)United Kingdom —
An 18-year-old Palestinian girl has died from wounds sustained after she
was shot by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday morning.
teenager is the second Palestinian to be killed in 24 hours in the occupied
West Bank after 21-year-old Dia al-Talameh was killed in the village of Khursa.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Al-Jazeera the 21-year-old intended to throw a molotov cocktail
at a military vehicle and it detonated on himself. Palestinian security
officials claim he was shot by Israeli troops.
Initial Israeli media reports claimed the 18-year-old university student
Hadeel Hashlamon was shot in her lower body after she attempted to stab a
soldier at Hebron’s Shuhada Street checkpoint on Tuesday morning.
that the teenager was shot several times, including in the chest. Locals deny
she was carrying a knife.
Fawaz abu Aisheh said that teenager — who was carrying a large school satchel —
froze because she didn’t understand what the soldiers were screaming at her in
tried to talk with her, she was terrified. She knew nothing,” he said. He described begging soldiers to let him to take her away from the
impunity that Israel historically enjoys from prosecution for war crimes means
we will probably never know what happened. Whether the young soldier was fearful
the young student was carrying a bomb or simply panicked because she was fully
covered in a niqab, she didn’t follow his orders — so he shot her.
was covered completely, there was no knife showing at any time. Even if she did
have a knife he could have arrested her so easily. I was there, I could have
talked to her, she cooperated with me in that very first moment,” Abu Aisheh told the International Solidarity Movement.
ugly face of Israel’s dehumanisation of Palestinians was further revealed in a
disturbing video by
Palmedia that showed the aftermath of the shooting. Not only were paramedics
prevented from approaching the teenager, but Israeli settlers laughed and
pointed as she bled on the ground. Israeli soldiers are shown casually standing
around and chatting before dragging her body out of shot by the feet.
Slain teen Dia al-Talameh
TV reported that the young Palestinian was left bleeding on the
ground for 30 minutes before receiving medical treatment. She later died of her
injuries in a Jerusalem hospital.
if there was a knife, the answer to why the most moral army in the world
didn’t employ an alternative than to use close-range, rapid fire straight into
the chest of a Palestinian teenager lies in Israel’s long history of literally getting away with murder.
soldiers based throughout occupied Palestine — many of whom are 19-years-old
themselves — are fully secure in the knowledge that there will be little to no
recourse for their actions. After all, what’s another dead Palestinian? They
would have only grown up to be a terrorist.
Amnesty, which is headquarted in London, interviewed two
eyewitnesses who saw Israeli occupation forces shoot the young student in
Hebron, in the occupied West Bank. Based on the evidence, Amnesty concluded
that al-Hashlamoun “at no time posed a sufficient threat to the soldiers to
make their use of deliberate lethal force permissible.”
“This killing is the latest in a long line of unlawful
killings carried out by the Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank with near
total impunity,” Amnesty said.
Account of the incident
Two Israeli soldiers stopped the young woman at a checkpoint
in Hebron at around 7:40 AM on September 22. Amnesty’s
eyewitnesses did not consult with each other, in order to assure accuracy of
their accounts. The witnesses told Amnesty al-Hashlamoun was asked to open her
bag for a search. She showed them the inside of her bag, but the soldiers began
to yell at her, and she froze in fear. They were shouting in Hebrew, which the
young woman did not understand.
Witness Fawaz Abu Aisheh, who speaks Hebrew,
said he tried to help the young woman, who was trying to leave the checkpoint.
He offered to translate for her, but four Israeli soldiers arrived and pushed
him away. At this point, a soldier shot al-Hashlamoun in the leg. The young
woman fell to the ground. One witness says he saw her drop a knife with a brown
handle, but another said he did not see a knife.
The Israeli soldier then walked closer to al-Hashlamoun
and shot at her chest four or five more times, while she was lying motionless
on the ground. Other soldiers yelled at him to stop, yet he kept on shooting.
The Israeli military claims that al-Hashlamoun walked toward
the occupation forces with a knife, but witnesses said the young woman had her
hands inside her niqab, her full veil, the entire time, and never tried to move
toward any of the soldiers. Israel also released a photo of a knife with a blue
and yellow handle on the ground at the scene. The two eyewitnesses interviewed
by Amnesty and photographs of the incident contradict these official claims.
As for the allegation that al-Hashlamoun had a knife, Amnesty
Even if al-Hashlamoun did have a knife, Israeli soldiers, who
are protected with body armour and heavily equipped with advanced weapons,
could have controlled the situation and arrested her without threatening her life.
Open fire regulations of the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank allow
soldiers to open fire only when their lives are in imminent danger, and Amnesty
International concludes that this was not the case in the shooting of
al-Hashlamoun, as she was standing still and separated from the soldiers by a
metal barrier. There was no attempt to arrest al-Hashlamoun, according to the
eyewitnesses, or to use non-lethal alternatives.
To then shoot al-Hashlamoun again multiple times as she lay
wounded on the ground indicates that her killing was an extrajudicial
execution. Unlawful and deliberate killings carried out by order of government
or military officials, or with their complicity or acquiescence, amount to
extrajudicial executions, which are prohibited at all times and constitute
crimes under international law. An extrajudicial execution would also
constitute a wilful killing, which is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva
Convention, which applies to Israel’s long-standing military occupation of the
Occupied Palestinian Territories, and a war crime.
An eyewitness who stayed in the area around al-Hashlamoun for
15-20 minutes after the shooting, before being forced to leave by Israeli
soldiers, said no medical help was given to the young woman, who lay bleeding
to death. Local media reported that Israeli forces prevented Palestinian medics
from helping al-Hashlamoun, and did not put her into an ambulance for 30-40
minutes after they shot her.
“In order to comply with their obligations under the right to
life, Israeli forces had a duty to provide al- Hashlamoun with medical
assistance at the earliest possible moment, which they clearly did not meet,”
Violations of international law
In Hebron, Israeli settlements are located in the center of
the city. The young woman was killed near these settlements, which Amnesty
makes clear “are illegal under international law.”
“Palestinian residents of Hebron have had their freedom of
movement and their economic rights severely curtailed by” the closures imposed
on parts of the city by Israeli occupation forces, Amnesty explains. “In
addition, Palestinians are often subject to arbitrary detention and humiliating
treatment by Israeli security forces stationed in the city, and are often
subject to settler violence, which the Israeli authorities fail to investigate
The Israeli military says it is investigation the killing,
but Amnesty writes:
such internal investigations have consistently failed to
identify those responsible for previous unlawful killings or to hold anyone
accountable. International law requires states to ensure prompt, independent,
impartial and effective investigations into suspected extrajudicial executions.
Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities to carry out such
an investigation into the incident, promptly disclose the findings and ensure
that anyone responsible for a human rights violation is brought to justice and
that the victim’s family receives full reparation. Failure to effectively
investigate a suspected unlawful killing in itself constitutes a violation of
the right to life.
Amnesty also notes that more than 25 Palestinians, including
at least three children, have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied
West Bank in 2015. In 2014, dozens more in the West Bank were killed by Israeli
soldiers. “In many cases, it appears that the killings were unlawful, and some
may have been either wilful killings or extrajudicial executions,” the human
rights organization states.
you to Shaul Hanuka for his wonderful work creating this wanted poster
featuring the killer of Palestinian student, Hadil al-Hashlomon. I appeal once again for any Israelis who know
this person to step forward and name him. He deserves to be held
accountable for what Amnesty International has called an “extrajudicial execution.”
circulate this poster online everywhere you can.
is the Israeli army refusing to release its footage from the shooting of
18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamon? —
the shooting an act of self defense by the soldiers wearing ballistic vests in
the checkpoint, standing behind a steel barrier separating them and the young
woman, as claimed by the IDF Spokesperson? Or was it an “extrajudicial
execution,” as Amnesty claimed, and which B’Tselem said in more cautious terms. It
won’t be difficult to find the answer. It would actually be very easy. The IDF
has video footage of the entire event, showing the entire sequence of events.
To this day, five days since the shooting, the army has chosen not to release
that video, a choice that raises questions about its motivations. Is the army
covering up for yet another soldier who sentenced a civilian to death in the
West Bank? Did the young woman threaten to attack the armed soldiers to the
point that they felt a threat to their lives and that they had no choice but to
shoot her? Did Hashlamon pull out and wave a knife at the soldiers? Could she
have actually reached soldiers standing on the other side of the barrier
separating them? And after the first shot, was there a justification for
shooting the 18-year-old in her stomach and chest, while she was lying
unresponsive on the ground? All of the evidence is available, all of the testimonies
have been recorded. The military prosecutor must put on trial the soldier who
cut short Hadeel al-Hashlamon’s life, or alternatively, release the video
showing that it was indeed self defense. The IDF Spokesperson had no response
when asked why video of the event hasn’t been published yet and whether it
intends to do so.