Israel’s Shoot to Kill Policy Takes a Terrible Toll

Israel’s Shoot to Kill Policy Takes a Terrible Toll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

Knives are not the way

An excellent summary of the shoot to kill policy of Israeli soldiers and
police by Jonathan Cook.  The hunting down of Palestinians,
the throwing down of knives in front of Palestinians who a mob then invites
Police to execute or, in the case of Fadi Alloun, the shooting by police of a Palestinian
fleeing a Jewish lynch mob.
Settlers try to storm Damascus Gate
Of course in this situation the Labour ‘opposition’ calls for even more stringent
security measures to 
preserve the security of the Jewish population. 
The resort to stabbing by young Palestinians is an indication of their
desperation.  I hope that Palestinian society
as a whole will bring an end to this tactic. 
It can only legitimise the lynch mobs and the increasing use of shoot to
kill.  Nothing is more moving than seeing
the bleeding body of 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra, who I wrongly reported as having been killed, being abused by settlers and Police who
prevented emergency medical help
getting to him.  
13 year old Ahmed Manasra lies on pavement bleeding as a racist mob gathers round telling him to die – medical help was obstructed by Police
The tactic is wrong and can only rebound
on Palestinians.  It will only intensify and
magnify the genocidal element of Israel’s Jewish population and prevent joint
work between Israeli Jews and Palestinians.  It will not and cannot have any
positive effects and as has already been seen is resulting in massive Palestinian
casualties.  It is the duty of those who engage in solidarity not to act as cheerleaders.  We are seeing a daily crop of young Palestinians being killed by the Israeli military/police forces.  The motives for going out and stabbing at random are understandable, born as they are of frustration, anger and hopelessness.  But we should not encourage the Palestinian youth to lay down their lives like this.
Nonetheless we have to pay tribute to the courage of those young
people who know that they will not survive an attack but who nonetheless feel
so desperate that they feel they have no alternative.  It is a suicide mission by those with nothing
to lose and that is in itself an indictment of us all.  But it is heartbreaking to see young Palestinian
bodies lying bleeding on the boardwalk, harangued by racist and murderous
settlers.  The motives of these young Palestinians
is entirely understandable but it is a product of a lack of Palestinian leadership
and a symptom of despair.

A third intifada will not be built with knives but
with mass concerted actions of resistance and protest.  Its first target will be the quisling PA regime
in Ramallah, Israel’s eyes and ears within the Palestinian community. 

Tony Greenstein
Israeli Police violently enter Al Aqsa Mosque causing damage and firing stun guns

Videos challenge Israeli police account of shootings

Jonathan
Cook
16
October 2015

Israel
accused of blocking investigations as films suggest security forces quick on
trigger with Palestinian suspects
Middle
East Eye – 16 October 2015
It
has been called the “smartphone intifada”. After a sharp escalation in violence
between Palestinians and Israelis in recent weeks, shocking scenes captured on
video have spread across social media.
According
to Israeli human rights organisations, several such videos challenge the
accuracy of official Israeli accounts of the circumstances in which police have
killed or injured Palestinians.
The
footage, the nine groups said in a statement
this week, provided concrete evidence that police were “quick to shoot to kill”
rather than arrest Palestinians in Jerusalem and Israel who were suspected of
involvement in attacks on Israeli Jews.
The
shootings, they added, had occurred when the Palestinians posed no physical
threat to security forces.
Lawyers
have also accused the justice ministry of thwarting investigations, especially
into the police killing of Fadi Alloun, a Palestinian from Jerusalem. Security
camera footage of his shooting has been withheld and his family have been
denied access to his body for an autopsy.
Israel
and occupied East Jerusalem, which Israel has illegally annexed, are subject to
Israeli civil law – unlike the West Bank, where Palestinians live under Israeli
military rule.
Human
rights groups have long complained that Israeli soldiers in the West Bank carry out
“extra-judicial executions”.
The
Israeli government recently announced it was authorising for the first time the use of
live-fire against Palestinians, including children, who throw stones in Israel
and Jerusalem.
Israel
includes a population of 1.6 million Palestinians who have citizenship, while
most of East Jerusalem’s 370,000 Palestinians have Israeli residency permits.
Adalah,
a legal centre for Israel’s Palestinian citizens, said details of the
government’s new live-fire regulations had yet to be divulged to them.
But
it cited Israeli politicians and police commanders as openly calling for
extra-judicial killings since the upswing in tensions.

‘Terrorists will not survive’
Jerusalem’s
police chief, Moshe Edri, is reported to have said: “Anyone who stabs Jews or
hurts innocent people is due to be killed.”
Police minister Gilad Erdan
similarly declared: “Every terrorist should know that he will not survive the
attack he is about to commit.”
Adalah
and Addameer, a Palestinian group defending prisoners’ rights, sent a letter to
Israel’s attorney general this week highlighting three cases where video
footage documented the unjustified shooting or abuse of Palestinian suspects.
Suhad
Bishara, an Adalah lawyer, said the Israeli justice ministry had given no
indication that its police investigations unit, Mahash, would investigate any
of the incidents.
“What
they are saying is the precise opposite: that these officers are heroes, that
they behaved according to the law,”
she said.
Mahash
is already deeply mistrusted by Israel’s Palestinian minority, a fifth of the
population, after it failed to identify any of the police officers responsible
for killing 13 unarmed demonstrators inside Israel at the start of the second
intifada in October 2000.
There
have been 51 deaths of Palestinian citizens at the hands of the
security forces since the October 2000 events, most in unexplained
circumstances, compared to two Israeli Jews.
Bishara
said: “We seem to have reached an even worse point than after the October 2000
events. Then Mahash conducted some investigations, even if they were deeply
flawed. Now the need for investigations is simply being ignored.”
A
spokeswoman for Mahash confirmed that a complaint from Adalah had been received
but would make no further comment.
The
urgent need for investigations was underscored late Thursday when the interior
minister, Silvan Shalom, said he intended to strip Palestinian-Israeli “terror
suspects” of their citizenship and those in Jerusalem of their residency
permits.
According
to international law, countries should not leave their citizens stateless.

Body kept from family
Adalah
and Addameer are concerned that in the most prominent of the filmed shootings –
of Alloun on 4 October – Israeli officials are putting up obstacles to block
any investigation.
Videos
on social media show a policeman shooting dead 19-year-old Alloun as he
seeks protection from a mob of Israeli Jews chasing him and demanding that he
be executed.
The
crowd accuses him of a stabbing that occurred moments earlier close to the Old
City. Even though the film suggests he posed no physical threat at the time, a
police officer fired at him seven times. Alloun fell to the ground after the first
shot.
Morad
Jadalah, a lawyer with Addameer, said the authorities had refused to make
available footage from security cameras in the area that might provide a
clearer view of what happened.
They
had also denied Alloun’s family access to his body, and the police
had buried him without an autopsy being carried out.
Adalah
and Addameer accused the police of seeking to “disrupt the investigation
in advance”
and “damage essential factual findings”.
Jadalah
said: “If we can’t examine Alloun’s body to see how he was killed, we have no
case against the police in court, whatever the videos reveal. The authorities
are engaged in attempts to prevent justice from being done.”

In
another case taken up by Adalah, from 9 October, Israa Abed, a 30-year-old
mother of three from Nazareth, is filmed
surrounded by soldiers and police at a bus station in northern Israel. As she
stands almost immobile before them, several shots are fired, wounding her.
Although
the security services have claimed there was a knife in her hand, she can be
seen making no effort to attack them. Another video, taken shortly after she
was shot, appears to show a pair of sunglasses, not a knife, next to
her.
Doctors
have
said
she was shot six times from the same gun.
Shalom
named Abed, who survived the shooting, as one of two Palestinian citizens he
wanted to strip of their citizenship.

Boy left to bleed
In
the third case, 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra is filmed
being kicked by police and denied medical treatment as he lies bleeding and
severely injured on a road in a settlement in East Jerusalem on 12 October.
Crowds of settlers curse him and shout “Die! Son of a bitch.”
He
was rammed by a vehicle after he and an older cousin were suspected of stabbing
two Israeli Jews, one a child his own age.
Physicians
for Human Rights in Israel decried a video and photos released by the government on
Thursday of Manasra recovering in an Israeli hospital. They said the images
violated Israel’s juvenile and privacy laws, and the hospital’s involvement was
a severe breach of medical ethics.
Suspicions
have been raised too about the fatal shooting of Basel Sidr on 14 October.
Footage shows police shooting the 20-year-old as he tried to attack them with a
knife at the entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City.
However,
B’Tselem, an Israeli organisation monitoring Israeli violations in the occupied
territories, expressed “grave concern” that the officers continued to
shoot at Sidr after he was wounded on the ground with no one near him.
Jadalah,
of Addameer, said: “These videos are helping to fuel Palestinian rage. They
reinforce the sense in Jerusalem that we are fighting for our lives and the
city.”
Since
the start of the month, 32 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded.
Attacks have left seven Israeli Jews dead.
On
Wednesday thousands of soldiers and paramilitary Border Police were deployed in Jerusalem and major cities in Israel where
Palestinians live. It is the first time in more than a decade soldiers have
been used inside Israel.

8,000 gun permit requests
Meanwhile,
Israeli media reports indicate that, since the unrest erupted, Israeli soldiers
and police have had a light finger on the trigger and have rushed to
conclusions about the threat posed by Palestinians unsupported by evidence.
On
Thursday a soldier opened fire in a train near Haifa, causing minor injuries,
after other soldiers wrongly shouted out a warning that someone was holding a
knife.
Later
the same day, police admitted that two Palestinians from East Jerusalem arrested
on suspicion of planning an attack after a major manhunt in Tel Aviv were
simply visiting the city.
Israeli
politicians such as Jerusalem’s mayor Nir Barkat have called on Israeli civilians who own a firearm to carry it
at all times. On Friday some 8,000 Jews were reported to have applied for a gun permit in the first 24
hours after the easing of licensing rules by the government.
“In
the current atmosphere, the call by politicians for Israeli civilians to arm
themselves constitutes incitement to kill Palestinians for no reason,”
said
Bishara, of Adalah. “It sends a message to the security forces and to Israeli
civilians that Arab life is of no value.”


There
has also been a spate of reports in the past week of Palestinian citizens being
beaten or stabbed by Israeli Jews after they were identified as Arab. Mobs of
Jews chanting “Death to Arabs” are now a familiar
sight
in Jerusalem.
In
the southern town of Dimona last week, an Israeli Jew stabbed four Palestinians over the course of an hour.
Jadalah
said: “When Israeli Jews carry out knife attacks, they are arrested, not
killed. It seems the police can follow proper procedures when Jews are
involved.”

Ahmed
Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament, echoed Jadalah on Twitter:
Of course the Jewish stabber ended the spree [of stabbings] without a bullet
or scratch.”

Rami
Nasreddin, the director of Palvision, a youth empowerment programme in
Jerusalem, said videos of violence by the security forces and of Jewish mobs
had left many Palestinians in Jerusalem frightened to go out.
“Most
of the schools are closed because parents are afraid to let their children on
to the streets,” he said.
“I
have to admit I am scared myself. I know that if a settler shouts out that I
have a knife or that I am a terrorist, the police are likely to shoot me
without a second thought.”
 

 

 

 

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