Israeli defense minister vows death penalty for Palestinian after soldiers killed

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has vowed to sentence to death a Palestinian who was arrested after his car hit a group of Israeli soldiers, killing two, in the northern occupied West Bank on Friday. Two more soldiers were seriously injured.

“We will seek the death penalty for the terrorist, the destruction of his house and punishment for anyone who cooperated [with him],” The Times of Israel reported Lieberman as saying.

Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party is pushing legislation that would allow for Palestinians convicted of fatal attacks on Israelis to be punished by death. The bill passed a preliminary reading in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, in January.

Extrajudicial executions

Israel has extrajudicially executed dozens of Palestinians during alleged and actual attacks on Israelis, and those suspected of killing and injuring Israelis, in recent years.

In many such cases, no Israelis were injured during what Israel claimed were attacks on soldiers or civilians. In some instances, such as the shooting death of 15-year-old Mahmoud Badran as he was returning home from a pool party, or the killing of Mustafa al-Nimr near Jerusalem, Israel later admitted that no attack was being attempted at all when Palestinians were killed by occupation forces.

The Israeli rights group B’Tselem has excoriated Israel’s top leadership for an open-fire policy that it says amounts to “street executions.”

Collective punishment

Israel has already carried out collective punishment measures against the family of Ala Qabha, 27, the Palestinian motorist who was also injured, but not seriously, on Friday.

Yoav Mordechai, the head of COGAT, the bureaucratic enforcement arm of Israel’s military occupation regime, ordered the immediate revocation of around 100 work permits for Qabha’s relatives.

The Israeli military also raided Qabha’s home in the village of Bartaa, which straddles the boundary between Israel and the West Bank, and reportedly arrested his 25-year-old brother.

Photos showing the raid were published on social media:

A photo of Qubha also circulated on social media:

A relative of Qabha told the Israel daily Haaretz that Qabha was a house painter and was returning home from the city of Jenin, where he had gone to buy paint, when his car hit the soldiers.

“He’s not politically affiliated or part of any organization. We believe this is an unfortunate accident and not a terrorist attack as they claim,” the relative told Haaretz.

Israeli forces have killed 18 Palestinians so far this year, the majority during protests and confrontations with soldiers.

A Palestinian who Israel claims was involved in the shooting death of an Israeli settler in January was killed in February in what a human rights group said was a “pre-planned case of ‘shoot-to-kill’” praised by Israel’s top leadership.

One Palestinian was killed by a settlement security guard during what Israel claims was an alleged stabbing attack in February.

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Part of Israeli and western media's propaganda campaign against the Palestinian people and their legitimate cause is that Israel and the western media absolutely refuses to differentiate between terrorism and Palestinian legitimate armed resistance.

The Palestinians have the right under international law to resist occupation, ethnic cleansing, annexation, aggression, and colonization. And Israel as an occupying power cannot justify military force as self defense in territory for which it is responsible for as the occupant. By definition, an aggressor cannot act in defense. Israel is asserting rights that may be consistent with colonial domination but simply do not exist under International Law.

General Assembly Resolution A/RES/3246 (XXIX) of 29 November 1974:
Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation form colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle; and strongly condemns all Governments which do not recognize the right to self-determination and independence of peoples under colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably the peoples of Africa and the Palestinian people.

United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/33/24 of 29 November 1978:
Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle.”

The mainstream US media outlets are actively concealing the alarming displays of genocidal racism emanating from Israeli Jewish society. Violence against Palestinians is nothing new. Israel’s ongoing colonial project requires enormous levels of brutality against Palestinians. But this daily reality is only newsworthy when it blows back against Israeli Jews.

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What other country in the world, collectively punishes suspected suspects, by knocking their homes & putting families on the street? The US has lost all credibility in the world by their blind support of this racist, apartheid Israeli State. "We need a commission of enquiry, we need a force to protect Palestinians, who are virtually unarmed, compared to the armour & Air Force of the Israelis. And I think we need an honest broker, which can only in my opinion be the UN. I don't think the US can play the role because in US politics, Israel is a sacred cow." Edward W. Said.
Unfortunately the UN has its hands tied by the US vetoes of resolutions in the security council against Israel's human rights abuses against the Palestinians. I totally agree with David Adams analysis.

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Maureen Clare Murphy

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Maureen Clare Murphy is the managing editor of The Electronic Intifada and lives in Chicago.