Israeli forces shoot to kill, deny first aid

Mourners pray during the funeral of Samah Abd al-Mumin Abdallah in the West Bank city of Nablus on 17 December.

Nedal Eshtayah APA images

The rights group B’Tselem decried Israel’s “excessive and unwarranted use of lethal gunfire” as its forces killed seven more Palestinians in the last week, and a woman died of her injuries after being shot at a checkpoint in November.

Abdallah Nasasra, 15, was killed near the Huwwara military checkpoint outside the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday, 17 December.

Abdallah Nasasra (via Quds)

An Israeli army spokesperson told the Ma’an News Agency that the boy had charged at soldiers with a knife.

A Palestinian ambulance driver told Ma’an that soldiers prevented medical teams from treating the teen.

“No Israelis were injured during the incident,” the agency added.

The Quds news website reported that Nasasra’s body is being withheld by Israel.

Israel is holding the bodies of dozens of Palestinians killed in alleged attacks, including more than 12 children.

Nasasra was killed shortly before the funeral for 18-year-old Samah Abd al-Mumin Abdallah, who died from her wounds weeks after she was hit by a bullet while sitting in her father’s car at Huwwara checkpoint.

The young woman was shot when Israeli forces opened fire on and killed Alaa Khalil Hashash, 16, who allegedly tried to stab a soldier on 23 November.

Children killed

Two dozen children are among the approximately 125 Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli forces during weeks of increased violence.

Sixteen Israeli civilians and three members of its armed forces were killed during that same period, since 1 October, according to B’Tselem.

More than 70 Palestinians killed since the beginning of October were shot dead during alleged attacks, and many of them were fired on “even after they no longer posed any danger,” B’Tselem stated on Wednesday.

“Some were injured and lying motionless on the ground when they were shot dead,” according to the rights group.

Many of the incidents were recorded on video.

“Some cases were summary executions, without the benefit of law or trial,” the group added, finding blame in the “inflammatory language used by ministers and elected officials” for what amounts to an unwritten “shoot to kill” policy.

Left to “bleed to death”

That policy left three young Palestinians dead after alleged car ramming attacks this week.

A 21-year-old Palestinian man, Abd al-Muhsen al-Husseini, was shot and killed after allegedly ramming his car into a bus stop, injuring several people, in Jerusalem on Monday.

Two other Palestinians – Ahmad Jahajha, 23, and Hikmat Hamdan, 33, were shot dead in separate incidents after allegedly attempting to run over Israeli soldiers who were raiding Qalandiya refugee camp near Ramallah in the pre-dawn hours on Wednesday.

Israeli forces fired on Jahajha at close range “after he rammed his vehicle into a group of Israeli soldiers,” witnesses told the Ma’an News Agency.

Ma’an added: “Israeli forces reportedly left Jahajha to ‘bleed to death’ before taking his body and detaining another resident who had been shot and injured, witnesses said.”

Palestinians stand next to two cars used by Palestinians in alleged efforts to run over Israeli soldiers storming Qalandiya refugee camp on 16 December.

Shadi Hatem APA images

About an hour later, soldiers in another area of the camp fired on and killed Hamdan.

“Clashes reportedly broke out between armed men in the refugee camp and Israeli military forces before the forces left the camp around 4:30am,” according to Ma’an.

“Four Palestinians were injured with live fire during the raid, one of whom was left in serious condition, according to Palestinian medical sources,” the agency added.

Killed during protests

Two Palestinians were slain during protests in both the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday, 11 December.

Sami Madi, 41, was shot and killed with a live bullet to the chest during a demonstration along the Gaza-Israel boundary east of al-Bureij refugee camp.

Seventeen civilians, including two children and a journalist, were wounded during the same protest, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

Madi was active with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a leftist group which had “called on its members and supporters to participate in the aforementioned protest to commemorate the 48th anniversary of its establishment and in solidarity with the Palestinians in the West Bank,” according to PCHR.

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Israeli forces fired on protesters in Hebron who were marking the anniversary of the establishment of the Islamist group Hamas, killing 24-year-old Uday Jihad Irsheid, who was hit with two live bullets to the chest and neck.

Eight others were wounded, including a journalist, according to PCHR.

Palestinians mourn over the body of Uday Irsheid, shot and killed by Israeli forces, during his funeral in the West Bank city of Hebron on 11 December.

Wisam Hashlamoun APA images

Irsheid’s sister Dania was killed by Israeli soldiers at the entrance to Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque on 25 October.

Israeli Border Police claimed that the 17-year-old girl had pulled out a knife and moved towards them at a checkpoint outside the mosque.

But eyewitnesses said the girl was shot dead when she had her hands in the air and had told the soldiers “I do not have a knife.”

Also on 11 December, Israeli forces stationed near Hebron killed Issa Hroub, claiming the 56-year-old had attempted to run over them.

“After pulling him out of his vehicle that was confiscated, Israeli soldiers left him bleeding without offering him first aid,” according to PCHR, which added that Hroub was transported by an Israeli ambulance to an unknown destination.

PCHR stated that Hroub, from the Deir Samit village near Hebron, was a trader who moved throughout Jerusalem and had two wives and 16 children, 8 of whom were under the age of 18.

Denied first aid

Hroub is one of many Palestinians killed in the past several weeks who were denied or prevented from receiving first aid after being shot by Israeli soldiers and police.

The Israel Medical Association’s ethics committee issued new guidelines this week calling on paramedics responding to alleged attacks to prioritize treatment according to the severity of injury, even if that means attending to an alleged attacker before his or her victims.

The association’s previous guidelines called for treating victims before alleged perpetrators, contrary to the principle of medical neutrality.

The new guidelines, which were drafted after a petition by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, have been fiercely attacked, with Israel’s former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman calling on the head of the medical association to resign.

Israel’s ZAKA volunteer emergency service said that it rejects the new guidelines.

The head of Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency service, said on Israeli radio that its rule is “to treat the most seriously wounded person who is in life-threatening danger.”

Eli Bein added that “We treat the wounded, [but] if the security forces at the scene forbid our crew from treating a wounded person we don’t.”

Israeli forces stand near injured Palestinian girl Lama al-Bakri, who was shot after allegedly attempting to stab a settler near the West Bank city of Hebron on 13 December.

Wisam Hashlamoun APA images

Israeli forces routinely forbid treatment of wounded Palestinians, leaving them to bleed to death in the streets, as reports from Palestinian sources and Israeli rights groups show.

On Sunday, 13 December, Israeli forces at a checkpoint near Kiryat Arba settlement opened fire on 16-year-old Lama al-Bakri, hitting her in the legs.

The wounded girl was evacuated to an Israeli hospital in a Magen David Adom ambulance after she was left on the ground bleeding for half an hour, according to PCHR.

Israel claimed that the teen had attempted to stab a settler.

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Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

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