Netanyahu lashes out at Sweden over execution accusations

Israel soldiers stand near the scene where two Palestinians were shot dead at the Hamra checkpoint in the northern Jordan Valley on 9 January.

Nedal Eshtayah APA images

Two Palestinians were killed one day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out against Sweden’s foreign minister, saying that her accusations that Israel is committing extrajudicial executions were “outrageous and stupid.”

Two young men, Muhammad Abu Zayed, 19, and Muhammad Majdi Qaita, 26, were fatally shot during protests along Gaza’s boundary with Israel on Friday.

On Tuesday, Margot Wallström, Sweden’s foreign minister, called for an investigation into Israel’s slayings of Palestinians in recent months, many of them during alleged attacks on Israelis.

“It is vital that there is a thorough, credible investigation into these deaths in order to clarify and bring about possible accountability,” Wallström said during a parliamentary debate, according to media reports.

Following Wallström’s remarks, Israel’s foreign ministry reprimanded Sweden’s ambassador in Tel Aviv.

The ministry said the Swedish foreign minister was “giving support to terror and thus encouraging violence.”

The body of Muayad Jabarin is carried during his funeral in the West Bank village of Sair on 15 January. The man was shot dead the previous day after allegedly attempting to stab soldiers at Beit Einoun junction near the city of Hebron.

Wisam Hashlamoun APA images

Israeli forces have killed more than 150 Palestinians during an escalation of violence that began at the outset of October last year.

Human rights groups have criticized Israel for reflexively using lethal force when alleged attackers no longer pose an immediate threat.

In other cases, Palestinians may not have been attempting any attack when they were slain.

Earlier this week, two Palestinians were killed at al-Hamra checkpoint in the north of the occupied West Bank’s Jordan Valley in what eyewitnesses described as “an act of cold blood.”

Ali Hajj Muhammad, 21, and Said Abu al-Wafa, 38, were shot immediately after being asked by soldiers to exit their car on Saturday, 9 January.

An Israeli army spokesperson told the Ma’an News Agency that the pair had attempted to stab soldiers, but witnesses said that the men were not carrying knives when they were shot.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Muhammad, from al-Jadida village near the West Bank city of Jenin, was a third-year student at al-Quds Open University. Abu al-Wafa was a trader from al-Zawiya village near Jenin.

Israeli forces gather around the body of Haitham Abd al-Jalil, shot dead after allegedly stabbing a soldier on 14 January.

Nedal Eshtayah APA images

Two more Palestinians were killed during alleged stabbing attacks in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.

Israeli forces shot Haitham Mahmoud Abd al-Jalil, 31, after he allegedly injured an officer at a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus. A soldier was reported to have been lightly injured during the incident.

Hours later, Muayyad Awni Jabarin, 20, was shot by Israeli forces near the Beit Einoun junction outside the city of Hebron.

Witnesses told the Ma’an News Agency that Israeli soldiers prevented medics from accessing the injured man.

Two other young Palestinians were killed at the Beit Einoun junction on Tuesday while allegedly attacking Israeli soldiers.

Muhammad Kawazba, 23, from the nearby village of Sair, was shot dead after he attempted to stab soldiers, according to an Israeli army spokesperson.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said that Israeli forces left Kawazba’s body on the ground for around two hours and denied Palestinian medics access to him.

Adnan Hamid al-Mashni, 17, from the village of Shayoukh, was shot and wounded during the same incident.

“An Israeli army spokesperson alleged that al-Mashni had driven Kawazba to the junction to carry out the attack. She confirmed that Israeli forces shot him, and said he afterward fled the scene,” Ma’an reported.

Al-Mashni was evacuated to a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest and soon died of his injuries.

That same day, Israeli forces detained Majdi Ahmad al-Jabari, 25, who had transported al-Mashni to hospital. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, al-Jabari was interrogated for eight hours before being released.

The family of Muhammad Kawazba, shot dead after allegedly attempting to stab a soldier, mourn during his funeral in the West Bank village of Sair on 13 January.

Wisam Hashlamoun APA images

Several other Palestinians have been killed at the same checkpoint in recent months, including 16-year-old Khalil Muhammad al-Shalalda, from the village of Sair, who was killed there on 7 January after allegedly attempting to stab a soldier.

The teen’s brother, Mahmoud, was fatally shot by Israeli occupation forces during confrontations near Beit Einoun junction on 13 November.

Three other youths from Sair, including a child, were slain during an alleged stabbing attempt on soldiers at the Gush Etzion junction the same day that Khalil al-Shalalda was killed.

Also on Tuesday, Palestinian student Srour Abu Srour, 19, was killed when Israeli forces opened fire on youths throwing stones at soldiers who had raided the town of Beit Jala, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, the soldiers were in pursuit of a gunman who had opened fire at a checkpoint from a speeding car.

Abu Srour, from nearby Aida refugee camp, was hit with a bullet to the chest while returning home from university, according to the rights group.

Another youth was also shot with live fire to the chest and evacuated to hospital with serious injuries.

The next day, a Palestinian fighter was killed when Israeli forces shelled a group carrying out an armed operation in northern Gaza near the boundary with Israel.

Mousa Abu Zuaiter, 31, from Jabaliya refugee camp, was immediately killed and two other fighters and a civilian sustained shrapnel wounds, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reported.

Another fighter, 22-year-old Bassam Ayyoub al-Akhras, was killed by an electric shock in a tunnel near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday.

Relatives of Mousa Zuaiter, killed in an Israeli strike, mourn during the fighter’s funeral in the northern Gaza Strip on 13 January.

Mohammed Asad APA images

Meanwhile, Israel’s military and intelligence elite appear certain that there is no end in sight to the wave of attacks by individual Palestinians independent of armed groups in the West Bank.

“Israel is facing a long-term, persistent phenomenon,” senior officers told the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz after interviewing Palestinians imprisoned after such alleged attacks.

According to Haaretz, more than half of the attacks in the West Bank “took place at only seven well-known locations, including the Gush Etzion junction, the Beit Einoun junction north of Hebron and in the Jewish enclave inside Hebron.”

Those interviewed “wanted to attack symbols of the Israeli occupation, but also to take revenge” by carrying out attacks at sites where Palestinians had been killed previously, Haaretz added.

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The downside of running a fascist regime is that people tend to say TRUE things about the murderous proclivities of you and your racist goons.

Time for Zionism, which is racist and wrong, to end.

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Miko Peled , the son of an Israeli general, describes zionism as a racist , apartheid, genocidal ideology, a perfect description.

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Is that to mean the evils of fascism, racism, ethnic cleansing, pogroms (or even Torah desecration) are not wrong but the evil of Zionism (like totally unlike the evils of Jim Crow and Apartheid) is not?

This anti-racist non Zionist Jew works for the full return of the victims (and their families) of the Pogroms (THE NAKBA) of the 1940's and the end of the racist evil of Zionism.

Jim Crow in Palestine must go!

No Equality, No Peace!

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I encourage readers to contact their local Swedish consulate and thank them for speaking up and trying hold Israel accountable, instead of just looking the other way and doing nothing like the rest of the world. Their political courage is to be commended.

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I lived for 7 years in Sweden, once working on an assembly
line making light concrete, then teaching "gymnasium"
(high school plus) students as head music [appreciation]
teacher in a 15th century castle with a moat. I was also
sent to serve on a consultant committee which changed the
form of music teaching in all of Sweden according to
a resultant parliament decision.

I have understood from a Swedish source that there has
been a "sea change' in Swedish policies since I was there.
What political party did the Swedish PM speak for? (There
are about five.) Having just passed stringent anti-immigrant
legislation, it is still an open question as to how much punch
Sweden will put behind its declarations these days.

[Full disclosure: I was born in Manhattan General Hospital,
NY, NY, since imploded. I was never a Swedish citizen
but graduated as a Swedish social worker majoring in
administrative law...in addition to US Masters.]

As to the title above, I am reading FATHERS AND
CHILDREN: ANDREW JACKSON AND THE
SUBJUGATION OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN by
Michael Paul Rogin. Every effort of transfer, extermination,
genocide etc. has unique characteristics. It is amazing
how much is similar. Thousands of Indians died
in the "transfer"/removal and the primary concerns of
the authority was the cost of the removal and the greed
by land speculators etc for Indian lands which underlay
the action. (Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 1975)

----Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

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