Palestinian slain in Jerusalem and deaf man shot at checkpoint

Israeli occupation forces killed a Palestinian during an alleged stabbing attack during which a paramilitary Border Police officer was moderately wounded in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday night.

The fatal incident occurred after two other Palestinians, including a deaf man who was wounded by private security guards at a checkpoint, were shot in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank earlier in the day.

Video of the fatal incident in Jerusalem released by Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld shows the alleged assailant lunging over a metal barricade towards an officer carrying a rifle.

The 15-second clip shows that officers opened fire at close range while the alleged assailant posed no immediate threat to anyone’s life, and that no effort was made to subdue him by less than lethal means:

Israel releases such footage when it thinks it serves its narrative but confiscates or denies the existence of security camera videos when the footage would undermine its claims.

Another video circulated on social media after the Jerusalem killing, showing a bleeding person lying motionless in an Old City alley:

The slain Palestinian’s name was not released at the time of publication. Palestinian outlets reported that Israeli forces prevented medics from accessing the wounded person.

Israeli media said it was the first such suspected attack in Jerusalem since late May when a Palestinian was shot and seriously injured by police officers after allegedly attempting to stab one of them. None of the Israeli officers were injured during that incident.

In February, two Palestinians, including a citizen of Israel, were killed during alleged attacks on police in Jerusalem.

Monday’s slaying in Jerusalem brings to 28 the number of Palestinians believed to have been killed by Israeli forces so far this year. One Israeli has been killed by Palestinians in the context of the occupation during the same period – a soldier who died after a rock was dropped on his head during a raid on a West Bank town.

Live fire and night raids

The number of Palestinian fatalities includes a woman who was killed by live fire during an Israeli raid on the northern West Bank city of Jenin earlier this month.

Dalia Samudi, 23, was hit by a bullet while closing a window to prevent the entry of tear gas to her home.

“The ambulance that evacuated the woman to the hospital was also hit by live bullets,” the United Nations monitoring group OCHA stated.

Palestinian sources attributed the woman’s fatal injury to Israeli fire but the military denied using live ammunition during the 7 August raid.

Night raids like the one during which Samudi was killed are a terrifying routine for many Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

Pre-dawn raids, undertaken while residents are typically asleep, are used to ensure Israel’s “subjugation of the Palestinian population and as a method of social control,” according to the human rights group Al-Haq.

In the pre-dawn hours of Monday, Israeli soldiers shot the leg of a Palestinian teenager who they said was about to throw a Molotov cocktail towards Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem.

Palestinian outlets reported that the wounded youth was taken to a local hospital in stable condition.

Rachel’s Tomb is a point of pilgrimage for Christians, Muslims and Jews, but for years only accessible to the latter. It has been a flashpoint of confrontation between Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces.

Guard shoots deaf man at checkpoint

Also on Monday, a private security contractor was reportedly under investigation after shooting and injuring a deaf Palestinian man at Qalandiya checkpoint, where Israel controls Palestinian movement between Ramallah and Jerusalem.

Israeli Border Police said that the 60-year-old Palestinian man had approached the checkpoint in a vehicle lane and that guards shot him in the lower limbs when he did not respond to calls to stop.

The man’s injuries were reportedly light to moderate.

In September last year, guards at Qalandiya checkpoint shot and killed Nayfa Kaabneh, 50, as she walked along a vehicle lane and ignored the calls of guards and Palestinian bystanders to turn back.

In May, private guards killed another Palestinian. Mustafa Mahmoud Younis, a 26-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel, was shot by guards at close range while he lay prone on the ground at the entrance to Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv in May.

Younis had pulled a knife on one of the guards in self-defense after being jumped before he was shot, his uncle told media.

Younis’ father told media that his son was at the hospital for a psychotherapy session and was undergoing treatment for epilepsy.

That same month, Israeli police in Jerusalem shot and killed Iyad Hallaq, a Palestinian man with autistic traits, in what human rights groups said amounted to an extrajudicial execution.

Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights group, said that the willful killing of Hallaq “entails the individual criminal responsibility” of the perpetrators, “as well as that of Israeli military and civilian officials who drafted and approved Israel’s rules of engagement for the use of live fire.”

The killing of Hallaq drew rare reproach from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, deemed responsible by human rights groups for the shoot-to-kill policy that has claimed the lives of scores of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel – including Palestinians with disabilities.

“Over the years, Palestinian persons with disabilities have been systematically targeted and killed by the Israeli occupying forces,” disability and human rights experts, most of whom are persons with disabilities, state in a report delivered to the United Nations last month.

Eight persons with disabilities are among the 217 Palestinians killed during the Great March of Return protests in Gaza beginning in March 2018.

A United Nations commission of inquiry found that Israeli forces intentionally shot Palestinians with visible disabilities during those protests, in addition to unlawfully shooting other demonstrators “whose disability may not have been apparent.”

Palestinian human rights and disability advocates urged the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to call for justice at the International Criminal Court “to bring an end to Israeli impunity.”


Maureen Clare Murphy

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Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada.