A Palestinian woman was shot and killed by Israeli Border Police at the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday, the site of several such slayings since October 2015.
Siham al-Nimir, 49, is the only woman among the 15 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and armed civilians so far this year.
Al-Nimir was shot and killed after allegedly brandishing a pair of scissors at a group of officers.
The police released an image of al-Nimir recorded shortly before she was shot dead:The image shows that a police barricade separated her from the paramilitary officers, suggesting that she did not pose an immediate threat to their lives. The image also shows there were multiple bystanders at the busy entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City. No Israeli officers were injured during the incident.
Video released by the Israeli police shows a Border Police officer stating that he saw al-Nimir “walking around, completely stressed out, she came toward me and started shouting.”
Witnesses told Palestinian media that Israeli forces prevented emergency medics from treating al-Nimir. Israeli media reported that she was declared dead by Israel’s emergency medical service within minutes of being shot.
Son killed by Israeli police months earlier
Numerous human rights groups, a United Nations human rights investigator, and the US State Department and American lawmakers have all raised concerns about Israel’s reflexive use of deadly force against alleged Palestinian attackers over the past year and a half. Amnesty International stated last September that several such cases should be investigated as possible extrajudicial executions.
More than 250 Palestinians and three foreign nationals have been killed by Israeli forces and armed civilians since October 2015. Approximately 40 Israelis and two foreign nationals have been killed by Palestinians during that same period.
Al-Nimir’s daughter was reported to have been arrested at the site where her mother was shot:Israeli forces raided a neighborhood near the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, where the al-Nimir family lives, on Wednesday night: Camp residents confronted Israeli forces at the Shuafat camp checkpoint on Wednesday night: The woman slain in Jerusalem on Wednesday is the mother of Mustafa al-Nimir, 27, who was shot dead by police in Shuafat camp last September.
Israel immediately claimed that the young man was attempting a car ramming attack on soldiers who had deployed in the camp, but soon admitted that no such attack was taking place when forces opened fire on the vehicle in which Mustafa al-Nimir and his brother-in-law were traveling.
Despite this retraction, Ali al-Nimir, 25, who was driving the car, was charged with “criminally negligent homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, driving without a license and driving without insurance,” the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported.
Ali al-Nimir recently signed a plea deal in exchange for a reduced sentence, according to Haaretz.
An image of Siham and Mustafa al-Nimir circulated on social media on Wednesday:
Siham al-Nimir is the second Palestinian killed by Israeli police in Jerusalem’s Old City this month. Ibrahim Matar, 25, was shot dead at a police post near the Lion’s Gate entrance to al-Aqsa mosque after allegedly stabbing and wounding two officers shortly before dawn prayers on 13 March.
Earlier this week, 10 Palestinian security guards were detained, most during raids on their homes, after they prevented an Israeli archaeologist from trying to remove a stone from an underground section below the al-Qibli mosque in the compound, the Ma’an News Agency reported.
“The archaeologist was removed from the area, which is closed to the public, but later tried to re-enter via the underground Marwani prayer hall, when the security guards once again rejected him,” Ma’an added.
Dena Shunra contributed translation from Hebrew.