Palestinians killed in West Bank and Tel Aviv

Israeli soldiers have killed two Palestinians in the West Bank so far this week.

Oday Daibes APA images

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian near the entrance of the Hebron-area town of Beit Awwa in the southern West Bank on Thursday.

The Israeli military claimed the Palestinian had attacked soldiers with his car before he was shot.

A soldier was reportedly in “moderate to serious condition after being hit,” Israeli media reported.

The slain Palestinian was identified as Baha al-Awawda:

A cousin of al-Awawda told media that his relative had been killed “in cold blood” and that Israel had detained the slain man’s father. Israel is also withholding al-Awawda’s body, the cousin said.

Several Palestinians have been killed in recent years in what Israel claimed were car-ramming attacks, only to be contradicted by human rights groups that investigated the incidents.

Thursday’s killing comes after a Palestinian boy died after being shot in the head by soldiers during a raid on a Hebron-area refugee camp early Wednesday.

Israeli leaders had called for vengeance after a soldier was killed by a stone that was dropped on his head during a raid on a Palestinian town in the northern West Bank on Tuesday.

Suspected Israeli settlers infiltrated a Palestinian village near Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, overnight Wednesday and left graffiti threatening more violence:

Hospital guards kill Palestinian

Private security guards shot a Palestinian citizen of Israel as he lay on the ground, killing him, outside Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

A six-second video clip shows part of the incident:

At the beginning of the clip, a man lying on the ground appears to stab a man in plain clothes who has pinned him down. At that point, another man in plain clothes and two others wearing high-visibility vests open fire towards the prone man several times at close range.

The slain man was identified as Mustafa Mahmoud Younis, 26. Another man, presumably the man who is seen being stabbed in the video clip, was injured lightly during the incident, according to Israeli media.

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

Younis pulled out a knife in self-defense after he was jumped by multiple security guards, his uncle told media.

Adalah, a group that advocates for the rights of Palestinians in Israel, said there “was no justification for the use of live gunfire” against Younis.

“We see this case as a direct result of Israel’s ongoing failure to conduct serious, effective, and independent criminal investigations into similar past cases of Israeli police killings of Arabs,” Adalah added.

Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line dividing the West Bank and Israel have been killed by security guards.

A Palestinian woman was slain by guards at a West Bank checkpoint last year after she drew a knife from her sleeve. The woman was several meters away from the guards when they opened fire on her.

“Well-armed, heavily defended security personnel use lethal fire not as a last resort (if it is at all necessary), but as the go-to response, even when a knife attack could clearly be averted with less injurious means,” B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, stated at the time.

“This trigger-happy policy, which is encouraged by government ministers, members of Knesset and senior defense and law-enforcement officials, is still in place after dozens of people have been killed.”

Lawmakers in the Joint List coalition primarily made up of parties representing Palestinians in Israel called on the country’s attorney general to investigate Younis’ killing.

The members of parliament said that his slaying is “the result of racist, anti-Arab policy.”

The Jerusalem Post, a right-wing Israeli publication, said that Younis was killed “after he stabbed a security guard during an altercation about his lack of wearing a protective face mask. Israel Police reported that the stabbing is a criminal incident.”

Israeli police used various crowd control weapons to disperse Palestinians in Israel who protested Younis’ killing on Thursday:

The fatal shooting of Younis comes a week after police killed Salama Abu Kaf in southern Israel after the man allegedly attempted to steal a car.

The slain man’s family said that Abu Kaf “was killed in cold blood because he’s an Arab.”


Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada.