Israeli forces kill Palestinian mosque worker

Men carry the body of an injured protestor

Palestinians carry Atef Hanaisheh after Israeli forces shot him in the head during protests in the occupied West Bank village of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus, on 19 March.

Nidal Eshtayeh Xinhua

Israeli forces fatally shot a Palestinian man with a live bullet in the head on Friday.

Atef Yusef Hanaisheh, 45, was participating in a demonstration against settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank village of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus, when he was killed.

Hanaisheh is known as the muezzin at a village mosque – the person who makes the call to prayer from the minaret.

Local media circulated video of the immediate aftermath of Hanaisheh’s shooting, showing demonstrators rushing to carry him.

Witnesses said Hanaisheh was shot at close range, according to Tel Aviv daily Haaretz.

A photographer with Reuters who was at the protest said Palestinians threw stones at two Israeli soldiers when they opened fire at protesters.

The Israeli military said it responded with “riot dispersal means and by firing into the air,” according to Reuters.

The military said that the “cause of the injury is still unknown” – in reference to Hanaisheh’s killing.

Heavily-armed Israeli occupation forces routinely respond to Palestinians throwing stones by firing tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets or live fire.

Hanaisheh was transferred to the Rafidia hospital in Nablus with a severe head injury where he was pronounced dead, the Palestine Red Crescent Society told Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Palestinians marched to retrieve Hanaisheh’s body from the hospital and held a public funeral:

Local media also circulated pictures of Hanaisheh at past demonstrations to defend village land against theft by soldiers and settlers:
A photo of a fellow demonstrator holding a Palestinian flag smeared with Hanaisheh’s blood was also shared on social media:
Palestinians from Beit Dajan hold weekly Friday protests against Israeli settlement encroachment on their land.

Israel confiscated about 50 acres from the village and built two Jewish-only settlements: Hamra and Mekhora, according to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ). Israel also confiscated village land to establish a military base.

Israeli forces systematically attack Palestinians defending their land against Israel’s violent theft and colonization.

On several occasions, Israeli soldiers were filmed cheering and applauding one another after assaulting or shooting demonstrators.

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Shame on Israel state for crimes against Palestinians, murder..live bullets.

Apartheid tyranny inflicted on Palestinians and their families.
End the occupation.

My condolences to family of Atef Hanaisheh.

No words can bring this innocent man back or the loss suffered by his family.

The grief and injustice of this abominable act is beyond words.

Every day there are more atrocities committed. It must be stopped.

This must be exposed, this must be brought to justice, this extrajudious killing is a crime against humanity and international war crime.

Free Palestine!

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Who will free Palestine? The Palestinians can't do it. As Chomsky says, it isn't war, it's murder. A man with grey hair and a sling shot, all he has to confront the IDF and its nuclear arsenal. Israel, a pipsqueak country, a country not much bigger than Scotland, but puffed up to huge military power by the US with the compliance of the EU, Canada, Australia. Israel is the little guy who throws his weight around knowing that the big lads are behind him, with their knuckle dusters and knives. The Palestinians can't free themselves. They can only engage in impotent protest and get shot, like Atef, by a regime which responds to kiddies with catapults by shattering their skulls with high velocity bullets. Israel, the cissy State, the bully State whose power comes entirely from the US. Palestine can't free itself. We must do it. We can, because we have democracy, of a sort. Our houses don't get bulldozed. We don't have to pass through checkpoints. We can speak freely. We can write. We all belong to organisations: unions, parties, churches, mosques, charities....We can raise our voice at every opportunity. We can force our governments to change. Our ideas are in everyone's head. The common folk of the world believe in democracy and equal rights. The Israelis are on the wrong side of the argument, and it will get only worse for them. Soon, they will have to accuse dogs and cats of anti-Semitism. Soon they will have to accuse atoms of anti-Semitism. The people of Africa are yet to rise, and the people of Latin America and many people in Asia. Those who have been marginalised and oppressed will demand their rights and when the power shifts, Israel will be left naked, trying to hide its racism and violence behind a fig leaf of miserable excuses. Palestine can't free itself. The Palestinians must renounce the violence which brings these lunatic reprisals. The fight is ours. The IDF can't shoot us in the head, and we are millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions...

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@ Atef
"The Palestinians must renounce the violence which brings these lunatic reprisals. The fight is ours. The IDF can't shoot us in the head, and we are millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions..."

The Palestinian civilians are not violent, by and large - they are just trying to survive and live in apartheid conditions stacked against them, unsafe for their children and families.

It seems every time I look at news articles a Palestinian, child or adult,physically or mentally impaired is gunned down, arrested or crippled.. always more often than not, the IDF throw the same worn out pretext --someone was carrying a knife, or something similar, despite no knives are found.. unless perhaps planted, later...

Free Palestine means for the world to get on board, and stop being part of the problem, especially the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

THE U.S. MUST END ALL FUNDING TO Israel and stop enabling ethnic cleansing and decades of Palestinian human rights violations.

Israel must be isolated, financially. They have sophisticated weaponry, nuclear facilities as well.

The sanctions of BDS must continue as in South Africa.

Americans must stand up to Israel's lobby interfering and influencing U.S. foreign policy and U.S. government cronies.

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Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.