❶ Settler shoots and kills Palestinian during West Bank demo
❷ Israeli forces suppress solidarity events in West Bank, East Jerusalem
- Background article from Boston University International Law Journal,
❸ Reconstruction of Umm al-Hiran killings disproves car-ramming claims
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
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❶ SETTLER SHOOTS AND KILLS PALESTINIAN DURING WEST BANK DEMO
May 18, 2017
An Israeli settler shot and killed a Palestinian near Huwwara in the West Bank on Thursday, during a demonstration in solidarity with an ongoing mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israel. The dead man was named by the Palestinian Ministry of Health as Mutaz Hussien Hilal Bani Shamsa, 23, according to Ma’an News Agency.
___The settler also shot and moderately wounded Associated Press photographer Majdi Eshtayya.
___An IDF statement said that the protest had drawn around 200 Palestinians, some of whom had been throwing stones at passing Israeli vehicles. Photographs published by Walla show what is purportedly the car belonging to the settler in question, with its windshield heavily damaged. Palestinian media reported the demonstration as a peaceful march.
___The alleged shooter is a resident of Itamar settlement, near Nablus, who was detained for questioning following the incident. MORE . . .
❷ ISRAELI FORCES SUPPRESS SOLIDARITY EVENTS IN WEST BANK, EAST JERUSALEM
Ma’an News Agency
May 18, 2017
Israeli forces suppressed at least two solidarity demonstrations on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in support of the some 1,300 Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli custody, as one Palestinian was injured with a live bullet and tens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation. ___A Palestinian was injured with a live bullet, while tens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation after clashes erupted with Israeli forces near the entrance of Qalandiya refugee camp in Ramallah when Israeli forces suppressed a peaceful march Wednesday night in support of the mass hunger strike among Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. MORE . . .
RELATED GAZA FISHERMAN DIES HOURS AFTER BEING SHOT BY ISRAELI FORCES
May 15, 2017
RELATED ISRAELI FORCES KILL 23-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN, INJURE DOZENS DURING CLASHES IN WEST BANK
May 12, 2017
Omer-Man, Emily Schaeffer. “EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLING WITH NEAR IMPUNITY: EXCESSIVE FORCE BY ISRAELI LAW ENFORCEMENT AGAINST PALESTINIANS.” Boston University International Law Journal, vol. 35, no. 1, Spring2017, pp. 115-156. COMPLETE ARTICLE
[. . . .] In sum, Palestinians face regular violence from state actors alongside a lack of protection from violence by non-state actors. The degree of force used against Palestinians oftentimes far exceeds what is necessary to maintain safety and order in the area, as IHL requires; in many cases, this excessive force blatantly violates Israel’s own rules and regulations regarding appropriate law enforcement responses to civilian unrest, violence, and even mortal danger. A closer examination of the open-fire and safety regulations reveals that these are often ambiguously worded, and moreover, contradict the instructions and messages received by police and soldiers during briefings by commanding officers. Thus, the disparate treatment of acts committed by Palestinians versus Jews is consistent with the putative expectations of behavior of law enforcement personnel in Israel. Moreover, with negligible risk of facing punishment for deviating from the regulations, Israeli security personnel operate in a realm of practical impunity when using force against Palestinians.
Note: A longer quotation from the article is below, after the poetry.
Note: The author holds a JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt), and is an American-Israeli human rights attorney at the Michael Sfard Law Office in Tel Aviv.
❸ RECONSTRUCTION OF UMM AL-HIRAN KILLINGS DISPROVES CAR-RAMMING CLAIMS
By Yael Marom
May 18, 2017
The results of a police investigation into the January 18 events in Umm al-Hiran, during which — prior to a slate of home demolitions — a Bedouin man who was shot by police ran over and killed an Israeli policeman before succumbing to his wounds, have yet to be published. But it’s already clear that every detail the Israel Police tried to pass off to the public and the media was incorrect.
___The reconstruction also proves that Abu al-Qi’an was still alive after his car had stopped, as the autopsy findings showed. He even opened his car door before falling out of the vehicle. An eyewitness testified to investigators that he saw a police officer pointing his gun at Abu al-Qi’an while the latter was still alive, strengthening the claim that the already-injured Abu al-Qi’an was shot again after his car had stopped and he did not pose a threat to anyone.Forensic Architecture, in partnership with Activestills, has now managed to put together a reconstruction of what happened in Umm al-Hiran that day. Their work proves that contrary to police claims, Yaqub Mousa Abu al-Qi’an did not intentionally accelerate his car, but rather it picked up speed and went down the slope only after police had opened fire and hit Abu al-Qi’an’s right leg. As a result, his car struck and killed police officer Erez Levi. MORE . . .
“THE MAN WHO VISITED DEATH,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM
Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?
Let him take leave of his friends,
A bleeding eagle among the rocks.
Lay him in the sun; his face caressed
By the winds, redolent with the fragrance of the land of his youth.
Do not close his eyes; a final
Red glimmer still shines in them.
His call reverberates in the golden valleys:
“You who fear death, I fear it not;
Take me to my home
To rest my cheek upon its threshold,
To kiss the doorknob,
Take me to my vineyard, I would die, with the pangs of my love in my heart,
If my eyes do not feast once more on the sight of its soil.
From THE PALESTINIAN WEDDING: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.
Omer-Man, Emily Schaeffer. “EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLING WITH NEAR IMPUNITY: EXCESSIVE FORCE BY ISRAELI LAW ENFORCEMENT AGAINST PALESTINIANS.” Boston University International Law Journal, vol. 35, no. 1,
Spring2017, pp. 115-156. COMPLETE ARTICLE
[. . . . ] According to a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute in August 2016, nearly half of the Jewish population in Israel, which comprises around 80% of the Israeli population, and nearly all of the security forces command structure and politicians charged with supervising and directing security forces, support a “shoot-to-kill” policy in handling suspected Palestinian assailants, “even if [they have] been apprehended and clearly [do] not [pose] a threat.” Statements by the most senior Israeli political leaders . . . reflect similar attitudes either explicitly or impliedly. These attitudes seemingly substitute legal punishment with extrajudicial killing by security personnel, a situation that Jelani Jefferson Exum called “the death penalty on the streets.”
[. . . .] Since the start of the Second Intifada in late 2000, Israeli security forces have killed more than 2 thousand Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in law enforcement scenarios alone (excluding those deemed by Israel to have been civilians DPHing [civilian directly participating in hostilities} combatants, or collateral damage in military operations). This figure does not include some 3 thousand official complaints of injuries to Palestinians by IDF soldiers alone during the same period.91 According to IDF data, beatings and injury of Palestinians comprised more than half of all investigations into incidents raising suspicion of unlawful conduct by soldiers in 2015 (and roughly two-thirds of investigations over the previous decade). Injuries from shooting and beatings in law enforcement contexts typically are documented during demonstrations and riots, at checkpoints throughout the West Bank and crossings to and from Israel, during arrests and searches of homes and businesses, and, in certain cases, after detention of suspects.
[. . . .] The level of restraint and protection demonstrated by law enforcement personnel in the West Bank and East Jerusalem toward the more than 585 thousand Israeli civilians living in those territories contrasts starkly with the force exhibited toward Palestinians—including situations when Israeli civilians are the perpetrators of violence against Palestinians. The rules of engagement, both officially and in practice, differ greatly based on ethnicity or “nationality”—i.e., Palestinian or Israeli. For instance, the “Suspect Arrest Procedure,” in which every IDF soldier is trained, requires a soldier to conduct an arrest in stages as necessary, beginning with verbal warnings, followed by warning shots into the air, graduating to shooting the suspect’s legs in order to neutralize and, in the case of imminent mortal danger, permitting the soldier to shoot to kill. The Suspect Arrest Procedure applies whether responding to Jewish civilian suspects or Palestinian suspects. However, with regard to the former, soldiers are trained not to escalate the procedure beyond the firing of a warning shot. Additionally, although official regulations applicable to both police and soldiers authorize the use of certain CCWs against Israelis, the practice when it comes to handling settler unrest in the West Bank and East Jerusalem dictates showing great restraint toward this population.
___Accordingly, the idea that police and soldiers would use live ammunition against the Jewish population in the occupied territory is inconceivable, although regulations provide for its use in situations posing mortal danger. This restrained approach is deeply ingrained in Israeli society, dating back to decades of IDF and Israel Police’s delicate relationship with the settler population, the delicate relationship arising due to numerous factors: political pressures to maintain overall “peace” with the settler population, the desire to preserve order on the ground, and attempting to address mounting local and foreign pressure to curb settler violence against Palestinians.
[. . . . ] In sum, Palestinians face regular violence from state actors alongside a lack of protection from violence by non-state actors. The degree of force used against Palestinians oftentimes far exceeds what is necessary to maintain safety and order in the area, as IHL requires; in many cases, this excessive force blatantly violates Israel’s own rules and regulations regarding appropriate law enforcement responses to civilian unrest, violence, and even mortal danger. A closer examination of the open-fire and safety regulations reveals that these are often ambiguously worded, and moreover, contradict the instructions and messages received by police and soldiers during briefings by commanding officers. Thus, the disparate treatment of acts committed by Palestinians versus Jews is consistent with the putative expectations of behavior of law enforcement personnel in Israel. Moreover, with negligible risk of facing punishment for deviating from the regulations, Israeli security personnel operate in a realm of practical impunity when using force against Palestinians.
[. . . . ] Palestinians living under occupation have few means of calling for accountability. Unlike their Israeli neighbors, such Palestinians are neither afforded the right to assemble, nor participation in electing the Israeli government officials who dictate the policies to be applied in the West Bank. Their tools for seeking accountability are limited primarily to international media, the few available avenues for external judicial review, and mostly ineffective direct legal channels within Israel that focus on individual investigations and specific aspects of investigation policies but rarely address the overall systemic obstacles to protection from violence. Thus, lack of accountability creates and perpetuates a culture of impunity that emboldens Israeli police and soldiers to use excessive violence against Palestinians, whether they are non-violently protesting or carrying out acts of violence. [. . . . ]
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