The police claim Rahik Shagiya Muhammad Yousef approached them at a checkpoint with a knife. A new video reveals that the officers fired 12 bullets, killing her when she no longer posed a threat.
By John Brown*
On Wednesday morning Israeli Border Police officers shot Rahik Shagiya Muhammad Yousef at a checkpoint in the northern West Bank. Yousef, 19, from the village Asira A-Shamaliya near Nablus, was shot after she allegedly approached the officers at Tapuach checkpoint and pulled out a knife. According to the Police Spokesperson, the officers reportedly called on Yousef to stop and fired warning shots in the air before shooting her.
A video published by Israeli news site Walla!, however, reveals that the police statement left out a key piece of the story. According to the video, four Border Police officers continue to shoot at the young woman from close range as she lies on the ground and poses no threat.
Israeli police spokesperson Luba Al-Samri distributed a photo to reporters in which Yousef is clearly seen holding a knife. As opposed to the photography, the knife could hardly been in the video. And while the video is not high quality enough to prove a thing, it certainly raises serious questions.
This is not to deny the likelihood that Yousef was looking to stab the officers, or perhaps using the attack as a means to commit suicide — a motivation for a good number of attempted attacks over the past year. But there is no doubt that such a massive use of force, when Yousef was already lying on the ground with no way to harm the officers, merits serious investigation.
Israeli police issued the following response to the video:
The police further stated that the video shows that the police ceased shooting “immediately after she was neutralized.” A closer look at the clip, however, reveals precisely the opposite. The police added that the incident was under investigation.
Not an isolated case
These kinds of incidents have become common ever since the latest wave of violence broke out. On September 21, a 13-year-old Palestinian girl marched toward the checkpoint [Hebrew] adjacent to the Israeli settlement of Alfei Menashe. When she did not respond to calls to stop, she was shot. Despite duplicitous reports [Hebrew], the girl was not holding a knife and posed no threat to the shooters. The killers were never held responsible....Read More