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How police lied about the deadly shooting of Khir Hamdan

I was sure that with all of their past experience, Israeli police would finally learn how to tell a decent lie. It turns out that the boys in blue could stand to learn a thing or two.

I spent the last week in Amsterdam, where I hoped to disconnect and forget about the racism and the violence of Zionism, to see Ajax — my favorite soccer team since childhood — defeat a formidable opponent in its home stadium like in the good old days, and for a bit of nostalgia.

The first goal was achieved. The second one? Not so much: Messi destroyed us fairly easily. On game day I witnessed an arrest in real time: three Dutch police officers jumped on a suspect mid-crime at the central station. How strange it was to see a quiet arrest — no batons, tasers or pistols drawn. The arrest was so non-violent that the handcuffed suspect didn’t utter a sound — as if he was an equal party to the arrest.

This kind of thing is so far from the reality in Israel that I found myself making an effort to tie it into our everyday experience. “Look at that,” I said to my friend. “And now imagine this kind of thing happening where we come from, and that the suspect is Arab.”

Lying with spelling mistakes

It took me 15 minutes after landing to get caught up on the events of the past week. Between all the violent incidents only one thing managed to (still) surprise me: Israeli police are such terrible liars that is simply embarrassing. I was sure that with all of their past experience, the boys in blue would finally learn how to tell a decent lie. How disappointing.

The site Arabs48 gathered all the press releases to the Arab media after the shooting death of 22-year-old Khir Hamdan (Arabic). The statements, which were given by police spokesperson Luba Samri in terrible Arabic (as expected), reflect the police’s pathetic attempts at whitewashing the killing. In its first message released at 2:23 a.m., police announced that the “22-year-old who was killed attacked the police with a knife, and after they shot several warning shots in the air, police were forced to shoot him.” In the second statement, released at 3:27 a.m., the police stated that they were bringing in reinforcements “due to high tensions between two big families in the village.” Not because they just shot and killed a visibly upset person who did not really constitute a threat to them. This, of course, is just a minor detail.

Next. At 9:06 a.m. the police once again released a statement that claimed that tensions in the village stems from ill feelings between two families, as well as due to the death of “the man,” despite the fact that “warning shots were fired in the air before he was wounded.”

At 10:46 a.m., after the video of the shooting death was revealed, in which anyone can clearly see that the officers were not really interested in firing warning shots in the air, police released another statement in which it claimed that large forces are still deployed throughout the village due to “the conflict between two large families as well as due to the death of the 22-year-old man.” They also noted that police will continue to partake in heroic actions “with determination against any person who chooses the path of violence.”

At the same time, according to Arabs48, the statements released to the Hebrew press put an emphasis on police attempts to end the rioting and bring order to the primitive Arab village.

Arab youth clash with Israeli riot police in Kafr Kanna, Israel. The protests come less than a day after an Arab man from the village was shot and killed by Israeli policemen. Security cameras caught the man attempting to attack the policemen, as well as the shooting, which took place after the man had already backed away considerably. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Arab youth clash with Israeli riot police in Kafr Kanna, Israel. The protests come less than a day after an Arab man from the village was shot and killed by Israeli policemen. Security cameras caught the man attempting to attack the policemen, as well as the shooting, which took place after the man had already backed away considerably. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Due to the fact that most of the people reading this likely do not read Arabic, and thus cannot see the garbled police texts with their terrible spelling and poor syntax, there is no point in analyzing the amateurism of the police in their use of Arabic. However, there is reason to look at its amateurism when it comes to the whitewashing its deeds. Enough already. Want to whitewash? Learn how to do it properly.

Why are they striking?

What were they thinking? That no one would see the video? That people wouldn’t see Hamdan backing off when the police van’s door swung open? That they wouldn’t see how the police officer shot him in his upper body in order to kill, verified the kill and then dragged (rather than carried) Hamdan along with the other officers as if he were a sack of potatoes? That no one would notice another poor attempt by the police at whitewashing, and how they only brought up the issue of an investigation after being caught red-handed?

PHOTOS: Protests in northern Israel after police kill Arab man

It is wrong to say that top government officials are responsible for “shedding Palestinian blood” — a claim that has been written elsewhere. This kind of phrasing, despite its moral facade, has a sterile connotation. And believe me when I say that there is nothing sterile about a minister who calls on his police officers to forget the judiciary and just kill people. This is not the “minister” of public security; he is the Godfather of public security. Only in a place where morality is so twisted (like Israel or Sicily) can so many people who lack qualifications, not to mention a moral compass, reach such high positions.

The Israeli public does not understand why Palestinians in Israel go on strike or protest. How tragic that they cannot understand such a simple concept: the Israeli government has given its police a green light to murder Palestinians in the streets, and then pretend we are idiots and lie so blatantly. We shouldn’t protest and strike over this? We all see the horrible crimes committed by these police officers, and know exactly who allows them to act this way.

And you, Khir, rest in peace. Your name joins a long list of the victims of Zionism on ’48 lands, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

This article was first published on Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here

More on the Hamdan killing:
PHOTOS: Protests in northern Israel after police kill Arab man
WATCH: Police kill would-be attacker as he runs away
Netanyahu: Those who call to destroy Israel should have citizenship revoked

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    COMMENTS

    1. Kolumn4

      ‘Innocent man shot by police after attacking them with a knife’

      If the Arabs feel like this is their time of the month to riot that’s fine, but lets stop pretending they have a legitimate cause to do so. A man attacking the police is no innocent. Anyone that acts like him should be shot on sight.

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        You’re just a gangster, Kolumn. You fool no one. A Jew acting exactly as this Arab man did would never, ever be shot as this man was. You know it. And were a Jewish settler killed like this you would be screaming to the high heavens.

        Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        When was the last time you heard of a Jewish rioter (and there are plenty of those in Israel) getting shot by police, much less in the back while attempting to flee? That’s right – never. Even Yigal Amir was given the benefit of the doubt.

        Reply to Comment
    2. “as well as due to the death of “the man,” despite the fact that “warning shots were fired in the air before he was wounded.”

      What warning shots? The shots fired directly into Khir Hamdan’s body were supposed to be warning shots? He was no threat to the heavily armed police who shot him without pause and killed him. The pig that shot had at least 100 pounds on him and could have dispatched him easily enough without deadly force. What’s the attitude of israeli police? Cut down on the daily annoyances of lawsuits, court rooms, conflicting testimony given by assailant, shoot to kill and later for bullshit details like rule of law, human rights and all that “leftist” shit! We can do what we want, to whomever and for whatever. Try and stop us.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Basically, what you are saying is that terrorists should be given an opportunity to inflict at least some damage. Does it really makes sense to you?

        Reply to Comment
        • Felix Reichert

          It would have at least been nice of the police to not blatantly lie in its press release, and to actually have given some warning to the clearly fleeing man.

          The way it happened, it was an extrajudicial execution. Pure and simple.

          Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            The perp was not fleeing, he had only stepped back a few feet and appeared to be turning around with the knife in his hand. He was within a second of being able to stab the officer with the knife in his hand.

            The following is an excerpt from an article on the shooting of Kajieme Powell who was shot by police in the United states. Kajieme Powell was holding a knife.

            “David Long is a former Department of Labor special agent who conducted firearms trainings for other agents, and now a criminal justice professor at Brandman University. He has been critical of many instances in which police have fired deadly shots when they would have used nonlethal force. As he put it, “I don’t find myself siding with the police very often” in deadly force situations. He has also been an outspoken critic of militarized police tactics that coincided with the War on Drugs. But in this instance, he said, even he likely might have done the same if he had been in the officers’ shoes.

            I watched the video about ten times and I have to say I hate the idea of another young black man being shot down by police in the street but that actually looked like a good shooting to me. The young man had a knife. The thing about knives is that somebody with a knife is potentially more dangerous to you than somebody with a gun because somebody with a knife can be on you so fast so I was trained to be especially more vigilant with somebody with a knife.”

            Reply to Comment
          • You have no problem with the extrajudicial murder of this young man, by comparing it to the extrajudicial murder of a young american male – this is supposed to make it right? You are utterly predictable.

            Reply to Comment
          • Merav

            1. Cops may not retreat from an armed attacker during the course of an arrest.
            2. Cops may use deadly force against an armed attacker, while the attack is ongoing. An attack is ongoing as long as the attacker remained armed and has not thrown his hands up in the air in surrender.
            3. Cops may use deadly force to arrest a fleeing felon (and Khir Hamdan was by no means fleeing!) if said felon is (a) armed and (b) poses serious danger of great bodily harm or death to the cops or others. An armed individual who has just attacked cops poses a grave threat to the cops and others as long as he does not drop the weapon and throw his hands up in the air. See also the case of Tennessee v. Garner (471 U.S. 1,105 S. Ct. 1694, 85 L. Ed. 2d 1,1985 U.S.)

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, right

            “Cops may not retreat from an armed attacker during the course of an arrest.”

            No attempt was made to arrest that man, Merav.

            That is abundantly clear from the video.

            “Cops may use deadly force against an armed attacker, while the attack is ongoing.”

            At no time did this man attempt to attack a police officer.

            Banging on the bullet-proof glass of a police van is not an attack on the police within, nor does it represent a life-threatening situation for the police within that van.

            If the police felt that their manhood required them to arrest that man (and, yes, they were fully justified in arresting him) then they could have exited from the OTHER side of that van and confronted him from there.

            After all, that way there is A BIG HONKIN’ KNIFE-PROOF VAN between them and the knife-wielder.

            But, please, be honest: the cop that shot him dead exited that van with the sole intention of shooting him dead.

            That cop had no intention of “confronting” that man, much less of “arresting” him.

            He stepped out of that van with the singular intent of shooting that uppity Arab in the upper body.

            Nothing more.
            No less.

            You know that as well as I do, so why play this demeaning game.

            At least be honest: the man who was shot wasn’t a member of your tribe, ergo, his life was forfeit.

            Reply to Comment
    3. You misconstrue and misrepresent every opposing idea made here.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Joel

      Yeah. ‘Blue Wall’. So what?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Noname

      Police all around the world lie many times and not only Israeli police. As well they shoot unjustly not only when it comes to Palestinians so let’s don’t treat this differently. Secondly Palestinian lie too and even created a movie industry to fabricate events. It’s called Palywood on the internet look it up. But I do agree with you that Israeli police (and propaganda) are not good at lying as the Palestinian propaganda. Perhaps it is because in Islam the Taqiyya allow lying guilt free? who knows. Bottom line is – if you are going to address lying as the issue here please address both sides.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Khir Hamdan was indeed trying to flee and was immediately shot. He was not a threat to the pigs but they shot first so they don’t have to ask questions later. The more excuses you make for the criminality of the pig force – either here, the US or the UK – the easier you turn your living space into a police state and if history tells us anything (though we surely don’t learn), living in a police state is a nightmare everybody loses their rights so they can “feel” safe; everybody is a suspect; neighbors turn against neighbor; son against father; daughter against mother; due process is a thing of the past (which is already in place for Palestinians – how long will it be for everyone else?).
      Keep giving them rope and they’ll hang us all.

      Reply to Comment