Video and forensic evidence didn't stop the Israeli authorities from failing to properly prosecute the killing of two Palestinian youths at a Nakba Day protest in 2014. By John Brown* The Israeli state prosecutor will shortly sign a plea bargain with Border Police officer Ben Deri, who is on trial for killing Palestinian teenager Nadim Nawara in the West Bank town of Beitunia in May 2014. According to the deal, Deri will be charged with causing death by negligence, rather than manslaughter. As such his punishment will likely be symbolic, perhaps even just community service. Under the terms of the plea bargain,…Read More... | 4 Comments
The trials of two police officers in Israel-Palestine and the U.S. collapsed within hours of each other on Monday. Both cases prove how difficult it is to secure justice for Palestinian and African-American victims of state violence. On May 15, 2014, three Palestinian teenagers were shot by Israeli security forces with live ammunition as they attended a Nakba Day protest in the West Bank town of Beitunia. Nadim Nawara, 17, and Muhammed Abu al-Thahir, 16, were both killed. Fifteen-year-old Muhammed Azzeh survived, despite having been shot in the lung. Just under a year later, over 6,000 miles away, a police officer…Read More... | 4 Comments
Palestinian security forces are often derided as sub-contractors of the Israeli military occupation due to close cooperation with the IDF. Some are worried that might change. A video published on Monday appears to show armed Palestinian police evicting Israeli troops from the Ramallah area. The incident took place in Beitunia, a suburb of Ramallah, according to Palestinian news agency Ma’an. The Israeli Border Police force had chased a group of schoolchildren, according to the report. In the video, a Palestinian police officer named by Ma’an as Lt. Akee al-Shalan, can be seen yelling at the Israeli troops to “get away…Read More...
On Nakba Day last year, Israeli Border Police killed two Palestinian teenage protesters and gravely injured a third. Two days after witnessing one of the shootings, I find myself at a memorial service in Vienna, honoring my relatives who perished in the Holocaust. The dizzying identity carousel never stops revolving. It is the early afternoon and I am in a car with two companions, driving through the West Bank. It is Nakba Day 2014, and we are on our way to Beitunia, a Palestinian town next to Ofer Prison, in order to attend one of several demonstrations being held in memory of the…Read More... | 4 Comments
The arrest appears to prove what footage and family indicated from the start: Live bullets were fired at protestors, unlawfully, as the victims posed no immediate threat. A Border Police officer was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of shooting Nadim Syam Nuwara (17) with live ammunition, one of two Palestinian teenagers killed during Nakba Day protests in the West Bank village of Beitunia last May. The border policeman is being charged with murder and his commander is also facing charges for not reporting the incident. The shootings, which were caught on film by CCTV cameras, showed that the protesters posed no…Read More... | 28 Comments
You really have to give credit where credit is due. Even if it is to the IDF. Soldiers killed 12-year-old Muhammad al-Anati during clashes with local youth in the Hebron area on Sunday. According to reports, al-Anati was killed after being struck by a bullet in the back, and was not involved in the clashes. However, it seems that the IDF is willing to learn from past mistakes. This time, unlike recent similar events, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit immediately released a message [Hebrew] saying an inquiry had been launched and that the army expressed its regret over al-Anati's death. One can hope…Read More... | 36 Comments
An autopsy of Nadim Syam Nuwara, one of the two teenagers killed last month during the Nakba Day protests in Beitunia, reveals that that the teen was killed by live fire, according to a report by Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem. According to B'Tselem, Nuwara’s body has been well-preserved, making the point of entry and exit, as well as the route of the bullet, easily identifiable. Although the report is slated to be released in the next several days, doctors have rejected the possibility that the cause of death was rubber bullets, and are fairly confident that the bullet entered…Read More... | 8 Comments
For the general public, it seems that the feelings of an Israeli reporter are more important than the death of Palestinian youths. By Lilach Ben David (translated by Sol Salbe) By now it has become a cliché of journalistic writing in Hebrew. "I felt like I was being lynched in Ramallah," is the way every person who has come to blows with Arabs since October 2000 describes the experience. And in the case of reporter Avi Issacharoff, even those who encounter a group of angry, young Palestinians feel free to use the cliché, without faltering or correcting the record. But…Read More...
Between shootings, beatings and arrests, Palestinian journalists are subject to violence and restrictions that their Israeli counterparts generally avoid. Last week at a protest in the West Bank city of Beitunia, a group of Palestinian protestors attacked Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff and photographer Daniel Book. According to Issacharoff, he was told to leave the protest by Palestinian journalists, and when he refused he was surrounded by a group of angry Palestinian protesters, who he says wanted to "lynch" him. Eventually, he was escorted out of the area with the help of two Palestinian officers. Such incidents are depressing, especially for…Read More...
Israel's foreign minister would be well served by a beginner's course in using Google to search the Internet before accusing the international community of hypocrisy. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman rejected calls for an investigation into the killings of two Palestinian teenagers. Perhaps unbeknownst to the foreign minister, the IDF had already launched an investigation into the killings, with the urging of his colleague, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. Or perhaps Liberman knew full well that the U.S. and UN were simply calling for Israel to do what it was already doing, but it touched on Israel's national pet peeve and the likely…Read More... | 4 Comments
Faced with the most striking evidence, the Israeli media continues to treat the Palestinian version of the killings as a fabrication, demanding more and more evidence of wrongdoing; that is how the public is taught, day by day, that the reality of occupation isn’t worthy of its attention. Ever since I left working on the sports pages and began dealing with current affairs, I remember myself trying to initiate stories on the Palestinian issue. Writing about the West Bank and Gaza seemed to me the most crucial contribution an Israeli paper can make. Besides, there were always great stories, of…Read More... | 71 Comments
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