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License to Kill

  • Justice minister's attacks on Breaking the Silence may just backfire

    Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's latest crusade has led to a Breaking the Silence spokesperson being questioned under caution. But if she's so concerned about army abuses against Palestinians, why isn't she ordering an investigation into the string of unlawful killings carried out by soldiers? In Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s latest stunt, Breaking the Silence spokesperson Dean Issacharoff has been questioned under caution after he testified on a group tour that he had assaulted a Palestinian during his army service. There’s no point trying to spin this: that is what members of Breaking the Silence do. They testify in front of…

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  • Deputy defense minister wants to give IDF soldiers a license to kill

    Eli Ben Dahan, who once called Palestinians 'subhuman,' wants soldiers to be able to freely shoot to kill. Israel's Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan is reportedly working on submitting a bill proposal that will grant soldiers a license to kill, according to a Channel 2 news report that aired Saturday evening. [tmwinpost] The bill will allow security forces to "enjoy immunity from actions they carried out or refrained from carrying out, and all before, after, and during an operational activity or terrorist attack that was not part of the day-to-day operational activities of the unit in which he/she works or…

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  • Elor Azaria and the army of the periphery

    From the army’s perspective, Azaria’s guilty verdict ostensibly answers the critique that it is unable to deal with soldier violence against Palestinians — or that it doesn't want to. But there is one reason and one reason only that the lowly soldier was indicted to begin with. An Israeli military court handed down a guilty verdict Wednesday in the manslaughter trial of Elor Azaria, an IDF soldier who shot and killed an incapacitated Palestinian assailant in March of last year. The high-profile trial polarized the country, pitting Israel's political class against current and former army generals. Much of the IDF's top echelons decried Azaria for firing a…

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  • IDF soldiers who killed unarmed Palestinian set for community service

    Two IDF soldiers shot Samir Awad from behind eight times in January 2013, killing him. Nearly four years and a string of investigative failures later, it looks unlikely that either of the accused will go to jail. By John Brown* In January 2013, Israeli soldiers killed Palestinian teen Samir Awad in the West Bank village of Budrus, after shooting him eight times from behind. The shooters, A. and B. — a commander and a soldier — were indicted last January, three years after the killing, on charges of “recklessness and negligence." The names of the accused are barred from publication. [tmwinpost]…

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  • License to Kill: Forgery, evidence tampering and two dead teens

    Usaid and Muhammed Qadus are shot to death in their own village by a major in the Israeli army who claims he only fired rubber bullets. But the bullets were real, and he admitted to lying and committing forgery to cover up his crime. Instead of being charged with a crime, he is promoted. By John Brown and Noam Rotem (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) In the "License to Kill" series thus far, we have surveyed eight Military Police investigation files regarding the killing of Palestinians by IDF fire. Despite the fact that none of those killed posed a danger…

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  • +972 Magazine's Editor's Picks of 2015

    As 2015 comes to a close, +972 Magazine’s editors and bloggers look back at the year that was, and share the articles that most resonated with them – in no particular order. By +972 Magazine Staff Meet the new generation of Palestinians in Israel To most Jewish Israelis they don’t have names or faces. At worst they are rioters and stone-throwers waving Palestinian flags; at best they are a discriminated-against minority. Henriette Chacar sat down with four young, prominent, politically active Palestinian citizens of Israel to discuss their demands, their identity, how they are different than the generations that preceded them,…

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  • Paying the price for Netanyahu's religious war

    Lacking any ability or will to deal with the political stalemate, Netanyahu has a vested interest in presenting the current situation in Jerusalem as a showdown between radical Islam and the West. Who will pay the price? By Yael Marom The latest clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the death of Israeli Alexander Levlovitch as a result of Palestinians throwing stones at his car, have awoken the Israeli media and the prime minister. They tell a very specific story: Palestinians have come together to ruin the Jewish New Year. Why? Perhaps they have something against apples and honey. [tmwinpost] But like…

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  • No one is put on trial when a Palestinian family is burned alive

    Three years before the attack on the Dawabshe family, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a taxi, burning and seriously wounding members of the Riyada family. Despite incontrovertible evidence showing settlers were behind the attack, the case was closed after a two-week investigation. By John Brown* and Noam Rotem August 2012. A Molotov cocktail is thrown at a cab, burning an entire Palestinian family. They miraculously survive. Nearby the police find a red bag with a plastic bottle full of gasoline, white latex gloves, and a black lighter with DNA belonging to a Jewish minor from the Bat Ayin settlement. Despite…

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  • License to Kill: Stone-throwing while Palestinian could get you killed

    An IDF brigade commander earns praise from the political establishment for killing a Palestinian stone-thrower, while soldiers are commended for using 'restraint' in the face of Jewish stone-throwers. The fourth installment in a series examining the case files of soldiers who killed unarmed Palestinian civilians. [Read parts one, two, three, and four] By John Brown* and Noam Rotem Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman On Friday, July 3, Colonel Yisrael Shomer, commander of the Binyamin Brigade, shot two bullets into the back of 17-year-old Muhammad Ali-Kosba, and another in his head. Shomer claimed the boy was throwing stones at his vehicle. The political…

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  • License to Kill: Why did the IDF shoot the Qawarik cousins 29 times?

    Saleh and Muhammad head out to their agricultural land. A settler stops them and calls the army. Four soldiers arrive. One of them empties his magazine into the two. Three other soldiers claim they didn't see anything. The IDF says that the cousins attacked the soldier, then retracts the claim. No one is brought to justice. The fourth installment in a series examining the case files of soldiers who killed unarmed Palestinian civilians. [Read parts one, two and three.] By John Brown* and Noam Rotem Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman This series of reports deals with cases in which…

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  • License to Kill: Why did Colonel A. order the sniping of Ihab Islim?

    Members of a family are standing on a balcony and chatting. The commander of IDF forces in the region orders snipers to open fire on them. One brother is killed, the other one loses an eye. The commander fails to account for the order in the investigation that ensues. The case is closed, and the commander is promoted. In the following months, other civilians in the region are killed in the exact same manner. No one is found guilty. The third installment of the License to Kill series. [Read part one and two.] By John Brown and Noam Rotem (translated from Hebrew…

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  • License to Kill: No consequences for shooting an unarmed man in the back

    An unarmed civilian is killed and no one is held accountable. Part two in a series examining Israeli military investigations into Palestinians killed by soldiers. A Palestinian taxi driver is shot in the back by an Israeli soldier. Investigators say they cannot locate the shooters, even though their identity is known. Six years later, when a civil suit is filed, the State suddenly produces them as witnesses. The judge rules their versions of events are unreliable and orders damages paid to the family. The criminal case, however, is closed. [Read part one here.] By John Brown and Noam Rotem (translated…

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  • License to Kill: Shot to death while in custody

    The first part in a series of articles examining case files of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers — the ensuing investigations, by other Israeli soldiers, indicate a lack of interest in discovering the truth or achieving justice. In part one, a Palestinian man is arrested for not carrying an ID card. A few hours later, while handcuffed inside a military base, he is shot to death. The investigation files reveal serious and troubling contradictions. The shooter’s commander admits numerous failures, and yet, nobody will stand trial. By Noam Rotem and John Brown (translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) [Editor's note: In the…

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