Saturday, January 16, 2021

Four Palestinian murder cases closed this week

By K. Künzl - November 08, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Human rights]

Israeli court rulings in the past week have closed multiple cases for the killings of four Palestinians by Israeli soldiers, three of whom were children. 

According to a report by human rights group B’Tselem, the Military Attorney General (MAG) notified the Associated Press (AP) of the case closures involving the killings of Ali Omar Nimer Qinu (17), Layth Haitham Fathi Abu Na’im (16), and Yassin 'Omar Sliman a-Saradih (35).  All three shot in close range in early 2018, no one was held accountable.

Qinu, from the village of Burin, was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers in January 2018 when he and his friends threw rocks at an Israeli Jeep.

Na’im was shot in the head by a rubber-coated metal bullet during clashes in the village of al-Mughayir, in the district of Jenin in January 2018.  The Israeli soldiers left without providing medical aid to the Palestinian teen and he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

A-Saradih, from Jericho, was critically injured after he attempted to attack Israeli soldiers with a metal bar and was shot in February 2018.  Video footage of the incident shows Israeli soldiers continued to beat him with their rifles after he had crippled to the pavement. A-Saradih did not receive medical attention for 30 minutes and later died from his injuries. 

B’Tselem criticised Israel authorities after the ruling for, once again, ending, “so-called investigations…in whitewashing”, adding: “It is no accident that all three case files were closed.”

“The system does not truly seek to uncover the facts and promote justice for the victims,” the B’Tselem report continued. “Rather, it is primarily aimed at defending the perpetrators, while creating the illusion of a functioning system so as to deflect criticism….This force is crucial to Israel’s ability to carry on its violent control over millions of Palestinians.”

Additionally, the case of Othman Ramis Helles, a Gazan minor who was shot and killed during a protest east of Gaza City on 13 July 2018, ended Wednesday.  The soldier charged with disobeying an order leading to a threat to life or health” was sentenced to just one-month community service and a demotion in military rank.

The gruesome scene of the 14-year-old Gazan being shot by a sniper was also caught on video.  While Israeli authorities claim that they identified an attempt to breach the security fence and infiltrate into Israel from the northern Gaza Strip and fired to stop the attempt” the footage reveals that the boy posed no direct or indirect threat.

Hilles was just one of the numerous unlawful killings that have gone unaccounted for in Gaza.

“Hilles is among 46 children killed by Israeli occupation forces during the Great March of Return protests. More than 200 Palestinians have lost their lives during the demonstrations.  Only 13 of those killings have been investigated by Israel’s military police,” The Electronic Intifada reported

Human rights group Al-Haq’s chief prosecutor warned Israeli officials back in 2015 that they may face trial for the killings of unarmed Palestinians. However, despite these warnings and condemnations of the killings by Amnesty International and the UN Human Rights Council, most murder cases continue to close with minor to no punishments.

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