30 September 2015

Israel's Execution Without Trial of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun

Israeli Soldiers Watch and Settlers Laugh as Shot Palestinian Girl Bleeds to Death

Michaela Whitton

September 23, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — An 18-year-old Palestinian girl has died from wounds sustained after she was shot by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday morning.

The teenager is the second Palestinian to be killed in 24 hours in the occupied West Bank after 21-year-old Dia al-Talameh was killed in the village of Khursa. An Israeli army spokesperson told Al-Jazeera the 21-year-old intended to throw a molotov cocktail at a military vehicle and it detonated on himself. Palestinian security officials claim he was shot by Israeli troops.

Initial Israeli media reports claimed the 18-year-old university student Hadeel Hashlamon was shot in her lower body after she attempted to stab a soldier at Hebron’s Shuhada Street checkpoint on Tuesday morning.

It later emerged that the teenager was shot several times, including in the chest. Locals deny she was carrying a knife.

Eye-witness Fawaz abu Aisheh said that teenager — who was carrying a large school satchel — froze because she didn’t understand what the soldiers were screaming at her in Hebrew.
“I tried to talk with her, she was terrified. She knew nothing,” he said. He described begging soldiers to let him to take her away from the checkpoint.

The impunity that Israel historically enjoys from prosecution for war crimes means we will probably never know what happened. Whether the young soldier was fearful the young student was carrying a bomb or simply panicked because she was fully covered in a niqab, she didn’t follow his orders — so he shot her.

“She was covered completely, there was no knife showing at any time. Even if she did have a knife he could have arrested her so easily. I was there, I could have talked to her, she cooperated with me in that very first moment,” Abu Aisheh told the International Solidarity Movement.

The ugly face of Israel’s dehumanisation of Palestinians was further revealed in a disturbing video by Palmedia that showed the aftermath of the shooting. Not only were paramedics prevented from approaching the teenager, but Israeli settlers laughed and pointed as she bled on the ground. Israeli soldiers are shown casually standing around and chatting before dragging her body out of shot by the feet.

Slain teen Dia al-Talameh
Wattan TV reported that the young Palestinian was left bleeding on the ground for 30 minutes before receiving medical treatment. She later died of her injuries in a Jerusalem hospital.

Even if there was a knife, the answer to why the most moral army in the world didn’t employ an alternative than to use close-range, rapid fire straight into the chest of a Palestinian teenager lies in Israel’s long history of literally getting away with murder.

Young soldiers based throughout occupied Palestine — many of whom are 19-years-old themselves — are fully secure in the knowledge that there will be little to no recourse for their actions. After all, what’s another dead Palestinian? They would have only grown up to be a terrorist.

Amnesty: Killing of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun was ‘extrajudicial execution’

Ben Norton on September 25, 2015

Leading human rights organization Amnesty International says the killing of the 18-year-old Palestinian Hadeel al-Hashlamoun on September 22 by an Israeli soldier was an “extrajudicial execution.”

A video of al-Hashlamoun lying on the ground dying has circulated widely on the internet.
Amnesty, which is headquarted in London, interviewed two eyewitnesses who saw Israeli occupation forces shoot the young student in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank. Based on the evidence, Amnesty concluded that al-Hashlamoun “at no time posed a sufficient threat to the soldiers to make their use of deliberate lethal force permissible.”

“This killing is the latest in a long line of unlawful killings carried out by the Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank with near total impunity,” Amnesty said.

Account of the incident

Two Israeli soldiers stopped the young woman at a checkpoint in Hebron at around 7:40 AM on September 22. Amnesty’s eyewitnesses did not consult with each other, in order to assure accuracy of their accounts. The witnesses told Amnesty al-Hashlamoun was asked to open her bag for a search. She showed them the inside of her bag, but the soldiers began to yell at her, and she froze in fear. They were shouting in Hebrew, which the young woman did not understand.

Witness Fawaz Abu Aisheh, who speaks Hebrew, said he tried to help the young woman, who was trying to leave the checkpoint. He offered to translate for her, but four Israeli soldiers arrived and pushed him away. At this point, a soldier shot al-Hashlamoun in the leg. The young woman fell to the ground. One witness says he saw her drop a knife with a brown handle, but another said he did not see a knife.

The Israeli soldier then walked closer to al-Hashlamoun and shot at her chest four or five more times, while she was lying motionless on the ground. Other soldiers yelled at him to stop, yet he kept on shooting.

The Israeli military claims that al-Hashlamoun walked toward the occupation forces with a knife, but witnesses said the young woman had her hands inside her niqab, her full veil, the entire time, and never tried to move toward any of the soldiers. Israel also released a photo of a knife with a blue and yellow handle on the ground at the scene. The two eyewitnesses interviewed by Amnesty and photographs of the incident contradict these official claims.

As for the allegation that al-Hashlamoun had a knife, Amnesty remarks:

Even if al-Hashlamoun did have a knife, Israeli soldiers, who are protected with body armour and heavily equipped with advanced weapons, could have controlled the situation and arrested her without threatening her life. Open fire regulations of the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank allow soldiers to open fire only when their lives are in imminent danger, and Amnesty International concludes that this was not the case in the shooting of al-Hashlamoun, as she was standing still and separated from the soldiers by a metal barrier. There was no attempt to arrest al-Hashlamoun, according to the eyewitnesses, or to use non-lethal alternatives.

To then shoot al-Hashlamoun again multiple times as she lay wounded on the ground indicates that her killing was an extrajudicial execution. Unlawful and deliberate killings carried out by order of government or military officials, or with their complicity or acquiescence, amount to extrajudicial executions, which are prohibited at all times and constitute crimes under international law. An extrajudicial execution would also constitute a wilful killing, which is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies to Israel’s long-standing military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and a war crime.

An eyewitness who stayed in the area around al-Hashlamoun for 15-20 minutes after the shooting, before being forced to leave by Israeli soldiers, said no medical help was given to the young woman, who lay bleeding to death. Local media reported that Israeli forces prevented Palestinian medics from helping al-Hashlamoun, and did not put her into an ambulance for 30-40 minutes after they shot her.
“In order to comply with their obligations under the right to life, Israeli forces had a duty to provide al- Hashlamoun with medical assistance at the earliest possible moment, which they clearly did not meet,” Amnesty said.

Violations of international law

In Hebron, Israeli settlements are located in the center of the city. The young woman was killed near these settlements, which Amnesty makes clear “are illegal under international law.”

“Palestinian residents of Hebron have had their freedom of movement and their economic rights severely curtailed by” the closures imposed on parts of the city by Israeli occupation forces, Amnesty explains. “In addition, Palestinians are often subject to arbitrary detention and humiliating treatment by Israeli security forces stationed in the city, and are often subject to settler violence, which the Israeli authorities fail to investigate effectively.”

The Israeli military says it is investigation the killing, but Amnesty writes:

such internal investigations have consistently failed to identify those responsible for previous unlawful killings or to hold anyone accountable. International law requires states to ensure prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigations into suspected extrajudicial executions. Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities to carry out such an investigation into the incident, promptly disclose the findings and ensure that anyone responsible for a human rights violation is brought to justice and that the victim’s family receives full reparation. Failure to effectively investigate a suspected unlawful killing in itself constitutes a violation of the right to life.
The human rights organization indicates that it has “consistently criticized the Israeli authorities for their failure to bring to justice military or police personnel, who operate with impunity.” Amnesty drew attention to its 2014 report Trigger Happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank.
Amnesty also notes that more than 25 Palestinians, including at least three children, have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank in 2015. In 2014, dozens more in the West Bank were killed by Israeli soldiers. “In many cases, it appears that the killings were unlawful, and some may have been either wilful killings or extrajudicial executions,” the human rights organization states.

Wanted: The killer of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun

(Image: Shaul Hanuka via Tikun Olam) 

Richard Silverstein

Thank you to Shaul Hanuka for his wonderful work creating this wanted poster featuring the killer of Palestinian student, Hadil al-Hashlomon.  I appeal once again for any Israelis who know this person to step forward and name him.  He deserves to be held accountable for what Amnesty International has called an “extrajudicial execution.”  

Please circulate this poster online everywhere you can.

+972 Blog 27 Sept by Noam Rotem —
Why is the Israeli army refusing to release its footage from the shooting of 18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamon?

Was the shooting an act of self defense by the soldiers wearing ballistic vests in the checkpoint, standing behind a steel barrier separating them and the young woman, as claimed by the IDF Spokesperson? Or was it an “extrajudicial execution,” as Amnesty claimed, and which B’Tselem said in more cautious terms. It won’t be difficult to find the answer. It would actually be very easy. The IDF has video footage of the entire event, showing the entire sequence of events. To this day, five days since the shooting, the army has chosen not to release that video, a choice that raises questions about its motivations. Is the army covering up for yet another soldier who sentenced a civilian to death in the West Bank? Did the young woman threaten to attack the armed soldiers to the point that they felt a threat to their lives and that they had no choice but to shoot her? Did Hashlamon pull out and wave a knife at the soldiers? Could she have actually reached soldiers standing on the other side of the barrier separating them? And after the first shot, was there a justification for shooting the 18-year-old in her stomach and chest, while she was lying unresponsive on the ground? All of the evidence is available, all of the testimonies have been recorded. The military prosecutor must put on trial the soldier who cut short Hadeel al-Hashlamon’s life, or alternatively, release the video showing that it was indeed self defense. The IDF Spokesperson had no response when asked why video of the event hasn’t been published yet and whether it intends to do so.

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