TEL AVIV, October 18, 2015 (WAFA) – Two Palestinians who were recently shot dead by Israeli security forces did not pose any threat to the Israeli forces, and were only “shot to be killed”, according to a report by B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights information center.
It said that video footage of two incidents – out of 13 cases where Palestinians were shot to death for stabbing or attempting to stab Israelis or when suspected to do so – published by the media raises grave concern that the security forces “shot to kill, even when it was clear that the Palestinians no longer posed a threat and could be apprehended in other ways”.
On October 14, Israeli police and Border Police officers shot and killed Basel Sidr, 20, close to Damascus Gate, an entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. According to the police report, Sidr drew a knife and ran towards Border Police officers, who responded immediately by shooting at him. Sidr changed direction and ran towards other police officers, who fired at him after the Border Police officers called out to them.
In two segments of video footage published by the media, Sidr is seen shot while running with a knife in hand. However, B’Tselem said, the shooting continued even after he fell down, apparently wounded and immobilized, with no one near him.
In another incident which occurred on October 4 and was reported by B’Tselem, an Israeli police officer shot and killed Fadi ‘Alun, 19. According to the police report, ‘Alun stabbed an Israeli youth, causing him a moderate injury, before he was shot. Video footage of the shooting and some of what preceded it, filmed from two different angles, was shared online.
The footage indicates that ‘Alun was holding a knife when he was shot, but no one was near him. A police officer is seen firing seven bullets at ‘Alun, although the latter fell to the ground after the first shot.
In the two cases described above, B’Tselem noted that, “there is cause for grave concern that the security forces shot the suspects not to stop them in their tracks, but to kill them. Given politicians’ support of such conduct and the public mood of condoning the killing of Palestinian suspects, such incidents are bound to recur.”
“Security forces have the authority to use the minimal amount of force necessary to achieve that end, according to the circumstances, but law enforcement officers cannot act as both judges and executioners.”