Killing of Palestinian man by Israel an ‘extrajudicial execution’ | Civil Rights Information

The murder of a Palestinian by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem last year was an “extrajudicial execution,” according to a London-based group specializing in investigating human rights violations.

Ahmed Erekat was shot to death at the container checkpoint in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank in June 2020 and bled to death for more than an hour after Israeli soldiers prevented a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance from treating him.

In a report released Tuesday, Forensic Architecture said the 27-year-old posed no threat to the Israeli soldiers or any property and that he did not receive first aid treatment after the shooting, even if he showed signs of life.

“Our analysis raises important questions about Ahmed’s assassination that cast doubt on the Israeli army’s claims and call for further investigation.”

Erekat, the nephew of the then General Secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat, was on his way to pick up his mother and sisters, who were preparing for his sister’s wedding in a beauty salon that evening. His own wedding was due to take place two weeks later.

Israeli security forces said Ahmed tried to ram his vehicle into a soldier at the checkpoint before opening fire.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the man “drove his vehicle quickly in the direction of a slightly injured border police officer.”

Palestinian officials refused the police account.

Saeb Erekat told AFP that his nephew had been “executed” by the Israeli police and added that he had blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “this crime”. The elder Erekat died of COVID-19 in November last year.

Considerable discrepancy

The new report on forensic architecture revealed significant discrepancies in Israel’s version of the events relating to Ahmed Erekat’s assassination.

It turned out that Erekat did not accelerate his vehicle to meet the officers at the checkpoint. The evidence showed evidence that the vehicle was braking prior to impact.

“The speed of the car did not exceed 15 km / h [9.3 miles per hour] – Acceleration was constant and consistently low, which means there was no sudden attempt to go faster. “

The new report also states that Erekat did not approach the police officers at the checkpoint as claimed.

A video from the scene of the incident also reveals “other details that cast doubt on the army’s narrative,” the report added.

Israel’s cruel withholding of Ahmed Erekat’s body for 9 months after he was fatally shot, which is an obvious justification, is an unlawful collective punishment. My remarks in @ Independent’s coverage of the new @ ForensicArchi / @ alhaq_org report debunk Israel’s claims of Ahmed’s death

– Omar Shakir (@OmarSShakir) February 23, 2021

After the report was released, Erekat’s family appealed to the international community to secure the release of his body, which will remain with Israel.

Omar Shakir, the director of Human Rights Watch in Israel and Palestine, said the withholding of Erekat’s body was an unlawful collective punishment.

For years, Palestinian and Israeli right-wing groups have accused Israel of using excessive force against those seen as a threat to its armed forces and of using lethal force against those who could be arrested alive.

On January 31, an Israeli soldier shot dead a Palestinian suspected of attempting to attack troops in the West Bank.

Four days earlier, a teenager was shot dead near the Jewish settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank.

Last year, Israeli security forces were accused of killing at least 27 Palestinians in Occupied Territories and in Israel, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

In at least 11 of the 16 murders investigated by B’Tselem in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinians did not pose “a threat to the life of the armed forces” or any other person at the time of their shooting.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army has reported arresting “suspects” who were reported to have attempted an “auto-ram and shoot” attack against their forces in the city of Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, last month.

The report did not specify how many suspects were arrested.

Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967 along with the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The Palestinians want these areas for their future state.

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