Saturday, January 19, 2013

'Palestinian teen killed from behind after he tried to run away'

Two British press accounts of the shooting to death of the16-year old Samir Awad, last Tuesday,  in the Palestinian village of Budrus, 35 km north of Ramallah. The British papers quote eyewitnesses who contradict what the Israeli army said and what was written in the Israeli press. They say that Samir was lured into a confrontation and was shot form behind when he was trying to run away:

The Guardian:
According to villagers, Samir was grabbed by soldiers who were concealed in a trench. He broke free and was running away when a soldier or soldiers opened fire. He was hit by three or four bullets, in his head, torso and leg.
Ayed Morrar, a member of the village popular resistance committee, said: "They shot him in cold blood, they shot him in the back. He wasn't threatening them." He said there had been no stone-throwing at the time of the shooting.
The Daily Telegraph:
A Palestinian schoolboy killed by Israeli gunfire near the West Bank  separation barrier had been reacting to insults shouted by soldiers with  loudhailers before he was shot, eyewitnesses have said.
The claim contradicts an account given by the Israeli army, which says 16-year-old Samir Awad was shot after cutting through a section of the security fence as he tried "infiltrate into Israel".
The teenager died on Tuesday after being shot three times. He was hit from behind as he was running away from Israeli troops in the village of Boudrous, according to his family. 
 Family and friends say Samir was running away from the security barrier after soldiers fired tear gas. As he tried to head towards the school, he was intercepted by two other soldiers who had been hiding in a trench dug by the Jordanian army during the 1967 Six-Day War.
While his friends managed to get away, Samir's escape route was cut off, forcing him to run back towards the barrier. It was at that point he was shot, witnesses say.(...)
Samir's death is one of a growing list of similar incidents in which Palestinians lost their lives and which are never thoroughly investigated. Samir was the fourth young man to die in five days, after two young people in Gaza and one near Hebron. 
Exactly a month ago another of these incidents occurred,  the 'accidental murder' of the teen Muhammad Salaymeh in Hebron, which I documented here. On my Dutch sister blog I wrote about a number of other cases: Hatem Shadid (35) who was shot to death on 4 December 2012 after his car collided with a jeep with four agents of the internal security service Shin Beth. (They said he had approached them with an axe, which was not corroborated by evidence and which his family and friends contested). In June 2010 Ziad Jilani 41, a father of three  daughters) was killed in Jerusalem after his van accidentally collided with some members of the border police when he passed a disturbance. It appeared that the van had previously been hit by a stone. In January 2011 a  Palestinian called Daraghmeh was shot to death at a checkpoint that he approached in a hurry with a broken bottle. It later appeared that the bottle was really a can of cola.
In March 2010 two teenage cousins from the village of Awarta, Faysal and Mumammad Qawariq, were killed when they allegedly attacked a soldier at a checkpoint with a pitchfork. It later transpired that the boys had been sitting at the moment they were killed ad did not have a pitchfork with them. One day later two other cousins, from the village of Iraq Burin this time, Muhammad ad Usaid Qadus, were killed when they returned home and got out of a taxi. They had the bad luck that a clash between villagers and the army were taking place just at that very moment, although some 60 meter from where they got out of the car.
All these cases had one thing in common: nobody was ever brought to justice and the investigations were very superfluous, or there were any at all. Israel has the duty to protect the Palestinians in the territories it occupies. If the Israelis aren't able to remember this on their own, it is time that it is made clear to them that it is mandatory under international law.

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