Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saturday: Israeli soldiers kill two Palestinian salesmen at checkpoint near Nablus

Hamra checkpoint

Israeli forces on Saturday shot and killed two Palestinian men at the al-Hamra military checkpoint in the northern Jordan Valley, witnesses said.
Witnesses told Ma’an that the two men were stopped at the checkpoint and asked by forces to exit their vehicle, at which point the forces shot them dead.The witnesses said they did not see the men wielding knives and told Ma’an the two were “killed in cold blood.” The men sold wholesale goods and were reportedly on their way to distribute merchandise to grocery shops, witnesses added.
An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an that two assailants attempted to stab Israeli soldiers stationed at the security crossing who opened fire in response to the attack.
The men were identified as as 26-year-old Ali Abu Maryam from the village of al-Jadida and 38-year-old Said Abu al-Wafa from the village of al-Zawiya. Both are from Jenin area in the northern West Bank.The al-Hamra military checkpoint is located in the eastern outskirts of the Nablus district, south of the illegal Israeli settlements of Beqaot and Roi.
On Thursday four Palestinians between the ages of 16 and 19, three of them cousins, were shot dead in two separate incidents after Israel's army said they attempted to stab Israeli soldiers at the Gush Etzion and Beit Einun junctions.
Since 1 October more than 150 Palstinians have been killed in similar incidents, while 22 Israelis died through palestinian hands. Video footage taken by bystanders on their phones have shown Israeli soldiers planting knives next to Palestinians who had already been killed by the soldiers, on several occasions during the past three months.
According to the human rights organization Amnesty International "investigations into a number of recent Palestinian deaths concluded that Israeli policy implemented since the increase in attacks has resulted in unnecessary Palestinian deaths''. Philip Luther, the group's Middle East and North Africa director said following the increase in attacks in October that "intentional lethal force should only be used when absolutely necessary to protect life." "Instead we are increasingly seeing Israeli forces recklessly flouting international standards by shooting to kill in situations where it is completely unjustified,” the director said.

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