Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem released a report today, condemning Israeli forces for the “unjustified” killing of a Palestinian woman in Jerusalem last week.
Israeli police said at the time that 49-year-old Siham Nimr attempted to stab police officers with a pair of scissors at the Damascus Gate entrance to occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, only to be “neutralized” by the Israeli border police. No Israeli officers were injured in the altercation.
It was later revealed that the slain woman was the mother of 27-year-old Mustafa Nimr, who was killed by Israeli forces in September during a night raid in occupied East Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp.
According to B’Tselem, after Siham approached a metal police barrier near Damascus Gate, brandishing a pair of scissors, border police officers standing on the other side of the barrier shot and killed her. Included in their report was a picture from a security camera in the area, released by Israeli police, purporting to show Siham holding up the scissors while standing behind the police barrier.
“It is quite doubtful whether Siham could have, in the circumstances, crossed the barrier, proceeded toward the officers and put them in danger,” B’Tselem said, adding that “given the officers’ protective gear and the means they had at their disposal, it stands to reason that they would have been able to subdue her and take her into custody without resorting to gunfire, let alone lethal gunfire.”
B’Tselem criticised the “shoot-to-kill policy” of Israeli forces when dealing with alleged and actual Palestinian attackers, saying that the policy is “encouraged” by senior ranking officials of various Israeli security forces.