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Video, NGO's evidence suggests soldiers executed Palestinians

March 25, 2019 at 12:39 pm

Israel soldiers fire tear gas at Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank city of Hebron on 16 November 2012 [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

Evidence published by human rights NGO B’Tselem suggests that Israeli occupation forces executed two Palestinians in an incident earlier this month initially reported as a car-ramming attack.

On 4 March, Yusef ‘Anqawi and Amir Dar Daraj were shot by Israeli soldiers near the village of Kafr Ni’ma, with their bodies still withheld by occupation authorities.

At the time, the Israeli army claimed that forces had been injured in a car-ramming attack, responding with live fire and killing two of the assailants.

However, evidence gathered by B’Tselem – including eyewitness reports and video footage – suggests that the Palestinians in question collided accidentally with an Israeli army vehicle that had broken down on a narrow road in the middle of the night.

READ: Israel High Court liable for war crimes, rights group says

Moreover, the video footage indicates that four and a half minutes elapsed between a first, single shot being fired, and a further nine shots being fired by Israeli soldiers. In addition, gunshot residue was discovered on clothes worn by the two Palestinians killed at the scene.

The Israeli army has not offered any explanation for this time lapse, and confiscated CCTV footage from a nearby security camera.

According to B’Tselem, “the testimonies, video footage and forensic analysis” indicate that “the two Palestinians killed in the car were shot by the security forces several minutes after the crash”.

In addition, “the interval of time that elapsed between the crash and the gunshots raises questions.”

“Clear restrictions apply to Israeli security forces’ use of force and firepower: shooting to kill is permitted only in instances of clear and present danger to their lives or to the lives of others,” B’Tselem added. “The facts described above give rise to serious concerns that, contrary to the IDF Spokesperson’s statement, the circumstances of this incident did not meet this criterion.”