Amnesty International yesterday renewed its call for "international justice" for Palestinian victims of Israeli occupation forces after a woman was shot and killed at a checkpoint.
In an incident filmed by bystanders, the woman – named as Alaa Wahdan – was shot by Israeli forces at Qalandiya checkpoint in what Israeli officials claimed was an attempted stabbing attack.
Palestinians and human rights activists reacted with outrage to the footage, and in a statement published yesterday, Amnesty International expressed strong concern about the killing.
"Video footage of the incident shows the woman standing some distance away from the Israeli guards when they shot her dead," said Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Saleh Higazi.
"She did not appear to be carrying a firearm and did not pose any immediate threat to the guards or to the lives of people in the vicinity when they opened fire," he added. "This strongly suggests that her killing may have been unlawful."
How the Israeli occupation forces shot a Palestinian woman this morning, Jerusalem.
Where are the contractors of the world?😢
where the crying of humanity?
Don't they see how Israel is violating human rights?
It is not a matter of Palestine it is a matter of humanity😭 pic.twitter.com/bLwhE0MQHi
— Muhammad M Alarabeed #GAZA (@PALESTINE0_GAZA) September 18, 2019
Higazi stressed that "under international law, lethal force must only be used when strictly unavoidable and in order to defend people from imminent risk of death or serious injury."
Yesterday's killing was by no means an isolated event. "In recent years," Amnesty said, it has "documented hundreds of cases in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in which Israeli forces have used lethal force on unarmed Palestinians who were posing no imminent threat to the lives of the soldiers or others, carrying out unlawful killings including in some cases possible wilful killings."
Highlighting Israeli forces' "horrific track record of committing serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law – including using excessive force and carrying out unlawful killings," Higazi stated that "this pattern grows unobstructed by the complete lack of accountability for Israeli forces who carry human rights violations."
"Today's killing is an urgent reminder of the need for international justice to start charting the way towards an end to Israel's institutionalized and systematic violations of Palestinian human rights."