Jerusalem, Palestinian killed by Israeli police was not an assailant
The 27 year-old Mustafa Nimr was shot dead. Solidiers feared an attack on board a vehicle. Police investigating the driver. Witnesses said the car did not constitute a threat to the security and proceeded within the speed limits.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Palestinian young man killed by security forces was not intending to carry out an attack - on board a vehicle - against a group of police officers, as initially claimed. On September 5 last year a group of patrol officers near the Shuafat refugee camp, in the eastern part of Jerusalem under Israeli control, opened fire on their car in fear of an attack.
One of the people in the car, the 27 year old Mustafa Nimr, died after being hit by bullets. There were no victims or injuries among security personnel.
Luba Samri, a police spokesman, reported the opening of an investigation file against the 20-year old Ali Nimr, a cousin of the victim, who was driving the car when the accident happened. He is charged with murder, manslaughter, driving without a license, driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless endangerment. One way, according to some, to exonerate the officers who fired.
At the same time, the Department Head of the Israeli Ministry of Justice, opened a second file to determine if any of the police officers are responsible.
Some images broadcast by Israeli Channel 10 show soldiers continuing to fire even after the car had stopped. At that moment the young Mustafa Nimr was already on the ground, wounded or perhaps dead.
A witness, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the two young men were returning to the refugee camp after buying the pizzas for dinner. The Hareetz paper said a second car was following the two cousins car; on board there were Mustafa’s girlfriend, of Jewish origin, and his brother.
Born and raised in the suburb of Shuafat, the 27 year old had moved to Tel Aviv and lived with the girl.
According to other sources the car would not have endangered the lives of police officers and proceeded respecting the speed limits. The border police officers who opened fire were inside the refugee camp as part of a patrol operation. It is common practice for the Israeli security forces to make these raids in search of weapons or suspicious.
In the past there had been cases of deaths and killings of young defenseless and innocent Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli police. In June, a few military men killed a boy after opening fire on a group of young people, returning from a swim, mistaking them for demonstrators throwing stones.
The case had raised many controversies and fueled doubts on the means used by the Israeli army and police. On more than one occasion there have been allegations of "excessive use of violence" for killings and shootings against unarmed Palestinian youths and that did not constitute any threat.
Since last October, after ultra-Orthodox Jews engaged in provocative behaviour on the Temple Mount, incidents and clashes have multiplied in Israel and the Palestinian territories in what has come to be dubbed the ‘knife intifada’.
Since it began, 207 Palestinians, 32 Israelis, two Americans and one Sudanese and one Eritrean have been killed.
Most Palestinians were killed trying to stab or fire on passing cars or soldiers. The others were killed during demonstrations or clashes with the military.
Faced with this escalation of violence that culminated in the attack in Tel Aviv on June 8, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to step up the demolition of the homes of Palestinian assailants. A measure which, according to critics, is a "collective punishment" which ends up exacerbating the tension.