Israel announced on Friday it had launched an investigation into the killings of two Palestinians after an Israeli rights group released video footage that appeared to show Israeli soldiers killing two Palestinians and incapacitating one during a military operation. The other man was unarmed. Attack on a refugee camp in the West Bank.
B’Tselem human rights group accused the army of carrying out “two unlawful executions.”
Video footage captured by security cameras showed two Israeli military vehicles chasing a group of Palestinians through the Farah refugee camp in the northern West Bank, with soldiers shooting dead a man who appeared to be carrying a red box.
B’Tselem said the man’s name is Rami Jandoub, 25 years old.
Military vehicles then approached Judoub, who was lying bleeding on the ground, and shot him several times until he became motionless, according to human rights groups.
The soldiers then approached a man, identified by B’Tselem as Thaer Shaheen (36), who was hiding under the hood of a car, and they shot him at close range.
B’Tselem confirmed that Shaheen died at the scene, while Jandoub died of his injuries the next day.
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Friday for an end to Israel’s military operation in Gaza “through an immediate ceasefire” and to shield civilians from the effects of the fighting.
The Israeli military said that a gendarmerie unit launched an investigation into the shooting incident that occurred on December 8 and “suspected that the manner of shooting in the incident did not comply with the law.”
He said the results would be presented to military prosecutors, indicating the possibility of criminal charges, the Associated Press reported.
Israel rarely holds trials in such cases, and rights groups say soldiers “rarely receive severe punishment even when proven guilty of wrongdoing.”
In one high-profile case, an Israeli soldier was convicted of manslaughter and had his sentence reduced by nine months after he shot and killed a seriously injured Palestinian in 2016.
The army recently launched an investigation into the shooting death of an Israeli man by a soldier who had just killed two Palestinians who attacked them at a Jerusalem bus station.
The soldier apparently suspected the Israelis were also the attackers, although he knelt on the ground, raised his hands and opened his shirt to show he posed no threat.
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The Palestinian president on Thursday condemned Israeli forces for “desecrating” a mosque in the occupied West Bank after a video clip showed Israeli soldiers reciting Jewish prayers through loudspeakers.
The shooting highlighted what critics say is the “excessive use of force” by Israeli soldiers, police and armed citizens against Palestinian attack suspects.
In a separate incident on Friday, police said they arrested officers who appeared on video beating a Palestinian photojournalist in East Jerusalem.
Social media showed that the photojournalist was named Mustafa Al-Kharouf and worked for the Turkish Anatolia News Agency.
In the video footage, one police officer approaches the sheep and hits it with the butt of a rifle, while another officer pushes it toward a car.
One of them pointed a gun at the sheep, while the other pulled the sheep to the ground while wrapping his arms around its neck. One policeman knelt on the sheep, while another policeman repeatedly kicked the sheep in the head, causing the sheep to scream in pain.
Other police officers looked at the shocked onlookers and pushed them away.
“Border Police leadership believes that the behavior of these individuals is inconsistent with the values of the force,” police said in a statement, announcing the suspension of the two officers and launching an investigation.
The two incidents come amid heightened tensions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem due to the war between Israel and Hamas.
Violence by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank has reached record levels since the war began. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 287 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since October 7.
The ministry added that this was the “bloodiest year in the West Bank in 18 years”.
The Israeli army, on the other hand, said its military activities in the West Bank were aimed at “hunting down persons wanted on terrorism charges.”
According to Israeli authorities, on October 7, Hamas, which is listed as a terrorist organization, launched an attack on Israel’s southern border towns, killing 1,200 people, most of whom were civilians, including women and children.
According to the Gaza Strip health authorities, in addition to the ground operation launched on the 27th of the same month, Israel also carried out heavy bombing of the Gaza Strip, killing about 19,000 Palestinians, most of whom were women and children.