Same Crime, Different Sentence

Same Crime, Different Sentence

CPT is deeply saddened by the recent killings of the three young Palestinian men, Hamzi al-Zama’ri, Ahmad Nasser Jarrar and Khalid Tayeh, killed by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and Raziel Shevach and Itamar Ben Gal killed by Palestinians, in a two-day period this year, on the 5th and 6th of February.

We hope that people are able to look at these crimes through the context of the occupation; that of an armed military occupier (with armed civilian settlers) and that of an occupied people without a military force – and thus not two equal parties. Noting the killings are of separate powers, on one side they are committed by a military force, on the other the murders are committed by individuals.

It needs to be stated that under international law, an occupied people have the legal right to resist the occupying force, whether that be through nonviolent means, or that of an armed resistance. The added dynamic of Israeli settlers armed with pistols and/or automatic guns is another life threatening risk against the Palestinian civilian population.

Two of these three young Palestinian men allegedly attacked settlers nearby their hometowns, and as a result, were shot dead by the Israeli forces. We would like to explore the complexities of violence, and the power imbalances which are at play here in occupied Palestine. This will be done through exploring the deaths of these three young men, and the contexts of which they came from.

Ahmad Nasser Jarrar, 22, — killed in Ya’moun (near Jenin)
Rabbi Shevach, a settler from the illegal outpost of Havat Gilad, was shot and critically wounded while driving his car on the 9th January 2018. Shevach was rushed to hospital, where upon arrival resuscitation attempts failed and he was pronounced dead.

The IOF accused Ahmad Jarrar of shooting Shevach and conducted a manhunt, lasting a month. This resulted in collectively punishing a whole community, including raiding homes and the killing of two other Palestinian men.

On the night of the 17th January, in the search for Jarrar, the IOF raided the Wadi Burqin neighborhood, near Jenin. During this raid, Jarrar’s cousin, Ahmad Ismail Jarrar, in a case of mistaken identity, was killed by the IOF. His body was taken by the IOF and has, still not been returned to his family. Which is a punishment often used by the IOF. This interferes and prevents the Islamic funeral customs from taking place. In align with Islamic practice, bodies should be buried within 24 hours.

The second man Ahmad Samir Mahmoud Ubeid, 18 years old, was murdered on the 3rd February 2018, during a subsequent raid in the eastern area of Burqin. On this day Israeli soldiers were shooting sound grenades and live ammunition from the rooftops whilst hunting for Ahmad Nasser Jarrar. Ubeid was shot in the head with live ammunition and he died later that day.

During this month Israeli forces demolished Ahmad’s home and two other homes in the area, again collectively punishing Ahmad’s family.

The murder of Rabbi Shevach, who was simply driving his car when shots were fired at him, is a devastating death. The response to this death was one of collective punishment, illegal under international law.

Khalid Tayeh, 22, — killed in Nablus
Itamar Ben Gal died from knife wounds, sustained from an attack allegedly by a Palestinian, outside the illegal settlement of Ariel, on the 29th January 2018.

The IOF invaded the northern area of Nablus, with undercover forces surrounding two homes as they sought to locate and arrest the suspect. Unable to arrest the wanted suspect, Israeli forces arbitrarily abducted seven other Palestinians for this investigation.

In response to the raids and manhunt taking place in Nablus by the IOF, a demonstration was held on the 9th February 2018. This was met with Israeli forces shooting tear gas, sound grenades and live ammunition at the demonstrators. Khalid Tayeh, 22, was killed during this clash when Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at his chest. He died from the wounds in Al-Najah hospital. The Palestinian Health Ministry identified 110 Palestinian injuries, 32 with live ammunition, from this incident.

On 18th March 2018, after a six week manhunt, the alleged suspect of Itamar’s murder was arrested in Nablus. Abed al-Karim Adel Assi, 19 years old, was arrested in a joint operation of the Shin Bet (Israeli security forces) and the counter-terrorism unit. In response to Adel Assi’s, arrest Israeli defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman said “Let every murderous terrorist know we will get to him and settle the score with him. ” He then congratulated the security forces for their intelligence operation.

Hamzi al-Zama’ri, 19, — killed outside illegal settlement Karmei Tzur
Hamzi spent 14 months in Israeli military prisons back in 2015. At 16 he was subjected to imprisonment under the Israeli military prison system. Though a child under international law, Israel regards Palestinians as adults from the age of 12, under their military law. While any crime committed by an Israeli is tried under the Israeli civilian law, and Israelis are not considered adults until 18 years of age.

In the early hours of the morning on the 6th February 2018, Hamzi drove up to the settlement of Karmei Tzur and opened the door of the security booth and lightly wounded one of the security guards in the palm of his hand. This Israeli security guard tried to push him off and a second security guard shot Hamzi, resulting in his death.

Later that same day, Hamzi’s family home was violently invaded and searched, and Israeli forces arrested Hamzi’s father during this raid. After his father’s release two of Hamzi’s brothers were interrogated in Etzion military base. Israeli forces threatened to demolish their family home. Hamzi’s body was taken by the military after his murder and was only released to the family on the 16th March 2018, five weeks later.

The Palestinian community of HalHul protested the death of Hamzi and were met with dozens of live bullets and rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas fired by Israeli forces. 29 Palestinians were shot by live bullets and three were additionally beaten by clubs and batons.

Hamzi was the third to be killed in 24 hours.

Compared to the case of Hamzi’s death, the treatment of Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, who executed Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, was starkly different. Adbel, who was already wounded on the ground, was shot in the head and killed by Elor, in Tel Rumeida, al-Khalil, on 24 March 2016. Elor was found guilty of manslaughter, initially given an 18-month jail-time sentence, but this past week on March 9th, 2018, the Israeli forces Parole Board ordered that Elor will be released on 10th May 2018, serving a total of nine months.

Was Elor’s family home raided?; his father arrested?; his brothers interrogated?; was the community invaded, tear gassed or experience heightened security as authorities tried to find the perpetrator? The perpetrator was known, and he was and continues to be protected and celebrated.

Similarly, with the case of the Israeli settlers setting fire to the Dawabsha family home in Duma village, murdering an 18-month-old child, both parents, and leaving four-year-old Ahmed critically burnt. Whilst in this case the perpetrators were taken to court and charged with murder. No retribution and no collective punishment took place against their families or their communities. No tear gas or live ammunition was fired, and no homes were demolished.

Over the first three months of 2018, 20 Palestinians (six of whom were children) and four Israelis have been killed. Below are the names of people killed this year, as of March 18th 2018. CPTs thoughts are with the families and friends of those killed.

Israelis killed
1. Raziel Shevach, 35, killed on January 9th after a Palestinian man shot him as he was driving.
2. Itamar Ben Gal, 29, killed after a Palestinian stabbed him outside the illegal settlement of Ariel.
3. Ziv Daus, 21, killed when an automobile collided into him and another solider when staffing a road block near Barta’a village.
4. Netanel Kahalani, 20, killed when an automobile collided into him and another solider when staffing a road block near Barta’a village.

Palestinians killed
1. Mos’ab Tamimi, 17, killed on January 3rd when Israeli soldiers shot him in the neck with a live bullet.
2. Rami Issa Ismael, 38, killed on January 5th when an Israeli settler bus ran him over.
3. Ali Omar Qeino, 16, killed on January 11th when an Israeli solider fired live ammunition, shooting Ali in the head.
4. Amir Abu Mosa’ed, 16, killed on January 11th by soldiers after they shot live ammunition at protests, shooting Amir in the chest, in Boreij refugee camp, in Gaza.
5. Ahmad Abdul-Jaber Salim, 28, killed on January 15th after Israeli soldiers shot him in the head.
6. Ahmad Ismail Jarrar, 31, killed on January 17th by Israeli soldiers.
7. Laith Abu Na’im, 16, killed on January 30th by Israeli soldiers who shot him in the head with live ammunition.
8. Ahmad Abu ‘Obeid, 19, killed on February 3rd, after Israeli soldiers shot him in the head with live ammunition.
9. Ahmad Nasr Jarrar, 22, killed on February 5th after Israeli soldiers shot him with live ammunition.
10. Khaled Waleed Tayeh, 22, killed on February 6th, after Israeli soldiers shot him in the chest with live ammunition.
11. Hamza Yousef Zama’ra, 19, killed on February 6th after he was shot by an Israeli security guard.
12. Abdullah Ayman Irmeilat, 15, killed on February 17th, after an Israeli airstrike and artillery shelling in Shokah village, east of Rafah, Gaza.
13. Salem Mohammad Sabbah, 17, killed on February 17th, after an Israeli airstrike and artillery shelling in Shokah village, east of Rafah, Gaza.
14. Ahmad Mohammad Abu Hilo, 19, killed on February 21, after suffering from gunshot wounds when Israeli soldiers opened fired at Palestinians, shooting Mohammed.
15. Yassin Omar Saradeeh, 33, killed on February 22, after Israeli soldiers shot him, and repeatedly beat him as he was lying on the ground.
16. Ismael Saleh Abu Ryala, 18, killed by Israeli forces on February 25th, after Israeli forces fired live ammunition at his fishing boat, while he was fishing.
17. Mohammad Ata AbuJame, 59, killed when Israeli forces shot him as he was working on his land in Khan Younis, Gaza strip.
18. Mahmoud Zein al-Ja’bari, 24, killed by Israeli forces when they shot him three times during a clash in al-Khalil.
19. Ameer Omar Shehada, 22, killed after Israeli soldiers shot him in the chest in the village of Orif, south of Nablus.
20. Abdul-Rahman Bani Fadel, 28, killed after Israeli soldiers shot him in Jerusalem for an alleged stabbing.

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