Video: Israeli police continue firing after Palestinian attacker is incapacitated

Israel/Palestine
on 14 Comments

Israeli police fired several rounds into an incapacitated Palestinian, killing him, after he stabbed officers near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate yesterday morning, lightly wounding two.

A team from Al Jazeera captured the killing as it unfolded in the background of their rolling cameras, astonished by the quantity of live-fire shot into the downed Palestinian.

“The scene was very disturbing. We narrowly escaped a barrage of fire from Israeli soldiers toward this young man,” Al Jazeera correspondent Elias Karam told his outlet.

“We were at the Damascus Gate to file a report for the network. As soon as we finished we turned and I saw Israeli soldiers firing toward the young man who tried to stab them,” Karam added.

The Palestinian, identified by Israeli police as 20-year old Mohammed Abu Khalaf from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kfar Aqab, attacked soldiers with a knife off-camera. The video picks up as Abu Khalaf is on the ground on the stone plaza outside of Damascus Gate. It is unclear if he is still armed, or was already fired upon. Two border police then continue to fire rounds into the Palestinian, shocking his body with the wave of bullets. 

The Times of Israel reported a 50-year old Palestinian woman was wounded from the spray of live-fire.

“The terrorist was neutralized,” Israeli Police spokesperson Luba Samri said in a statement. She also said that Abu Khalaf “carried out a stabbing attack, during which two Israelis were lightly injured.”

The knifing and subsequent killing comes after four months of increased violence in Israel and the West Bank, during which at least 27 Israelis have been killed in attacks and Israeli forces killed more than 160 Palestinians in attacks, attempted attacks and demonstrations.

Palestinian leaders have consistently referred to the killings of numerous attackers and attempted attackers as “executions” and have called for an international protection force monitor the situation in Jerusalem, similar to Hebron where a team of foreign observers are dispatched. As early as last October when tensions first surged, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat appealed “for international intervention to protect the occupied Palestinian people.”

The United Nations and human rights organizations have also criticized Israel for using excessive force.

“The upsurge in violence is a grim reminder of the unsustainable human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the volatile environment it engenders,” United Nations human rights investigator Makarim Wibisono said last month when the special rapporteur announced an inquiry into Israel’s use of force.

The call for reduced force has also seeped into the lexicon of the Israeli military.

On Thursday an Israeli general told high school students soldiers must practice restraint. “There is a 13-year-old girl who is holding scissors or a knife and there is a barrier between her and the soldiers, I wouldn’t want a soldier to open fire and empty a cartridge on a girl like that even if she commits a very serious act,” Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said.

The Washington Post’s William Booth and Ruth Eglash tabulated that the Damascus Gate has been the site of at least 15 attacks over recent months in a report this week on the Damascus Gate and its rising profile as a flashpoint of violence.

The Damascus Gate was until recently a vibrant meeting point for Palestinians, tourists, Israelis and Israeli settlers alike. The gate leads to a walkway to the Via Dolorosa, the ancient pathway where Christians believe Jesus walked before his crucifixion. The narrow cobblestone alley ways are marked by stations, or religious sites, where pilgrims are often seen chanting hymns. For Palestinians, the gate marks the entrance into the Muslim quarter and its bustling fruit and meat markets. Although over the past few months the bazaar has lost most of its foot traffic as travelers have veered away from the neighborhood, now regarded as a site of clashes and killings.

Palestinians too have stopped frequenting the Muslim Quarter and the Damascus Gate. They are fearful of the current climate, yet their concerns are over the increased presence of border police who frequently stop them and conduct searches.

One practical reason why the Damascus Gate has transformed from a hub of outdoor activity to the location of attacks against soldiers and settlers is because it doubles as a crossway between Palestinians and settlers. The main walk between the Gate and the holy shrines of the Old City—the Western Wall and the Noble Sanctuary—is dotted with Israeli settlements in the heart of the Muslim Quarter. Most are yeshivas, or religious schools. Settlers can be seen sauntering along the ancient stone streets accompanied by armed private Israeli security. 

The Damascus Gate is also symbolic as the site of the first attack that started the flare-up of tensions last October. Mohanned Halabi, 19, from the West Bank town of Surda outside of Ramallah, killed two Israelis and injured a third—a two year old—on October 3, 2015 near the Damascus Gate. He stabbed one and then took the gun of another, firing several shots before Israeli police killed him. 

Hours before the attack Halabi posted to social media “the third Intifada has started.” Palestinians heeded his call that a new uprising was already afoot, sparking protests that have continued to date. Other Palestinians followed Halabi in carrying out attacks on Israelis, a number of which have taken place a short walk from the location of the first killing. 

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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14 Responses

  1. K Renner
    February 21, 2016, 12:09 pm

    Imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth from these people if there was a video of Palestinian security officers double tapping an incapacitated “settler” or some IDF/Border Police?

    But again– these people are nothing if they’re not massive, ridiculous hypocrites when it comes to most every action that they carry out as far as the Palestinians are concerned.

    Also– we see what the Israeli standard for “terrorist” is– anyone who engages or attacks Israelis in any way, regardless of the fact of said Israelis being armed combatants and so legitimate targets militarily.

    Goes without saying as a result that the accusation of “terrorist” in this conflict is even more meaningless at this point.

    No doubt the apologists will have some excuse for this latest example of unjustifiable extrajudicial execution– shameless apologia regardless of the circumstances is their forte, after all.

    • Marnie
      February 22, 2016, 12:13 am

      I know. The soldiers, thankfully, were ‘lightly’ wounded and their attacker was used as a shooting gallery because, after all, according to hasbara central, he wasn’t even a human being, but a wild beast that wasn’t murdered, but put down. Needless to say, the IOF are ravenous beasts with the ability to use weapons of mass destruction. And netanyahu wants to double down and create a fortress enclosure, complete with these beasts.

      • K Renner
        February 22, 2016, 1:03 pm

        ” I know. The soldiers, thankfully, were ‘lightly’ wounded and their attacker was used as a shooting gallery because, after all, according to hasbara central, he wasn’t even a human being, but a wild beast that wasn’t murdered, but put down.”

        To a remotely sound mind, even if the attempted stabbing was unprovoked or otherwise due to some kind of petty motivation– ie. theft as opposed to an attempted to strike back at personnel belonging to a hostile and abusive occupying power– the Israeli “response” would be completely beyond the pale and otherwise would raise an outcry if it was anyone else doing it, due to how sickeningly over the top it is.

        However– and not to beat a dead horse– we’re not really dealing with sound minds, are we?

        These are people who’re notorious for going off in public about the Palestinian “animals” with little concern for how vile they end up looking (see the instance of the female Jewish doctor on the airplane back in 2014, ranting at some random Palestinian woman on the same flight).

        Demonization and dehumanization runs rampant when it comes to the non-liberal Zionist camp for sure. Even liberal Zionists aren’t immune to that sort of noxious hypocrisy (in tandem with whining about the “demonization” of Israelis and pro-Israel Jews, I mean).

        ” Needless to say, the IOF are ravenous beasts with the ability to use weapons of mass destruction. And netanyahu wants to double down and create a fortress enclosure, complete with these beasts. ”

        In the context of Palestine, and at least historically in Lebanon, they’ve proven themselves to be third rate soldiers running on the legacy of past Israeli victories, who’re enthusiastic about shooting first and asking questions never. People who show themselves to be the real child murderers. People who seem to have no problem with assaulting or severely beating the elderly or incapacitated cripples, as they’re “filthy Arabs” anyways.

        All this isn’t to say that there aren’t any people who go into the IDF that are “good” or at least half-decent people. But these people usually end up going to or trying to go to some watchdog group at the very least (or end up like Miko Peled, for example) if they don’t succumb to that particular IDF groupthink as far as the Palestinians as a people are concerned.

    • eljay
      February 22, 2016, 9:07 am

      || K Renner: Imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth from these people if there was a video of Palestinian security officers double tapping an incapacitated “settler” or some IDF/Border Police?

      But again– these people are nothing if they’re not massive, ridiculous hypocrites when it comes to most every action that they carry out as far as the Palestinians are concerned. … ||

      Zio-supremacists will tell you that:
      – Israel is a “moral beacon” and a “light unto the nations”;
      – Israel isn’t as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”; and
      – Jews are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

      It is therefore perfectly acceptable for heavily-armed Israeli goons to assassinate non-Jewish (alleged) criminals.

      Justice, accountability and equality? They’re just anti-Semitic.

  2. Blownaway
    February 22, 2016, 8:40 am

    Beyond the obvious horror of seeing a murder is the look of fear and confusion on the faces of the occupiers. Heavily armed and armored soldiers driven to fear and confusion by a single teen potentially armed with a knife.

  3. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    February 22, 2016, 10:30 am

    Not really on topic I know ( nowhere else to post) but did anyone see today’s ‘Guardian’ article about that paper’s coverage of Israel? Seems an Israeli embassy drone took issue with a single headline (not the substance of the article mind you) and the Guardian – which is very pro-Israel – was forced to defend itself. Actually, not forced, chose to do so.

    I do agree with the poster in the comments who said that it’s soon going to be the case where any time a mainstream newspaper or TV channel wants to do a report on Israel, they will send it to the Israeli embassy for pre-approval first. It really is heading in that direction, particularly with the proposed law to ban councils from participating in BDS.

  4. peanuts
    February 22, 2016, 9:11 pm

    Hey folks, just want to throw my hat in the ring. I have been reading Mondoweiss for… gosh must be going on six months now. Such concise articling, and amazingly eloquent conversation, I thought I would make an account and say hello. Possibly throw my two cents in every once and a while. Keep up the great work, thank you for doing what you do

    – a Canadian Peanut :)

    • Citizen
      February 23, 2016, 5:03 am

      Welcome, peanuts! How’s the Israel Lobby doing up there in Canada?

      • peanuts
        February 23, 2016, 6:04 pm

        Not very pretty, our own “Patriot Act” (though not nearly as malicious or all-incompassing) Bill C-13 can vaguely be interpreted as criminalizing speech critical of Israel. Also, the Libs and PC’s have agreed together to support an anti-BDS bill. This conflation of anti-Semitism, and criticality of an oppressive regime, raises my temperature and blood pressure.

        http://www.cjnews.com/news/canada/anti-bds-motion-backed-by-liberals-tories-in-parliament

        They can try and intimidate us, but they cannot silence us.

      • peanuts
        February 23, 2016, 7:55 pm

        Aaaaaaand the anti-BDS resolution has passed 229-51. just wow, not unexpected, still disappointing.

        http://en.cijnews.com/?p=27150

      • peanuts
        February 23, 2016, 8:14 pm

        edit: C-13 is the “hate speech” modification to the criminal code to include criticism of Israel as aforementioned. Bill C-51 is the all incompassing “Terror Bill”

  5. oldgeezer
    February 23, 2016, 9:25 pm

    @peanuts

    As you said, not unexpected but incredibly sad that free speech is trod on to support a human rights violating undemocratic regime. Zions money corrupts all it touches.

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