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Eyewitness account of Israeli soldier killing Palestinian judge reveals barbarity of occupation

Israel/Palestine
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Raed Zuaiter lying dead at the Allenby Bridge on March 10.

Raed Zuaiter lying dead at the Allenby Bridge on March 10.

Raed Zuaiter, a 38 year-old Palestinian judge residing in Jordan was returning home to Palestine on March 10, 2014. While crossing at the Allenby Bridge border into the West Bank, he was shot and killed by an Israeli soldier. Published accounts of the incident first characterized Dr. Zuaiter – he had a doctorate in International Law – as a “terrorist” who threatened Israeli security personnel.

Soon after the initial blame the victim narrative was released, the “terrorist” descriptor was dropped and Israel issued its “regrets”.

The shooting – and killing – of unarmed Palestinians by Israeli soldiers has recently garnered wide-spread and much-needed international attention.  Raed Zuaiter’s death took place during a particularly violent week. The New Internationalist reported that 6 Palestinians (including Dr. Zuaiter) were killed that week alone.

Focusing on a broader time-frame, Amnesty International released it’s report, “Trigger Happy: Israel’s Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank” in February of this year. AI documented the death of 22 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank last year, in what was described as a ” harrowing patterns of unlawful killings” by Israeli forces.

An investigation by the independent Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq describes in detail the killing of the judge  – going so far as to echo Amnesty’s report, in concluding that the IDF “intended” to kill the unarmed and innocent Dr. Zuaiter.

While journalists can file emotionally detached reports, the enormous tragedy of living life under occupation is searingly portrayed by this eye-witness account. Sadly for the young  Palestinian woman who shares her hideous experience, these traumatic occurrences happen far too frequently.

I was planting olive trees in Palestine last month as a way of both expressing solidarity with the Palestinian farmers and landowners, and to lower the likelihood of settler and IDF-mediated violence. The idea is that camera-toting internationals deter occupation forces from aggressing against Palestinians working in their fields. Astoundingly, troops in jeeps and full military gear appeared at each field within ten minutes of our arrival. Some days went  smoothly. Others proved more challenging.

Earlier today, I received an email forwarded to me from a British member of our olive tree planting group. The email is written by one of two Palestinian women who had stayed in London last week as part of a cultural exchange mission. The email describes the ordeal upon returning to the West Bank. The shocking reality of military occupation is told in the heart-breaking way that only a local eye-witness can.

Here is how she experienced events at the border crossing on that March 10, 2014:

Dear all,

First of all I’d like to thank all this kind people who gave me the chance to represent my community from Sawahra/ Palestine & special thanks for my British friends who hosted me & my colleges generously at their homes during our visit to the UK, I really felt like I was with my family which support us as a Palestinian women & increases our  determination to keep struggling towards our rights of freedom, but unfortunately that nice dream where we live in peace & safety for 10 memorable days ended up with KILLING & BLOOD, in our way back to Palestine it was about 8:30am when we were passing the first check point before we move into the Israeli borders, everything was going as normal ( the security check) that we used to face every time we return back to Palestine, until I heard the people screaming (Ohhhh God he killed him)I stand up in the bus horrified & I saw a humanness [ I assume she means “inhuman”]

Israeli guard pointing his gun against poor Palestinian man in his 38th years, & his only guilt to be killed was just because he told the Israeli soldier do not insult me, he was just smoking out the bus & the soldier pushed him cruelly so once he said no for that he killed him as if he is killing an animal , I saw his hand it didn’t shake at all while he was killing that poor man with out any mercy, who is the only son for his family & who didn’t enter Palestine for 3 years ago to return on that day Monday 10th Mar killed on the hands of those who never been humans, after all that they pulled him on the ground from his legs away & they ignored him for more than half an hour they left him bleeding with the blood almost covered all his body till he left the life.

what is killing me is that we all were not capable of doing nothing, he was breathing but, even we were not allowed to cry, after that they covered his body as if nothing happened & we were arrested for more than 2 hours standing on our legs under the sun, no bathrooms no phones no passports or ids, even money, there was children who started crying of being hungry. there were pregnant womens & they even didn’t care, they forced us to leave our belongings in the bus & suddenly we found dogs & hundreds of male guards surrounded us with their guns, for unknown reason they killed the poor man & they insulted us as well with no guilt.

after 4hours of being arrested under the sun they asked us to move our bags from that bus to another by ourself, then they told in silly way that they will bomb that criminals bags as they claimed so no need to fear. finally they moved us to the investigating hall where we spent more 5 hours wishing to investigate each person individually. I cried lots it was like you are watching a horror movie. then I passed the body check they asked me to take off my hijab. then once I entered the investigator room after long hours of sticking on chair waiting, he took my personal information & he asked me in silly way, “what did you see” where was your seat in the bus” who was setting next to that criminal in the bus” what did the people say????? This is the real injustice where the Palestinian people face always, once I returned home I was shocked & I said none just crying for the whole night for our conditions.

I just want you all my dears to spread this email as much as u can to let the whole world understand the reality of those killers , to decide who injustice who in Palestine & how.

Thanks for everything, WS

And our Governments support this barbarity unconditionally?

John Max Soos
About John Soos, PhD

John Soos, PhD is a Vancouver-based Palestine solidarity activist and clinical & peace psychologist. With a longstanding interest in the psycho-spiritual benefits of pilgrimage, he initially travelled to the Holy Land on a pilgrim. Once there, it didn't take long for him to see that the sacred landscape had been transformed by a ruthless military occupation into a scared and scarred landscape. Ending the occupation to help heal the ongoing psychological trauma of living life under military rule is now the focus of his practice.

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17 Responses

  1. seafoid
    seafoid
    March 21, 2014, 12:20 pm

    Trigger happy and the lies.

    Just like Trudell wrote about life for native Americans in the US

    “They lie to us and then they lie to themselves about lying to us”

    They said the deceased ran to the soldier screaming allahu Akbar.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.579084

    “A preliminary investigation into Monday’s killing of a Jordanian judge at the Allenby crossing suggests the man ran toward an Israeli soldier screaming “Allah hu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is great”) and tried to steal his weapon, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
    The army announced Tuesday morning the results of the preliminary investigation into the death of Raed Zueter, based on dozens of eye witnesses who were questioned by the Shin Bet security service and Israeli Police.
    According to the IDF, soldiers at the crossing said that when they felt their lives were in danger, they shot toward the lower part of the Jordanian man’s body. After he was hit in the leg, Zueter attacked the soldier with an iron rod, at which point they shot again, causing his death, the army said, adding that it would continue investigating the incident. ”

    It’s always the same. Come up with some BS then when attention has moved elsewhere issue a correction.

    But the absolute depth of Israeli callousness was when a severely injured Palestinian was denied entry to a prison hospital in Israel and abandoned to die by the side of a road.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.577368‎

    “Abu Jariban, 35, who was in Israel illegally, had crashed in a car he had stolen on Highway 6, been hospitalized and subsequently handed over to the Rehovot police. When the police tried to turn the injured detainee over to the Israel Prison Service, they were turned down due to what the prison service said was a lack of space in their medical facility.
    Yakutieli, together with a policewoman, Libat Kawi, and a volunteer policeman, left Abu Jariban at the side of Highway 443, near the Ofer army base and the Atarot crossing point, where he was subsequently found dead. ”

    The good Samaritan must have been away on IDF duty

    • lonely rico
      lonely rico
      March 22, 2014, 3:21 am

      @ seafoid

      According to the IDF, soldiers at the crossing said that when they felt their lives were in danger, they shot toward the lower part of the Jordanian man’s body. After he was hit in the leg, Zueter attacked the soldier with an iron rod, at which point they shot again, causing his death, the army said, adding that it would continue investigating the incident. ”
      It’s always the same. Come up with some BS …

      From Ma’an News Agency –

      Of course much of the speculation as to what happened and when could easily be put to rest if footage from the most camera-covered spot at the bridge (the first few meters into the Israeli controlled area) is made available. But alas, the camera is now said to have been inoperative that day. How convenient.

      But there is a tiny fact that is hard to refute. How did the bus carrying Zuaiter enter the Israeli occupied territories. A metal bar and four metal pistons make it impossible for any vehicle to enter until someone presses a remote-controlled button. The buttons are located in a windowless room with lots of cameras that show the operators who is coming, what license plate they hold and so on.

      I weep with and for WS and the Palestinians.

  2. mikeo
    mikeo
    March 21, 2014, 12:49 pm

    It was reported in my local paper The Hackney Gazette:

    Hasbara don’t fly here folks…

    Palestinian women’s Hackney visit ends in tragedy

    Four Palestinian women who visited Hackney to discuss human rights experienced a tragic end to their trip, when Israeli soldiers shot dead a judge travelling on the same bus as them.

    Dr Fadwa Allabadi, Dalia Abufanouneh, Bisan Mansour and Nawal Tarteer stayed with host families in Hackney and attended a number of events in the week leading up to International Women’s Day on March 8.

    But the women’s homecoming turned to tragedy last Monday, when the bus they were travelling home to Palestine from Jordan was stopped at the Allenby Bridge Jordanian-Israeli frontier.

    A Palestinian-Jordanian judge, 38-year-old Raed Zeiter, was taken off, shot and killed by Israeli soldiers.

    Sally Haywill of the Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association (CADFA), which arranged the trip, said the women are in deep shock.

    “The Hackney hosts had said goodbye to their guests at the weekend, never dreaming that the women would be undergoing such shocking experiences so soon,” she said.

    “The summary shooting and killing of the judge vividly emphasized something of the grim reality of the women’s daily lives that they tried to convey in their visit, including the routine abuse of human rights by the Israeli government.”

    The women’s schedule included visits to local the Claudia Jones Organisation, a group which supports women and families of African Caribbean heritage in Stoke Newington.

    At BSix Sixth Form College in Kenninghall Road, Upper Clapton they spoke to a room packed full of students and staff about the hardships they suffer at the hands of the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

    And on Friday the women along with 11 other visiting Palestinian women were guests of honour at a fundraising evening at the Turkish Halkevi Centre in Dalston attended by over 150 people.

    Over £1,000 was raised towards the costs of their trip to raise awareness of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    The Israeli military claimed troops opened fire on Mr Zeiter after he tried to snatch a weapon from one of its soldiers.

    But the Palestinian Authority and Jordan strongly condemned the incident and demanded an international investigation.

    All the passengers on the bus were subjected to intimate body searches and were held at the crossing for about 12 hours.

    Around 200 people demonstrated outside the Israeli embassy in Amman, demanding the Jordanian government expel the Israeli ambassador.

  3. joecatron
    joecatron
    March 21, 2014, 1:00 pm

    As a matter of style, I’m not at all sure about referring to a “Palestinian judge” who was a Palestinian, and a judge, but not a judge in a Palestinian court.

  4. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    March 21, 2014, 1:04 pm

    Phil et al. This story reminds me that there is a public in Europe (and elsewhere) and that we, in the USA, should be aware of the stories being published elsewhere. Do “people” in Europe “know” more about I/P than “people” in the USA “know”? (All the quote-marks because, of course, the totality of the people never know the totality of the facts, but in the US there is very little totality either way. I hope it is better elsewhere. and I’d like to know.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 21, 2014, 6:36 pm

      @ pabelmont
      If you look at the polls in Europe assessing POV on Israel, and compare them to the polls in the USA on the same subject, it’s really hard not to conclude that the average European knows much more about Israel and its conduct than the average American.
      It’s interesting to see, as to this subject, just how blinkered the US main media and government keeps the US sheeple. Irony is the US is homeland of the First Amendment securing free speech, the Press as the 4th Estate, and separation of religion and state. In my lifetime there’s been an enormous change in US culture and, since 9/11 the curbing of traditional American values is gigantic.

  5. American
    American
    March 21, 2014, 1:38 pm

    sigh…..when is everyone going to accept that the only ‘cure’ for Zionist is putting them in the hospital for a sufficient length of time to contemplate the error of their ways.
    They aren’t going to reform…..and furthermore even if that was possible they don’t deserve any more time allowed for them to change themselves.
    They’re killers. Their time should be up.
    Israel isn’t worth one more Palestine life…..or anyone’s life.

  6. Chu
    Chu
    March 21, 2014, 2:38 pm

    “Israeli guard pointing his gun against poor Palestinian man in his 38th years, & his only guilt to be killed was just because he told the Israeli soldier do not insult me, he was just smoking out the bus & the soldier pushed him cruelly so once he said no for that he killed him as if he is killing an animal , I saw his hand it didn’t shake at all while he was killing that poor man with out any mercy…after all that they pulled him on the ground from his legs away & they ignored him for more than half an hour they left him bleeding with the blood almost covered all his body till he left the life.”

    There it is. If this were a story about a Jew in the concentration camps and the SS guard did this, it would be made into a big screen Hollywood film and all the critics would praise the film and excoriate the evils of the SS. Terribly sad how hypocrisy rules in the Israel narrative, and this man -this judge, is left to sit there on the road and bleed out.

    The world knows what is happening and it’s why Israel is so despised by the world. But Zionists can’t see beyond the bubble. I dare Brian Lehrer of NPR (or any other coward) to report on this story. He won’t because he carries the water for Israel, while claiming to be a liberal (the US version of liberal).

  7. just
    just
    March 21, 2014, 3:34 pm

    “Israeli guard pointing his gun against poor Palestinian man in his 38th years, & his only guilt to be killed was just because he told the Israeli soldier do not insult me, he was just smoking out the bus & the soldier pushed him cruelly so once he said no for that he killed him as if he is killing an animal , I saw his hand it didn’t shake at all while he was killing that poor man with out any mercy, who is the only son for his family & who didn’t enter Palestine for 3 years ago to return on that day Monday 10th Mar killed on the hands of those who never been humans, after all that they pulled him on the ground from his legs away & they ignored him for more than half an hour they left him bleeding with the blood almost covered all his body till he left the life. ”

    I feel sick all the way to my core. I’ve been wondering where the video is– you know the one that Israel is hiding. Now I never have to see it with my own eyes…I’ve seen it through her horrified and weeping eyes.

  8. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    March 21, 2014, 3:41 pm

    The fact that this cold-blooded murder isn’t front page news in the US demonstrates conclusively the degree to which the zionists have a lock on the American media. It’s disgusting that the acts of these idf barbarians are never exposed in the American media. Damn them for their cowardice and complicity.

    • American
      American
      March 21, 2014, 4:32 pm

      Did Rachel Corrie ever make the msm news? Did Triston Anderson?
      The last time Israelis murdering anyone made the news in the US was the USS Liberty—and it only made the news then because not even the press could cover it up.

    • Erasmus
      Erasmus
      March 21, 2014, 6:25 pm

      Re: ….It’s disgusting that the acts of these idf barbarians are never exposed in the American media. Damn them for their cowardice and complicity.

      YES -indeed.
      This murder at Allenby Bridge has neither been reported in any media here in Germany. That is routine cowardice of our journalists!! Well established.

      Instead, the German Foreign MinisterSteinmeier condemned in strongest terms, the Qassam rockets from Gaza which did not hurt anyone and had been launched as a retaliation to prior Idf -killings of three Gazans, and three other killings of Palestinians in the West Bank within a time-period of 24 hours only.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 21, 2014, 6:40 pm

      We get all da news gud fer yuze.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    March 21, 2014, 5:11 pm

    RE: “Eyewitness account of Israeli soldier killing Palestinian judge [Raed Zuaiter] reveals barbarity of occupation”

    FACEBOOK GROUP:
    Fundraiser For Our Dear Friend Raed Zuaiter’s Family
    LINK – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1473945779488370/

  10. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 21, 2014, 6:42 pm

    Jordan Times
    m.jordantimes.com
    Eyewitness says Israeli army lying, judge did not try to seize soldier’s gun 11 Mar 2014 3:16 PM by Omar Obeidat | AMMAN –– The Jordanian judge who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on Monday on the King Hussein Bridge crossing did not try to seize the gun of a soldier as Israelis claim, an eyewitne…

  11. thankgodimatheist
    thankgodimatheist
    March 22, 2014, 3:00 am

    See how the story is spun here and more importantly read, if you can stomach, the psychopaths’ comments on it and you’ll get more understanding, if needed, of the mental illness gripping this country.
    http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/12062/terrorist-shot-dead-border-crossing-attacking-soldier/

  12. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    March 24, 2014, 1:26 pm

    ” I heard the people screaming (Ohhhh God he killed him)I stand up in the bus horrified & I saw a humanness [ I assume she means “inhuman”]”

    This is hearsay, not an eyewitness account to the homicide.

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