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Israeli soldiers shoot and kill a disabled Palestinian man on International Day of Disabled Persons

Israel/Palestine
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Israel, along with the rest of the world, commemorated International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Monday, December 3rd, by promising greater integration of the country’s 1.5 million disabled citizens, and holding different activities in parks across the country to show off it’s handicap-accessible pathways and lookout points.

As Monday’s activities came to a close, just across the Green Line in the northern occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem, Israeli forces shot and killed a disabled Palestinian man in the back of his head.

It was around 2am when Israeli forces raided Tulkarem city, near the coffee shop where 22-year-old Muhammad Ihbali worked. He usually left work late, after the young men who frequent the shops finished their card games.

According to an Israeli army spokesperson, Israeli forces were conducting a “search and arrest operation” in the area — a near nightly practice for soldiers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, that often provoke confrontations with local Palestinian youth.

The army claimed that when it began firing live fire at youth, they were merely practicing “riot dispersal methods” and “responding to the threat” of Palestinian youth who were throwing rocks at the soldiers

But videos published on social media of that night show Ihbali walking a distance away from the alleged riot, his back turned to soldiers, when he suddenly falls down, face first into the pavement.

His family, who says he had a mental disability, told Middle East Eye that he was shot in his head, and succumbed to his wounds shortly after he arrived to the hospital.

Hundreds of mourners marched through the streets of the Tulkarem Refugee Camp, where Ihbali lived with his family, on Tuesday morning and laid the young man to rest.

He was the 28th Palestinian to have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the start of 2018, according to UN documentation. In Gaza, at least 171 Palestinians have been killed since the Great March of Return began on March 30th.

Ihbali was one of at least five Palestinians with mental or physical disabilities killed by Israel over the past year.

On December 15, 2017, during massive protests in Gaza against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Israeli forces shot a paraplegic Palestinian man in the head, killing him. The wheelchair-ridden man, 29-year-old Ibrahim Abu Thurayya, lost both his legs during Israel’s 2008 offensive on Gaza.

On March 9th, Israeli forces shot and killed 24-year-old Mohammad Zain al-Jabari during clashes in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Reports at the time said he had a mental disability that resulted in a speech impediment. He was survived by his wife and four-year-old child.

On April 21, three weeks after the Great March of Return had began, an Israeli sniper shot and killed 25-year-old Ahmed Nabil Aqel, who was reportedly physically disabled and walked using crutches, along the Gaza border.

On May 15th, another double leg amputee in a wheelchair, 30-year-old Fadi Abu Salah, was killed by Israeli forces along the Gaza border. His legs were severely injured in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza in 2008, forcing doctors to amputate them.

Additionally, Gaza Health Ministry reports have put the number of Palestinians injured by Israel in the Great March of Return in the thousands, at least 68 of whom have had one or both of their legs amputated.

According to UN documentation, over 1,400 Palestinians injured during the Great March of Return “may suffer long-term disability” as a result of Israeli gunfire.

Those that have suffered amputation will face additional challenges, as the Israeli siege on Gaza makes it difficult to import the necessary materials for making prosthetic limbs. Those that are available, are typically too expensive for the average Gazan family, or are too poorly made to even be functional.

In the West Bank, rights groups have even accused Israeli forces of intentionally disabling Palestinian youth in West Bank refugee camps by shooting them in their knees.

Israeli forces have been heavily criticized for what rights groups have referred to as “extrajudicial executions” and excessive use of force against Palestinians — especially youth and children — who did not pose an immediate threat or who could have been disarmed through non-lethal means, particularly during clashes.

yumnapatel
About Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is a multimedia journalist based in Bethlehem, Palestine. Follow her on Twitter at @yumna_patel

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10 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    December 5, 2018, 12:44 pm

    Israel … commemorated International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Monday, December 3rd …

    As Monday’s activities came to a close, just across the Green Line in the northern occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem, Israeli forces shot and killed a disabled Palestinian man in the back of his head. ..

    And why not? As any Zionist can tell you, the “Jewish State” of Israel is a “moral beacon”, a “light unto the nations” and a “progressive paradise” and that’s exactly the sort of thing such a state would do.

    What’s that? It wouldn’t? Oh.

    Well, as any Zionist can tell you, the “Jewish State” of Israel isn’t quite as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali, African “hellholes”, 19th-century America, China, etc.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      December 6, 2018, 9:24 am

      @eljay, et al

      1.
      https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/video-israeli-soldiers-shoot-palestinian-behind

      Short Video: “Israeli soldiers shoot Palestinian from behind,” Electronic Intifada, Nov. 4/18 – by Maureen Clare Murphy

      EXCERPT:
      “Israeli occupation forces shot and killed a Palestinian man during a raid on the West Bank city of Tulkarm on Tuesday, [Dec. 4/18.]

      “The Israeli military claimed that its forces opened fire during ‘a violent riot … in which dozens of Palestinians hurled rocks.’

      “However security camera footage appears to show that Muhammad Habali, 22, was shot while he was walking away from the direction of the soldiers’ fire and posed no conceivable threat to anyone:

      LINK TO VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=HjfzPgVtzwM

      2.
      https://www.juancole.com/2018/12/violence-palestinians-november.html

      Informed Comment by Juan Cole

      “Israel Violence spikes as it Kills 24, injures 232 Palestinians in November” Maan News Agency, Dec. 5/18

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — “A total of 24 Palestinians have died and 232 others were injured in the month of November from Israeli army-related attacks, according to a report, on Monday. The International Relations Department in the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) reported that 21 Palestinians have died in the besieged Gaza Strip and three in the occupied West Bank.

      “The report said Israeli forces shot and killed seven Palestinians during an army operation in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, while another eight were killed during Israeli airstrikes that lasted for three days over the Strip. The rest succumbed to injuries sustained during protests along the Gaza border with Israel, where most of the injuries were sustained either from live ammunition or tear-gas inhalation. The report continued, in the West Bank, three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces in alleged stabbing or car-ramming attacks.

      “The report also said that the Israeli army detained more than 260 Palestinians in November, mostly minors. The report mentioned that among those detained were the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, and many Fatah movement activists in Jerusalem, who were later released after being placed under house arrest for several days, posting bail and being banned entry to the West Bank.

      “Israeli authorities also demolished dozens of Palestinian buildings, including 16 shops and a four-storey building with 12 apartments in Shufat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, in addition to several other buildings and Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem neighborhoods and in Area C of the West Bank. In addition, Israeli settlers uprooted and cut down a number of trees in the West Bank, mainly olive trees, a main source of livelihood for Palestinians, in November as the Israeli army ordered farmers to uproot 260 olive trees in the village of Bardala, in the northern Jordan Valley, and seized 500 palm trees in Jericho.”

  2. RoHa
    RoHa
    December 6, 2018, 12:07 am

    “As any Zionist can tell you, the “Jewish State” of Israel is a “moral beacon”, a “light unto the nations” and a “progressive paradise” and that’s exactly the sort of thing such a state would do.”

    Of course it is. It shows that Israel does not discriminate against the disabled. It is prepared to treat disabled Palestinians in exactly the same way as it treats the rest of the Palestinian community.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      December 6, 2018, 11:18 am

      @RoHa, et al

      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-icc-prosecutor-major-progress-toward-decision-about-investigating-gaza-w-bank-1.6721798

      Haaretz, Dec. 5/18 by Noa Landau

      “ICC [International Criminal Court] Prosecutor: ‘Significant Progress Toward Decision About Investigating Israeli Actions in Gaza, West Bank.’

      “Prosecutor’s Office notes allegations that Israel has been involved in demolishing Palestinian property and evicting Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem

      “The International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s Office said there was significant progress toward a decision on investigating Israeli actions in the West Bank and Gaza in a statement issued on Wednesday.”

      • annie
        annie
        December 6, 2018, 11:27 am

        misterioso, that’s code for ‘we still have not made up our minds’.

  3. Marnie
    Marnie
    December 6, 2018, 2:53 am

    I’m guessing the next ‘pride march’ be celebrated with ritual stoning of homosexuals.

    It’s always opposite day in ‘the nation-state of the jewish people’, the blight unto the nations.

  4. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    December 6, 2018, 7:30 am

    “The army claimed that when it began firing live fire at youth, they were merely practicing “riot dispersal methods” and “responding to the threat” of Palestinian youth who were throwing rocks at the soldiers”

    Ah so it started off as a a bit of routine most moral practice then. Using live fire perhaps to blood a few new Brooklynites.

    What vile repulsive ugly Fascists.

    Tick tick.

  5. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    December 6, 2018, 10:07 am

    Children, women, medical personnel, reporters and disabled people.

    Not killed as a byproduct of a battle (Collateral damage as a term is dehumanizing) but as a result of intentional targetting and orders.

    Truly the world’s most repugnant and immoral army.

    Motivated by the most repugnant and vile ideology. zionism.

    In fairness and balance there are equally vile ideologies in white supremacy and militant Islam for example. But zionism is no better than the worst of the worse.

  6. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    December 6, 2018, 1:07 pm

    @oldgeezer
    ” But zionism is no better than the worst of the worse”

    Sorry to disagree. They are by far the worst if only because of their tedious lying bulls..t about being the “only democracy” in the ME and the fact that they they continuously whinge and whine and moan about being the actual victims as they deliberately slaughter and maim innocent Palestinian men, women and children as well as activists,medics, aidworkers, journalists and just about any unfortunate non chosen who wanders into their line of fire.

    Discusting racist scum. A part of me wants to believe in hell if only in the hope that there is a specially nasty place reserved for them as reward for their “most moral” endeavours.

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