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‘Whitewash’: Israel closes investigations into three Palestinians killed in 2018

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The Israeli military has closed the case files of three Palestinians who were killed by its forces in 2018, prompting backlash from rights groups like B’Tselem who initially investigated the killings.

The Military Advocate General’s Corps (MAG Corps) closed the cases of three Palestinians who were killed in the occupied West Bank, which B’Tselem described as “unjustified.”

“Nevertheless, and even though the incidents should not have had fatal consequences – not even by the standards of military regulations – the very fact that investigations were undertaken has once again created an illusion of a functioning accountability apparatus,” B’Tselem said in a press release on Monday.

“At the end of the day, these belated so-called investigations, too, ended in whitewashing,” the group continued.

The cases in question were those of 17-year-old Ali Qinu from Iraq Burin (Nablus), 16-year-old Layth Abu Naim from al-Mughayyir (Ramallah) and 35-year-old Yassin al-Saradih from Jericho.

17-year-old Ali Qinu was shot in the head with live ammunition by soldiers who were sitting inside a military jeep (Photo: B’Tselem)

All three Palestinians were shot during January and February 2018. Qinu was shot in the head by Israeli forces from inside their jeep while Qinu and a group of young men threw stones at the vehicle.

B’Tselem emphasized that Israel’s open-fire regulations state that “shooting to kill is permitted only when the lives of security forces or other persons are in danger,” and that Qinu’s killing was “a far cry from meeting these criteria.”

16-year-old Layth Abu Naim was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet. (Photo: B’Tselem)

Abu Naim was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet from a distance of around 20 meters, critically injuring him. According to B’Tselem’s investigation, the Israeli soldiers responsible “left the scene without providing him any medical assistance.”

“Firing a rubber-coated metal bullet from a range of around 20 meters at the upper body could be lethal and is therefore expressly prohibited by the open-fire regulations,” the group noted.

In the case of al-Saradih, who was shot when he attempted to attack a group of soldiers with an iron bar, B’Tselem highlighted the fact that video evidence showed soldiers kicking and beating an injured al-Saradih as he lay injured on the ground.

The soldiers then dragged the man to a nearby alleyway and refused him medical assistance for over half an hour. “Withholding medical assistance and assaulting an injured person are illegal and violate basic moral norms,” the group said.

35-year-old Yassin al-Saradih was beaten and kicked by soldiers as he lay on the ground after being shot (Photo:B’Tselem)

“It is no accident that all three case files were closed,” B’Tselem said, saying the three cases were only a few of the hundreds that have been “whitewashed” over the years.

Qinu, Abu Naim, and al-Saradih were just three of 290 Palestinians killed by Israel in 2018, most of whom were “victims of a reckless open-fire policy,” B’Tselem reported at the time.

“The system does not truly seek to uncover the facts and promote justice for the victims,” the group continued. “Rather, it is primarily aimed at defending the perpetrators, while creating the illusion of a functioning system so as to deflect criticism.”

“It is the standard conduct of the military law enforcement system, based on the understanding that condoning – even implicitly – soldiers’ blatant breach of orders without holding anyone accountable is what allows the continued use of lethal force.”

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RIP to these 3 Palestinians. No justice is ever forthcoming from Israel~ ever. Not even a simple apology. Thank goodness for B’Tselem. Today is the 57th anniversary of a gruesome Israeli massacre of Palestinian civilians: “We’ll never forget October 1956 massacre, say Palestinians in Israel On 29 October 1956, Israeli border police carried out a massacre in the Palestinian village of Kafr Qassem, situated in the central district of present-day Israel. The massacre took place… Read more »

@Jon S
“Regarding the Kafr Qassem massacre, it’s not true that it’s not mentioned in Israeli schoolbooks. It certainly is mentioned and discussed in approved textbooks as a prime example of a blatantly illegal and immoral order which soldiers are not to obey”

References please ie titles of Israeli “approved” textbooks , chapters , sentences etc.

Ossinev, A standard Civics textbook, currently in use is “להיות אזרחים בישראל” (Being Citizens in Israel) published by the Min. of Ed. itself, 2016. The Kafr Qassem massacre is described and discussed p.242-243. I also checked an earlier version, published in 2001. The massacre appears p.217-218. The History textbook used in my school is “הלאומיות בישראל ובעמים-בונים מדינה במזה”ת” (Nationalism in Israel and among the Nations- Building a State in the Middle East), published by… Read more »

gamal,
As I recall (I can’t access my archive) I mentioned or recommended Benny Morris’ book . After which wj asked me if there’s any other book I would also suggest. That’s when I recommended Prof.Gelber, for a different approach. I certainly don’t agree with his right wing political views, but that doesn’t mean that his historical research has no value.