Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 July 2019

Israeli settlers executed a Palestinian man and the army covered it up, group says

Human rights organisation B’Tselem claims troops wiped CCTV footage and then claimed an attempted stabbing

Israeli soldiers check the site where a Palestinian man was killed after he reported tried to stab an Israeli driver at a junction south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank on April 3, 2019. AFP
Israeli soldiers check the site where a Palestinian man was killed after he reported tried to stab an Israeli driver at a junction south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank on April 3, 2019. AFP

A report has found that a Palestinian man accused of a stabbing attack was executed by Israeli settlers for throwing rocks in an incident the Israeli military then covered up by removing CCTV footage.

Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem on Sunday detailed how Muhammad Abd Al Fatah, 23, was throwing stones at Israeli cars before he was shot by a settler who pulled over near the town of Huwara in the occupied West Bank.

Al Fatah was crouching behind dumpsters when the settler left the car and approached him before firing several shots, wounding the Palestinian.

As he laid motionless on the side of the road, another settler got out of his vehicle and shot him again, killing him instantly.

Israeli soldiers who arrived at the scene tried to cover up the incident by erasing a video footage and claimed the man tried to stab someone in the northern West Bank.

The soldiers removed a crowd of Palestinians who had gathered so they could have the area to themselves.

“About eight soldiers went into two nearby shops to check their security cameras. They dismantled a DVR in one of the shops and left,” the report said.

“About 20 minutes later, the soldiers returned to the shop, reinstalled the DVR and watched the footage.

"Two soldiers filmed the screen with their mobile phones. They then erased the footage from the DVR and left.”

The Israeli troops did nothing to arrest the two settlers who shot the young Palestinian. The rights group identified the gunmen and said the military did not want to track them down.

B’Tselem said the military ensured “that the truth never comes to light and the shooters would not face any charges or be held accountable in any way”.

Since 2015, Palestinians have killed more than 50 Israelis in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks.

Israeli troops have killed more than 260 Palestinians in that same period.

Many attacks take place in or around Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.

Israel seized and occupied the West Bank in the 1967 War. It has gradually developed a network of illegal settlements that hold about 400,000 people.

The Palestinians seek the territory as part of a future sovereign state, but Israel says it will not allow a state on its borders.

Updated: April 16, 2019 03:43 AM

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