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Israeli police accuses Palestinian of causing death of brother-in-law shot dead by Israeli forces

Sept. 7, 2016 3:14 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 8, 2016 12:57 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Just a day after Israeli intelligence summoned the parents of Mustafa Nimir, who was shot dead by Israeli forces on Monday during a military raid on the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, to tell them that the 27-year-old was “killed by mistake,” an Israeli police spokesperson Wednesday announced that Mustafa’s brother-in-law 25-year-old Ali Tayser Nimir, who was shot during the incident, is suspected by Israeli police of causing Mustafa’s death.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Ali, who was driving the vehicle at the time and was detained by Israeli forces after being injured during the incident, was now being accused by Israeli police of “causing the death of the young man (Mustafa)” by driving negligently which prompted Israeli forces to open fire on the vehicle.

She added in the statement that the police and prosecution are accusing Ali of causing Mustafa’s death due to “negligence, driving without a driver's license, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and endangering the life of a human,” adding that the police are set to request that the Jerusalem magistrate court extend the remand of Ali again on Thursday.

Mustafa’s father, Talal, told Ma’an on Tuesday that Israeli intelligence summoned him and his wife to the Nabl Yaqoub police station in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina and informed the family that the police had launched an investigation into the incident, adding that Israeli police had found that Mustafa and his brother-in-law were not attempting to carry out an attack.

Israeli forces shot Mustafa dead and injured Ali when the two came under live fire while driving near clashes that erupted between local youth and Israeli soldiers during a military raid in Shufat refugee camp. The two were returning home after picking up food for their family.

Ali’s condition was initially reported as moderate and he was evacuated by Israeli ambulances to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Soon after, he was accused of driving without a license.

Israeli authorities claimed at the time of the incident that the driver of the vehicle attempted to run over Israeli police and border guard officers before they fired at the car -- a claim which family members and eye witnesses rejected.

According to Ma'an documentation, Nimir was the fourth resident of the Shufat refugee camp to have been killed by Israeli forces since October. Out of the four, two young men -- including Nimir -- were shot and killed after Israeli soldiers alleged they were attempting to commit an attack, while the other two -- Ahmad Salah and Wissam Faraj -- were killed during clashes with Israeli forces.

Israel has come under repeated criticism for failing to carry out due process in response to alleged and actual attacks, particularly in regard to the apparent extrajudicial executions of Palestinians who did not pose a threat when they were killed.

A number of Palestinians have killed under circumstances similar to Nimir's death, by coming under indiscriminate Israeli army fire while driving near to a military operation.

In late June, 15-year-old Mahmoud Raafat Badran was killed near Ramallah by Israeli soldiers after they "showered" the vehicle he was travelling in with live fire.

Though Israeli media first reported Badran as a "terrorist" who had been throwing stones, he was later revealed to be an innocent bystander to a nearby incident where pedestrian youth had been throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at passing vehicles.

Despite Israeli police later admitting to "mistakenly" killing the teenager who had nothing to do with the stone-throwing, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said: “If it were not for the difficult security situation, which is entirely the result of incitement and Palestinian terror, Israel would not be forced to use force in order to protect its civilians.”

In July, 22-year-old Anwar Falah al-Salaymeh was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the town of al-Ram in the West Bank district of Jerusalem, when he and two friends driving in the area stumbled upon an ongoing Israeli army raid in the area.

At the time, the army said that forces shot at a “speeding vehicle heading towards them,” killing al-Salaymeh and grievously injuring one of the two other Palestinians in the vehicle.

However, the surviving passengers in the car categorically denied that they had attempted to run over the soldiers, saying that they were heading to a bakery and had been unaware that Israeli forces were deployed in the area.

Rights groups have challenged Israel's narrative in the death's Badran's and al-Salaymeh's, asserting that their killings and scores of others by Israeli forces since last fall have amounted to “extrajudicial executions,” as they have been carried out even when there was no threat of immediate danger.

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