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Israel must hold 'independent' probe into West Bank killings
Published Friday 23/05/2014 (updated) 18/08/2014 13:08
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A screenshot from video footage showing the killing of two
Palestinian teenagers during a Nakba Day protest.(MaanImages/DCI)

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's military must open an independent, transparent investigation into the "unlawful" killing of two unarmed teenagers in the occupied West Bank last week, Amnesty International said Friday.

On May 15, unarmed teenagers Nadeem Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Abu Daher, 16, were shot dead by Israeli soldiers outside Ofer military base.

Video footage of the incident collected by Defense of Children International shows that the killings were "deliberate" and "unlawful," and the teenagers "were not posing any threat to the life of members of the Israeli forces or anyone else," Amnesty said this week.

Saleh Hijazi, a campaigner at Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa program, told Ma'an Friday that the killings were part of a pattern in which Israeli forces resort to "excessive violence" against Palestinians taking part in demonstrations in the West Bank.

"We have found that in the vast majority of cases, Israeli forces, including border police, immediately resort to excessive force when faced with Palestinian protesters."

In February, the group released a report entitled "Trigger-happy," which detailed that the "frequency" and "persistence" of excessive force against Palestinian protesters, and the impunity enjoyed by Israeli forces, suggested that arbitrary force was used as a "matter of policy."

Since April 2011, Israel has adopted a policy that requires the Military Advocate General Corps to instruct military police to investigate every case where a Palestinian not taking part in hostilities is killed by Israeli forces.

Israeli military police have since opened investigations into 24 Palestinians killed in 20 different incidents. Only one case has led to a conviction of wrongfully causing death.

In Dec. 2013, Israel's MAG Corps closed an investigation into the death of Mustafa Tamimi, who was killed in 2011 after an Israeli soldier fired a tear-gas canister at him from point-blank range, claiming the soldier did not see him.

Months earlier, Israel's army closed an investigation into the killing of Bassem Abu Rahmeh, 30, who died after being shot in the chest with a tear gas canister at close range, due to lack of evidence. Video footage captured the incident from three different angles.

Mustafa al-Tamimi, 28, was taking part in a Friday protest against
the wall in Nabi Saleh when he was hit in the face by the tear
gas canister, medics said.(AFP/Haim Schwarczenberg)

Army investigations require civilian oversight

"Unless you have an independent and transparent investigation into these violations, you won't reach even a small level of accountability for the perpetrators," Hijazi told Ma'an.

"An independent investigation means civilian oversight, not an army investigating itself."

In response to last week's killings, Israel's army said that the video footage was "edited" and said an initial check revealed no live fire was used.

"What they need to do instead of coming out with these statements is say: 'We have opened an investigation,'" Hijazi said.

"What we would expect is for Israeli investigators to say that they welcome all available material and will open an independent and transparent investigation, keeping the families informed as to when it will be concluded, instead of these excuses."

DCI-Palestine has said that it is happy to provide Israeli investigators with all the material they have collected, and there is likely more evidence the Israeli army could collect seeing as the incident took place near Ofer military jail, a highly secured area, Hijazi said.

Israel's army has also not refuted the authenticity of the video footage, even if they disputed the way it was edited, he added.

"Until now there has been a lack of independence and transparency (in investigations). Israel has a responsibility to make sure investigations are independent, they don't need to wait for someone to tell them or an international presence," Hijazi said.

"As a state, they have the responsibility and capability to do it themselves."

In 2013, 22 Palestinian civilians were killed in the occupied West Bank, at least 14 of them at protests.

Most were young adults under the age of 25 and at least four were children.
1 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
23/05/2014 19:50
That's like asking a serial killer to investigate his own killings. We all witnessed the investigations done by "Israel". Nothing happened, case closed, the victim was the blame. And when an independent person do the investigation (think Goldstone) US will veto the report. Why? US and "Israel" are alike, both stolen country's, both serial killers. ("Israel"blaming Palestinians, US blaming the Indians) Lets make some Wild "Israel" West movies.

2 ) Tibi / Tubas
23/05/2014 20:40
* VIOLENCE (Riots) BEGETS VIOLENCE (Shootings), and
- Israel must look-out for its own interests (security, prosperity, etc.),
rather than the "independent probe" that Amnesty International demands, so
- Amnesty or the PLO can hold their own "independent probe", with
pre-determined results, that will be just as internationally meaningless !!

3 ) Rondo Mondo / Canada
24/05/2014 14:44
Even the far left Israeli paper Haaretz understands that the video is faked. "There is no doubt that the film, directed and edited in Bitunia studios, deserved the best film award at the Cannes festival." The only investigation needed is into the people who faked the video.

4 ) Tobias / USA
24/05/2014 17:27
Amnesty Does Not Set Israel Policy, so Israel will "probe" if or how it choses !!

5 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
24/05/2014 19:51
Time for an interantional investigation into the killings of the Hatuel and Fogel families. time to find out which Palestinian commanders sent their men to kill innocent Israeli women and children. In the Hatuel case, Palestinian men shot and killed a baby girl at point blank range. In the Fogel case, Palestinian men shoved a big knife through a baby girl. Both cases were praised by the Palestinians as "resistance". Come on Charlie - past due for an investigation of these 2 war crimes.

6 ) Rami / Palestine
25/05/2014 09:49
#5 the difference between the killing above and the killing of the Fogel family is that the Fogels were killed by two men acting independently, whereas the IDF is acting on official policies set forth by the Israeli government and as such their actions are institutionalized and on par with the government's wishes making these murdered extremely reprehensible and in violation of international treaties & conventions signed by the state.

7 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
25/05/2014 23:56
No Rami, the difference is that Palestinian organizations like Hamas (remember, they won the election), Fatah and PIJ all had official institutionalized policies of deliberately murdering Israeli civilians. Hamas and PIJ still do. All three groups sent suicide bombers, and those were war crimes plain and simple. The ugliest example of reprehensible is how you Palestinians pay huge cash rewards to the same killers, then throw big parties for convicted killers when they are released as blackmail.

8 ) Rami / Palestine
26/05/2014 18:13
#7 Prove me wrong. Show facts or GTFO. Plain and simple.

9 ) ian / australia
27/05/2014 02:46
#5 "Time for an interantional investigation into the killings of the Hatuel and Fogel families. time to find out which Palestinian commanders sent their men to kill innocent Israeli women and children." Didn't the IDF already decide it was IJ leader Sheikh Khalil who ordered the Hatuel attack (as a reprisal for the assassinations of Sheikh Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi) and kill him from a helicopter? And as the shooters died on the spot what's left to investigate? (Though who gave the order

10 ) ian / australia
27/05/2014 02:47
(contd.) for the collective punishment at Khan Yunis refugee camp with demolitions leaving families homeless and lethal reprisals elsewhere could be looked into.) And it's well established the Itamar attack was a demented local affair with NO green light from any "Palestinian commanders", the attackers serving their five concurrent life sentences. So what are you talking about, Brian, beyond lashing out incoherently about this latest IDF outrage?

11 ) ian / australia
27/05/2014 02:47
#3 "The only investigation needed is into the people who faked the video." Really MR? Not a trip to Ramallah Hospital to examine the bullets? Or bodies? The knee-jerk impulse to deny what the video shows is taking bizarre forms: the shooters were Palestinians not IDF. It was an elaborate suicide mission with martyrs willing to die on film. The video is fake or doctored. But what sense does any of that make? If the teenagers are dead, and the video recorded their murders, why the need to fake

12 ) ian / australia
27/05/2014 02:48
(contd.) or "doctor" the footage? And if the film is fake, it wasn't necessary for anyone to die, so who was autopsied and buried? (Yossi Sarid in Haaretz seems to favour a bizarre "Weekend at Bernie's" scenario.) So, witness Rondo Mondo: flailing around desperately (like #5) in denial about how LITTLE conspiracy theories like the putrid Haaretz piece (complete with harrumphing from DM "Sgt. Bilko" Ya'alon and callous gags about “The Escapades of Little Mohammed al-Dura") hold up.

13 ) Rondo Mondo / Canada
30/05/2014 23:31
The youths in the video have masks on them. Therefore, they cannot be identified with the youths claimed to have been killed and delivered to the morgue. The extended tapes show that the killings on the tapes were fake. There is no entrance or exit wounds and no blood. Once the youths are removed there is no blood on the ground. Did two other youths die that day? Maybe, but they are not the ones on the tape. Were they shot by Israelis soldiers? Maybe or not and maybe or not justified.

14 ) Rondo Mondo / Canada
31/05/2014 00:35
continued. Why do Palestinians make fake videos? Propaganda. Palywood is part of the Palestinian delegitimization campaign against Israel.

15 ) Rami / Palestine
08/06/2014 13:25
#13/14 - Sure, who needs to make fake videos when one can just carpet bomb Gaza civilian populations with hellfire missiles and white phosphorous? The best delegitimization campaign against Israel is the one Israel and its stupid government conducts by its own actions.

16 ) Rondo Mondo / Canada
14/06/2014 19:39
If Israel had carpet bombed Gaza, as Rami says, there would be few buildings standing in Gaza. The truth is that Israel uses precise methods of bombing and hitting targets even if some strikes miss their intended target. White phosphorus killed very few people in the Gaza wars. It is a legal weapon which Israel used against Hamas to shield its forces and to light up Hamas terrorists.

17 ) ian / australia
15/06/2014 01:53
#14 "Palywood is part of the Palestinian delegitimization campaign against Israel." That's pretty funny, Rondo Mondo. With all the violence and killing and flagrant criminality, what's left that's legitimate? It's like Bernie Madoff complaining of a "delegitimization campaign" against him. Or Charles Manson. Or Son of Sam.

18 ) Outlier / USA
29/06/2014 00:54
By using the word "unlawful" in its demand, AI has already shown bias on the matter. Reason enough for Israel not to investigate.

19 ) RealityCheck / THE wORLD
18/07/2014 04:17
Israel should open an independent, transparent investigation into the "unlawful" killing of two unarmed teenagers when Amnesty International gets Hamas and the PLO to open the same investigations into all the "unlawful" killings of innocent Israeli civilians that seem to be at the top of their hit list.

20 ) Maureen / Australia
21/07/2014 01:22
Poor brain washed hasbara trolls know Israel is destroyng itself and are desperately trying to keep the Israel lie afloat. Too late, Israel has shown the world exactly as it is - a blood lust entity born out of the pages of The Elders of Zion and Babylonian Talmud. Plain as day!

21 ) RealityCheck / The World
02/08/2014 04:30
Im brainwashed for saying that Amnesty International should open investigations on PLO and Hamas war crimes? Is that right? I think maybe its you that's brainwashed because you seem ignore the realities and prefer to view this conflict in a light that absolves the Palestinians of any wrongdoing no matter what they do (launching rockets, suicide bombings, kidnappings, etc etc..) Maybe if you weren't reading so many known anti-Semitic hoaxes like the Protocols you'd see things more clearly...

22 ) Outlier / USA
03/08/2014 00:31
20, Maureen, name calling and inaccurate characterizations keep folks from taking your comments seriously.

23 ) carlos / usa
26/09/2014 19:44
Maureen/Australia is an extremely keen observer of reality. She hits the nail on the head every time. I appeciate Maureens thoughtful ideas and her rebuttal of imbecilic israeli lies.

24 ) Outlier / USA
25/10/2014 00:59
23, Carlos appears to have joined Maureen in both name calling and having difficulty discerning reality.

25 ) Carlos / usa
27/10/2014 18:21
israel is terror lies and murder. The video of these two murders by IDF shows how immoral the IDF is as a terrorist organization. Not justifying thier acts but the people who murdered the 3 israeli teens were probably trying to get even for the IDF's terrorist attack on these 2 innocent non threatening Palestinians teens walking home. Violence begets violence. israel is a tyranny.
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