Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel sent an urgent letter yesterday to the Israeli Attorney General demanding an immediate investigation into police officers who killed and injured Palestinians in violation of their rules of engagement.
The letter was sent in the wake of a series of incidents during which police officers were filmed opening fire on Palestinians, pursuing “shoot-to-kill” policies or actions violating the rules of engagement.
The letter send by Adalah Attorney Muna Haddad cited three cases in which the police unjustifiably shot at Palestinians in violation of the rules of engagement: “On 4 October 2015, 19-year-old Fadi Alloun, suspected of stabbing an individual, was shot dead by police in Jerusalem. From the video, it appears that Mr Alloun posed no life-threatening danger to bystanders or to the police when he was fatally shot.”
“On 9 October 2015, the police shot at 30-year-old Israa Abad at the central bus station in Afula. The video indicates that the police, soldiers and security guards surrounded her upon suspicion that she was carrying a knife and shot at her, causing extensive injuries, as she stood motionless in front of them.”
“On 12 October 2015, the police shot and seriously injured 15-year-old boy in Pisgat Zeev after he attacked two people with a knife. After the shooting, police and medical personnel left him bleeding on the road without providing any medical treatment, while many people stood around and cursed the boy and called on the police to shoot him.”
Haddad also demanded the Attorney General open an investigation into the incidents, arguing that “the video evidence in these cases indicate that the police acted in a manner contrary to the order that fatal fire should be used only ‘as a last resort’, and only in circumstances where there is a sensible relationship between the degree of danger arising from the use of weapons, and the outcome they are trying to prevent.”
She also stressed that opening fire is a violation of the fourth clause of rules of engagement, which stipulates that lethal force will only be used by the police if “there is a real fear of immediate harm to life or physical integrity of a police officer or to others, and there is no other way to prevent the harm.”