The Israeli army covered up the killing of a Palestinian father by illegal Jewish settlers, Israeli NGO B’Tselem has claimed.
Twenty-three-year-old Muhammad Abd Al-Fatah was killed near Huwara, a village located off route 60 south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, on April 3.
IOF Cover-up: According to the rights group, the army destroyed video of settlers shooting and killing 23-year-old Mohammed Abdel Fattah to "ensure that the truth never comes to light and the shooters would not face any charges or be held… https://t.co/Sk9kJvKpNN
— Maria Robbins (@xuxena) April 16, 2019
Though media reports at the time stated that a “would-be Palestinian attacker was shot dead […] during an attempted stabbing near Huwara,” a B’Tselem investigation has revealed that in fact Abd Al-Fatah was killed at close range by armed Jewish settlers.
B’Tselem’s investigation provides a minute-by-minute account of the incident, saying that at 08:30 local time [06:30 GMT] Abd Al-Fatah crossed the road, stopping “by a dumpster across from the village square in the nearby village of Beita and started throwing stones at cars bearing Israeli license plates”.
Very clear support for continuous crimes committed by #Jewish_settlers
— Motasem A Dalloul (@AbujomaaGaza) April 15, 2019
One stone hit a Jewish settler’s car, prompting the driver to pull over.
“Then two gunshots were heard, apparently fired from inside the vehicle. The driver then got out of the car.”
The report continues:
“At that point, ‘Abd al-Fatah was crouching among the dumpsters. [The Jewish settler] approached him and fired several more shots at him. A truck driving along the road also stopped, and the driver got out. He came over to stand next to [the settler], and the two men fired several more shots at ‘Abd al-Fatah, who was lying wounded on the ground.”
Despite being transferred to hospital, Abd Al-Fatah later succumbed to his wounds, leaving behind his wife and young daughter.
As al-Fatah lay wounded on the ground, the settler, along with another settler who also pulled over, shot him again, killing him. Soldiers erased video footage of the incident. https://t.co/LAKI2JvJ5F
— B'Tselem בצלם بتسيلم (@btselem) April 14, 2019
B’Tselem also provides evidence that this series of events was subsequently covered up by the Israeli army.
“Minutes after the two settlers opened fire, Israeli military jeeps arrived on the scene. […] Eight soldiers [then] went into two nearby shops to check their security cameras. They dismantled a DVR [recording equipment] in one of the shops and left. About twenty 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.”
Criminals and murderers cover for each other, from settlers to the cowards in The Most Moral Army™ #BDS
Israeli settlers execute Muhammad ‘Abd al-Fatah; military covers up their deedhttps://t.co/5ueedENhCk
Boycott #apartheid #Israel
— IPSC (@ipsc48) April 15, 2019
“Contrary to media reports, [the] shooting of ‘Abd al-Fatah was unjustified […] The Israeli security forces that arrived on the scene ignored these facts. They did nothing to arrest the two settlers, promptly drove the Palestinians away from the scene, and then addressed the urgent task of eliminating any footage of the incident, to ensure that the truth never comes to light and the shooters would not face any charges or be held accountable in any way.”
According to i24 News, the Jewish settler who carried out the extrajudicial killing, Yehoshua Sherman, was an activist for the United Right Wing Parties (URWP), a religious-Zionist alliance comprised of the Jewish Home, National Union and Jewish Power (Otzma Yehudit) parties.
Investigation by @btselem:
Israeli settlers executed an unarmed Palestinian – then Israeli soldiers deleted the relevant CCTV footage. The shooters have not been charged.https://t.co/99D6fztAB2
— Ben White (@benabyad) April 14, 2019
He had been on his way to a campaign event at the time of the killing, just days before the Israeli election on April 9.
Otzma Yehudit also used Abd Al-Fatah’s murder for its campaign, posting a photo of his bleeding body on its social media page with the party’s election symbol and the words “we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk”.
An investigation by B‘Tselem has found IDF soldiers erased footage of a fatal shooting of Palestinian man, Muhammad ‘Abd al-Fatah. https://t.co/IrRM0S87X3#settlerviolence #fatalshooting #injustice #endisraeliapartheid #freepalestine pic.twitter.com/SOKlq9DSXs
— ThePalestineMonitor (@pal_mon) April 15, 2019
Smotrich and his allies in the URWP have developed close links with Israel’s illegal settlers, particularly in those settlements located near route 60.
The highway has been the site of numerous attacks on Palestinians in recent months, including the killing of Palestinian mother Aisha Al-Rabi by a teenage settler, attacks on Palestinian vehicles, as well as an incident in which Israeli soldiers beat a Palestinian father and son in custody.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)