Saturday, October 07, 2006

posted by odog

Israeli Border Gaurd Kills Palestinian Worker
Last wednesday an Israeli border guard shot and killed a Palestinian worker in an apparent case of "excessive force" and was later charged with "improper use of a firearm". The incident occured during an operation whereby Israeli forces were searching for illegal Palestinian workers. Appart from the obvious tragedy, this event highlights a number of wider issues within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

  • It is another example of abuse of power by Israeli forces which is effectively sactioned by the Israeli state and legal system.
  • This event is indicative of the severe economic crisis in Palestine, whereby at great personal risk Palestinians are willing to enter Israel illegally in order to work.
  • It raises the question of why there are so many illegal Palestinian workers in Israel when there is a "security barrier" which is apparently preventing unwarrented infiltration.
A nineteen-year old Israeli security officer who shot and killed a Palestinian worker in Jaffa Wednesday lied under investigation, but was still released the same day, according to Israeli sources. The police investigation revealed that the officer cocked his weapon unprovoked, contrary to the officer's original version that Palestinian tried to snatch his weapon. The teen subsequently confessed to having lied about the worker attempting to grab the weapon. Police released him on bail the same day, saying he would be charged with 'improper use of a firearm'.

Human rights workers expressed outrage that this was the officer's only charge, adding that he should be charged with murder of the unarmed worker.The incident took place shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday when Border Guard officers were patrolling the market in search of illegal workers. The officers spotted several Arab-looking workers and signaled them to stop near a construction site.The police investigation team collected testimonies from all those involved, including eyewitnesses and other border officers. None of them confirmed the teen's account that the worker had tried to grab his weapon - instead, the officers and civilian witnesses confirmed that the Palestinian worker was quite a distance away from the teenage officer when he was shot and killed. The man who was killed was a resident of Tarqumiya, near Hebron in the southern West Bank, who had crossed into Israel illegally in order to work. Unemployment levels in many parts of Palestine (West Bank and Gaza) are over 70% in many areas, and a lot of Palestinians risk crossing the border to work for Israeli employers.
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12:43 AM  

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