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In Birzeit, ‘Trigger Happy’ Israel Vindicates Amnesty’s Report

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Amnesty's Report Vindicated

 

Washaha's extrajudicial execution came on the same day the Amnesty International (AI) released its 87-page report recommending that the U.S., EU and the rest of the international community should suspend all transfers of military aid to Israel because " without pressure from the international community the situation is unlikely to change any time soon," Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa Director Philip Luther said. "Too much civilian blood has been spilled " (and Israel's) unlawful killings and unnecessary use of force must stop now," he added.

 

The AI reported it had documented the killings of 22 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank in 2013 and in all the cases the Palestinians did not appear to have been posing a direct and immediate threat to life: "The circumstances of all their deaths point to them having been victims of unlawful killings, including -- in some cases -- possible willful killings."

 

"Several victims were shot in the back suggesting that they were targeted as they tried to flee and posed no genuine threat to the lives of members of Israeli forces or others," the report said. "In several cases, well-armored Israeli forces have resorted to lethal means to crack down on stone-throwing protesters causing needless loss of life" and "there is evidence that some individuals were victims of willful killings, which would amount to war crimes," it added.

 

Since the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry succeeded in resuming the Palestinian -- Israeli peace talks on last July 29, the IOF killed more than 42 Palestinian civilians; Washaha was among the latest.

 

Using "excessive force," " arbitrary and abusive force against peaceful protesters " and displaying "callous disregard" for human life, Israeli soldiers and police officers have been operating with " near total impunity," in a "harrowing pattern of unlawful killings and unwarranted injuries," "as a matter of policy," while the Israeli investigative system is "woefully inadequate," said Luther.

 

The AI report accused Israel of "war crimes and other serious violations of international law."

 

Israel 's Ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, said that Amnesty was "obsessive" with a "focus on Israel" and accused the London -- based rights organization of having "an agenda that has more to do with politics than human rights." His embassy in London told The Jewish Chronicle that the AI's report was merely a "stunt" filled with "unverifiable and often contradictory accounts."

 

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*Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist in Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Palestine. He is based in Ramallah, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
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