On Monday, May 8, 2017, four Israeli special patrol officers participating in a community relations program before fifth-grade school children demonstrated how they opened fire on a suspect even after he had already been rendered incapacitated in order to ensure that he was killed. A parent in attendance recorded the entire demonstration and posted the video on her Facebook page.
In response, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel – said that an Israeli police re-enactment of officers “confirming the kill” of an already incapacitated suspect is a violation of the law.
Furthermore, Adalah General Director Hassan Jabareen said that “the Israeli police practice of ‘confirming a kill’ doesn’t just illustrate that police kill Palestinians against the law – even those who pose no danger to officers or to others – but also constitutes a culture of violence directed at Palestinians in Israel.”
Following the Israeli police killing of Palestinian man Mohammad Abu Khalaf in East Jerusalem in February 2016, the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Division (Mahash) dismissed Adalah’s demand to probe the shooting, specifying, “These are the instincts of Border Police officers.” Adalah argued in a complaint to “Mahash” that this incident, in fact, amounts to an “extrajudicial execution,” in violation of both Israeli and international law.
The demonstration – conducted in the framework of a police community relations initiative before dozens of children – revealed that Israeli officers implement a “shoot-to-kill” policy ensuring that even prone, incapacitated suspects, who are not a danger to the lives of others, are shot dead.
In September 2015, the Israeli government announced a relaxation in the police’s detailed “rules of engagement.” The amendment of these rules of engagement led to a dramatic increase in the use of lethal force by police, apparently in unjustifiable circumstances, including many instances of what appear to be extra-judicial executions, with police resorting to the harshest, often lethal means rather than arresting the suspects when they no longer posed any danger.
This “shoot-to-kill” phenomenon against Palestinian youth has become alarmingly widespread, particularly in occupied East Jerusalem, as well as other parts of the West Bank.
The video of the police demonstration: