A 60-year-old Palestinian was shot and wounded on Monday, August 17, by a private Israeli security contractor at the Qalandiya checkpoint, a busy crossing in the occupied Palestinian territories, between Jerusalem and the northern West Bank. The man, in his 60s, was injured and received treatment from Magen David Adom medics at the scene. An initial investigation of the incident found that the wounded man is both deaf and mute. The security guard who shot the Palestinian man is in police custody.
Knesset members from the Joint List Arab condemned the shooting, calling it an example of “the daily violation of the rights of the Palestinians.” Joint List Chairman, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) demanded the “immediate release of the recordings from the security cameras at the Qalandiya checkpoint in which security guards are seen shooting an adult with a hearing impairment, before they disappear into the same ‘drawer’ in which the videos of the murder of Iyad al-Hallaq are hidden.”
Al-Hallaq, a 32-year-old special-needs student from east Jerusalem, was murdered by Border Police in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem on his way to the Elwyn School for children and adults with disabilities. Al-Hallaq’s family claims that the police hid security camera footage of the incident.
“The blood of Iyad al-Hallaq still hasn’t dried and already they’re shooting at a deaf man claiming that he didn’t stop when they told him to,” tweeted Joint List MK Ofer Casif (Hadash) on Monday. “It’s not a mistake if it happens over and over, and it’s no accident that those guilty walk around freely. This lightness of the trigger finger is not an exceptional case, but a deliberate policy of devaluing Palestinian blood; acceptance of murder as a matter of routine.”
Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash) also responded to the incident, tweeting “The shooting of a man with a physical impairment shows again the criminal behavior of the occupation forces against the Palestinians.” “This shooting proves that there is no discretion, hesitation or thought that perhaps the person cannot defend himself,” added Touma-Sliman. “Such cases highlight the crimes of occupation from time to time. But the crimes are committed every day, every hour.”
Several Palestinians were shot and killed or injured at Israeli checkpoints in Jerusalem and the West Bank before any attempt was made to verify if they were armed or not. Israelis are allowed to shoot and kill a Palestinian even at the least suspicion of an attack. “In 2019, Israeli security forces killed 133 Palestinians, including 28 minors. Of the casualties, 104 were killed in the Gaza Strip, 26 in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and three within Israel,” Israeli Human Rights group B’Tselem reported. “Most of these deaths were a direct outcome of Israel’s reckless open-fire policy, authorized by the government and military and backed by the legal system,” B’Tselem added.