Cop Shoots Sheikh Jarrah Girl in Back with Sponge-Tipped Bullet

An Israeli cop shot a sponge-tipped bullet into the back of a Palestinian teenage girl in occupied East Jerusalem as she was obeying his orders to get back into her home. In footage first aired Tuesday, May 25, by Kan news, Janna Kiswani, 16, and several of her relatives can be seen stepping out of the door of their home in the flashpoint Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on May 18, as a protest was held nearby.

Janna Kiswani in hospital

Janna Kiswani in hospital (Screen capture: Twitter)

Video taken from a second angle shows officers outside the home, one of whom threatens, “to give you one” if they did not go back inside. As the family turned to head back inside their house, one of the police officers fires his gun in that direction. In the first video, Janna is seen collapsing and can be heard crying out after being struck in the back. In the second video, the same officer next appears to remove a stun grenade from his vest, moments before he throws it into the home.

Janna’s father, Muhammad Kiswani, was also hit in the leg with a sponge-tipped bullet fired into the home, according to Haaretz.

Since the May 18 violence, Janna Kiswani has been hospitalized and is being treated for a fractured vertebra and breathing difficulties. Her recovery is expected to be lengthy. “Right now I’m being treated by a neurologist and a surgeon, and in a few months I’ll start physical therapy,” Janna Kiswani told Kan. Her father accused the officer of “wanting to commit murder.”

According to Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Saleh Higazi said, “This is yet another illustration of Israel’s criminal policy of forced displacement of Palestinians. By continuing to pursue the planned forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem – Israel is fanning the flames of the latest upsurge in violence and perpetuating the same systematic human rights violations against Palestinians that are at the root of the latest violence.”

“For years Israel has sought to expand illegal settlements in the area of Silwan, forcibly displacing more than 200 Palestinians from their homes. The recent protests locally and worldwide against forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah send a clear message that Israel’s land grabs will not go unnoticed. Israel’s authorities must immediately halt plans for forced evictions in Batn al-Hawa in Silwan and any other areas of the occupied Palestinian territories. Such forced evictions flagrantly violate the prohibition in international humanitarian law of forcible transfer and amount to war crimes,” Higazi said.

“Let us be clear, the USA, UK, EU countries and the international community at large have a responsibility to stop Israel from continuing with its policies of forcible transfer and dispossession. Instead of allowing Israel to trample over Palestinians’ rights with impunity, there must be a concerted effort to address the systematic oppression and dispossession of Palestinians which are among the root causes of these repeated cycles of violence and civilian bloodshed.”

Video documenting the shooting of Janna Kiswani while inside her Sheikh Jarrah home: