Wednesday, March 24, 2010

'Palestinian Life is Cheap'

By Mel Frykberg

"RAMALLAH, Mar 24, 2010 (IPS) - In early February, 41-year-old Fayez Ahmed Faraj, a father of nine from the city of Hebron, 30 miles south of Jerusalem, in the southern West Bank, was shot dead in his home town by Israeli soldiers after he allegedly tried to stab one of them.

After a preliminary investigation the Israeli military authorities stated that the soldiers had acted in self-defence and had used the necessary force. The media subsequently reported that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldier who shot Faraj dead had acted within reason.

But further investigation by Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations, and eye-witness reports, dispute the official version of events.

Questions have been raised and doubts expressed about the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

"This is not the first time that Israeli security forces have shot to kill when their lives have been in no danger. We have recorded many such incidents," says Shawan Jabarin from the Palestinian human rights organisation Al Haq in Ramallah. "There seems to be a deliberate policy often to kill following the smallest provocation. Palestinian life is cheap for the Israelis," Jabarin told IPS.

According to eye-witnesses and paramedics following a possible verbal altercation with the soldiers Faraj was shot seven times in the course of an hour even as he lay on the ground seriously wounded and barely able to move......"

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