Ramallah, occupied West Bank – Grief and anger were palpable as women cried, young men sang with raised fists and masked gunmen fired in the air during the funeral of 24-year-old Ahmed Fahd at refugee camp al-Amari.
Fahd’s family told Al Jazeera that Israeli undercover officers first arrested him and then shot him in the back several times at close range around 5:30 a.m., before letting him bleed to death in a street in the Um al-Shayaret neighborhood of Ramallah on Tuesday. .
“My son was shot without mercy. He was a loving son who had a lot of friends and who always smiled, ”Um Fahd said, grabbing a poster of his son and crying uncontrollably.
Fahd, who was an employee of the municipality of El Bireh, was due to get married in a few weeks.
A spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry, Muhammad al-Awda, told Al Jazeera that doctors at Ramallah hospital said Fahd had been shot several times at close range.
“Doctors reported that one of the bullets that went into his back made a one-inch entry hole, but when it came out of his stomach, the hole was three inches – proving he had was shot at point blank range, “al-Awda said.
Palestinian medics on the ground reported that Israeli forces used live ammunition known as a “butterfly bullet,” which “exploded” on impact, pulverizing tissues, arteries and bones while causing serious injury. internal and large wounds on exit.
“He also had several gunshot wounds to his legs,” added the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health.
Sabrin Abu Libdeh, a friend of the family, told Al Jazeera that an intelligence official from the Israeli intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, later telephoned the family to apologize, saying that agents did not had no intention of killing young Fahd, but were in fact after his brother and uncle who they are accused of being involved in “terrorist activities”.
“What’s the point of their apologies now?” Ahmed’s sister Roseanne asked, her eyes swollen with tears. “Will that bring him back?”
‘Murder the Palestinians’
While the Israelis admitted their “mistake” in this particular incident, Shawan Jabareen, of the Al-Haq human rights organization in Ramallah, said the continued killing of Palestinians by Israeli security forces, in particular undercover units, was no accident.
“We are currently investigating his death, but the murder is part of a deliberate Israeli policy of murdering Palestinians at close range by undercover units known as Musta’ribeen as well as regular troops,” said Jabareen at Al Jazeera.
“The soldiers come to Ramallah almost every evening after 2 am to make arrests.
“There have been a number of instances where Shin Bet intelligence agents have telephoned the families of Palestinians whom they have killed after shooting them at point blank range and preventing ambulances from evacuating these critically injured – young men whom they accused of armed attacks on Israeli soldiers and settlers – saying “the score is now settled”.
“So these were clearly acts of revenge,” he said.
Jabareen explained that his organization had documented numerous cases of killings of Palestinians by Israeli security forces without their lives in danger.
“We presented statistics and documentation to various international organizations showing that 95% of deaths were unnecessary.”
The Musta’ribeen are Israeli special forces notorious for their brutality who masquerade as undercover Arabs and operate in Palestinian societies. Commandos dress like Arabs, portray the customs and etiquette of Arab culture, and speak Arabic fluently in the appropriate dialect.
‘Incite the situation’
Gary Spedding, Middle East consultant, said the Musta’ribeen’s activities “allow the IDF and border police to identify protesters they wish to arrest and detain.”
Israeli affairs expert Antoine Shalhat explained that the main missions of the Musta’ribeen “include intelligence gathering and counterterrorism operations”.
These undercover units have also been implicated in the massive campaign of Palestinian arrests now being waged in northern Israel, following protests against the deaths in Gaza and violence in occupied East Jerusalem against Palestinians expelled from Israel. Their houses.
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) said it had received “allegations of undercover agents posing as protesters and inciting the situation, very violently attacking civilians and making serious threats, especially against minors ”.
“There have been cases where undercover officers have pulled people, including minors, off the streets without identifying themselves, which has turned arrests into kidnappings,” the PCATI said.
Following the recent creation of a new infiltration unit specifically designed to operate in Arab areas, Is, The Legal Center for the Rights of Arab Minorities in Israel, sent a letter to senior police officials and Israeli politicians saying that no democracy in the world would approve the creation of a police unit directed against a group specific ethnic.
“ Permissive rules of engagement ”
Yet the almost daily massacres of Palestinians continue unabated with at least 28 Palestinians killed in the West Bank alone in May in clashes with Israeli security forces or in arrests.
And the same goes for the impunity of the Israeli security forces.
“As in the vast majority of cases in which security forces have harmed Palestinians, none of those responsible have been charged,” Israeli rights group B’Tselem said in a report.
Citing a few examples from the start of the Second Intifada in late 2000 to 2015, B’Tselem demanded an investigation into 739 cases in which soldiers killed, injured or beat Palestinians, used them as human shields or damaged property. Palestinians.
The human rights group said figures from mid-2016 show that in a quarter of cases no investigation was ever opened, in nearly half the investigation was closed without other action and that in very rare cases charges have been laid against the accused soldiers.
B’Tselem said he would no longer cooperate with military “money laundering” investigations because they had not led to any accountability.
Meanwhile, the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din urged the IDF to investigate the Palestinian deaths in Gaza during the Great walk back, when Palestinians protested against the siege of the Israeli barrier.
“The combination of permissive rules of engagement regarding shooting at unarmed protesters and a law enforcement system that prevents a genuine and effective investigation into protestor deaths is deadly,” Yesh Din said in the statement. ‘one of his last reports.
“The result is the unfortunate and unnecessary loss of many lives, a lack of responsibility for harming innocent people and the abandonment of the people of Gaza who remain helpless in the face of the specter of death.”