Killing with impunity: the covert units of Israel in Palestine | News of the Israel-Palestine conflict


Ramallah, occupied West Bank – Pain and anger were palpable as women cried, young men sang with their fists raised and masked gunmen fired into the air during the funeral of 24-year-old Ahmed Fahd at the Al refugee camp. -Amari.

Fahd’s family told Al Jazeera that Israeli secret agents first arrested him and then shot him in the back several times around 5:30 a.m., before leaving him to die of bloodshed. Ramallah’s Um al-Shayaret neighborhood street on Tuesday.

“My son was mercilessly shot. He was a loving son who had many friends and always smiled, ”Um Fahd said as he grabbed a poster of his son and cried uncontrollably.

Fahd, who was an employee of El Bireh township, was to be married in a few weeks.

A Palestinian health ministry spokesman, Muhammad al-Awda, told Al Jazeera that, according to doctors at Ramallah Hospital, Fahd was shot several times nearby.

“Doctors reported that one of the bullets entering his back made a 2.5 cm entrance hole, but when it came out of his stomach the hole was 7 cm, proving that he had been shot in close, ”al-Awda said.

Palestinian doctors on the ground have reported that Israeli forces use live rounds known as “butterfly bullets,” which “explode” when impacted, spraying tissues, arteries and bones, while causing serious internal injuries and major exit injuries.

“He also had several gunshot wounds to his legs,” the health ministry spokesman added.

Sabrin Abu Libdeh, a family friend, told Al Jazeera that an intelligence official at Israel’s home intelligence agency, Shin Bet, later called the family to apologize. saying the officers had not wanted to kill young Fahd, but were actually looking for his brother and uncle. they accused him of engaging in “terrorist activities.”

“What good are your apologies now?” asked Ahmed’s sister, Roseanne, her eyes swollen from crying. “Will that return him?”

Ahmed Fahd’s family is consoling each other at this Tuesday’s funeral [Al Jazeera]

“Killing the Palestinians”

Although the Israelis acknowledged their “mistake” in this particular incident, Shawan Jabareen, of the al-Haq human rights organization in Ramallah, said the ongoing killing of Palestinians by the Israeli security forces, particularly covert units, were no accident.

“We are currently investigating his death, but the assassination is part of a deliberate Israeli policy of killing Palestinians near covert units known as Musta’ribeen and regular troops,” Jabareen told Al Jazeera.

“Soldiers enter Ramallah almost every night after two in the morning to make arrests.

“There have been several cases in which Shin Bet intelligence agents phoned the families of Palestinians who were killed after shooting them close and blocking ambulances to evacuate critically injured, young men who was accused of armed attacks on Israeli soldiers and settlers that “the bill had been settled.”

“So clearly they were acts of revenge,” he said.

Jabareen explained that his organization documented numerous cases of Israeli security forces killing Palestinians when their lives had not been in danger.

“We presented statistics and documentation to various international organizations that showed that 95% of deaths were unnecessary.”

The Musta’ribeen are Israeli special forces known for their brutality, which are disguised as Arabs and operate in Palestinian societies. Commandos dress up as Arabs, portray the customs and etiquette of Arab culture, and speak Arabic fluently in the proper dialect.

“Inciting the situation”

Gary Spedding, a Middle East consultant, said the Musta’ribeen’s activities “allow the Israeli military and border police to identify protesters who want to detain and detain.”

Israeli affairs expert Antoine Shalhat explained that the Musta’ribeen’s main missions “include intelligence gathering and counterterrorism operations.”

These covert units have also been involved in the ongoing Palestinian arrest campaign in northern Israel, following protests there against the deaths in Gaza and the violence in occupied East Jerusalem for Palestinians to be expelled from his house.

The Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI) said it received “complaints from undercover agents posing as protesters and inciting the situation, attacking civilians very violently and making serious threats, especially against minors.” .

“There have been cases where secret agents took people, including minors, off the street without identifying themselves, which made the arrests look like kidnappings,” PCATI said.

Following the recent establishment of a new covert unit specifically to operate in Arab areas, Is, The Legal Center for the Rights of Arab Minorities in Israel, sent a letter to senior Israeli officials and politicians saying that no democracy in the world would approve the establishment of a police unit aimed at a specific ethnic group.

Israeli forces fire on Palestinian protesters near the Jewish settlement of Beit El near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank [Abbas Momani/AFP]

“Permissive Engagement Rules”

Still, the killing of Palestinians almost daily continues unabated with at least 28 Palestinians killed in the West Bank in May alone during clashes with Israeli security forces or during arrests.

And the impunity of the Israeli security forces as well.

“As in the vast majority of cases where security forces harmed the Palestinians, none of the perpetrators has faced charges,” Israeli defense group B’Tselem said. he said in a report.

Citing some examples of when the second Intifada began in late 2000 to 2015, B’Tselem demanded an investigation into 739 cases in which soldiers killed, wounded or beat Palestinians, used them as human shields or damaged the Palestinian goods.

The human rights group said the mid-2016 figures show in a quarter of cases that no investigation was ever initiated; almost half of the investigation was closed without any further action and only in extremely rare cases were charges brought against the accused soldiers.

B’Tselem said he would no longer cooperate with “laundering” military investigations, as these had not entailed any responsibility.

Meanwhile, Israeli human rights group Yesh Din pressured the Israeli army to investigate the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza during the Great Return March, when Palestinians protested the siege of the Israeli barrier.

“The combination of permissive rules of engagement regarding firing on unarmed protesters and a law enforcement system that prevents a genuine and effective investigation into the deaths of protesters is lethal,” Yesh Din said in one of his latest reports.

“The result is the unfortunate and unnecessary loss of many lives, the lack of accountability to harm the innocent and the abandonment of Gaza residents who remain helpless in the face of the specter of losing their lives.”

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