Israeli forces shoot deaf, mute Palestinian at Jerusalem checkpoint

Israeli forces shoot deaf, mute Palestinian at Jerusalem checkpoint
Israeli forces shot and injured a mute and deaf Palestinian at Qalandia checkpoint.
3 min read
17 August, 2020
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 [Getty]
Occupying Israeli forces on Monday shot and injured a mute and deaf Palestinian man at Qalandia checkpoint, witnesses reported.

Israeli security forces shot the Palestinian in the leg, who appeared to be in his 60s, as he walked in the car lane of the checkpoint.

The army soon after sealed the checkpoint and transferred the injured man to a hospital in Jerusalem before reopening it for traffic.

Israeli police said in a statement that the guards saw the Palestinian man walking through the car lane. They called on him to stop, but he was unable to hear due to his disability and continued to walk.

He was then shot, after the guards said they suspected him of having a knife. However, it turned out that the man was deaf and mute and was not in possession of a knife, said the police.

Read also: Remembering Qalandia, Jerusalem's stolen airport

Israeli forces have made a notorious reputation for themselves for shooting and killing Palestinians at checkpoints in Jerusalem and the West Bank before any attempt to verify claims of weapon possession.

In May, Iyad Hallak, a 32-year-old East Jerusalem man with severe autism, was on his way to a special needs class when Israeli border forces chased and shot him dead, saying they believed a toy he was carrying was a gun.

After the officers followed Hallak into a garbage room in Jerusalem's Old City, they fired several fatal shots at the frightened man as he was lay on the floor.

His family called on Israeli officials to release the film from a camera installed in the garbage room where the disabled man was shot dead, saying that footage was being kept hidden.

Hallak's parents were told that all relevant security footage was gathered immediately after the incident but Israeli authorities claimed that cameras inside the garbage room were not working at the time.

Haaretz found that there are at least ten private and security cameras in the 150 metres between the Old City's Lions Gate - where Israeli police began chasing Hallak - and the garbage room where the killing took place.

Neither the suspected officers nor the witnesses were shown footage of the incident during the investigation, according to Haaretz.

The Palestinian man's family subsequently called for a probe into the absence of footage of his killing.

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians, human rights groups say.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

The Oslo agreement of 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three: Area A, Area B and Area C.

Area A is under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Area B's administration is controlled by the Palestinian Authority, with Israel controlling security. Area C is under full administrative and security control of Israel.

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