Israeli army opens a probe after security videos show troops killing 2 Palestinians at close range

Update Israeli army opens a probe after security videos show troops killing 2 Palestinians at close range
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This screen grab from a video posted by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem on X shows an Israeli soldier shooting at a Palestinian man already incapacitated by gunfire during a military raid in a West Bank refugee camp on Dec. 8, 2023. (X: @btselem)
Update Israeli army opens a probe after security videos show troops killing 2 Palestinians at close range
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An Israeli soldiers takes a picture of a Palestinian man he had just shot at close range during a raid in a West Bank refugee camp on Dec. 8, 2023. (Screen grab from video on X: @btselem)
Update Israeli army opens a probe after security videos show troops killing 2 Palestinians at close range
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Israel on Friday said it was opening a military police investigation into the killing of two Palestinians in the West Bank after an Israeli human rights group posted videos that appeared to show Israeli troops killing the men. (AFP/File)
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Updated 16 December 2023
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Israeli army opens a probe after security videos show troops killing 2 Palestinians at close range

Israeli army opens a probe after security videos show troops killing 2 Palestinians at close range
  • The B’Tselem human rights group accused the army of carrying out a pair of “illegal executions”
  • The security camera videos show two Israeli military vehicles pursuing a group of Palestinians in the Faraa refugee camp

JERUSALEM: Israel on Friday said it was opening a military police investigation into the killing of two Palestinians in the West Bank after an Israeli human rights group posted videos that appeared to show Israeli troops killing the men — one who was incapacitated and the second unarmed — during a military raid in a West Bank refugee camp.
The B’Tselem human rights group accused the army of carrying out a pair of “illegal executions.”
The security camera videos show two Israeli military vehicles pursuing a group of Palestinians in the Faraa refugee camp in the northern West Bank. One man, who appears to be holding a red canister, is gunned down by soldiers. B’Tselem identified the man as 25 year-old Rami Jundob.
The military jeep then approaches Jundob as he lies bleeding on the ground and fires multiple shots at him until he is still. Soldiers then approach a man identified by B’Tselem as 36-year-old Thaar Shahin as he cowers underneath the hood of a car. They shoot at him from close range.
Btselem said that Shahin was killed instantly and Jundob died of his wounds the next day.
Israel’s military said its military police unit opened an investigation into the Dec. 8 shootings “on the suspicion that during the incident, shots were fired not in accordance with the law.” It said that the findings would be referred to a military prosecutor, an indication that criminal charges could be filed.

 

Israel rarely prosecutes such cases, and human rights groups say soldiers rarely receive serious punishments even if wrongdoing is found. In a high-profile case, an Israeli soldier was convicted of manslaughter and served a reduced nine-month sentence in jail after shooting a badly wounded Palestinian who was lying on the ground in 2016.
The army recently opened an investigation into a soldier who shot and killed an Israeli man who had just killed a pair of Palestinian attackers at a Jerusalem bus stop. The soldier apparently suspected the Israeli was also an assailant — despite kneeling on the ground, raising his hands and opening his shirt to show he wasn’t a threat. The shooting underscored what critics say is an epidemic of excessive force by Israeli soldiers, police and armed citizens against suspected Palestinian attackers.
In a separate incident Friday, police said they had suspended officers caught on video beating up a Palestinian photojournalist in east Jerusalem. The photojournalist was identified on social media as Mustafa Haruf, who works for the Turkish news agency Anadolu.


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In the video, one officer approaches Haruf and strikes him with the butt of his gun while another officer pushes him against a car. One points his gun at Haruf and another pulls him to the ground in a headlock. An officer kneels on Haruf’s body, the other officer kicking Haruf repeatedly in the head as he screams in pain.
Other officers stand by, watching and pushing back shocked onlookers.
“The Border Police Command views the conduct of these officers as inconsistent with the values of the force,” the police said in a statement as it announced the suspensions of the officers and an investigation.
Both incidents come as tensions in the West Bank and east Jerusalem have been inflamed by the war between Israel and Hamas, with Israelis on edge and bracing for further attacks. Palestinians and human rights groups have long accused Israeli forces of using excessive force and skirting accountability.
Since the outbreak of war, violence in the West Bank from Israeli forces and settlers has reached record levels. Since Oct. 7, 287 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. That’s the deadliest year on record in the West Bank in 18 years, it said.


Jordan police say they detonated explosives hidden in a warehouse in capital

Jordan police say they detonated explosives hidden in a warehouse in capital
Updated 19 sec ago
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Jordan police say they detonated explosives hidden in a warehouse in capital

Jordan police say they detonated explosives hidden in a warehouse in capital
  • Security officials said the incidents were terror-related based on the quantities of explosives found

AMMAN: Jordanian security forces said they uncovered and detonated explosives hidden in a commercial warehouse in an industrial area southeast of the capital Amman on Monday that security sources say were part of an Iran-linked plot to destabilize a key US ally.
Witnesses earlier said security forces had sealed the Abu Alanda area in a wide scale security operation two days after authorities announced they had detonated explosives uncovered in another location in the capital. The authorities said the explosives found on Monday were hidden by the same group of suspects who stored the explosives uncovered on Saturday in a crowded residential area close to a military airport used by US army planes. The authorities, who have not disclosed who was behind the storing of munitions or whether arrests have been made, say they will reveal details once the investigations are completed.
Over the past year, Jordan has said it has foiled many attempts to smuggle weapons by infiltrators linked to pro-Iranian militias in Syria, who it says have crossed its borders with rocket launchers and explosives, adding that some of the weapons managed to get through undetected.
Iran has denied being behind such attempts.
Security sources say some of the arms are bound for the neighboring Israeli-occupied West Bank, adding that they have arrested several Jordanians linked to Palestinian militants.
Security officials said the incidents were terror-related based on the quantities of explosives found. They said it is linked to Iran’s clandestine efforts to recruit agents to undertake sabotage acts within the kingdom to destabilize a key ally of Washington in the region.
Jordan has over 3,500 American troops stationed in several bases and, since the war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza erupted in October, it has been increasingly targeted by Iranian-backed groups operating in neighboring Syria and Iraq.


1 in 5 in Gaza go days without eating, UN report says

1 in 5 in Gaza go days without eating, UN report says
Updated 28 min 26 sec ago
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1 in 5 in Gaza go days without eating, UN report says

1 in 5 in Gaza go days without eating, UN report says
  • More than 495,000 people in region facing catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity

LONDON: More than 495,000 people in Gaza, representing one in five of the enclave’s population, are now facing catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity, characterized by extreme lack of food, starvation, and exhaustion, according to a forthcoming UN report.

The latest “Special Snapshot” of Gaza from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification will be published on Tuesday, The Guardian reported.

The UN report will also reveal that more than half of Gaza’s households have had to sell or exchange clothes to buy food, as the risk of famine remains high across the territory following recent violence.

Israeli authorities have tight control over entry into Gaza, and movements require military permission. Rubble has damaged the roads, fuel is in short supply, and power and communication networks are barely functional.

At the start of the war Israel imposed a complete siege on Gaza, which has only been gradually eased under US pressure. The war has significantly reduced Gaza’s ability to produce its own food.

The IPC noted that food deliveries and nutritional services to northern Gaza increased significantly in March and April, preventing a famine and improving conditions in the territory’s south. However, the situation has deteriorated again as a result of renewed hostilities, and the risk of famine remains in the Gaza Strip as long as the conflict continues and humanitarian access is limited, according to a draft report obtained by The Guardian.

More than half of households reported frequently running out of food at home, and more than 20 percent go entire days and nights without eating, The Guardian reported. The most recent trajectory is negative and highly unstable. If this trend continues, the improvements seen in April may be quickly reversed.

UN agencies and aid organizations report difficulties in reaching Kerem Shalom border crossing due to ongoing fighting, Israeli restrictions, coordination issues with the army, and the breakdown of law and order.

Although the IPC has not officially declared a famine — which requires a stringent set of conditions — the situation in Gaza is dire. Stage 5 hunger, which affects 22 percent of Gaza’s population, is comparable to famine conditions.

A formal famine declaration requires 20 percent of households to have an extreme lack of food, 30 percent of children to suffer from acute malnutrition, and at least two adults or four children per 10,000 people to die each day.

Volker Turk, the UN high commissioner for human rights, has said that Israel’s restrictions on humanitarian aid into Gaza may constitute the war crime of deliberate starvation. The World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization have warned that by the middle of July, more than 1 million people could be dead or starving.

A joint statement from Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, and the European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said: “The crisis in Gaza has reached another breaking point … The delivery of any meaningful humanitarian assistance inside Gaza has become almost impossible and the very fabric of civil society is unraveling.”

Ahead of the release of the IPC’s report on Gaza, Kate Phillips-Barrasso, vice president of global policy and advocacy at Mercy Corps, said: “People are enduring subhuman conditions, resorting to desperate measures like boiling weeds, eating animal feed, and exchanging clothes for money to stave off hunger and keep their children alive.

“The humanitarian situation is deteriorating rapidly, and the specter of famine continues to hang over Gaza … Humanitarian aid is limited … The international community must apply relentless pressure to achieve a ceasefire and ensure sustained humanitarian access now. The population cannot endure these hardships any longer.”
 


Away from home, Israeli evacuees wait as Hezbollah tensions spike

Away from home, Israeli evacuees wait as Hezbollah tensions spike
Updated 40 min 44 sec ago
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Away from home, Israeli evacuees wait as Hezbollah tensions spike

Away from home, Israeli evacuees wait as Hezbollah tensions spike
  • The spike in violence during the ongoing Gaza conflict has re-ignited fears of a wider war between long-term foes Israel and Hezbollah, a Hamas ally

TIBERIAS, Israel: Yarden Gil opens a reinforced metal door to enter the northern Israeli kindergarten where she works, which doubles as an underground shelter against rockets fired by Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.
She is among tens of thousands displaced from the border area by the ever-present threat of Hezbollah attacks and, increasingly, the fear of an all-out war against the powerful Iran-backed militant group.
Gil, 36, and her family have left their home in Yiftah, a kibbutz community just a few hundred meters (yards) from the Lebanese border. She said there they lived so close to the border that they could often hear incoming rockets before the sirens started wailing.
They now live in a single room in a hotel 50 kilometers (30 miles) to the south, near the city of Tiberias on the shores of the lake known as the Sea of Galilee.
“We really don’t have independence here,” said Gil, charging that the Israeli government is “not doing enough for us to be able to go back to our home and be secure.”
Dozens of northern Israeli communities have been rendered ghost towns as the Israeli military and Hezbollah have traded near-daily cross-border fire, ending a period of relative calm since a 2006 war.
The spike in violence during the ongoing Gaza conflict has re-ignited fears of a wider war between long-term foes Israel and Hezbollah, a Hamas ally.
The border clashes have killed at least 93 civilians in Lebanon and nearly 390 others, mostly fighters, according to an AFP tally.
Eleven civilians and 15 soldiers have been killed on the Israeli side, according to the military.
Israel said early last week it had approved military plans for an offensive in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah responded with a warning that nowhere in Israel would be safe in the event of war.
With Israel focused on the Gaza war after Hamas’s surprise October 7 attack, a return home is all that is on the minds of evacuees from northern communities languishing in hotels turned state-funded shelters, away from home.
The authorities have repeatedly extended accommodation arrangements, which are now set to expire in August.
Some evacuees have moved out of the hotels, to elsewhere in Israel or abroad.
“That’s our new reality: instability,” said Iris Amsalem, a 33-year-old mother of two from the border community of Shomera who is now staying in a Galilee hotel.
“We want peace. We want security.”
Only a few Israelis have remained on the border, defended by civilian units and military forces.
Deborah Fredericks, an 80-year-old retiree staying at a five-star hotel with hundreds of other evacuees, played the tile-based game of Rummikub next to a gleaming pool and palm trees in front of the lake.
“It’s really funny because I’m in the middle of a war but I’m on holiday,” she said.
“I want to go back, but it won’t be for a while. It’ll be when they say I can. You can’t do anything about it.”
Others feel they have been abandoned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government as it prioritizes the Gaza war.
“No one communicates with us, no one! No one came to see us!” said Lili Dahn, a resident of the border town of Kiryat Shmona, in her 60s.
Gil, the kindergarten teacher, said parents had to set up their own schooling for their children after they fled their kibbutz, which has suffered damage from rockets and in fires caused by the strikes.
“The government is responsible for our security and I expect them to be more interested in what happened to us,” she said, adding that some of her fellow kibbutzniks have moved as far away as Canada and Thailand.
Netanyahu has pledged to return security, and civilians, to the north.
Some evacuees said they believe a war against Hezbollah is only a matter of time.
Sarit Zehavi, a former Israeli army intelligence official who lives near the border, said her greatest fear was that a potential ceasefire would allow Hezbollah “to preserve its capabilities and launch the next massacre,” like Hamas did.
Gil’s husband, Ewdward, 39, also said he feared a similar assault to the October 7 attack on southern Israel.
“It happened in the south,” he said. “Who’s telling me that now it won’t happen in the north?“
Helene Abergel, a 49-year-old Kiryat Shmona resident who is living at a Tel Aviv hotel, said: “A war must happen to push Hezbollah away from the border.”
In her family’s single room, Gil had a defiant message for Hezbollah.
“They can break our houses,” she said. “They can burn our fields. But they cannot kill our spirit.”


US shocked by video of wounded Palestinian tied to Israeli military jeep

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller. (Photo courtesy: @StateDept/YouTube)
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller. (Photo courtesy: @StateDept/YouTube)
Updated 24 June 2024
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US shocked by video of wounded Palestinian tied to Israeli military jeep

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller. (Photo courtesy: @StateDept/YouTube)
  • The video circulating on social media and verified by Reuters showed a Palestinian resident of Jenin, Mujahed Azmi, on a military jeep that passed between two ambulances

WASHINGTON: The US State Department on Monday said a video of a wounded Palestinian man strapped on a military jeep by Israeli forces was “shocking” and urged a swift investigation to hold those responsible to account.
At a State Department news briefing, a reporter asked: “Isn’t that basically the army using Palestinians as human shields?“
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller responded: “I will say we saw that video. It was shocking. The practice was absolutely unacceptable. Humans should never be used as human shields.”
“The IDF should swiftly investigate what happened, hold people accountable,” Miller said, using an acronym for the Israel Defense Forces.

Israeli army straps Palestinian on military jeep during raid in Jenin, in this screengrab from a video, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, June 22, 2024. (REUTERS)

On Saturday, Israeli army forces tied a wounded Palestinian man to the hood of a military jeep during an arrest raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, the Israeli military said.
The video circulating on social media and verified by Reuters showed a Palestinian resident of Jenin, Mujahed Azmi, on a military jeep that passed between two ambulances.
The Israeli military in a statement said Israeli forces were fired at and exchanged fire, wounding a suspect and apprehending him.
Soldiers then violated military protocol, the statement said. The military said the “conduct of the forces in the video of the incident does not conform to the values” of the Israeli military and the incident will be investigated and dealt with. The military said the man was transferred to medics for treatment.
“I saw the statement they put out that the actions were inconsistent with the orders those soldiers received and that is being investigated and the people involved will be dealt with accordingly. That is absolutely appropriate,” Miller said.
Violence in the West Bank, already on the rise before the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza began in October, has escalated since then with frequent army raids on militant groups, rampages by Jewish settlers in Palestinian villages and deadly Palestinian street attacks.

 


Egypt tomb find may shed light on ancient diseases

Egypt tomb find may shed light on ancient diseases
Updated 24 June 2024
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Egypt tomb find may shed light on ancient diseases

Egypt tomb find may shed light on ancient diseases

CAIRO: A discovery of 33 ancient tombs in Egypt’s southern city of Aswan could reveal “new information on diseases” prevalent at the time, the Tourism and Antiquities Ministry said.

The tombs date back to the Ancient Egyptian Late Period and the Greco-Roman Periods, which lasted from the seventh century BC until around the fourth century AD.

The burials were found by a joint Egyptian-Italian archaeological mission.

Ayman Ashmawy, who heads the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ Egyptian Antiquities Division, said studies of the mummies “indicate that 30 to 40 percent of those buried died in their youth, as newborns or as adolescents.”

Patrizia Piacentini, professor of Egyptology and archeology at the University of Milan, headed the Italian side of the mission.

She said preliminary studies on the remains showed that “some suffered from infectious diseases, while others had bone disorders.”

The remains of several adult women showed signs of pelvic bone trauma.

Other mummies indicated “anemia, malnutrition, chest diseases, tuberculosis and signs of osteoporosis,” Piacentini said in a ministry statement.

Since 2018, the mission has been excavating the area around the Aga Khan mausoleum where Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah is buried, on the west bank of the Nile River just across from Aswan city center.

Among the remains found were “an adult, perhaps a woman, and a child who may have died at the age of one or two,” said Abdelmoneim Said, General Director of Aswan and Nubia Antiquities.

“The two bodies were still attached inside a stone coffin,” he added.