Monday, April 30, 2012

B’Tselem: Army was on Training in Village where Resident was Killed

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

TEL AVIV, April 30, 2012 (WAFA) – The Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, said in a newsletter published Monday that Israeli army units operating in the West Bank village of Kufr Ramun, where a Palestinian resident was shot and killed, were on a training mission and not on an urgent military necessity as claimed by the army.
Soldiers dressed in civilian clothing entered the northern West Bank village on March 27 and while they were in the yard of a local house, residents mistook them for thieves and came out with knives and clubs to confront them.
The soldiers opened fire at the residents, three brothers, killing one and seriously injuring the other two.
The army later said that its soldiers were on an urgent security mission in the village and that when they were attacked, they opened fire at their assailants.
According to B’Tselem, when two undercover soldiers appeared after midnight near the Shawakhah family's house in Kufr Ramun, three of the Shawakhah brothers, fearing thieves, went outside armed with knives and a club, demanding that the strangers identify themselves.
The soldiers shot one brother, the other two brothers then attacked, and the soldiers shot them, too.
Uniformed soldiers arriving next also shot at two of the wounded brothers - one, Rashad Shawakhah, later died in the hospital.
“The soldiers reportedly entered Ramun not for urgent military necessity, but for training purposes,” said B’Tselem. “If true, this suggests gross disdain for Palestinian civilian lives,” it said.
The Israeli organization demanded full investigation into the incident as well as full scrutiny, including of the senior command decision that sent soldiers disguised as civilians into the village.