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UN rights expert denounces killing of Palestinian

30 March 2016 20:00



A UN human rights expert has condemned as “extrajudicial execution” the recent killing of a wounded Palestinian by an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank.

The comments came in reaction to the murder of Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif, who was lying wounded by Israeli fire on the ground after an alleged stabbing attack in the city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on March 24. An Israeli trooper shot him in the head.

Another Palestinian filmed the incident and released it through an Israeli human rights group.

The 19-year-old Israeli soldier, whose identity has not been made clear, was arrested following the incident, but has not been charged yet.

Israeli prosecutors on Tuesday told a court that they are looking into possible manslaughter charges.

An Israeli soldier (C) who was suspended after being caught on video shooting a wounded Palestinian appears in a military court, March 29, 2016. ©AFP

“The images shown carry all the signs of a clear case of an extrajudicial execution,” said Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, adding, “shooting someone who is no longer a threat is murder.”

This comes as a number of Israeli politicians have defended the soldier and claimed that he was being publicly “lynched” and would not receive a fair trial. Former Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, also attended the court to support the soldier.

Another footage, released by Israeli paper, Haaretz, shows the soldier being approached and greeted after the killing by Baruch Meir Marzel, a well-known far-right Israeli-American politician, and the trooper patting him on the arm in response.

Israeli settlers have threatened to burn down the house of Imad Abu Shamsiyyeh, the Palestinian who filmed the atrocity.

The Palestinian government has asked the UN to launch an investigation into the murder.

Tensions have heightened in the occupied territories since August 2015, when Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Some 210 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since the beginning of last October. Around 29 Israelis have also been killed during this period.

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