Tuesday 28 September 2010

No Justice for Jerusalem: Murdering Palestinian Jerusalemites in Cold Blood

My Palestine

Posted on 28/09/2010 by reham alhelsi
Have you heard of Ziad Al-Julani, Mohammed Abdeen, Ra’id Abu Hammad, Hazim Al-Dab’aat and Samir Sarhan? Have you read their names in newspapers, in website articles, in social media messages? Have you stopped for a minute to think about these people, about their lives and the injustice done to them? Have you thought about these fathers, these sons, these brothers, these loved ones before jumping to quick-read the next article or facebook/tweet the next link? Ziad Al-Julani, Mohammed Abdeen, Ra’id Abu Hammad, Hazim Al-Dab’at and Samir Sarhan are only a few names among a long list of Palestinian Jerusalemites murdered in cold-blood by Israeli occupation forces. Ziad Al-Julani, Mohammed Abdeen, Ra’id Abu Hammad, Hazim Al-Dab’at and Samir Sarhan are only a few among the thousands over thousands of Palestinians killed by Zionists since the first Zionist set foot on Palestinian land. Ziad Al-Julani, Mohammed Abdeen, Ra’id Abu Hammad, Hazim Al-Dab’at and Samir Sarhan are only a few among thousands of Palestinians murdered during this year by the Zionist entity, while its leaders were claiming in front of TV cameras that they want peace and a better future for the Palestinians. The five of them come from various Jerusalem suburbs; from Silwan, from Shu’fat, from Izariyyeh (Bethany), from At-Tur. But the love of Palestine, of their city Jerusalem, of their land, of their families combines them. The love of freedom and the thirst for freedom brought them together and Zionist terrorism killed the smile on their faces, crushed their dreams and strangled the hearts that spell “Palestine” with every beat. Three of them were loving husbands and fathers who left bereaved families and children who will grow up without the warmth of a fatherly hug or the comfort of a fatherly advice. The other two were young men, dreaming of freedom, hoping for a better life and better days to come. They, like the thousands over thousands of Palestinians murdered by the Zionist entity, were murdered because their mere existence was a threat to the Zionist entity, they were murdered because they are Palestinians.

www.aljazeera.netZiad Al-Julani, 39 years old, father of 3, murdered by the Zionists in cold blood

On Friday 11.06.2010 and after Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa, Ziad Al-Julani from Shu’fat made his way to Wadi Il-Joz to visit his aunt who had invited him and other family members to dinner. Since it was Friday, there was much traffic and a heavy presence of Israeli occupation border police and special forces.

Ziad didn’t reach his aunt’s house that Friday. He was murdered by the Zionists; he was executed in front of witnesses including at least one child.

As with countless Zionist crimes, the Zionist entity rushed to label the victim as a “terrorist” and to claim that he “threatened the lives” of its fully-armed occupation soldiers/ police. It often happens that such crimes are committed in broad daylight in front of many witnesses, but whether the witnesses are Palestinians, Israelis, internationals or even news reporters who document such murders, Israel always dismisses these witnesses and presents the one and only “account”: its soldiers were attacked by “terrorists” and had to defend themselves. According to the Zionist lie, Al-Julani drove his car into a group of Israeli border police injuring a number of them, so they shot him. The Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) investigated the murder and collected testimonies of witnesses present that day. These witnesses testified that what in fact began as an accident ended in an extrajudicial execution. Al-Julani was executed by Israeli special forces in cold blood after he was wounded and lying on his stomach. He was kicked in the head and then shot in the face at point blank range: “an initial shot knocked Al-Julani to the floor, after which Israeli Special Forces “fired shots in the face and abdomen at close range.””[1] Witnesses report that there was heavy traffic in the area after Friday prayers. There had been clashes between some youth and the Israeli occupation forces who were shooting live ammunition randomly at people. Al-Julani’s car window was shattered either by stones or by bullets causing the car to swerve towards the policemen. He tried to avoid hitting the Israeli police by entering a nearby alley, got out of his car and ran towards the home of his relatives. One witness reported seeing him walking in a strange way in the direction of his relative’s house which indicates he was already injured and was in fact seeking help at his relatives.  All this time the Israeli soldiers were pursuing him firing at him. He fell down and the soldiers came towards him and executed him from very close range. One witness said: “He got out of the car, and they came after him. Not just one of them shot, but many of them, and then they started yelling in Hebrew for people to go back into their homes.” She said she saw the officers kicking Julani in the head and then shooting him twice with their rifles at close range, killing him.”[2] Ahmad Qutteneh testified seeing Al-Julani run from the Israeli special forces who were pursuing him. When they were 4 to 6 meters away from him, they opened fire and he fell, “then I saw one of them come near him and shoot him in the face and body”[3]. Sa’id As-Silwadi told the JCSER that he “saw Al-Julani get out of his vehicle when he was shot by Israeli forces”[4]. Upon returning to his car, As-Silwadi found his 5 year old daughter bleeding from the neck after being hit by a rubber bullet and had to rush her to hospital.

Al-Julani was left 10 minutes bleeding on the ground and the soldiers didn’t allow any help to come close to him or to transport him to hospital. His cousin Mahmoud Al-Julani tried helping him but Israeli border policemen attacked him and hit him on the head with their rifles causing him severe injury and he had to be taken to hospital. He told the JCSER: “I went out of the house to see him laid on the floor, 15 meters away from me. When I tried to help him they [Israeli forces] beat me with sticks.”[5] Al-Julani was already injured and on the ground, so the Israeli border police could have easily detained him, but they wanted him dead and instead of treating him they executed him. The murderers were pleased with their “day’s work” and according to several witnesses including Qutteneh, the soldier who killed Al-Julani danced near the body singing: “I killed an Arab, I killed an Arab”[6]. Another witness saw one of the officers place his hand on the shoulder of the soldier who killed Al-Julani as a sign of satisfaction.

On that day, the Israeli border police were shooting randomly despite knowing they were in a residential area. Among others, a 70 year-old Palestinian who was sitting in his balcony, a 7 year-old girl sitting in her father’s car, two women and a man were injured. Ziad Al-Julani was killed at 13:30 pm in bright daylight and with witnesses around.

To hide any traces of their crime, the soldiers washed the martyr’s blood off the street, confiscated his car and threw his belongings in the street. When he was taken to near-by Al-Maqasid hospital, the soldiers surrounded the hospital and tried stealing his body but the people present there prevented that. Here, it is worth mentioning that in the last couple of years Israeli occupation police killed at least four Palestinian Jerusalemites in similar circumstances; executing them after traffic accidents and claiming they were the “attackers”. On 23.06.2010, the body of Al-Julani was exhumed and examined upon the request of the family. The autopsy concluded that he was killed in “cold blood without posing threat to the life of anyone”[7]. This confirms the testimonies of the witnesses that Al-Julani fell to the ground after the initial shot, was injured and caused no threat to the Israeli forces, and instead of being treated he was executed. After the autopsy, Israeli media reported that the Israeli soldier who killed Al-Julani admitted to killing him by shooting at his head at very close range with the intention of killing him, despite the fact that Al-Julani was lying injured. The soldier claimed, as they always do to acquit themselves of murder, that Al-Julani had an explosive belt strapped around his body and that he killed him to “protect” himself and the other soldiers. Funny enough, the imaginary explosive belts which Israeli soldiers use as excuse to kill Palestinians miraculously don’t explode when Palestinians fall to the ground, and funny enough the terrorist entity that exhibits chairs and broomsticks as “weapons” used by non-violent peace activists never shows the explosive belts they always claim were strapped on bodies of the Palestinians they murder. The family of Al-Julani pressed charges against the Israeli occupation forces for murder but as with all Israeli crimes no justice for the victims is to be expected.
Testimony of Ahmad Subhi Qutteneh:[8]

“… near the house of Hisham Abu-Ghazaleh, he fell down on the right side I think, and immediately one of the 3 soldiers stood near his head and he [the soldier] had a shaved head, a stocky structure, tall, green eyed, and this soldier placed his right foot on the neck of the young man lying on the ground, and placed the gun muzzle – whose type I don’t know but it was a long weapon – directly on the chin of the young man, And the other two soldiers were standing behind him, when that soldier fired two shots at the chin of the young man without an interval between the bullets! And immediately one of the soldiers sat on the ground near the house of Dar Qirrish, while the soldier who shot the young man became hysterical and very nervous and started shouting words I do not recall, then he directed his weapon at the people who were standing at the doors of houses and windows, asking them to go inside their homes, while the sweat was pouring from his forehead, and he was jumping from place to place!  ….. “then I saw Mahmoud Julani – Ziads cousin – come out of his house which is opposite mine and head toward the soldiers, also Adel Alhedmi left his house at the end of the yard and headed towards the soldiers and told them that the young man is injured and should be helped, but the soldier who shot the two bullets at the man’s chin answered him: “I killed him .. go into your house!”. 

In the meantime, Mahmoud was trying to reach the injured man, and the soldiers told him in Hebrew to go into his house but he refused so the soldiers attacked Mahmoud and one of them beat him with the bullet magazine on his head, and the rest of the soldiers beat him as well, and Mahmoud fell to the ground ….. He further testified that the residents tried helping both Ziad and his cousins but the soldiers prevented them from coming close and they also prevented the Red Crescent medical team from assisting the two men, despite the fact that Ziad was alive at the time and still moving on the ground.”

Testimony of Mahmoud Othman Mahmoud Al-Julani:[9]

” … I saw my cousin Ziad Julani lying on the ground and his head facing downwards, i.e. in my direction, I do not remember if Ziad was sleeping on his stomach or his back, but he was moving, and there was no one in the yard except me and the 3 soldiers, while the blood was streaming from Ziad’s face which had exploded from something, the soldiers approached me and told me “go home” and I told them “he is my cousin” and immediately and without warning the 3 soldiers attacked me and beat me with sticks, and other members of the special forces dressed in black uniforms joined them in beating me, and they were concentrating their beating on the head area, so I fell to the ground screaming from pain, especially because I felt that my head had split into two halves and the blood started to trickle down my face, and the process of beating continued for two or three minutes!” He added that in hospital “I saw my cousin Ziad sleeping on the bed, and he was still breathing, I saw a hole in his left arm, another hole in the left waist near the abdomen, and a third hole in the face near the chin area and a fourth hole near the right ear and Ziad’s right chin was open as if it had exploded.”
Ziad was 39 years old and the father of 3 children.

Mohammad Abdeen, 37 years old, father of 5, murdered by the Zionists in cold blood

On 10.06.2010, Mohammad Abdel Salam Abdeen from At-Tur in occupied Jerusalem was killed while in Israeli detention. Sources say that Abdeen died as a result of torture and medical negligence raising the number of Palestinian detainees murdered inside Israeli jails to 199. Because the usual Israeli justification for killing Palestinians, i.e. he had an explosive belt, wouldn’t work in this case, the terrorist entity used its other card, i.e. Palestinian victims kill themselves and rushed to claim that Abdeen committed suicide in his cell.

What started as a traffic accident ended with the murder of a Palestinian, as in the case of Al-Julani and countless other cases where Palestinian cars colliding with Israeli ones lead to the extrajudicial execution of the Palestinian driver, while Zionist colonists deliberately running over Palestinian women and children are allowed to continue roaming our streets and killing more of us.

One year earlier, Abdeen’s car had a collision with an Israeli car in what was a normal traffic accident. Because he was a Palestinian, Abdeen was arrested in a brutal way and taken to Il-Maskubiyyeh detention center in occupied Jerusalem. He was later transferred to Asqalan prison where he was interrogated and tortured for many weeks. This was the first step in many to follow in which Abdeen was locked up in at least 4 Israeli prisons: he was placed in solitary confinement in Eshel prison, then moved to Ramon prison and then to Majiddo prison, then to Mi’bar section of Ramleh prison, which is a detention center where prisoners are kept before their court sessions in Ofer military court. Abdeen had a court session on Sunday, but he never made it to the court because he was murdered on Thursday.

In addition to being tortured during interrogation, Abdeen suffered from bad health conditions and was denied medical treatment.

His wife, who visited him in jail on 06.06.2010, only a few days before his death, noticed his deteriorating health and said she saw his hands shaking, his limbs could barely function, he could hardly talk, his body was weak and that he was in great pain. She is reported saying: “Mohammad was another person… his face was pale and it was obvious that he was very tired, and a female soldier used to come in the morning and the evening and give him a medicine which he didn’t know what it was or what for”[10].

Only some 2 weeks earlier, on 24.05.2010, his wife found him in excellent health. This drastic change in his health condition, the sudden pain and suffering that rushed his death only strengthen what some Palestinian experts on Palestinian prisoner’s affairs say about Israeli prison authorities using Palestinian detainees for medical experiments and as test objects for new Israeli medicines. When his body was later released for burial, the family noticed signs of beating on his neck and face.

Mohammad was 37 years old and the father of 5 children.

Ra’id Abu Hammad, 30 years old, murdered by the Zionists in cold blood

Ra’id Mahmoud Abu Hammad from Il-Izarriyeh (Bethany) was murdered on 16.4.2010 in the Israeli Beersheva prison. He had been in Israeli detention for five years and was in isolation for 18 months at the time of his murder. Abu Hammad was placed in solitary confinement in Eshel for causing damage to a TV set in the cell. The damage was not deliberate and Abu Hammad’s family applied to the prison authority to replace the ruined TV set so he be realised from isolation, but the Israeli prison authority refused.

Abu Hammad was an athlete with no record of health problems previous to his detention. Because his fatal injury was typical of one form of torture used by Israel, his death is considered a direct result of torture. According to the Palestinian Prisoner Society, “Abu Hammad was hit by Israeli interrogators on the center spine and the back of his neck, and died of his wounds in the cell.

Forensic examination revealed that Abu Hammad was healthy and did not suffer from any health condition. He was also an athlete and in a strong body shape. The examination also revealed that Abu Hammad was tortured during interrogation and was struck on the center of his spine causing damage to the spinal canal in addition to being violently hit on the back of the head.”[11]
Ra’id was 30 years old.

Hazim Abu Al-Dab’aat, 22 years old, murdered by the Zionists in cold blood

Hazim Adel Abu Al-Dab’aat from Ath-Thuri in occupied Jerusalem was shot dead by the Israeli occupation police in Tel Aviv on 14.09.2010. Israeli occupation forces have claimed that Abu Al-Dab’aat and a group of his friends were attempting to steal a car when they were stopped by the Israeli police. They claimed that while one policeman was cleaning his gun, it accidentally fired a bullet that killed the young man. The family and friends of Abu Al-Dab’aat denied the Israeli claims and said that he and a group of friends were on their way to a daytrip in Tel Aviv since it was the Eid holiday.

According to the testimonies of Abu Al-Dab’aats friends, who witnessed the murder, collected by the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Right (JCSER): the young men were stopped by the Israeli police for inspection when one policeman started insulting them. Abu Al-Dab’aat argued back at the policeman who then forced him to the ground with his face downwards, tied his hands behind his back and shot him at point blank range. Then, the Israeli policeman untied Abu Al-Dab’aat’s hands so he can claim the young man caused a threat to his life. This also proves the falsity of the second version of the Israeli “justification” which claims that the bullet went off “by mistake” while the policeman was cleaning his gun.

The policeman who murdered Abu Al-Dab’aat was sentenced to “five days house arrest” after which he went back to his work as usual. The Israeli police justified this with: “At first glance, it does not seem that the policeman acted in a way that is against the law, so it was decided that he return [to his work] until the investigation unit “Mahish” finishes it work and decides whether the policeman is to be brought before court or an administrative reprimand would be enough.”[12] The family reported that the body of Abu Al-Dab’aat showed signs of bruises, concussions and scratches on the face and the head, there were also marks of beating and abuse in addition to the bullet that went into his heart. One of Abu Al-Dab’aat’s friends is still in Israeli detention. His father reports that the Israeli interrogators told his son either he confesses to the policeman’s version of events or he remains in detention. The young man refuses their claims that the murder was “by mistake” and is still in detention.
Hazim was 22 years old.

Samir Sarhan, 32 years old, father of 5, murdered by the Zionists in cold blood

Samir Mahmoud Sarhan from Silwan in occupied Jerusalem was killed on 22.09.2010 by an Israeli security guard working in one of the Zionist colonies built illegally in occupied Jerusalem. Israeli occupation forces claimed that the security guard’s car was blocked and that the settler was attacked by “stone-throwing Palestinians” so he fired from his pistol through his car window. Palestinian eyewitnesses refuted the Israeli claims and testified that Sarhan and other men were in fact on their way to work when the crime happened. They add that the guard got out of his car and chased the youth in the alleys while firing in all directions. Sarhan and two others were hit. Eye witnesses also report that Sarhan was left lying on the ground to bleed to death for two whole hours and that the Israeli occupation forces didn’t provide him with any medical assistance and refused to let an ambulance save his life. Despite the numerous eyewitness accounts that the Zionist guard who murdered Sarhan was in no “life-threatening” situation and that in fact he was the one chasing the Palestinian youth and shooting at them, Sarhan’s killer was released from Israeli police custody less than 24 hours after the murder. Today, it was revealed that Israeli surveillance cameras installed in the streets of Silwan exposed the lies of the Zionist settler who claimed that his life was in danger after Palestinians had blocked the road, surrounded him and threw stones at him, which “forced” him to shoot at them, thus killing Sarhan. The cameras showed that the road was not blocked at the time of the murder and that the killer and another settler got out of their car and chased a Palestinian boy, after which they returned to their car and left the street. The life of the Zionist settler was never in danger. The killer was released from Israeli police custody based on his false allegation. Silwan is currently threatened by Zionist colonists and the Zionist entity wants to ethnically cleanse the town of its Palestinian population. Over 100 homes are to be demolished to make way for a biblical theme park “the City of David”. Other Palestinian homes were occupied by Zionist colonists and the Palestinian owners of the homes forcibly kicked out.

Samir Sarhan was 32 years old and a father of 5

With every passing day, the Zionist entity intensifies its war on occupied Jerusalem. The latest Jerusalemite victim of Israeli terror is baby Mohammad Ahmad Abu Sneineh, 14 months from Il-Isawiyyeh, who died on 24.09.2010 after inhaling poisonous tear gas fired by the Israeli occupation police. And as with every murder committed and with every injustice inflicted on the Palestinians, the Zionist entity rushes to acquit the criminal, justify the crime and accuse the victim of being the perpetrator. And as with every massacre committed, the Zionist entity rushes to cry “self-defence” and “Anti-Semitism”. Murdering Palestinians and claiming it was their fault is not new to the Zionist entity which was established on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Zionist terrorists who bombed cafes, schools, cinemas, trains, hotels and booby-trapped British soldiers in the 1930s and 1940s were later welcomed in the UK and other countries and their successors who massacred thousands of Palestinians, Lebanese and others are welcomed as “heroes of peace” and are protected from prosecution.

Ziad Al-Julani, Mohammed Abdeen, Ra’id Abu Hammad, Hazim Al-Dab’at and Samir Sarhan did not die. They continue to live through their children and their siblings. They continue to live through every Palestinian child born, through every poppy blossoming on Palestine’s hilltops, through every olive tree spreading it roots deep into the heart of the land. They will continue to live as long as the sun shines over Bethlehem, Nablus, Al-Jalil and Hebron and as long as the wind plays with the waves in Acca, Haifa, Yaffa and Gaza and as long as birds fly over the old city of Jerusalem and sing for its coming freedom.

They will continue to live as long as there is a Palestinian people steadfast in Jerusalem and in all of Palestine from the River to the Sea.

They will continue to live because an entity built on terror, ethnic cleansing and racism is a self-destructive entity.

They will continue to live because at the end of the day it is justice that will prevail.


[1] www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=291342
[2] www.imemc.org/article/58940
[3] www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=29134
[4] ibid
[5] ibid
[6] http://www.alquds-online.org/index.php?s=news&id=5271
[7] http://www.pls48.net/en/default.asp?CatID=0&ID=594
[8] http://www.maannews.net/arb/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=293229
[9] ibid
[10] http://www.sabiroon.org/news/specialNewsDetails.php?code=3707&category=19
[11] http://www.imemc.org/article/58498
[12] http://www.alquds-online.org/index.php?s=news&id=5993
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