A Palestinian human rights group accused Palestinian security forces of carrying out “extrajudicial killings” of Palestinians. Yet PLO officials claim that Israel is the one carrying out “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians.
By Bassam Tawil, The Gatestone Institute
Two Palestinians were shot dead near Jerusalem on June 23 — one by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) near the village of Abu Dis and the other by the Palestinian Authority security forces in the town of Al-Eizariya.
The man killed by the IDF, 28-year-old Ahmed Erekat, was fatally shot after he attempted to carry out a terror attack against Israeli soldiers with his car. A female soldier was lightly wounded in the attack.
Palestinian officials were quick to condemn the “cold-blooded murder of Ahmed Erekat by Israeli occupation forces.” They claimed the terrorist was on his way to pick up his mother and sister who were preparing for his sister’s wedding later that day.” PLO officials Saeb Erekat and Hanan Ashrawi described his death as an “extrajudicial execution by trigger happy soldiers.”
Micky Rosenfeld, Israel Police National Spokesman to Foreign Media, refuted the claims of the PLO officials by releasing CCTV footage of the vehicle attack. The footage shows Erekat’s car veering off the road towards the checkpoint’s booth and into the soldiers.
The release of the footage, however, evidently did not make an impression on the PLO officials, who continued to spread libels and fabrications against Israel and the IDF.
“Shameless criminals, this is an Israeli army video, this will be in front of the judges of the international criminal court,” wrote the PLO’s Saeb Erekat, a relative of the terrorist.
The allegations made by Saeb Erekat and other Palestinian officials were widely quoted in the foreign media, where Middle East correspondents always seem to delight in bashing Israel. Like the Palestinian officials, the foreign media seems blissfully unconcerned by the facts — which is most likely why its representatives take Palestinian libels and lies at face value.
The release of the footage leaves no doubt that Ahmed Erekat was on a mission to murder Israeli soldiers.
While the Palestinian officials and the international media were busy blaming Israel for the killing of a terrorist, Palestinian plainclothes policemen in the nearby town of Al-Eizariya shot and killed 41-year-old Ala’ Al-Amouri, a resident of east Jerusalem, in front of his mother and other family members.
Palestinian sources said that Al-Amouri, a father of four, was killed by the Palestinian policemen during an argument over a plot of land owned by his family. Three members of his family were also shot and injured by the plainclothes policemen during the scuffle, the sources added.
Al-Amouri was killed shortly after Ahmed Erekat carried out the terror attack against Israeli soldiers. Yet, Al-Amouri’s murder has been almost entirely ignored by the international media and the same PLO officials who condemned Israel for killing the terrorist who carried out the car-ramming attack. For the PLO and foreign correspondents, Palestinian policemen shooting and killing an unarmed Palestinian is no story at all.
When Israeli soldiers shoot a terrorist who tried to murder them at a checkpoint, then the PLO and the foreign journalists express outrage.
A number of Palestinian human rights organizations have called for the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the killing of Al-Amouri by the Palestinian security forces. Not surprisingly, these calls have been totally ignored by the PLO leadership and the foreign journalists reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) called for launching an immediate investigation into the killing of Al-Amouri and for holding those responsible to account. ICHR said its initial investigation showed that Al-Amouri was shot in the chest after he had been handcuffed.
Another Palestinian organization, Human Rights Institutions Association (HRIA) expressed its “surprise and denunciation of the increase in cases of excessive and disproportionate use of force by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank, the latest of which was the killing of the late Al-Amouri.”
HRIA accused the Palestinian security forces of carrying out “extrajudicial killings” of Palestinians. This accusation serves as a rebuttal of the lies of the PLO officials who claimed that Israel was the one carrying out “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians. Many international media outlets, nonetheless, parroted the deadly lies of the PLO officials against Israel while choosing to ignore the allegation made by the human rights organization against the Palestinian security forces.
Here is what HRIA had to say about the actions of the Palestinian security forces:
“The high number of extrajudicial killings by [Palestinian] security services in the West Bank constitutes a violation of the right to life. The actions of the security services, including the excessive use of force, violate Palestinian laws.”
The organization also called on Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, in his capacity as Minister of the Interior, to work towards ending the Palestinian security forces’ assaults on Palestinians in the West Bank.
Twisting the truth for international media
The two fatal incidents — the killing of the terrorist by the IDF and the killing of the unarmed, handcuffed civilian by the Palestinian security forces — are a perfect demonstration of how the Palestinians twist truth until it is utterly unrecognizable to the international media while hiding their crimes against their own people.
The same Palestinian officials who are accusing Israel of carrying out “extrajudicial executions” are facing the same charge by Palestinian human rights organizations. That, however, is an inconvenient truth that the leaders of the Palestinians are striving to conceal from the eyes of the world.
The lies, libels and double standard of the Saeb Erekat and Hanan Ashrawi fit right in with their long history of anti-Israel incitement. Those who have been following Palestinian affairs for many years are familiar with the lies and blood libels of Palestinian officials against Israel and Jews.
The real problem, however, lies far beyond the con artists Erekat and Ashrawi: it lies instead with the attitude of the international media and community towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Why are foreign media outlets who are reporting about the killing of a terrorist by Israeli troops ignoring the real “extrajudicial executions” — the ones that are carried out by the Palestinians who are again trying to conceal their crimes by diverting attention (and outrage) against Israel?
If Palestinian officials, so called human rights organizations and international reporters are worried about “extrajudicial executions,” they should start by investigating the abuse being perpetrated in their own backyard. They should talk to the family of Al-Amouri, human rights organizations and eyewitnesses — who can describe in detail how Palestinian security forces shot dead a handcuffed man in front of his elderly mother.
Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.