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UN condemns 'gruesome' Israeli execution of Palestinian man

The execution of the Palestinian on camera has shocked the world [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 March, 2016

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The UN has condemned a gruesome execution of a wounded Palestinian in cold blood by an Israeli soldier that was caught on video yesterday.
The United Nations condemned on Friday the "gruesome" killing of a wounded Palestinian, Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif, by an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank, after a video of the death spread widely online.

Another Palestinian, 21-year old Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi was also fatally killed during the incident.

"I strongly condemn yesterday's apparent extra-judicial execution of a Palestinian assailant in Hebron in the occupied West Bank," UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process Nickolay Mladenov said in a statement.

"This was a gruesome, immoral and unjust act that can only fuel more violence and escalate an already volatile situation."

However, he welcomed Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon's condemnation of the incident and called on the Israeli authorities to "swiftly bring to justice" the alleged perpetrator.
Palestinians on social media emphasised that such incidents of extra-judicial execution are common place, but this one drew outrage due to its capture on camera.
The Israeli army on Thursday arrested a soldier caught on video shooting dead a wounded Palestinian man in the head as he lay on the ground after allegedly attempting to stab a soldier.

“While it is encouraging that the soldier in the video has reportedly been suspended and placed under investigation, previous Israeli investigations have failed to hold members of the Israeli forces accountable even when there has been clear evidence of criminal wrongdoing," read an Amnesty International Press Statement. 

"Israeli forces have a long history of carrying out unlawful killings – including extrajudicial executions – in the Occupied Palestinian Territories with impunity."

The clip, which was widely shared online and shown by state-owned and commercial Israeli TV channels, shows what appears to be one of the most flagrant cases of Israeli forces abuse since the Palestinian uprising that erupted in October, killing over 200 Palestinians.

Palestinians on social media emphasised that such incidents of extra-judicial execution are common place, but this one drew outrage due to its capture on camera. 

The incident was immediately condemned as an "execution" by Israeli rights group B'Tselem and as a "war crime" by Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the soldier's behaviour was not in keeping with the army's values and Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon vowed that the incident was being treated with "utmost severity".

Israelis have also been widely accused of using excessive force, charges which they have firmly denied.

"Morally speaking, a terrorist who tried to murder Jews deserves to die," said Bezalel Smotrich, an MP from the far-right Jewish Home party.


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