Field Reports, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

Officer aims rifle at Palestinian rights activist & prevents him from aiding the injured

0 Comments 05 June 2017

Israeli army officer aims rifle at a Palestinian human rights activist and prevents him from aiding injured Palestinian – as attackers escape

Screenshot 2017-06-05 12.04.03

On Shabbat (Saturday) May 27 2017, Palestinian farmer Mamun Nasser was attacked by masked Israelis from the vicinity of the Yitzhar settlement. The attack took place on land which is part of the Palestinian village Madma. Nasser sustained head injuries as a result of Israeli stone throwers. According to Palestinian eye witnesses, soldiers were present but did not act to prevent the attack. Rabbis For Human Rights’ (RHR) field coordinator, Zakaria Sadah, arrived on the scene in his vehicle and asked to approach the injured man in order to assist him. However,  he was obstructed by an army officer even though the incident was taking place on a Palestinian farming land, and not close to Yitzhar. The incident was captured on video by Yesh Din fieldworker, Munir Kados.

We are stunned that while masked assailants attacked a Palestinian civilian and subsequently ran off in the direction of Yitzhar, the army officer found it more compelling to threaten and stop human rights activist, Zakaria Sadah. Sadah attempted to assist the wounded man, who was bleeding from his head, and to evacuate him from the scene. We do note that an army paramedic did bandage the man; however,  Zakaria had asked to evacuate the injured man with his jeep to an area approachable by an ambulance. Moreover the officer made unnecessary and overt threats with his weapon at Zakaria, forcing him out of his jeep while taking Zakaria’s car keys. Only following the arrival of a more senior officer did the junior officer return Zakariya’s keys to him – by throwing the keys on the ground in an effort to humiliate.

Rabbis for Human Rights:

Our field coordinator does not pose a security risk. He is a well known human rights activist and recognized by army officers in the area for working in a non-violent manner, and who has even, on a number of occasions, acted out of clear human rights motivations to protect Israeli settlers who have found themselves in danger. The army officer— instead of acting against a security threat— prevented Zakariya from aiding an injured civilian while gratuitously humiliating him. We view these actions as extremely grave.

Over the course of the past month RHR and Yesh Din have documented over five cases in which Israeli soldiers and police stood idly by, taking no real action, while Palestinians were being attacked by extremist settlers in the vicinity of Yitzhar.

Special thank you to Yesh Din for documenting this incident and providing information and assistance.

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