WASHINGTON DC, Sunday, May 28, 2023 (WAFA) – An investigative report recently published by The Washington Post refutes Israel’s official account of a deadly raid carried out in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on March 16 in which four Palestinians, including a 16-year-old child, were murdered by undercover Israeli forces.
On March 16, undercover Israeli officers from the Israeli army’s elite Yamam unit killed four Palestinians, including a child, after sneaking into the city center of Jenin, hiding inside a civilian vehicle.
The Washington Post’s report was based on the synchronization of 15 videos and the reviewing of dozens more.
Additionally, the conclusion was drawn based on the detailed eyewitness accounts of “nine witnesses and obtained testimonies from four others to produce a 3D reconstruction of the raid.”
The investigation rejected Israel’s version of the events that the Israeli soldiers targeted “armed suspects”.
“Israeli forces killed Omar,” the investigative report says, referring to 16-year-old Omar Awadin. “Israeli authorities have not publicly commented on his death,” it added.
“Omar was among at least 16 civilians in the area as the [Israeli occupation] officers charged down the street with AR-style rifles and a handgun, firing more than 20 shots and killing the [alleged] two militants, neither of whom was visibly armed,” The Post continued.
Moreover, Israeli forces kept shooting “multiple times” on a Palestinian man “after he was incapacitated — an apparent extrajudicial execution that experts said could violate Israeli law,” the investigation concluded.
Aside from Awadin, three more Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces. They were identified as Nedal Khazem, 28, Yousef Khreim, 29, and Louay Khalil Al-Zughair, 37.
The newspaper quoted a number of experts who all agreed that the deadly Israeli raid of Jenin on March 16 was a violation of the international ban on extrajudicial killings, and that this violation is exacerbated by the fact that those whom Israel claimed were armed did not pose any threat to the Israeli forces at the time of the assassination.
"One can say with a degree of confidence that these are extrajudicial executions," Philip Alsto,n former UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, told The Washington Post after reviewing the evidence presented by the newspaper.
Alston added that the "failure" to capture the two young men "was then compounded by more fatal shots even after the two individuals had been neutralized".
Former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, Michael Lynk, said: "These killings are largely unlawful under international standards, and their illegality is compounded by the choice to carry out the assassinations in a clearly crowded civilian market."
Link noted that neither of the two youths targeted in the raid "appeared to represent any threat, not even an imminent threat, and they could have been arrested."
Michael Sfard, a human rights lawyer who has previously challenged the legality of Israel's assassinations in the Israeli Supreme Court, called the Jenin raid "a perfect example of how Israel carries out operations involving lethal force."
The basic principle is that "do not open fire unless you are in danger," said Roni Bailey, a lawyer with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. But according to human rights organizations, the question of what constitutes a danger is hazy under Israeli law.
The newspaper said that some of the secret American documents that were recently leaked through the Discord platform shed light on the growing fears of the United States that the Israeli incursions into the West Bank, including the occupation's incursion into the city of Nablus on February 22, when the Israeli forces fired on a group of civilians, all of this may sabotage international efforts to calm the situation in the region.