Amira Hass on killing of Ziad Julani + one question

Haaretz has published an article today entitled: “Witnesses: Police shot hit-and-run driver instead of arresting him“.

It is written by Amira Hass. She reports that: “A motorist from East Jerusalem who ran over and wounded several Border Police officers Friday was shot twice in the face from close range while still lying on the ground, eyewitnesses said. Neighborhood witnesses said the fatal shots were fired once the officers no longer had reason to fear that their lives were in danger, and could have easily arrested the suspect. Witnesses in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz told Haaretz that the motorist, Ziad Jilani, suddenly swerved his car and hit the group of officers walking further up the road. They said, however, that they believed the collision was an accident, and not committed intentionally as initially reported” …

Continue reading Amira Hass on killing of Ziad Julani + one question

An unnecessary + brutal death in downtown East Jerusalem

The facts are not all in yet.

But it is, clearly, a tragedy.

One thing seems clear: a man (his name was Ziad al-Jolani, a 41-year-old father of three young daughters) was killed in Wadi Joz, a neighborhood of downtown East Jerusalem, on Friday around the time of Friday weekly prayers in the nearby Al-Aqsa mosque in the Old City of East Jerusalem — for which occasion, this week, there was a special Israeli security alert with special restrictions on attendance, just in case there might be an unrestrained reaction to the Israeli naval assault at sea on Monday 31 May on six ships in a Freedom Flotilla whose intention was to head to Gaza, and the subsequent interdiction and confiscation five days later of a seventh ship, the MV Rachel Corrie, last Friday 4 June.

As part of the Israeli security preparations, Israeli Border Police had formed a “flying checkpoint” (complete with metal police barricades, apparently), to slow down and stop any “suspicious” traffic.

Ziad was driving a small white truck, and something happened. It is not yet clear what.

Most unfortunately, the Israeli Border Police thought they knew what it was: a terror attack. They say that Ziad tried to use his vehicle to run them over, to kill them.

They ordered him to stop, but he did not. So, they say, they shot him.

But there were plenty of other police forces deployed around East Jerusalem at that time, and if Ziad had escaped capture there, he surely could have been stopped, easily, by other nearby forces, with a minimum of radio communication and coordination… He was not armed, and the justification for shooting is not convincing.

UPDATE: a family photo of Ziad and his youngest daughter posted on the Mondoweiss blog

Ziad al-Julani and his youngest daughter
Ziad al-Julani and his youngest daughter

Continue reading An unnecessary + brutal death in downtown East Jerusalem

East Jerusalem, o East Jerusalem

Sunday morning, the first messages came by SMS: Israeli settlers, supported by Israeli Police, had taken over and were demolishing a Palestinian home in Sheikh Jarrah.

Then, subsequent messages reported that several members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), and the Palestinian Authority recently-resigned Minister for Jerusalem Affairs (who seems to be still functioning in the position), Hatem Abdel-Qader, had been detained with them. Then, an SMS saying that Hatem Abdel Qader had been arrested.

In the late afternoon, a call came saying that there were fears of an imminent attack on the house of Maher Hanoun and his family, and two other families (a total of 17 persons), Maher Hanoun and another Palestinian were given a court deadline of 19 July to evacuate.

Continue reading East Jerusalem, o East Jerusalem