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The brutal shooting dead of a wounded, helpless young Palestinian man, Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif, 21, by an Israeli soldier was captured on video last week, providing stark visual evidence of Israel’s policy of extrajudicial executions.
UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns, said: “Whatever legal regime one applies to the case, shooting someone who is no longer a threat is murder. It is furthermore troublesome that this was done to no apparent alarm to the other soldiers who were nearby.”
The soldier in question has had his charge downgraded from murder to manslaughter and has been defended by members of the Knesset, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Since last October, Israeli forces or settlers have killed at least 206 Palestinians; Gaza remains under cruel, life-threatening siege; thousands of Palestinians languish in prison, hundreds of them without charge; and Israel has embarked on its largest land grab in decades, in the northern and central occupied West Bank, in order to build more illegal settlements.
In the light of these multiple, repeated breaches of international law and gross human rights abuses, ongoing since 1948, Irish civil society must support the Palestinian call for BDS — boycott, divestment, and sanctions. As was the case with South Africa, we must stand against apartheid and work for justice.
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