A Palestinian laborer was shot and killed, on Monday at dawn, by an Israeli policeman, who reportedly shot him at point blank range in occupied East Jerusalem. The policeman was placed under house arrest for five days. Iz Ed-Deen Saleh al-Kawazba, 36, was trying to cross through a barbed wired fence in al-Zâayyim area north east of Jerusalem, in order to seek work in Jerusalem when an Israeli policeman caught him and shot him at point blank, witnesses say.
The workers who were with al-Kawazba denied police reports claiming that he attempted to escape, and said that they saw a policeman pointed his gun at the victim at point blank before he fired several round at him.
His cousin, Salah al-Kawazba, said that around 2:30 on Monday at dawn, he, the victim and several other workers from the Hebron area managed to climb the Wall in al-Zâayyim and jumped onto the other side of the wall before border policemen noticed them and started chasing them.
âIz Ed-Deen was approximately 20 meters behind me, I asked him to rush but he was slow due to his weight, and the soldiers were approaching usâ, Salah said, âI then saw a soldier approaching Iz Ed-Deen before pointing his gun at him, at point blank, at fired several roundsâ.
âI went back towards him and dozens of other workers followed me, the soldiers then surrounded us and started kicking and beating usâ, he added. âLater on, I saw them placing his body in a black bag and dragged it awayâ.
Iz Ed-Deen and the rest of the workers were then detained and were let go near al-Azariyya town, in East Jerusalem. His brother, Hasan, was kidnapped and was taken to an unknown destination.
The Israeli police claimed that the worker was killed by accident as âone round was accidentally discharged while the policemen were chasing some 15 workers who jumped over a wall located near the main road that leads to Maaleh Adumim settlementâ .
The police claimed that two border policemen chased the workers and one of them managed to grab one of the workers âwho then tried to snatch the policemanâs weaponâ.
âA scuffle took place and a round was accidentally dischargedâ, the police report claimed.
The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, BâTselem, stated in a report published last August that the Israeli army does not question the soldiers in most cases where similar incidents took place.
BâTselem said that this policy gives the soldiers and officers the oppertunity to violate the law.
It also reported that only 23 investigations were conducted in the period between 2006 and 2009, during this period, the organization recorded 148 similar incidents that led to the death of 288 civilians.