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-Z’ayyim 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-Z’ayyim and jumped onto the other side of the wall before border policemen noticed them and started chasing them.
“Iz 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 us”, Salah said, “I then saw a soldier approaching Iz Ed-Deen before pointing his gun at him, at point blank, at fired several rounds”.
“I went back towards him and dozens of other workers followed me, the soldiers then surrounded us and started kicking and beating us”, he added. “Later on, I saw them placing his body in a black bag and dragged it away”.
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 “one 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 settlement” .
The police claimed that two border policemen chased the workers and one of them managed to grab one of the workers “who then tried to snatch the policeman’s weapon”.
“A scuffle took place and a round was accidentally discharged”, the police report claimed.
The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, B’Tselem, stated in a report published last August that the Israeli army does not question the soldiers in most cases where similar incidents took place.
B’Tselem 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.