In April 2016, a 16-year old boy and his 23-year old pregnant sister were shot and killed near the largest Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank, Qalandia. The two Israeli border guards who killed the two family members have faced no charges or discipline, and now, Israeli prosecutors have officially closed the case, and determined that no charges were warranted against the guards.
A gag order was placed on the case by Israeli officials, and only after reporters from the Israeli paper Ha’aretz asked for the removal of the gag order was it discovered that no charges will be filed against the two guards.
According to Israeli prosecutors, there is no proof that the two guards acted improperly when they killed the unarmed child and his older sister.
Maram Taha, 23, and Ibrahim Taha, 16, her brother, were walking near Qalandia checkpoint on April 27th, and were around 65 feet away from the checkpoint when the guards claim that they seemed to be acting suspiciously, and shot them both.
Their bodies were held by Israeli officials for over a month, preventing the family from carrying out burial rites.
Maram was five months pregnant, and a mother of two children; Sarah, 6, and Remas, 4.
While Israeli prosecutors claimed that surveillance video footage at the checkpoint showed Maram attempting to throw a knife, they have refused to make the alleged video public.
Initially, on the day that she was killed, Israeli officials told the media that Maram was wearing an explosive belt. But when this was clearly not the case, when it was shown that she was pregnant, they simply stopped repeating the claim. They never officially retracted that claim, but it was not mentioned when the case was submitted to the military court system for review.
Over the past year, Israeli soldiers have been witnessed planting knives on or next to Palestinians that they have killed. This has led to suspicions among Palestinians in the case of Maram and Ibrahim Taha, particularly since Israeli officials have refused to release the surveillance video of this killing.
The case against the two Israeli border guards who shot the young mother and her little brother was submitted to prosecutors with a recommendation that no charges be brought against the guards.
Israeli prosecutors apparently agreed with this assessment, and decided not to prosecute the two unnamed Israelis who killed Maram and Ibrahim.
The Taha family has no legal recourse to appeal this decision by the Israeli military authorities, which govern the Palestinian Territories with martial law.