22nd September 2016 | International Solidarity Movement, al-Khalil team | Hebron, occupied Palestine
One year has passed since the extrajudicial execution of the Palestinian student Hadeel al-Hashlamoun by Israeli forces at Shuhada checkpoint in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron). One year without justice for the family of the slain teen – one year of complete lack of consequences and continous impunity for the soldier who executed Hadeel in cold-blood despite her not posing any threat, and despite photo and video-evidence. But also one year, in which this culture of impunity for the cold-blooded murder of Palestinians has been fostered further and emboldened the Israeli forces to continue gunning down Palestinians – a crime that in Israeli society is no longer considered a crime.
18-year old Hadeel al-Hashlamoun, on the 22nd September 2015 crossed the then not yet highly-militarized and fenced-off Shuhada checkpoint. Israeli forces at the checkpoint were yelling at her – in Hebrew – the language of the occupying soldiers, that most Palestinians do not understand or speak. Despite a Palestinian bystander translating between the girl and the soldiers, Hadeel was shot several times with live ammunition in her upper body – at a point where she was at a 5 meter distance from the soldiers behind a metal-fence and could under no circumstances have posed any kind of threat to the soldiers. Israeli authorities claim that Hadeel was holding a knife. Whether or not this is the case video- and photo-evidence clearly shows, she was far away from the soldiers, and not approaching or moving towards any of them.
As in most of these kind of incidents, after Israeli forces gun down Palestinians, she was left to bleed to death on the ground, while Israeli forces threw stun grenades at a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance outside the checkpoint in order to prevent any medical treatment. Instead, in a video she can be seen pulled by her feet on the ground, seemingly in order to prevent any journalists attempting to take photos despite the stun grenades to get a shot of the dying, slowly bleeding to death, teenager. At the same time, settlers were gathering and looking on, taking their own photos and videos. At a later point, she was kidnapped to an Israeli hospital in far-away Jerusalem, whereas the Palestinian medical crew prevented from reaching the seriously injured girl would have been able to evacuate her to the nearby at only 5-minutes distance Palestinian hospital in al-Khalil. In contrast to the majority of Palestinians gunned down, her family was “granted” the right to bury their daughter, a right Israeli forces now tend to deny to families by kidnapping the bodies and refusing to hand them over to their families.
As has become all to common, the executioner of Hadeel has not had to face any consequences for the cold-blooded killing caught on camera. In the recent weeks, Israeli forces have again increased the use of lethal force against Palestinians, gunning down 10 Palestinians in only 6 days.