Mu’taz Bani Shams 23, May 18 2017

19 may 2017

Only few hours had passed since the Palestinian paramedic Yousuf Deiriya, 40, returned home after a busy day of work in the bloody clashes that erupted on Thursday south of Nablus city when the Israeli soldiers raided his house, arrested him and confiscated his ambulance.

Deiriya is a well-known paramedic in the southern areas of Nablus who never complains but responds to every call to transfer patients or those injured in traffic accidents, his nephew, who is also an activist, Islam Deiriya told the PIC reporter.

Deiriya was the main witness to the crime in which an Israeli settler shot the Palestinian youth Mu'taz Bani Shamsa from Beita town and the photojournalist Majdi Ishtiyeh at the entrance of Huwara town to the south of Nablus which led to killing Bani Shamsa.

The Israeli occupation forces accused Deiriya of intercepting the car of the settler who killed Bani Shamsa. Deiriya's family denied this categorically and affirmed that he stopped the ambulance to inspect it after being hit by the settler's car.

Islam Deiriya said that his uncle Yousuf has been using this ambulance which belongs to the Aqraba Municipality for a year and a half and that he previously worked as a municipal employee and a worker in a factory.

The captive paramedic has two daughters and 3 sons, and he was arrested 10 years ago for 3 years and was arrested again for several days while accompanying foreign volunteers in Khirbat al-Tawil to the east of Nablus.

Islam told the PIC reporter that his uncle is "a man of difficult missions" who does not fear the settlers' terrorism and who always remains on the front line to save the lives of the Palestinian protesters. "He does not care about the bullets even if they hit his car. He only cares about performing his professional and national duty to the fullest," he added.

Yousuf Deiriya was interviewed by many media outlets on Thursday to talk in detail about the Huwara incidents, which aroused the anger of the Israeli occupation forces that later arrested him, according to his family.

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Friday kidnapped five Palestinian citizens, including a paramedic, in al-Khalil and Nablus.

Local sources reported that Israeli soldiers stormed areas in al-Khalil city at dawn and kidnapped three Palestinians from their homes, adding that a car belonging to one of the detainees was confiscated during the IOF campaign.

The detainees were identified as Suhaib Abu Hussein, Yousef Amr, and Issa al-Ja’bari, the owner of the seized car.

In Nablus, the IOF kidnapped a paramedic called Yousef Dairiya from his home in Aqraba town and confiscated an ambulance he usually drives.

A family source told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that Dairiya was aboard the same confiscated ambulance at the entrance to Huwara town in Nablus on Thursday when a Jewish settler opened fire at Palestinian protesters killing Mu’taz Bani Shamsa and wounding a journalist.

The source added that Dairiya was witness to the crime of killing Bani Shamsa.

In a related context, another Palestinian citizen was taken prisoner during an IOF dawn campaign in Nablus city, north of the West Bank.

The detainee was identified as Jamal Shalo, the owner of al-Waleed Transport Company in the city.

The IOF also confiscated one of the company’s buses at the pretext that it was used to transport citizens from Nablus city to Huwara town, where Bani Shamsa was shot dead by a settler during a protest rally in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners in Israeli jails.

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov,  has condemned yesterday’s  killing of a Palestinian man by an Israeli settler, and the wounding of a photojournalist.

Mladenov said : ”I condemn today’s reported killing of a Palestinian by an Israeli settler and the wounding of a photojournalist in the occupied West Bank.”


He added, according to the PNN, that this deplorable incident must be promptly and thoroughly investigated and all suspected of being involved must be prosecuted.

On the ongoing hunger strike of Palestinian detainees: “I am following, with great concern, the ongoing hunger strike by Palestinian detainees protesting against their conditions in Israeli jails.

“The strike is now entering its second month, and it is imperative that a resolution be found as soon as possible, in line with International humanitarian law and Israel’s human rights obligations.

With growing tensions on the Palestinian street, I hope that the current efforts will result in an immediate resolution to the matter, which is in the interest of peace and ongoing initiatives to revive a political process.

I call on all actors to exercise maximum restraint, show responsibility and take all necessary steps to avoid escalating tensions,” Mladenov said.

In a related statement the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk, expressed concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in the OPT, on the eve of the 50th year of the Israeli occupation.

“Occupations are inherently temporary and short-term under international law, yet this occupation – after 5 decades – has no end in sight. Indeed, it is deeply entrenched, and Israel, the occupying power, shows many signs of wanting to make it permanent,” said Mr. Lynk.

“The systemic human rights violations that accompany this occupation – collective punishment, confiscation of property, excessive use of force and unlawful killings, lack of freedom of movement and steady settlement expansion, among others – are intensifying an already perilous situation,” he warned.

The human rights expert was speaking after a five-day mission to Amman, Jordan, where he met with human rights groups, UN officials and senior Palestinian government officials to discuss the human rights situation.

Israel has not permitted the Special Rapporteur to visit the OPT since he assumed his Mandate in May of 2016.

“It is with great concern that I look towards the future of Gaza, with all the reports I received this week indicating that the situation in the Strip is extremely dire,” Mr. Lynk stressed. “The ongoing electricity crisis has created an untenable situation, with predictions that by mid-June, a significant proportion of essential health, sanitation and water services may be inoperable.”

“I am struck by the depth of hopelessness and frustration in Gaza that has been described to me this week,” the Rapporteur noted. “After ten years of closure, I call upon Israel and the international community to turn your urgent attention to this situation, which cannot and should not be ignored any longer.

The human rights of the residents of Gaza must be respected – this is the only path forward.”

He also expressed deep concern about the situation in the occupied West Bank, noting that Israel controls Area C in its entirety, which makes up 60 percent of the West Bank, and which completely surrounds the Palestinian-controlled areas.

“Significant settlement construction has recently been announced, settlers enjoy four times the allocation of West Bank water that Palestinians receive, environmental degradation is spreading, and home demolitions are steadily increasing, all contributing to a situation in which many feel the path to peace is more and more difficult,” he said.

“I am particularly worried about the Bedouin communities in the Jerusalem periphery, who face the continued threat of displacement and destruction of their homes and livelihoods by the Israeli authorities,” said the expert. “Any displacement that occurs as a result of this coercive environment would amount to forcible transfer, which as I noted in my first report is a violation of international law.”

The Special Rapporteur also drew attention to the current situation in East Jerusalem, where Palestinian Jerusalemites are confined to living in 13% of the area, while facing a consistent threat of losing their residency rights and considerable obstacles when applying for building permits.

“Israel has never recognized this part of the city as occupied territory, and the Jerusalem municipality treats its Palestinian residents in a highly discriminatory fashion when providing services,” he underscored.

“Protracted occupations are an abnormality and an anachronism in our modern world,” Mr. Lynk said. “In an era where almost the entire world lives as citizens in sovereign states of their own, it is beyond time that the international community deliver on its solemn promise of self-determination for the Palestinians.”

Violent clashes broke out on Thursday in the vicinity of Nablus city and other West Bank areas between dozens of Palestinian young protesters and the Israeli occupation forces (IOF).

According to Quds Press, skirmishes between angry young men and Israeli soldiers took place in the towns of Huwara and Beita, south of Nablus, after a Jewish settler killed 23-year-old Mu’taz Bani Shamsa and wounded a photojournalist in Huwara town, south of Nablus.

Eyewitnesses reported that Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets and volleys of stun and tear gas grenades at the young men, who protested the killing of Bani Shamsa.

Consequently, several young men suffered from bullet and tear gas injuries.

In a related context, the IOF closed the checkpoints of Huwara and Za'atara, south of Nablus, which obstructed the movement of Palestinian citizens.

Clashes also broke out at the main entrance to Qalqilya city after Israeli soldiers attacked a march organized in solidarity with the hunger strikers in Israeli jails.

The Red Crescent said that some young men were rushed to a local hospital in Qalqilya after they suffered injuries during the events.

In Ramallah, similar clashes took place in Silwad town. One young man was injured with a rubber bullet and many others suffered from inhaling tear gas

Eyewitnesses said that soldiers rounded up two young men during the clashes and took them aboard a military vehicle to an unknown place.

Several Palestinian young men suffered injuries on Thursday evening during violent clashes with the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) near the Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Occupied Jerusalem.

The Red Crescent said that its paramedics provided medical assistance for six Palestinian young men after they suffered from inhaling tear gas during the events.

In this regard, local sources said that a group of young people marched from the prisoner solidarity tent in Qalandiya refugee camp to the military barrier, where Israeli soldiers showered them with tear gas and fired some shots at them

Several young protesters expressed their anger at the murder of 23-year-old Mu'taz Bani Shamsa by a Jewish settler in Huwara town, south of Nablus in the West Bank.

Later, dozens of other young men staged a march from al-Am'ari refugee camp near Ramallah to the Qalandiya

18 may 2017

The United Nations (UN) condemned the murder of the Palestinian young man Mutaz Bani Shamseh, 23, and the injury of the AP cameraman Majdi Eshtaiyeh in a shooting attack carried out on Thursday by a Jewish settler near Nablus city.

In a press statement on Thursday, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, called for conducting quick comprehensive investigations and bringing the suspects to account.

Mutaz Hussein Hilal Bani Shamsa, 23, was fatally shot by an Israeli settler near Huwwara checkpoint in the occupied West Bank on 18 May. An AP photographer was shot and injured by the settler in the same incident.

An Israeli settler shot and killed a young Palestinian man in the northern occupied West Bank on Thursday.

Mutaz Hussein Hilal Bani Shamsa, 23, died shortly after he was shot in the head by the settler who opened fire at a group of protesters. The settler also shot AP photographer Majdi Eshtayya, injuring him in the hand.


Shamsa was one of about 200 Palestinians who had gathered at the Huwwara military checkpoint, near Nablus, to demonstrate in solidarity with the mass Palestinian prisoner hunger strike that entered its second month this week.

Also on Thursday, Israeli soldiers fired on demonstrators at a protest in Ramallah, wounding at least one Palestinian.

Following the shooting of Shamsa and Eshtayya, the settler fled the scene, running over several Palestinians and crashing into an ambulance on his way.

The video above shows that Israelis fired tear gas and other dispersal weapons at the protesters, forcing them to retreat.

Another video of the same scene, after the protesters’ dispersal, shows the settler’s vehicle, a silver hatchback, stopped by the ambulance. Through the tinted windows, it shows what appears to be the settler firing his gun again.

Shooting in “random manner”

The United Nations and the Associated Press are calling for a full investigation into Thursday’s shooting.

Israeli police have already stated that the settler is not considered a criminal suspect, while the army said the incident is under review.

Ahmad Jibril, the head of the ambulance and emergency department at the Palestine Red Crescent Society, told the Ma’an News Agency that he saw the settler get out of his vehicle and open fire at Palestinians “in a random manner.”

Jibril also reported that the settler crashed into three people and a Red Crescent ambulance after he shot Shamsa and Eshtayya.

The settler has said his vehicle came under attack by protesters and claimed he fired his gun in self-defense.

“Praise God, fortunately I managed to get away after looking death in the face. They almost lynched me,” the shooter said in a videotaped statement that he made to the police after he filed a complaint against the Palestinian protesters.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that “he refused to answer additional questions.”

The police distributed the settler’s statement to the media and immediately came to his defense.

“He was in a critical, life-threatening situation,” said Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld.

The shooter, whose identity has not been revealed, lives in the Itamar settlement, which is built on land seized - from [PDF] Nablus-area villagers in violation of international law.

Settler impunity

Far-right Israeli minister Naftali Bennett praised the settler’s actions.

“In order to prevent a lynching, he fired at his attackers and killed one of them,” Bennett said.

The immediate exoneration of the settler without even the pretense of a thorough investigation fits a broader pattern.

Human rights - organizations have frequently criticized senior Israeli officials for encouraging soldiers and civilians to shoot to kill Palestinians even where there is no danger to their lives.

Israeli soldiers and police enjoy near total impunity for killing and injuring Palestinians.

This impunity extends to settlers who attack Palestinians as well. The human rights group B’Tselem says that Israel’s “undeclared policy” toward violence by settlers is “lenient and conciliatory.”

“Perpetrators are rarely tried, and many cases are not investigated at all or are closed with no operative conclusions,” B’Tselem adds.

Between 2013 and 2016 just eight percent of the “ideologically motivated” settler crimes against Palestinians tracked by the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din resulted in indictments.

Following the shooting on Thursday, another Israeli settler handed out chocolate bars to Israeli vehicles near the Huwwara checkpoint, in celebration of the slaying of Shamsa:

“We killed a Palestinian vandal today,” the man says in a video, which shows him distributing the candy bars with the protection of Israeli soldiers, according to the Ma’an News Agency.

“I am distributing candy to celebrate the killing. I want to congratulate the Israeli people for the vandal’s death.”

Shamsa is the fourth person killed by Israelis in less than

a week and the second to die while demonstrating in support of the hunger strikers.

Israeli forces killed Saba Abu Ubeid, 23, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh last Friday during confrontations with soldiers following a march.


Israeli forces also killed a Jordanian citizen who attacked an Israeli officer
in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, and a Gaza fisherman died after being shot by the Israeli navy.

On Wednesday, an Israeli settler shot a Palestinian youth demonstrating near Ramallah in support of the hunger strikers. Israeli forces arrested the 19-year-old protester but reportedly took no action against the settler who shot him.

Shamsa, from the Palestinian village of Beita, is the 24th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces or settlers this year.

Hunger strikers’ health declines sharplyOn Wednesday, the Palestinian Authority’s committee on prisoners’ affairs announced that all 1,300 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike had been transferred to just three prisons that have makeshift field hospitals set up in response to the hunger strike.

Palestinian prisoners have refused food for 32 days, while Israeli authorities refuse to negotiate over their demands. The condition of the strikers has sharply declined and many are experiencing chronic vomiting, vision impairment, fainting and significant weight loss.

The striking prisoners are demanding improvements in conditions, an end to solitary confinement and heavy restrictions on family visits, and for Israel to stop using administrative detention – prolonged imprisonment without charge or trial.

The Israel Prison Service denies that all prisoners have been transferred, claiming only those in the Naqab (Negev) region had been moved.

Some fear the move indicates Israel may begin force-feeding the prisoners.

The committee coordinating media for the strike said the field hospitals are unfit and ill-equipped to provide medical care.

“In these clinics, the role of doctors resembles the role of jailers who offer all kinds of food to the sick detainees and offer to provide medical treatment in return for ending the strike,” the committee said.


Palestinian youth killed, another injured in settler shooting attack


A Palestinian young man was killed and a journalist was injured in a shooting attack carried out on Thursday by a Jewish settler.

The attack took place during clashes that erupted in a solidarity march with the hunger striking prisoners in Israeli jails on Huwara street south of Nablus city.


Palestinian Health Ministry identified the martyr as Mutaz Bani Shamseh, 23, from Beita town east of Nablus. The wounded journalist was also identified as Majdi Eshtaiyeh, an AP cameraman. He was shot in the hand while covering the event.   

Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that a Jewish settler approached the marchers, opened his gunfire directly at the young man and shot him in the head. He shortly died after the shooting, they said.