.@Amnesty again believes Arab “witnesses” and ignores other evidence (update)
Amnesty International has issued another anti-Israel report, only days after their last one, this one claiming that Israeli “settlers” in Hebron are wantonly attacking Palestinians.
“In the space of less than a month, attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians in Hebron have escalated from what was already an unacceptably high level,” the report says in a call-out.
The entire report gives exactly two examples of such attacks – in a month when there are daily attacks against Israelis in Hebron.
The one that takes up the bulk of the evidence is this one:
On the morning of 17 October, 18-year-old Hebron resident Fadel al-Qawasmeh was walking to work when he was shot and killed by an Israeli civilian. The Israeli military claim that he had a knife and intended to stab the Israeli civilian but have released no evidence to support these claims, despite the fact that al-Shuhada Street, where the incident took place, is heavily monitored by video cameras operated by Israeli forces.
Shortly before he was shot, Fadel al-Qawasmeh had passed through Checkpoint 56 on al-Shuhada Street, which separates the section of Hebron ostensibly under Palestinian control from the Old City where illegal Israeli settlements are located. Amnesty International researchers present at the checkpoint the day before and after the shooting observed Israeli soldiers ordering people to remove items from their pockets and pass through the metal detector multiple times. Young men were particularly thoroughly searched, making it highly unlikely that Fadel al-Qawasmeh would have been able to smuggle a knife through.
A resident of a house on al-Shuhada Street, a few metres away from the scene of the shooting, told Amnesty International that as he was coming down the stairs of his home, he saw a young man being stopped by Israeli soldiers and turned back towards the checkpoint. He then reported seeing an Israeli civilian dressed in white, who had been standing next to the soldiers, follow the man up the road before shooting him at least three times in the head and back. He told Amnesty International that Fadel al-Qawasmeh had nothing in his hands, and all the shots were fired from behind.
Interviewed separately, a resident of another house on al-Shuhada Street who was watching from a balcony said that she saw an Israeli civilian of the same description holding a firearm in the moments before the shooting, and that she had heard him cursing the Palestinian youth. She did not see or hear any indications that the Palestinian youth was threatening anyone.
There is a video in the aftermath of the incident, but I haven’t found any beforehand to corroborate the stories.
Here is what Fadel looked like:
What an amazing coincidence that here is another person that Amnesty says was an innocent victim, accusing Israeli authorities of lying when they said he had a knife, and we end up finding photos showing that they both had an affinity for stabbing knives!
Yes, this isn’t proof that Qawasmeh attacked the Jew. But unless every resident of Hebron is in the habit of photographing themselves with knives, it seems like a hell of a coincidence that the person shot by the Jew just happens to be one who poses for photos with a knife in a stabbing position.
More evidence that Qawasmeh was the attacker comes from this Fatah martyr poster posted by a family member of his on the day of the incident, before the “innocent victim” meme started:
The poster quotes a pro-Jihad Koranic message, and then says “It is with great pride and glory the Palestinian National Liberation Movement – Fatah, Central Hebron Area announces the (martyrdom) of the heroic shahid Fadhl Muhammad Qawasme.”
The Facebook caption said “The morning is fragrant with the perfume of the martyrs of the revolution.”
It is obvious that the family’s (and others’) initial reaction was that of course Fadel attacked the Israeli. Only when the propaganda value of re-casting him as an innocent victim became obvious did the narrative change.
Amnesty never bothers to find any evidence that contradicts what it wants to find.
(h/t Ibn Bouros)
UPDATE: According to this page, Fadel lived on Shuhada Street itself, where he would not be subject to as many checkpoints. Amnesty assumes that he must have passed through some but it is not true. (h/t Bob K)
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