Why aren’t Israelis talking about extrajudicial killings?

Two Palestinian teenage girls were shot at point-blank range after attempting to stab passersby with scissors. Who said there is no death penalty in Israel?

By Rhona Burns

On Tuesday two Palestinian teenagers left their homes and went out to attack Jewish Israelis in Jerusalem with a pair of scissors.

Unsurprisingly, the girls, 14 and 16 years old, were unsuccessful. After all, they were armed with a pair of scissors. They managed to lightly wound an elderly Palestinian man, and were immediately attacked back by other witnesses, at least two of whom were armed with guns.

When it was all over, one of the girls was shot to death, the other was seriously wounded by gunfire.

Not enough has been said about this incident, not enough has been written, despite the fact that this event included what appears to be a most serious detail. This detail is the fact that the shooting of one of the girls seems to be happening while she is already lying on the ground, after someone had hit her with a chair.

The fact is that these incidents have become commonplace. The ends justify the means. “They are attacking us, they must know that there will be consequences.” And what of Israeli society? What are the consequences of what has been taking place here for the past two months for Israelis? What is the price of blood that seems to flow so cheaply here? What is the price of suffering? Of unnecessary death? What about the right to a fair trial?

Who said there is no death penalty in Israel?

When I see what appears to be a man shooting a teenage girl as she lays on the ground on a main street in Jerusalem from point-blank range, I ask myself whether I am witnessing an attempted murder. Whether I am witnessing an extrajudicial killing, without even the facade of a kangaroo court.

This was the case with the shooting death of Fadi Alloun. This was the case, despite the different circumstances, of the tragic death of Habtom Zerhum.

We must cry out against the images captured by the security cameras at the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, as many of us are crying out, the injustices continue, the violence undermines the fundamentals of democracy and a free society, violence wins out.

Rhona Burns is a critic and author based in Jerusalem. This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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