Inquiries by B’Tselem’s- Israeli information center concluded Wednesday that the 16-yearold Palestinian child, shot dead by Israeli police, did not pose any danger.
The research also indicates that the officers fired at least ten bullets at her, some of which hit a nearby taxi. The police - who were standing behind a metal barrier, were armed and wearing protective gear - could have subdued Hjeiji and taken her into custody without resorting to gunfire, certainly not lethal gunfire. Instead, they shot and killed a 16-year-old girl who posed no danger to them.
The center reported that Jerusalem District Police Commander Major General Yoram Halevy found the shooting to have been lawful and appropriate. Halevy said: “Police and Border Police forces are deployed in all the hotspots in the city. We will continue to protect the residents. Anyone attempting to harm civilians and police officers will meet an immediate, determined, response”.
The District Commander’s statement completely ignores the facts of the case: Hjeiji’s youth, the fact that she stood motionless, the short distance between her and the officers, the metal barrier separating her from the officers, and the obvious conclusion - that the officers shot and killed her when she posed no threat to them.
This statement, like similar sentiments expressed by other senior ranking officials and a mood of general hostility ever since October 2015, encourages security personnel to shoot to kill even in cases such as this, where lethal measures are unwarranted.
B’Tselem stated that The continued policy of fatally shooting Palestinians who do not pose a mortal danger illustrates the manifest discrepancy between the recognized and accepted principle that prohibits such use of gunfire, and a reality in which shoot-to-kill incidents are a frequent occurrence and are encouraged by senior officials and wide public support.
On the evening of 7 May 2017, Israeli occupation police shot dead with 20 live bullets 16-year-old Fatimah Hjeiji, a resident of the Palestinian village of Qarawat Bani Zeid, near a metal police barrier near the stairs leading to Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem.