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Yesterday's would-be murderer is today's innocent victim

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

On Saturday, a Palestinian terrorist attacked an Israeli man walking towards Jerusalem’s Old City to participate in the afternoon prayers. After stabbing and wounding the Israeli [slides 1-3], the terrorist then lunged toward Israeli police officers  [slide 4] at the scene who responded to the attack by shooting and killing the terrorist. The attack was captured on Israeli police video:

When faced with an active terrorist engaged in an attempt to murder innocent civilians, police officers, other security officials, and even civilians, are legally entitled to use all reasonable force to neutralize the terrorist. This includes killing the terrorist in order to prevent the danger he poses to life and limb. In cases of terrorism, there is always the risk that the terrorist is armed with explosives (suicide belt, hand grenade, improvised explosive device etc.) and it is thus accepted anti-terror procedure that police officers or security officials continue to shoot as long as the terrorist is moving to ensure the terrorist is no longer capable of carrying out additional actions.

While the actions of the Israeli police officers on Saturday were no different than the response of law enforcement officers around the world, instead of condemning the attacker, the PA used the event to attack and condemn Israel, inventing rules of engagement that do not exist.

Ignoring the fact that the entire event was initiated when the terrorist attacked and stabbed an innocent Israeli, the PA leadership, across the board, issued condemnations of Israel, claiming that the “execution” of the terrorist was an example of Israel’s alleged policy to shoot innocent Palestinians.    

The office of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said:

“The execution of Muhammad Shawkat Salima (25)… is a continuation of the daily murders, which cannot be ignored in silence.”

[Official PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 5, 2021]

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh also referred to the “execution” of the terrorist:

 “The murdering occupation soldiers commit their crime on live broadcast.”

[Official PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 5, 2021]

Shtayyeh also called on the ICC to “add this crime to the case of the heinous Israeli crimes.”

PA Supreme Shari'ah Judge and Abbas' Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash also condemned the “executions by occupation soldiers” saying in a press release that the neutralization of an active terrorist attacker is “the behavior of criminal gangs…” [Official PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 5, 2021]

The PA Foreign Ministry added that the response of the Israeli police to stop a terror attack:

"is further proof of the instructions given to the occupation soldiers and police from the leadership and political echelon of the occupation state, which allow them to murder and execute any Palestinian at their discretion and without [the Palestinian] endangering them.’ It added that ‘this reflects a racist occupation mentality, which treats the Palestinian as the target of training and shooting…”

[Official PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 5, 2021]

Fatah Revolutionary Council member and official Fatah spokesman, Osama Al-Qawasmi, said:

“The execution of young Muhammad Salima in occupied Jerusalem is a heinous war crime that expresses the essence of Israel, its aggressive and extremist mentality, and the instructions given to soldiers from the political echelons, according to which they should shoot to kill… The blood of the Martyrs will continue to illuminate our path to freedom and independence.”

[Official PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 5, 2021]

Distorting the true course of events and ignoring the attempted murder, the PA official newspaper declared that “Israeli occupation forces executed a young man... in the area of ​​the Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem” and quoted “local sources” who said that the terrorist died as a “Martyr”. The PA mouthpiece added that the event was another example of the instructions given to Israeli soldiers to “execute” Palestinians:

Headline: “The occupation executes young Muhammad Salima in Jerusalem, Bennett and Lapid support the soldiers' crime!”

“Yesterday evening, Saturday [Dec. 4, 2021], the Israeli occupation forces executed a young man ... in the area of the Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem.

Local sources said that the Martyr is Muhammad Shawkat Muhammad Salima (i.e., terrorist, wounded 1), 25, from Salfit. He died as a Martyr after the occupation forces fired at him from point-blank range after he was wounded, and left him on the ground without allowing him to be given [medical] assistance...

Video shows two occupation police officers firing more than 6 bullets at young Salima's body, while he is lying on the ground and not moving.

The occupation police claimed that the young man had tried to carry out a stabbing operation.

[Israeli] occupation Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his Foreign Minister Yair Lapid expressed their support for the two criminal soldiers who shot the young man while he was lying on the ground without resisting and without endangering anyone. This is clear proof of the instructions that the occupation soldiers receive from their leadership and the political echelon, which allow them to murder and execute any Palestinian.”

 [Official PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 5, 2021]

While the PA leadership was quick to condemn and demonize Israel for stopping a terrorist, none of them thought to condemn the terrorist or his actions.

As Palestinian Media Watch has shown, this is not the first time the PA and its officials have tried to ignore and/or distort reality or even rewrite history, by whitewashing attacks by Palestinian terrorists and condemning Israel for “executing” innocent Palestinians.

While the full video of the terror attack leaves no doubt the Israeli police acted lawfully, a video circulated on twitter by the infamous anti-Israel propagandist Mohammed El-Kurd, showed only the killing of the terrorist and not his attack.

As part of the nefarious propaganda, El-Kurd added the half-truth: “Israeli occupation forces shoot a Palestinian young man near Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem,” leaving out of his tweet that the “young man” just seconds earlier had stabbed a civilian.

The following is the video publicized by El-Kurd.

El-Kurd is not just another anti-Israel propagandist. He has over 240,000 followers on Twitter and his libelous claims about the shooting of the terrorist Salima were retweeted by 4,700 people and liked by over 6,000. Just days ago, El-Kurd even addressed the UN General Assembly, in its discussion of the 1947 Partition Plan, where he was shamefully given an international platform on which to spread his libelous claims.

Unfortunately, this event epitomizes the old adage that, “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.”