Israeli police fail to investigate Palestinian killing

Israeli police fail to investigate alleged settler killing of Palestinian
2 min read
23 June, 2021
Israeli police have been accused of failing to investigate the alleged murder of a Palestinian man Israeli settlers.
Israeli police treated the victim's brother disparagingly [Getty]

Two weeks after it was reported that a Palestinian man was allegedly shot and killed by settlers, Israeli police are yet to open an investigation into the incident. 

Ismail Tubasi, from the village of Al-Rihiya, was shot to death on 14 May when he went to extinguish fires started by settlers, who were reportedly seen in the area. 

The shooting was not witnessed by anyone, but a witness came forward saying they saw settlers carrying guns and an axe. Witnesses said that shots were heard and that Tubasi's face was slashed. 

The killing was first reported in an investigation by online magazine Siha Mekomit and TV channel Kan 11

Calls for an investigation were made by Tubasi’s brother, Khaled, but were ignored. 

Last Thursday, Khaled went to the police station in Kiryat Gat to speak with officers. After being made to wait all morning, he and another family member met with an investigator. According to a researcher from the human rights group Yesh Din, who went with them to the police station, the investigator treated them in a belittling manner, according to Haaretz

Dejected, the family members left. 

Initially, Khaled had reached out to the Palestinian police and filed a complaint. In accordance with the Oslo Accords, complaints about Israeli citizens, made to the Palestinian police, must be passed on to their Israeli counterparts. 

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The Israeli police claim that no complaint was passed to them, and no one from the Israeli police reached out to Khaled, which prompted his visit to the Israeli police station. 

According to the CEO of Yesh Din, the disparaging treatment of Khaled by Israeli police was down to his Palestinian nationality. 

"There's no doubt that if the victim had been Jewish and the suspects Palestinian, there would already be people under arrest,” he told Haaretz

“In the cases where police actually do start investigating settler violence, 91 percent of cases are closed. That's how police operate in an apartheid regime," he added.

Responding to the claims, Israeli police said that Khaled had come to the police station, but left without filing a complaint. 

"Last Thursday a man arrived at the station presenting himself as the brother of the deceased. He wanted to file a complaint and was received with courtesy by an investigating officer. The process was explained to him. He decided to leave without leaving his details, after behaving impatiently, without adhering to police requests," Israeli police claimed.