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IDF Murders Three West Bank Militants in Targeted Assassination

Palestinian targeted killings

One of the Palestinian victims of the Yatta targeted assassination (AP/ Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Last week, a Border Police special forces unit (aka assassination squard) killed three West Bank militants near the village of Yatta (near Hebron) in what my Israeli source tells me was a targeted assassination.  As they were driving a car near the village, they were ambushed by the assassination squad, who shot out the tires.  Then two of the men were executed on the spot with bullets to the head and neck (the information about their wounds comes from George Hale of Maan News).  A third victim escaped to a nearby cave, where he too was hunted down and killed, according to an IDF spokesman.

The IDF claims that when they stopped the car, the men acted “suspiciously,” upon which its soldiers opened fire.  It also claims, without providing any proof, that weapons were found in the vehicle.  Finally, it claims that the three were members of a “Salafist cell” affiliated with Al Qaeda.  Daoud Kuttab notes in Al Monitor that Hamas dominated the funerals for the three, making it unlikely they were affiliated with a group competing with Hamas.

shlomi michael border police special forces commander

Col. Shlomi Michael commander of Border Police special forces which assassinated three Palestinians last week. (Michael Kramer/Ynet)

Further proof of the assassination may be found in this report by the settler website, Arutz Sheva, which announced that the commander of the Border Police special forces unit had been awarded a commendation from the national police commander.  The report uses the Hebrew word for “assassination” (chisul) confirming the report from my own source. Who is this lucky assassin commander?  None other than Colonel Shlomi Michael, whose identity I exposed on announcement of his promotion (which was under media gag in Israel).

shlomi michael border police commendations

National Police commander, Yochanan Danino, awarding commendation to Col. Shlomi Michael (face blurred)

There are numerous similar past instances in which Israeli security forces murdered West Bank militants while they were sitting or driving in cars.  So the this MO is well-known to the Israeli killers.

My hunch is that because there is a truce in place between Israel and Hamas that would prohibit such targeted killings, Israel trumped-up a “Salafist threat” in order to be able to claim it hadn’t violated the truce.

The PA hasn’t uttered a single word in protest at this invasion of its sovereignty.  They don’t make a stink when their Palestinian enemies (affiliated with Hamas) are murdered by the Israelis.  Another indication that the PA doesn’t serve Palestinian interests, but its own self-interested ones.

I should note that it is possible that the victims were planning a terror attack and that this was the reason for their assassination.  But the information Israel has provided is so sketchy that it brings their entire narrative regarding this event into question.  I’m in favor of apprehending terrorists (if these victims were) in order to prevent violence.  But I’m not in favor of extra-judicial executions, whether they be U.S. or Israeli-sponsored.

There may come a time when Col. Michael is called before another officer, and this time not for a commendation.  It may be an officer of the International Court of Justice.  Instead of a framed plaque he may get a criminal sentence.  The disconnect between Israeli and international standards of justice could not be greater.


{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Sara December 2, 2013, 7:50 PM

    Wait a sec – in your previous post just below you condemn the *conviction* of the extra judicial murderers of Eden Natan Zada which implies extra judicial killing of a *Jewish* terrorist is justified?

    • Richard Silverstein December 3, 2013, 1:10 AM

      I’m sorry to spoil the “Gotcha” moment you thought you had. But have you had your reading comprehension level checked lately? I said I support the apprehension of all who engage in acts of terror and those who may kill them. ALL. Do you know what “all” means? However, if Israel refuses to prosecute those who murder Palestinian terrorists, then there is no way Israel has a right to prosecute those who murder Jewish terrorists. To do so is morally corrupt and hypocritical.

  • Strelnikov December 2, 2013, 9:53 PM

    Change the names and it sounds like a Mob hit…..Israel is a void and a nullity, and America has been permanently stained in dealing with it, the Saudis, and any of the other goon squad states.

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