Last week it was reported that Binyamin district brigade commander Colonel Yisrael Shomer’s vehicle was attacked with large stones, leading to the officer firing at the attacker, killing him.
Channel 1 News reports that the family of the dead terrorist is planning to take the case to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The PA (Palestinian Authority) media explains Mohammed Kusba was killed by the colonel unjustifiably. A friend of Mohammad told Channel 1 News they were standing near other youths who were indeed throwing rocks but the stone-throwers fled the scene before an IDF jeep arrived on the scene. He insists he and his friend were not involved in any rock-throwing, but in fact they were on their way to al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday Ramadan prayers. He insists the colonel got out of his vehicle and fired at him from close range. He died a short time later in a Ramallah hospital.
A brother, Taher, told the news that his brother was 17 and even if he had a stone in his hand, the officer fired with a gun. “He traveled in an armored jeep and could have run him over or fired at his legs. He did not have to fire five shots at his chest and head” he stated, adding “He and the soldiers who were with him could have arrested Mohammed.”
In Kalandia there are posters of Kusba and his brothers Samir and Yasser, 15 and 11 respectively, both killed by IDF gunfire during the so-called Second Intifada, on January 25, 2002 and December 16, 2001 respectively. The brother adds “Thank Allah, they are now Shahids [holy martyrs] in Gan Eden”.
Many armed PA residents took part in the funeral for Mohammed, with one resident who was interviewed telling the news “There may be revenge acts”. PA leader Abu Mazen has promised the family to take the case to the International Court of Justice.
The IDF announced following its preliminary investigation that the colonel acted appropriately. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon remain silent. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid is critical of the two senior ministers for failing to publicly back the senior officer involved in the fatal incident.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)