The death of Palestinian motorist Ziad Jilani


Please investigate the death of Palestinian motorist Ziad Jilani

I am an American, but I have depended on the BBC for impartial world news for years. In fact, the BBC Middle East page is my homepage. But I feel let down by your coverage lately. I know there are a lot of Middle East stories this week, but your lack of coverage on one story is sad. Yesterday the BBC website had a story about the killing of an Israeli soldier in the West Bank, but you never mentioned the killing of a Palestinian man in Jerusalem on Friday. 

On Friday, June 11, 2010, Ziad Jilani was killed in East Jerusalem by Israeli border police. Initial reports said that he had tried to run over 2 policemen, who were “lightly injured” and then fled on foot. The police say they shot him when he refused to stop. That's the story that Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post wrote. But none of the main news services seems to have made any effort to seek witnesses, verify the facts and find out if there was any other version of the story than the one put out by the Israelis. There is.

Ziad Joulani was a loving husband and a devoted father. I am a friend of his wife. She said they had plans to take their daughters out to dinner the day he was killed. He would not have thrown his life away and abandoned his family trying to run down police in the street. The Al-Quds newspaper in Jerusalem (Arabic) reported that a thrown stone hit Ziad's car, causing him to swerve toward the soldiers, starting the tragic chain of events. His wife was told that the shooting started before he got out of his car, and witnesses said that he was shot in the back and was on the ground when the police shot him several times at close range directly in the face and abdomen. Now his American wife and their 3 lovely daughters are suffering the dual catastrophe of losing this good man and having his memory smeared in media all over the world with accusations of terrorism. I am worried that if we don’t clear Ziad’s name, his wife and children will suffer. They may need to return to the US, since Ziad’s wife doesn’t speak either Arabic or Hebrew, and will have a hard time finding a job to support her children in Jerusalem.
Ziyad had an American greencard, and his wife is an American citizen, born in Barbados and raised in Texas where they met. They moved to Jerusalem to be near his family. They have 3 daughters.

We have been able to get a few news sites to look into this incident, but it is a shame that the BBC hasn’t mentioned it at all. Please look into this story and provide your readers/viewers/listeners with the truth.

For more information see:

Carol Douglas




13:45 Posted by Universal in Actualité | Permalink | Comments (6) | Tags: ziad jilani, murdered, israeli border police |  Facebook |


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Posted by: Mork | 06/19/2010

Human Rights A serious case.
Was he connected with the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights?


Posted by: ANP | 06/19/2010

Report Published 03:29 16.06.10
Latest update 03:29 16.06.10

Report: Israel Police shot Palestinian instead of arresting him

East Jerusalem man who ran over Border Police officers was reportedly shot twice in the face from close range while lying on the ground.

By Amira Hass

A motorist from East Jerusalem who ran over and wounded several Border Police officers Friday was shot twice in the face from close range while still lying on the ground, eyewitnesses said. Neighborhood witnesses said the fatal shots were fired once the officers no longer had reason to fear that their lives were in danger, and could have easily arrested the suspect.

Witnesses in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz told Haaretz that the motorist, Ziad Jilani, suddenly swerved his car and hit the group of officers walking further up the road. They said, however, that they believed the collision was an accident, and not committed intentionally as initially reported.

Jilani, 39, was self-employed and the father of three daughters. His wife is a U.S. citizen, and he himself lived for an extended period in both the U.S. and Switzerland.

Around 2 P.M. Friday, Jilani was driving his van home from prayers in nearby Shoafat. Several minutes before the incident, Border Police officers were seen riding horses toward the Wadi Joz industrial area. A number of other officers were deployed around the area, and several started making their way toward Jerusalem's Old City. Jilani's car was traveling in tightly packed, slow-moving traffic with no oncoming vehicles.

The neighborhood soon filled up with people returning from Friday prayers, and some stores were already being opened. Two eyewitnesses said stones were hurled at the officers, one of which struck Jilani's car. He then swerved his car left, they said, veering from its lane and striking the group of policemen.

Shots were heard immediately, another witness told Haaretz, and one of the officers fell to the ground. Two policemen tended to him until an ambulance arrived, and the other officers got in their vehicles and began pursuing Jilani, who had continued driving after the collision, and shooting at his car.

Another witness said that he had not seen stones thrown, but rather believed Jilani had tried to overtake the vehicles in front of him. Several other witnesses said the windshield of Jilani's car had been shattered, but were unsure if the damage had been caused by a bullet or a stone.

Jilani turned his vehicle into a dead-end alley where his uncle lives, and the officers continued pursuing his vehicle and shooting.

A mother and her adult daughter present at the scene saw the man emerge from his car. The daughter told Haaretz, "I was further down the alley, and I heard shots ... I saw a car driving, followed by many police officers. The car stopped right next to me, and someone got out. I saw him next to the car door, and he looked at me with an expression I didn't really understand, but I will never forget.

"There was shooting and I started to scream," the woman continued. "My mother ran toward me and threw me to the ground. Everything happened within seconds. I realized he wasn't walking normally, and saw the shattered windshield of the car, maybe from a stone. He ran until he fell over," she said.

Ten meters separated the parked car and the spot where Jilani fell to the ground.

"He got out of the car, and they came after him. Not just one of them shot, but many of them, and then they started yelling in Hebrew for people to go back into their homes," the daughter said.

Both women said they saw Jilani lying on his stomach with several officers gathered around him, and the daughter said one of the policemen kicked him in the head. The mother said she saw an officer point his rifle extremely close to Jilani's head, and when she put her head down to the asphalt she heard a shot ring out.

A Border Police spokesman, Chief Superintendent Moshe Pinchi, did not comment on the questions posed to him by Haaretz. In his response, Pinchi wrote, "Individuals have been killed and dozens wounded in vehicle attacks in Jerusalem between 2008 and 2009 ... All of those attacks were committed by East Jerusalem residents, and in each case those close to the perpetrators described the incidents as 'accidents.'

"Four Border Police officers were wounded in this last incident in Wadi Joz and hospitalized for treatment, and only by a miracle were fatalities avoided," he said.

Posted by: ANP | 06/19/2010

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Posted by: Mork | 06/19/2010

Questions remain Questions remain in Israel shooting

By Bilal Randeree

A week after a Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli policein East Jerusalem, details of the circumstances surrounding his death are still unclear.

With most media focused on the global outrage following Israel's deadly assault on a Gaza aid flotilla, in which nine Turkish activists were killed, the death of 41-year-old Ziad Jilani has gone relatively unnoticed.

Jilani, a father of three, was shot dead while returning from Friday prayers on June 11, in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Wadi Joz, after what police said was an attempt by Jilani to ram his car into two officers.

A friend of his family told Al Jazeera that Jilani was a "very family-oriented man, a loving husband and a devoted father" to his three daughters.

"His wife told me that before her husband left the house that morning, they had discussed taking the kids out someplace fun that afternoon. This was no premeditated attack," she said.

'Intent to kill'

Israeli officialssaid that Jilani's car hit two Israeli policemen, with an apparent intent to kill, before driving a short distance and proceeding to flee the scene on foot.

They said that the police officers called on the suspect to stop, and opened fire and killed him once it was clear that he had ignored their instructions.

Ziad, holder of a US "green card", was married to Moira, an American citizen who was born in Barbados and raised in Texas. They apparently moved to Jerusalem to be near his family.

The week following his death saw many blogs written, asking why a father of three daughters would try to kill Israeli soldiers when returning from Friday prayers.

Witnesses quoted in various Arab and Israeli media gave a very different account to the events of that tragic afternoon.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that several minutes before the incident, Israeli police were seen riding horses towards the Wadi Joz industrial area.

Earlier in the day, Israeli army radio raised alert levels in East Jerusalem in anticipation of protests that they expected following Israel's May 31 raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

Stones or bullets?

Jilani was driving home from prayers, travelling in tightly packed, slow-moving traffic with no oncoming vehicles.

A number of other officers were deployed around the area, and several started making their way towards Jerusalem's Old City.

Two eyewitnesses told Haaretz that the stones were hurled at the officers, one of which struck Jilani's car.

They said that is when his car swerved, veering from its lane and striking the group of policemen.

Jilani was described as a family oriented 'loving husband and father' [Associated Press]
Several other witnesses said that the windshield of Jilani's car had been shattered, but they were not sure if the damage had been caused by a bullet or a stone.

Jilani then reportedly turned his car into a dead-end alley and police continued pursuing his vehicle while shooting.

The Maan News agencyreported that the Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) said that an initial shot knocked Jilani to the floor, after which the police "fired shots in the face and abdomen at close range".

It quoted Sad Hamed al-Silwadi, the father of a child also injured during the shooting, who said that his car was parked nearby and that he saw Jilani get out of his vehicle when he was first shot at by Israeli forces.

Al-Silwadi said that he rushed his five-year-old child to the hospital after she was wounded with a rubber-coated-bullet wound to the neck and head.

Another witness, Ahmad Qutteneh, told JCSER that he saw Jilani running from Israeli soldiers who were approaching him and firing at close range.

"Then I saw one of them come close to him and shoot him in the face and body," Qutteneh said.

Consistent reports

The Maan News agency is a Palestinian based wire service, but their reports are consistent with some in the Israeli press.

Haaretzquoted a witness as saying that Jilani "got out of the car, and they came after him".

"Not just one of them shot, but many of them, and then they started yelling in Hebrew for people to go back into their homes," the witness said.

Ten metres separated the parked car and the spot where Jilani fell to the ground.

The witness said that Jilani was lying on his stomach with several officers gathered around him, and then one of the policemen kicked him in the head.

Another witness said that she saw an officer point his rifle extremely close to Jilani's head, and then she heard a shot ring out.

Seeking justice

Shari Lobo, Moira's sister, told Al Jazeera that the family hoped that all the witnesses would be interviewed and the correct information gathered in a proper investigation.

"I hope that more people question what happened so that Ziad did not die in vain," she said.

Shumel Ben-Ruby, a Jerusalem police spokesman, said that the Israeli police shot Jilani "after he fled on foot and did not heed warning shots".

Whether Jilani was running away or not, is not a question his widow and three daughters care much about.

They are more interested in clearing his name and seeking justice - or at least clear answers - for his death.


Jilani, pictured here with his wife and youngest daughter, was shot dead by Israeli police on June 11 in East Jerusalem while returning from Friday prayers [Picture from Mondoweiss]

Posted by: Mork | 06/19/2010

Belgian lawyers to charge Barak and Livni for war crimes Published 23.06.10

Two Belgian lawyers, working on behalf of a group of Palestinians, plan to charge 14 Israeli politicians, including Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni and Matan Vilnai, for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

By Danna Harman
Tags: Israel news Ehud Barak Ehud Olmert Gaza
LONDON - Two Belgian lawyers announced on Wednesday that, working on behalf of a group of Palestinians - including, significantly, one who is a Belgian national - they were intending to charge 14 Israeli politicians, including Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni and Matan Vilnai, for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The lawyers, Georges-Henri Beauthier and Alexis Deswaef said they were acting on behalf of 13 Palestinian victims from Gaza, and an additional man - Anouar El Okka, a Belgian doctor of Palestinian origin.

The current charges would be brought against the Israeli leaders using the principle of universal jurisdiction, the lawyers said - and would focus on alleged crimes, including the use of phosperous, committed during the Israeli bombardment of Gaza in January 2009.

In Belgian, the law states that there must be a connection between the crimes and a Belgian citizen in order to successfully prosecute under universal jurisdiction - something El Okka would supply.

This is not the first time the Belgian system has been asked to charge Israeli with such offenses. Just last year, Belgian attorneys, acting on behalf of Belgian nationals with relatives who were wounded or killed in Gaza, petitioned a court there to arrest then Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni upon her arrival in Brussels. However, in that case it seems the connection between the victims and Belgium was not strong enough to follow through with the case.

The most famous case to date involving Belgium and Israel was in 2001 when there was a criminal complaint in Belgium on behalf of 21 survivors of the 1982 massacre at the Shabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut. The then Israeli Defense Minister (Ariel Sharon) and members of the Lebanese Christian militia were charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. It was after this case that the law was changed to include a clause about a Belgian connection.

This was far from the only negative attention to Israel in Europe this week.

In Strasbourg on Wednesday, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly was expected to issue a condemnation of Israel’s behavior over the flotilla events and call for an independent international investigation.

The President of the council Mehemet Kavasgholu, a Turk, told a Turkish newspaper last week that he would not only demand such an investigation but would also set up the investigation under the council’s auspices, something that lies within their mandate.

MK Yochanan Plezner, chair of the permanent Israeli delegation to the Council said yesterday that he and his team were hoping to avoid such an outcome.

“They will no doubt condemn Israel but our goal is to ensure that an independent international inquiry is not established, and that the council makes do with the Israeli commission,” he said.

Plezner added that it is very clear the mood in Europe was increasingly unfavorable to Israel.

“There is definitely a more critical mood and we see this mainly with out friends and allies who are less willing to stand alongside us,” he said. “And, our foes are becoming more adept at exploiting the liberal discourse against Israel....so it is becoming less politically correct to support of stand by Israel.”

In Sweden meanwhile, dockworkers launched a week-long boycott of cargo to and from Israel to protest the flotilla episode. About 1,500 members of the Swedish Dockworkers Union began the boycott on Tuesday across the country's ports, which handle more than 95 per cent of Sweden's foreign trade.

Bjoern Borg, the dockworkers union's chairman, said they were calling for an international investigation into the May 31 raid and added Israel's recent easing of its Gaza blockade was insufficient.

"We don't think it is far-reaching enough," he said. "We want them to lift the blockade."

Posted by: ANP | 06/25/2010

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