Lynching in Ramallah

Lynching in Ramallah

police. According to Israeli sources, the men were non-combatant reservists on their way to report for duty as drivers [ [http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2000/10/Coverage%20of%20Oct%2012%20Lynch%20in%20Ramallah%20by%20Italian%20TV "Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Coverage of the October 12 Lynch in Ramallah by Italian TV Station"] ] , who had entered Ramallah by mistake. Palestinian sources claimed that the men were armed and "dressed in civilian clothes, apparently on an undercover operation", [ [http://archives.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/10/12/mideast.violence.03/ CNN: Israel fires into Ramallah, seals Palestinian areas] ] but their bodies in military uniform can clearly be seen in photographs [ [http://inhonor.net/ramlah/ Ramallah lynching photographs] (the name of Vadim Nurzhitz is misspelled)] and in video footage broadcast later on the TV. It was also reported that rumours were "circulating through the mob that the captives belonged to the feared and hated undercover units of the Israeli army which dress as Arabs". [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/969778.stm BBC: Lynch mob's brutal attack] ]

An agitated Palestinian mob stormed the police station, and beat the soldiers to death, throwing their mutilated bodies into the street. The mob abused the bodies and dragged them in the street.

Media coverage and response

The killings were captured on video by an Italian TV crew (Mediaset) and broadcast on TV. The | accessdate = 2006-09-03]

Claims of Palestinian censorship

According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Palestinian police tried to prevent foreign journalists present in the area around the building from filming the incident. In October 17, 2000 the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented an ad-letter published the day before in the PNA newspaper "Al Hayat al Jedida" by Riccardo Cristiano, the representative of Italian state television (RAI) which filmed the events. In his letter Cristiano wrote to the Palestinian Authority that it is not he, but his competitors in the Italian media, which are responsible for broadcasting the pictures of the lynching. He implied that he will never again film such events and that he will "always respect the journalistic procedures with the Palestinian Authority". [cite web |url=http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2000/10/Coverage%20of%20Oct%2012%20Lynch%20in%20Ramallah%20by%20Italian%20TV| accessdate=2000-10-17 |title="Coverage of the October 12 Lynch in Ramallah by Italian TV Station " | publisher=Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Israel) |language=English] In response to this letter Israel suspended Cristianos' press card.

Israeli military response and arrests

In response, Israel launched a series of retaliatory air strikes against the Palestinian Authority [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/1370229/A-day-of-rage%2C-revenge-and-bloodshed.html "The Telegraph: A day of rage, revenge and bloodshed"] ] . Israeli helicopters fired rockets at two police stations in Ramallah, a militia headquarters, and buildings near Yasser Arafat's headquarters. Later the "Voice of Palestin" radio station in Ramallah was destroyed.

Israel also began to individually pursue the Ramallah lynchers.

*Aziz Salha, from the village of Deir Jarir was arrested in 2001. He admitted, during his interrogation, to being one of those who broke in to the station, to having gone up to the room where the soldiers were being held, and to choking one of the soldiers while others beat him bloody. When he saw that his hands were covered with blood, he went to the window and showed his hands to the mob below. [ [http://www.pmo.gov.il/PMOEng/Archive/Speeches/2001/06/Speeches2468.htm “Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs: ISA and IDF arrest two more participants in 12.10.2000 Ramallah Lynch”] ] [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/1310307/Lynch-mob-suspects-held-by-Israelis.html "The Telegraph: Lynch mob suspects held by Israelis"] ] In 2004 he was convicted by an Israeli court for the murder of Vadim Norzich and jailed for life. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4033901.stm| title="Man jailed over Ramallah lynching"| accessdate=2004-11-22 |publisher=BBC |language=English] [cite web |url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2004/11/23/1249432.htm| title="Palestinian man gets life sentence for killing Israeli soldier" | accessdate=2004-11-23 |publisher=ABC News |language=English] .

*Muhammad Howara, a Tanzim activist aged 18 from Mazra'a Kabalya near Ramallah was arrested in 2001. He admitted to being one of those who broke in to the station, to having gone up to the room where the soldiers were being held, and to participating in the murder by stabbing one of the soldiers. [cite web |url=http://www.pmo.gov.il/PMOEng/Archive/Speeches/2001/06/Speeches2468.htm|title="ISA and IDF arrest two more participants in 12.10.2000 Ramallah Lynch."| accessdate=2001-06-25 |publisher=Israel Prime Minister's Office |language=English]

*Ziad Hamdada, a 27-year-old resident of Ramallah, and a Fatah Tanzim operative who set fire to the body of one of the Israeli reservists who was the victim of the mob lynch, was arrested in 2002 [ [http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/2002/Arrest%20of%20Fatah%20Tanzim%20Terrorists%20from%20Ramallah%20- "Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Arrest of Fatah Tanzim Terrorists from Ramallah"] ]

*In 2005 the Israeli Shin Bet announced that it arrested Mohamed Abu Ida, a former member of the Palastinian police force in Ramallah. During his investigation he admitted to having had led the two Israeli soldiers to the Ramallah police station after which he joined the other rioters [ [http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3055674,00.html “Ynet: Ramallah lynch suspect arrested”] ] .

*On September 26, 2007, Israel captured the last of the six murderers. Haiman Zabin, 36-years old and one of the key perpetrators of a new Tanzim plot, was captured and later identified as the last of the 6 involved in the lynching. This marks the conclusion of the chase of the 6 perpetrators of the lynching.

Footnotes and references

External links

* [http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/mideast.htm#readmore USA Today: Israeli helicopters retaliate for soldiers' deaths]
*cite news|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2000/10/19/15/wmid315.xml|author=Mark Seager|title='I'll have nightmares for the rest of my life'|publisher=Sunday Telegraph|date=2000-10-15
*http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1189411491542&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


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