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OHCHR says ‘shocked’ by cold blood murder of Palestinian by Israeli forces

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A photo by Palestinian media shows the aftermath of the extrajudicial killing of a young Palestinian man near Damascus Gate just outside East al-Quds' Old City, on December 4, 2021.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the occupied Palestinian territory has expressed its shock after Israeli forces killed a young Palestinian man in cold blood in al-Quds’ Old City.

The OHCHR in a statement on Sunday promised to follow up on the incident and demanded that those responsible for such brutality must be brought to justice.

“Extrajudicial killings such as this are the consequence of the regular resort to lethal force by well-armed and well-protected Israeli personnel against Palestinians, and the almost total lack of accountability for killings and injuries of Palestinians by Israeli forces,” the statement read, adding, “Will there be accountability in this case?"

On Saturday, a young Palestinian man was shot point-blank at least twice by Israeli forces after he was already lying on the ground as he was wounded and unable to move, footage from the scene showed.

The young man was later identified as Muhammad Shawkat Abu Saleemeh, a 23-year-old who was formerly detained in Israeli prisons. He was originally from the city of Salfit in the central West Bank.

Local sources said the Israeli police prevented medical staff from providing medical care for the 23-year-old Palestinian man. The Red Crescent confirmed that the Israeli forces prevented its crew from providing medical care for Saleemeh.

Israeli forces also attacked Palestinians nearby and fired teargas canisters at them after shooting the young man. At least 40 people were injured by the Israeli forces at the scene.

They also closed all gates of al-Aqsa for worshipers, who were heading to the holy mosque to perform the evening prayers.

The Israeli forces attacked a group of women, who were heading towards al-Aqsa mosque, and prevented them from entry.

They also launched a massive arrest campaign targeting Palestinians.

Scores of Israeli soldiers on Sunday also stormed and searched Abu Saleemeh’s house and interrogated local residents in the area for a few hours. The troops also fired teargas canisters and stun grenades in the vicinity of the house.

In recent years, Israeli troops have on numerous occasions been caught on camera brutally killing Palestinians along Gaza and across the occupied West Bank, with the videos going viral online and sparking international condemnation.

The Tel Aviv regime has been criticized for its extensive use of lethal force against the extrajudicial killing of Palestinians who do not pose an immediate threat to Israeli forces or settlers.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has on several occasions called on the ICC “to break its silence and immediately begin investigations into the crimes of the occupying regime and settlers.”

Back in May, frequent acts of violence against Palestinian worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war between Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip and Israel, during which the Israeli regime killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC)’s in a recent annual report voiced deep concern “at the fragmentation of the occupied Palestinian territory,” including East al-Quds, through settlement activities and other measures. It also said it was “gravely concerned that long-standing impunity for international law violations has allowed for the recurrence of grave violations without consequence.”

Tel Aviv has invariably avoided all attempts at bringing it to account over its decades-long aggression against Palestinians and other regional nations thanks to staunch support by the United States, its oldest and strongest ally.

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