RNA - “This is a war crime,” tweeted the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel known as Adalah.
On Sunday, Israeli troops killed 27-year-old Mohammed Ali al-Naim, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, east of Khan Yunis, for allegedly trying to plant “an explosive device” near the fence separating Gaza from the Israeli-occupied territories.
The video went viral on social media over the weekend showing what appeared to be the lifeless body of the resistance fighter dangling from an Israeli military bulldozer as it removed the corpse. Two other men were wounded while trying to retrieve Mohammed’s body.
Adalah, which is dedicated to Palestinian legal rights in the occupied territories, further demanded in a letter that Israeli military immediately launch an investigation into the incident.
“In the letter, Adalah attorney Sawsan Zaher detailed a series of international laws—including the Rome Statute, the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment, and the Hague Regulations—which classify the Israeli military actions depicted in the video as war crimes and blatant violations of international criminal law, and international human rights, and humanitarian law,” the NGO said in a statement.
After seeing countless videos of Israel murdering Palestinians over the years and witnessing the carnage firsthand, this footage shocked (but didn’t surprise) me. The #StartUpNation is constantly inventing new ways to degrade human life. https://t.co/NW3HMZvuuA
— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) February 24, 2020
The images of Mohammed’s lifeless body being carried away by the bulldozer have caused widespread outrage among Palestinians.
His family has demanded the body’s swift return for burial.
Islamic Jihad later fired a barrage of rockets into Israel in retaliation for the Israeli move. The Gaza-based movement said in a statement the video showed a “brutal crime.”
A spokesman for the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas told Al Jazeera that the incident was reflective of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and its treatment of Palestinian people.
“There are hundreds of similar crimes that haven’t been documented by the camera. Israeli occupation continues its crime without any legal or ethical deterrence,” said Hazem Qassem.
In a statement reported by the Middle East Eye, Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said Mohammed was unarmed.
“Desecrating the dead body of a young unarmed man on the borders of the Gaza Strip in front of the cameras of the whole world is a heinous crime that adds to the occupation’s list of crimes against our Palestinian people,” said Barhoum.
Mohammed’s mother, Mirvat, 56 said, “Isn’t it horrendous enough that they killed my young man? What they did is a great crime against humanity.”
“All I want is for them to bring my son back ... It’s my right to see him for the last time and bid farewell to him and bury him near me to be able to visit him,” she said.
Some journalists and politicians denounced the Israeli military's conduct on Twitter Sunday:
Too painful to watch let alone experience this unhinged sadistic cruelty of the occupation and persistent #IsraeliCrimes https://t.co/nYb00UZB4q
— Hanan Ashrawi (@DrHananAshrawi) February 23, 2020
Aida Touma-Sliman, a member of Joint List in Israel’s parliament (Knesset), said the Israelis “steal a body, abuse it with a bulldozer, and still argue that the army is the most moral in the world.”
She said “hording bodies to bargain with is Israel’s declared policy” since Naftali Bennett took office as Israel’s minister for military affairs last year, describing him as “the minister of death and brutality.”
Israel's brutality has no limit. Today, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian man in occupied Gaza. Then, Israeli bulldozers dragged his body by his clothing. All of this was caught on video. https://t.co/h31dZlT3VT pic.twitter.com/VNETK8GMnJ
— IMEU (@theIMEU) February 23, 2020
Another Joint List lawmaker, Ofer Cassif, said, “Abducting a body is the nauseating, blood-thirsty act of vampirism. Here is what [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu has to offer: Siege, killing, and abducting bodies. We need to put an end to their celebration of death.”