West Bank, Occupied Territories (TFC) – On October 12th a “knife attack” suspect was pinned to the ground by Israeli citizens. Hadra Abu Aanam was kicked, threatened with death, and was forced to endure listening to Israelis debate executing her or lynching her before the police arrived. As the young woman was restrained on the ground, Hadra heard an Israeli state that she was seen with a knife. She was called a terrorist. Helpless, she was moments from death. Luckily, sanity prevailed and other Israelis protected her until police arrived. The whole incident was captured on video.
This type of extrajudicial execution isn’t something you would expect in a democracy, but this is Israel. So not only is it common, it is openly encouraged by government officials. Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon stated “Right now it is required primarily to be vigilant, determined, to respond quickly to any local attack, to eliminate the terrorist stabber or the perpetrator, stone thrower and the like, immediately on the spot. This is the answer to this kind of terrorism.” Other Israeli officials rushed to echo the sentiment. On the 11th of October, MK Yair Lapid said during a televised interview, “whoever takes out a knife or a screwdriver or whatever it may be, needs to be shot to kill,” adding “Don’t hesitate. Even at the start of an attack, shooting to kill is correct.”
As citizens cried for Hadra to be eliminated per government instruction, mob mentality almost took over. Had she been executed, there would have been witness reports of her attacking a man with a knife. She would be just another dead Palestinian. So why does this video cast doubt on all of the other reports? She didn’t have a knife. She isn’t a militant. The “assault” that prompted her being restrained and almost murdered was a single slap. She slapped a man because of an argument over a taxi. She was unarmed. The witness simply lied while advocating for the murder of a innocent. Because of the government’s ethnic cleansing campaign and accompanying propaganda, a young Israeli-Arab woman almost lost her life, as many others already have.
Israel is the world leader in CCTV surveillance. If there is not a video of the alleged “knife attack,” it’s safe to assume that it was just another murder of an innocent Palestinian whose only crime was simply being Palestinian in a No Palestinian Zone.