Killing Without Consequence
Meet Moira Jilani. She is the wife of Ziad Jilani, who was shot and killed by Israeli border police in East Jerusalem on 11 June 2010.
Almost two years later, Moira Jilani and her three daughters, Hannah, 19, Mirage, 17 and Yasmin 10 are still awaiting answers from Israeli police as to why their beloved father and husband was killed.
Ziad's Tragic Story
Ziad was only 41 when he was shot dead. On 11 June 2010, the Jilani family was preparing for a day out to the beach as a treat for their daughters completing their exams.
On his return journey from Friday prayers to pick up his family for their day outing, Ziad was unfortunately involved in a traffic accident. According to a report by The Electronic Intifada, Ziad was trying to get out of his truck to seek refuge in a safe place, when Israeli border police officer, Maxim Vinogradov, walked towards Ziad, kicked him in the head, put his foot on his neck and fired three shots directly at him with his M-16 firearm.
A number of Palestinian passers-by were also injured in the shooting and eye-witnesses described the shooting as 'crazy'.
Israeli police claim that Ziad had attempted to run them over with his car in what they called a "terrorist attack." However, Residents of Wadi al-Joz, the East Jerusalem neighborhood where Jilani was killed, said that Jilani's car swerved towards the police only after a rock hit his windshield.
Ziad's family insists that he was never involved in terrorist activities and are calling for the Israeli high court to take action against the police officers who were involved in the shooting.
It has been almost two years since the incident and the Israeli police have failed to investigate the events of that tragic day.
Ziad's family want answers and those responsible to be held accountable for their actions. They have taken their campaign online, with a petition entitled 'Killing without consequence' to challenge Israeli impunity and demand justice for Ziad.
Already gaining close to 2000 signatures, petitions and media awareness seem to be the only way to put pressure on the Israeli courts to consider the Jilanis’ case and hear the evidence.
When it comes to justice, why is it different for Palestinians?
When I signed the petition, I was telling Ziad’s story to a colleague who knew nothing about the Israel-Palestine conflict. The response I received was, 'Why are they allowed to get away with it?’ I was at a loss for words because I really couldn't provide an intelligent answer.
Ziad isn't the first and is not likely to be the last Palestinian to be killed as part of the Israeli government's discrimination against Palestinians. It is estimated that Israeli security forces have killed more than 6,450 Palestinians since the beginning of the second intifada and that in this time, no Israeli soldier has been charged with the murder of a Palestinian civilian.
What is even more disturbing is that Israeli police officers commit these crimes without facing any consequences. A video report by Mondoweiss reveals the extent of the Israeli police's detestation for Palestinians. While the footage only exposes Maxim Vinogradov's public hatred towards Arabs, a large percentage of Israeli police share the same racist ideology.
Israel is supposedly a 'democratic' country with strong support by western superpowers. So why are those that represent them allowed to kill without consequences? Why does it take an online petition and mainstream media reporting for Ziad's family, or any other Palestinian to receive answers to the deaths of their loved ones?
It led me to think what would happen if a similar situation was to occur in Britain or any other western country. If a British police officer was to shoot and kill an individual for no reason, there would be mass condemnation, an enquiry and criminal proceedings. Why is it different when an Israeli police officer kills a Palestinian? Do they not also deserve to e treated with humanity? Isn't that what western governments are promoting: democracy, accountability and peace for both Israel and Palestine?
As Moira Jilani rightfully puts it, 'There is no justice when it comes to Palestinians. Our blood is cheap, whether Christian or Muslim, Palestinian blood is cheap.'
Even though Moira Jilani holds American citizenship, the Jilani family refuse to leave their homeland until those that are responsible for Ziad's death face the consequences of their actions.
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