Israeli security guards on Monday shot and wounded a Palestinian who is deaf and couldn’t hear their commands to stop at a West Bank checkpoint, police said.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the 60-year-old man was walking in an area of the Kalandia Crossing north of Jerusalem where only vehicles are permitted. Rosenfeld said security guards called upon the man to stop but he continued to “approach them suspiciously.”
They then opened fire toward his legs, moderately wounding him. Only after did the guards discover that the suspect did not respond because he “cannot hear or communicate,” Rosenfeld said.
Rosenfeld said later Monday that a guard involved in the shooting was detained as part of an investigation into the incident.
The incident comes less than three months after Israeli police shot and killed a 32-year-old Palestinian with severe autism.
Israeli border police forces chased the man into a nook in Jerusalem’s Old City and fatally shot him as he cowered next to a garbage bin after apparently being mistaken for an attacker.
The shooting sparked great criticism and calls for police to amend their open fire guidelines to take into consideration those with disabilities.
Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups have long accused Israeli security forces of using excessive force in some cases.
Heba Yazbak, an Israeli lawmaker of Palestinian origin, said Monday’s incident exposed trigger-happy Israeli forces.
“First they shoot and then they check,” she said. “The shooting of an innocent deaf Palestinian is just another example of the ease in which Israeli security forces can harm human life.”
Knife attacker in Jerusalem shot dead
In another incident on Monday, a man who stabbed a police officer on Monday evening in Jerusalem’s Old City was shot dead by Israeli security forces, police said.
The attacker “was shot dead, a policeman lightly injured,” spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.
Witnesses said they saw the presumed attacker bloodied and lying on the ground after the incident.
The policeman, aged 19, was stabbed in the chest but had remained conscious, Jerusalem’s Hadassa hospital said in a statement.
A woman near the scene was lightly wounded by police fire, a police statement said.
The attack took place in the center of the Old City, in occupied east Jerusalem.