Issa Amro, a resident of Hebron, is a noted activist, who is often targeted for harassment by the army and the settlers. He recently made it to the headlines in Israel (Heb) after IDF troops stormed his particular house, during the Iftar dinner, and chose it as a training site. We’ve already covered this phenomenon, which allows the IDF to show the Palestinians who’s boss. In Amro’s case, one suspects this harassment was anything but accidental, and was intended to intimidate an activist creating headaches for the occupation forces.
Amro has other troubles. He is out of favor with the settlers, as well, as he is one of the organizers of the protest about the closing of the Shuhada road. Remember Baruch Goldstein’s massacre in Hebron? Following the massacre, the IDF decided that for security reasons, a main road of Palestinian Hebron must be closed. Some sort of occupation logic, I assume. A massacre took place? Make sure to punish the group which has just been massacred. That’ll be sure to deter the population supporting the murderer. Ummm, let me rethink this for a second.
Be that as it may, several days ago, as Amro was sitting down for the Iftar dinner – let’s use the occasion to wish our Muslim readers a belated Ramadan Karim – when there was a sudden loud noise. The guests were quick to take cover – Hebronites are well-drilled. A quick survey found a bullet casing nearby, which indicates a shooting. ‘Amro went to the military checkpoint near his house, and spoke to the soldier there, asking he call his captain. The soldier refused. Amro informed him his house was shot at. The soldier remained apathetic: “I don’t care, call the police.” As a common Israeli soldier, this one was unaware of his duty to defend Palestinians, including the duty to secure a crime scene.
Amro went back home, called the cops, and they said they were on their way. Twenty minutes later, he called again. They were still on their way. And indeed, just 150 minutes after the second phone call, a police car moseyed up to the crime scene. The police were quick to show outstanding professionalism by asking Amro where the shot came from. Amro, sadly not a ballistic expert, reminded them this was their job. They said they’d do it.
A few minutes later, Amro joined the cops on their way to the police station in Kiryat Arba. That’s when the incident took a particularly Hebronic twist: a well known settler and notorious felon blocked the road, informing the cops that “Issa won’t pass here.” Instead of informing the settler he isn’t going to order them around, the cops chose the path of better discretion and went down another road, which quite amused Amro.
Finally, Amro made his statement. The cops promised to return to the crime scene so as to actually examine it. So far, they haven’t. We shall patiently wait for the police to close the case without arresting any suspects – my bet is on the always-popular “perpetrator unknown” clause. A reminder: 84% of cases are closed due to police negligence, with most due to “perptrator unknown.”
So, to sum things up: A house was shot up during a holiday dinner; a soldier did not know, or pretended not to know, his duty, and who did not hear the shot; a police force which needs close to three hours to reach a shooting scene (can you imagine that happening in Israel?); cops who ask the victim to do their job for them, and who later allow a settler to block their way and meekly turn to another road.
Welcome to occupied Hebron, where the rule of law crawls to die.