A vehemently anti-Israel, pro-BDS group called Forensic Architecture has put out a report in collaboration with fellow Israel-haters Al-Haq titled “The Extra-Judicial killing of Ahmad Erekat.” It has since been promoted by the likes of the Guardian, Sky News and the Independent.
It deals with the shooting of Ahmad Erekat, nephew of the late Saeb Erekat, who was shot and killed last year after ramming his car into soldiers manning a checkpoint in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis.
Adam Levick of Camera UK has already demonstrated how the report is nothing more than an “allegation with such flimsy evidence, leveled by a radical group with a clear ideological agenda.” To summarize:
- Regarding Forensic Architecture’s contention that the footage doesn’t show a deliberate attack, they fail to offer an alternative explanation for how Erekat veered hard right into the checkpoint booth.
- Regarding Forensic Architecture’s contention that the soldiers’ lives weren’t in danger when they fired at Ahmad:
- Prior to this incident, there had been dozens of such car ramming attacks in which palestinian Arabs intentionally rammed into security personnel or civilians in a similar manner.
- According to the testimony of the Israeli border police officer whom Ahmad hit, it clearly appeared to be intentional.
- Ahmad’s erratic movements away from the scene following his exit from the vehicle hardly seem like those of someone completely innocent who had ‘accidentally’ veered his car into soldiers.
- Soldiers, given the events that had transpired during that brief time, and who had mere seconds to react, seem to have had reason to believe it was a terror attack.
- Salafi-Jihadist groups in Gaza recognised it as an intentional terror attack.
- Regarding Forensic Architecture’s contention that Erekat was denied medical care after he was shot, Israeli authorities were clear that he wasn’t given medical care because he had no pulse when they arrived at the scene.
- Regarding Forensic Architecture’s contention that Israeli forces engaged in degrading treatment of Ahmad’s dead body, they fail to even address the explanation given the day of the incident, as reported by mainstream media outlets, that soldiers feared that the body may have been booby-trapped, and so needed to undress him to make sure there wasn’t an explosive device taped to his body – standard practice for the Israeli police’s bomb disposal unit.
I would just add a few more things to this excellent analysis.
Firstly, in a video made by Erekat before the incident, he claimed to have “never betrayed the nation” and denied being a spy, probably after being suspected of collaborating with Israel. He says in the video that a rumor claiming he is a spy working with Israel had spread online and caused his family great shame, making him slip into depression as a result. This would seem to indicate he perpetrated the attack to reclaim his family’s honor.
לגבי האחיין של עריקאת וההאשמות בהוצאה להורג: נאמר בזהירות כי זה נראה כמו מקרה קלאסי של פיגוע דריסה של בודד. בטלפון שלו נמצאו שני סרטוני הסבר/פרידה. הרקע: אישי pic.twitter.com/9FOFpApPEd
— Shimrit Meir שמרית מאיר (@shimritmeir) June 24, 2020
It is also worth mentioning that Al Haq, one of the parties behind the report, is affiliated with terror organization PFLP. And Forensic architecture’s director Eyal Weizman has been identified as a security threat by US authorities.