HAARETZ – Witnesses and Palestinian medical teams say police officers prevented them from providing medical care for an hour and a half to Jihan Muhammad Hashimeh, a 35-year-old woman from East Jerusalem, who tried to attack the police and was shot at the Qalandiyah checkpoint in northern Jerusalem. Haaretz has obtained footage from the scene which seem to support the claims that she did not receive medical treatment for a long period of time.
Hashimeh, from the Isawiyah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, arrived at the checkpoint early on Friday morning, December 30, 2016. A police statement says she was walking in the lane meant for vehicluar traffic to pass through the checkpoint, and approached quickly toward the police with an object in her hand that she was trying to hide.
The Israeli forces followed procedure “and started calling several times for her to stop. When she did not respond to the calls of the police and continued to walk quickly in their direction with her hand holding an object the entire time, she was ‘neutralized,'” said the police.
Hashima was wounded by a number of shots and fell in the road. Witnesses said that from that moment the police did not allow anyone to approach her for about an hour and a half.
“The woman was at a distance of 30 to 40 meters and she was moving,” said a paramedic from the Palestinian Red Crescent society, Hassam al-Din Issa, to the Physicians for Human Rights organization. “I asked the Border Police to let me enter, so I could treat her, and they told me to leave the scene. After about an hour, during which no one approached the injured woman, a Magen David Adom ambulance arrived. For half an hour they did not come close to her while the woman did not stop moving and shouting ‘Allah Akhbar,'” he said.
“After about an hour and a half people at the scene began to approach the metal fence and take pictures. Border Police officers threw tear gas and stun grenades. We retreated after a person was injured in his leg by a tear gas grenade,” he added. “Before throwing the tear gas grenades, two Border police officers approached the woman and spoke to her and then other soldiers came and the Magen David Adom team began to treat her on the ground for about 20 minutes. It was clear they were waiting for an order to start treatment. We dealt with another case of tear gas inhalation. A Magen David Adom ambulance evacuated the injured woman and we returned to headquarters,” he said.
Hashima was evacuated for medical treatment in Hadassah University Hospital on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, suffering from at least three bullet wounds. She was in moderate condition. She is still hospitalized.
On Monday, prosecutors filed a statement with the court and said they expected to file an indictment against her by the end of this week.
Her lawyer, Mohammed Abu Gosh, said she did not intend on carrying out an attack. She says she got lost and her hearing is not very good, he said.
Muhammad Abu Arisha, a lawyer for Physicians for Human Rights, asked the Justice Ministry’s department for investigating police officers to open an investigation against the police officers involved in the incident. “The actions of the security forces in this case are a violation of the protection granted to medical teams in international law, and violates the right to health and human dignity of the injured,” he wrote in his request.
Israeli Police said the matter is being investigated by the Justice Ministry so we are unable to comment on the matter.