Sun. Jun 13th, 2021

By Areej Hazboun | AP,

JERUSALEM — Israeli police said Wednesday that an officer involved in shooting a Palestinian teen in the courtyard of her east Jerusalem home last week has been suspended pending an investigation.

Jana Kiswani, 16, said she was standing just outside the front gate of her home in the flashpoint neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah when a police officer ordered her, her brother and father to go into their house. Kiswani said she was shot in the back with a rubber-coated bullet. She was hospitalized with a broken vertebra.

Sheikh Jarrah has been the scene of frequent demonstrations and clashes between Palestinian protesters and police in recent weeks, over a court case in which a group of hardline Israeli settlers seeks to evict number of Palestinian families from their homes.

Israel calls it a real-estate dispute, while Palestinians and rights groups say the case highlights discriminatory policies that are aimed at pushing Palestinians out of Jerusalem to preserve its Jewish majority.

A protest had taken place nearby earlier in the day, but Kiswani said that nothing was going on when she was told to go back into her house.

In security camera footage from the Kiswani home, she and her father, brother and a friend can be seen reentering the courtyard when Jana suddenly falls forward. Moments later a stun grenade explodes inside the courtyard near the cowering family.

Video footage from the May 18 incident taken by a neighbor appears to show police officers shooting toward the Kiswani home.

“We are defenseless people and we had nothing in our hands,” said Mohammad Kiswani, Jana’s father.

Police said in a statement that after receiving the video footage on Tuesday, the police internal affairs department had opened an investigation into the incident, and that the officer had been taken off active duty.

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