Washington Post reconstructs 3D portrayal of deadly Israeli raid in Jenin, refuting Israeli version of events

Ahram Online , Sunday 28 May 2023

Using AI and CCTV footage, a recent investigative report by The Washington Post contradicted the Israeli official narrative regarding a deadly raid in the occupied West Bank in which four Palestinians, including a 16-year-old, were killed.

3D reconstruction
A 3D reconstruction of a key moment during a March 16 Israeli raid in central Jenin in the West Bank. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post


According to the report, undercover Israeli officers from a special army unit sneaked into the city centre of Jenin and hid inside a civilian vehicle before carrying out the attack.

The 3D reconstruction of the raid was based on synchronizing 15 videos and reviewing dozens of others from March 16. These videos included CCTV footage from surrounding businesses, some of which took nearly a month to surface.

The Post also spoke to nine witnesses and obtained testimonies from four others to produce the reconstruction of the raid where “increasingly deadly tactics” were employed by Israeli officers, the Washington Post wrote.

It quoted Israeli officials who said that raids like this are vital to what they described as  "disrupting terrorist networks".

However, the Washington Post’s investigative report refutes Israel’s claim that the Israeli soldiers targeted “armed suspects”.

The report also stated that the Israeli soldiers killed 16-year-old Omar Awadin. “Omar was among at least 16 civilians in the area as the officers charged down the street with AR-style rifles and a handgun, firing more than 20 shots and killing the two alleged militants, neither of whom was visibly armed."

According to the Palestinian news agency WAFA, three more Palestinians besides Awadin were killed by Israeli forces. They were identified as Nedal Khazem, 28, Yousef Khreim, 29, and Louay Khalil Al-Zughair, 37.

​Israeli forces kept shooting a Palestinian man multiple times even “after he was incapacitated — an apparent extrajudicial execution that experts said could violate Israeli law,” the investigation concluded.

No ambulance could reach the scene because of the traffic and chaos that followed the raid. According to the report, some men who happened to be nearby loaded Omar into a car and rushed him to the hospital.

"The Post shared its findings with five experts in international law, all of whom said the deadly raid appeared to violate the prohibition on extrajudicial killings", the newspaper noted.

"Neither man targeted in the raid appeared to present any threat, let alone an imminent threat, and [both] could have been arrested," the Post quoted Michael Lynk, a former UN special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian territories, as saying.

"After reviewing the evidence presented by the newspaper, one can say with a degree of confidence that these are extrajudicial executions," Philip Alston, former UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, told The Washington Post.

The recent surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence has led to daily attacks on the West Bank and Jerusalem by the Israeli military and Jewish settlers. Since the start of the year, Israeli forces and Jewish settlers have killed no fewer than 155 Palestinians, including at least 19 children, according to a tally compiled from official sources.

Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in 1967. Since then, the Palestinians have been calling to liberate these lands from Israeli occupation to establish an independent Palestinian state.  

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