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Al-Haq Sends Submission to UN Special Rapporteur with regards to Israel’s Excessive Use of Force and Killing of Palestinian Persons with Psychosocial, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

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Al-Haq Sends Submission to UN Special Rapporteur with regards to Israel’s Excessive Use of Force and Killing of Palestinian Persons with Psychosocial, Intellectual and Developmental DisabilitiesOn 1 February 2019, Al-Haq sent a submission to the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (hereinafter the Special Rapporteur) in response to a call for input on the use of lethal force by law enforcement officials on persons with psychosocial, intellectual or developmental disabilities. The submission focused on the excessive use of force and killing of Palestinian persons with psychosocial, intellectual or developmental disabilities by the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) throughout 2018. The submission examined the systematic and deliberate use of excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force and lethal force by the IOF, along with other agents of the Occupying Power, against protected Palestinian civilians, including persons with psychosocial, intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In 2018, the IOF killed 10 Palestinian persons with disabilities throughout the OPT. Of these, five Palestinian persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities were killed as a result of the IOF's excessive and lethal force across the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Of the five killed, three persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities were killed within the context of peaceful protests during the Great Return March in the Gaza Strip: Karam Muhammad Fayyad, Hussein Fathi Al-Ruqub, and Ghanem Ibrahim Shurrab. Meanwhile, Muhammad Subhi 'Anbar and Muhammad Hussam Habali, both killed in Toulkarem, north of the West Bank, illustrate Israel's excessive use of lethal force and its shoot-to-kill policy.

In addition, Al-Haq highlighted Israel's systemic disregard for Palestinian human rights, including their inherent right to life, by means of employing excessive and lethal force against them – regardless of their age, gender, or other status – and in instances where they do not pose an imminent threat to the lives of Israeli forces or others. Furthermore, Al-Haq stressed Israel's failure to carry out genuine and impartial investigations into cases of killings involving Palestinians, fostering and entrenching a culture of impunity.

Finally, and as part of the recommendations presented, Al-Haq called on the Special Rapporteur to:

  • Request the State of Israel to immediately open genuine and impartial investigations into the killings of Muhammad Subhi 'Anbar, Karam Muhammad Fayyad, Ghanem Ibrahim Shurrab, Muhammad Hussam Habali, and Hussein Fathi Al-Ruqub, and to make the results of these investigations publicly available;
  • Urge the State of Israel to publish its rules of engagement on the use of live fire, and to regulate the use of lethal force, resorting to live fire only when strictly necessary, as required under international human rights law. In particular, Al-Haq recommended the Special Rapporteur to call on the State of Israel to immediately release their rules of engagement relied on in the context of the Great Return March in the Gaza Strip and in the context of protests across the OPT;
  • Urge the State of Israel and its military forces to effectively investigate and repeal any rules of engagement that permit the use of lethal force against persons not posing an imminent danger, including persons with disabilities;
  • Urge the State of Israel and its armed forces and other agents of the State to respect international human rights law and international humanitarian law on the principles of distinction, proportionality, and necessity;
  • Urge the State of Israel and its relevant institutions to carry out genuine, impartial, independent, effective, transparent, and public investigations into cases of killings carried out by Israeli soldiers, police, and other agents of the State, in accordance with its obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil the right to life in the OPT;
  • Call on the international community, comprising States and the UN, to provide protection for the occupied Palestinian population, including persons with disabilities, and to bring to an end Israel's systematic violations, including those impeding Palestinians' inherent right to life;
  • Call on third States to ensure accountability for perpetrators of serious violations and grave breaches of international law in the OPT, including by supporting the work of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in its preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine;
  • Take a public position, condemning the ongoing excessive use of force and lethal force against Palestinians, including persons with disabilities, systemically carried out by the Israeli forces during peaceful protests, or in other contexts.

 

To read full submission, click here.