On Monday 14 July, Munir Ahmad al-Badarin, 19, was shot and killed by Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) while on his way to throw stones at Israeli vehicles passing by on Road 60, west of al-Sammou’ town, in Hebron.
At approximately 5:45 A.M., Munir, along with eight other young men, arrived at a road parallel to Road 60. They gathered a pile of stones at the northern entrance of the road to prevent Israeli army jeeps from accessing the street. The road’s southern entrance was also blocked. Munir, along with two of his friends, walked west of the street towards higher ground overlooking Road 60, while the rest continued to block the road.
When the boys reached the higher ground they were shocked to see that four Israeli soldiers were hiding behind the rocks near the edge of the hill. According to an anonymous eye witness statement, the soldiers opened fire without any prior warning, shooting ten live bullets towards Munir and his two friends. Munir’s two friends, along with the boys that had been blocking the road below, managed to escape.
Five minutes later, Munir’s friends realised that he was no longer with them, and so they went to an area overlooking their previous location. There, they saw the four soldiers gathered around Munir, who was lying on the ground. Around ten minutes later, another Israeli military jeep arrived on a parallel street. The soldiers stepped out carrying a stretcher and headed towards the four soldiers, where they placed Munir on the stretcher and provided medical aid. A few minutes later, two military ambulances arrived, along with further military support.
At approximately 6:27 A.M., a Palestinian ambulance arrived at the scene. According to the ambulance driver, ‘Abdel Mu’iz al-Jisrawi, 26, upon the Palestinian medics’ arrival the Israeli paramedic team was in the process of trying to save Munir. At around 6:50 A.M., when Munir’s heart finally failed, the body was transferred to the Palestinian ambulance. Munir’s body was then transferred to Abul Hassan Qassem Hospital in Yatta, where a medical report concluded that he was shot in the stomach with two bullets, causing internal bleeding, which led to his death.
It is important to note that last week the location in question witnessed clashes between Palestinian stone-throwers and Israeli forces, in which one military vehicle was hit. This suggests that the soldiers were expecting that stone-throwers would return and had consequently set up a trap.
As the Occupying Power, Israel must adhere to its obligations under international human rights law (IHRL) and international humanitarian law (IHL). As such, Israel must respect the right to life of the population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In the above-mentioned case, ten live bullets were fired at Munir and his friends from a distance of approximately 25 metres. This demonstrates a clear disregard for the preservation of human life. Al-Haq condemns the use of live ammunition against Palestinian civilians and the impunity enjoyed by Israeli soldiers. The use of firearms by the IOF can only be justified in self-defence against imminent threat of death, serious injury, or to defend someone else from the imminent risk of death. With respect to the account above, Munir and his friends did not pose any threat to the IOF at the time of encounter. Therefore, the use of live bullets constituted unnecessary and excessive use of force.