On Friday 22 August at approximately 1:00 P.M., hundreds of Palestinians in Nablus peacefully protested against the recent Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip which led to the killing of over 2,150 Palestinians. Half an hour later, some young men participating in the protest headed to the Beit Furik checkpoint east of Nablus.
Hassan Hazem ‘Ashur – Nablus
At approximately 2:45 P.M., Ahmad, 14, along with his friends Hassan, 16, and Muhammad, 15, arrived at the Beit Furik checkpoint. The boys stood approximately 50 metres away from three Israeli military jeeps and could see 12 armed soldiers standing in front of the jeeps. Ahmad could also see around 50 young Palestinian men around 50 metres away from the soldiers. The young men had set tires on fire and placed rocks in the middle of the street. There were around 10 young men throwing stones at the soldiers from a 30-metre distance. Ahmad and Hassan moved closer in the soldiers’ direction and threw stones at two soldiers who were on a hill and who were later accompanied by two other soldiers. An hour into the confrontations, the Israeli soldiers were firing rubber and live ammunition.
Ahmad and Hassan retreated to their previous location and threw stones at the soldiers from approximately a 15-metre distance. An hour later, three boys were injured with live bullets. Minutes after, Ahmad heard the sound of low gunshots near him. From a 10-metre distance, the soldiers to the eastern side were shooting using a silencer, injuring one young man in his leg.
At approximately 6:45 P.M., Ahmad, Hassan and two other boys were at the front throwing stones towards the soldiers on the street. By then, there were seven Israeli military jeeps with around 20 armed Israeli soldiers. According to Ahmad, one of the soldiers was carrying an M-16 which he pointed at him and three other boys. With Hassan on his right, Ahmad then heard a soft sound of a gunshot to turn around and see Hassan put his arm on his chest. Ahmad immediately knew that Hassan was injured, approached him and carried him to an ambulance with another young man. Ahmad saw blood coming out from the middle of Hassan’s chest. The next day Ahmad learnt that Hassan was unconscious in the ICU at the Rafidia Governmental Hospital. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 9931/2014)
Hassan underwent a surgical operation at the hospital during which he lost a large amount of blood. On 25 August 2014 at approximately 8:30 A.M., Hassan was declared dead due to the injury he sustained in the chest, which hit one of his main arteries and his liver.
Al-Haq condemns the killing of the 16-year old boy, Hassan ‘Ashur. As the Occupying Power, Israel must abide by 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. Al-Haq condemns the use of live ammunition against Palestinian civilians which constitutes unnecessary and excessive use of force in the case mentioned above. Israeli authorities have an obligation to ensure that any excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians is held punishable as a criminal offence. According to Article 3 of the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, the use of firearms is an extreme measure and every attempt should be made to exclude their use, especially against children.