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Use of Live Ammunition against Palestinians

Tuesday, 05 May 2015 09:45 - [20-26 April] - Ref.: 43/2015
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Between 20 and 28 April 2015, Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) killed three Palestinians, including a child, in the West Bank cities of Hebron, East Jerusalem, and Jenin.

On 25 April, the IOF shot Mahmoud Yehia Abu Jheisha, 20, with four live bullets, injuring him in the chest and killing him. Mahmoud approached one of the Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint leading to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and stabbed him in the neck. In retaliation, the soldiers there opened fire.

Al-haq-Danish-AwardAwrdFollowing his death, Israeli forces raided Mahmoud's family home in Ithna, Hebron, to identify Mahmoud's body and give summon orders for four of his brothers. None of the brothers responded to these summons, as they were busy preparing for the funeral. On the morning of 27 April, Israeli forces raided their house again and gave the same brothers summons orders before the Kafr 'Etzion military post. Mahmoud's father, Yehia, 68, states that his son Mahmoud was not interested in politics, and did not belong to any political party. He also beleives that the video the IOF posted does not match their claim that Mahmoud stabbed a soldier. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10626/2015)

In a separate incident earlier that day, Israeli forces near Al-Za'ayyem checkpoint, East Jerusalem, shot and killed 17-year-old Ali Muhammad Abu Ghannam. Hours before he was shot, Ali had passed through the checkpoint and had a quarrel with one of the soldiers there. Ali went home, and after a while he got a knife and went back to the checkpoint and allegedly attempted to stab a soldier. He was shot and killed by the IOF there. On the same morning after he was killed, Israeli forces raided Ali's house in Al-Tur and confiscated his computer, laptop and personal documents. They also pepper sprayed and beat his family members.

Israeli forces intentionally delayed the delivery of Ali's body to his family. Israeli authorities also informed the family that only 70 people would be allowed to participate in the funeral and the family would have to pay 20,000 shekels (approximately 5,182 USD) as a guarantee to stick to the conditions the Israeli authorities had set. Ali's body was delived early Monday at approximately 2:00 am. His funeral took place with hundreds of people participating shortly afterwards. During and after the funeral, confrontations erupted between the IOF and Palestinian youth. Israeli forces fired tear gas and sound canisters as well rubber bullets near the cemetry, while Palestinians responded by throwing stones and lighting fireworks.

On 27 April, 19-year-old Muhammad Murad Saleh (Yehia), was shot in the pelvis by Israeli forces near the Annexation Wall west of Al-'Araqa village, west Jenin. According to Al-Haq preliminary information, a few young Palestinians from the village gathered near the Wall near the village that day, which is in the form of wires, threw stones at the wire fence and shook it. The IOF arrived at the scene and opened fire at the youth, injuring Muhammad. The IOF arrested two Palestinians, including a child. Muhammad was transferred to Jenin Governmental Hospital and then to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. On 28 April at approximately 3:00 am, Muhammad was pronounced dead.

According to the paramedic who picked up Muhammad following his injury, Muhammad was semi-unconcious and covered with blood in the pelvis area when he arrived to the ambulance. It did not seem like Muhammad was provided with medical assistance before arriving to the amublance. However, there was a black rubber elastic tied on his upper right thigh in an attempt to reduce the bleeding. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10629/2015)

The aforementioned three incidents vary between a stabbing, an alleged attempt to stab and throwing stones against the Wall. However, the reactions of Israeli soldiers was the same in all three incidents: firing live ammunition leading to the death of three individuals. These cases are emblematic of Israel's disregard for Palestinian lives and policy of lethal use of force. In a report published by Amnesty International in February 2014, between 2011 and 2014 at least 261 Palestinians, including 67 children, have been seriously injured by live ammunition fired by Israeli forces in the West Bank. Article 3 of the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials specifies that the use of firearms should be exceptional and is considered an extreme measure, which in all circumstances need to be necessary and proportional. Israeli forces should refrain from using live ammunition against civilians and resort to less lethal methods. As such, Al-Haq urges the Israeli authorities to carry out immediate, independent and transparent investigations to clarify the circumstances that led to the killing of Mahmoud, Ali and Muhammad, and hold accountable those responsible for breaches of law.

Since the beginning of 2015, Israel has killed at least 10 Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. As an Occupying Power, Israel is obliged to protect the occupied population and safeguarde their lives. The right to life is affirmed under international human rights law, including Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 6 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) also recognizes that every child has an inherent right to life and the necessity of protecting this right.

 

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