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Israel's Excessive Use of Force Continues, Disregarding Palestinians' Right to Life

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 10:20 - [8-14 June] -Ref.: 61/2015
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Al-haq-Danish-AwardAwrdIsrael continues to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the past week Al-Haq monitored and documented several of these incidents in which the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) resorted to excessive force, including shooting live fire at Palestinian civilians.

On Sunday 14 June, an Israeli military jeep struck and then fell on top of 27-year-old Abdallah Iyad Hamayel in the town centre of Kufor Malek, Ramallah, leading to his death. The circumstances of the incident remain unclear. However, Abdallah's body was left under the jeep for hours before he was removed from underneath it. According to a witness, an Israeli officer wanted to drag the damaged jeep out of the town without considering the presence of Abdallah's body .

'Izz Addin Waleed Bani Gharrah - Jenin refugee camp - Jenin

On Wednesday 10 June at approximately 2:30 am, Ahmad and his cousin 'Izz Addin, both 23, headed to the Sheikh Zayed mosque in Jenin refugee camp for prayers.  Initially, everything seemed normal that night. However, after a few minutes in to their walk, they were surprised to see 10-12 fully armed Israeli soldiers on the street approximately 90 metres away from them. Ahmad and 'Izz's first reaction was to retreat backwards and go into the alleys of the camp. No gunshots or sound canisters were heard.

At approximately 2:50 am, 'Izz told Ahmad that he wanted to go back to the main street to verify that they were Israeli soldiers. 'Izz walked back towards the main street, where he was approximately 3 metres away from Ahmad. 'Izz was immediately shot with one bullet, and fell to the ground. Ahmad tried to pull 'Izz's body into the alley and away from the soldiers. The soldiers slowly moved in their direction until they were 60 metres away. They fired sound canisters towards their location.

Ahmad hid in the alleyway for a couple of minutes fearing he would be shot too. Around five young men from the camp came and assisted Ahmad retrieve 'Izz's body. Ahmad does not remember seeing these men earlier while walking. By that time, 'Izz had stopped showing any signs of life. No more bullets were fired. Ahmad affirms that no confrontations were taking place at the time and that they were not carrying anything suspicious on them. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10748/2015)

'Izz was transferred in a private car to Jenin Governmental Hospital where he was announced dead upon arrival. He was shot with one bullet that entered through his left upper arm and went into the left side of his rib cage. According to the nurse that received the body, 'Izz seemed to have been shot with an explosive bullet, causing the severe damage to his internal body. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10751/2015)

Al-Haq is gravely concerned about Israel's continuous indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force against Palestinian civilians, depriving them of their fundamental right to life. As an Occupying Power, Israel must respect the right to life of the occupied population. Moreover, the IOF must be guided by the principles of necessity and proportionality when using force and firearms. Non-violent means should be used whenever possible in order to minimize injury and death. Further, according to the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, medical assistance must be provided to injured individuals “at the earliest possible moment.” 'Izz Addin was shot with live ammunition while he posed no threat to the soldiers. Again, while the circumstances of  Abdallah Iyad Hamayel’s death is unclear, after being struck, he was left under the jeep for hours. As the Occupying Power, Israel must respect its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law, and ensure respect for the right to life of Palestinian civilians. 

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