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Israeli Forces Raid Residential Building in Nablus: Civilians Injured, including a Journalist

Thursday, 30 July 2015 14:49 - [20-26 July] - Ref.: 73/2015
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20150725_125000On Thursday 23 July 2015 at approximately 3:30 pm, Israeli special forces raided the city of Nablus and surrounded Al-Arsad residential building located at the intersection of Beker and Al-Arsad Streets. Three Israeli military jeeps closed the Beker Street while four other jeeps surrounded the building. Around six soldiers who were dressed in black and masked went inside the building. Live ammunition and explosions were heard from inside the building.

At the time, Muhammad Hussam Abu Rayala, 24, a resident of the aforementioned building tried to go inside but was prohibited at gun point by the Israeli forces. Approximately 15 minutes later, some of the forces retreated from the area. Muhammad immediately went up to his family's apartment on the second floor. There, he saw that the front door was blown up and there were blood spots on the stairs. Inside the house, there was blood all over the floor. Muhammad learnt that his brother, Mustafa Hussam Abu Rayala, 25, was shot and injured during the raid.

Muhammad was shocked at the scene and started screaming, thinking his brother was killed. Some of the Israeli soldiers were still standing near the front door. Three soldiers attacked Muhammad and struck him with glass on his right wrist. Muhammad fell unconscious. He was transferred to a hospital in Nablus where he underwent surgery. The main artery in his right hand along with three veins and two nerves were cut from the glass. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10846/2015)

According to Mustafa's mother, Mnawer Abd Al-Rahman Abu Rayala, 44, Mustafa was shot and arrested by the Israeli forces. He is in Kfar Saba Hospital receiving medical treatment. Mustafa had been wanted by the Israeli occupying authorities for almost a year. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10847/2015)

20150725_124999At the time of the raid, Shadi Yasser Jarara'a, 24, a journalist, arrived near Al-Arsad building at approximately 3:25 pm to cover the incident. Shadi held his camera high in his right hand and put up his left hand as well to assure the soldiers that he is a journalist. An Israeli soldier pointed his gun at Shadi almost immediately as he began walking on the street of the Rayala building. Shadi was shot in the chest with a round metallic bullet from a distance of approximately 80 metres. A Palestinian ambulance was present at the scene and provided him with medical assistance. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10845/2015)

Israel's arbitrary home raids infringe upon Palestinians' rights to liberty, security of person, and privacy provided by international standards. Al-Haq condemns these raids and the conduct of the Israeli forces that have a widespread effect on the safety and security of civilians. Under international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL), protected persons are entitled in all circumstances to be humanely treated, with respect for their dignity and security, and are protected against all acts of violence or threats. As an Occupying Power, Israel is obliged to provide protection for Palestinian civilians.

Al-Haq is also gravely concerned with Israel's systematic and arbitrary use of excessive force against Palestinian civilians. Such force was again evidenced by the shooting of Mustafa and Shadi, and the beating that Muhammad endured. Neither Mustafa nor Shadi posed a lethal threat to the soldiers or others, which is required to use fire. Similarly, Muhammad’s beating was arbitrary and unwarranted given the circumstances. Furthermore, Al-Haq notes that according to customary IHL, journalists must be respected and protected as long as they are not taking direct part in hostilities.