PCHR Calls for Investigation into Death Circumstances of Young Man only Few Hours after Being Arrested by Israeli Forces

19 SEP
3:08 AM

Today morning, 18 September 2018, Mohammed al-Khatib, from Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah, died only few hours after being arrested by the Israeli forces.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) calls for an immediate and impartial investigation into the death circumstances of al-Khatib and expresses its deep concern that the Israeli forces had properly practiced torture against him immediately after his arrest.

According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 06:00 today, 18 September 2018, Israeli soldiers sneaked into Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah, via a civilian white Volkswagen Caravelle with a Palestinian registration plate.

The vehicle stopped near a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Zaghloul al-Khatib (24), and the Israeli soldiers stepped out of it to raid al-Khatib’s bedroom.

They had brutally beaten him before arresting and taking him to an unknown destination.  In the morning, an Israeli officer called the brother of the abovementioned and asked him if Mohammed suffers from a certain disease, but his brother denied so.

Shortly, the family received a phone call from the Palestinian Liaison informing them that their son died.  It should be mentioned that al-Khatib was previously wounded by the Israeli forces with a bullet to his foot one year and a half ago.

Moreover, the Israeli authorities so far detain his body and have not delivered it yet to his family or the Palestinian competent authorities.

Bashir al-Khatib, Mohammed’s brother, said to a PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“I woke up to the loud screams of my brother Mohammed, so I immediately went to his bedroom, which is separated from our main house around 10 meters away. 

When I arrived, I saw 10 Israeli soldiers severely and brutally beating him with their riffles and feet throughout his body.  I tried to move them away, but the soldiers forcefully drove me off and tied my hands. 

They then locked my mother, sisters and I in a room in our house.  After Five minutes, we no longer heard the screams of Mohammed, and I saw one of the Israeli soldiers holding Mohammed on his shoulders to a white vehicle and taking him to an unknown destination. 

At approximately 09:00, I received a call from an Israeli officer asking me If Mohammed suffers from any disease. 

I answered No, he does not have any, and the soldiers then surprisingly ended the call. I then received a call from the Palestinian Liaison in Ramallah informing me with the death of Mohammed.”

 The Israeli forces announced that they opened an investigation into the death circumstances of al-Khatib.

They said in a statement that:” When the Israeli forces went to arrest him, he fainted.  The Israeli soldiers immediately treated him and then took him to the hospital where his death was announced.” The Israeli forces claimed that neither resistance nor violence occurred during the arrest!!

It should be noted that this crime is the second to be committed by the Israeli forces in similar circumstances this year.

On 22 February 2018, Yassin Omar Saradeeh (33), from Jericho, died after few hours of his arrest by the Israeli forces who violently beat him.

In addition to these 2 crimes, on 20 May 2018, Palestinian prisoner ‘Aziz ‘Eweisat (53) from  al-Mukkaber Mount village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, died in “Assaf Harofeh” Medical Center that he was moved into from “Eshel” Prison after he suffered a stroke. Before the stroke, prisoner ‘Eweisat said to one of the prisoners that he was beaten and maltreated in “Eshel” Prison under claims of pouring hot water on a prison official.

PCHR points out that Palestinian civilians are subject at the very moment of their arrest to brutal beating, physical and psychological torture and inhuman and degrading treatment in the Israeli jails; thus, PCHR:

  1. Calls for immediate and impartial investigation in the death circumstances of al-Khatib in light of suspicions that he was subject to brutal beating;
  2.  Calls upon the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to increase its follow-up of the conditions of the Palestinian detainees and prisoners and Arabs in the Israeli jails in addition to their detention circumstances; and
  3. Calls upon the international community to compel Israel to respect international law and international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention and the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.

(Source / 19.09.2018)

PCHR: “Within less than 24 hours, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child”

19 SEP
3:18 AM

Date: 18 September 2018: Within less than 24 Hours and Without Posing Any Threat to Life of Soldiers: Israeli Forces Kill 4 Civilians, including Child, in Two Crimes in Southern and Northern Gaza Strip.

Within less than 24 hours, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 44 others, including 7 children, 2 women, 3 journalists and 2 paramedics in 2 separate crimes.

The first was in the southern Gaza Strip When Israeli warplanes launched missiles to kill 2 civilians; one of them was a child, without any justification or threat to the life of soldiers while the second was in the northern Gaza Strip when Israeli forces used excessive force against peaceful protesters near Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

PCHR’s investigations into the first case emphasize that the two killed were civilians who were present near the barbed-wire fence that is around 50 meters away from the main border fence.

Although no circumstances clarified the reason behind their presence in the scene, they did not pose any threat to the life of soldiers as both were unarmed; moreover, targeting them violates the principle of necessity and distinction.

In the second case, the investigations indicate that the Israeli soldiers used lethal and excessive force against the peaceful protestors who posed no threat or danger to the life of the soldiers in the protests area.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 22:30 on Monday, 17 September 2018, the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence with Israel in eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire at the area near the border fence in eastern al-Qedra, northeast of the city.

After around 20 minutes, an Israeli drone launched 2 missiles at the same area.  Later, the Spokesperson of the Israeli forces,

Avichay Adraee, declared on twitter that a military drone “attacked saboteurs who suspiciously approached the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip and planted a suspicious object near it”.  However, this was refuted by the PCHR’s investigations.

At approximately 00:15 on Tuesday, an ambulance crew belonging to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) arrived in the vicinity of the area, and the ambulances stopped at the end of Street 2 to the east.

After coordinating with the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), the ambulances started entering the border area and searching for possibly wounded persons.  Meanwhile, the Palestinian Liaison via phone directed the ambulance crew to where the two persons killed exactly was after the former’s contacted with the Israeli Liaison.

The PRCS crew said to PCHR’s fieldworker that at approximately 00:50 that near the barbed-wire fence established in the Palestinian territories, east of al-Qedra, that is around 50 meters away from the main border fence, they found two bodies of civilians dressed in civilian clothes.

One of them turned into pieces while the second was wounded with shrapnel throughout his body and features of his face was unclear due to the targeting.

The ambulance crew carried the two killed, taking them 300 meters away where the ambulances were parked.  They were then taken to Naser Hospital in Khan Younis.

Moreover, neither firearms nor suspicious objects were found near the bodies unlike what have been said by the Israeli Forces’ Spokesperson.

On Tuesday Afternoon, 18 September 2018, families of the 2 persons killed identified them after their photos were published on social media.  They were namely as Naji Jamil Hasan Abu ‘Aasi (17) and ‘Alaa Ziad Jamil Abu ‘Aasi (20); who are both from Bani Suhaila.

Though the circumstances have not clarified the reason behind their presence in the scene, they posed no threat to the life of Israeli soldiers as they were both civilians and unarmed, noting that the area was calm and did not witness any protests.  Moreover, many infiltrations into Israel for work there were reported in that area.

At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, 18 September 2018, Israeli forces stationed at the Beit hanoun “Erez” Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip fired live bullets and tear gas canisters to disperse hundreds of civilians who were protesting near the crossing upon calls from the National Committee of March for Return and Breaking the Siege to participate in the “Together for the Rights of Refugees and Breaking the Siege” activity.

The Israeli Forces’ shooting resulted in the killing of 2 civilians who were identified as Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Abu Naji (32) from Beit Lahia Housing Project who was hit with a bullet to the chest; and Ahmed Mohammed Muhsen ‘Omer (24) from al-Shati’ refugee camp who was hit with a bullet to the chest.  Both of them were taken to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia.

Moreover, 44 civilians, including 7 children, 2 women, 3 journalists and 2 paramedics, were wounded.  Seven of the wounded were hit with bullets while the rest were directly hit with tear gas canisters in addition to dozens who suffered tear gas inhalation.  Further, a tear gas canister hit and broke the window of a PRCS ambulance.

PCHR condemns these crimes which further prove that Israeli forces continue to use lethal forces against Palestinian civilians to kill them even though the later posed no threat to the life of soldiers.

PCHR emphasizes that continuously targeting civilians, who exercise their right to peaceful assembly or while carrying out their humanitarian duty is a serious violation of the rules of international law, international humanitarian law, the ICC Rome Statute and Fourth Geneva Convention.

Thus, PCHR calls upon the ICC Prosecutor to open an official investigation in these crimes and to prosecute and hold accountable all those applying or involved in issuing orders within the Israeli Forces at the security and political echelons.

PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

(Source / 19.09.2018)

Israeli occupation killed 2, wounded 47 Palestinians in Gaza

Three out of the 47 wounded suffered serious injuries, medical sources said

Israeli occupation forces shot dead on Tuesday two peaceful Palestinian protesters and wounded 47 others near Erez Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical sources said.

The Palestinian health ministry said that the two martyrs were Mohammad abu-Naji, 34, and Ahmad Omar, 23, from Gaza. Both of them were shot with exploding live bullets in their upper extremities.

At the same time, the ministry announced that 47 Palestinian protesters were wounded, including three suffered serious injuries.

For the second Tuesday, the Palestinians from Gaza staged a peaceful protest in front of Erez Crossing, the only operative Israeli terminal with Gaza.

Organisers of the protests and journalists reported that the Israeli occupation used lethal force with the Palestinian protesters who stand more than two hundred metres away from the Israeli troops.

(Source / 19.09.2018)