Palestinian civilian was killed and his sister was wounded after Israeli settlers stationed at the entrance to “Halmish” settlement established on al-Nabi Salah lands, northwest of Ramallah, opened fire at their car.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and eyewitnesses, at approximately 09:30 on Tuesday, 31 October 2017, Mohamed Abdullah Ali Mousa (26), from Deir Balout village, west of Salfit, was driving his car with an Israeli registration plate. Mohamed was along with his sister Latifa (33), heading to Ramallah. The car arrived at the iron gate established at the entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village. The Israeli forces stationed there ordered Mohamed to stop as it seems they suspected the car. Mohamed sped up towards the intersection of “Halmish” settlement entrance, which is 200 meters away from the entrance. When Mohamed drove the car away from the intersection, an Israeli settler fired live bullets, which penetrated the car’s windshield. As a result, Mohamed was hit with a live bullet which entered his chest from the right side and exited the waist. Mohamed was then taken by an Israeli ambulance to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva City in Israel. Few Minutes later, Israeli doctors at the hospital declared his death. Moreover, Latifa was hit with a live bullet to the left shoulder and then taken to Istishari Arab Hospital in al-Rihan suburb, north of Ramallah, to receive medical treatment. Doctors at the hospital classified her wounds as moderate. Furthermore, the car sustained damage after being hit with 4 live bullets.
Israeli forces claimed that the car driven by Mousa “was speeding up towards the soldiers stationed at the entrance to the abovementioned settlement, so they thought that Mousa attempted to carry out a run-over attack. Therefore, the soldiers opened fire at the car and wounded those inside.” An eyewitness confirmed to PCHR’s fieldworker that following this, an Israeli military vehicle arrived at the crime scene. PCHR’s fieldworker was able to obtain a videotape showing an ambulance crew speaking to Mousa who confirmed that the Israeli soldiers ordered him to stop, but he sped up moving away.
PCHR, which has been warning of the escalation of Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, reiterates its condemnation of the killing of Mousa by the Israeli settlers and the Israeli government’s silence towards that. Thus, PCHR:
- Calls upon the Israeli forces to stop providing permanent protection for the settlers and covering their crimes against Palestinian civilians and their property, encouraging settlers to continue committing such crimes, and calls upon the Israeli government to prosecute the settler perpetrators and bring them into justice;
- Calls upon the international community to pressurize the Israeli government to fulfill their obligations under the international law in order to end the Israeli settlement activities in the oPt; and
- Reminds the international community that settlement activity is by itself a war crime according to the rules of the international law. Thus, all the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, individually or jointly, should take their legal and moral responsibilities, fulfill their obligations, and guarantee Israel’s respect for and application of the Convention in the oPt according to Article 1 of the Convention.