Ref: 17/2018

On Tuesday, 06 February 2018, in a peaceful protest that did not pose any threat to the soldiers’ life, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Nablus and wounded 19 others, including 5 children. Doctors in the city hospitals, where the wounded persons were referred, classified the injuries of 4 of them as serious. The Palestinian Center for Human rights (PCHR) condemns this new crime and holds the Israeli government responsible for the tense atmosphere in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). PCHR also calls upon the International Community to take its legal and moral responsibility and intervene in order to put an end to the Israeli crimes against Palestinians and provide protection for them. PCHR also recollects the statements published by high officials in the Israeli government following the assassination crime of Ahmed Naser Jarrar in Jenin yesterday as the officials praised this crime, encouraging the Israeli soldiers to commit further crimes to kill Palestinian civilians in disregard for their lives.

According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 19:30 on Tuesday, 06 February 2018, Israeli forces moved into Nablus and stationed on “Baker” Street, and Khelat al-Eman in the Northern Mountain. They surrounded several houses belonging to al-‘Aasi Family to arrest Abdul Karim ‘Adel ‘Aasi (19), who is accused of killing the Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal near “Ariel” settlement, north of Salfit, on 05 February 2018. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian children and youngsters gathered to throw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli forces. Clashes continued until the early dawn. As a result, Khalid Walid Jamil Tayeh (22) was killed after being hit with a live bullet to the chest. He was transferred to An-Najah National University Hospital near the scene and then admitted to the Operation Room (OR). However, Doctors failed to save him and pronounced his death while he was under surgery. Moreover, and due to the clashes, 19 other civilians, including 5 children, were wounded. Ten of them were hit with live bullets, 8 civilians were hit with rubber bullets, and one civilian was hit with a tear gas canister to the face. Doctors in the city hospitals classified the injuries of 4 civilians as serious. Before withdrawing from the city, the Israeli forces arrested 7 civilians. PCHR’s follow-up clearly shows that that the Israeli forces heavily use live ammunition against the unarmed civilians participating in peaceful protests, noting that those protestors did not pose any threat or harm to the lives of the Israeli soldiers.

PCHR follows up with deep concern the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and seriously consider the use of lethal force against unarmed civilians participating in nonviolent and peaceful protests, in violation of the international humanitarian law standards. PCHR also condemns the Israeli forces’ use of lethal and excessive force against the protesters and believes it is as a result of giving Israel the green light following the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  PCHR also emphasizes that this decision is complicity in a crime of aggression and directly threatens the international peace and security.

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. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the oPt.