Ref: 108/2018

On Friday afternoon, 05 October 2018, using excessive force against the peaceful protesters in the eastern Gaza Strip for the 28th Friday in a row, Israeli forces Killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 171 others, including 14 children, 3 journalists ( one of them was a female journalist)  and 3 paramedics with live bullets and direct tear gas canisters. Eight of those wounded sustained serious wounds.

According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed heavy deployment of the Israeli forces this week as the latter heavily fired live bullets, increasing the number of causalities .

The Israeli forces announced before the beginning of the demonstration that they will reinforce the deployment of the Israeli soldiers in the southern area in order to thwart the terrorist operations and prevent sneaking into Israel from the border fence in the Gaza Strip, according to the Israeli forces’ spokesperson Avichai Adrei.

 

Investigations and observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers emphasize that the demonstrations in all areas were as always fully peaceful, and neither weapons nor armed persons were seen. However, the Israeli forces’ snipers continued to position on the hills, behind the sand berms and in military jeeps along the border fence.

The Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators who posed no threat or danger to the life of Israeli soldiers in the areas of demonstrations.

 

The incidents today, 05 October  2018, were as follows:

At approximately 15:00, thousands of civilians, including women, children and entire families, started swarming to the 5 encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege along the border fence, east of the Gaza Strip governorates. They raised flags and chanted national songs. Hundreds, including children and women, approached the border fence with Israel, set fire to tires and gathered 300 meters away from the main border fence. Some of them attempted to throw stones at the Israeli forces, pulled parts of the barbed-wire fence established inside the Palestinian territories and fired incendiary balloons along the border fence.

The Israeli shooting, which continued until 19:00, resulted in the killing of 3 civilians, including a child. Two of them were killed in eastern al-Shuja’iyia neighborhood and the third one was killed in eastern Khuza’a, east of Khan Yunis.

The persons killed were identified as :

1-Mahmoud Akram Mohamed Abu Sam’an (20), from al-Nusirat Camp, was hit with a live bullet to the chest.

2- Fares Hafez ‘Abed al-‘Aziz al-Sersawi (12), from al-Shuja’iyia neighborhood, was hit with a live bullet to the chest.

3- Hussain Fathi Hussain Muhsen (al-Reqib), 18, from Bani Suhialah, east of Khan Yunis, was hit with a live bullet to the abdomen and succumbed to his wounds at approximately 20:45.

Moreover, 171 civilians, including 14 children, 3 journalists ( one of them was a female journalist) and 3 paramedics, were wounded with live bullets and direct tear gas canisters. Eight of those wounded, including a volunteer paramedic namely Mohamed Nidal Jum’a Abu ‘si (27), from Bani Suhailah, sustained serious wounds. Moreover, dozens civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and seizures after tear gas canisters were heavily fired by the Israeli soldiers from the military jeeps and riffles in the eastern Gaza Strip.

 

Table of Civilian Casualties due to the Israeli Suppression since the Beginning of the Great March of Return on 30 March

Notes Medical Crews Journalists Women Children Total Casualties
Among those Killed, there are 3 Persons with Disabilities and a child suffers from a mental disorder, while among the children killed, there is a girl. 3 2 1 33 154 Killed
Among those wounded, 463 are in serious condition and 76 had their lower or upper limbs amputated.  The number of those wounded only include those wounded with live bullet and directly hit with tear gas canisters as there have been thousand others who suffered tear gas inhalation and sustained bruises. 119 101 225 1435 8431 Wounded

 

 

PCHR hereby condemns the crimes committed by the Israeli forces, believing it is as a result of Israel’s enjoying impunity thanks to the U.S. and so encouraging the Israeli forces to commit further crimes upon an official decision by the highest military and political echelons.

PCHR emphasizes that continuously inflicting casualties, either killed or wounded, is unjustified, and using lethal force to target and kill 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.

PCHR calls upon Switzerland, in its capacity as the Depository State for the Convention, to demand the High Contracting Parties to convene a meeting and ensure Israel’s respect for this Convention, noting that 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 occupied territories.