Yesterday, on 28 October 2018, in a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, which reflect the highest degree of recklessness of the lives of Palestinian civilians, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian children after targeting them with a missile in the border fence area with Israel, east of Wadi al-Salqa village, in the central Gaza Strip. Investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human rights (PCHR), indicate that the airstrike violates the principles of necessity and discrimination and the use of force was excessive, especially that the 3 children were civilians and unarmed. The Israeli forces claimed that placed an explosive device near the border fence, but paramedics at Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), who retrieved the dead bodies of the 3 children confirmed that the children did not have anything and they found them on the border fence in the Palestinian side. The Israeli forces previously killed, injured and arrested many civilian Palestinians in similar cases. This  crime comes after several statements of Israeli officials, on top of them was the statement of Naftali Bennett, Member of the Israeli Cabinet, yesterday, saying: “Those who approach the border fence will be killed.”

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 18:30 on 28 October 2018, an Israeli drone fired a missile at 3 Palestinian civilians, who approached the border fence with Israel, east of Wadi al-Salqa village, east of Deir al-Balah, in an attempt to sneak through the border fence. As a result,   the 3 children were killed after being hit with several shrapnel throughout their bodies. The ambulance crews were unable to enter the area due to the excessive shooting. At approximately 21:30 in the evening, ambulances belonging to PRCS were able to retrieve the children’s dead bodies and transferred them to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Those killed children were identified as follows:

  1. Khalid Bassam Abu Sa’ed (14).
  2. Abdul Hamid Mohammed Abu Thaher (14).
  3. Mohammed Ibrahim al-Satri (15).

It should be noted that the 3 children were from Wadi al-Salqa village.

PCHR herby condemns this crime, which further proves that the Israeli forces continue to use lethal force against Palestinian civilians with disregard for their lives. PCHR calls upon the international community and UN bodies to stop the Israeli escalating crimes and violations and work on providing international protection for Palestinians in the oPt. 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.