Ref:
53/2015

 

Israeli forces stationed at military checkpoints have used
excessive lethal force against Palestinian. During the past few days, Israeli
forces have killed 3 Palestinian in similar circumstances which did not require
the use of excessive force.  In addition,
Israeli forces claimed in these 3 crimes that Palestinians attempted to stab
Israeli soldiers. Two of these crimes took place 42 hours apart at 2
checkpoints south of Nablus.
Israeli forces stationed at military checkpoints have used
excessive lethal force against Palestinian. During the past few days, Israeli
forces have killed 3 Palestinian in similar circumstances which did not require
the use of excessive force.
 In addition,
Israeli forces claimed in these 3 crimes that Palestinians attempted to stab
Israeli soldiers. Two of these crimes took place 42 hours apart at 2
checkpoints south of Nablus.

Investigations conducted by PCHR confirm that these
crimes violate the principles of necessity and discrimination, and the use of
force was excessive, especially that Israeli forces could have used less lethal
force against the victims or arrested them, even if the Israeli allegations
were true. PCHR points out that the Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister
praised the Israeli soldiers who committed these crimes, which will serve to
encourage other soldiers to commit similar crimes against Palestinian
civilians. 

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR regarding
the latest of these crimes, at approximately 12:15 on Monday, 17 August 2015, a
Palestinian civilian, 24-year-old Mohammed Basam Mustafa al-Atrash,, from
KaferRa’ei village southwest of Jenin, 
arrived at Za’tara checkpoint , south of Nablus, coming back from
Ramallah. Israeli soldiers stationed at the checkpoint stopped a taxi which was
carrying al-Atrash, and while checking the passengers’ IDs, Israeli soldiers
got him out of taxi because he wasn’t carrying hisIDcard and forced him to wait
at the checkpoint.Aneyewitness who was crossing the checkpoint stated that he
saw two Israeli soldiers, who were checking cars coming from Ramallah, opening
fire at al-Atrash and running towards him. They eventually killed him. Soon
after, Israeli forces closed the checkpoint and did not allow a Palestinian
ambulance to attend al-Atrash. They brought an Israeli ambulance to transfer
toHawarah Camp, south of Nablus. At approximately 15:15, the body of Mohammed
al-Atrashwas delivered to a Palestinian ambulance at Awarta checkpoint at the
northeastern entrance of Nablus. The victim’s body was then transported to Rafidya
Hospital in Nablus. According to medical sources, the victim was hit by 10
gunshots to the chest, the abdomen and limbs.

 

Israeli forces claimed that al-Atrash attempted to stab
an Israeli soldier before they killed him. At midnight, Israeli forces raided
the house of Mohammed al-Atrash in KaferRaie village, and checked all the
house’s knives in order to compare them with a knife which they claimed that
Mohammed used to stab the Israeli soldier. However, they did not found such
knife.

 

PCHR notes that this is the third crime committed by
Israeli forces in similar circumstances within 9 days on the same ground. On 15
August 2015, Israeli forces shot deadRafiqKamelRafiq al-Taj, 21, from Tubas, at
a military checkpoint ahead of the intersection of Bitaa village southern
Nablus, with 4 bullets to the head, the back, the abdomen and the left thigh.
Also on 09 August 2015, Anas Ibrahim Mohammed Taha,21, from Qanta village
northwest of Jerusalem, was killed by Israeli soldierswho opened fire at him at
Khawaja petrol station which is located at (443) road that links Jerusalem with
Israel, adjacent to Kharabtha al-Mosbah village, southwest of Ramallah.

 

PCHR strongly condemns these crimes which further prove
the continued use of excessive force by Israeli forces against the Palestinian
civilians in disregard for their lives. Furthermore, PCHR calls upon the
international community to take immediate and effective action to stop the
Israeli crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the
1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1;
i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances,
and their obligation 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.