Ref:
20/2015

 

On
Sunday, 26 April 2015, a Palestinian child was killed by Israeli forces at
Za’im checkpoint, east of occupied Jerusalem. According to investigations
conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Israeli forces
could have used less lethal force against the child or arrest and question him.

 

According
to information collect by a PCHR fieldworker, at approximately 00:15 on Saturday,
25 April 2015, while Ali Mohammed Ali Sa’id Abu Ghannam (17) was crossing
through Za’im checkpoint between Za’im village and occupied Jerusalem, he quarreled
with Israeli soldiers at the said checkpoint. The quarrel developed to a fight,
during which an Israeli soldier fired directly at the boy. As a result, the boy
fell down and bled to death. Medical crews of the Palestine Red Crescent
Society (PRCS) from Jerusalem and from al-Eizariya village tried to approach
the place to transport the boy to hospital, but Israeli forces denied them
access. Israeli forces summoned the boy’s father two hours after the incident
took place. The father identified the corpse of his son that was referred to Abu
Kabir Forensic Institute. The father was detained and taken to al-Masqoubiya
police station in West Jerusalem, but was released in the morning.

 

Israeli
police claimed that the victim attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at the
abovementioned checkpoint, so the soldiers at the checkpoint fired at him as he
attempted to flee.

 

PCHR
has been investigating the attack, but points out that its preliminary
investigations show that Israeli forces could have used less lethal force
against the child or arrest and question him. Moreover, the medical forensic
report has not been issued so far and the nature of the injury that led to
death has not been identified.

 

PCHR
condemns this crime, which further proves the use of excessive force by Israeli
forces against Palestinian civilians, in disregard for the civilians’ lives. Therefore,
PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective
actions 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.