Ref:
83/2012

 

 

The
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the killing of a
Palestinian worker and the wounding of another 3 by the Israeli Occupation
Forces (IOF) at al-Zaeem checkpoint in the east of occupied Jerusalem.  PCHR calls upon the international community to
immediately act to stop the IOF’s actions and renews its call for the Higher Contracting
Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under
Article 1 of the Convention to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in
all circumstances.

 

According
to investigations conducted by PCHR and the testimony of eyewitnesses, at
approximately 00:30 on Monday, 30 July 2012, a group of 14 Palestinian workers
from villages belonging to Ramallah and al-Bireh arrived at al-Zaeem checkpoint
in the east of occupied Jerusalem while on their way to Jerusalem to look for jobs.
 It seems that these workers did not have
work permits.  The workers, who are all
civilians, traveled in a civilian Ford vehicle with an Israeli plate.  When the vehicle was approximately 15 meters
from the checkpoint, the driver got a phone call.  The caller told the driver that there was an
IOF force at the checkpoint.  The driver
tried to turn back, but the engine suddenly broke.  In the meantime, the Israeli Border Guards
arrived and surrounded the vehicle.  When
a member of the Israeli Border Guards tried to open the door, the driver
switched the car on and drove it in an attempt to escape; members of the Israeli
Border Guards, as well as soldiers who were positioned at the checkpoint, opened
fire at the vehicle.  As a result, Hassan
Badi’ Bader (45), from the Bitello village northwest of Ramallah, sustained a
head wound from a bullet.  Bader later died
as he while being transferred by an Israeli ambulance to an Israeli hospital.  In the same incident, another 3 Palestinian
workers were wounded and transported by Palestinian ambulances to the Palestine
Medical Compound in Ramallah.  According
to eyewitnesses, the IOF could have used less lethal force against the workers,
especially as the vehicle that they were using entered Jerusalem, it was easy
to surround the vehicle, and it was easy to arrest and questioned the passengers.
 

 

The
wounded are:

1- Khaled Imad Abdullah Dar Ziadah (23), from the Bitello village,
who was wounded by a bullet in his right leg;

2- Ashraf Abdullah Sabti (27), from Deir Ammar, who was wounded by 2
bullets to his left leg and right shoulder; and

3- Fathi Mohammed Ghithan (20), from the Qebya village, who was
wounded by shrapnel from a bullet to his right ear.

 

Israeli
police spokeswoman, Luba Samri, claimed that “members of the border guards opened
fire at a Palestinian vehicle that refused to stop at al-Zaeem checkpoint in
the east of Jerusalem.”  The spokeswoman
further stated that the soldiers at the checkpoint ordered the vehicle to stop more
than once, but the vehicle continued to drive hastily and was a threat to the
soldiers’ lives, so the soldiers opened fire at it.

 

PCHR
renews its condemnation of this new crime, views it with grave concern and:

 

1. Stresses that the use of excessive force against Palestinian
workers is a systematic policy adopted by the IOF that reflects a disregard for
the lives of Palestinian civilians; and

2. Notes that, in light of the continued challenges by the State of
Israel and the IOF to the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, it is
time for the Higher Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to
organize a conference and take immediate steps to ensure protection for
Palestinian civilians and their property in the occupied Palestinian territory.