Ref: 34/2010

 

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the
crime of the use of excessive lethal force that resulted in the death of Rami
Sa’id Salah al-‘Absi, 16, from Hebron, by a member of the Palestinian National Security
Forces (NSF) on Saturday afternoon, 1 May 2010. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian National Authority to form an
independent judicial investigation committee to investigate the incident,
publish the results of the investigation and bring the perpetrators to a fair
trial.

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR and statements
given by eyewitnesses, at approximately 11:30 on Saturday, 01 May 2010, a number of NSF
members were deployed at the northern entrance of Hebron (Ras al-Jora
intersection) and the northwestern entrance of the town (Be’r al-Mahjar
intersection).  They did not establish
any clear police checkpoints or signs.  A
Palestinian white Peugeot 205 crossed the first entrance. A number of young men and children were
travelling in the car. The NSF members
tried to stop the car which continued to travel towards "Da’erat al-Sair"
street that leads to " Be’r al-Mahjar-Farsh al-Hawa" Street to the
north.  The car was traveling at a high
speed. The NSF members tried to stop the
car near Ras al-JoUra intersection, but the car continued to travel and
illegally crossed the intersection.  The
driver did not turn around the circle in the intersection and directly passed
it from the right towards " Farsh al-Hawa" Street. When the car became between 200 and 250 meters far from the
intersection, NSF members who were stationed in an under-construction building
near the intersection fired into the air and then at the car. An NSF member then fired directly at the
car. Al-‘Absi was wounded by a bullet to
the upper part of the back as a result. The car drove to the Ahli Hospital in the northwest of Hebron to provide
medical treatment to al-‘Absi.  Medical
sources at the Hospital told a PCHR fieldworker that al-‘Absi arrived at the
emergency department in the hospital and doctors tried to save his life, but their
efforts failed and he died a few minutes after his arrival at the Hospital.  The NSF members followed the car to the
Hospital and arrested two persons of those who were traveling in IT.

 

In their narrative, Palestinian security sources stated that: "An NSF force fired at a
Palestinian vehicle that tried to run over NSF members near a checkpoint in
Hebron. The force ordered the driver of
the car to stop, but he did not obey the order. The persons who were traveling in the car had robbed a clothing store in
al-Mahd Street in Bethlehem. An NSF
member fired at the car when the driver attempted to run down NSF
members." The same official source reported
that two persons who were traveling in the car were arrested in the Ahli
Hospital while a third one died after he was wounded. Search is ongoing to find the car and the
driver who managed to escape. Investigations were opened into the responsibility of the driver for the
robbery of the commercial store in Bethlehem. Investigations were also opened into the death of al-‘Absi," the
sourceS added.

 

In this regard, Dr. Samir Abu Zneid, Acting Governor of
Hebron, issued a decision, on Sunday, 2 May 2010, to form a committee to
investigate into the death of Rami al-‘Absi. He noted that the committee is formed of:  Major Fadel Khallawi, Chief of the Military
Intelligence Service; Major ‘Issa ‘Amr, Chief of Military Prosecution; and
members from the security services in Hebron.

 

The victim’s represented by Hassan Salah al-‘Absi, the
victim’s uncle, stated that Rami was with his father and his brothers, Saleh
and Muhannad, and his cousin Nasim who were going back home after they had
visited Rami’s uncles who are detained in al-Dhahreya prison. He denied any relation to the car with the
robbery of the store in Bethlehem affirming that the car is not licensed and
"they did not stop because they were afraid that the car could be
confiscated."

 

In view of the above, PCHR

  1. Strongly condemns the use of
    excessive lethal force by law enforcement officials and firing at a civilian
    car in which al-‘Absi was travelling.
  2. Emphasizes the need to have
    strict instructions that regulate the use of firearms by law enforcement
    officials to ensure the non-use of excessive force and respect for
    international human rights standards to preserve the security and safety
    of civilians.  
  3. Demands the Palestinian
    National Authority in Ramallah to form an independent judicial committee
    to immediately investigate this crime, publish the results of
    investigation, bring the perpetrators to a fair trial and take all
    necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.