Ref: 19/2010

 

 

In
the past three days, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have escalated their war
crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). The latest of such crimes committed by IOF
were the killing of two Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and air strikes
against targets in the Gaza Strip. The
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns this escalation and renews
its call upon the international community to bring to trial Israeli political
and military leaders who are allegedly responsible for war crimes.

 

In
the West Bank
, IOF
killed two Palestinian civilians from ‘Awarta village, southeast of
Nablus. Less than 24 hours earlier, IOF
killed two Palestinian civilians, including a child, in cold blood in Iraq
Bourin village, south of Nablus. 

 

According
to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 12:05 on Sunday, 21 March
2010, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Nablus was informed by the
Israeli Military Liaison that there were two bodies belonging to Palestinians
who were killed by Israeli troops near ‘Awarta village, southeast of
Nablus. A PRCS ambulance drove to the
reported scene. Ahmed Jebril, the driver,
and Jamal Husni Abu Hamda, a paramedic, were in the ambulance. A vehicle belonging to the Israeli Military
Liaison was waiting near Hawara checkpoint at the southern entrance of Nablus
to lead the ambulance to the scene where the bodies were. The ambulance followed the military vehicle
that drove towards the east of ‘Awarta village on ‘Aqraba – Yanoun road. The military vehicle stopped near an area of
land planted with olives, approximately seven kilometers far from the
village. As the ambulance arrived,
Jebril and Abu Hamda saw two bodies. The
bodies were near the two edges of the road and there was a distance of 10-15 meters between them. They were covered with blankets which are
used by the IOF. Israeli soldiers who
were in the scene allowed the paramedics to check the two bodies. There were several wounds throughout the two
bodies.  Abu Hamda saw two small hoes and
a Pepsi Cola in a plastic sac with one of the soldiers. The two bodies were carried to the ambulance
that drove to ‘Awarta commercial checkpoint to return to Nablus. Residents of ‘Awarta village who gathered
near the checkpoint identified the two victims as: Mohammed Faisal Mahmoud
Qawariq, 20; and Salah Mohammed Kamel Qawariq, 19, both from ‘Awarta
village. 

 

 

The
two bodies were transferred to Rafidya Hospital in Nablus. Dr. Abdul Karim Hashash, who examined the
bodies, told a PCHR fieldworker that Mohammed Qawariq was hit by four bullets
to the chest (with entrances and exits), one to the bottom of the abdomen and
two ones to the left thigh and leg. He
also sustained fractures and burns in the left leg. This indicates that he was shot from a close
range. Salah Qawarir was hit by a bullet
that entered the chest and exited the back, another one to the right arm (with a
entrance and an exit) and a third one that entered the back and exited the top
of the chest. Abu Hamda stated that the
nature of the wounds sustained by the two Palestinians, their clothes and what
he saw with the soldier indicate that they were working in their land. 

 

In
the Gaza Strip
,
from Friday, 19 March 2010, till Monday morning, 22 March, Israeli warplanes
launched several strikes on civil targets. 

 

· At approximately 01:00 on Friday, an Israel F-16 fighter jet
drooped two bombs on  Mahdi al-Daia &
Sons Company for iron framing on Saladin Street near the police station in
al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. The building, which stands on an 800-square-meters
area of land was completely destroyed, but no casualties were reported.

· At approximately 01:10 on Friday, Israeli warplanes fired
five missiles at Saladin Gate, Yebna refugee camp, and Block J which are
located in the south of Rafah, near the border with Egypt, allegedly to destroy
tunnels. As a result, Bader ‘Oudet Allah
al-Sha’er, 32, was wounded by shrapnel to the face, and Salem Hamdan al-Sha’er,
48, sustained a fracture of the right foot as a result of the strike. The wounded persons are workers in the
tunnels. 

· At approximately 01:25 on Friday, Israeli F-16 fighter jets dropped
a bomb on a farm in the east of ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis. No casualties or material damage were
reported. 

· At approximately 22:20 on Friday, Israeli warplanes fired
four missiles at Gaza International Airport, southeast of Rafah. Eleven Palestinians, including two children,
were wounded as a result. The wounded
civilians who are all residents of Rafah were transferring raw aggregate from
the destroyed runway of the Airport. 

 

Note:
PCHR keeps the names of the wounded. 

 

· In the early morning of Monday, 22 March 2010, Israeli
warplanes fire a missile at al-Shouka village, near Rafah International Crossing
Point on the Egyptian border, southeast of Rafah, allegedly to destroy
tunnels. The targeted tunnel was set
alight as a result, but no casualties were reported. 

 

 

 


PCHR
reiterates its condemnation for these crimes and:

 

1. Asserts that these
crimes are part of a series of war crimes committed by IOF in the OPT, which
reflect total disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians.

2. Calls upon the
international community to take immediate action to put an end to such
crimes. PCHR further renews its demand
for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill
their obligation under Article 1 which stipulates “the High Contracting Parties
undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all
circumstances,” as well as their obligations under Article 146 which requires
that the Contracting Parties 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 under Protocol I Additional to Geneva Conventions.