Ref: 95/2006

Date:  28 August 2006

Time: 11:30 GMT 


Palestinian Killed by the Executive Force in Khan Yunis

PCHR calls upon the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to investigate the death of a Palestinian at the hands of the Executive Force in Khan Yunis. The Centre is concerned of the use of excessive and disproportionate use of force against civilians during the incident.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 02:00 on Monday, 28 August 2006, Wasim Nasim Salman El-Masri (an 18-year old resident of Khan Yunis) was killed by a bullet to the abdomen. In addition, Adham Hamdan El-Masri (a 19-year old resident of Khan Yunis) sustained a superficial shrapnel injury to the head. Adham El-Masri stated to PCHR’s fieldworker that they were riding in a “Subaru” vehicle driven by a third person along Salah El-Deen Road, near El-Ta’awon Fuel Station on the Qarara intersection, north of Khan Yunis. They were on a return trip from Gaza City. He stated that members of the Executive Force fired at the vehicle. The injured were taken to Naser Hospital in Khan Yunis, where hospital sources informed PCHR’s fieldworker that Wasim was dead when he arrived at the hospital. Adham’s injuries were listed as light.

The spokesperson for the Executive Force, Islam Shahwan, informed PCHR’s fieldworker that the Force set up a roadblock on the Qarara intersection on Salah El-Deen Street after receiving a signal that a “Subaru” was stolen from Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, and was heading south. At approximately 02:00, a vehicle bearing the marks of the reported vehicle arrived at the roadblock. The members of the Executive Force ordered the vehicle to stop; but the occupants did not comply. The Force members fired two warning shots after which there was an exchange of fire between the two sides. Shahwan stated that relevant bodies in the Ministry of Interior have started an investigation into the incident.

It is noted that this is the third incident of its kind during the past two months. On 13 June 2006, Husam Ayoub Abu Ateyya, a 27-year old resident of El-Am’ari refugee camp, was shot by troops from the National Security Forces on a roadblock near Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah. They troops intended to detain him for criminal charges. And on 4 June 2006, Dawoud Suliman (25) was shot by Palestinian security forces for refusing to obey their order to stop. He was driving a stolen car on the Ramallah-Jerusalem road.

PCHR reiterates its call to the PNA to:

– Seriously investigate this incident, and to publish the investigation results; and

– Ensure that there are clear instructions on the use of firearms by law-enforcement personnel that conform to international standards and respect human rights.