Yesterday afternoon, 06 June 2017, while participating in a protest against the closure, a Palestinian civilian was killed and two others were wounded at the hands of Israeli forces stationed at the border fence, east of Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip. Investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) confirmed that Israeli forces could have used less force against the protestors that approached the fence as they posed no threat to the soldiers’ lives.
According to PCHR’s investigations and testimonies of eyewitnesses, at approximately 17:00, on 06 June 2017, dozens of youngsters gathered near the border fence, east of Khuza’a village, south of the Gaza Strip. Some of them set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence. The Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters and live bullets at protestors who were about 50 meters away from the fence. As a result, 3 civilian were wounded, including a child. They were taken to the European Gaza Hospital where one of the wounded persons named Fadi Ibrahim al-Najjar (32), from Bani Suhaila village, succumbed to his wounds in the right side 2 hours after he was admitted to the hospital. The 2 other wounded were identified as:
- Hamza Fawaz Abu Erjaila (15). He sustained a shrapnel wound to the chest; and
- Nizar Rasmi Qudaih (25). He sustained a bullet wound to the right thigh.
According to PCHR’s documentation, Israeli forces wounded in the 3 past weeks 20 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children. Not to mention dozens of civilians who suffered tear gas inhalation and burns because of the sound bombs. All of them were wounded in the same circumstances near the border fence along the Gaza Strip eastern borders.
In light of the above, PCHR condemns this new crime committed by the Israeli forces resulting in the death of al-Najjar. PCHR hereby:
- Demands the United Nations to provide international protection for Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) and ensure guarantees to protect civilians in the oPt;
- Calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to oblige Israel, in its capacity as a Member State, to apply the Geneva Conventions in the oPt;
- Demands States Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under these Conventions by exercising their Universal Jurisdiction to hold Israeli war criminals accountable regardless of the criminals’ nationalities and the place where the crimes were committed and put an end to their impunity; and
- Calls upon the States, which domestic jurisdiction, to hold war criminals accountable regardless of their origins and not to obedient to the Israeli pressures aiming at limiting this jurisdiction in favor of maintaining the impunity enjoyed by the Israeli war criminals.