On Friday afternoon, 28 July 2017, in excessive use of force against demonstrators protesting the latest Israeli measures in Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and wounded 10 civilians, including 2 children, in an area near the border fence with Israel in the Eastern Gaza Strip. This crime indicates that Israeli forces continue to commit more crimes and use excessive force against Palestinian civilians in disregard for the latter’s life.
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 14:00 on Friday, 28 July 2017, dozens of youngsters gathered 10 meters away from the border fence with Israel east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. They set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence. The Israeli forces sporadically fired tear gas canisters and bullets at the protestors. As a result, ‘Abdel Rahman Hussein Abu Hmeisah (16) was killed after being hit with a bullet that entered his left shoulder and exited from his back. Moreover, two civilians were wounded; including a child who was wounded with two bullets to the lower limbs. All of them were taken to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah.
Around the same time, the eastern outskirts of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip and ‘Abasan al-Kabirah, east of Khan Younis, witnessed similar protests that were confronted by Israeli forces with bullets and tear gas canisters, wounding 8 civilians. Seven of them, including a child, were directly hit with tear gas canisters in the eastern side of Jabalia. The eighth civilian was wounded with a bullet to the lower limbs in the eastern side of Khan Younis. All of the wounded persons were taken to local hospitals. Moreover, some protestors suffered tear gas inhalation in different points of confrontation.
It should be mentioned that during the last 2 months, the Israeli forces killed two Palestinian civilians and wounded dozens, including children, in addition to dozens who suffered tear gas inhalation and sustained burns after being hit with sound bombs. All of them were wounded near the border fence along the Gaza Strip in the same circumstances.
In light of the above, PCHR condemns this new murder committed by the Israeli forces against Abu Hmeisah and:
- Calls upon the international community to intervene to stop the Israeli crimes and increasing violations and to guarantee international protection for Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
- Warns of the consequences of the Israeli restrictions imposed on the access to Al-Aqsa Mosque and Israeli escalation in East Jerusalem, which is an occupied territory, and all measures taken by the Israeli authorities following the 1967 occupation of it do not change this legal status;
- Reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligations under Article 146 to 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 Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the opt.