IOF Kill Palestinian Civilian and Wound 2 Others in Beita Village, Nablus
Date: 25 September 2021
Time: 14:30 GMT
Yesterday afternoon, 24 September 2021, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 2 others; one is an elderly man, during their attack on a peaceful protest against settlement expansion in Beita, southeastern Nablus, northern West Bank.
According to PCHR investigations, IOF directly shot the Palestinian civilian in his head from a distance of only 40 meters while there was no threat to the lives of IOF, eliminating any justification to the murder crime. This crime is yet another stark example of IOF unjustifiable relaxed shooting standards in disregard for Palestinian civilians’ lives.
According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 13:00 on Friday, 24 September 2021, a peaceful protest took off from Beita Park, southeastern Nablus, towards Mount Sbaih, southern Nablus, where IOF established “Avatar” settlement outpost three months ago. The protestors held Palestinian flags and chanted against the occupation and settlers. Upon their arrival in Mount Sbaih, they found IOF troops stationed in the area, so a group of elderly men approached the soldiers to ask them why the caravans were still in the Mount although a decision was issued to evacuate the settlement outpost. However, the soldiers opened fire at the elderly men and wounded a 65-year-old man in his bank. As a result, violent clashes erupted, and some protestors threw rocks at the soldiers, who continued to fire live and rubber-coated bullets, as well as tear gas canisters and stun grenades, at the protestors. The clashes, which expanded to the western side of the Mount in an area called al-Yatamawi, continued until 15:00 and resulted in the injury of 2 civilians; one with a rubber bullet in the head while the other with a live bullet in the head as well. The latter’s condition was critical, so he was taken to a field hospital in Beita village and. He was then referred to An-Najah Hospital in Nablus, where his death was announced at 17:00. Additionally, several other Palestinian civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. The civilian killed was later identified as Mohammed ‘Ali Mohammed Khabisah (28), from Beita village.
An eyewitness said to PCHR fieldworker that:
“An Israeli soldier opened fire from a distance of 30-40 meters at Mohammed Khabisah when he poked his head from a stone chain he was behind, without posing any threat to the soldiers’ lives. The soldier managed to shoot him and he fell on the ground. I ran towards him and he was around 50 meters away. His head was open and bleeding, so young men and I carried him and walked 100 meters away to a Palestinian ambulance, which took him to a field hospital established in Beita Elementary School for Boys. He was then referred to An-Najah National Hospital in Nablus, where he was pronounced dead at 17:00.”
PCHR indicates with concern the increase of murder crimes by IOF against the Palestinian civilians. These crimes are usually committed without any justification and violate the shooting standards as there was no threat to the lives of the soldiers.
PCHR reiterates its call on the international community to act immediately to stop the IOF crimes and renews its call on the High Contracting Parties to the 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 and to guarantee Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).