Palestinian civilian Deadly Shot by Israeli Occupation Forces in Tubas
Date: 19 August 2022
Time: 17:30 GMT
Today morning, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed a Palestinian after opening fire at him during their incursion into Tubas City in the West Bank. This crime reflects IOF’s loose shooting standards and excessive use of force against the Palestinians despite no threat or danger immense to soldiers’ lives.
According to field investigations and an eyewitness’s statement to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)’s fieldworker, at approximately 05:45 on Friday, 19 August 2022, IOF moved into Tubas city, where Israeli snipers topped the roof of the 4-storey public prosecution building that is located on the left side of the city’s main street. Afterwards, IOF cordoned off a house located next to the family house of Akram Hakam Jum’a al-Kharraz (20), a student at the American University in Jenin, while Palestinian worshipers were leaving the Old Mosque in al-Kharraz neighborhood in central Tubas, amidst IOF’s sporadic shooting.
At that moment, Salah Tawfiq Mohammed Sawafta (58), who was wearing a traditional jalabiya, rushed out of an alley into the main street and then headed to al-Sarraj bakery in the area, which is about 150 meters away from the building, where IOF are stationed. Before Sawafta’s arrival at the bakery, an Israeli sniper stationed onto the roof of the public prosecution’s building opened fire at him and wounded him with a live bullet in the right side of his forehead. As a result, Sawafta fell on his left side. Afterwards, a Palestinian ambulance arrived and took him to Tubas Turkish Hospital that referred him to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus due to his serious condition. At approximately 11:20, medical sources announced Sawafta’s death, succumbing to his serious wound. Before their withdrawal, IOF raided and searched Akran Kharraz’s house and arrested him.
A footage captured by a surveillance camera fixed in the area showed Sawafta walked alone on the side of the road and rushed to take cover inside the bakery, as gunshots could be heard, before falling to the ground at the bakery entrance.
PCHR’s investigations affirm that there were no events or movements in the alley, from which Sawafta exited, and in the area, where he was wounded. This means that IOF’s shooting at Sawafta was without justification, although the soldiers stationed in the building were in plain sight.
PCHR reiterates its call upon the international community to take immediate action to end Israeli occupation’s crimes and double standards when it comes to international law. PCHR also urges the ICC Prosecutor in particular to act seriously with regard to the situation in Palestine similar to its prompt action in Ukraine. PCHR also demands the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention fulfil their obligations as per Common Article 1 of the Convention, “undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.” PCHR also calls upon the High Contracting Parties to uphold their commitment to Article 146 of the same Conventions, i.e., to hold accountable persons accused of committing grave breaches of the Convention, and to ensure protection for Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory.