PCHR Calls on Competent Authorities to Stop Abuse of Power
Date: 19 December 2021
Time: 10:04 GMT
On Tuesday, 14 December 2021, a Palestinian man was killed and another was wounded after being shot by a Palestinian security officer during a verbal altercation between citizens in Za’tara village, southeast of Bethlehem. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses its deep concern over the incident and emphasizes the imperative to open a serious investigation into the incident, publish the results and take necessary legal action against perpetrators.
According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 00:28, a Palestinian security officer opened fire from an automatic rifle against a group of citizens from Za’tara village, southeast of Bethlehem, due to a verbal altercation that previously occurred between him and the villagers. As a result, Hafiz Dawoud Thwaib (31) was killed after being shot with a live bullet that penetrated his main artery from the left side. Also, his brother Amjad (25) was shot with a live bullet in his foot.
Secretary of Fatah Movement in Za’tara village, Raied Thwaib, and an eyewitness said to PCHR’s fieldworker that two vehicles (SUV and Mazda) moved into Za’tara village and parked few meters away from a gathering of villagers, there were fears of any action by three security officers, who had quarreled with people from the village a short while ago. The vehicles withdrew later.
The three security officers returned with 3 vehicles and stopped near the villagers’ gathering. One of the officers opened fire, wounding Amjad and Hafiz. Hafiz fell to the ground, and the officers drove the SUV and ran over him. The villagers pulled Hafiz from under the vehicle’s wheels before the security officers managed to flee the area; unfortunately, Hafiz had already dead. He was taken to Beit Sahour Clinic, while Amjad was taken to al-Hussain Hospital for treatment. Due to the killing of Hafiz, a prominent figure in the village, his family members burned shops belonging to family members of the security officer accused of killing him, as well as the car that was used in the crime.
PCHR condemns the incident and calls upon public prosecution to open a serious investigation into it, publish the results and take necessary legal action against perpetrators to stop the recurrence of such incidents.