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PCHR Condemns Killing of Young Man during Police Mission in Nablus

Ref: 94/2019

On Sunday morning, 04 August 2019, Hashim ‘Omer ‘Issa (21), from Balatah Refugee Camp in eastern Nablus, succumbed to his wounds at Rambam Hospital in Haifa after Palestinian police officers shot him in the back 2 weeks ago at a security checkpoint in Nablus. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses its deep concern and emphasizes the importance of conducting a serious investigation into the incident, as well as releasing the results publicly and pursuing the necessary legal proceedings.

According to PCHR’s investigations, the Palestinian Police established a security checkpoint at the entrance to Balatah refugee camp to arrest drug dealers on 20 July 2019.  As the late Mr. ‘Issa arrived at the checkpoint, he stopped his car but refused to obey police officers’ orders to pull over and he sped away. The police officers opened fire at the backside of the car and wounded ‘Issa directly in his spine and lungs.  Due to his serious condition, he was taken to Rambam Hospital in Haifa, where he stayed for 2 weeks until he was pronounced dead yesterday.

A video published on social media captured the incident, it shows a car arriving at a security checkpoint in Balatah refugee camp and stopping completely.  Police officers then approached the car and talked with the driver. A few seconds later, the driver sped away and a security personnel is seen shooting at the car’s rear side while it was only a few meters away.

After Mr. ‘Issa was declared dead, outraged Palestinians set fire to tires and landfills at the entrances of the camp as well as the nearby al-Quds Street, which they closed in protest to Mr. Issa’s death.

PCHR expresses its deep concern over the recurrence of such incidents and calls for opening a serious investigation into the incident, publishing the results publicly and taking necessary legal action. PCHR affirms the right of the authorities to impose law and prosecute violators and outlaws; nonetheless, the Centre stresses the importance of restricting security forces to the shooting standards that only allows the use of firearm in the case of self-defense or defending others from imminent danger, in accordance with the principle of disproportionality as stipulated in the international standards.