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Upon Criminal Complaints Filed by PCHR: Israeli Authorities Open Investigation into the Killing of 5 Palestinians, including 3 Children, at GMR Protests

Ref: 20/2020

 

In reply to criminal complaints filed by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the Centre received, on 28 April 2020, 5 responses from the Military Prosecutor of Operational Affairs indicating that the Israeli Military Advocate General’s (MAG) decided to open an investigation into the killing of 5 Palestinians, including 3 children, at the Great March of Return (GMR) Protests.

PCHR, as the legal representative of the victims’ families, submitted criminal complaints to MAG, calling for a criminal investigation into the killing of: Wesal al-Shaiekh Khalil (15), Talal Matar (16), ‘Izz al-Deen al-Sammak (15),’Abed al-Rahman Abu Matar (18), and Mohanad Abu Tahoun (21), by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) during GMR protests in the Gaza Strip.

The mentioned criminal complaints were submitted with all evidences proving IOF’s grave violations of international law and using excessive and lethal force against peaceful demonstrators, which reflects an obvious disregard for the lives of civilians and the need to hold those involved in these crimes accountable.

PCHR had previously received 9 positive replies stating that the Israeli authorities decided to open an investigation into IOF crimes committed against Palestinian civilians at GMR protests. The total number of crimes that Israeli authorities opened an investigation into upon complaints submitted by PCHR reach (14), while PCHR received 8 negative replies stating MAG’s decision to disregard the complaints without opening an investigation for absence of criminal intent.  PCHR had contended MAG’s decisions with the Judicial Advisor of the Israeli government.

The five mentioned complaints are part of the (184) criminal complaints submitted by PCHR’s legal aid unit to the Israeli Military Advocate General regarding IOF’s violations committed in the GMR protests in the Gaza Strip.

These endeavors and efforts made by PCHR are part of its continuous work to promote legal protection for the victims of Israeli violations and defy the policy of impunity for Israeli officials and military leaders.

In light of the ongoing impunity of Israeli officials for violations committed against Palestinian victims, PCHR affirms that it will continue to hold Israeli officials and military leaders accountable at all levels, including before the International Criminal Court and national courts operating under the principle of universal jurisdiction.