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PCHR Condemns Murder of 2 Palestinians and Wounding Another in a Family Dispute in Hawarah

Ref: 53/2020 

Date: 31 May 2020

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the murder of 2 Palestinian men and the serious injury of another during a family dispute that took place on Sunday morning, 31 May 2020, in Hawarah village, south of Nablus, where firearms were used. PCHR  expresses concern over the growing phenomenon of firearm-use in personal and family disputes, especially in the recent period; as well as the increasing breaches of the rule of law that threaten civil peace. Additionally, PCHR calls upon the Public Prosecution to open a serios investigation into the incident and bring those involved to justice; and demands the security services enforce the necessary measures to end the use of firearms in family disputes.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 31 May 2020, an Hazeem Saleem and Khader ‘Odah families restarted a fight that occurred the night before in Hawarah village in Nablus. A firearm was used in today’s dispute, killing  Jalal Jamal ‘Odah (34) and his uncle Jehad Khader ‘Odah (38) as both sustained live bullets in the head; meanwhile, Jalal’s brother, Kamal Jamal ‘Odah (38), was shot and injured with a live bullet in his head and taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus, where his health condition was classified as critical.

Afterwards, the houses and vehicles of those suspected of using the firearms were set ablaze.

It should be noted that Hawarah village is classified as Area C, which falls under full Israeli control as per the Oslo Accords. Palestinian security services enter villages located in Area C upon a prior security coordination, but as the Palestinian Authority (PA) recently decided to stop security coordination with the Israeli side, security services were forced to enter the village in civilian clothing in order to control the dispute and arrest the persons suspected of shooting.

PCHR regrets the murder of 2 Palestinians and expresses concern over the increasing number of victims due to incidents of mishandled weapons. The Centre calls upon security services to pursue those responsible for these incidents and to show zero tolerance towards citizens taking the law into their own hands and assault on the rule of law.

Lastly, PCHR demands protection for citizenry and that all necessary measures for their safety be executed, including a deterrent to prevent the recurrence of such incidents, to safeguard civil peace and the rule of law.