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Weapon Proliferation Threatens Civil Peace in the West Bank: PCHR Calls for Serious Measures to Ensure Rule of Law and Accountability

Ref: 69/2020

Date: 06 August 2020

Time: 11:30 GMT

 

On Wednesday, 05 August 2020, a Palestinian was killed and another injured in al-Bireh, during an exchange of fire between members of the Palestinian Security Service and gunmen. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) follows with concern the incident’s developments and its manifestation of the continued security chaos, misuse and proliferation of weapons.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 22:00, a black Land Rover Jeep stopped 100-meters away from the reconciliation gathering of two families (Qura’an and Shawabkeh) in central al-Bireh city. Afterwards, a fire exchange occurred between the gunmen inside the vehicle and the security services. As a result, two of the gunmen inside the SUV were injured; Khalil Shehada al-Sheikh (47), who was hit with a live bullet to the left side of his chest and his nephew Khaled Khalil al-Sheikh (26), two live bullets penetrated his leg. They were both transferred to the Red Crescent Hospital in al-Bireh, where Khalil al-Sheikh was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Consequently, Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammed Ishtayyeh, issued an order to form a committee to investigate and identify the circumstances of the incident. No updates were issued up to date.

PCHR is seriously concerned over the continuation of misuse of weapons in the oPt and calls for opening a serious investigation into the incidents and publishing the results to the public and hold perpetrators accountable.

PCHR also calls upon the Council of Ministers to take serious steps to end the security chaos and misuse of weapons and take immediate action to impose the rule of law in the West Bank.

PCHR stresses the need for the security services to obey international standards for the use of firearms, as in the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials of 1979, in order to ensure the security and protection of the citizens’ lives and property.