Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian in the Gaza Strip.
ISRAELI SOLDIERS KILL PALESTINIAN IN THE GAZA STRIP
Published @ 09:00 GMT/6 June 1996
Around 20:00 hours local time (17:00 hours GMT), 5 June 1996 Israeli soldiers shot dead, Attiyah Ismail Abu Samra resident of Khan Younis Refugee Camp 23 years of age.
An eye-witness stated that Abu Samra was walking near an Israel military observation point, which stationed the west of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. It appears that Abu Samra, who was mentally retarded, was approaching sand dunes near Al Amal Avenue, some 150 metres from the observation point. The soldiers demanded that he stop. When he continued the soldiers fired two warning shots. When he did not respond, the Israeli soldiers shot him twice directly in the chest from a distance of 15 metres. It is clear that by aiming at his chest they aimed to kill Abu Samra. Abu Samra was alone and appeared unarmed and it appears that the soldiers had alternatives to using lethal force with the aim of killing.
Israel maintains a very large military presence in the Gaza Strip based at the borders, around settlements and in strategic points, such as the main arterial roads in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians faced continual harassment, often in the guise of security checks, by Israeli forces. These checks can involve full searches of vehicles, beatings of Palestinians and, on occasion, the use of live ammunition.
On 5 April the Israeli military forces exploded a car of Professor Fares Abu Mo’amar because, without even checking the vehicle, it was believed to be carrying explosives. Similarly, on 18 April Israeli soldiers opened fire against a convoy of trucks on its way to Gaza City from the Egyptian border. These trucks were on a humanitarian mission to provide basic food stuffs during the Israeli blockage of the Gaza Strip. The killing of Attiyah Ismail Abu Samra is just another incident in which Palestinians have been targeted by Israeli forces based in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights condemns the killing of Abu Samra, which is a grave human rights violation and breaks the international codes for use of firearms. Israeli military authorities use security as a pretext for harassment and ill-treatment of Palestinians. The Israeli military are maintained in Gaza in order to protect Israeli settlements; 3,000 – 4,000 Israeli Settlers living in these settlements illegally established in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Military presence numbers 4,000 – 5,000. The Israeli Settlers and Israeli military occupying forces have a pernicious effect on life in the Gaza Strip, which can involve, as in this killing, grave human rights violations.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights sees this as further evidence of the urgent need to dismantle the illegal Israeli Settlements as these are a major obstacle to the peace process and by their presence help to create an environment where human rights of the Palestinian people are violated.