In New Crime of Excessive Use of Force, Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Civilian During al-Nabi Saleh Weekly Protest
In a new crime of excessive use of force, Israeli forces stationed at the main entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, killed a Palestinian Civilian and wounded 3 others while participating in the weekly protest organized at the aforementioned entrance. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns this new crime. PCHR hereby stresses this crime was committed after the Israeli political and military leaders gave the Israeli soldiers the green light to shed the Palestinian blood in light of the international community’s policy to tolerate Israel for crimes committed by the Israeli soldiers against Palestinian civilians.
According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ testimonies, at approximately 13:30 on Friday, 13 May 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians from different areas organized the weekly protest at the main entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. The protest was in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on an open hunger strike in the Israeli jails. A number of youngsters threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers stationed there. The Israeli soldiers immediately fired live and rubber-coated metal bullets in addition to Two-Two bullets at the stone-throwers. At approximately 14:30, a number of Palestinian youngsters approached and threw Molotov Cocktails at the Israeli soldiers stationed at the main entrance to the village. Meanwhile, 3 soldiers were on the roof of an uninhabited house, so they opened fire at the youngsters. As a result, Four of them were wounded. One of them was Identified as Saba’ Nidal ‘Abeidi (20), from Salfit, who was hit with a two-two bullet that penetrated his abdomen and waist from the heart side. Saba’ had run about 20 meters screaming before he fell on his face. Meanwhile, the three other wounded civilians, whom PCHR keeps their names for fear of being arrested, were hit with metal bullets to the head. A number of youngsters rushed to save the four wounded persons and directly took them to an ambulance belonging to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), which transferred them to Martyr Yasser ‘Arafat Hospital in Salfit. Doctors there then declared the death of Sabaa’ after undergoing an urgent surgery. Doctors added that the other wounded civilians were admitted to the Emergency Department for medical treatment, and their condition was described as moderate. Eyewitnesses said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli forces directly opened fire at the four civilians from a distance of 20 meters. PCHR’s investigations emphasize that Israeli forces could have used less lethal force against the protestors who approached the soldiers as the latter were not posing threat to lives of the soldiers. Moreover, PCHR’s previous investigations showed that many Palestinian civilians who were hit with metal bullets from a close distance were killed, indicating Israeli forces’ premeditated intention to claim as many victims as they could among the Palestinian protestors.
In light of the above, PCHR condemns this new crime committed by the Israeli forces resulting in the death of ‘Abeid. PCHR hereby:
- Demands the United Nations to provide international protection for Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) and ensure guarantees to protect civilians in the oPt;
- Calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to oblige Israel, in its capacity as a Member State, to apply the Geneva Conventions in the oPt;
- Demands the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under these Conventions by exercising their Universal Jurisdiction to hold Israeli war criminals accountable regardless of the criminals’ nationalities and the place where the crimes were committed and put an end to their impunity; and
- Calls upon the States, which extended their domestic jurisdiction, to hold war criminals accountable regardless of their origins and not to obedient to the Israeli pressures aiming at limiting this jurisdiction in favor of maintaining the impunity enjoyed by the Israeli war criminals.