IOF Kill Palestinian Civilian during Suppression of Peaceful Protest in Northeastern Nablus
Date: 20 March 2021
Time: 09:30 GMT
In a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed a Palestinian civilian during the suppression of a peaceful protest in Beit Dajan, northeast of Nablus, northern West Bank. The civilian died with a bullet in his head shot by an Israeli soldier at him without him posing danger or imminent threat to the soldiers’ lives.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 12:30 on Friday, 19 March 2021, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, northeast of Nablus, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the national labor factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers. They parked their vehicles in al-Marhan area, east of the village, and continued walking to the settlement outpost established on the eastern mount, around 2000 meters away from al-Marhan area. At approximately 12:50, the protesters were surprised with IOF deploying on the top of the mountain, around 1500 meters away from the outpost. IOF immediately opened fire at the protesters, and clashes that continued for 10 minutes broke out, during which the protesters threw stones where the Israeli soldiers were stationed. The soldiers moved forward until they were 70 meters away from the protesters. Meanwhile, one of the soldiers fired a live bullet at a protester; the bullet settled in his head wounding him under his right eye. The protesters carried the injured protester, whose face and head were all covered in blood, and took him to Harayeq al-Damanah prairie, where they put him in a civilian car that drove him to Nablus. A Palestinian ambulance was there, and when they wanted to put him inside the ambulance, he was already dead. His body was taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus. He was later identified as ‘Atef Yousif Ahmed Hanayshah (46), Imam of al-Jadeed Mosque from Beit Dajan village in Nablus. He was a father of 3 children, including a daughter with cancer.
PCHR strongly condemns IOF’s excessive use of lethal force, which killed the civilian protester, emphasizing there was no justification for the shooting at him nor any imminent threat to the soldiers’ lives.
PCHR reiterates its call on the international community to act immediately to stop the IOF crimes and renews its call on the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e. to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions on the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).