Palestinian Killed and 5 Others Injured, Including Child, in Suppression of Peaceful Protest in Nablus
Date: 29 May 2021
Time: 10:00 GMT
Yesterday, in new crime of excessive use of lethal force by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF), a Palestinian civilian was killed and 5 others injured, including a child, during the suppression of a peaceful protest against settlement expansion in Beita village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 13:30 on Friday, 28 May 2021, a peaceful protest took off from the central of Beita village, southeast of Nablus, towards Subeih Mount, south of the village, where IOF established “Avitar” settlement outpost a month ago. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against Israeli occupation and settlers. When the protestors arrived at Subeih Mount, they found a large number of IOF who opened indiscriminate fire at them. Afterwards, violent clashes erupted between them, during which, the protestors threw stones at IOF who responded with live and rubber bullets, stun grenades and teargas canisters. The clashes continued until 18:30 and resulted in the murder of a Palestinian civilian and the injury of 5 others, including a child. Among those injured four were shot with live bullets in their lower limbs and one was shot with a rubber bullet. All of them were taken to Rafidia Hospital for treatment. The victim was later identified as Zakaria Maher Falah Hamayil (26), from Beita village. Hamayil, who was a teacher, succumbed to his wounds in the emergency department after being shot with a live bullet in his head. Moreover, several protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
PCHR strongly condemns the excessive use of force which resulted in the murder of Hamayil and the injury of others and emphasizes that there was no justification for the use of fire, especially if there is no imminent danger or threat to the soldiers’ lives.
This incident is part of IOF’s recurrent policy of opening fire and using excessive force during the suppression of peaceful protests, which violates shooting standards. This policy also reflects the Israeli occupation’s disregard for Palestinians’ safety and their lives.
PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate action to stop IOF crimes and reiterates 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 regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the oPt.