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Israeli Forces Use Excessive Lethal Force Killing a Palestinian Civilian Suffering Mental Problems in ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ Refugee Camp in Nablus

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)


June 23, 2014
Ref: 70/2014

On Sunday morning, 22 June 2014, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian from 'Ein Beit al-Maa’, northwest of Nablus in the northern West Bank, after firing several bullets at him from a close range when he was on his way to a mosque near his house for dawn prayers, because he did not obey their orders to stop. The family of the victim said to a PCHR fieldworker that their son suffered mental problems and epilepsy. Thus, the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank has increased to four, including a child and elderly man, since the beginning of the brutal campaign conducted by the Israeli forces for the 10th consecutive day on the cities, villages and refugee camps in the West Bank. The Israeli forces have continued to raid and search houses, destroy the infra-structure of many villages, and raid universities, the last of which were the universities of Abu Dis, east of Occupied East Jerusalem, and Polytechnic Hebron, and confiscated their contents after breaking their locks and attacking their guards. It should be mentioned that the Israeli forces called this campaign "Cleaning the Stables."

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 03:30 on the aforementioned day, Ahmed Sa’id S’oud Khaled (27) was on his way from his house in 'Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp, northwest of Nablus, to 'Omer Ben al-Khattab Mosque in al-Sekah Street for the dawn prayer. Around ten meters away from his house, a group of Israeli soldiers were raiding and searching houses when an Israeli soldier shouted at Ahmed to stop. However, he did not obey the orders, so the Israeli soldiers opened fire at him from a distance of around 30 meters. As a result, he was killed by 4 bullets to the abdomen, back, right thigh and tight shoulder.

PCHR strongly condemns this crime, which further proves the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians in disregard for the civilians’ lives. Moreover, PCHR stresses that the measures taken by the Israeli forces in the oPt are part of the collective punishment policy and reprisals against Palestinian civilians in violation of Article 33 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to Protection of Civilians in Times of War which provides that: "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited". Therefore, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions to put an end to such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation 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.





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