2nd October 2013 | Palestinian Centre for Human Rights| Gaza, Occupied Palestine
In an excessive use of lethal force, on Monday, 30 September 2013, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian, and wounded another one before arresting him, near the border fence, east of Beit Hanoun in the north of the Gaza Strip.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR and the testimony given by Naim Khalil, an ambulance officer in the Palestine Red Crescent Society(PRCS), at approximately 19:15 on Monday, 30 September 2013, sounds of artillery shells and flash bombs that were followed by heavy gunfire were at the border fence, east ofal- Misreyin Street in the east of Beith Hanoun in the north of the Gaza Strip. At approximately 20:00, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) informed the PRCS in Jabalia that there was a body of a Palestinian civilian near the border fence. After coordinating with the Israeli side, an ambulance of the PRCS headed to the above-mentioned area, and the paramedics started searching for the body. After approximately 20 minutes of search, they found the body of the killed man who was lying on his stomach about 400 meters far from the border fence. The victim was hit by several bullets in the back and one bullet in the back of the head, and was wearing civilian clothes and possessing no equipment. The search process continued till 21:50, as the paramedics were informed that there was another person in the area, but they didn’t find anyone, before their director called them and asked them to evacuate the area for there was nobody else there. The paramedics took the body to Kamal Odwan Hospital in Biet Lahia, where the victim was identified later as Hweishel Ismail Hweishel Hanajra, 35, from al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. The victim’s family stated to a PCHR fieldworker that their son had headed to the area in order to infiltrate into Israel to find a job, as a result of his difficult living conditions.
The PCHR fieldworker was informed that Israeli forces advanced into the area immediately after the incident, and chased and arrested a wounded man. According to the ICRC, the detainee is Subhi Hussein Salem Abudib, 36, from al-Bureij camp. Moreover, the artillery shelling caused material damage to Musleh Al-Tarabin’s abandoned house that is covered with tin plates, located about 700 meters far from the border fence; cracking its walls, damaging 4 water barrels, punching tin plates, and killing birds and a donkey.
PCHR expresses deep concern for such crimes which reflect the continued use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in disregard for their lives, and points out that the infiltrations through the border fence along the Gaza Strip are repeated due to the crippling economic blockade in Gaza.
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 parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949 to fulfill their obligations under Common 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 Article 85 of Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions.