21st September 2016 | International Solidarity Movement, al-Khalil team | West Bank and ilegally annexed East Jerusalem, occupied Palestine
Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and ilegally annexed East Jerusalem have increased their use of excessive force against Palestinians – gunning down 10 Palestinians in only 6 days, killing seven of them. Medical neglect of the injured Palestinians and collective punishment on the Palestinian population after these incidents is commonplace.
Friday 16th September
In the morning, at Damascus Gate in the old city of ilegally annexed East Jerusalem, Israeli forces shot 28-year old Saeed Amro, a Jordanian national visiting al-Aqsa mosque. A video-recording shows him running away from the Israeli forces when they shot several rounds of live ammunition at him, in contrast to the Israeli claims of him attacking the soldiers with a knife. He was then left to bleed to death on the ground without any medical attention.
Israeli forces open fire on two Palestinians, Fares Mousa al-Khoddour and Raghad al-Khoddour travelling in their car near the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba, claiming that they were about to attack settlers at a nearby settler bus stop with their car. 18-year old Fares died at the scene, while Raghad was taken away in an Israeli ambulance critically injured, her condition since then is unknown.
Later the same day, 16-year old Mohammad al-Rajabi was gunned down by Israeli forces at Gilbert checkpoint in Tel Rumeida in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron), as the heavily-armed soldiers in combat-gear claimed that the boy was attacking them with a knife. He was left to bleed to death on the ground, while Israeli forces ensured that none of the residents of the neighborhood were able to give first aid to the injured boy, throwing stun grenades at them.
Saturday 17th September
22-year old Hatem Abed Hafez Shalludi was shot to death by Israeli forces in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of occupied Hebron. Despite the fact that he did attack one of the soldiers at the checkpoint with a knife, the soldier did not sustain any injuries. All of the Israeli forces wear bullet-proof vests, that can not be penetrated by a knife. Two of the other soldiers at the checkpoint shot Shalludi as another soldier is already pinning him on the ground, thus executing him for no reason. Again, no first aid was given.
Sunday 18th September
Baha al-Din Muhammad Khalil Odeh, 20 was shot and seriously injured by Israeli forces. The 20-year old stabbed and injured an Israeli army commander close to a checkpoint near Efrat settlement in Betlehem district, and was then gunned down by the Israeli forces. According to the last reports, he’s in stable condition.
Monday 19th September
Ayman al-Kurd, 20, was shot and severely injured near Herod gate in ilegally annexed east Jerusalem. The 20-year old Palestinian attempted to stab two Israeli police officers. A video shot by a bystander illustrates how the Israeli medics deliberatly ignore al-Kurd after he has been shot with live ammunition, and do not give any first aid.
On the same day Muhannad Jameel Al-Rajabi, 21 and Amir Jamal Al-Rajabi, 17, were shot and killed by Israeli forces at a checkpoint near Ibrahimi mosque in occupied Hebron. Israeli forces again claim that the two were attacking soldiers with a knife, but no injury among the soldiers has been reported. The seriously injured Palestinian later was taken by an Israeli ambulance to an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem – while the Palestinian medical crew from the Red Crescent was prevented from giving first aid and evacuating him to a much closer Palestinian hospital. He was pronounced dead minutes after arriving at the hospital in Jerusalem and could have possibly been saved if immediate first aid from the Palestinian medical crew would have been allowed by the occupying forces.
Tuesday 20th September
16-year old Issa Salim Mahmoud Tarayra was shot dead by Israeli forces near Bani Naim village east of occupied Hebron. Eyewitnesses claim that Tarayra was shot almost immediately after stepping out of a bus making a halt at the Wadi Al-Joz junction near Bani Naim.
Wednesday 21st September
A 13-year old girl was shot by Israeli forces near Qalqilia, as Israeli forces claimed a ‘terrorist attack’ – even though, no weapons have been found on her or in her school-bag. Her 24-year old Aunt, Rasha Ahmad Hamed ‘Oweissi, was gunned down and killed at a checkpoint in Novmeber last year.
This recent surge of lethal violence from Israeli forces is a clear violation of Israel’s obligations as an occupation force. As stated in Article 43 of the Hague Regulations, Israel as the occupying force is responsible for the safety and well-being of the population in the occupied territory. By shooting and then leaving Palestinians to bleed to death without any medical attention, and in cases even denying medical help from bystanders or trained medical crews, they clearly and continuously violate Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), stating that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. Article 6 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) guarantees that, “every human being has the inherent right to life [and that] no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life”. Article 2 (2) of the European Convention on Human Rights explains that “force used should be ‘no more than absolutely necessary’ to defend any person from unlawful violence, to effect the lawful arrest or prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained, or lawfully quell a riot or insurrection”.
This enhanced shoot-to-kill policy has been denounced by several human rights organizations. All the bodies of the Palestinians, excluding the Jordanian national, have been taken by Israeli forces who deny their families the right to a funeral. Injured Palestinians are kidnapped to Israeli hospitals and no news on their situation are given.
Israeli forces, since the beginning of the year have gunned down 103 Palestinias in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli forces deliberately, continously and with impunity completely ignore the rights of the occupied Palestinian population and thus create an environment where the killing of Palestinians is allowed without any consequences, and denying first aid and the freedom of press to journalists is common-place. This culture of impunity also covers the various and rampant acts of collective punishment enforced on the whole Palestinian community in the aftermath of these incidents.