Israeli Forces Kill 3 Palestinian Civilians South of Hebron
In 2 Crimes of Extra-judicial Execution and Excessive Use of Force, Israeli Forces Kill 3 Palestinian Civilians in Yatta, South of Hebron
On Tuesday evening, 26 November 2013, Israeli forces killed in 2 separate attacks of an extra-judicial execution and excessive use of lethal forces 3 Palestinian civilians in the vicinity of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns these 2 crimes that further prove Israeli forces’ disregard for the civilians’ lives. PCHR also calls upon the international community to immediately take an action to stop such crimes.
In a new crime of extra-judicial execution, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians in Hebron by targeting their vehicle near Zaif area, north of Yatta, south of the city. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 18:00, on the abovementioned day, Mousa Mohammed Makhamra (24), from Yatta, and Mohammed Fo'ad Nairoukh (24), from Hebron, were driving a white Subaru vehicle on a dirt road linking al-Berka area, east of Yatta, and bypass road (60). A Renault Kangoo vehicle was following the above-mentioned vehicle. The Subaru was about to reach the bypass road when an Israeli infantry unit had been deployed in the farmlands around. Israeli soldiers directly opened fire at the vehicle, and in the meantime, other soldiers opened fire from the Renault vehicle as well. Soon after, a Mercedes 608 accompanied by a Mercedes bus and an Isuzu Jeep – all with Palestinian registration plates – arrived and stopped on the bypass road. A large number of Israeli soldiers stepped out of the vehicles and deployed in the area. An hour and a half later, Israeli forces brought a robot to pull the dead civilians out of the vehicle. A suspicious object was also taken out of the vehicle and detonated. At approximately 01:00 on Wednesday, 27 November 2013, Israeli forces delivered the 2 corpses to an ambulance of the Palestine Red Crescent Society that took them to Abu al-Hassan al-Qasem Hospital in Yatta. Medical sources at the hospital stated that Nairoukh was killed by 3 bullets to the chest and a bullet to the right side of his forehead (entered and exited). Makhamra was killed by a bullet to the right eye (entered and exited), a bullet to the right side of the neck, a bullet to the chest and a fourth one to the pelvis.
Half an hour later, in an excessive use of force, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian in the south of Hebron. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 18:30, Israeli forces surrounded a house belonging to the family of Khalil Mohammed Abu 'Eram (43), from al-Berka area, north of Yatta, south of Hebron. They immediately opened fire at the house for a few minutes and then used an explosive device to blow up the door. They also opened fire at a by-passer.
Issa Abu 'Eram said to PCHR's fieldworker that a large number of Israeli soldiers moved into the area and surrounded a house belonging to his brother Khalil. The house was rented by 3 Palestinians claiming to be from Jenin. At approximately 18:30, they heard gunfire around the house and then the sound of an explosion. After a while, an ambulance of the Palestine Red Crescent Society arrived. Residents of the area learnt later that a civilian was killed near the house. At approximately 01:30 on Wednesday, 27 November 2013, Israeli forces delivered the corpse of the civilian to an ambulance that took it to Abu al-Hassan al-Qasem Hospital in Yatta. The killed was identified as Mahmoud Khaled al-Najjar (24), from Yatta.
After examination of the crime scene, it was found that Israeli forces had opened fire randomly at al-Najjar while he was walking near the house, due to which, he was hit by a number of bullets causing his death before he was taken to the hospital. According to medical sources at the hospital, al-Najjar was hit by a bullet to the left side of his chest, 3 bullets to chest and a bullet to the right shoulder. In addition, part of his head was taken out as he was pulled by a robot.
PCHR is deeply concerned over these 2 crimes, which further prove the use of extra-judicial execution and excessive force by Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians in disregard for the civilians’ lives. 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.