In a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, on Saturday, 03 February 2018, Israeli forces killed an 18-year-old Palestinian civilian and wounded 7 others, including 4 children. This happened when Israeli forces moved into Burqin village, west of Jenin, as part of their ongoing military operation, which started on 18 January 2018, to search for Ahmed Naser Jarar (22). Ahmed is accused of killing an Israeli Rabbi on 09 January 2018 near “Hafat Gilead” settlement, southwest of Nablus.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 14:25 on Saturday, 03 February 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles and 2 bulldozers and backed by a drone moved into the Eastern neighborhood in Burqin village, west of Jenin. The Israeli forces surrounded many houses belonging to ‘Ateeq family and Jarrar family archeological palace in order to arrest Ahmed Naser Jarrar, who was accused of killing an Israeli Rabbi on 09 January 2018 near “Hafat Gilead” settlement, southwest of Nablus. The Israeli forces topped civilians’ houses roofs and heavily fired sound bombs and explosives. They shouted via loudspeakers: “Ahmed, Surrender yourself or we will demolish each house in the neighborhood.” Meanwhile, two Israeli bulldozers started demolishing two 260-square-meter sheds built of tin plates and bricks and used for breeding livestock. The two sheds belong to Mostafa Abed al-Rahman ‘Ateeq and his brother Hasan. During the operation, dozens of Palestinian youngsters and children gathered in the neighborhood and in al-Hadaf area adjacent to the southeastern side of Burqin village to throw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers, who immediately opened fire at them. As a result, 8 civilians, including 4 children, were wounded. Among them was Ahmed Sameer Mahmoud ‘Obaid (18), who was hit with a bullet to the head. Ahmed was then taken to al-Razi Hospital, where he was admitted to the Operation Room (OR). However, Doctors failed to save his life and pronounced his death at approximately 22:10 on the same day. Doctors at the hospital added that the bullet lodged in Ahmed’s brain.
At approximately 04:30 on the same day, Israeli forces moved into al-Kafir village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses after breaking the outside doors and topping the roofs. They then surrounded a house belonging to Walid Theeb al-Rashid and ordered the family members to get out of the house and turn themselves in. After getting out of the house, the Israeli soldiers locked the family members in the first floor of a house belonging to Noor Eden Rawhi Rashed ‘Awad, who rents the house from Khalid Ersheid. The soldiers then fired shells from shoulder-launched weapons at a cave and blew it up. They then fired several shells at doors of old houses’ stores near the abovementioned house and blew them up. The Israeli forces then called out via loudspeakers for Ahmed Nasser Jarrar to come out and turn himself in.
PCHR follows with deep concern the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and is strongly concerned over the use of lethal force against unarmed civilians in peaceful protests in violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL). PCHR hereby condemns the Israeli forces’ use of excessive, disproportionate and lethal force against the protestors and believes that this is due to the green light given by the Israeli government to the soldiers following the American Decision to declare Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel. Therefore, this constitutes a direct complicity in a crime of offensive and directly threatens the international peace and security.
PCHR calls upon the international community and UN bodies to stop the Israeli escalating crimes and violations and work on providing international protection for Palestinians in the oPt. PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 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.