ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES/PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: Investigate apparent extrajudicial execution at Hebron hospital

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18 Nov 2015
[International Secretariat]
Topic: Regional conflict

The killing of a 28-year-old Palestinian man by Israeli forces during a raid on al-Ahli hospital in Hebron in the early hours of Thursday morning may amount to an extrajudicial execution, Amnesty International said today.

According to two witnesses Amnesty International spoke to, a large group of Israeli soldiers and police entered the hospital disguised as Palestinian civilians. They entered a room on the third floor of the hospital where 20-year-old Azzam Azmi Shalaldah was a patient to arrest him on suspicion of stabbing an Israeli civilian on 25 October.

When they entered the room where the patient was in bed, they immediately shot his cousin, Abdullah Azzam Shalaldah, at least three times, including in the head and upper body.

The Israeli military released a statement saying that Abdullah Shalaldah had attacked Israeli forces, but did not specify whether he was armed. Witnesses report that he was not armed, was some metres away from the soldiers and police and had not attempted to attack them.

Israeli forces have killed at least 18 Palestinians in and around the city of Hebron in recent weeks, including in cases that appear to be extrajudicial executions, and accordingly should be the subject of prompt, thorough and impartial investigations with a view to prosecution as criminal offences.

On 6 November Israeli forces shot and killed 72-year-old Tharwat al-Sharawi, alleging that she intended to ram them with her car. A video of the incident shows the car which she was driving heading towards the soldiers at a speed slow enough to allow the soldiers to jump out of the way and then begin shooting heavily at the car. Tharwat al-Sharawi’s son has said that his mother was on her way to lunch when she was killed. Amnesty International considers that even if Tharwat-al-Sharami did intend to carry out a ramming attack, the military has itself acknowledged that soldiers only began firing after jumping out of the way of the car.

On 29 October Mahdi al-Muhtasib, 23, was shot by Israeli forces after reportedly lightly wounding an Israeli soldier in a stabbing attack in Hebron. Video of the aftermath of the incident shows Mahdi al-Muhtasib writhing in pain on the ground before an Israeli soldier, standing a distance of some metres away, shoots him again. The video shows that Mahdi al-Muhtasib was plainly wounded, and posed no threat whatsoever to the soldier. Moreover, shooting a wounded person is a wilful killing in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

“While the number of attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilians, soldiers and police has increased significantly since the beginning of October, there is never any excuse for the Israeli military and police forces using lethal force where it is not warranted.”

Unlawful and deliberate killings carried out by order of government or military officials, or with their complicity or acquiescence, amount to extrajudicial executions, which are prohibited at all times and are crimes under international law.

12 November 2015

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