Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Press Release, 10 December 2014
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest terms the killing of Ziad Muhammad Ahmed Abu ‘Ain, Director of the Palestinian Authority Commission against the Annexation Wall and Settlement Activity and member of the Revolutionary Council in Fatah movement, after Israeli soldiers attacked him when he was planting olive seedlings in Termis’ia village, north of Ramallah, on Wednesday morning, 10 December 2014, which marks the International Day of Human rights. PCHR emphasizes that this crime is part of Israel’s policy of using excessive force against Palestinian civilians. PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective action and pressurize the Israeli government to respect the International Humanitarian Law in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
According to investigations conducted by PCHR and the testimony of Ansa Hosheih, the media official in the Commission against the Annexation Wall and Settlement Activity, at approximately 10:30, Ziad Abu ‘Ain (55), Director of the Commission against the Annexation Wall and Settlement Activity arrived at al-Dhohour area, east of Termis’ia village, north of Ramallah. He was accompanied by dozens of volunteers, Palestinian farmers, and solidarity activists to grow olive trees in the lands which are threatened to be confiscated by Israeli forces on the International Day of Human rights. Upon their arrival, Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and then a clash erupted between the protestors and the Israeli soldiers. Abu ‘Ain approached one of the soldiers and a serious discussion started between them. The soldier wearing rammed Abu Ain’s chest. He then held Abu Ain’s neck who fell on the floor and lost consciousness. He was taken to Palestine medical complex in Ramallah and doctors announced his death shortly afterwards. His body was transferred for autopsy. It should be noted that Abu ‘Ain was the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Prisoners‘ Affairs and on 04 September 2014, President Mahmoud Abbas appointed him as Director of the Commission against the Annexation Wall and Settlement Activity.
PCHR strongly condemns the killing of Ziad Abu ‘Ain, Director of the Commission against the Annexation Wall and Settlement Activity in the PA and member of the Revolutionary Council in Fatah movement, and holds the Israeli government responsible for the military escalation in the oPt. Furthermore, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention 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.