By Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Press Release, 26 October 2015
“Girl Child Killed in Cold Blood in Hebron and Boy Child Killed In Excessive Use of Force in Jenin, Since Early October, Number of Palestinian Victims Rises to 51 Killed, Including 14 Children and Woman, in oPt”
With the continuing international policy of silence over grave crimes and violations committed by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Israeli forces have continued to flagrantly commit more crimes and violations against the Palestinian civilians. The latest of which was the killing of Dania Jehad Ersheid (17) by one the gates leading to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. Moreover, 2 days earlier, Ahmed Mohammed Sa’id Kmail (17) was killed at al-Jalama crossing, northeast of Jenin.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the Israeli forces‘ disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians and shooting-to-kill policy applied when suspicion of attempts to stab Israeli soldiers and settlers. Moreover, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate action, fulfill its legal and moral obligations to protect the Palestinian civilians in the oPt and exert efforts to put an end to the Israeli occupation over Palestine. PCHR also believes that the silence of the international community towards these crimes encourages the Israeli government to continue its policy that violates the international humanitarian law, which means that there will be more Palestinian civilian victims.
At approximately 13:30 on Sunday, 25 October 2015, in a new cold-blooded crime, Israeli Border Guards officers stationed at the entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque, south of Hebron’s Old City, killed Dania Jehad Ersheid (17), from al-Hawooz area. They opened fire at her when she stopped to have her school bag searched. Ersheid’s corpse was taken to an unknown destination.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR and statement of an eyewitness, at approximately 13:30, Ersheid entered the Ibrahimi Mosque’s yard through a metal detector gate fixed between the aforementioned yard and the old market in the city. She obeyed the soldiers‘ orders to be searched in the place where she was asked to stay. While one of the soldiers standing behind a desk was searching the girl’s school bag, a number of Border Guard officers gathered around her. Ersheid was standing behind an iron barrier erected by Israeli soldiers to allow persons subjected to searching pass through it. The soldier, who was searching the bag, asked the girl, „Where is the knife? Where is the knife?“ The girl replied, „I do not have a knife,“ and put her hands up. She was extremely frightened. An officer fired a bullet around Ersheid, whereas the bullet hit the wall behind her. She moved few steps backwards putting her hands up, but a number of bullets were fired at her. As a result, she fell to the ground and died. The girl did not pose any threat to the security and lives of Israeli soldiers. She was even putting her hands up when the soldier was talking to her and accused her of having a knife. Furthermore, the area, where the girl was killed, was reinforced and backed-up. The Israeli forces could have arrested her instead of killing her if she posed any threat to them.
On Friday, 23 October 2015, in another crime of excessive use of force, private security guards serving the interests of the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child while running towards the first barrier at al-Jalama crossing, northeast of Jenin. According to PCHR’s investigations and statements of eyewitnesses, on the abovementioned day, Ahmed Mohammed Sa’id Kmail (17) was present along with other peddlers in the place where they used to stay. At approximately 11:00, Kmail suddenly ran towards the first barrier at al-Jalama crossing. The security guards noticed him, so some of them escaped but others opened fire at him. Kmail fell to the ground, however, the Israeli forces denied the Palestine Red Crescent Society’s (PRCS) paramedics access to the area. Soon after, Kmail’s corpse was pulled inside the crossing and the security guards stopped the traffic. It should be noted that the victim was present at the checkpoint in the early morning along with other peddlers, as a number of eyewitnesses said to PCHR’s fieldworker that they saw him selling chocolate-coated marshmallow treats.
Thus, the number of the killed Palestinian civilians since early October has risen to 51 Palestinians, including 14 children and a woman, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
PCHR strongly condemns these crimes that prove the increasing number of killings among Palestinian civilians in the oPt. Moreover, PCHR stresses that in the above-mentioned cases, Israeli forces could have used less force against the victims or could have arrested and tied them if their allegations were true. PCHR reiterates its call 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.