Grave suspicion of extrajudicial execution of two wounded Palestinians

Site of the incident. (Photo: ‘Atef Abu a-Rub, B’Tselem)

During the early hours of Wednesday, 8.11.06, Israeli soldiers killed five Palestinians in the village of Al-Yamun , in the Jenin district. An IDF Spokesperson’s statement claimed that five terrorists were killed in a joint operation of the IDF and the General Security Service. The statement did not elaborate on the circumstances of the five’s death, but stated that a search of the area by soldiers found weapons and ammunition.

However, B’Tselem’s investigation into the killing of two of the men reveals a very different picture than that suggested by the Spokesperson. Salim Abu al-Heijah and Mahmoud Abu Hassan, who were wanted by Israeli security forces, were wounded, but managed to escape from the initial encounter with the soldiers, and sought refuge in the home of the Kabala family. While they awaited an ambulance, three soldiers arrived in a jeep. The soldiers ordered the family to gather in the courtyard.

Members of the Kabala family saw soldiers enter a side room, where Abu al-Heijah was lying, and after a minute or two, heard gunfire. Then, two of the witnesses saw one of the soldiers fire at Abu Hassan. The testimonies raise a grave concern that Salim Abu al-Heijah and Mahmoud Abu Hassan were executed by the soldiers, while they were unarmed, wounded, and posed no risk to the soldiers.

B’Tselem has written to the Military Judge Advocate General demanding an immediate military police investigation into this incident.

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