Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) extra-judicially executed two Palestinians in Jenin and Nablus during the last 24 hours: a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement and the leader of ‘Izzidding al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.
These latest extra-judicial executions came just days after the Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon and the Israeli Military Chief of Staff Dan Halutz vowed, at a meeting of the Committee of Foreign and Defence Affairs at the Israeli Knesset on Tuesday, 8 November 2005, to continue with the policy of carrying out “targeted killing [the term used by Israel to describe extra-judicial executions against Palestinians] and military pressure on terrorist organizations.”
According to preliminary investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 21:45, on Saturday, 12 November 2005, IOF moved into the Jenin-Nablus road, at the southern entrance of Jenin in the northern West Bank. They fired at three Palestinians in the area. One of these Palestinians, 21-year-old Shojaa’ Zuhair Bala’awi, was wounded by a live bullet to the foot. The other Palestinians were able to escape. When they left the area, they maintained phone contacts with Bala’awi, who was able to hide in alleys. IOF searched the area using trained dogs.
At approximately 02:30, on Sunday, 13 November 2005, IOF withdrew from the town. Immediately, an ambulance from the Palestine Red Crescent Society moved towards the area and found Bala’awi’s body. It evacuated the body to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin. According to medical sources, Bala’awi was hit by several live bullets to the head, the chest and the abdomen, and he was shot from a very close range. He was a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement.
IOF claimed that they had information that the wounded young man was armed with a pistol and that he had started to shout and make “suspicious” movements. Later, the Israeli official radio admitted that Bala’awi was unarmed.
At approximately 23:00 on Sunday, 13 November 2005, IOF moved into Nablus. They opened fire intensely. They took position in the Popular Housing area in the northeast of the city. A number of Israeli soldiers took position on the roofs of nearby houses and transformed them into military sites. IOF surrounded 6 houses belonging to Ra’ef ‘Abdul Wahab Ragheb ‘Ouda and his brothers. They ordered through megaphones the 38 residents of these houses to get out. The residents got out. IOF focused lights on them and ordered them to take off all their clothes. Then, IOF used men as human shields to search a neighbouring house belonging to Mansour al-Qutob.
At approximately 03:00, on Monday, 14 November 2005, Amjad Rasheed al-Hinnawi, 33, jumped out of a window of a house belonging to Ibrahim Ziad Kittana and fled towards another house belonging to Dr. Sameer al-Bishtawi. When he walked a distance of nearly 30 meters, he was attacked by two trained dogs used by IOF. Then, Israeli soldiers positioned on the roof of a house belonging to the Fatayer family opened fire at him. He was wounded. Immediately, an IOF bulldozer dragged him and demolished Dr. al-Bishtawi’s house over him.
At approximately 05:20, IOF brought the victim’s wife and sister to the area to identify him and they did. Then, IOF withdrew from the area. Al-Hinnawi’s body was evacuated to Rafidya Hospital in Nablus. According to medical sources, he was hit by several live bullets to the upper part of the body. He was the leader of ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, in Nablus.
PCHR strongly condemns these latest attacks and asserts that the policies of military incursions; wilful and extra-judicial killings; and arbitrary arrests, implemented by IOF almost daily in the West Bank, serve to escalate tension in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and threaten the lives of Palestinian civilians. Consequently, PCHR calls upon the international community to cease their silence in light of such attacks, and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfil their obligations to ensure protection for Palestinian civilians in the OPT.