On Thursday, 17 November 2005, Israeli occupying forces extra-judicially executed two activists of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement, in Jenin. This is the third extra-judicial execution committed by IOF in the northern West Bank in five days. IOF claimed that they ordered the victims to stop, and then fired at the two men when they did not obey the order. However, preliminary investigations by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights refute this claim and confirm that IOF could have arrested the two men or used non-lethal force.
According to preliminary investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 12:15, on Thursday, 17 November 2005, an undercover IOF unit of IOF moved into Jenin using a medium-sized truck (Mercedes 410) with a Palestinian license plate. When the undercover unit reached the water reservoir in Haifa Street, they passed another civilian car heading from al-Yamoun village to Jenin. The unit members opened fire at the other car without warning and hit the two people in the car. Both were killed instantly. Their bodies were taken to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin. According to medical sources, the dead men were hit by gunshots to the head. They were identified as Ahmad Saber Mohammad Mahmoud ‘Abahra, 20; and Mahmoud Jamal Mohammad Zayed, 20, from al-Yamoun village, southwest of Jenin.
PCHR strongly condemns this crime and asserts that extra-judicial executions are the most blatant example of premeditated willful killings perpetrated by IOF against Palestinian civilians, with the official approval of the highest political and judicial bodies in Israel. These crimes are classified as war crimes under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. In addition, they are a flagrant violation of human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights of 1966.
PCHR believes that that the policies of military incursions; willful 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 fulfill their obligations to ensure protection for Palestinian civilians in the OPT.