In the past 24 hours, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have escalated attacks in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). They have killed eight Palestinians, including a child. Four of the victims were extra-judicially executed. PCHR strongly condemns this latest escalation and the reactivation of the policy of extra-judicial executions, which increases tension in the region and threatens the life of Palestinian civilians.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR:
At approximately 05:00 on Saturday, 21 April 2007, IOF moved into Kufor Dan village, west of Jenin. They besieged and opened fire at a house belonging to the family of Mahmoud Nasfat Naddaf, 20, in the west of the village. They also raided a number of neighboring houses and transformed them into military sites, from which they fired at whatever moved in the area. In the meantime, Mohammed Sa’id Talal ‘Aabed, 23, stepped up to the roof of his house to check what was going on. Immediately, an IOF soldier positioned in a neighboring house belonging to Mohammed Saleh ‘Aabed shot him dead with two gunshots to the jaw and the chest. The victim was a member of the Palestinian police, but he was not on duty and was wearing civilian clothes.
At approximately 17:00 on the same day, an IOF undercover unit moved into Jenin, traveling in two civilian vehicles with Palestinian registration plates. The two vehicles stopped near a female secondary school in Abu Duhair Mount area, which overlooks Jenin refugee camp. IOF soldiers then intercepted and opened fire at a Palestinian civilian car that was traveling in the area. Three Palestinians who were traveling in the car were instantly killed:
1) Mohammed Ghaleb al-Dumaj, 22, a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an armed wing of Fatah movement);
2) Ahmed Mohammed al-‘Eissa, 24, also member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades; and
3) Mahmoud ‘Abdul Latif Ghlail, 23, a member of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad).
At approximately 20:35 also on Saturday, an IOF aircraft fired a missile at a civilian car (a red Fiat 127) belonging to Kamal Kazem Mohammed ‘Anan, 43, from Gaza City, which stopped at Sha’sha’a intersection to the east of Jabalya town. The missile directly hit the car burning it. ‘Anan was seriously wounded by shrapnel throughout the body, as he was standing near it. He was evacuated to the hospital, but he died half an hour later. The reasons of the attack are not apparent. It is not clear whether IOF launched this attack in the context of the policy of extra-judicial executions. According to information available to PCHR, ‘Anan was not involved into any resistance activities. He used to work at the Municipality of Gaza and he was on duty when the attack took place. Nearly half an hour prior to this attack, an IOF aircraft fired a missile at a civilian vehicle, in which a number of members of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad) were traveling, after they had launched home-made rockets at Israeli towns. The missile went astray.
At approximately 22:00 on the same day, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They besieged and opened fire at a house belonging to Naji Wahesh Bargheesh near Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital. Bargheesh’s daughter, 17-year-old Bushra, was killed by a gunshot to the head, when she was in her bedroom. IOF continued to besiege and fire at the house to arrest the victim’s brother, 22-year-old ‘Abdul Rahman. They then called through megaphones on residents of the house to get out and they did. However, IOF resumed firing at the house. At approximately 23:30, IOF withdrew from the area, without finding the targeted person.
At approximately 00:15 on Sunday, 22 April 2007, an IOF undercover unit moved into Nablus, traveling in a civilian vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate. The vehicle stopped neat a house belonging to Nabeel al-Zorba in the old town. Soon after, IOF military jeeps arrived at the area to support the undercover unit. IOF soldiers broke into two neighboring houses belonging to the families of Abu al-Hayat and al-Shilla. They then ordered residents of the al-Zorba’s house to get out. Al-Zurba, his wife and their two children immediately got out. Soon after, IOF fired 8 shells at the house and many gunshots at the house. Two members of the Palestinian resistance exchanged fire with IOF. The exchange of fire continued until 04:45, and as a result of it, the two resistance activists were killed. They were identified as:
1) Ameen Mahmoud Libbada, 20, hit by a gunshot to the neck; and
2) Fadel Mohammed Nour, 25, hit by 3 gunshots to the neck.
PCHR strongly condemns this latest escalation by IOF, and:
1) Reiterates its condemnation for extra-judicial executions and the excessive use of force by IOF against Palestinian civilians, and emphasizes that such practices serve to increase tension in the region and threaten the lives of Palestinian civilians.
2) Calls upon the international community to immediately intervene to stop such crimes, and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under the Convention and ensure protection for Palestinian civilians in the OPT.