Israeli forces kill four Palestinians, including one journalist

Ramallah (AEF, 2002)

In the early hours of Sunday, Israeli forces inside their tanks, located in various occupied Palestinian towns, opened fire on unarmed Palestinian civilians, killing four, including a journalist. Thousands of Palestinians took the streets last night expressing solidarity with Palestinian president Yasser Arafat, who is besieged in the almost totally destroyed headquarters of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

At around 1 o’clock, Sunday, September 22, thousands of Palestinians went out in the streets in various cities in the occupied Palestinian territories. In Ramallah and El Bireh, Palestinians headed to the main square in the center of the twon. Israeli forces opened fire and killed Isam Mithkal Hamzeh Altilawi (30), a reporter with ‘Voice of Palestine’.

He was shot in his chest and died immediately. Israeli forces also killed Issa Abed Alhfeth Ismaeel (28). He was also shot in his chest.

Additionally, Israeli forces wounded 16 civilians, who were transferred to the Ramallah Governmental Hospital and Sheikh Zayed Hospital.

In Nablus and the surrounding refugee camps, hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated. Israeli forces opened fire and wounded Riyad Alhashash (19), a resident of Balata refugee camp, with a bullet in his head. Israeli forces prevented access to ambulances to Balata refugee camp. Alhashash was left bleeding to death. Israeli forces shot and wounded Muhammad Mikdad Muhammad al-Khatib (17) with two bullets in his neck and shoulder. An ambulance of the Palestinian Red Crescent transported the wounded but was stopped by Israeli forces. They detained al-Khatib and took him to an unknown destination.

In Tulkarem, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians who were protesting on Yafa street, wounding Ahmad Mahmoud Muhammad Radwan (18) with a bullet in his head, leading to severe laceration, and damage to his scull with brain tissue coming out. He was transferred to the Thabet Thabet Hospital. Medical sources stated that he was clinically dead. Early this morning, doctors pronounced him dead.

Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: ‘…the following acts shall be prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to [protected] persons: (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture…’. Further article 147 of the same Convention includes ‘…wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health [of protected persons]’ as a grave breach of the Convention.

LAW believes that such unlawful use of lethal force by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories reveals a cynical and contemptuous disregard for human life.

More than a flagrant violation of international law, it constitutes a policy of lawless disregard for the most fundamental human rights, the right to life.

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, PO Box 20873, Jerusalem, tel. +972-2-5833530, fax. +972-2-5833317, email: law@lawsociety.org, web: www.lawsociety.org