In a continuation of their aggression against Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in violation of international law and humanitarian law, on Monday evening, 13 September 2004, Israeli Occupation Forces committed another extra-judicial execution, which left dead 3 Palestinians in Jenin. The victims were members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of Fatah movement, and were killed when an Israeli helicopter gunship attacked their car.
According to PCHR’s preliminary investigations, at approximately 17:15 on Monday, 13 September 2004, an Israeli helicopter gunship fired a missile at a civilian car, a grey Mazda, that was traveling near the Municipality of Jenin. The missile struck the car and destroyed it. Immediately, medical personnel hurried to the place of the attack and removed the bodies of 3 Palestinians from the car. The bodies were transferred to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin. The victims were identified as: Mahmoud Asa’ad Abu Khalifa, 29; Yamen Jamil Abu al-Haija, 23; and Amjad Husni Mahmoud Abu al-Haija, 30.
Later, IOF claimed that Abu Khalifa had been engaged in several attacks on them throughout the West Bank. The three victims had survived an assassination attempt by IOF in August 2004. A Palestinian child was injured in the August attack when a missile hit her family home.
PCHR strongly condemns this attack and remains gravely concerned about each such escalation by IOF. This latest attack further indicates Israel’s disregard for international law and humanitarian law. PCHR asserts that the policy of extra-judicial executions officially adopted by the Israeli government serves to increase tension in the region and threatens the lives of Palestinian civilians. PCHR reiterates its calls for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations to ensure protection for Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.