Nablus: Israeli forces kill university lecturer and his son

Israeli army jeep blocking the entrance to the old city of Nablus during a military operation on July 1, 2004 (Photo: Arjan El Fassed)

In another attack illustrating blatant disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, on Tuesday morning, 6 July 2004, Israeli troops shot dead a lecturer and his son in Nablus, while those troops were chasing 2 Palestinian militants who were also killed. One of the militants was instantly killed, while the other one attempted to escape and was killed later. Israeli occupying forces claimed that the lecturer and his son were killed as one of the militants went into the building where the lecturer lived. An Israeli helicopter gunship launched a missile at the building. The lecturer, his son and the militant were killed by shrapnel from the missile. Preliminary investigations conducted by PCHR refute this claim and prove that the lecturer and his son were killed by live bullets and the militant was killed by shrapnel from the missile.

According to PCHR’s preliminary investigations, at approximately 02:00 on Tuesday, Israeli occupying forces moved into Nablus. They opened fire at Palestinian houses. Then, they surrounded an under-construction building at al-Sikka Street near ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp, west of the city, to arrest 2 allegedly wanted Palestinians. The two Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops. The clashes left one of the two Palestinians dead, Amjad ‘Arad Hanani, 26, from Beit Fourik village east of Nablus, who was hit by several live bullets in the chest and the abdomen.

Israeli troops chased the other Palestinian who attempted to escape. They broke into a 4-storey apartment building owned by ‘Omar al-Kattout. Israeli troops knocked on the door of a flat belonging to Khaled Salah Mousa Salah, 52, a university lecturer who lives on the first floor. As soon as Salah started to open the door, Israeli troops opened fire at the door. Salah was instantly killed by a live bullet in the head. His son Mohammed, 16, was also killed by a live bullet in the mouth. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli troops fired at the flat’s door from a distance of less than 3 meters. The other wanted Palestinian escaped to a neighboring olive field.

An Israeli helicopter gunship fired a missile at him. He was instantly killed by shrapnel in the head. He was later identified as Yamen Tayeb Faraj, 26, from Madama village south of Nablus.

PCHR strongly condemns this attack and points out that this lecturer was the second one to be killed by Israeli troops this year, as on 23 April 2004, Israeli troops shot dead Yasser Mohammed Ahmed Abu Laimoun, 33, from Tallouza village north of Nablus. They later admitted that they killed him by mistake.

PCHR strongly condemns this willful killing by Israeli troops and the continuous escalation of attacks perpetrated by these troops against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR calls upon the international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to immediately intervene to ensure protection for Palestinian civilians and their properties.

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