Tubas: Five killed in another extra-judicial execution

This afternoon, five Palestinians, including two children, were killed in another extra-judicial execution. In addition six other bystanders were wounded, of which two are in critical condition. According to LAW’s findings, at least 148 Palestinians, including 46 bystanders, have so far been killed in extra-judicial executions committed by Israel.

A car with three Palestinian men, including Ra’fat Qadri Abdelatif Daraghmeh (29), who was claimed to be an activist with the Aqsa Brigades, and two children, who were standing in front of their home, were killed instantly.

From 9 o’clock in the morning until 3 in the afternoon an Israeli helicopter was hovering above the area of Tubas and the village Tayasir, south of Jenin. At around 5 o’clock two Israeli Apache attack helicopters fired three missiles at a black Mitsubishi car, which carried an Israeli license plate, and which was driving on the Tayasir road to Tubas. The car was hit when it was driving through a residential area and almost reached Tubas cemetry.

The three men in the car have been identified as: Ra’fat Qadri Abdelatif Daraghmeh (29) from Tubas; Sari Abdel-Karim Sbeeh (17) from Tayasir; and Yezid Yousef Mahmoud Abdel-Razeq (16) from Tayasir. Their body parts were found as far as 50 meters away from the car.

Two children, Osama Ibrahim Mifleh Abu Zeid (14) and his cousin Bahira Burham Mifleh Abu Zeid (7) were standing in front of their home, which is located 20 meters away from the place where the car was hit. Shrapnel penetrated Osama’s back to his heart and Bahira was hit with shrapnel in her abdomen.

Additionally, six bystanders, including a 7 years old child, who is in critical condition, were injured. All of them were on the same street in front of their homes. Ibrahim Salameh Abu ‘Amer (28) was hit with shrapnel in his right shoulder. His sister, Nahleh Salameh Abu ‘Amer (40), who was on a visit from Jordan, was hit in her abdomen. A 7-years old child, Ahmad Samer Hisham, who was wounded with shrapnel in his abdomen, and Jihad Mahmoud Saleh Sawafta (28), who was injured in his head and right shoulder, are in critical condition. The other wounded are Sayel Mustafa Daraghmeh (26) and Mohammad Ali Ibrahim Abu Muhsen (25) both are in moderate condition.

Extra-judicial killings cannot be reconciled with the Fourth Geneva Convention, which seek to protect the lives of protected persons, and violate human rights norms that affirm the right to life and the prohibition on execution of civilians. Under Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, these grave breaches constitute war crimes.

The circumstances under which most extra-judicial executions are carried out, including the loss of life 46 bystanders, of whom many are children, suggest complete disregard for the risk involved to the lives of bystanders.

Until today, LAW and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) have not received a response to the urgent request submitted on July 25, 2002 to the Israeli Supreme Court based on their former petition (769/02) to the Court demanding to immediately issue an interim injunction ordering Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the Minister of Defense Benyamin Eliezer, the Israeli army and Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon to end the policy of assassinations.

Since the submission of the original petition, 49 persons, who have been targeted for assassination have been killed along with 21 bystanders. This is in addition to 53 Palestinians, who have been targeted for assassination, of which 21 were confirmed by official Israeli reports, in addition to at least 25 bystanders who were killed from the beginning of the Intifada and until the date of the submission of the original petition.

LAW strongly condemns Israel’s assassination policy. Israel is legally responsible for the acts of its agents, and is under corresponding obligations to ensure that its agents adhere to the Convention and to prosecute those agents who commit grave breaches.

All state signatories to the Fourth Geneva Convention have also the right and are under a positive obligation to seek out and prosecute individuals responsible for committing or commissioning grave breaches, wherever the perpetrators be. Article 148 of the Fourth Geneva states that ‘no High Contracting Party shall be allowed to absolve itself or any other High Contracting Party of any liability incurred by itself or by any other High Contracting Party…’

Israel’s ongoing human rights violations further illustrates the need for the immediate deployment of an international protection presence to prevent violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention and to protect Palestinian protected persons within the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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