Saturday, 9 November 2013

PCHR denounces killing of two Palestinians by army fire at West Bank roadblocks


The Palestinian Center for Human Rights, based in Gaza, issued the following report denouncing the latest Israeli military violations leading to the killing of two Palestinians at military roadblocks in the occupied West Bank.

In an excessive use of force, on Thursday evening, 07 November 2013, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians at Za'tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, and the Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, in the West Bank. According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 18:00 on Thursday, 07 November 2013, Basheer Sami Salem Habnain, 29, from Marka village south of Jenin, was traveling in a taxi from Ramallah to Nablus.

When he became 20 meters far from Za'tara intersection, south of Nablus, he stepped down from the taxi and crossed the main road towards the other side.

He was carrying a box of fireworks, from which flares were unleashed. Soon, an Israeli soldier descended from a military observation tower and fired directly at Habnain, killing him with 7 bullets to the legs and thighs and an 8th one which entered the back and exited the chest.

Israeli forces kept the victim's body until 03:00 on Friday, 08 November 2013, when they handed the body to the Palestinian liaison department. The victim was a lecturer at the fashion department in Palestine Technical University (Kadoorie) in Tulkarm.

Israeli forces claimed that "Habnain was carrying a flare gun, from which he fired at soldiers, so the soldiers responded by firing at him, and he was instantly killed."

A video clip published on Youtube shows an Israeli soldiers descending from an Israeli military observation tower to the southeast of Za'tara checkpoint, and then firing at the area to the southwest of the checkpoint.

Another 2 soldiers are seen in the video clip coming from the checkpoint. Even according to the Israeli narrative, Israeli forces could have used less lethal means against the victims, such as arresting him.

In a similar crime, at approximately 21:30, Isma'il Fu'ad Refa'ei al-Atrash, 25, and his brother Anas, 23, arrived at the Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, traveling from Jericho to their home in Hebron.

They were traveling in a civilian car driven by Isma'il. When they arrived the checkpoint, Isma'il slowed down to cross road bumps. Anas opened the door, and once he stepped down, Israeli soldiers shot him dead with 2 bullets to the chest.

Israeli soldiers took Anas' body and put it in a plastic sac near the checkpoint. Residents of the area and a number of members of the victim's family arrived at the checkpoint and skirmishes erupted between them and Israeli soldiers. more

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