PCHR points out that the Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister praised the Israeli soldiers who committed these crimes, which will serve to encourage other soldiers to commit similar crimes against Palestinian civilians.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR regarding the latest of these crimes, at approximately 12:15 on Monday, 17 August 2015, a Palestinian civilian, 24-year-old Mohammed Basam Mustafa al-Atrash, from Kafer Ra'ei village southwest of Jenin, arrived at Za'tara checkpoint , south of Nablus, coming back from Ramallah.
Israeli soldiers stationed at the checkpoint stopped a taxi which was carrying al-Atrash, and while checking the passengers' IDs, Israeli soldiers got him out of taxi because he wasn’t carrying his ID card and forced him to wait at the checkpoint.
An eyewitness who was crossing the checkpoint stated that he saw two Israeli soldiers, who were checking cars coming from Ramallah, opening fire at al-Atrash and running towards him.
They eventually killed him. Soon after, Israeli forces closed the checkpoint and did not allow a Palestinian ambulance to attend al-Atrash.
They brought an Israeli ambulance to transfer to Huwwara Camp, south of Nablus. At approximately 15:15, the body of Mohammed al-Atrash was delivered to a Palestinian ambulance at Awarta checkpoint at the northeastern entrance of Nablus.
The victim's body was then transported to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. According to medical sources, the victim was hit by 10 gunshots to the chest, the abdomen and limbs.
Israeli forces claimed that al-Atrash attempted to stab an Israeli soldier before they killed him. At midnight, Israeli forces raided the house of Mohammed al-Atrash in Kafer Raie village, and checked all the house's knives in order to compare them with a knife which they claimed that Mohammed used to stab the Israeli soldier. However, they did not found such knife.
PCHR notes that this is the third crime committed by Israeli forces in similar circumstances within 9 days on the same ground.
On 15 August 2015, Israeli forces shot dead Rafiq Kamel Rafiq al-Taj, 21, from Tubas, at a military checkpoint ahead of the intersection of Bitaa village southern Nablus, with 4 bullets to the head, the back, the abdomen and the left thigh.
Also on 09 August 2015, Anas Ibrahim Mohammed Taha,21, from Qanta village northwest of Jerusalem, was killed by Israeli soldiers who opened fire at him at Khawaja petrol station which is located at (443) road that links Jerusalem with Israel, adjacent to Kharabtha al-Mosbah village, southwest of Ramallah.
PCHR strongly condemns these crimes which further prove the continued use of excessive force by Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians in disregard for their lives. more