Israeli Forces Continue to Target Protestors in oPt
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continue to attack Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), using lethal force against non-violent protesters who marched in demonstrations on Friday, 15 December 2017, in the oPt, including East Jerusalem. The demonstrations are locally termed the “Capital Intifada” and are held in protest of the recent US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that four people have been killed and over 367 injured in the oPt during this day.
According to Al Mezan’s monitoring in the Gaza Strip, at around 1 pm on Friday, 15 December 2017, the IOF located on the northern and eastern borders of Gaza opened fire at protesters. The demonstrations, which were mostly formed of young men, took place in the eastern parts of the Gaza Strip, in Rafah, Khan Younis, Deir Al Balah, Gaza City, and North Gaza.
Lethal force was used against two unarmed protestors: Yaser Naji Askar, 23, who was shot in the head, and Ibrahim Nayef Abu Thurayya, 29, a double amputee from an Israeli attack in 2008, who was also shot in the head.
Of the 184 Palestinians injured from different districts in Gaza, 18 are minors and 95 sustained multiple injuries. Some of the injured were targeted with rubber bullets and teargas canisters were shot directly at protestors.
One of the injured, Mohammed Hussein Suhairi, a 29-year-old correspondent of the Indonesian News Agency, was hit in the head by a teargas canister in North Gaza. Another journalist, Amer Samih Al Khtaib, 29, was shot in his right leg in Khan Younis. The paramedic Ahmed Abdul-Bari Abu Fool, 35, and driver Abdul-Hay Mousa Al Ajrami, 37, were injured in a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance that was hit with a teargas canister in eastern Jabalia. The demonstrations continued until 6 pm.
According to Al Mezan’s monitoring, since the start of the demonstrations on Friday, 8 December 2017, six Palestinians have been killed and 496 injured, including 83 children, six women, and three journalists, in addition to paramedics.
Al Mezan condemns the escalation of the use of force in the oPt, which runs counter to the international human rights standards that govern the protests in the buffer zone, in particular the right to life. Confronting unarmed protestors, one of whom had limited ability to move due to being a double-amputee, with lethal force is unjustifiable in the relevant law enforcement framework.
Al Mezan also recalls that international humanitarian law prohibits the targeting of civilians and deliberate attacks that lack necessity and that are conducted disproportionately.
Al Mezan calls on the international community to protect civilians and to take steps to remove the framework in which Palestinians are continually denied their basic, inalienable and fundamental human rights, including the right to self-determination. The staggering silence of the international community and lack of action encourage Israel to continue on this trajectory.