On Tuesday evening, 16 August 2011, the Israeli military killed a Palestinian child from al-Nussairat refugee camp, who was 400 meters from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. The victim’s family told a PCHR field worker that their child had a mental disability. The victim was in an area that had not been explicitly declared as prohibited.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 18:00 on Tuesday, 16 August 2011, Israeli soldiers stationed at the border northeast of Deir al-Balah opened fire at a Palestinian, who was nearly 400 meters from the border. As a result, he was wounded by 10 bullets in his head and chest.
He was left wounded without being offered any first aid. After coordination was made with IOF, at approximately 19:20, medical crews were able to retrieve the body, which was then transferred to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah.
After four hours later, the child was identified as Sa’d Abdul Rahim Mahmoud al-Majdalwai, 17, from al-Nussairat refugee camp. He was hit by 10 live bullets mostly to the head. In his testimony to PCHR, the victim’s father said that his son had been suffering from a mental disability and a speech impairment.
The Israeli radio reported that IOF observed a person approaching the security fence, and shot him. This version of events confirms that IOF could have arrested or used less than lethal force against him, especially as he was wearing civilian clothes and there was nothing to indicate that he was a non-civilian.
It should be noted that on Tuesday morning, the Gaza Strip witnessed several shooting and shelling attacks on civilian areas and military training sites. As a result of this shelling and shooting, a Palestinian resistance man was killed and two others were seriously wounded in Gaza City. A child and another person were wounded in Khan Yunis and Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip.
PCHR condemns and expresses concerned over this crime, and:
1. Asserts that these crimes are part of a series of war crimes committed by IOF in the oPt, which reflect total disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians.
2. Calls upon the international community to take immediate action in order to put an end to such crimes. PCHR further renews its demand for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligation under Article 1, which stipulates ‘the High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances,’ as well as their obligations under Article 146 which requires that the Contracting Parties prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and under Protocol I Additional to Geneva Conventions.