The Palestinian Center For Human RightsThe Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) cold-blooded murder of a Palestinian yesterday morning after they directly opened fire at him in an operation that amounts to an extrajudicial execution near Silwad village, east of Ramallah in the West Bank.

This murder is part of IOF’s ongoing assassination policy and unjustified killing due to the lenient shooting standards and the protection given to soldiers by the political and military echelons in Israel.

According to PCHR’s investigations, on Sunday, 15 January 2023, IOF established a checkpoint on Yabrud Bridge between ‘Ein Yabrud and Silwad villages in Ramallah, blocking traffic and forcing vehicles to wait in long lines to be allowed to cross. At approximately 08:50, some drivers started horning in protest against delaying them due to the Israeli measures.

Thus, IOF fired stun grenades in the area; one of which hit the second Hyundai Tucson vehicle waiting at the checkpoint and carrying Ahmed Hasan Kahlah (45) and his son Qusai (20).

Afterwards, the soldiers stepped towards the vehicle, pepper sprayed Ahmed and his son and forced them to get out of the vehicle. After that, a verbal altercation erupted and then developed to a fight with the soldiers after the latter assaulted Ahmed who tried to flee. Meanwhile, one of the soldiers fired two live bullets at point-blank range at Ahmed Kahlah, though he posed no threat to the soldiers’ lives.

As a result, Ahmed was wounded in his neck and fell on the ground. Few minutes later, Palestinian paramedics arrived at the scene after IOF allowed them to provide aid to Ahmed.

It turned out that he was wounded with two live bullets in his neck and the paramedics examined him, but he gave no response. The ambulance crew tried to provide aid to Qusai, who was in a mental breakdown and suffered from the pepper spray; however, the soldiers prevented them from approaching him and told the paramedics that he was under arrest, allowing them to take Ahmed only to Palestine Medical Complex, where he was officially pronounced dead. Later, IOF released Qusai.

IOF claimed that a Palestinian got out of a car wielding a knife and started approaching the soldiers.  They claimed that he tried to snatch the weapon out of the soldiers’ hands before opening fire at him. [1]

PCHR’s investigations, eyewitnesses’ testimonies and a footage documenting the incident have refuted the Israeli claims.

The footage showed Ahmed quarreling with three Israeli soldiers who threw a stun grenade at his vehicle, pepper sprayed him and his son and then beating him before they opened fire at him at point-blank range although the soldiers could have controlled him, proofing that shooting at him was unjustified.

Since the beginning of 2023, IOF’s attacks have killed 13 Palestinians, including 6 civilians: 2 of them were children, and the rest were members of the Palestinian armed groups, including a child and a young man killed by an Israeli settler allegedly for carrying out a stabbing attack in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

PCHR reiterates its call upon the international community to take immediate action to end Israeli occupation’s crimes and double standards when it comes to international law.

PCHR urges the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention fulfil their obligations as per Common Article 1 of the Convention, “undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances,” and their obligations under Article 146 of the same Conventions, i.e., to hold accountable persons accused of committing grave breaches of the Convention.