The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR)IOF Escalated Excessive Use of Force and Killings of Palestinian Civilians with Official Political Support, 4 Palestinians Killed, including Child, and 12 Wounded in the West Bank – Ref: 45/2022, Date: 14 April 2022, Time: 11:30 GMT

Over the past hours, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed 4 Palestinians in crimes of excessive use of force and unjustified use of firearms during incursions into Jenin, Ramallah, and Bethlehem in the West Bank.

These murder crimes reflect IOF loose shooting standards against Palestinians, allowed without threat or real danger to soldiers’ lives. This is conducted with the support of the Israeli political level, assuring a legal covering for murder crimes against Palestinians by the highest political level in Israel.

The murder crimes increased following the Israeli Prime Minister’s announcement on 8 April 2021 that he has granted security forces full support and freedom following an attack in Tal Aviv. Since the announcement, 9 Palestinian civilians were killed, including 2 children and 2 women.

According to PCHR investigations into the murder of two Palestinians in Jenin, at approximately 07:00 on Thursday, 14 April 2022, IOF moved into Kafr Dan village, western Jenin, and raided several houses, and arrested detainee Ayham Kmamji’s three brothers.

The locals gathered and threw stones at the IOF vehicles, while the soldiers opened heavy fire at the crowd, and intensified its shooting while withdrawing from the village at approximately 09:15. As a result, 7 civilians were wounded: two classified critical and one of them died shortly after arriving to Ibn Sina Specialized Hospital. The victim was identified as Shas F. N. Kmamji (29), the brother of the 4 detainees.

After their withdrawal, Moustafa Faisal Abulrab (30), from Misilyah village in the southeast of Jenin, was found wounded with a live bullet in the chest near Hursh a-Saada, where IOF withdrew from the village earlier. He was pronounced dead upon arrival to Ibn Sina hospital. No eyewitnesses were available to speak about the circumstances of his death.

PCHR fieldworker investigated the killing of another Palestinian civilian in Ramallah. At approximately 19:40 on Wednesday, 13 April 2022, IOF, backed by military vehicles and members of the Yamam Special Unit, moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah.

The forces stationed in Ras Ali neighborhood; the conducted raids and opened heavy fire along the main road and closed some sub-roads. The soldiers deployed in the town and between civilian houses, while Israeli snipers mounted the rooftops of 3 residential buildings. IOF cornered a two-story house: the first floor is occupied by Abdullah Salah Hamad’s family; and the second is vacant and owned by Abu-Eysha family who live abroad. IOF opened fire at the second floor, breaking its windows.

Then, an Israeli soldier began calling via loudspeakers ordering those inside the house to get out without saying their names. After that, they fired projectiles and stun grenades that blew up the second floor’s main door, and then raided it, broke furniture, and damaged its contents. Also, they detained ‘Abdullah Hammad’s family members around the house and arrested his son Ahmed (22) along with other Palestinians after interrogating them in the field and severely assaulted them.  No arrests were reported from the targeted house.

At approximately 22:00, during IOF’s withdrawal from the village, dozens of Palestinians gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF’s vehicles. As a result, a military SUV collided with a wall adjacent to the village’s main roundabout; meanwhile, IOF fired live bullets and heavy teargas canisters again at the stone-throwers, wounding 7 of them with live bullets. All of the wounded were taken to Palestine Medical Complex and Al-Mazra’a ash-Sharqiya Emergency Centre in Ramallah. It turned out that one of them namely Omar Mohammed ‘Eliyan (20), was critically injured after being shot with a live bullet in his chest. Forty minutes later, medical sources announced ‘Eliyan’s death, succumbing to his serious wounds.

According to PCHR’s investigations regarding the murder of a child in Bethlehem, at approximately 22:00 on Wednesday, IOF stationed at a military checkpoint established on the side of the road leading to Husan village in western Bethlehem, and on the side of the security fence overlooking the Bypass Road leading to “Beitar Illit” settlement, opened fire from a distance of 15 meters at Qusai Foad Mohammed Hamamra (14), while present near one of residential houses in the area. As a result, Hamamra was immediately killed after being shot with several live bullets and taken via a military vehicle to an unknown destination.

IOF claimed that they targeted Hamamra after seeing him attempting to throw a Molotov Cocktail at a military checkpoint in the area. Next day dawn, Hamamra’s corpse was handed over at al-Nashnash military checkpoint, south of Bethlehem.

So far this year, the Israeli occupation forces killed 30 Palestinian, including 7 children and 2 women, in separate incidents across the West Bank. These incidents were all characterized with excessive use of force against peaceful civilian gatherings and protests.

PCHR reiterates its call upon the international community to take immediate action to stop the Israeli occupation’s crimes and reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention and guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the OPT.