H.E. NAVENETHEM PILLAY,
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,
I strongly condemn the unlawful murders of six young Palestinian civilians by the Israeli Occupation Forces this month.
On 11th January 2013, Israeli soldiers got out of their military vehicles inside the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, northeast of al-Shuhadaa Islamic graveyard, east of Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip. The soldiers fired bullets and tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian civilians who were 50 meters away from the border fence. As a result, Anwar Mohammed Elian al-Mamlouk (19), from al-Nazar Street in al-Shuja'iya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, sustained a bullet wound in the abdomen. Al-Mamlouk was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) due to his critical condition, but he died immediately. Al-Mamlouk's brother Hani said he was in an outdoor area studying for an exam when he was killed.
On 12 January 2013, the Israeli forces positioned along the security fence, south of al-Ramadin village in the south of Hebron, killed a Palestinian worker named Oday al-Daraweesh, 21, from Doura in the southwest of Hebron.
On 12th January, Salih al-Amarin, 15, from Azza refugee camp, was shot in the head Friday during clashes in Bethlehem's nearby Aida camp, leaving him critically injured, He was on life support until he died on 18th January.
14th January Palestinian farmer, Mustafa Abu Jarad, 21. died of serious injuries he suffered at noon after Israeli soldiers opened fire at him as he worked on his land in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
The army repeatedly opens fire at farmers trying to work, or even reach, their lands close to the border in the northern and eastern parts of the Gaza Strip; dozens of casualties have been reported.
Israel does not allow the Palestinians in Gaza to reach their lands near the border fence in Gaza under the pretext of “security considerations” as part of the so-called “buffer zone” Israel enforced on border areas with Gaza.
This issue is preventing hundreds of families from planting their lands near the border, farmers who managed to enter their lands are always subject to life-threatening conditions due to Israeli military fire.
On 15th January, 17-year-old Samir Ahmad Abdul-Rahim was the fourth Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces in less than a week. The head of Budrus village council, Mohammad Murrar, said Israeli military jeeps approached the village high school during a raid. Students were leaving the school after taking final exams and threw stones at Israeli forces. Israeli soldiers responded with live ammunition, fatally wounding Abdul-Rahim.
On 23rd January, Lubna Hanash, 22 a young Palestinian woman, was shot and killed arbitrarily by Israeli occupation forces riding in a civilian car near Arroub refugee camp which is on the road between Bethlehem and Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank.
Hanash was a fourth-year political science student at Al-Quds University, and had been visiting her sister in Arroub camp. After the shooting Israeli soldiers prevented an ambulance from arriving at the scene for around 10 minutes.
I urge you to ensure that thorough and impartial investigations are promptly carried out into the killings of these Palestinian civilians, that includes two children, and that the findings of these investigations are made public and that the persons responsible are brought to justice.
I further urge you to call upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfil their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure Israel's respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.