H.E. MARGARET SEKAGGYA,
UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders,
RE: IOF Use Excessive Lethal Force killing Mustafa Abdul Razzaq al-Tamimi, 27 in al-Nabi Saleh Weekly Peaceful Protests
Following the Friday prayer on 09 December 2011, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders gathered in the centre of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, to start the weekly peaceful protest against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities.
The protesters walked towards the gate erected by IOF near the entrance of the village and leading to Palestinian lands that Israeli settlers from the nearby "Halamish" settlement are trying to seize. Israeli soldiers who had been extensively deployed in the area and near all the entrances of the village since the morning, began to confront the protesters who wanted to walk towards the affected lands.
Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters. A result, Mustafa Abdul Razzaq al-Tamimi, 27, was hit by a tear gas canister to the right side of his face. Al-Tamimi fell down and he was evacuated in a Palestinian taxi which drove towards Ramallah. IOF stopped the taxi, took al-Tamimi, and transferred him to a hospital in Israel.
At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 10 December 2011, medical sources at Israeli hospital pronounced al-Tamimi dead. Al-Tamimi's body was transferred to Ramallah Public Hospital at around 19:00 on Saturday, 10 December.
In complete disregard to the army’s own open fire regulations, soldiers often shoot tear-gas projectiles directly at groups of protesters or individuals. Rubber-coated bullets are indiscriminately shot at protesters from short distances on a regular basis. The Israeli army also resumed the use of high velocity tear-gas projectiles in Nabi Saleh, despite the fact that they have been declared banned for use, after causing the death of Bassem Abu Rahmah in the neighboring village of Bil’in, in April 2009, and the critical injury of American protester Tristan Anderson in Ni’ilin in March of the same year.
I strongly urge you
• to ensure that thorough and impartial investigations are promptly carried out into the killing of Mustafa Abdul Razzaq al-Tamimi, that the findings of these investigations are made public and that those responsible for this unlawful killing are brought to justice in fair trials.
• to convene a conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions in order to take immediate action to protect Palestinian civilians in the OPT, in view of the continued violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention by the State of Israel and IOF.