This afternoon, 13 November 2000, two Palestinian youths were killed
ammunition during a demonstration in Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. Muhammad
Nasser Al-Tawil (18) was hit in the chest, and Yahya Nayef Abu Shamalah (17)
in the heart. Both were killed by Israeli snipers shooting from a distance
of 150 meters.
A third youth, 18-year-old Ahmad Hassan Dahlan, died from injuries sustained
two days ago. On 11 November, Dahlan had been shot in the head with live
ammunition during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip.
The use of excessive lethal force by the Israeli security forces has
constant feature of the current Intifada. To date, this has resulted in the
deaths of an estimated 186 Palestinians, the vast majority of them unarmed
demonstrators, with many being minors under the age of 18. The use of
excessive lethal force by the Israeli security forces has been repeatedly
condemned by the United Nations and international human rights organizations
like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
According to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the use
excessive lethal force by Israel is tantamount to a crime of war and a crime
against humanity. The seemingly systematic and deliberate use of lethal
force in many instances has resulted in a number of wilful killings. Wilful
killing constitutes a grave breach of the Geneva Convention Relative to the
Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention) and
is subject to prosecution under international law.
Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention requires the High Contracting
Parties to ensure respect for its provisions in all circumstances. LAW calls
on the signatories of the Convention to comply with their obligations under
article 1, to bring perpetrators of grave breaches of the Convention to
trial and to ensure Israelís respect of its provisions dealing with
instances of belligerent occupation.
LAW calls on the Israeli Government to implement United Nations resolutions
242, 338 and 194 and to respect international law.
LAW Ė The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and
Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving human
rights through legal advocacy. LAW is affiliate to the International
Commission of Jurists (ICJ), The Fédération Internationale des Ligues de
Droits de líHomme (FIDH),The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and
is a member of the Euro- Mediterranean Human Rights Network.