Israel/OPT
30.11.09
Urgent Interventions

Follow-up of case ISR 181109/ISR 181109.CC_ Release from hospital of a 16-year-old boy injured by and under the custody of IOF

Case ISR 181109.1_ISR 181109.1.CC
Follow-up of case ISR 181109/ISR 181109.CC
URGENT CAMPAIGN/ CHILD CONCERN

Release from hospital of a 16-year-old boy injured by and under the custody of IOF

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) received new information in the following situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

New information

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights, a member organisation of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, that on 22 November 2009, Ahmed Khader Sa'doun (who is actually 16-year-old) was released from the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon (north to the Gaza Strip), Israel, where he had been under the custody of the Israeli police since his arrest on 13 November 2009.

As a result of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) firing (see details below), Ahmed Khader Sa’doun was injured in his right leg and his belly, and consequently stayed nine days at the hospital where he underwent a surgical operation. During his stay at the hospital, Ahmed Khader Sa’doun was guarded by two Israeli soldiers, one of whom questioned and photographed him with his cell phone. He was not visited by any lawyer while kept in the hospital.

According to the information received, Ahmed’s brother, Issam Khader Sa’doun, called an Arabic-speaking doctor working at Barzilai Hospital to get information about Ahmed's health conditions. He was also able to speak to Ahmed, however only once. In addition, a human rights organisation informed Issam Khader Sa’doun that his younger brother Ahmed was probably to be released on 22 November.

According to the same information, on 22 November 2009, the Israeli force brought Ahmed Khader Sa'doun to Erez Crossing point, north of the Gaza Strip where he had to take a taxi to go home. Ahmed Khader Sa'doun arrived home in the evening on the same day.

The affidavits collected by Al Mezan Centre from the victims Mohammed Khader Sa'doun, Nidal Rajab Abu Hajar and Bakir Sa'eed Al-Makadma provide further information on the way they were treated during their detention. According to the information received, right after the arrest, the youths were asked to take their clothes off and remained with only underwear during several hours. They were also blindfolded and hand-cuffed during the whole time they were detained by the Israeli soldiers (even when they were eating). They slept on mattresses but without blanket. They were released on 14 November in the evening and the Israeli soldiers drove them to a place near Rafah. They finally had to walk several hours in the darkness before reaching their respective houses early morning on 15 November.

OMCT is gravely concerned about the treatment Ahmed Khader Sa’doun and the other three youths have suffered while in IOF custody which clearly contravenes Israel international human rights obligations.

Furthermore, OMCT reiterates its concerns about the IOF's continued killings and incidents involving children in the Gaza Strip. According to Al Mezan Center, most of these acts occur near the border fence in the north and east of the Gaza Strip, an area that is declared a 'buffer zone' by IOF. However, this entire area is located inside the Gaza Strip and is not precisely defined and may even vaguely extend to over a kilometer from the border.

OMCT strongly condemns the killing of 16-year-old Mustafa Mohamed Wadi and the injury sustained by Ahmed Khader Sa’doun as a result of the IOF firing, acts which would appear to constitute yet another exercise in the excessive use of force in violation of Israel’s obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law, OMCT would like to recall that, in the application of Israel’s international legal obligations as a State Party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has made the following recommendations: “The Committee strongly urges the State party and all relevant non-State actors […] to investigate immediately and effectively all killings of children and bring the perpetrators to justice”; […] to refrain from using and/or targeting children in the armed conflict and comply fully with article 38 of the Convention, and as much as possible with the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict” (CRC/C/15/Add.195, §§ 32 and 59).

Reminder of the situation

OMCT was informed about the killing of a 16-year-old boy Mustafa Mohamed Wadi and the arrest and detention of four youths aged between 16 and 18 years old, by the IOF, among them a 16-year-old boy Ahmed Khader Sa'doun who was injured near the Gaza border with Israel. All the victims were civilians.

According to the information received, in the early morning on 13 November 2009, seven children and youths left their neighborhood in Block 9 in the Al-Bureij refugee camp on a horse-laden cart and headed to the Friday Market in Gaza City. On their way back, they passed by the solid-waste dumb in northeast of Wadi Gaza village. At approximately 9.30 am, five of them saw stray dogs and chased them near the border. The IOF reportedly discovered the group and opened machinegun and artillery fire at it. The children and youths were allegedly unarmed and did not pose any danger to the IOF. One child, 16-year-old boy, Mustafa Mohammed Wadi, was killed by the IOF shooting while 17-year-old Ahmed Khader Sa'doun was injured. IOF ground troops also proceeded to arrest the following four youths:

  • Mohammed Khader Sa'doun, 18;
  • Ahmed Khader Sa'doun, 16 (who was also injured);
  • Nidal Rajab Abu Hajar, 18; and
  • Bakir Sa'eed Al-Makadma, 18.

Another two brothers respectively aged 18 and 7 years old managed to escape.

As stated in the information received, the older boy who escaped called the emergency services. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported that two of the Society's ambulances reached the area after ICRC coordinated the intervention with the IOF. The rescue team found the body of Mustafa Mohamed Wadi, laying on the ground approximately one kilometer from the border fence.

According to the same information, the three youth aged 18 years old; Mohammed Khader Sa'doun, Nidal Rajab Abu Hajar and Bakir Sa'eed Al-Makadma, had been released on November 14, 2009, at the border in Rafah city, south of Gaza Strip. Ahmed Khader Sa'doun was still in the Israeli hospital at that moment.

Actions requested

Please write to the authorities in Israel urging them to:

  1. Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the events, in particular the killing of Mustafa Mohamed Wadi and the injuries sustained by Ahmed Khader Sa'doun as a result of the IOF firing, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by the law;
  2. Guarantee that adequate compensation is awarded to the family of Mustafa Mohamed Wadi (16) and to Ahmed Khader Sa'doun (16) for the damages he has suffered.
  3. At all times ensure strict respect for international human rights and humanitarian law in the exercise of its jurisdiction, including in connection with military operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Addresses

  • Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, 3, Kaplan Street, PO Box 187, Kiryat Ben-Gurion, Jerusalem, Israel, Fax: +972- 2-651 2631, Email: pm_eng@pmo.gov.il
  • Mr. Menachem Mazuz, Attorney General, Fax: + 972 2 627 4481; + 972 2 628 5438; +972 2 530 3367
  • Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit, Military Judge Advocate General, 6 David Elazar Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel, Fax: +972 3 608 0366, +972 3 569 4526, Email: arbel@mail.idf.il, avimn@.idf.gov.il
  • Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations Office and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, Avenue de la Paix 1-3, 1202 Geneva, Fax: +41 22 716 05 55, Email: mission-israel@geneva.mfa.gov.il

Please also write to the embassies of Israel in your respective country.

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

Geneva, 30 November 2009

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