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Urgent Interventions

Israel: OMCT's grave concern over use of excessive force by Israeli soldiers

Case ISR 021000

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Israel.

Brief reminder of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT wishes to express its grave concern over the deaths of and injuries caused to Palestinians, including a number of children, by the Israeli forces in the last few days.

According to the information received from the Palestinian Society for the Protection for Human Rights and the Environment (LAW), on 29th September 2000, a day after the visit of Ariel Sharon, leader of the Likud party, a large number of Israeli security forces estimated at 2000, in addition to special units, were deployed in the early morning in the vicinity of the Haram al Sharif compound. They installed makeshift checkpoints and a large number were deployed on the roofs of neighbouring houses. Shooting started a few moment before the end of the prayers. Initially, Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated bullets and gas bombs but they later fired live ammunition. This attack led to widespread demonstrations.

The clashes resulted in the deaths of 7 Palestinians. More than 255 people were injured, 32 of whom sustained serious injuries. Those killed have been identified as: Mohammad Faraj from Ramallah, Bilal Afaneh from Abu Dis, Mohammad Farrah from Jerusalem and Mohammad Hussein from um Al Fahem in Israel.

Eyewitnesses have stated that ambulances were denied entry to the Haram compound by the Israeli security forces. Furthermore, makeshift checkpoints were installed outside Palestinian hospitals to deny entry to ambulances.

On 30th September 2000, large numbers of Israeli soldiers and policemen were deployed in the early morning hours in the vicinities of Palestinian towns. Vehicles to and from Jerusalem were denied entry at the northern Israeli checkpoint near Aram. Clashes resulted in the death of 12 Palestinians some of whom have been identified as:
Bassam Al Balbesi, 25 from Gaza, an ambulance driver, Khaled Bazyan, 14 from Nablus, Nizar Eideh, 16, from the village of Deir Ammar (a Ramallah resident), Zakariya Al Kilani, 22 from jenin (shot in Nablus), Mohammad Al Atleh, 22, from Gaza, Rami Atarazi, 12, from Gaza, Mahmoud Anbara, 20, from Ruweished, Jordan – shot dead in Nablus, and 3 members of the national Forces (Nabil Mohammad, Rami Aduri and Mohammad Zeidan).

The number of persons injured is estimated at 577, many of which are serious:
In Nablus: Mis’ab Jamil (head injury), Awad Abu Salhieh (Chest injury), Nihad Radi (Abdomen injury), Mahmoud Zahdeh (Chest injury), and Jihad Al Aloul (Head injury).
In Hebron: Thaer Doudine, 22, (head injury), Yousef Al Qadi, 20 (chest injury) and Issa Abu Hleil, 13 (head injury).

According to LAW, a number of Israeli undercover agents have been sighted, disguised in Arab dress, storming the Asuwaneh neighbourhood and randomly shooting at a number of young Palestinians. The incident resulted in the injury of Yousef Asayad, 22, Tareq Al Hammouri, 23 and Nahla Nusha’she’, 42.

According to LAW on 1st October 2000, Israeli occupation forces reportedly invaded a number of cities in the West Bank and Gaza with tanks and helicopters bombarding some civilian sites. In Al Bireh, the Israeli occupation troops invaded and occupied the City Inn Hotel. In Rafah Gaza, at the Nitsirim junction, Israeli troops fired Lao missiles at civilians raising the number of Palestinian killed and wounded. By 7:00 PM Saturday evening, 11 Palestinian were killed and 388 wounded. 18 people are believed to be in very critical condition.

In the City of Nablus the following persons were reported killed and injured: Musatafa Ramadan, 26, from the village of Tal and member of the Palestinian National Forces died near Joseph’s tomb in an exchange of gunfire with Israeli soldiers. Samer Tabanja, 10, from Nablus was shot to death while on the roof of his house. He was shot with a 500 mm bullet fired from the helicopter hovering above. Husam Bakhit, 18, from Balata refugee camp, was hit in the head during clashes near Joseph’s Tomb. The body of Iyad Khashashi, 18, from Nablus, was found in a neighbouring building close to a Palestinian checkpoint near the village of Kufur Qalil. He had been shot the day before, sought refuge in the building but bled to death overnight. Jihad Al Aloul, 23, son of the Nablus Governor died from gunshots wounds. In another incident, one and a half year old, Sarah Hasan from the village of Talfeet, was killed when settlers randomly opened fire, hitting her in the head.

Three people were shot and killed in Ramallah. These are: Mohammad Dahoud, 12, from Al Bireh. Imad Al Anati, 20, from Al Am’ari. Salah Al Faqih, a member of the National Forces

In Gaza, Sami Ataramsi, 20, from Ashate’ Refugee Camp, was shot and killed. Three have also been declared clinically dead; these are Raed Al Hams, Talal Al Basouti and Salem Daraweesh. According to LAW’s documentation, the number
of wounded is as follows:

Inside Israel, Palestinian demonstrators clashed with Israeli troops resulting in the death of Mohammad Jabarine, 22. Eighty-three people were injured, 50 from the town of Um Al Fahem, 30 from Nazareth and 3 from Jaffa.

OMCT is appalled by these killings and injuries, particularly child victims, and that a large number of injuries were reportedly in the upper parts of the body, particularly the eyes and were caused by live ammunition. OMCT calls on the Israeli authorities to put an immediate end to this use of excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators which violates international human rights standards, in particular Articles 9, 10 and 11 of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

Actions requested

Please write to the authorities in Israel urging them to:

i. put an immediate end to the use of excessive force and the use of live ammunition against demonstrators;
ii. guarantee adequate compensation to the families of all victims and medical assistance to all injured people;
iii. ensure that all law enforcement agencies conform to international human rights standards and a thorough and impartial investigation into all deaths and injuries in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
iv. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Ehud Barak, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Office of the Prime Minister, 3 Kaplan Street Hakirya, Jerusalem 91007, Israel, Faxes: +972 2 566 4838 and +972 3 691 7915
Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, 29 Salah al-Din Street, Jerusalem 91029, State of Israel. Fax : + 972 2 6285 438
Minister of Defense, Ministry of Defense, 7 "A" Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel. Fax: +972 3 697 62 18.
Minister of Police, Ministry of Police, PO Box 18182, 3 Sheikh Jarrah, Kiryat Hamemshala, Jerusalem 91181, State of Israel. Fax : + 972 2 5826 769.

The Embassy of Israel in your respective countries.

Geneva, 2nd October 2000
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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