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Israel/OPT
17.08.00
Urgent Interventions

'Israel: Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli Occupation Forces

Case ISR 170800

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Palestine Autonomous Areas (occupied by Israel).

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by The Palestinian Society for the Protection for Human Rights and the Environment (LAW), a member of the OMCT network, that on Wednesday, 16 August 2000, Israeli occupation forces shot and killed an elderly Palestinian man from Surda, Ramallah. The undercover forces, dressed in civilian clothing, surrounded the home of the 73-year-old victim, Mahmoud Bazar Abdullah, at two o’clock in the morning, allegedly to arrest one of his children.

Based on LAW Society’s documentation, the victim was keeping watch on the roof of his house, as he regularly does since his home was broken into last year, when he noticed armed people approaching. Thinking they were burglars, Abdullah shouted at them, upon which the soldiers opened fire and shot him. LAW Society field researchers noticed more than ten bullets and blood stains on the floor and the door of the house.

The victim’s nephew, As’ad Bazar Abdullah, 45, stated in his affidavit to LAW that the Israeli “special force”, after committing the crime, had surrounded the house and prevented the victim’s family, the neighbours, and the ambulance, which was forced to stand 200 meters away, from coming to the victim’s aid. As’ad also said that he had heard the gunshots but was prevented from approaching his uncle’s house by the Israeli armed forces who had closed off the neighbourhood.

Mahmoud Bazar Abdullah was left to bleed for four hours. “Um Mahmoud,” the victim’s daughter-in-law, said that they were awakened by the sound of gunshots and the victim’s cries for help, and found him lying bleeding on the roof of the house. The family called the police and the ambulance thinking that burglars had attacked them. They were shocked to see the house surrounded by a large number of soldiers who shot at anyone approaching the house.

The sons were finally allowed to carry their father out to the ambulance, but he died on the way to the hospital. All 16 family members, ten of them children, were made to step out of the house one by one. Hisham, a former journalist for France Press, and his brother Sayif were handcuffed and taken to the Beit El detention center where they were questioned about their supposed ties to Hezbollah. They were released six hours later.

Also, LAW expressed its concern over the number of Palestinians who have been murdered by the Israeli occupation authorities and the settlers has reached 24 since the beginning of this year, whereas this time last year the number of Palestinian victims was 14, indicating a 71% increase.

The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned by the use of excessive force and particularly fire arms 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.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Israel urging them to:

i. guarantee an immediate investigation into the death of Mahmoud Bazar Abdullah, identify those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions provided by law;
ii. ensure compensation to the family of Mahmoud Bazar Abdullah;
iii. ensure that all law enforcement agencies conform to international human rights standards;
iv. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

Addresses

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, August 17, 2000

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