Days of Palestine – Geneva
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has accused the Israeli authorities of giving Israeli soldiers the green light to extrajudicially kill Palestinian citizens in the occupied territories.
In a report on Tuesday, Euro-Med said that such official Israeli orders led to the systematic use of lethal force by the Israeli army and a significant increase in incidents of extrajudicial killings in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“Such policy of excessive use of force by the Israeli army against the Palestinians claimed the lives of 53 Palestinian citizens in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the period between January 1 and July 10, 2022,” Euro-Med said on its website.
In a letter sent recently to Morris Tidball-Binz, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, Euro-Med stated that testimonies collected during a field investigation about the killing of a Palestinian young man in early July in Jaba town in Jenin asserted that Israeli soldiers deliberately used lethal force against him.
The rights group explained that a special force from the Israeli army stormed at about 02:00 am on Wednesday, July 6, the eastern area of Jaba town where they raided a house.
About 15 minutes later, 21-year-old Rafiq Riyad Ghannam left his house in his pajamas after hearing a sound coming from a nearby area. Once he moved several meters, estimated at about 40 meters, from his home, the soldiers fired two shots at him, hitting him directly, so he fell immediately to the ground while bleeding from bullet wounds.
Ghannam remained so without being provided with any first aid for about 35 minutes before the soldiers took him away as they withdrew from the area. At about five o’clock in the morning, the Palestinian liaison office told his family that the Israeli army arrested him while he was wounded before the office learned 30 minutes later that he succumbed to his injuries while in custody, the rights group elaborated.
“The shooting incident of Ghannam, which later led to his death, is part of the policy of excessive use of force against unarmed civilians, who do not constitute in many cases any danger that necessitates the use of lethal force. This appears to reflect official Israeli instructions to the army to feel free and at ease when opening fire at Palestinians with no urgent need,” Euro-Med said.
Euro-Med appealed to Tidball-Binz to launch investigations into the killings of Palestinian civilians and called on the competent UN organizations to take serious steps to protect the Palestinians in the occupied territories and ensure accountability for Israeli extrajudicial killings.