Amnesty International has censured the Tel Aviv regime over killing Palestinians with intentional lethal force and without justification in the occupied West Bank.
The Britain-based human rights organization, in a report released on Tuesday, made reference to at least four incidents in which Palestinians were deliberately shot dead by Israeli forces. The victims posed no threat at all, and simply lost their lives in what were described as extrajudicial executions, according to Amnesty.
It added that injured Palestinians were in some cases left bleeding to death on the ground, and were denied medical assistance in flagrant violation of laws that prohibit torture and other forms of mistreatment.
“There is mounting evidence that, as tensions have risen dramatically, in some cases, Israeli forces appear to have ripped up the rule book and resorted to extreme and unlawful measures. They seem increasingly prone to using lethal force against anyone they perceive as posing a threat, without ensuring that the threat is real,” Philip Luther, the director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International, said.
He added, “Intentional lethal force should only be used when absolutely necessary to protect life. Instead, we are increasingly seeing Israeli forces recklessly flouting international standards by shooting to kill in situations where it is completely unjustified. Israeli forces must end this pattern of unlawful killings and bring all those responsible to justice.”
Amnesty International further pointed to the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Palestinian teenager Saad Muhammad Youssef al-Atrash in the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) – which is situated 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of al-Quds (Jerusalem) – on October 26.
An unnamed eyewitness said al-Atrash posed no threat when he was shot. An Israeli soldier asked him for an identity card, and as he was reaching into his pocket to grab his card, another trooper, standing behind him, shot him six or seven times on his right side.
Atrash lay on the ground for about 40 minutes afterwards bleeding profusely while soldiers failed to provide medical treatment.
“Then they put him on a stretcher and pushed him towards an ambulance but didn’t put him in. By this time he looked extremely yellow and I thought that he was dead at that point. He remained in front of the ambulance for another 20 minutes before he was put inside it and taken away,” the witness said.
On October 4, Israeli police officers shot dead a Palestinian teenager identified as Fadi Samir Mustafa Alloun near the Damascus Gate of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, claiming that he had attempted to stab an Israeli settler with a knife.
However, video footage from the scene showed a group of illegal settlers chasing Alloun before Israeli forces arrived and shot him without attempting to arrest him.
“Unfortunately, Israel’s investigation systems have long served to perpetuate impunity for unlawful killings of Palestinians by Israeli military and police forces. While we urge the Israeli authorities to conduct independent, impartial investigations into all these incidents, willful killings of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories are grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, over which all states can exercise universal jurisdiction,” Luther pointed out.
The Palestinian Health Ministry says at least 64 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since the beginning of the month. Some 7,100 others have also sustained injuries.
At least ten Israelis have been killed and 130 others injured during the same period.
The fresh wave of tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories was triggered by the Israeli regime’s imposition in August of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.
Palestinians are also angry at increasing violence by Israeli settlers, who frequently storm the al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Palestinians say the Tel Aviv regime seeks to change the status quo of the compound.