PalestineHuman RightsMiddle East

Israeli killing of Palestinian in Beita amounts to war crime, rights group says

A Palestinian rights group says the recent murder of a Palestinian youth in the occupied West Bank was a result of the use of excessive force by the Israeli military and amounts to war crime.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in a report on Sunday held the Israeli regime fully and directly responsible for the crime, saying, “These crimes reflect the excessive use of force in circumstances where there was no imminent threat to the soldiers’ lives and prove Israeli lenient shooting standards against the Palestinian civilians,” the report said.

Elsewhere in the report, the rights organization noted that the killing of the Palestinian man under these circumstances amounts to war crime, urging the parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations to prosecute culprits of such crimes and guarantee Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the occupied territories.

Israeli forces shot dead the young man during anti-settlement protests in Nablus. The Palestinian Health Ministry said the man succumbed to injuries he sustained on Sobeih Mountain in Beita, south of Nablus City, on Friday. The victim was identified as Jamil Abu Ayash, 31. He was shot in the head by Israeli forces.

According to the Palestine Red Crescent ambulance service, four other Palestinians were hit by rubber bullets, while over 50 others suffered breathing difficulties due to inhaling tear gas used by the troops against the protesters.

Since May, Beita has seen intensified clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians protesting against a settlement outpost that has been established on Sobeih Mountain by settlers under the protection of Israeli forces. This victim was the ninth Palestinian shot dead by Israeli troops during suppression of peaceful protests in Beita village since the establishment of the settlement outpost.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the fatal shooting and urged the International Criminal Court to take action. The ministry has on several occasions called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) “to break its silence and immediately begin investigations into the crimes of the occupying regime and settlers.”

In recent years, Israeli troops have on numerous occasions been caught on camera brutally killing Palestinians along Gaza and across the West Bank, with the videos going viral online and sparking international condemnation.

The Tel Aviv regime has been criticized for its extensive use of lethal force against the extrajudicial killing of Palestinians who do not pose an immediate threat to Israeli forces or settlers.

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