13 February 2001
Another extra-judicial execution, 14 year-old boy also killed In the Gaza Strip this morning, Israeli forces reportedly assassinated 50 year-old Mas'oud Ayyad, a Force 17 Presidential Guard. Elsewhere in the Gaza Strip, at Netsarim Junction, Israeli soldiers opened fire at a group of unarmed demonstrators, killing 14 year-old Bilal Tawfiq Ramadan with a live bullet to the heart at approximately 11am. LAW received information stating that at 9.45am, Massoud was driving a white Hyundai car within Area A, on Saladin Street between Gaza and Khan Younis. An Israeli helicopter gunship hovering overhead fired three LAU missiles at his car, killing him instantly. Six Palestinian passers-by were wounded in the attack. Salem Al Batsh (45) received shrapnel injuries in the back, Sameer Shaheen (42) in the right thigh, Ahmad Tulan (15) in several parts of his body and Suhaila Al Hasanyi (50) in the limbs. Mohammad Al Batsh (23) and Gandhi Al Batran (32) are suffering severe stress disorder. According to the medical report from Gaza's Al Shifa hospital, Ayyad suffered shrapnel injuries in the head and his face was burnt. His right fingers came off in the blast, many bones in his body were broken, and his internal organs were severely damaged. LAW has also been informed that Ayyad's son Nasser, a Force 17 lieutenant, was arrested in an ambush by Israeli forces on 29 January 2001 near Netsarim junction. His whereabouts are still unknown. LAW Society has so far documented nine cases of extra-judicial execution since the outbreak of the current crisis in September 2000. Israel's assassination policy, not to mention its continuous use of lethal force agauinst unarmed demonstrators, constitute willful killing. This is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which stipulates in Article 32: "The High Contracting Parties specifically agree that each of them is prohibited from taking any measure of such a character as to cause the physical suffering or extermination of protected persons in their hands. This prohibition applies not only to murder, torture, corporal punishment, mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a protected person but also to any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or by military agents." Moreover, it gravely breaches Article 75 of Protocol Additional to the Fourth Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (Protocol 1) especially Paragraph 2, which states, "The following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever, whether committed by civilian or by military agents: a. Violence to the life, health, or physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular: Murder; Torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental; Corporal punishment; and Mutilation" and Paragraph 3 of Article 85 of the same Protocol, which stipulates "In addition to the grave breaches defined in Article 11, the following acts shall be regarded as grave breaches of this Protocol, when committed willfully, in violation of the relevant provisions of this Protocol, and causing death or serious injury to body or health: a. Making the civilian population or individual civilians the object of attack." LAW Society demands the following: 1. The Israeli government to immediately stop its crimes and collective punishment against Palestinians. 2. An international investigation committee to be set up, working according to UN Resolution 1322. 3. The Security Council to set up an international tribunal and bring the Israeli war criminals to justice, such as the case with the war criminals of ex-Yugoslavia. 4. Placing Palestinians under international protection. 5. The international community to endeavour to put an end to these crimes and the Israeli occupation. **********************************************
LAW – The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving human rights through legal advocacy. LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Fédération Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Member of the Euro- Mediterranean Human Rights Network.