Israeli Forces commit another extra-judicial assassination in Rafah

Grave escalation in settler attacks in Hebron

3 April 2001

According to threats pronounced by Israeli leaders over the past few days concerning the extra-judicial assassination of Palestinian citizens on the basis that they are ‘Intifada activists’, on Monday 2 April 2001 Israeli military forces assassinated 26 year-old political activist, Muhammad Abd Il Aal, from Al Salam in Rafah. According to information gathered by LAW, at around 12:40 pm yesterday, three low-flying Israeli military helicopters fired three missiles at Muhammad Abd Il Aal’s white Peugeot as he drove along Khaled Ben Al Walid Street in the Brazil quarter of Rafah. Two missiles hit the victim and killed him instantly, burning his body and car to such an extent that his features were indistinguishable. A man and a child walking by at the time of the attack suffered nervous breakdowns on witnessing the incident, and a yellow car behind was also destroyed. The explosion also caused severe damage to nearby houses and public utilities. The victim, formerly a detainee in Israeli prisons for being a Palestinian Islamic Jihad activist, has been ‘wanted’ for the past months of the Intifada. With Abd Il Aal’s assassination, the number of extra-judicial killings conducted by Israel since the beginning of the Intifada has risen to 11, in addition to those who have died simply because of their physical proximity to the targeted victims at the time of their assassination. With Abd Il Aal’s assassination, the number of Palestinians killed during the Intifada has risen to 378. In the early hours of yesterday morning, an explosion of gas cylinders burnt down several stores in the middle of the occupied part of Hebron, which has now been under curfew for two weeks in a row. According to information gathered by LAW, at around 1am yesterday morning there was a loud explosion, and a row of stores on Al Sahleh Street were set on fire. It was clear that the gas cylinders had been placed by settlers at the doors to three shops, leading to their total destruction, as follows: 1. A 100 square-metre supermarket belonging to Khalaf Abu Hadeed. Damage to the shop and its stock is initially estimated to be in the region of 240,000 NIS (approx. US $60,000). 2. An 80 square-metre grocery belonging to Muhammad Abu Hadeed. 3. A 100 square-metre bakery belonging to Azmi Shweiki and Muhammad Abu Sneineh. The explosion destroyed the roofs and walls of the above shops, as well as burning their interiors and destroying their contents. After the incident, the Israeli military bulldozed the devastated stores on Al Sahleh Street and expanded the bulldozing so as to establish a yard adjacent to the ‘Abraham Avino’ settlement. 21 year-old Husam Al Atrash, who was protesting at the bulldozing, was arrested. LAW confirms that the murder of Muhammad Abd Il Aal is considered an extra- judicial assassination. LAW holds Israel entirely responsible for yesterday’ s assassination, as well as for the crimes committed by settlers within the Occupied Palestinian Territories. LAW Demands 1. The Israeli Government to immediately stop the use of excessive and indiscriminate force and collective punishments against Palestinian civilians. 2. The international community must hold a conference for the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention in order to take practical measures to ensure Israel's adherence to the convention. 3. The international community must pressurize Israel to immediately put an end to the occupation of the Palestinian territories and effectively support the implementation of the Palestinian right to self-determination. 4. The Palestinian people must receive international protection.

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.

Rapporti di LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights

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