On Wednesday evening, 03 April 2012, in an example of excessive use of force, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian civilians and injured a third from ‘Anabta village, east of Tulkarm, northern West Bank. The incident occurred when Israeli soldiers, stationed at ‘Inab military checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, opened fire at a group of young Palestinian demonstrators in the area surrounding the checkpoint.
According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 21:30 on Wednesday, a group of Palestinian boys and young men made their way towards ‘Inab military checkpoint on the main Nablus – Tulkarm road, east of ‘Anabta, east of Tulkarm. The boys threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers who were stationed inside military watchtowers. The soldiers responded with live bullets and chased the demonstrators. As a result, 18-year-old ‘Amer Ibrahim Naji Zarboul sustained a bullet wound to the chest, killing him instantly, and Fadi Abdul-Qader Ibrahim Nassar (20) sustained a bullet wound to his right hand.
A Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance arrived at the scene, but medical sources informed a PCHR fieldworker that Israeli forces prevented the ambulance from transferring Zarboul’s body. According to the same source, Zarboul’s body remained on the Israeli side of the checkpoint for approximately 20 minutes before paramedics were given access. The injured man, Nassar was transported to Martyr Thabet Thabet Public Hospital in Tulkarm for medical treatment.
At approximately 04:30 on Thursday, 04 April 2013, the Israeli Liaison Office informed their Palestinian counterpart that the body of another Palestinian man was present at the checkpoint. A PRCS ambulance went to ‘Inab military checkpoint, retrieved the body and transferred it to Martyr Thabet Thabet Public Hospital. The deceased was identified as Naji Abdul-Salam Naji Bilbaisi (19). Bilbaisi had sustained a bullet wound to the chest; medical sources could not confirm whether the deceased had died instantly or if he had bled to death.
PCHR strongly condemns this demonstration of the continued use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians.
PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective action to put an end to such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfil their obligations under Article 1, i.e. to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons who allegedly committed grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Such grave breaches may constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Article 85 of Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions.