The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) calls upon the Attorney General to seriously open an investigation into incidents that took place in Yatta town near Hebron Hebron on Monday, 05 May 2014. The incidents included beatings, arrests, house raids, and destruction of civilians’ belongings by security services. PCHR calls upon the government in Ramallah to take serious steps to compel members of security services to respect the rule of law and human rights principles that are guaranteed under the Palestinian Basic Law and international standards.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR and testimonies of victims and eyewitnesses, at approximately 09:00 on Monday, 05 May 2014, a force from the Preventive Security Service (PSS) intercepted a Chevrolet Cavalier red car near Mothalath al-Mazra’a area in Yatta town in Hebron because of raising Hamas’ flags. Mohammed Awdatallah Abu Fanar (22) was driving the aforementioned car with his wife Hanadi (20), his two daughters, and three young relatives: Noor Ismail Abu Fanar (14), Asem Mosa Abu Fanar (14), and Zakareya Ismail Abu Fanar (17). They were on their way to participate in a set-in organized in solidarity with their relative, Zaid Ismail Abu Fanar, in his father’s house in Fatouh area in the town. Zaid Ismail Abu Fanar is one of the administrative detainees in Israeli prisons, who have been on hunger strike since 24 April 2014. PSC officers ordered the aforementioned persons to get out of the car, but the driver, Mohammed, moved away quickly when Noor got out. The PSC officers chased Abu Fanar’s car via a Volkswagen mini bus to about 3 Kilometers until they reached Fatouh area. The PSC bus hit Abu Fanar’s car several times from the back in an attempt to stop it until Abu Fanar’s car crashed into the wall. The PSC officers got out of their car, took Mohammed out of his car, and started beating him severely with their legs and rifles. His wife, Hanadi, tried to defend him, but they pushed her. As a result, she fell to the ground and fainted. Some civilians tried to intervene in an attempt to push the PSS officers away from Abu Fanar family, but they opened fire to disperse the civilians who threw stones at the PSS members. As result, the PSC car was crashed.
A joint force of security services comprised of the PSS, the National Security Force, and Special Police raided Fatouh area in Yatta town accompanied by a bulldozer. They raided and searched a number of civilian houses, from which they arrested a large number of civilians. Hana Saher Awad was beaten up by the security members after they raided and searched her house without a warrant. Members of the force crashed a number of Mercedes cars belonging to civilians in the area, including a 608 Mercedes white bus belonging to Ismail Sameh Abu Fanar. In addition, the bulldozer caused damage to a number of unlicensed cars which are used by mechanics for spare parts.
On the same day, at approximately 22:00, a joint force raided Ismail Abu Fanar’s house in Zeif area in Hebron, where the solidarity tent is set up in solidarity of his son Zaid. They dispersed all people in the tent by firing live bullets in the air and tear gas canisters. Abu Fanar was beaten up with a torch by the security officers.
On Tuesday, 06 May 2014, four civilians were released while 20 ones have been so far in custody.
In light of the above, PCHR:
1. Calls upon the Attorney General to open a serious investigation into those incidents, especially that civilians were beaten and some belongings were damaged; and
2. Calls upon the government in Ramallah to take serious steps to compel members of security services to respect the rule of law and human rights principles that are guaranteed under the Palestinian Basic Law and international standards.