Israeli Occupation Forces invaded Qalandia refugee camp in the early hours of the morning on 26th August. In resulting clashes, 3 Palestinians were murdered by the Israeli Occupation Forces, including a UN Relief worker. At least 15 or 16 others were injured, at least half of the critically, including 5 children.
I have included below reports from the International Solidarity Movement and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.
In the wake of the murders at Qalandia, protests have broken out in other Palestinian cities and Israeli Occupation Forces have conducted invasions into a number of cities, including Jenin and Hebron.
|Israeli Forces Use Excessive Lethal Force Killing 3 Palestinian Civilians and Wounding 16 Others, Including 5 Children, in Qalandya Refugee Camp|
|Monday, 26 August 2013 00:00|
In an excessive use of lethal force, on Monday morning, 26 August 2013, Israeli occupation forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians and wounded 16 others, including 5 children, in Qalandya refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem in the central West Bank. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) denounces this heinous crime, holds Israel fully responsible for the current escalation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and demands the international community to assume its responsibilities and provide protection for the Palestinian civilians.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR and statements of eyewitnesses, at approximately 05:00 on Monday, 26 August 2013, Israeli forces in military vehicles and a 20-member infantry unit moved into Qalandya refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem. They positioned themselves in the streets and then moved into al-Souq neighborhood in the centre of the refugee camp to carry out an arrest campaign. Israeli forces raided a house belonging to the family of Abdul Rahim al-Khatib near the Grand Mosque to arrest one of the family members. In the meantime, dozens of young men and boys gathered and threw stones at Israeli forces that immediately fired live ammunition, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the stone throwers. Israeli forces received backups that moved into the camp through its entrance and western side. They heavily opened fire at the stone throwers. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians were killed and 16 others were wounded, including 5 children; the majority of them were wounded in the upper part of the body. Moreover, Israeli forces arrested 2 brothers: Yusef Abdul Rahim al-Khatib (24) and Omar al-Khatib (27). Yusef was taken to an unknown destination while Omar was released at Qalandya checkpoint an hour after Israeli forces had withdrawn from the camp at 07:30. .
The civilians who were killed are:
1- Yunis Jamal Jahjouh (23), who was hit by a live bullet to the chest;
2- Jehad Mansour Aslan (21), who was hit by a live bullet to the chest; and
3- Rubin Abdul Rahman Zayed (33), who was hit by several live bullets to the chest as well.
As a result, the number of Palestinian civilians who have been killed in a week has mounted to 4, as Israeli forces killed a civilian in Jenin refugee camp, in the north of the West Bank, when they moved into the said camp on 20 August 2013.
PCHR is strongly concerned over this crime, which further proves the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians in disregard for the civilians’ lives. Therefore, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions to put an end to such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfill 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 alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions.
26th August 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Ramallah Team | Qalandiya Refugee Camp, Occupied Palestine
At around 2am on 26th August 2013, eleven military jeeps invaded Qalandiya Refugee camp to arrest a recently released prisoner. Residents of the camp tried to stop the army from arresting the man by throwing stones at military jeeps. Confrontations then erupted, with the Israeli soldiers shooting tear-gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition at the youth defending the refugee camp. Nineteen people were injured from live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets and two were killed on the spot, with a third dying shortly afterwards. Around six of these are still reportedly in a critical condition. Demonstrations mourning the martyrs and out of anger at their deaths spread across the West Bank, with particularly fierce clashes at Qalandiya checkpoint and in the city of Hebron.
During the early morning raid, 32-year-old Robin Ziad, a UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) worker, was on his way to work when he was shot in the chest with live ammunition. Younes Jahjouh, aged 22, was shot in the chest; while 20-year-old Jihad Aslan was shot in the neck – also with live ammunition. Robin and Younes died immediately from their wounds, whereas Jihad was transferred to Ramallah hospital, where he was declared clinically dead later in the morning. Israeli forces continued their raid, arresting the man they were looking for and leaving the refugee camp at around 7.30am.
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of the three martyrs at Qalandiya refugee camp, as friends and family members carried their bodies through the camp to the cemetery where they were buried. Gunshots and chants protesting their killing were heard throughout the ceremony as mourners filled the streets surrounding the cemetery.
After the funeral, dozens of youths marched along the main road to Qalandiya checkpoint and made barricades of burning tyres to prevent the Israeli military from approaching. Israeli forces arrived from across the checkpoint and shot several rounds of tear-gas canisters and sound bombs, while Palestinian youth defended the area by throwing stones at the Apartheid Wall, the checkpoint and the heavily armed and armoured soldiers.
As confrontations continued, Israeli forces shot many rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters, injuring at least ten. Medical personnel present at the scene also treated an old man who had suffered from the effects of excessive teargas inhalation.
Across the West Bank, there was a general strike as shops and businesses shut down for the day in solidarity with the martyrs and in protest against the occupation that caused it. Also, as news spread of the three martyrs, solidarity demonstrations sparked in many other cities and refugee camps.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Hebron in response to the killings. Demonstrators armed with stones were met with teargas canisters, rubber coated steel bullets and sound bombs from the Israeli army.
The clashes continued for around eight hours and shut down the main shopping streets of Hebron, where barricades were constructed from burning tyres and empty water tanks. Israeli soldiers invaded the Palestinian Authority controlled H1 area, taking up positions on the roofs of residential buildings. The Israeli forces arrested at least four Palestinians, including Amjad Ibrahim Al-Natcha, 19, and three children.
Confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth protesting the killings also happened at Al Fawwar refugee camp near Hebron, Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem and Al Ram, amongst others.
Tomorrow, 27th August, has been declared the “Day of Anger” and more protests throughout the West Bank in response to the Qalandiya killings and the continued occupation are expected.