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Israeli forces kill two Palestinian teenagers during protests

A Palestinian protester holds stones as others take cover during clashes with Israeli soldiers who fired live ammunition at the crowds following the funeral of Maysara Abu Hamdeya in Hebron
A Palestinian protester holds stones as others take cover during clashes with Israeli soldiers who fired live ammunition at the crowds following the funeral of Maysara Abu Hamdeya in Hebron

REUTERS/Ammar Awad

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) strongly denounces the killing of two Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces as they fired live ammunition at demonstrators during clashes that erupted overnight on 3 April 2013. Palestinians were protesting the death of a long-term prisoner, Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who died of cancer in Israeli custody.

Israeli forces opened fire on the group of young Palestinians who were demonstrating near the Annab military checkpoint to the east of Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank. As they chased away demonstrators with live bullets, Amer Nasser, 18, and Naji al-Belbesi, 19, who were both shot in the chest, were killed and three others were injured.

“Israel still chooses to challenge the international community by violating basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. The repeated assaults on peaceful Palestinian demonstrators using live ammunition, despite the Israeli Ministry of Interior's statements banning its use against protesters, clearly demonstrates the forces' lack of accountability,” stated ANHRI.

The organisation added that “immediate and urgent action must be taken regarding such repeated assaults committed by the Israeli occupation and its repeated attacks on the right to freedom of expression.”

ANHRI noted that the obligations incumbent upon states that have ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention include the need to fulfill their obligations under article 1 of the Convention, which states that the Convention must be respected in all circumstances. States must also fulfill the obligations stated in article 146 of the Convention which calls for the prosecution of those who gravely breach the principles of the Convention, noting that such breaches are considered war crimes.

ANHRI calls for the formation of a fact-finding committee that would investigate and bring before a criminal court certain members of the Israeli forces that were involved in the death of the two teenage protesters.