published in Al Mezan website
Case ISR 181109_ISR 181109.CC
URGENT CAMPAIGN / CHILD CONCERN
URGENT CAMPAIGN / CHILD CONCERN
Killing of a 16 year old boy/ Arrest and detention of four youths including one child injured / Release of three youths after two days
The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Brief description of the situation
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, a member organisation of the OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the killing by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) of a 16-year-old boy Mustafa Mohamed Wadi and the arrest and detention of four youths aged between 17 and 18 years old, among them a 17-year-old boy Ahmed Khader Sa'doun was injured, near the Gaza border with Israel. All the victims are civilians.
According to the information received, in the early morning on 13 November 2009, seven children and youths left their neighborhood in Block 9 in the Al-Bureij refugee camp on a horse-laden cart and headed to the Friday Market in Gaza City. On their way back, they passed by the solid-waste dumb in northeast of Wadi Gaza village. At approximately 9.30 am, five of them saw stray dogs and chased them near the border. The IOF reportedly discovered the group and opened machinegun and artillery fire at it. The children and youths were allegedly unarmed and did not pose any danger to the IOF. One child, 16-year-old boy, Mustafa Mohammed Wadi, was killed by the IOF shooting while 17-year-old Ahmed Khader Sa'doun was injured. IOF ground troops also proceeded to arrest the following four youths:
- Mohammed Khader Sa'doun, 18;
- Ahmed Khader Sa'doun, 17 (who was also injured);
- Nidal Rajab Abu Hajar, 18; and
- Bakir Sa'eed Al-Makadma, 18.
Another two brothers respectively aged 18 and 7 years old managed to escape.
According to the information received, the older boy who escaped called the emergency services. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported that two of the Society's ambulances reached the area after ICRC coordinated the intervention with the IOF. The rescue team found the body of Mustafa Mohamed Wadi laying on the ground approximately one kilometer from the border fence.
According to the same information, the three youth aged 18 years old Mohammed Khader Sa'doun, Nidal Rajab Abu Hajar and Bakir Sa'eed Al-Makadma were released on November 15, 2009, in the morning. Ahmed Khader Sa'doun is still in an Israeli hospital.
OMCT is gravely concerned about the continued killings by the IOF in the Gaza Strip, which include children. According to Al Mezan Center, most of these acts occur near the border fence in the north and east of the Gaza Strip, an area that is declared a 'buffer zone' by IOF. However, this entire area is located inside the Gaza Strip and is not precisely defined. IOF has allegedly informed farmers and residents in certain areas as close to the border as 300 meters that that area is part of the 'buffer zone'. Nevertheless, many attacks on farmers and children occur in areas over a kilometer from the border fence, including at times when there are no disturbances.
OMCT strongly condemns the preceding acts which would appear to constitute yet another exercise in the excessive use of force in violation of Israel’s obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law. OMCT would like to recall that, in the application of Israel’s international legal obligations as a State Party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has made the following recommendations: “The Committee strongly urges the State party and all relevant non-State actors […] to investigate immediately and effectively all killings of children and bring the perpetrators to justice”; […] to refrain from using and/or targeting children in the armed conflict and comply fully with article 38 of the Convention, and as much as possible with the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict” (CRC/C/15/Add.195, §§ 32 and 59).
Please write to the authorities in Israel urging them to:
- Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Ahmed Khader Sa'doun, (17) who is still in an Israeli hospital;
- Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the events, in particular the killing of Mustafa Mohamed Wadi and the injury of Ahmed Khader Sa'doun, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by the law;
- Guarantee that adequate compensation is awarded to the family of Mustafa Mohamed Wadi;
- At all times ensure strict respect for international human rights and humanitarian law in the exercise of its jurisdiction, including in connection with military operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
- Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, 3, Kaplan Street, PO Box 187, Kiryat Ben-Gurion, Jerusalem, Israel, Fax: +972- 2-651 2631, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mr. Menachem Mazuz, Attorney General, Fax: + 972 2 627 4481; + 972 2 628 5438; +972 2 530 3367
- Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit, Military Judge Advocate General, 6 David Elazar Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel, Fax: +972 3 608 0366, +972 3 569 4526, Email: email@example.com, avimn@.idf.gov.il
- Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations Office and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, Avenue de la Paix 1-3, 1202 Geneva, Fax: +41 22 716 05 55, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also write to the embassies of Israel in your respective country.
Geneva, 18 November 2009
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.