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April 01, 2002
Five Palestinians executed in Ramallah



Five Palestinians executed in Ramallah
30 March 2002

This morning, five Palestinians have been found dead in Taiboun building in Ramallah. The bodies were found by Maher Shalabi, correspondent for Dubai TV. This morning at 10.30 he entered the building and discovered the bodies of Khaled Fathi Mahmoud Awad (33), Ismail Ibrahim Zaid (56), Said Hamam Abdelrahman (60), Abdelrahman Tawfiq Abdallah (58), and Omar Muhammad Musa (54).

Last night, Israeli forces had surrounded the building and prevented anyone from entering. The building includes offices of several media agencies, including MBC, Dubai TV, internet provider Palestine Online, and Cairo Amman Bank.

All five have been identified as officers in the Palestinian security forces. They were found in one room. All five bodies were lying next to eachother. They were injured in their faces and killed by gunshots in the head. Furthermore, eyewitnesses have told LAW that it seemed that the bodies were spraid by bullets. On the ground lay many shells of bullets. Blood was found on the walls.

LAW's assessment suggests that these five officers have been executed.

LAW emphasizes that extra-judicial executions constitute willful killings, which are a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and as such constitute war crimes subject to universal jurisdiction. Under Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, these grave breaches constitute war crimes. Whatever policy the Israeli government chooses to implement, it must by within the limits imposed by international humanitarian and human rights law.

Extra-judicial killings cannot be reconciled with the Fourth Geneva Convention, which seek to protect the lives of protected persons, and violate human rights norms that affirm the right to life and the prohibition on execution of civilians.

Israel's ongoing human rights violations further illustrates the need for the immediate deployment of an international protection presence to prevent violations of the Fourth Geneve Convention and to protect Palestinian protected persons within the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment calls for a thorough, independent, and effective international investigation into violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including war crimes, and calls for those found responsible for such actions to be tried before an international court.

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving human rights through legal advocacy. LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Federation Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l'Homme (FIDH) and the World Organisation Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, PO Box 20873, Jerusalem, tel. +972-2-5833530, fax. +972-2- 5833317, email: law@lawsociety.org, web: www.lawsociety.org

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