Geneva – Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties delivered an oral statement at the Human Rights Council’s 43rd regular session under general debate item 7 related to the situation of human rights in Palestine and the rest of the occupied Arab territories. GCRL expressed its deep concern about the extrajudicial executions carried out by the Israeli army and security forces against Palestinian civilians.
The statement presented by the president of GCRL, Ms. Lamia Fadla, reviewed the case of two Palestinian youths with special needs who were assassinated by Israeli forces. The first was “Mustafa Yunus”,28, suffers from mental problems and was shot dead on the 13th of May 2020, after an altercation with Israeli security forces at the entrance of a hospital in the city of Tel Aviv. The statement also mentioned the case of Iyad Al-Hallaq, 32, who was killed on 25 May, while on his way to an educational institute in Occupied Jerusalem’s Old City.
The statement noted that Israeli police force chased Al-Hallaq and despite the pleas of the school counselor who repeatedly cried out to the police that he is “disabled” and that he has a badge that identified him as having special needs, they fired him in the leg, and he fell to the ground, then they fired three bullets at him which led to his death.
The joint statement included the message of Rana Al-Hallaq, Iyad’s mother, who expressed her concerns over Isreal’s unfairness claiming that she has little faith in the Israeli justice system after the brutal murder of her son.
In its joint statement, Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties ( GCRL) affirmed that Israel, not only failed to hold accountable those responsible for committing criminal offenses but also failed to impose strict laws that would prevent future similar incidents and to conduct prompt, impartial investigations.
Here is the full text of the statement:
UN Human Rights Council 43 Session
Item-7 Human Rights Situation in Palestinian and Other Occupied Arab Territories
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and [Partner organization] are increasingly concerned with the alarming extrajudicial executions of Palestinian civilians on the hands of Israel’s army or police forces, in each of which Israel has systematically failed to hold the perpetrators accountable or impose regulations to prevent similar incidents in the future, or even undertake serious transparent investigations into said tragedies.
Last month alone, two disabled Palestinians were killed by Israel. In Mid-May, Mustafa Younis, a young man who had a psychiatric condition, was shot by guards at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, leading to what would have otherwise been an entirely preventable death.
Two weeks later, Israeli border police shot dead Eyad Hallaq, a 32-years-old autistic Palestinian, in East Jerusalem on his way to his school. The officers chased him to a trash room. His school counselor, Warda, yelled at them that he was autistic and carried a disability ID, but one officer shot him anyways in his leg, causing him to fall on the ground. Then the same officer shot the neutralized victim again with two more fatal bullets, prompting his death.
Eyad’s mother, Rana, understandably fears that Israel will serve no justice to the case of her only son’s death. “13 days have passed and there isn’t any progress in the investigations regarding my son” she added, citing how Israel refused to even release the footage of her son’s last minutes before he died, which signifies a clear intent to cover up this brutality.
She asked us to deliver her words: “don’t forget my son or anyone could be the next victim.”