Letters and Appeals
13 July 2020
On Tuesday, 23 June 2020, the Israeli occupying forces shot and killed Ahmad Mustafa Erekat, 26, a resident of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, at the Israeli Container checkpoint in the Palestinian town of As-Sawahra Ash-Sharqiya in the Jerusalem Governorate. Ahmad was shot with lethal force by Israeli soldiers in the absence of necessity and without posing a threat to life or serious injury. The Israeli occupying forces allege that Ahmad carried out a car-ramming attack against Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint. Video footage of the incident shows Ahmad being shot with live fire by Israeli soldiers as he steps out of his car, his hands raised in the air, clearly unarmed and defenceless. Injured, Ahmad was then left to bleed to death for an hour and a half, while the Israeli occupying forces denied him access to the medical care he needed, despite the presence of an Israeli ambulance at the scene.
Under international law, the killing of Ahmad Erekat by the Israeli occupying forces amounts to an extrajudicial execution and a wilful killing, giving rise to individual criminal responsibility. Since the killing, Ahmad’s body has been punitively withheld by the Israeli occupying authorities, denying him a proper and dignified burial. Israel’s practice of withholding the bodies of Palestinians killed by the Israeli occupying forces constitutes prohibited collective punishment and further amounts to torture and ill-treatment of the victims’ families.
This joint urgent appeal to the United Nations (UN) Special Procedures, in particular the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, highlights and urges public condemnation of the extrajudicial execution and wilful killing of Ahmad Erekat by the Israeli occupying forces, and calls for urgent international justice and accountability into widespread and systematic human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people, as well as full reparations for Ahmad Erekat’s family.
 See Al-Haq, Human Rights Groups Submit to UN experts on the Israeli policy of withholding the mortal remains of indigenous Palestinians (27 June 2020), available at: http://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/17033.html.
The Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR)
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