Two Hamas members killed in Nablus; Six Palestinians shot dead in Gaza Strip
Two Palestinians were killed Monday when their car exploded and burst into flames in the West Bank city of Nablus, witnesses said, according to AP.
Palestinian witnesses first said an Israeli helicopter fired a missile at the vehicle, but an official later said an Israeli aircraft flying overhead detonated a bomb inside the vehicle by remote control.
Reports said the two dead were senior members of Hamas. One of them identified as Mohammed Sadr, 37. Four passersby were wounded, hospital officials said.
Six Palestinian men were killed by Israeli troops in four separate shootings within 24 hours in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army and Palestinian officials said Monday. No weapons were found on five of the dead, according to the two sides.
A Palestinian policeman was shot dead Monday in southern Rafah. Palestinian sources said that the policeman was shot from a far distance.
The army shot dead three men in central Gaza late Sunday when they approached a heavily guarded border fence with Israel, an area that has seen a number of Palestinian infiltration attempts, the army said. The bodies were found early Monday.
Also Sunday, near the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, troops shot and killed an 18-year-old Palestinian who attempted to climb a fence bordering an Israeli-controlled area.
Palestinians said the unarmed man was mentally handicapped and wandered into the area by mistake.
In Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip, a 36-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by troops who opened fire from the nearby Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim, a Palestinian hospital said. Palestinians said the man was unarmed.
Meanwhile, according to an Amnesty International report, titled "Shielded from scrutiny: Israeli violations in Jenin and Nablus," which is to be published Monday, Israeli forces operating in Jenin and Nablus during Operation Defensive Shield were guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In the 76-page report, the human rights body concludes that Israel has the right to defend itself, but that the measures it employs to do so do not justify the violation of human rights as enshrined in international treaties and humanitarian law.
The report is based on interviews with local residents, Palestinian officials, Palestinian and foreign medical teams, journalists, members of humanitarian organizations operating in the territories, Israeli officers, reports by local physicians, High Court protocols regarding petitions submitted by Israeli human rights groups, and the results of field investigations carried out by Amnesty personnel.
The report documents cases in Jenin and Nablus in which people were killed or injured under circumstances which suggest the disproportionate use of force, or the failure by the army to protect those not involved in the fighting. The report points to cases in which Palestinians were killed when their houses were demolished while they were still inside.
The Amnesty report states that in the four months between February 27 and the end of June, when the Israeli army carried out its two largest operations in the West Bank since the start of the intifada, the army killed nearly 500 Palestinians.
"Although many Palestinians died during armed confrontations, many of these killings appeared to be unlawful and at least 16 percent of the victims, more than 70, were children," the report states.
In both Jenin and Nablus, the Amnesty report states, the Israeli army blocked medical teams, ambulances, and humanitarian organizations from gaining access to areas that had been hit, even after it had been reported that fighting there had ceased.
According to the report, hundreds of homes and apartment units were destroyed as a result of tank fire and missile fire from the air, the use of explosives and bulldozers by the army, and in most cases without any military justification and after the fighting had ended. (Albawaba.com)
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