On Friday, 15 December 2017, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) used lethal force against protestor Ibrahim Nayef Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, 29. The disabled activist was shot in the forehead while at a demonstration in the access restricted area on Gaza’s border with Israel. Al Mezan has demanded that Israel’s Military Advocate General conduct a genuine criminal investigation into the unlawful killing.
According to Al Mezan’s documentation, Abu Thuraya was about 50 meters away from the border fence at the time he was shot. He was unarmed and posed no threat to the soldiers. Under the law enforcement paradigm that governs protests, lethal force may be used only as last resort in order to protect life. The killing of Abu Thuraya amounts to the blatant excessive and disproportionate use of force and is a clear violation of the right to life under international human rights law.
At around 1 pm, IOF on the northern and eastern borders of the Gaza Strip opened fire at protestors of the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the US plan to move the embassy there. The demonstrations were formed of civilians and mostly young people, and took place in the eastern parts of the Gaza Strip along the border with Israel. The protests in Gaza against the US decision began on 8 December 2017 and were responded to by the IOF with force in different areas in Gaza.
Al Mezan recalls that international humanitarian law prohibits the targeting of civilians and deliberate attacks that lack necessity and that are conducted disproportionately.
In response to the killing of Abu Thuraya and in addition to filing a complaint for a criminal investigation on 17 December 2017, Al Mezan registered a civil notification with the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The notification allows for a civil suit to be brought against the State of Israel for Abu Thuraya’s killing within two years.
Abu Thuraya had lost both of his legs in an Israeli airstrike in the east of Al Bureij refugee camp, Middle Gaza district, in 2008.