News & Activites 14 February 2018
ICHR calls for a joint Egyptian-Palestinian Investigation
In the incident of the killing of Abdulla Zaidan
The Independent Human Rights Commission (Ombudsman Office) condemns the killing of Abdullah Zaidan, 34, in the Palestinian border area adjacent to the Egyptian territorial waters between the Gaza Strip and the Egyptian territories, by Egyptian forces, according to eyewitness accounts. According to ICHR's documentation, at approximately 22:00 on Friday, 12 January 2017, the fisherman Abdullah Ramadan Zaidan, 34 years old, from the Al-Shatie camp in Gaza, was shot by a live bullet in the abdomen. He was taken to Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. He was then referred to the European Hospital in Khan Younis due to the seriousness of his condition. At 6:00 on Saturday, 13 January 2017, he died of his wounds.
ICHR considers the death of a citizen while fishing, his sole source of livelihood, as a violation of the right to life guaranteed by the Palestinian Basic Law, as well as the international human rights laws. Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “Life is the inherent right of every human being. The Law must protect this right. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his/her life.” The incident is also detrimental to the Palestinian fishermen and places additional restrictions on their source of living and may deprive them of fishing in the Palestinian waters.
It should be noted that this incident is not the first. On 24/12/2015, Is'haq Khalil Hassan, 28, was shot dead by the Egyptian security forces. He was unarmed in the middle of the day on the Egyptian-Palestinian border in Gaza Strip. Since then, neither the Egyptian authorities nor the Palestinian authorities have issued any statement to indicate that an investigation in the incident has took place.
Therefore, the ICHR calls upon the competent authorities (Palestinian and Egyptian) to open a joint investigation to determine the circumstances of the shooting and killing, and to determine the responsibility and accountability of those responsible for the incident. This should be made pursuant to and in performing the obligations of the State of Palestine to protect the right to human life and dignity.