Summary Executions in Jenin
by Mezan Center for Human Rights
April 11, 2002
Israeli Occupation Forces are waging an unprecedented campaign to raze the Jenin refugee camp. In one case, eyewitness reports testify that more than 160 people have been transferred from one area of the camp to the village of Kufr Dan outside Jenin where they are being held without food, water, or medical supplies while the offensive continues. Bulldozers rolled over areas where houses had been destroyed creating easy access into these areas for the Israeli military. Many of those rounded up were placed under arrest, while the remainder have been abandoned away from their homes.
The Israeli military has completely demolished one entire section of the camp and is in the process of making a "sweep" through the rest of the camp. Fighting between Israeli army soldiers and armed Palestinians ceased when Palestinian resistance fighters ran out of ammunition. According to further eyewitness reports, unarmed men are now being rounded up within the camp and taken for summary execution. In one specific instance, a citizen of Jenin phoned a human rights field worker describing how Israeli soldiers broke into the homes of Palestinian civilians rounding up 150 of them and killing two men Waddah Fathi ash-Shalabi, 35 and Abdul Karim Yusif Sa'adih, 38 in front of the group. In a conflicting report witnesses said that soldiers ordered five men to strip naked before executing them outside against the wall of their home. The same eyewitnesses reported that people in the Jenin camp were told in Hebrew that this would be another Sabra/Chatila massacre.
Four days ago helicopter gunships fired hellfire missiles into the camp wounding a woman, Maryam Wishahi, and her 16 year old son, Munir 'Issa Wishahi. The two phoned the Palestinian Medical Relief Committees repeatedly for two days pleading for help. No emergency medical teams were allowed access to the camp, however, and both Maryam and her son died. Their bodies are still lying outside their home in the camp. It should be emphasized that no medical personnel or supplies have been allowed into the Jenin refugee camp since this military offensive began. UN agencies and human rights organizations have labeled this a "humanitarian catastrophe".
Human rights organizations estimate that more than 100 people have so far been murdered inside the camp. More stories are surfacing as the week continues.
Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights denounces the international community for its silence and inaction in the face of these war crimes. Every hour such silence and inaction continues more innocent lives are destroyed. We therefore call upon the international community, especially the High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians in Time of War (12 August 1949 - and of which Israel is a signatory), to intervene immediately to halt this humanitarian disaster.