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Inquiry into the death of a Rafah resident, killed from soldiers' gunfire: the case of the A family
documents: 0  |  Updates: 2 WA's family lives in the al-Salem neighborhood of Rafah. On the night of October 17, 2003, WA, then two months after childbirth, felt unwell. Her husband wanted to get her to the hospital, but when they reached their car, soldiers opened fire at them. Two of her husband's brothers rushed over to assist them, but they were all hit by the next volley of bullets. An ambulance arrived to the scene and evacuated the four to the hospital. WA arrived in critical condition and died from her injuries shortly after. Her husband was seriously injured and later had to undergo a long course of intensive physiotherapy. His brothers also had several bullet wounds.

HaMoked appealed to the Military Advocate of the Southern Command to demand an investigation of the incident. The Military Advocate took its time, and so, a year later, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice. Following the petition, the Military Advocate General consented to examine the incident, but resolved that it did not warrant a criminal inquiry. HaMoked challenged the decision, following which, the South Command Military Advocate decided to order an investigation. For more them 8 months, not a single substantial step of investigation was carried out. Therefore, in June 2006, HaMoked filed another petition, which detailed the failures in the handling of the case by the Military Advocate's Office and the Military Police Investigation Unit. In November 2007, the South Command Military Advocate announced that the case was closed. The court erased the petition and imposed costs on the state.

Concurrently, the family filed via HaMoked a civil suit against the state and the military. In the summer of 2009, HaMoked had to withdraw this and other similar suits by Palestinian plaintiffs from the Gaza Strip, due to Israel's refusal to allow them to enter into Israel in order to participate in the proceedings. In February 2010, HaMoked again submitted a civil suit on the family's behalf. During the hearing of the suit the state asserted the suit should be dismissed on the grounds that the limitation period had expired. The court rejected the argument, holding that "there is a great difficulty in accepting the claim whereby, owing to a political decision which bars entry into Israel, the consideration of any lawsuit by Gaza residents is effectively prevented."

Submitted in December 2010, the statement of defense argued that the case should be rejected outright on the grounds that the incident had occurred during "wartime action", which exempts the state from liability for damage. As to the case itself, the state denied both the assault and the plaintiffs' injury as a result of security forces' gunfire.

HaMoked has petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) following a sequence of serious failings concerning the investigation of an incident in which a Palestinian resident of Rafah was shot and killed and her spouse and his two brothers were injured: This is the second petition submitted by HaMoked relating to this incident. An investigation was launched only following the first petition, but i...
Two years after a Palestinian resident of Rafah was killed by the military and her husband and his two brothers were injured, the military decided to open a criminal investigation: Only following HaMoked's petition did the Military Advocate General agree to finalize the exploratory procedures - over a year after the severe incident took place – but decided, predictably, not to launch a military... (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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