By Esat Firat
Israel’s army has demanded $27,000 in compensation for damage to a military vehicle which flipped over a martyred Palestinian's body, Naila Atiyya, the lawyer of the martyr's family, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
In June 2015, 22-year-old Palestinian activist Abdullah Ghanayem was martyred when Israeli soldiers used live ammunition on Palestinians who struggled against occupying soldiers during a raid in Ramallah's Kafr Malik province. A military jeep trying to go over him flipped onto his dead body, trapping it for four hours under the vehicle.
Ghanayem’s family was shocked by the demand for damages sent by Israel’s army late Monday.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Thursday, Ghanayem’s father called the demand “insolent.”
"They not only murder our children, they also demand compensation for their actions; I wonder if they will demand that we pay for the bullets that kill our children," he said.
He said that Israel is an occupying state that steals Palestinian land and destroys their homes.
"We are the ones who should be asking for compensation,” he added, vowing to fight the demand in local and international courts.
Omar Rahhal, head of the Human Rights and Democracy Media Center (SHAMS), told Anadolu Agency that Israel's demand was "impertinent and shameless."
Saying that Israel took this step in order to prevent Ghanayem’s family from seeking an investigation, Rahhal said the young Palestinian was martyred only a few meters from his house.
He urged the media to expose Israeli human rights violations and added:
"According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Israeli army, which kills civilians, occupies, and exploits Palestinian lands, must pay compensation. Under the same agreement, the occupying force must guard the people who live on the lands where they are present, not kill them."
The convention requires states to ensure the safety of civilians under occupation and forbids collective punishment of a civilian population. Although Israel signed the agreement, it has yet to ratify it.
Israel, for its part, calls the territories it seized in the West Bank and East Jerusalem "disputed" rather than "under occupation".
Israel claims that its actions against Palestinians and establishing Jewish settlements do not violate the agreement.
Palestine accepted the convention in 2014.