Human rights group Yesh Din submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice on Wednesday, calling for an investigation into the killing of two Palestinians by IDF forces in the West Bank five months ago.
In the incident in question, 19-year-old cousins, Mohammed Faisal Mahmoud Qawariq and Salah Mohammed Kamal Qawariq were killed while working in their families' fields near their village of Awarta. According to Yesh Din, "The circumstances of the incident, in which the two teens were killed from IDF fire, raise the suspicion of a grave criminal offence. The details of the incident were not clarified, and there's a risk they will never be clarified, as long as the Military Attorney-General continues to refrain from deciding on the matter."
The incident was reported as a thwarted terror attack in which the two cousins dressed up as farmers and using a pitchfork and a broken glass bottle attempted to attack members of an IDF border police battalion. The bodies of the two dead teens were brought to Refidiya hospital in Nablus. According to the medical exam, Mohammed was hit by seven bullets and Salah was hit by three bullets. It appears that the two were shot from very close range.
According to Yesh Din, the IDF considered taking action against the soldiers involved in the incident, but have thus far "scandalously" failed to begin an investigation. The petitioners add that the decision not to open an investigation is a dangerous one, "which demonstrates to every IDF soldier taking part in security activities in the West Bank that there's no need to investigate incidents which result in Palestinian deaths ". Furthermore, this decision also exposes the suspects to investigations and prosecutions for war crimes according to the Universal Jurisdiction Principle.