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Middle East: Civilians' Livise Must Be Respected

Israel And The Occupied Territories: Civilians' Lives Must Be Respected

LONDON, UK, 2 October 2000 (AI): Amnesty International condemned indiscriminate killings of civilians following four days of clashes in Israel and the Occupied Territories which have left at least 35 Palestinian civilians dead and hundreds of others injured.

"The dead civilians, among them young children, include those uninvolved in the conflict and seeking safety," the human rights organization said, "The loss of civilian life is devastating and this is compounded by the fact that many appear to have been killed or injured as a result of the use of excessive or indiscriminate force."

"Israeli security forces appear to have used indiscriminate lethal force on many occasions when their lives were not in danger," Amnesty International said, "We have been saying for years that Israel is killing civilians unlawfully by firing at them during demonstrations and riots. International standards clearly state that governments should develop as broad as possible a range of non-lethal incapacitating weapons and that firearms are a last resort."

On 29 September, hundreds of Israeli police and border guards entered the Aqsa Mosque compound after Friday prayers, apparently in response to stone-throwing by Palestinians. Israeli security forces opened fire on civilians indiscriminately, resulting in the death of at least five Palestinians and the injury of dozens of others.

Clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian demonstrators broke out all over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as in Israel since Friday. There have also been armed confrontations between the Israeli and Palestinian security forces. The Israeli army has used rubber-coated metal bullets and admitted using live ammunition on some occasions. Israeli helicopter gunships apparently killed a 10-year-old boy on the roof of a house in Nablus on 1 October, and shot at buildings in Gaza.

"This excessive and indiscriminate use of force is in contravention of international human rights standards which state that police and security forces may only use firearms in extreme circumstances, when life is in danger and other means are ineffective. These standards apply in all situations, including in times of emergency." Amnesty International said.

"Civilian deaths will continue unless the Israeli authorities take this message to heart."

========== For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK: +44 20 7413 5566 Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW Website: http://www.amnesty.org ==========

Internet Links to the Arab World:

- ADC: http://www.adc.org - Arabic News: http://www.ArabicNews.com - Arabia: http://www.Arabia.com - Arab Net: http://www.arab.net - Arab View: http://www.arab.net/arabview - Palestine Times: http://www.ptimes.com - Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: http://www.washington-report.org - Syria Times: http://www.teshreen.com/syriatimes - Palestinian National Authority (PNA): http://www.pna.net

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BBC - Sunday, 1 October, 2000, London, UK

Arab World Condemns Israel

Photo: Arab League met in emergency session to discuss crisis.

By Caroline Hawley in Cairo

As the clashes between Israelis and Palestinians continue, so do the condemnations.

The response in the Arab world has been furious.

The Arab League issued a statement calling for those responsible for the Palestinian deaths to be put on trial.

Another strong reaction came from the Sheikh of Al Azhar in Cairo, who is appointed by the Egyptian President and who is generally considered a moderate.

He said Israel had committed a horrible crime and should be punished by force.

Syria-Israel Talks in Jeopardy

Concern over the violence has overshadowed a visit to Cairo by the new Syrian leader, Bashar Al Assad, on his first trip abroad as President.

Photo: President Mubarak will hear call for greater solidarity from President Assad.

He had been expected to discuss the possibility of reviving peace talks between Syria and Israel which were broken off in January.

But it is hard to imagine a resumption of negotiations in the current climate.

All eyes are now on what is happening between Israel and the Palestinians.

The violence has revived calls in the region for greater Arab solidarity, a long standing Syrian theme that President Bashar is certain to press.

=========================

ADC Press Release: ADC Strongly Condemns Israel's latest attack on Palestinians in Jerusalem

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, September 29, 2000 (ADC): The attack by Israel's occupation forces on Al-Aqsa Mosque today, against the worshipers causing the death and injury of more than 200 Palestinians, came in the wake of the provocative trespass to the Haram compound yesterday by right wing leader, Ariel Sharon.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds the Israeli Government responsible for this latest carnage, and blames the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, for escalating tension in the Holy City and the rest of the occupied territories. "Barak should have condemned Arial Sharon for his deliberate provocation instead of blaming the victim," stated the President of the ADC, Dr. Hala Maksoud. "This renders Barak practically in tacit collusion with Sharon's recklessness."

The ADC strongly condemns this outrageous violation of the Palestinian rights in Jerusalem and calls the International community and the Clinton Administration to take immediately the necessary measures in order that Israel complies with the UN relevant resolutions, and withdraws its forces from the Palestinian Occupied Territories including occupied Jerusalem.

ADC calls on the Clinton Administration in particular to share the world's condemnation against this latest Israeli outrage instead of its muted response to it by "calling on all sides to show constraint."

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) 4201 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20008 U.S.A. Telephone: 202-244-2990 Fax: 202-244-3196 E-Mail: adc@adc.org Website: http://www.adc.org Be Active, Become A Member of ADC: http://www.adc.org/membership.html

ADC is the largest Arab-American grassroots organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former U.S. Senator James Abourezk.

[Publisher: Information Times, America's online international daily newspaper, Washington, DC, U.S.A. http://www.InformationTimes.com ]

[Copyright 2000 Information Times. All Rights Reserved.]


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