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Israel’s State Assassination Policy Must Stop

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

4 July 2001 MED 15/063/2001 114/01

"The decision by Israel's security cabinet today to expand its targeting of Palestinians is a further dangerous step in its policy of state assassination," Amnesty International said.

The new guidelines reportedly allow Israeli security forces to take action against " known terrorists" even if they are not on the verge of committing an attack. According to media reports, Israel's intelligence and military authorities have drawn up a hit-list of Palestinians to be assassinated.

"The Israeli security forces who carry out the extrajudicial executions offer no proof of guilt, no right of defence," said Amnesty International. "The Israeli authorities are showing an utter disregard of the right to life."

The organization reiterated its condemnation of this liquidation policy and called on the Israeli authorities to stop it immediately and to restore the right to life by investigating every killing.

In the most recent cases, Israel killed three Islamic militants, Mohammed Besharat, Sameh Nuri Abu Hameish and Walid Sidqi Besharat, in an helicopter missile attack in the area of Jenin, in the West Bank, on Sunday July 1.

A week earlier, Usama Fathi Jawabra, a Fatah faction member, had been killed in an explosion in a public telephone booth in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Both the report of the investigation committee chaired by US former senator George Mitchell and the cease-fire agreement mediated by CIA director George Tenet and signed by Israel and the Palestinian Autority have called for an end to extrajudicial killings.


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