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Amnesty - reprisal attacks banned under intl. law

Amnesty International condemns killing of civilians, stresses reprisal attacks banned under international humanitarian law


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

9 August 2001 MDE 15/072/2001 140/01

Amnesty international condemned the bomb attack today against a Pizza restaurant in Jaffa Road in central Jerusalem which killed 11 people and wounded at least 70 others. The attack was said to have been carried out by a suicide bomber and has been claimed by Islamic Jihad.

After the attack another armed group, Hamas, announced that there would be more such suicide attacks in the future. A spokesperson for the Israeli Government said that there would be a response to this attack.

Amnesty International called on all armed groups to cease targeting civilians immediately. "Attacks deliberately targeting civilians can never be justified," said the organization.

The human rights organization also called on the Israeli Government not to take any action which may endanger civilians. "Reprisal strikes are banned in all instances under international humanitarian law."

More than 500 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli Defence Forces and other security forces, most of them unlawfully, when no other lives were in imminent danger. More than 140 Israelis have been killed; most of them are civilians deliberately killed by armed groups in bombing attacks or drive-by shootings.

Amnesty International reiterated its call for the despatch of international human rights observers to Israel's occupied territories.


ENDS

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