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Collective Punishment In Nablus

[The following is based on information received from the International Solidarity Movement, and on Israeli media reports.]

Israeli Army Carrying Out Collective Punishment In Nablus

International activists are currently stationed in Nablus homes due to be demolished as part of the policy of collective punishment - in which families are punished for the act of an already dead family member, sometimes an act committed long ago. . The Shakhshir family home, in the Al-Aryone neighborhood, is one of those under threat. Seven international activists (6 Americans and 1 Irish) are now stationed there. In flagrant violation of international law banning collective punishment, ten members of two families residing in the home, are to be made homeless as revenge for the act of Ammar Shakhshir, on March 17, 2002. Among the famliy members are 5 children. The head of the family is disabled due to a stroke.

As of Friday evening, 4 homes had already been destroyed, with families thrown out of their residences by Israeli soldiers rampaging through the city. International activists witnessed Israeli tanks deployed on every corner of the Old City, while troops conducted house-to-house searches and used Palestinian civilians as human shields. (Footage available).

Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited. Pillage is prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”

Over two dozen international activists are currently stationed throughout Nablus, including in the Old City and in Palestinian Medical Relief Centers bearing witness and trying to stop human rights violations.

Meanwhile, the army is proceeding with its intention to deport to the Gaza Strip two Nablus inhabitants. They have been accused of unspecified terrorist connections, but it is an open secret that they have been singled out as "the brothers of". The Jerusalem-based Hamoked (Center for individual rights) has taken up their legal defence. Adv. Yossi Wolfsohn was interviewed Friday night on First-Channel Israeli TV: "My clients are not guilty of any offense themselves; they have been arrested and face deportation because of acts atttributed to their brothers."

The case is now before the military appeals committee which is little more than a rubber stamp. Next would come an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court...


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