World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Call For International Action Against Israel

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

18 July 2001
MDE 15/066/2001
124/01

Amnesty International called today on the international community to act promptly to end the Israeli policy of closures in the West Bank and Gaza.

“The confinement of more than three million people for 10 months to their own villages or homes by curfews and closures is a totally unacceptable response to the violence of a few,” the organization said.

Amnesty International welcomed the European Union’s call on Monday 16 July for international observers. “But the international community must not wait any longer before acting to unblock what has become an intolerable situation,” said the organization.

The delegates from Amnesty International, Philippe Hensmans, Director of Amnesty International's Belgian (Francophone) Section, and Elizabeth Hodgkin, researcher, returned yesterday from a fact-finding visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories and travelled widely around the area.

“Almost every road to every village we passed south of Jerusalem was blocked by mountains of earth or concrete blocks. The main north-south road between Nablus, the area’s largest city, and Jenin is empty of vehicles other than army vehicles for many stretches. Army checkpoints consistently turn back Palestinian vehicles. In a number of cases, Palestinians requiring urgent medical attention have died," said Philippe Hensmans.

“Such a situation should no longer be tolerated by the international community,” said Amnesty International. “Closures constitute the collective punishment of a whole people.”

“In all cases the closures deny the right to freedom of movement and suffocate economic life. They are not effective in preventing violent attacks against Israelis, as the latest suicide bombings have shown,” the organization said.

Delegates also visited areas of the West Bank where dozens of homes of Nawaje’a Bedouin groups had been bulldozed in reprisal after one settler had been killed.

“In the vast majority of encampments, not a single person was accused of the murder and arrested. Yet the Israeli Defence Force bulldozed the tents and stone shelters, blew up the caves where many groups live, and even filled wells with rubble.”

In Rafah and Khan Yunis more than 70 homes have been demolished since March, most of them one-storey buildings of refugees who lost their homes in 1948.

Israel is a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Conventions. Yet its actions towards the Palestinians, regarded as “protected persons” under the Conventions, is in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Article 33 states clearly that: "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....

Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”

In a joint letter to political and UN leaders on 6 July, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reiterated their calls for international observers to monitor compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law as a means of enhancing protection for civilians.

Background

Since the beginning of the intifada in late September 2000 at least 480 Palestinians have been killed, most of them unlawfully, by Israeli security forces when their lives and the lives of others were not in danger.

More than 130 Israelis have been killed, most of them civilians deliberately targeted in suicide bombings or drive-by shootings by Palestinian armed groups and individuals.

Human rights abuses by opposition groups can never justify abandonment of human rights principles by a government.

**********************

You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.

********************


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>