IAP-Net: EXCESSIVE AND DISPROPORTIONATE USE OF FORCE BY THE ISRAELI MILITARY (fwd)

JOHN M COX coxj at SPAMemail.unc.edu
Fri Oct 13 14:19:39 MDT 2000




Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 13:40:14 -0500 (CDT)
From: Islamic Association For Palestine <Iapinfo at iap.org>
Reply-To: palestine-net at egroups.com
To: iap-net at iap.org
Subject: PNet: IAP-Net: EXCESSIVE AND DISPROPORTIONATE USE OF FORCE BY THE
    ISRAELI  MILITARY


Assalamu'alaikum,

DCI/PS VIEWS WITH GRAVE CONCERN THE EXCESSIVE AND DISPROPORTIONATE USE OF
FORCE BY THE ISRAELI MILITARY

For immediate release
13 October 2000

ref:  002700

DCI/PS views with grave concern yesterday's excessive and disproportionate
Israeli attack on Palestinian civilian areas.  In the past 24 hours, the
world has watched as Israeli military forces launched an unprecedented
missile attack on Palestinian cities throughout the West Bank and Gaza
Strip, leading to a further escalation in the ongoing confrontations
between Palestinian protestors and the Israeli occupation authorities.
Beginning yesterday afternoon and continuing through the evening, Israeli
helicopter gunships fired numerous missiles into the Palestinian cities of
Ramallah and Gaza.  In addition, Israeli helicopter gunships hit locations
in Hebron, Salfit, and Jericho, in the West Bank, with missiles and
ammunition.  The attack, which Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of
Defence Ehud Barak justified as retaliation for the killing of two Israeli
soldiers in Ramallah yesterday, targeted locations in densely populated
residential and commercial centers. Over 25 people were injured in the
attack, including 4 Palestinian children. Palestinian homes and businesses
surrounding the areas targeted in the attack suffered damage, including
shattered windows and structural damage.  Moreover, Palestinian residents,
in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, experienced power outages throughout
the evening.

Yesterday's attack was the latest show of force in what has been an ongoing
siege against the Palestinian civilian population of the Occupied
Palestinian Territories. Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention
Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War prohibits the
implementation of collective punishment or reprisals against protected
persons and their property. Since the outbreak of confrontations over two
weeks ago, Israeli military forces have routinely utilized excessive and
disproportionate force against Palestinian civilians. Such uses of force
include firing live ammunition into groups of Palestinian protestors and
firing into Palestinian residential areas with high-velocity ammunition and
missiles, both from the ground and from helicopter gunships hovering over
Palestinian cities. The affects of the siege on the Palestinian civilian
population have been extensive. In just over two weeks, over 100
Palestinians have been killed, including 26 children, with an additional 4
declared clinically dead.  Recent statistics indicate that over 3,000
Palestinians have been injured, including over 1,100 children.

Moreover, the Israeli occupation authorities have placed an internal
closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, effectively imprisoning
Palestinian civilians within their immediate city or town. The Old City of
Hebron has been under complete curfew for 13 days. In the Palestinian
village of Selit Al-Thaher, near Jenin, the Israeli army, yesterday, fired
tear gas towards a secondary school, one canister of which entered a
classroom, suffocating 20 Palestinian students. In the Old City of Hebron,
Israeli military forces have transformed a Palestinian girls school into a
military installation.

In addition, illegal Israeli settlers continue their attacks against
Palestinian civilians, shooting towards Palestinian residents and
destroying private property.  These attacks are carried out with the full
knowledge of the Israeli military forces, and, often, under their
protection. Attacks have been particularly intense in the Hebron District.
Last night, in the village of Sa'ir, settlers attacked and damaged five
homes.  Near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, to the
northwest of Hebron, settlers fire bombed a Palestinian car, totally
destroying it.  In the same area, Palestinian cars were set on fire in the
area near Ta'lim settlement, and, settlers from Kufr Eztion, to the north
of Hebron, stoned Palestinian cars, injuring one civilian.  In the village
of Dura, settlers from the nearby settlement of Hagai fired towards
Palestinian homes.  Thus far, five Palestinian civilians have been killed
as a result of settler attacks in the past two weeks.

In light of the above and the escalation of events in the past 24 hours,
DCI/PS calls for the following:

1. That the Israeli government immediately cease its ongoing siege against
the civilian population of the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and Gaza
Strip and put an end to its brutal use of force against the Palestinian
people.

2. That the international community immediately intervene and utilize the
powers at their disposal to fulfill their duty under common article 1, of
the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons
in Time of War (1949), to respect and ensure respect for the convention in
all circumstances.

3. The establishment of an independent commission of inquiry to examine
Israel's recent and ongoing violations of international humanitarian and
human rights law in order that the individuals/institutions responsible be
brought to justice, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1322.


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