Special Report on the First Year of the Palestinian Intifada {01}

John Cox hazel_motes52 at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 30 11:22:06 MDT 2001


29 September 2001

LAW Special Report on the First Year of the Palestinian Intifada

678 Palestinians Killed
10,596 Palestinians Injured
384 Palestinian Homes Demolished
5103.7 Acres of Palestinian Agricultural Land Destroyed

Introduction

Today, the ongoing Palestinian Intifada has entered its second year. A
year ago, on Friday September 29, 2000, Israeli troops stormed the Nobel
Sanctuary (Al Haram Al Sharif) and opened fire on Palestinian worshipers,
killing four and wounding more than 200. Consequently, clashes broke out
between Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces and a fifth
Palestinian was killed. On the following day, violent clashes broke out
between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers and spread to all
main Palestinian cities. 11 Palestinians were killed. On the third day,
ten more Palestinians were shot to death by Israeli troops. On the forth
day, Palestinians living inside the Green Line clashed with Israeli
police and border guards and 16 Palestinians were killed, including seven
from within the Green Line. The Intifada intensified and more
Palestinians fell victim to the Israeli excessive and disproportionate
use of force.

The Israeli occupation forces committed blatant human rights violations
during the 1st year of the Intifada. According to LAW's documentation,
excessive force has been used against Palestinian stone throwers, even
though such stone throwing had no life threatening effect on the
soldiers. Evidently, the Israeli excessive and disproportionate use of
force was aimed at causing as many Palestinian causalities as possible.

Types weaponry used against Palestinians

1. M16 and Galil rifles
2. Teargas and stun bombs
3. Heavy machineguns
4. Personal armored carriers
5. Tanks
6. Surface to surface missiles
7. Battleships
8. Apache and Cobra gunships
9. F16 and F15 fighter jets
10. Rubber bullets
11. Rubber-coated steel bullets
12. Live bullets of various sizes
13. Internationally banned dumdum bullets
14. Artillery shells
15. Nail bombs
16. Air to surface missiles

Excessive use of deadly force

According to LAW's documentation, many Palestinians died from teargas
inhalation and from rubber coated steel bullets. In several cases,
teargas inhalation caused spasms and fits, which raised doubts amongst
Palestinian medical sources that Israeli forces were using a new type of
teargas. Furthermore, LAW's documentation proved that rubber-coated steel
bullets used by Israeli forces was fatal when used at close range.

LAW's documentation provides that 678 Palestinians were killed during the
first year of the Intifada as follows:
· 578 Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers
· 23 Palestinians were killed by Israeli settlers
· 28 Palestinian were killed in circumstances in which Israeli
forces were suspected to be involved in their deaths
· 22 Palestinians died at Israeli military roadblocks after being
prevented from crossing
· 27 Palestinians died in suicide bombings

The number of Palestinians killed includes 30 females; 19 of which were
shot dead by Israeli troops and Jewish settlers, 8 died at Israeli
military roadblocks, and 3 died in suspicious circumstances. The figure
also includes 173 children less than 18 years of age; 162 were shot dead
by Israeli troops, 7 died in suspicious circumstances, and 4 died at
military roadblocks. Furthermore, the number includes 4 Palestinian
doctors including a German doctor, 3 paramedics, and 3 firefighters. 3
Palestinian journalists and 95 police officers were also killed. 162
Palestinians were killed during Israeli shelling and 35 Palestinians were
assassinated by Israeli forces.17 Palestinians were killed during extra
judicial executions of Intifada activists.

The wounded

According to LAW's documentation, 10,596 Palestinians sustained gunfire
and shrapnel wounds including 6,722 in the West Bank and 3,874 in Gaza
Strip. Additionally, thousands of Palestinians sustained injuries from
teargas inhalation, from falling while trying to escape Israeli
indiscriminate shelling of Palestinian homes, and from being physically
attacked by Israeli troops and settlers.

Extra judicial execution

Israeli forces assassinated 35 Palestinians during the first year of the
Intifada. This number includes 33 civilians and 2 policemen. 17
Palestinian passersby died simply because they were present at the scene
of these extra judicial executions. Weaponry used to carry out these
assassinations has included sniper fire, helicopter gunship missile fire,
tank-fire and explosive devices planted in vehicles and telephone booths.
The killings were carried out under circumstances that demonstrate
complete disregard for the risk involved to the lives of bystanders. Some
of those targeted were gunned down in town centers, or even in taxis
while other passengers were present.

Sharon's government continued the policy of extra judicial execution
initiated by the former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Below is a
list of extra judicial executions carried out against Palestinians:

· 9 fell in Jenin district
· 8 fell in Nablus district
· 5 fell in Tulkarem district
· 4 fell in Bethlehem district
· 2 fell in Hebron district
· 2 fell in Ramallah and Al Bireh district
· 5 fell in Gaza district

The victims of Israeli executions included members of all Palestinian
factions such as the Islamic Jihad, which lost 12 of its activists; Hamas
lost 11, Fatah lost 8, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
lost 3. One victim did not belong to any political faction.

Attacks on journalists

Journalists reporting on events in the Palestinian territories have not
escaped the brutality of the military occupation to which the Palestinian
people and their institutions have been subjected for several years.
Local and foreign journalists alike have been victims of attacks by
Israeli soldiers and settlers, particularly since the outbreak of the
current Intifada in September 2000. To date, Israeli forces have gravely
violated all principles of international humanitarian law and
international conventions relating to the protection of civilians in time
of war. Israeli soldiers and militant settlers have carried out frequent
attacks on journalists and reporters working for the press and television
stations, as well as human rights activists that work in the Palestinian
territories. According to LAW's documentation, Israeli forces have killed
three Palestinian journalists.

Attacks on paramedics

Israeli forces aimed fire at Palestinian ambulances and paramedics
killing four Palestinian doctors including a German doctor, three
paramedics, and three firefighters.

Israeli settler crimes

Attacks on Palestinians by armed settlers in the occupied territories
have increased in intensity and frequency since 29 September 2000. In the
period covered by this report, settler attacks have so far killed 23 and
wounded dozens of Palestinians.
The terrorization of Palestinian civilians and attacks on their property
are often conducted with the support and protection of the Israeli army,
which has never intervened to prevent or arrest those involved. In some
cases, settlers have participated with the Israeli army in attacks
against Palestinian demonstrators.
Settlers have frequently used firearms, as well as other methods to
attack Palestinian civilians, with the intent to kill. 23 Palestinians
have died in settler attacks; 12 were shot, five were deliberately run
over, three died when their car overturned, two were tortured and
mutilated, and one was killed when a rock was thrown at him. Five of
these settler crimes took place in the Nablus district; five in Ramallah
and Al Bireh district, four in Jerusalem, four in Hebron, two in
Qalqilia, two in Salfit, and one in Bethlehem. The victims include a 3-
month-old baby. The ages of the victims were below twenty to above forty.

Shelling

Israeli occupation forces used highly sophisticated weapons to shell
Palestinian homes and police outposts, including F15 and F16 fighter
jets, which were used to bomb Palestinian police outposts in Ramallah,
Nablus, Salfit, Gaza, and Dir Al Balah. Battleships and missile launchers
as well as artillery shells, gunships, and heavy machineguns have also
been used in attacks. An F16 attack in Nablus killed 11 Palestinians and
wounded dozens more. In total, 162 Palestinians were killed during
Israeli shellings, 39 police outposts were destroyed, and 1,673 homes
were severely damaged.

Incursions into Palestinian-ruled areas

Since the outbreak of the Intifada, Israeli troops have made several
incursions to PA-controlled areas; classified as 'areas a' in conformity
with Declaration of Principles signed in Washington between the Israeli
Government and the Palestine Liberation Organization on the 13th of
September 1993, in addition to the Cairo Agreement signed on the 4th of
May 1994. In most cases incursions were followed by the shelling of
civilian property and military positions by heavy artillery and
machinegun fire. Civilian homes and Palestinian security and police
installations have been bulldozed and demolished, causing the death of
innocent civilians and national security forces.

Bulldozing and demolition

Israeli occupation forces intensified blatant violations against
Palestinian property at the onset of the Intifada. An extensive house
demolition campaign against Palestinian homes as well as Palestinian
police posts was carried out, using security excuses such as being
attacked with stones or gunfire from such houses. The campaign rendered
hundreds of Palestinian families homeless. The Israeli forces also
uprooted hundreds of Palestinian trees. The number of demolished homes
during the Intifada totaled 384 including 308 in Gaza and 76 in the West
Bank and Jerusalem. 181 agricultural barracks were also razed to the
ground by Israeli bulldozers including 130 in Gaza Strip and 51 in the
West bank. 57 industrial establishments (36 in Gaza Strip and 21 in the
West Bank) were also demolished.

Israeli forces destroyed 5103.7 acres of Palestinian land through
bulldozing including 3354.5 acres in Gaza Strip and 1749 acres in the
West Bank and Israeli troops and Jewish settlers uprooted 35,398 trees in
the West Bank alone.

Detention

According to LAW's documentation, Israeli forces arrested 1,900
Palestinians during the Intifada; approximately 1,000 are still held in
custody. The Israeli authorities have placed 17 Palestinian detainees
under administrative detention; all are held at Megiddo prison. The
number of Palestinian female detainees is 13 including 4 young girls.
These women have been subjected to severe beating by Israeli
interrogators. Aman Mona and Sawsan Turki, were admitted to Abu Kbir
hospital for medical treatment as a result of beatings.

LAW, in its monitoring and documentation of the Israeli occupation's
crimes against Palestinian civilians, their property and public
institutions, during the first year of the Intifada, affirms the
following:

1. Israeli occupation forces have exercised a disproportionate excessive
use of force against Palestinian civilians that aims to inflict as many
causalities as possible.

2. Israeli occupation forces have used highly sophisticated weapons of
severe destructive capability against Palestinians and their property

3. Israeli occupation forces have carried out intensive and systematic
shelling of Palestinian residential areas

4. Israeli occupation forces have made several incursions into
Palestinian-ruled areas. Shelling and bulldozing of civilian property
accompanied such incursions

5. Israeli occupation forces have given a green light to Jewish settlers
to carry out horrific crimes against Palestinians

6. Israeli occupation forces have imposed a severe and destructive
military siege on Palestinian areas

7. The American blessing of Israel's blatant violations against
Palestinians and the European and Arab stance has encouraged Israel to
continue its crimes against the Palestinians

8. The United Nations and its agencies have failed to put a halt to such
violations. The High Contracting Parties of the 4th Geneva Convention
have also failed to demand that Israel respect the Convention and
implement it in the occupied Palestinian territories.

9. Unconditional American support for Israel encourages Israel to
continue committing serious human rights violations against Palestinians
in the occupied territories.

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the
Environment, PO Box 20873, Jerusalem, Tel. +972 (0)2-5833537, 5833530,
5833298, Fax. +972 (0)2-5833317, email: law at lawsociety.org, web:
http://www.lawsociety.org

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the
Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving
human rights through legal advocacy. LAW is affiliate to the
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), The International Federation
for Human Rights (FDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).



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