Question of Palestine home
Economic and Social Council
22 March 2000
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Agenda item 8
QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE
OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES, INCLUDING PALESTINE
Letter dated 14 March 2000 from the Permanent Observer of
Palestine to the United Nations Office at Geneva*
to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
I would be grateful to you if you could have the attached text
distributed to the distinguished members of the fifty-sixth session of the Commission on Human Rights, as an official document under agenda item 8.
) Nabil RAMLAWI
Permanent Observer of Palestine
Reproduced as received, in Arabic and English only.
The Continued Deterioration
of the Situation of Human Rights
in the occupied Palestinian Territory
last year, the situation
of human rights
in the Palestinian territory still occupied by Israel since the war of 1967, including East Jerusalem, has undergone no
improvement. Contrary to the change expected by many in this
field, mainly after Ehud
came to power in Israel, who
astonished the world by
being seemingly like Rabin, while in
he is exactly
his predecessor Netanyahu, behaving
a delusive manner no longer hidden from anybody, a behavior which is dangerous and destructive to
All fields of human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory, that the Commission on Human Rights has started examining more than thirty years ago, are still the same, and have witnessed no improvement, on the contrary, they are getting worst.
As a crime to which no statutory limitation shall apply to, irrespective of the date of its commission, and in total violation of the provisions of the
Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, a report of Israel Watch dated 9-2-2000, revealed that each year 1000 Palestinian prisoners were subjected to torture, 20 of which were killed during interrogation. This fact has also been disclosed by
Israeli Committee against Torture. In spite of
6 September 1999 decision by the Israeli High Court of Justice banning torture and considering the torture methods used against Palestinian detainees illegal, the information received by the Palestinian Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Environment (LAW) still reveal complaints regarding the exposure of the detainee Ra'ed Ahmed Salim al-Hummari to torture in the al-Maskoubeyeh detention center. Other detainees also exposed to torture were Mohammed Ali Hamid Souman, 17 years old, from Taamreh/Bethlehem and Ali Issa al-Wahch, 20 years old, who was exposed to torture and beating for 70 days. The complaints received by this same Organization also unveiled use of torture against Palestinians in the prisons of Nafhah, Beer al-Sabaa and Askallan.
COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENTS AND ETHNIC CLEANSING
As a war crime, and in violation of the principles of law and law, the Israeli occupation authorities persist on their policy of ethnic cleansing and collective punishments against Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory, with the aim of evacuating the land from its indigenous Palestinian population.
Concerning the policy of house demolition, after the Israeli occupation forces have demolished 2236
homes during the
last ten years, they have also demolished 57 homes during the year 1999 in Ramallah, Hebron,
Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, Jenin and Qalqilyah. They have also issued 81 decision of house demolition. 70 of these decisions are to be implemented
in the Mawassi
region of Khan-Younes in Gaza Strip.
The Israeli occupation authorities also
continue their policy of collective punishments against Palestinians, through the
or complete closures they impose on Jerusalem preventing the
from the West Bank and
Strip from entering the city.
These Israeli practices form a blatant violation of
provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949
relative to the
Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and the Hague Convention of 1907. They also violate the agreements signed between the Palestine Liberation
and the Government of Israel.
The total days of closures
imposed an occupied Palestinian lands, including those under
Palestinian National Authority, reached last year 11 days.
the continued attempts
and measures taken by the Israeli occupation
authorities aimed at
Judaizing occupied Jerusalem, and in violation of the
provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention
and the principles of international law, with the aim of
emptying the city from its indigenous Palestinian population, is their
on the revocation of identity cards of Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem.
respect, only during the period since the signing of the Wye River agreement,
occupation authorities have revoked 265 identity
the population of Jerusalem. These same authorities had already revoked during the years 1996, 1997, and 1998, 1003
cards from the citizens of
the occupied holy city; thus, and through such
racist and ethnic measures, the
and the population of the occupied city of Jerusalem are deprived from their properties and forced cut
of their city.
CRIME OF GENOCIDE
As a crime of genocide, to which no statutory limitation shall apply to,
date of its commission, according to the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, of 26 November 1968, the Israeli academic Teddy Katz revealed on 19 January 2000, by presenting credible evidence, a massacre in which
Army slaughtered as
many as 200 Palestinians in a small village near
on the very day the Jewish State came to existence in 1948.
The academic, Teddy
testimonies from eyewitnesses, survivors and soldiers who actually took part in
and concluded that
massacre of Tantura was larger
Deir Yassin massacre which took place few months before
hands of Israeli gangs there.
In flagrant violation of the principles of human rights provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the two Covenants relative to human rights, and in a flagrant violation particularly of the right to life, the forces of the Israeli army of occupation and sometimes the Israel settlers themselves in the Palestinian territory, killed 21 Palestinians during the period starting from last year until February 2000, hereunder is a list with the names of these martyrs:
1. Badr Mohamed al-Kawassmi, 25
years old, from Hebron, 6/1/1999,
Faiz Zitaoui, 57
years old, from Jerusalem on 12/1/1999,
3. Zaki Oubeid, 24 years old, from the Aissaouia village of Jerusalem on 26/1/1999,
Amin Hssein, 37, Al-Ram, village, 14/3/1999,
5. Mahmoud Hassan Abu Hajar, 17 years old, Gaza, 28/4/1999,
6. Hammadi Khalifeh Radouan, 72, Qalqiliyeh, 1/5/1999,
7. Shadi Abu Dahrouj, 21 years old, Gaza,
8. Nashat Salih Sharim, 25/5/1999,
9. Alaa Youssef Abu Sharakh, 23 years old, Hebron, 4/6/1999,
10. Adam Hassan al-Helis, 23 years old, Nablus, 23/6/1999,
11. Akram Alkam, 22 years old, Bethlehem, 10/8/1999,
12. Mahmoud Hashim al/Khatib, 29 years old, Nablus, 11/8/1999,
13. Khoder Badran, Jerusalem, 2/10/1999,
14. Moussa Fayez Abu I Ilail, 30 years old, Bethlehem, 26/10/1999,
15. Iyyad al-Battat, 30 years old, Hebron, 13/12/1999,
16. Nerm Awad al-Massalmeh, 32 years old, Beit Oua village of Hebron, 14/12/1999,
17. Ibrahim Abu Merseh, a child of 11 years old, 14/1/2000,
18. Hssein Ghassan abd-el-Hadi, 25 years old, Nablus, 16/1/2000,
19. Loutfi al-Rajabi, 20 years old, Salvit, 20/1/2000,
20. Mrs. Fatima Abu Rmileh, 62, Hebron, 9/2/2000,
21. Khaled Awad
Rashid, 22 years old,
victims, are to be added 250 wounded, who have been arbitrarily
parts of the
ARBITRARY DETENTION AND DETENTION DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL
prisoners are still detained by
Israeli occupation authorities, most of them are detained without trial,
of these prisoners are
youths under the
age of 12. The Israeli occupation authorities are still delaying the release of these prisoners despite the reached agreements on their release.
ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS AND LANDS CONFISCATION
In a flagrant violation of the provisions of the
Fourth Geneva Convention, mainly its Article 49,
reports of the Special
Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting
Human Rights of the Palestinian People
other Arabs of
Territories, Document No. (A/54/73), of 13 April 1999, (A/54/73/Add.1) of 7 September 1999 and (A/54/325) of 8 September 1999, the report of Special Rapporteur Mr. Giorgio Jiacomelli issued in document
(E/CN.4/2000/25), and reports of other human
rights organizations, all these reports affirm that during last year, the Israeli occupation authorities have confiscated 4O.178
dunums of Palestinian land, of
which 19.691 dunums were used for
settlement expansion and
settlements. 3,830 dunums were declared to be confiscated by the "Israeli Civil Administration". 16,657 dunums were confiscated to build new bypass roads.
The persistence of the Israeli occupation authorities on their policy of settlements
Palestinian territory will no doubt destroy the peace
since settlement is
of occupation and peace
can not be consistent with foreign occupation.
During this same period, the occupation authorities
have uprooted 15,180 trees belonging to Palestinians, most of them were olive, almond and fig trees.
RACIAL ISOLATION - NEW APARTHEID
All during the years of occupation, the Israeli authorities are practicing a policy of geographical dismemberment of Palestinian towns and villages, isolating these localities from each other, either through bypass roads that are constructed on Palestinian lands, or through reinforcing the Israeli military presence between cities, between villages and between cities and villages, thus isolating Palestinians from each other, such as was the case of racial segregation during the Apartheid regime in South Africa. In that respect Mr. Amada Dianj, Secretary General of the International Commission of Jurists said, during his visit to the region on 3 February 2000: "the circumstances under which Palestinians live in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is very similar to that of black South Africans under the regime of Apartheid. He noted "There are serious violations of Palestinian human rights which the international community must not overlook".
I would be
grateful to you
if you could have
the text of this letter
the distinguished members the 56th session, of the Commission on
Human Rights, as an
document under agenda item 8.
Please accept Excellency, the
assurances of my
Permanent Observer of Palestine
to the United Nations Office