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Written statement* submitted by the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV), a non-governmental organization in special consultative status
* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).
1. After the passage of over half a century, the Occupying Regime of Israel still continues to violate human rights in the occupied territories by relying on racist ideologies, without paying even the littlest of attention to the accepted international values, and continues to commit violence and murder and keeps the Palestinian people under an economic and military chokehold. Palestinian homes are destroyed to make way for new Jewish settlements; banned weapons are used against civilians in the occupied territories; millions of Palestinians are made homeless and are not allowed to return to their homelands; Palestinian children are attacked and are deprived of benefiting the warmth of the family atmosphere, and their education and health.
2. Murder and violence: According to reports published by the Palestinian Health Ministry, from the beginning of the Al-Aqsa on the 28th of September 2000 till the 15 th of December last year, 2,743 Palestinians have been killed 511 (19%) of them being under the age of eighteen; 85% of them were civilians. According to UNICEF reports 7,000 Palestinian children have been injured. Around 2,500 have been maimed, 500 of them being children. Even aid workers have not been safe from the bullets of Israeli forces; 25 doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers have been killed while giving medical assistance; 121 ambulances have been attacked. Israeli soldiers have fired bullets, rockets and even thrown stones at Palestinian Health Ministry ambulances in 197 cases; 290 cases of attacks on hospitals and clinics have been reported, 71 emergency medical aid workers have been detained, and 81 Palestinians have died as a result of Israelis’ refusal to let them receive emergency medical treatment.
As well as the above, 12 journalists have been killed by Israeli forces; 167 journalists have been attacked; 395 journalists have received gunshot wounds or physical injuries. It must be said that the Israeli forces have used 5.56mm (223 caliber), 7.02mm, 9mm (50 caliber), 500mm and 800mm rounds, and metal plastic coated bullets, rockets, tanks and F16 fighter jets, to attack Palestinian civilians, all of which is a clear violation of all humanitarian rights.
3. Security Barrier: The operations of this plan commenced on the 23rd of June 2002 with the approval of the occupying regime following the incursion into the West Bank, which became known as “security shield”. This plan includes an 11 kilometers long wall across the 1949 ceasefire line which separates the Arab quarters from the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem. Metal pillars and barbed wires, metal or concrete walls with electronic sensors, closed circuit TV, guard dogs, watchtowers, and patrol units (army, paramilitary and border guards) are all part of this plan. The security wall or barrier includes the Abu-Deis, Al-Aizarieh, and the Jewish settlement of Ghosh Etsioun (south of Jerusalem).
This wall is a new link in the chain of the occupying regime’s criminal activities against the Palestinian people. This latest move doubles the complications and the atrocities of encirclement, and leaves a negative effect on the every day lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. These people become prisoners scattered in islands, entering and exiting of which would need the permission of the Israeli security forces. According to a report by Nigel Roberts from the World Bank which was presented to the representatives of aid giving countries and the four-sided committee, around 70 Palestinian villages with a total population of over 213 thousand, will be surrounded and entrapped when the construction of the wall is finished, and they will be isolated and cut off from each other.
5. Checkpoints: The Israeli military forces have setup 120 checkpoints in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. These checkpoints and roadblocks have divided the West Bank into 300 parts and the Gaza Strip into 3 parts. The limitations on travel have brought about problems such as water and fuel shortages for the Palestinian people. The people of Al-Mavazi have been issued with ID numbers which enables the Israeli forces to detect and control the tiniest of movements inside and outside the area. The Israeli forces have installed an electronic gate at the entrance to Al Sifa, and Palestinians can only pass through the gate between 7 and 9 in the morning and 3 and 5 in the afternoon.
All the abovementioned cases are the blatant violations of the principles of the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Geneva 4 Conventions and their additional Protocols, and all other international human and humanitarian rights documents.
By emphasizing on the fundaments of human dignity and principles of justice, equality and liberty and stressing on the inalienable rights of all people to determine their own fates, emphasizing that it is the duty of all governments and people of the world to defend the rights of the oppressed and stop human rights being violated, expressing concern over the continued Israeli regime’s disregard of the UN Security Council resolutions and the Commission on Human Rights, the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence calls for practical and appropriate action be taken to resolve and improve the conditions of the occupied territories. The ODVV also calls for a thorough implementation of UN Resolutions 242, 338 and 194 in order to put an end to all the violence and conflict in the region, so that peaceful conditions and stability may be established for the people of the occupied territories, Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.