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        Economic and Social Council
19 February 2003


Fifty-ninth session
Item 8 of the provisional agenda


Written statement* submitted by the Organization for
Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV), a non-governmental
organization in special consultative status

The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.
[28 January 2003]


* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).

Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine

1. It is over half a century that the most widespread and astonishing arena of the violation of human rights, oppression and rape has been taking place in the Palestinian territories by the Israeli regime. By applying all forms of crimes against humanity Israel has trampled on the most basic rights of the Palestinian people and trampled on their human dignity. This treatment has become twofold after 28 September 2000 and the beginning of the Second Intifada.

2. According to reports released by the Palestinian Health Ministry, from 28 September 2000 until 13 December 2002, 2,086 Palestinians have been killed, 395 (19%) of which were under 17. More than 41,000 Palestinians have been injured, 16,673 are in critical conditions. According to UNICEF findings, 7,000 Palestinian children have been injured. As well as these, 2,500 have been maimed which include 500 children. It is worth mentioning that the Israeli forces have used 5.56 mm (223 calibre), 7.02 mm, and rubber coated steel, plastic bullets; missiles and F-16 fighter jets, in their attacks on civilian targets, all of which are clear violations of humanitarian rights.

3. According to figures released on 29 March 2002, approximately 15,000 Palestinians were detained, and around 6,000 are still in detention in Israeli jails. What is important is although some months have passed since their arrest, no court has tried any of them as of yet and no sentences have been issued. In most cases the Palestinian prisoners are subjected to torture and cruelty by the Israeli force, and a number of the prisoners have lost their lives in the prisons from injuries received, because of the denial of access to medical attention.

4. Discrimination in the education system of the occupied territories is another one of the problems that Palestinian students have been experiencing for the past half a century. The start of the Intifada and the escalation of violence in the region in turn caused further problems in the Palestinian education system. The students not only have a poor standard educational system that is discriminatory, but their lives are not safe. After the 28-29 September 2002 unrests, 132 Palestinian students have lost their lives and a further 2,500 have been injured on their way to and from school. Also, 185 schools have been attacked by Israeli forces and 11 schools have been totally destroyed and 15 have been converted to detention centres and military garrisons.

5. According to agreements that have been signed between Israel and the Palestinian Self Rule Authority since 1993, part of the occupied territories known as 'A' areas were placed in Palestinian control. However after the start of the Intifada and the escalation of conflicts in the area, the Self Rule Authority lost control over the Palestinian territories. The Israeli forces surrounded the Palestinian territories with their tanks and heavy weapons enforcing an economic blockade and a tight control on Palestinians movements. There are 120 check points in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In some areas (Al-Mavazi) the Palestinians are under a curfew and are only allowed free movement between 7-9 in the morning and 3-5 in the afternoon. The Israeli forces have imposed an economic blockade in most Palestinian regions and do not allow medical and food supplies from reaching the needy people. Some regions have shortage of water, electricity and fuel, and the Palestinians' living conditions have been made very terrible, so that the Intifida can be controlled this way.

6. The cases that have been mentioned are blatant violations of Resolutions 242 and 338 of the United Nations, the 4th Geneva Convention and the appended protocols, the Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination, the Rights of the Child Treaty and many other conventions and international treaties. Although by issuing Resolution 1322 (7 October, 2000), Resolution 1402 (30 March, 2002), Resolution 1405 (19 April, 2002), and sending special representatives by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Mrs. Mary Robinson – with the ensuing report, the United Nations has attempted and tried to condemn the existing violence and put an end to the conflicts, however unfortunately the wave of killings and violence is continuing and the pressure on the Palestinian people is increasing. Therefore, the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence as a non-governmental organization defender of human rights, requests and recommends that the international community go a step further than just issuing resolutions and statements and take effective action to end all the violence and conflicts with consideration of the rightful rights of the Palestinian nation, which is living in an independent Palestine.


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