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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS


5 October 2000

SPECIAL RAPORTEUR ON EXTRAJUDICIAL, SUMMARY
OR ARBITRARY EXECUTIONS EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER
CONTINUING VIOLENCE IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AND ISRAEL

The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Asma Jahangir, has urged the Government of Israel to ensure that government security forces are immediately ordered to act with restraint and to respect international human rights standards when carrying out their duties.

In a letter to the Government, Ms. Jahangir expressed her deepest concern over the escalating violence, which in the last several days has claimed the lives of at least 50 people and left hundreds wounded in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and a number of other locations, including Nazareth and Sakhnin.

Citing reports that Israeli security forces have used excessive and indiscriminate force in their operations, Ms. Jahangir expressed her particular alarm over allegations that Israeli forces have used live ammunition against civilians, and that heavy weaponry including helicopter gunships and anti-tank missiles have been deployed in recent actions by the Israeli army.

The Special Rapporteur strongly urged the Government to investigate all incidents of alleged killings by government forces without delay, and to ensure that persons responsible for these crimes are brought to justice.

In appealing to the Government, Ms. Jahangir further recalled that under international human rights standards, police and security forces may only resort to firearms and lethal force in extreme situations, when lives are in danger and other means prove ineffective. She emphasized that the right to life and security of the person allows for no derogation, and must be applied with no exception in all circumstances, including times of emergency and internal unrest.

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