Systematic abuse and destruction
The following, are a few examples of the many human rights violations carried out in the Occupied Territories. The information comes from human rights organisations via the Israeli peace organisation Gush Shalom, and does not necessarily reflect the worst of the human rights violations being perpetrated. * April 15, at around noon, 12-year-old Qossay Abu 'Aisha was playing in his yard in 'Askar neighbourhood in Nablus. The yard is surrounded by a two-metre high tin fence. Soldiers who were passing by, opened fire into the yard. Abu 'Aisha was hit by two bullets that penetrated the tin fence. He died instantly. His father, Farh Abu 'Aisha called the Red Crscent for an ambulance. It arrived two hours later. The crew pronounced the child dead.(Source: B'Tselem*) * April 14 the curfew in Nablus was lifted between 2:00 and 6:00 pm.40- year-old Mustafa 'Antar, married and father of four from A-Dahiya neighbourhood went to visit his father and then bought some food supplies. 'Anbar shared a taxi home with three other people. At 5:00pm, a group of soldiers passing by opened fire at the taxi. 'Antar was hit in the neck and taken to Rafidia hospital in Nablus where he is currently receiving treatment. According to his doctors, the injury will cause partial paralysis. (Source: B'Tselem) * On Friday, April 5, Tahani 'Ali 'Asad Fatouh, a pharmacist from Al Msakan Ash Sha'abiya in Nablus District began having labour pains. Her husband, Dr Ghassan 'Ali Nashat Sha'ar called an ambulance to take his seven months pregnant wife to hospital. Due to the curfew imposed on the area, the ambulance could not make it to the house and Dr Sha'ar had to deliver the baby with the help of his neighbour, Dr Sulfeh. The delivery went smoothly. While the delivery was taking place, the ambulance crew tried to reach the couple's home, as the newborn had to be placed in an incubator. All attempts failed. Some 30 minutes after the birth, the baby's health started to deteriorate. Dr Sha'ar managed to resuscitate his son twice. On the third attempt, the baby died. Tahani Fatouh became pregnant after four years of fertility treatments. The hospital is only two kilometres away from the couple's home. (Source: B'Tselem) * Dr H H, a general practitioner from Bethlehem and her husband, Dr H, a gynaecologist share a clinic. Last night Dr H H received a telephone call informing her that IDF [Israeli Defence Forces]soldiers had broken into the clinic. The Al Madabsa area, where the clinic is located, had been under constant curfew, which began when the IDF entered the city. When the curfew was lifted for a few hours for the first time, Dr H H rushed to the clinic and discovered extensive damage. The clinic door and windows were broken and the waiting room was completely destroyed. Expensive equipment, including a $20,000 ultrasound machine was also destroyed. The computer monitor was shattered and the computer itself had been taken apart. The soldiers broke the telephones and the sterilization machine. They tore up medical files and books. In addition to the damage, many bullet holes and shells were found in the clinic, as well as faeces on the floor. (Source: HaMoked — Centre for the Defence of the Individual) Inhumane conditions in military camp Thousands of Palestinian men and boys have been rounded up and taken to detention camps by the IDF. The following information was provided to Al- Haq by men released from detention in the Ofer Military Camp near Ramallah. They stated that the detention area in Ofer is divided into four sections that each house approximately 250 men. Upon arrival in the camp all personal belongings including money, mobile phones, keys, wallets, etc. are taken from detainees. These items are often not returned upon release. Prisoners ID cards are also taken from men when they are detained. Over the past weeks Al-Haq has received reports that a large number of detainees have not had their IDs returned to them upon their release, making it practically impossible for them to travel and leaving them at risk of being re-arrested for not having an ID card. During the first day of detention approximately 140 detainees were forced to stay together in two tents before more prisoners were brought to the camp and more tents arrived. There are now 30 to 40 men assigned to each tent, although the tents are designed to hold only 15 to 20 people. Despite cold and rainy weather, during the first three days of detention every two prisoners were supplied with one blanket to share. Later prisoners each received their own blanket. They were also supplied with a board to sleep on, but no mattresses. Access to sanitation facilities in the camp is extremely restricted. According to the information received, detainees were only allowed to shower after they had been in the camp for 15 days and they have not been provided with a change of clothes. Access to toilets is extremely restricted, with only three or four men from each of the four sections allowed to go to the bathroom each hour. Others needing to relieve themselves are forced to go to the bathroom on the ground near the tents. Food provided to the prisoners is inadequate. Information supplied to Al- Haq indicates that during the first three days prisoners were held in Ofer they were given nothing to eat. After that detainees reported that when they received food it was not enough to be shared between all of the men or was inedible. They stated that at different times they were given food such as 20 apples for 200 men, one tomato for 10 men or a single piece of frozen chicken schnitzel each. Medical treatment has been denied to the prisoners and the sick and injured remain untreated. One prisoner, Abdallah Wahabe, was arrested out of an ambulance while being taken to the hospital after he was shot in the side. The Israeli soldiers who arrested Wahabe transferred him to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem where his wounds were treated. On the same day that he was arrested and treated he was transferred to Ofer. Since arriving in the camp he has received no follow up treatment. According to information received by Al-Haq, beatings and abuse are common in the camp, especially during interrogation sessions. Injuries sustained during beatings are not being treated. Prisoners range in age from 13 to over 70 years old. No special consideration is being given to either child or elderly prisoners. On April 10 an impromptu court headed by a judge and a Shabak (Israeli Security) Officer was set up in the camp to hear cases and to hand out administrative detention orders. Detainees have not been afforded access to council prior to having their cases heard. One of the men Al-Haq spoke with reported that before he was released 80 of the men in his section had been given administrative detention orders. The conditions under which the prisoners at the Ofra Detention Centre are being held are in violation of basic standards for the treatment of prisoners as set out in the Fourth Geneva Convention and in the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Article 85 of the Fourth Geneva Convention lays out detailed basic condition s that must be met in all detention centres set up to house protected persons who have been either arrested or detained. Several thousand Palestinians remain in detention across the West Bank, and more are being taken into custody each day. Al-Haq therefore demands that Israel take steps to ensure that these detainee's basic rights are respected. Al-Haq also requests that the International Community must take immediate action to pressure Israel to stop its campaign of arbitrary arrests and to ensure that those already detained are treated humanely and are guaranteed their rights to representation and a fair hearing before an impartial judge. Full transcript of the war crimes panel available on the Gush site. For English http://www.gush-shalom.org/archives/forum_eng.html
* * ** B'Tselem: The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories is the leading Israeli organisation monitoring, documenting and advocating to improve human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Founded in 1989, B'Tselem publishes reports, engages in advocacy and serves as a resource centre.