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Human Rights

Straw under fire for ignoring Israeli attacks on UK nationals

Chris McGreal
7 May 2003

[Anthony Hurndall,] the father of a British peace activist left in a coma by an Israeli army bullet has accused the Foreign Office of showing more concern at the killings of Israeli citizens than investigating Israeli responsibility for the shootings of Britons… “I have expressed to the embassy strongly my unease at the fact that immediately following the bombing at the bar in Tel Aviv and the killing of three Israelis, the British government jumped to give a statement of support for Israelis and to freeze funds and make arrests. “In contrast, the almost passive reaction of the British government at the shooting of three of its nationals in Israel is very disturbing,” he said.

UK envoys held at gunpoint by Israelis

Chris McGreal
6 May 2003

Israeli forces opened fire above a British embassy convoy and held it at gunpoint in Gaza while it was carrying diplomats and the family of an English peace activist left in a coma by an Israeli bullet. Two armoured Range Rovers with diplomatic plates were forced to halt as they drove through the Abu Houli crossing on Sunday, even though British officials had notified Israeli forces of their arrival 10 minutes earlier. “There’s a complete lack of control. They fire without warning,” said Tom Hurndall’s father, Anthony, who was in one car with his wife and 12-year-old son. “As we passed the first pillbox a shot was fired over the cars. We weren’t clear why, or what was happening. Nobody came out, we couldn’t tell if we were supposed to get out or go on. Chris McGreal reports in The Guardian.

Human Rights Watch to Appeal Deportation of Researcher

Human Rights Watch
8 May 2003

Israel’s arrest of Human Rights Watch’s researcher for Israel and the Occupied Territories sends the wrong signal on the eve of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s visit to the country, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch protested the arrest and called for the researcher’s immediate release [Sissons was released at approximately midnight local time today].

UN agency protests Israeli closure of Gaza Strip

United Nations
12 May 2003

The main United Nations agency providing assistance to Palestine refugees today protested that a complete closure of the Gaza Strip imposed by Israel on UN international staff had crippled its operations there.

Amnesty International delegates denied access to Gaza

Amnesty International
8 May 2003

Amnesty International today condemned the Israeli authorities’ decision requiring foreigners entering Gaza to sign “waivers” that absolve Israel from responsibility should they be killed or injured.

PCHR condemns Israel’s recent crackdown on internationals

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
11 May 2003

PCHR condemns the Israeli authorities’ recent decision to impose severe restrictions on internationals entering the Gaza Strip. Over the last ten days internationals have been required to submit to a number of measures before being allowed into Gaza, including signing a declaration exempting Israel from responsibility for death, injury or any damage that they may incur while in the Gaza Strip.

Gaza visitors must sign waiver in case army shoots them

Chris McGreal
9 May 2003

The Israeli military yesterday began obliging foreigners entering the Gaza Strip to sign waivers absolving the army from responsibility if it shoots them. Visitors must also declare that
they are not peace activists. The move came hours before an autopsy on James Miller - the British cameraman killed in a Gaza refugee camp - confirmed that he was almost certainly killed by an Israeli soldier, despite the army’s assertions to the contrary. Yesterday, the British government demanded an Israeli military police criminal investigation into Miller’s death and the shooting of another Briton by the army in Gaza, Tom Hurndall, a peace activist. Chris McGreal reports for The Guardian.

Roadmap fails rights test

Human Rights Watch
9 May 2003

The “roadmap” for ending Israeli-Palestinian violence will fail unless it includes basic human rights safeguards, Human Rights Watch warned today, on the eve of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Weekly report on human rights violations

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
7 May 2003

This week, Israeli forces killed 19 Palestinians, including 5 children. Most of them, including three brothers and a toddler, were killed during the Israeli raid on the Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza. One of the victims was run down by Israeli forces in Tulkarm. In Rafah, Israeli forces shot and killed a British journalist. Israeli forces conducted raids on Palestinian areas, accompanied by indiscriminate shelling, and demolished 18 homes in Rafah. In Khan Younis large areas of Palestinian agricultural land were razed. This week, more Palestinians were arbitrarily detained and Israeli forces continue to use Palestinian civilians as human shields. Israel continued its tight siege on Palestinian communities.

House demolitions hit 12,700 in West Bank and Gaza Strip

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
7 May 2003

The total number of Palestinians made homeless by Israeli’s military demolition campaign climbed above 12,000 this month following a rapid acceleration of the policy in Gaza during the first quarter of this year.

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