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Human Rights

One thousand days, more than 3000 people killed

26 June 2003

One thousand days of violence have killed just over 3,000 people (2,398 Palestinians and 704 Israelis) and left 28,000 injured (23,150 Palestinians and 4,849 Israelis) in Israel and the Palestinian Autonomous and Occupied Territories. This is the human toll since the second Intifada started on September 29, 2000, according to figures from the Palestine Red Crescent (PRCS) and Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s equivalent of a Red Cross or Red Crescent Society.

Weekly report on human rights violations

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
26 June 2003

This week, Israeli forces killed 5 Palestinians, including two women. Four of the victims were killed in extra-judicial executions. Israeli forces invaded Palestinian areas and demolished 12 homes and razed agricultural lands in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces continued to shell Palestinian residential areas and continued to use Palestinian civilians as human shields. Dozens of Palestinian civilians were arrested as the siege on Palestinian communities continued.

Open letter concerning the use of ill-treatment and torture on Palestinian detainees

25 June 2003

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), the world’s largest network of NGO’s fighting against torture, has written an open letter to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon regarding its concerns about the use of ill-treatment and torture - including the use of various forms of torture that were outlawed by a 1999 Israeli High Court of Justice ruling - in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

On learning lessons: Belgium's universal jurisdiction law under threat

Laurie King
24 June 2003

“In an unprecedented act of interference in a sovereign state’s judicial and political processes, the US government yesterday forced the Belgian government to gut Belgium’s admirable and progressive universal jurisdiction legislation (anti- atrocity law), which had already undergone careful reconfiguration in Belgium’s parliament two months ago. The US feared that this law, which incorporates international law into Belgian national law, might lead to the prosecution of US military or governmental officials, or their possible arrest in Belgium. Numerous legal impediments to these possibilities exist. Belgium outlined all of them in an attempt to deflect US pressure, but to no avail in the face of US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s strong-arm techniques of persuasion.” Laurie King-Irani explains.

Weekly report on human rights violations

19 June 2003

This week Israeli forces killed 17 Palestinians, including two children and a woman. In extra-judicial executions 14 Palestinians were killed. Israeli forces conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas. In Rafah, Israeli forces demolished more than 29 homes and razed large areas of agricultural land throughout the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces continued indiscriminate shelling of Palestinian residential areas and demolished three homes belonging to families of wanted Palestinians. Israeli forces rounded up more Palestinian men and boys and continued to impose its tight siege on Palestinian communities.

The Knesset: Enshrining Racism in Law

18 June 2003

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Today, the Knesset approved the first reading of a bill submitted by the government that rescinds the right of Israeli residents and citizens who have married residents of the Occupied Territories to establish their home in Israel.

International legal export: Israel's assassinations are war crimes

17 June 2003

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In an opinion, unprecedented for it�s severity, Professor Antonio Cassese, renowned expert on international humanitarian law, determines that the assassinations carried out by the IDF in the Occupied Territories could be included in the legal definition of war crimes. Professor Cassese�s opinion will be submitted tomorrow to the High Court of Justice prior to the hearing scheduled for July 8, 2003 on the petition filed by LAW-The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI).

Promises of an unpredicatable future

Jordan Topp
19 June 2003

There is no work this summer for the majority of people in Bourj el Barajneh refugee camp. Less work than last summer, I am told, when local NGOs estimated unemployment rates were around 60- 80% for those Palestinians living here. With hope of Return looking bleaker under current negotiations, people here—especially the young men—are doing whatever they can to leave. Jordan Topp reports from Bourj el Barajneh Refugee Camp, Beirut, Lebanon.

Israeli forces attack medical center

13 June 2003

At 3am this morning, the Israeli occupying army surrounded and blocked the village, declaring a curfew. At 12pm some of the villagers heard cries for help. They discovered that the army was burying alive three of the villagers who were seeking safety in a cave. The soldiers shut off the entrance to the cave. The villagers attempted to rescue them but were shot at by the army.

Israeli forces attack medical center - update

14 June 2003

Following on from yesterdays attack on the village of Deir Ghassaneh, where the Israeli occupying army surrounded and entered the village, declared a curfew, buried alive villagers, and shot and arrested other villagers, UPMRC published an update to the attacks.

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