On 29 September 2004, the fourth anniversary of the Palestinian Intifada, Al-Haq reminds members of the international community that Israeli authorities are continuing their flagrant disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
Under the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, the Palestinian civilian are entitled to minimum rules of protection at all times. Nevertheless, Israeli occupying forces continue to subject the Palestinian civilians to numerous measures that violate their fundamental rights protected therein, such as mass and arbitrary arrests; denial of due judicial process; torture and ill-treatment; willful killings; forced transfer and property destruction.
Although a common feature of the 37 year long Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Al-Haqs documentation indicates that since the beginning of the Intifada, the perpetration of these human rights violations by Israeli authorities has increased in both scale and intensity.
In this briefing paper, Al-Haq goal is not just to highlight how Israeli policies have contributed to the emergence of a humanitarian crisis of such rising proportions. Rather, it seeks to outline the existence of deliberate and consistent policies by Israeli authorities and occupying forces that perpetuate violations of international law, thereby making them the norm rather than the exception. The report offers a brief legal analysis of the main trends of human rights violations experienced since 2000, supported by relevant statistics and affidavits from the organizations Monitoring and Documentation Unit. Where violations have not been comprehensively documented by Al-Haq, it has relied on data provided by Palestinian partner organizations.
Since the beginning of the Intifada in 2000, Al-Haq and other human rights organizations, UN independent experts, treaty monitoring bodies have warned that the situation is spinning out of control. Moreover substantial violations of international law in the past 4 years have undermined the social and economic well being of approximately 3 million Palestinian in the OPT. More disturbingly is the fact that these violations have become a feature of Palestinians everyday life.
With the Intifada entering its fifth year, the paper also emphasizes that the cycle of violence has reached a degree of such magnitude, that unless the International community takes serious and concrete measures to uphold its legal obligations to respect and ensure respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention, there will be no foreseeable end for this conflict.
To download the full report (PDF) click here.