Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Carry Out Reprisals against Palestinian Civilians in the West Bank

Palestinian Hamas lawmaker Smira Halayka attends a protest against the arrest of Palestinian ministers and lawmakers by Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Hebron June 29, 2006. (MaanImages/Mamoun Wazwaz)

PCHR strongly condemns the IOF detention of Palestinian Cabinet Ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister, and legislative council members from the “Change and Reform” party, affiliated with Hamas. The Centre views these detentions as a form of reprisal against Palestinian civilians and a form of collective punishment prohibited by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Centre calls upon the international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to force IOF to respect the convention, which bars reprisals against protected persons, as stipulated in Article 33. The Centre calls upon the High Contracting Parties to enforce Article 3, regarding adherence to the convention and respecting its stipulations, and to take appropriate actions against the serious violations being perpetrated.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that in the early morning hours of Thursday, 29 June 2006, IOF conducted a number of incursions throughout the West Bank, excluding Jericho however. IOF surrounded the places of residence of a number of Palestinian Cabinet Ministers and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from the Change and Reform Party. These forces detained nine cabinet ministers, twenty-one PLC members and a number of Hamas political leaders.

The detained Cabinet Ministers are:

  • Naser El-Deen El-Sha’er, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education
  • Omar Abdel Raziq, Minister of Finance;
  • Samir Abu Eisha, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation;
  • Khaled Abu Arafa, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs;
  • Wasfi Qabha, Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs;
  • Issa El-Ja’bari, Minister of Local Government;
  • Fakhri Torokman, Minister of Social Affairs;
  • Nayef El-Rajoub, Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs; and
  • Mohammad El-Barghouthi, Minister of Labor.

    The detained PLC members are:

  • Hebron: Basem Ahmad Moussa Za’arir, Khalil Moussa Khalil Beb’ei, Samir Saleh Ibrahim El-Qadi, Mohammad Ismail Othman El-Tal, Mohammad Motlaq Abdel Mahdi abu J’heisha, and Mohammad Maher Yousef Bader.
  • Bethlehem: Anwar Mohammad Abdel Rahman El-Zoboun and Mahmoud Dawood Mahmoud El-Khatib.
  • Jerusalem: Wa’el Mohammad Abdel Fattah Abdel Rahman (El-Husseini), Mohammad Mahmoud Abu Tir, and Ahmad Mohammad Ahmad Attoun.
  • Nablus: Hosni Mohammad Ahmad Bourini, Reyad Ali Mostafa Amli, and Yser Suliman Dawoud Mansour. IOF raided the house of PLC member Ahmad Ali Ahmad in Ein El-Ma’ refugee camp, but did not find him there.
  • Jenin: Ibrahim Mohammad Saleh Dahbour, Khalek Suliman Fayez Abu Hasan, and Khaled (Sa’id) Abed Abdallah Yehya.
  • Tulkarm: Reyad Mahmoud Sa’id Radad and Fathi Mohammad Ali Qarawi.
  • Qalqilya: Imad Mahmoud Rajeh Nofal
  • Salfit: Naser Abdallah Odeh Abdel Jawwad.

    PCHR condemns these detentions, which came following the Israeli government’s threat to assassinate and detain Hamas political leaders, after the military operation against the Israeli military outpost in Kerem Shalom on Sunday, 25 June 2006. PCHR:

  • Affirms that these detentions are a form of reprisal and collective punishment;
  • Affirms that these detentions are part of a plan to undermine the democratically elected government and PLC;
  • Reiterates the position that Israel is intent on implementing unilateral steps to complete the construction of the Annexation Wall and confiscate more than half the area of the West Bank. Targeting the new Palestinian government underlines the intention of Israel to continue to disregard and undermine the Palestinian leadership;
  • Reiterates the call to the International Community to take immediate steps to provide protection to the civilian population, in accordance with International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, and to work to prevent further deterioration in the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
    The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is an independent legal body based in Gaza City dedicated to protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law and upholding democratic principles in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It holds Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and is an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, the Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network. PCHR is a recipient of the 1996 French Republic Award for Human Rights.

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