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:
The detained PLC members are:
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: