The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) firmly condemns the wave of targeted assassinations by the Israeli defence against suspected terrorists since August 21st in the Occupied Territories.
These attacks, numbering eleven since that date, which have been characterised by the systematic and indiscriminate use of force, have resulted in several dozens of civilian bystanders, including a number of children, being injured or killed.
OMCT notes with grave consternation that the way for these violations has been paved by the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision on July 8th, in which it refused to declare a moratorium on these targeted assassinations.
OMCT recalls that two members of its network, the Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights (LAW) and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), lodged a complaint January 24th, 2003, demanding that the targeted political assassinations against suspected terrorists in the Occupied Territories be immediately halted. The plaintiffs asked the court to take provisional measures to prohibit these assassinations, while awaiting the court’s final decision relating to this request. The president of the Court, Judge Aharon Barak, and judges Théodore Or and Eliyahu Matza, rejected the request for provisional suspension of these attacks.
OMCT is concerned by the fact that the Supreme Court can sanction such acts, thus permitting the army to continue assassinating individuals without affording them any recourse to due process and a fair trial.
OMCT recalls that all states have the right to security, but also reminds that not all means are legitimate in guaranteeing this right.
Finally, OMCT fears that the use of these practices, which are prohibited by a range of instruments of international law, will likely prove a considerable hindrance to the establishment of lasting peace in the region.