Amnesty International

Amnesty International: Hizbullah's deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians

Hizbullah committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, amounting to war crimes, in its deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians during the recent conflict, according to a briefing published today by Amnesty International. Combined with the organisation’s earlier publication on Israel’s targeting of Lebanese civilian infrastructure, the latest findings make clear the urgent need for the UN to establish a full and impartial investigation into violations committed by both sides in the conflict. 

Israel must disclose details of cluster bomb attacks and accept a full investigation

Amnesty International today called on Israel to immediately provide maps of the areas of Lebanon into which it fired cluster bombs during the recent conflict to enable their clearance and prevent further civilian casualties. Publishing new accounts from the victims of unexploded cluster bombs, the organization also called on Israel to cooperate in a full and impartial investigation into their use of such munitions during the recent conflict. The calls followed a report from the United Nations that 90 percent of Israeli cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict when a ceasefire was in sight. 

Evidence indicates deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure in Lebanon

Amnesty International today published findings that point to an Israeli policy of deliberate destruction of Lebanese civilian infrastructure, which included war crimes, during the recent conflict. The organization’s latest publication shows how Israel’s destruction of thousands of homes, and strikes on numerous bridges and roads as well as water and fuel storage plants, was an integral part of Israel’s military strategy in Lebanon, rather than “collateral damage” resulting from the lawful targeting of military objectives. The report reinforces the case for an urgent, comprehensive and independent UN inquiry into grave violations of international humanitarian law committed by both Hizbullah and Israel. 

Amnesty International: IDF inquiry into Qana a whitewash

The investigation carried out by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) into the air-missile attack on Qana was clearly inadequate and reinforces the need for the urgent dispatch of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC). “We cannot allow any investigation into the events in Qana to be a whitewash. What is needed here is an independent investigation which can look at all credible reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law taking place in this conflict. Any investigation needs the capacity to cross borders and talk to survivors of the attack as well as to the forces involved,” said Kate Gilmore, Executive Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International. 

Urgent need for arms embargo on Israel and Hizbullah

Amnesty International is gravely concerned about the continuing transfer of weapons from the US, via the UK, as information emerged that a UK airport is being used by USA cargo planes on their way to deliver munitions to Israel. “The pattern of attacks and the extent of civilian casualties show a blatant disregard of international humanitarian law by Israel and Hizbullah,” said Irene Khan, Amnesty International Secretary General. “Direct targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure and launching indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks amount to war crimes.” 

UN Security Council must adopt urgent measures to protect civilians

“The past few days has seen a horrendous escalation in attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure. Yet the G8 leaders have failed conspicuously to uphold their moral and legal obligation to address such blatant breaches of international humanitarian law, which in some cases have amounted to war crimes.” said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East Programme. “Beyond the blame game exercise, what is needed are concrete proposals for urgent action to stop the killings of civilians in both Lebanon and Israel.” 

Israel/Lebanon: End immediately attacks against civilians

The Israeli and Lebanese governments, and Hizbullah, must take immediate steps to end the ongoing attacks against civilians and civilian objects. “Israel must put an immediate end to attacks against civilians and against civilian infrastructure in Lebanon, which constitute collective punishment. Israel must also respect the principle of proportionality when targeting any military objectives or civilian objectives that may be used for military purposes,” said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East Programme. 

Jerusalem family facing forced eviction and home demolition

The Jerusalem Municipality is preparing to forcibly evict Muhammad Is’hac and Yousra Herbawi from the house where they live with their six children, one of whom is severely disabled, and then to demolish the building. The family have almost no income, and would be left destitute. The impact on the family’s health, in particular that of the disabled son, is likely to be very severe. The Municipality can still decide to take into account the family’s circumstances and cancel the forced eviction and the demolition. 

Israeli elections are opportunity to address human rights

Candidates standing in Israel’s elections should take the opportunity to reassert the importance of human rights and pledge to a programme that, if implemented, would enhance peace and security in the region, Amnesty International said today. Making a direct appeal to all candidates contesting the elections, to be held on 28 March 2006, the organization called for an open debate to address longstanding human rights challenges in Israel and in the Occupied Territories. “Israel’s security will be enhanced, not jeopardised, by greater attention to human rights,” said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. 

Amnesty: "Ahmad Sa‘adat must be released and his safety ensured"

Following the decision of the Palestinian High Court of Justice in Gaza ordering that Ahmad Sa‘adat be released immediately, Amnesty International is calling on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to respect this decision and free him from detention without further delay. Amnesty International is also calling on Israel to publicly guarantee that Ahmad Sa‘adat will not be subjected to any extrajudicial measures, including assassination.