Amnesty International

Amnesty: "Palestinian prisoners at risk of being killed by Israeli forces"

Amnesty International is deeply concerned about the safety of Palestinian detainees in Jericho Prison. The prison is currently surrounded by Israeli forces who have threatened to kill detainees who refuse to surrender to them. The detainees most at risk are Ahmad Saadat, leader of the PFLP, and four other Palestinians who have been detained at Jericho Prison since 2002 despite a court decision ordering their release. While detained under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, Ahmad Saadat and his four co-detainees have been held under the supervision of guards provided by the UK and US in accordance with an agreement reached between these states and Israel and the PA

Solidarity in the Occupied Territories

In the Palestinian village of Bil’in the construction by the Israeli army of the wall through the West Bank has disastrous consequences. It will cut the villagers off from two thirds of their land, the main source of their livelihood. For the past year the villagers have been holding peaceful demonstrations each week to protest against the wall. They have been joined by Israeli and international activists. The weekly Palestinian-Israeli demonstrations and other activities in Bil’in have come to symbolize non-violent protest and solidarity between the two communities. The Israeli army has responded with unwarranted force. Soldiers fire tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets, and often beat and arrest demonstrators. 

Israeli High Court bans use of human shields

Amnesty International welcomes the banning, by Israel’s High Court, of the use of Palestinians as “human shields” by the Israeli army. The long-awaited High Court ruling of 6 October 2005 came in response to a petition filed in May 2002 by several Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations seeking a ban of the practice, which endangered the lives of the Palestinians who were used as “human shields” and violated international law, notably Article 51 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. In recent years, Amnesty International investigated tens of cases where the Israeli army used Palestinians, children as well as adults, as “human shields” during military operations in towns and refugee camps throughout the Occupied Territories. 

"Palestinian armed groups must stop endangering civilians"

Factional fighting by Palestinian armed groups has reached an unprecedented level and is recklessly endangering the lives of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. In recent days, shoot outs between armed groups such as Hamas and Palestinian Authority security forces have resulted in civilian bystanders being killed and injured due to high-powered weapons being used in densely populated civilian areas. On Sunday 2 October two Palestinian bystanders were killed and several were injured as a result of armed clashes between Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces and members and supporters of the Palestinian armed group Hamas in Gaza City and in an attack by another armed group reportedly calling itself the “Popular Army” in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis. 

Amnesty calls for urgent measures to end settlers' impunity

Four Palestinians were shot dead and two others were injured by an Israeli settler yesterday evening as they were returning home from their work at a factory in the Israeli settlement of Shilo, in the West Bank. The settler, a driver from the Israeli settlement of Shvut Rahel, was transporting Palestinians who work in a factory in the Shilo settlement to nearby Palestinian villages. He shot dead three Palestinian workers at the gate of the settlement and then went back to the industrial area, where he shot at other Palestinian workers, killing one of them and injuring two others. There are conflicting reports as to whether he took the weapon he used for the shooting attack from a security guard of the settlement or used his own. 

Abductions must stop and French media worker Mohammed al-Ouati must be released immediately

Amnesty International calls for the immediate release of Mohammad al-Ouati, a sound technician with the French TV France 3, who was abducted by armed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on 14 August and whose whereabouts remain unknown. Mohammed al-Ouati, a French citizen of Algerian origin, was seized by Palestinian gunmen outside his hotel in Gaza City as he was returning to the hotel with three colleagues. He was forced into a car at gunpoint by three gunmen and taken to an unknown location. The gunmen also tried to seize Mohammed al-Ouati’s three colleagues, all French citizens and members of the France 3 team. They reported that the gunmen were not wearing masks. 

Amnesty is concerned at growing lawlessness in Gaza

Amnesty International is gravely concerned at the mounting loss of civilian lives, frequent abductions and other abuses, as violent clashes between Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces and armed groups have escalated in recent weeks. With lawlessness becoming more entrenched, civilians are left vulnerable to abuses. Endemic power struggles and in-fighting between rivalling PA factions and a multitude of armed groups have significantly increased in the lead-up to Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, due later this month. PA security forces have so far proved unable or unwilling to control the activities of armed groups and to hold them accountable for their crimes. 

Amnesty launches annual assessment of human rights

Governments are betraying their promise of a world order based on human rights and are pursuing a dangerous new agenda, said Amnesty International today as it launched its annual assessment of global human rights. Speaking at the launch of the Amnesty International Report 2005, the organization’s Secretary General Irene Khan said that governments had failed to show principled leadership and must be held to account. The Israeli army killed more than 700 Palestinians, including some 150 children. Most were killed unlawfully — in reckless shooting, shelling and air strikes in civilian residential areas; in extrajudicial executions; and as a result of excessive use of force. 

Israeli Discriminatory Law Tears Apart Thousands of Families

The Knesset should not extend a discriminatory law, due to expire on May 31, which prevents Israeli citizens and residents from living with their spouses from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists said today in a joint letter to Knesset members. On May 15, the Israeli Cabinet endorsed a continuation of the law with limited exceptions based on the age and sex of the Palestinian spouse. The three human rights organizations called on Knesset members to reject this amendment, which is currently before the Knesset for a first reading, as insufficient. 

Amnesty: Israeli authorities must put an immediate end to settler violence

Amnesty International calls on the Israeli authorities to investigate recent incidents of poisoning of Palestinian fields and the increasingly frequent attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian villagers in the West Bank. Scores of sheep as well as gazelles and other animals have been contaminated by the toxins and several have died. Palestinian farmers have been forced to quarantine their flocks and stop using the milk, cheese and meat from them, effectively depriving them of their livelihood.