File spoon-archives/postcolonial.archive/postcolonial_2002/postcolonial.0207, message 15


Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 06:22:43 +0100 (BST)
Subject: amnesty for ..........


--0-632505889-1026710563=:4321

By Justin Huggler in Jerusalem12 July 2002
Amnesty International has condemned the killing of Israeli civilians in suicide bombings and other attacks by Palestinians as crimes against humanity.

As the human rights organisation issued its report yesterday, the Israeli Justice Ministry said it intends to put on trial Marwan Barghouti, a senior figure in Yasser Arafat's Fatah organisation, who was captured in April. During the trial Israel is expected to attempt to prove its accusation that the Palestinian Authority is behind many of the attacks.

Amnesty's report is damning of the Israeli army, which it also accuses of crimes against humanity. But this is the first time the organisation has focused on Palestinian atrocities against Israelis. The Israeli authorities have often accused Western human rights groups of not paying enough attention to human rights violations committed against Israelis.

The Amnesty report was issued after 58 Palestinian intellectuals and public figures, including the peace negotiator Hanan Ashrawi, signed an unprecedented statement last month calling on militants to stop the suicide bombings.

More than 350 Israeli civilians have been killed in attacks by Palestinians since the beginning of the current intifada, the report says. "The attacks against civilians by Palestinian armed groups are widespread, systematic and in pursuit of an explicit policy to attack civilians," the report said. "They therefore constitute crimes against humanity under international law. They may also constitute war crimes."

The report details, among others, the cases of Sinai Keinan, an 18-month-old baby, and Ruth Peled, her 56-year-old grandmother, who were both killed in a suicide bombing at a café in Petah Tikva in May; Danielle Shefi, a five-year-old girl who was shot dead by Palestinian gunmen as she hid under her bed in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank in April; and Chanah Rogan, a 90-year-old woman who was one of the 27 people killed in a suicide bombing at a Passover celebration in Netanya in March.

The report also accuses the Israeli army of violations including unlawful killings, torture and collective punishment. But, it says: "No violations by the Israeli government, no matter their scale or gravity, justify the killing of Sinai Keinan, Danielle Shefi, Chanah Rogan or any other civilians."

The Justice Ministry said Mr Barghouti will be put on trial alongside four other Palestinians accused of being militants. The trial, which will only be in connection with attacks carried out inside Israel, not the Occupied Territories, will be before a civilian court. Mr Barghouti's lawyer said his client did not recognise the court, and had begun a hunger strike to protest against the conditions under which he was being held.

Mr Barghouti crops up in Amnesty's report, which says he told the organisation's delegates that Fatah considers Israeli settlers living inside the West Bank and Gaza Strip – such as the dead five-year-old, Danielle Shefi – as legitimate targets, because they are living on occupied land.

The report rejects that argument, saying that although the settlements are in contravention of international law, those living on them are civilians and entitled to protection under the Geneva conventions.

This week Israeli authorities forcibly closed the Jerusalem offices of a leading Palestinian moderate who has spoken out against suicide bombings: Sari Nusseibeh, the President of al-Quds university. Even the White House said the closure of Mr Nussiebeh's offices at the university was "a troubling event". Israel said the office was used to advance Palestinian Authority interests in violation of interim peace deals. 


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HTML VERSION:

By Justin Huggler in Jerusalem

12 July 2002

Amnesty International has condemned the killing of Israeli civilians in suicide bombings and other attacks by Palestinians as crimes against humanity.

As the human rights organisation issued its report yesterday, the Israeli Justice Ministry said it intends to put on trial Marwan Barghouti, a senior figure in Yasser Arafat's Fatah organisation, who was captured in April. During the trial Israel is expected to attempt to prove its accusation that the Palestinian Authority is behind many of the attacks.

Amnesty's report is damning of the Israeli army, which it also accuses of crimes against humanity. But this is the first time the organisation has focused on Palestinian atrocities against Israelis. The Israeli authorities have often accused Western human rights groups of not paying enough attention to human rights violations committed against Israelis.

The Amnesty report was issued after 58 Palestinian intellectuals and public figures, including the peace negotiator Hanan Ashrawi, signed an unprecedented statement last month calling on militants to stop the suicide bombings.

More than 350 Israeli civilians have been killed in attacks by Palestinians since the beginning of the current intifada, the report says. "The attacks against civilians by Palestinian armed groups are widespread, systematic and in pursuit of an explicit policy to attack civilians," the report said. "They therefore constitute crimes against humanity under international law. They may also constitute war crimes."

The report details, among others, the cases of Sinai Keinan, an 18-month-old baby, and Ruth Peled, her 56-year-old grandmother, who were both killed in a suicide bombing at a café in Petah Tikva in May; Danielle Shefi, a five-year-old girl who was shot dead by Palestinian gunmen as she hid under her bed in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank in April; and Chanah Rogan, a 90-year-old woman who was one of the 27 people killed in a suicide bombing at a Passover celebration in Netanya in March.

The report also accuses the Israeli army of violations including unlawful killings, torture and collective punishment. But, it says: "No violations by the Israeli government, no matter their scale or gravity, justify the killing of Sinai Keinan, Danielle Shefi, Chanah Rogan or any other civilians."

The Justice Ministry said Mr Barghouti will be put on trial alongside four other Palestinians accused of being militants. The trial, which will only be in connection with attacks carried out inside Israel, not the Occupied Territories, will be before a civilian court. Mr Barghouti's lawyer said his client did not recognise the court, and had begun a hunger strike to protest against the conditions under which he was being held.

Mr Barghouti crops up in Amnesty's report, which says he told the organisation's delegates that Fatah considers Israeli settlers living inside the West Bank and Gaza Strip – such as the dead five-year-old, Danielle Shefi – as legitimate targets, because they are living on occupied land.

The report rejects that argument, saying that although the settlements are in contravention of international law, those living on them are civilians and entitled to protection under the Geneva conventions.

This week Israeli authorities forcibly closed the Jerusalem offices of a leading Palestinian moderate who has spoken out against suicide bombings: Sari Nusseibeh, the President of al-Quds university. Even the White House said the closure of Mr Nussiebeh's offices at the university was "a troubling event". Israel said the office was used to advance Palestinian Authority interests in violation of interim peace deals.


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