OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, June 30 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - Israel's
human rights violations in the Palestinian territories reached unprecedented
levels and could not be justified by security pretexts, a leading Israeli
rights group said Wednesday, June 30.
"The scope and gravity of human rights violations in the occupied
territories reached an unprecedented scale in the last year," the
Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said in a report carried by
Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The watchdog asserted that Israeli occupation forces in the Gaza Strip had
killed dozens of innocent civilians, citing the latest Rafah military
offensive as a case in point.
The Israeli army operations in Rafah during May "were accompanied by blatant
violations of the residents' human rights," read the report.
"Soldiers opened fire indiscriminately, prevented the evacuation of the
injured, killed dozens of people, some of whom were armed, but many more of
whom were innocent children, women and men."
The Israeli military offensive on Rafah and its refugee camp, the bloodiest
of its kind in years, has claimed the lives of up to 62 Palestinians,
flattened 155 homes and drove some 2000 residents homeless.
Nearly a quarter of the victims were killed when the army used a helicopter
and a tank in a bid to disperse the crowds protesting against the offensive.
The international human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, had
dismissed the operation as "war crimes".
An Amnesty report said 3,000 houses were demolished by Israeli forces in
Rafah since the outbreak of Al-Aqsa Intifada against the occupation.
Arab Israeli citizens, who make up a fifth of Israel's population, were also
victims of a discriminatory land policy, while the disabled were being
prevented from integrating into society through a lack of access to public
places, said the Israeli human rights group.
The report said the building of the West Bank separation wall "disregarded
international law and human rights."
"The state's obligation to ensure the well being of its citizens cannot be
used as a justification for the gross violation of Palestinian residents'
rights that are directly infringed by the barrier's route."
The report was issued as the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the rerouting of
the wall near occupied Jerusalem.
ACRI exeuctive director Rachel Benziman said the overall picture painted in
her organisation's report reflected "very badly on the image of Israel."
"Our duty is to say what's wrong ... We think that even in times of war,
human rights should be protected. It's the duty of the government to
reconcile human rights when planning military operations."
Israel has come under fire from world human rights groups for oppressive
practices against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Amnesty condemned in a report released in September last year the Israeli
policy of assassinations, adding that restrictions imposed by Israel in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip have had a disastrous impact on the lives of
The assassinations policy is vehemently condemned as a violation of the
international law, since they are adopted by the whole country and not as
individual acts, said the report.
Other reports slammed Israel for targeting Palestinian children and women,
and using them as shields.
With a photo in evidence, the Newsweek cited in April a 13-year-old
Palestinian "grabbed" by Israeli soldiers and put on the hood of an Israeli
jeep to protect them from young Palestinian stone-throwers.
Gee.. The French press condemning the ARAB dictatorships? That's
amazing! Sound like they're slipping.