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Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

    April 09, 2013

    By Lamri Chirouf, Amnesty International’s delegate in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

    Last month we drove northwest from Ramallah to visit the small village of Budrus, which gained international attention a decade ago when residents started protesting against the fence/wall erected by Israel.

    Regular protests there against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank continue, and clashes between village youths and members of the Israeli army have become a weekly, if not daily, occurrence.

    The main reason behind the protests is still the wall, described by the Israeli government as a security fence and by Budrus residents, and Palestinians throughout the West Bank, as an ‘apartheid wall’ and a way for the Israeli government to annex more Palestinian lands.

    April 04, 2013

    Israel’s military response to protests in the West Bank is failing to respect the human rights of Palestinians, Amnesty International said today as the number of Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli fire in the area since the beginning of 2013 reached eight.

    Ongoing Palestinian protests against the Israeli occupation have further escalated this week following renewed anger over detention conditions of Palestinian political detainees and prisoners, including the death in custody of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, a Palestinian prisoner with cancer held by Israel since 2002.

    The protests look set to continue following the deaths of two Palestinian teenagers who were killed by Israeli forces at a military post near the settlement of Enav in the northern West Bank on Wednesday.

    “For years we and other human rights organizations have documented how the Israeli army has used excessive force against protesters in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, often resulting in unlawful killings and injuries,” said Ann Harrison, Amnesty |nternational’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    March 21, 2013

    Israel’s fence/wall through the occupied West Bank cutting off Palestinians from their farmland, and the settlements that take over even more lands, are ongoing violations of international law, Amnesty International said today as US President Barack Obama continued his first presidential trip to the region.

    The organization has learnt that, in the last few days, Palestinian farmers in the northern West Bank village of Jayyus, who for years have had trouble accessing their land through the military fence/wall (which in this area takes the form of an electrified and heavily guarded fence), are now faced with Israeli settlers setting up additional obstacles.

    The settlers have installed a caravan outpost to the north of the Israeli settlement Tsufim on the farmers' land in an apparent reaction to the military finally starting to act on a 2009 Israeli High Court of Justice ruling that the fence should be re-routed in order to return some of the land to the farmers.

    November 27, 2012

    By Ann Harrison, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme

    Damage to an apartment building in Rishon LeZion, outside Tel Aviv, from rockets fired from Gaza © Amnesty International.

     

    It was dawn when we arrived in Israel to begin our investigation into rocket attacks from Gaza which by the end of the latest flare in violence had left six Israelis, including four civilians, dead, at least 40 injured and 300 more treated for shock.

    Up in the sky oddly shaped vapour trails made us wonder if these were the remnants of the “Iron Dome” missiles – used to intercept the rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups which this time reached as far north as Tel Aviv.

    A child is digging in the rubble of the destroyed al-Dalu family house in Gaza City © Amnesty International

    The following is a firsthand account by Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Response Adviser, reporting from Gaza. The ceasefire came into effect at 9pm on November 21 November.

    The children are playing outside again, despite the torrential rain. They were stuck indoors during eight days of relentless Israeli bombardments.

    By the time that ended in excess of 160 people were dead - including more than 30 children and scores of other unarmed civilians.

    For the duration of the onslaught they were stuck indoors - at home, seeking refuge with relatives or in schools which the UN refugee agency turned into temporary shelters for thousands of families forced from their houses by the bombings.

    By Lamri Chirouf, Amnesty International’s delegate in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

    Last month we drove northwest from Ramallah to visit the small village of Budrus, which gained international attention a decade ago when residents started protesting against the fence/wall erected by Israel.

    Regular protests there against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank continue, and clashes between village youths and members of the Israeli army have become a weekly, if not daily, occurrence.

    The main reason behind the protests is still the wall, described by the Israeli government as a security fence and by Budrus residents, and Palestinians throughout the West Bank, as an ‘apartheid wall’ and a way for the Israeli government to annex more Palestinian lands.

    The majority of the wall is located inside the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). In Budrus, it consists of rolls of barbed wire, multiple fences and sensors, and a road on the other side patrolled by Israeli military jeeps, all of which work to separate villagers from their farming lands.

    Israel’s new government must drop a proposed law that would lead to mass forced evictions of Bedouin people and instead pursue legislation to protect Bedouin housing rights, Amnesty International said, as the Ministerial Committee on Legislation is due to consider the proposal on Sunday.

    The draft “Law for Regularizing Bedouin Habitation in the Negev - 2012”, approved by the previous government, threatens at least 30,000 Bedouin in the country’s southern Negev/Naqab desert with forced eviction from their communities, which have never been officially recognized by the Israeli government.

    “Forcibly evicting tens of thousands of Bedouin from communities where they have lived for generations cannot be justified in the name of economic development or any other reason – Israel’s new leaders must have the courage to venture where previous governments have ignored human rights standards,” said Ann Harrison, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

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