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Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

    October 19, 2018

    Fears of escalating bloodshed are rising ahead of planned protests in Gaza later today after Israeli authorities announced a “zero tolerance” policy towards demonstrations along the Israel/Gaza fence, said Amnesty International.

    The organization is calling on the Israeli government to rein in its armed forces, which have routinely used unnecessary or excessive force during Gaza’s weekly “Great March of Return” demonstrations.

    “Given Israeli forces’ horrific track record of using deadly force against Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza, as well as journalists, medics and others, the announcement of a ‘zero tolerance’ policy is deeply alarming,” said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    The exact details of what “zero tolerance” means have not been disclosed, but there are fears it will lead to more Palestinian deaths along the Gaza/Israel border. 

    September 30, 2018

    Monday’s planned demolition of a West Bank village and forcible transfer of its residents to make way for illegal Jewish settlements is a war crime that lays bare the Israeli government’s callous disregard for the Palestinians, Amnesty International said today.

    Some 180 residents of the Bedouin community of Khan-al Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, face being forcibly evicted and transferred by the Israeli army. The Israeli authorities have offered the villagers a choice of two possible destinations: a site near the former Jerusalem municipal garbage dump, near the village of Abu Dis, or a site in the vicinity of a sewage plant close to the city of Jericho.

    “After nearly a decade of trying to fight the injustice of this demolition, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar now approach the devastating day when they will see their home of generations torn down before their eyes,” said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    September 20, 2018

    The deaths of six Palestinians within just 24 hours is a horrific demonstration of the unnecessary or excessive force deployed by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Amnesty International said today.

    Between 10pm on Monday 17 September and 8pm on Tuesday 18 September, Israeli forces killed four Palestinian men in the Gaza Strip using live ammunition . Within the same period, two more died as a result of the actions of Israeli forces in the West Bank, one after being beaten during the process of arrest and another shot dead in a busy street in East Jerusalem.

    “The shocking fact that five Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli authorities and one died in their custody in just 24 hours is a chilling demonstration of the utter disregard for right to life. Several of these incidents appear to involve deliberate and wilful killing of unarmed civilians and may amount to war crimes,” said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    July 29, 2018

    The release of a Palestinian child activist jailed by Israel’s military for shoving, slapping and kicking two heavily armed soldiers wearing protective gear is welcome news but serves as a reminder of Israel’s continued human rights violations against Palestinian children, Amnesty International said.

    Seventeen-year-old Ahed Tamimi was set free today, 21 days short of completing an eight-month prison sentence following her wrongful imprisonment by Ofer military court in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

    “This is a huge relief for Ahed Tamimi’s loved ones, but their joy will be tempered by the injustice of her imprisonment and the grim knowledge that many more Palestinian children still languish in Israeli jails, many despite not having committed any recognizable crime,” said Saleh Higazi, Head of Office in Jerusalem for Amnesty International.

    July 05, 2018

    Israel’s forcible transfer of Palestinians from their homes and settling of Israeli civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and are war crimes, Amnesty International said as it continues to monitor the fast-changing situation on the ground in the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar.

    This morning Israeli security forces closed off the areas surrounding the Khan al-Ahmar community in preparation for the demolition of the entire village, including schools, farmland, a mosque and the homes of all families living in the village.

    “Going ahead with the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar is not only profoundly cruel; it would also amount to forcible transfer, which is a war crime. Israel must be held to account for such grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is a standard it has set for itself and demanded of other nations. The international community also has a responsibility to ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions. The demolition of Khan al-Ahmar must be stopped,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International

    June 01, 2018

    The Israeli authorities must immediately cancel plans to demolish the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar and the forcible eviction of the community living there, said Amnesty International, ahead of the anticipated arrival of bulldozers on 1 June after the demolition was authorized by Israel’s Supreme Court last week. 

    Residents of the village are set to be transferred to a site near the former Jerusalem municipal garbage dump near the village of Abu Dis.

    "Last week’s outrageous decision by the Supreme Court to allow the Israeli army to demolish the entire village of Khan al-Ahmar was a devastating blow to the families who have spent nearly a decade campaigning and fighting a legal battle to remain on their land and maintain their way of life. Going ahead with the demolition is not only cruel, it would also amount to forcible transfer, which is a war crime,” said Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Magdalena Mughrabi.

    May 14, 2018

    *Spokespeople available for interview*

    Responding to reports that dozens of Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured by the Israeli military during protests along the fence that separates Gaza and Israel today, Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said:

    “This is another horrific example of the Israeli military using excessive force and live ammunition in a totally deplorable way. This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be wilful killings constituting war crimes.

    “Today’s footage from Gaza is extremely troubling, and as violence continues to spiral out of control, the Israeli authorities must immediately rein in the military to prevent the further loss of life and serious injuries.

    May 09, 2018

    Responding to Israel’s decision to expel Human Rights Watch’s Country Director Omar Shakir, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Magdalena Mughrabi, said:

    “We stand in complete solidarity with Omar Shakir and strongly condemn Israel’s decision to revoke his work permit and order him to leave the country. This is yet another alarming sign of the country’s increasing intolerance of critical voices.

    “The Israeli authorities must immediately stop their ongoing harassment of human rights defenders. Barring access to those documenting human rights abuses won’t hide Israel’s mass violations carried out in the context of more than 50 years of occupation. Israel must repeal laws that arbitrarily restrict human rights advocacy, including criticism of human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law that it has committed.”

    Background

    April 27, 2018

    Israel is carrying out a murderous assault against protesting Palestinians, with its armed forces killing and maiming demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them, Amnesty International revealed today, based on its latest research, as the “Great March of Return” protests continued in the Gaza Strip.

    The Israeli military has killed 35 Palestinians and injured more than 5,500 others – some with what appear to be deliberately inflicted life-changing injuries – during the weekly Friday protests that began on 30 March.

    Amnesty International has renewed its call on governments worldwide to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel following the country’s disproportionate response to mass demonstrations along the fence that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel.

    April 24, 2018

    Responding to the Israeli government’s declaration to the High Court that it will stop forcible deportations of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers to “third countries”, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Magdalena Mughrabi said:

    “While the Israeli government’s declaration to the High Court that it will stop forcible deportations of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers to “third countries” is welcome, there is still deep cause for concern.

    “Israel is still conducting what it calls “voluntary” deportations, though in reality there is nothing voluntary about them. Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers agree to them under pressure. Israel remains under the obligation not to transfer anyone to a country where they would be at real risk of serious human rights violations, or where they would not be protected against such transfer.

    “Amnesty International will keep monitoring Israel’s deportations of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers closely.”

     

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    April 03, 2018

    Following the deaths of 17 Palestinians during protests that started yesterday in the Gaza Strip and the injuring of hundreds of others, Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities to put an immediate end to its heavy handed, and often lethal, suppression of Palestinian demonstrations. The organization is also calling for independent and effective investigations to be launched immediately into reports that Israeli soldiers have unlawfully used firearms against unarmed protesters. Israel must respect the human rights to life and to peaceful protest amid concerns that the crackdown against protesters demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees will continue.

    March 29, 2018

    In response to the news that at least 68 people, 66 men and two women, died in a fire at a police station jail in the northern state of Carabobo in Venezuela on 28 March, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International said:

    “This horrific and entirely avoidable tragedy is another sign of the Venezuelan authorities’ complete lack of concern for the human rights of people deprived of their liberty. The authorities must not only launch an impartial and independent investigation into the deaths to guarantee truth, justice and reparations for the victims and their families; they must also take immediate action to ensure that they treat all prisoners with dignity, respect and protect their human rights, and prevent events of this appalling nature from ever happening again.”

    March 29, 2018

    Ahead of tomorrow’s planned protests marking Palestine Land Day, and amid reports that Israeli forces have warned that they will open fire on anyone from Gaza seen breaching the border fence with Israel, Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities to rein in the security forces, which have regularly used excessive force during recent demonstrations and clashes.

    On 30 March 1976, Palestinian citizens of Israel protested the Israeli government’s expropriation of 2,000 hectares of land surrounding Palestinian villages in the Galilee. Six Palestinians were killed and more than 100 were injured when Israeli forces crushed the protests. On the same date every year since, Palestinian communities in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) have gathered to commemorate these events, to highlight Israel’s ongoing seizure of Palestinian land, and to reaffirm their connection to the land.

    March 26, 2018

    Israel’s policy of deporting African asylum-seekers to two unnamed African countries is an abdication of its responsibility to refugees and an example of the vicious political measures feeding the “global refugee crisis”, Amnesty International said today as the Israeli Supreme Court considers new evidence on the legality of the policy.  

    Israel has allegedly reached agreements with two countries – widely understood to be Uganda and Rwanda. The terms of the agreements are classified.

    Under the government’s new “Procedure for Deportation to Third Countries”, launched in January, those who agree to leave are given US$3,500 and a ticket to either their country of origin or an unnamed “third country”. Those who refuse face indefinite detention. The Israeli government claims the scheme facilitates “voluntary departures” of “infiltrators”. 

    March 22, 2018

    The continued imprisonment of Palestinian child activist Ahed Tamimi is a flagrant attempt to intimidate those who dare challenge the circumstances of the ongoing occupation, Amnesty International said today after she was sentenced to eight months and a 5,000 shekels fine (around US$ 1,400) with a three year suspended sentence after entering into a plea deal at Ofer military court in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

    17-year-old Ahed Tamimi was accused of aggravated assault and 11 other charges after a video showing her shoving, slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers in her home village of Nabi Saleh on 15 December 2017 went viral on Facebook.

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