Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

    November 22, 2016

    Israeli authorities must drop all charges against Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro, who is facing prison time for his internationally recognized peaceful activism against Israel’s illegal settlements in the city of Hebron, Amnesty International said today.

    Issa Amro’s trial is due to begin on 23 November at Ofer Military Court in the occupied West Bank.

    “The deluge of charges against Issa Amro does not stand up to any scrutiny. In their determination to silence him and stifle his human rights work, the Israeli authorities have apparently even reopened a closed case file. If he is convicted we will consider Issa Amro a prisoner of conscience,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    “As well as dropping the baseless and politically motivated charges against Issa Amro, the Israeli authorities should investigate his allegations of beatings in custody, and the physical and verbal abuse hurled at him by settlers, the army and the police. People who speak out about human rights abuses should be protected, not assaulted and harassed.”

    September 28, 2016

    Nearly a year on from a bloody spike in violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) Israeli forces continue to display an appalling disregard for human life by using reckless and unlawful lethal force against Palestinians, Amnesty International said today.

    In a memorandum sent to the Israeli authorities on 14 September, the organization has detailed 20 cases of apparently unlawful killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces seeking clarification about the status of investigations. In at least 15 of the cases, Palestinians were deliberately shot dead, despite posing no imminent threat to life, in what appear to be extrajudicial executions. The Israeli authorities have not responded to Amnesty International’s concerns.

    “Since the escalation of violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories last year, there has been a worrying rise in unlawful killings by Israeli forces, fostered by a culture of impunity,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    August 29, 2016

    The Israeli authorities must ensure that the trial of a detained humanitarian worker employed by the charity World Vision is fair and open, said Amnesty International on the eve of his trial, amid reports that the proceedings are due to take place in secret.

    Mohammed al-Halabi, the manager of Gaza operations for the child-focused global development NGO, is facing 12 charges including being a member of a “terrorist organization” and siphoning off the charity’s funds for “terrorism” purposes.  He was initially denied access to a lawyer and, when she was eventually allowed to meet him, he alleged he had been seriously mistreated in custody.

    The lawyer is prevented from disclosing the details of that allegation, as well as many other elements of the case, by a set of severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on reporting around the case. 

    July 28, 2016
    Shuja'ya civil defence ambulance hit 21 July, where medic was killed

    by Jim Joyce

    Two years ago Israel’s military forces for fifty days wreaked destruction on the Gaza Strip, killing close to 1,500 civilians, more than a third of them children (6 Israeli civilians were killed by rockets fired by the Palestinians.) 

    Two years later no independent (of those ordering, implementing or advising on the war) investigations of these war crimes have been undertaken by the government of Israel.  Some of these attacks clearly targeted civilians, a violation of international humanitarian law.  No credible investigations have been done by the Palestinians of their rocket attacks, with some dozen of them having ranges beyond the arc of territory just north of Gaza.

    This was the third such war in the past ten years.  Each has been more devastating than the previous to the lives and infrastructure of the Palestinians in Gaza.  No one has been held accountable for the death of civilians those times either.

    Amnesty International, connecting the dots — reports of war crimes and no investigations — fears that the Israeli government has granted its soldiers  impunity to continue killing Palestinian civilians. 

    July 18, 2016

    By Jim Joyce, Amnesty International Canada's Coordinator for Israel/OPT/Palestine

    July 07, 2016

    by Jim Joyce, AICS(ES) Israel, Occupied Territories, Palestine Coordinator

    Hassan Safadi, a Palestinian journalist and Media Coordinator for Addameer, a prisoners’ rights organization, was detained returning from Jordan at the Karameh bridge crossing into the Occupied Palestinian Territory on 01 May by Israeli authorities. 

    He was taken to the Moscobiyyah Police Detention Center in Jerusalem and interrogated.  This interrogation continued after he was transferred to Kitziot Prison in the Negev southern Israel.  He told his lawyer he was subjected to sleep deprivation and tied into stress positions during those interrogation sessions.  Such treatment violates the prohibition under international law of torture and other ill-treatment.  For a period between 12 and 22 May he was denied access to his lawyer.

    His sister reported that IDF personnel came to their home and took away any papers “that had Hasan’s name.”  They also carried away books that were inscribed with his name.

    July 07, 2016

    “I cannot understand how a crime that took place in view of cameras, where the whole world saw how boys playing on the beach were massacred mercilessly, can pass like that without any criminals held to account.” Sobhi Bakr, relative of four boys killed in an Israeli air strike on 16 July 2014.

    Tomorrow, 8 July 2016, marks the second anniversary of the start of a 50-day Israeli military offensive which brought unprecedented death and destruction to the Gaza Strip.

    In a new briefing issued today, Amnesty International asks why no genuine criminal investigations have been launched, and why no one has yet been held to account for atrocities in spite of war crimes being committed by both sides.

    “During 50 days of attacks, Israeli forces wreaked massive death and destruction on the Gaza Strip, killing close to 1,500 civilians, more than 500 of whom were children,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme Director.

    June 13, 2016

    The Israeli military today renewed for six months the detention of Palestinian circus performer Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha, who has been held without charge since his arrest in December 2015, in a case that exemplifies the authorities’ arbitrary and repressive use of administrative detention, said Amnesty International.

    Mohammad Abu Sakha performs as a clown and teaches at the Palestinian Circus School in Birzeit, near Ramallah, where he specializes in working with children with learning difficulties.

    “The arbitrary detention of Mohammad Abu Sakha is yet another shameful example of the Israeli authorities’ abusive use of administrative detention. He has already spent more than six months behind bars without being charged or allowed to stand trial - he has been denied even the slightest semblance of justice,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

    “The Israeli authorities must either charge Mohammad Abu Sakha with a genuine criminal offence or order his release. For decades, Israel has relied upon administrative detention, in many cases as an alternative to bringing

    June 09, 2016

    The deadly attack on civilians at a Tel Aviv shopping and restaurant complex last night displayed a stark contempt for human life, Amnesty International said.

    Two Palestinian gunmen opened fire at the Sarona market in Tel Aviv on Wednesday evening, killing four civilians and injuring others. Several of those wounded were still hospitalized on Thursday morning. Israeli forces apprehended the attackers, wounding one of them.

    “This heinous attack flouted fundamental principles of humanity,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

    “There can be never be any justification for deliberately attacking civilians.”

    No group has claimed responsibility for the killings, but the Hamas movement welcomed the attack and warned of more “surprises” for Israel.

    “Celebration and coded threats are a reprehensible response to the deaths of civilians,” said Philip Luther.

    May 10, 2016

    The Israeli authorities should drop the charges handed down two days ago to nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu, as well as lifting all of the restrictions still imposed on him, Amnesty International said today. This latest development is illustrative of the pattern of persecution he has faced since he was released from prison 12 years ago after serving an 18-year sentence for disclosing information on Israel’s secret nuclear capacity in 1986.

    On 8 May 2016, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court charged Mordechai Vanunu with breaching the ongoing severe and arbitrary restrictions against his rights to freedoms of movement and expression. The charges apparently relate to a meeting he had with two US nationals three years ago; an interview he gave to Israeli broadcaster Channel 2 in September 2015, for which he was already punished that same month; and moving his residence within the same building without informing the police.

    May 06, 2016

    By Alex Neve and Beatrice Vaugrante

    On February 22 of this year, the House of Commons passed a motion condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement initiated in 2005 by Palestinian civil society. The BDS movement is a non-violent, global campaign which encourages organizations, activists and citizens to apply economic pressure on Israel “until Palestinian rights are recognised in full compliance with international law.”

    Amnesty International does not take a position vis-a-vis the BDS movement.  We do, however, unequivocally support the right of individuals to engage in the debate associated with the movement and associated campaign, including the right to advance the objectives of the BDS movement and promote the view that boycotts, divestment and sanctions should be applied.

    March 24, 2016

    An Israeli soldier has been filmed shooting dead a Palestinian man in Hebron as he lay wounded on the ground following his alleged role in a knife attack earlier today.  The man, Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif, was one of two Palestinians believed to have been involved in the stabbing of an Israeli soldier.  Footage of the shooting was released by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.

    “The shooting of a wounded and incapacitated person, even if they have been involved in an attack, has absolutely no justification and must be prosecuted as a potential war crime,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

    “Israeli forces have a long history of carrying out unlawful killings – including extrajudicial executions – in the Occupied Palestinian Territories with impunity. Amnesty International has documented a number of similar cases during the upsurge in violence that began in October.

    November 20, 2015

    There can be no justification for a spate of deliberate deadly attacks by Palestinians on civilians over the past week in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories which displayed a clear contempt for human life, said Amnesty International.

    In the latest attacks on Thursday, Palestinians from the occupied West Bank killed five civilians: three Israelis, a US national and a Palestinian, in two separate incidents.

    “As tensions continue to skyrocket we have seen a string of reprehensible attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilians over the past week in which the assailants appear to have sought to kill individuals they presumed to be Israeli Jews,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

    November 12, 2015

    The killing of a 28-year-old Palestinian man by Israeli forces during a raid on al-Ahli hospital in Hebron in the early hours of Thursday morning may amount to an extrajudicial execution, Amnesty International said today.

    Eyewitnesses report that a large group of Israeli soldiers and police entered the hospital at 2.43am disguised as Palestinian civilians, with some wearing keffiyehs and fake beards and another being pushed in a wheelchair dressed as a pregnant woman. According to two witnesses Amnesty International spoke to, they entered a room on the third floor of the hospital where 20-year-old Azzam Azmi Shalaldah was a patient, to arrest him on suspicion of stabbing an Israeli civilian on 25 October.

    When they entered the room where the patient was in bed, they immediately shot his cousin, Abdullah Azzam Shalaldah, at least three times, including in the head and upper body.

    October 30, 2015

    The Israeli military must immediately take steps to protect Palestinian civilians from attacks by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank and ensure effective investigation of all attacks, including the killing of a Palestinian teenager in Hebron by an Israeli civilian on 17 October, Amnesty International said today.

    Since 1 October, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of attempted, alleged and actual stabbing attacks by individual Palestinians on Israeli civilians, soldiers, and police. Eight Israeli civilians have been killed in stabbing or shooting attacks by Palestinians. In the same period, Israeli forces have shot and killed more than 35 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Israel, including at least 14 in Hebron, either after stabbings were carried out or when the Israeli authorities alleged stabbing attacks were intended.

    Pages

    Subscribe to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
    rights