Reports and Studies

Statistics On Israel's Violations of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Gaza Strip,28 Septemper 2000 - 28 September 2003

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1 January 2004

Introduction During the third year of the Al Aqsa Intifada that started in September 2000, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued their systematic violations of human rights of Palestinians, in grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Since the beginning of this Intifada, the Palestinian people have been striving to retain their legitimate national rights, particularly the right to self-determination, and to build an independent state.
The Palestinian struggle has passed through many stages of suffering and oppression over the past 50 years, with recurrent and unpunished war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In this context, Palestinian and international human rights organizations have developed methods of documentation and are keeping tight and accurate records of each violation of human right standards set forth in the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the protection of Civil Persons in Time of War of 1949, the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child from 1989.
It is well-established in the international public law that crimes of war and grave breaches of the international humanitarian law cannot go unpunished, hence the value of professional documentation of human rights violations.
Such records are also presently useful for researchers, lawyers and other people who are interested in the protection of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
During the past three years, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has developed a its monitoring and documentation mechanisms in a view to establish reliable facts and information on the violations of human rights that is then disseminated to local and international organizations who are concerned with the protection and promotion of human rights.
Al Mezan's documentation program is based on an objective approach of investigating the cases and confirms its information with multiple sources.
The Center's fieldworkers reinforce the substantial information they collect for each case with photographs, official documents, affidavits and films.
In this report the Center provides the results of its diligent documentation of Israel's violations of human rights in the Gaza Strip, and the damage of human life and property in the past three years.
During the reporting period, Israel has utilized excessive and lethal force against Palestinian civilians, causing the death of 1,133 people in the Gaza Strip, including 297 children.
The Center recorded each extra-judicial killing and liquidation carried out by the IOF, in which 117 Palestinians civilians were killed out of the 33 that were officially targeted according to the Israeli military.
This policy of collective punishment is deliberate and systematic and appears to satisfy the Israelis leaders[1].
It should be noted that 76% of those injured in these operations died directly after Israeli attacks in these operations, while 32.
7% of these same injured were restricted by the IOF from receiving medical assistance.
Al Mezan documented the complete or partial destruction by the IOF of 3,929 homes, 285 industrial facilities, 345 commercial stores and 167 public facilities, including 79 school buildings, health facilities and worship places.
Moreover, the Center documented IOF's targeting of the livelihood of Palestinians through the ongoing demolition of cultivated land.
An area of 23,163 dunams[2] of land has been leveled in the Gaza Strip.
Additionally, 164 water wells have been demolished and made unusable.
Such actions greatly affect Palestinian farmers, their families and the entire society, which has now reached an unprecedented level of poverty and unemployment in the Gaza Strip.
On 9 October 2000, the IOF imposed a comprehensive siege on the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
This resulted in the isolation of the OPT from the outside world and its division into tens of tightly controlled and quasi impermeable fragments.
Restrictions were also imposed on vehicular movements within Palestinian towns and prevented the access of workers to their workplaces.
The accumulative economic losses in the OPT are colossal due to these restrictions and procedures established by the IOF.
Final comments While the figures herein indicate the extent of damage the IOF has caused to Palestinians, lives and property, they also illustrate the flagrant violations and crimes perpetrated by the Israelis.
The most blatant examples of violations perpetrated by the IOF in the OPT include, but are not limited to: Extra-judicial and deliberate killing of civilians, particularly children, which constitutes crimes against humanity.
Destruction and demolition of civilian premises, although such premises are protected by international and humanitarian law.
This includes homes, schools, commercial stores, factories and workshops and agricultural land and results in tens of thousands Palestinians having lost their shelter and sources of income.
Imposing a tight siege around and in the OPT.
This is one of the most obvious collective punishment measures implemented by the IOF.
As a result of this siege, the Palestinian economy has deteriorated and tight restrictions on the freedom of movement of civilians are imposed.
Al Mezan believes that such practices constitute grave breaches to the international humanitarian law and that the International Community is obliged, under the same law, to intervene and ensure Israel's compliance to the international treaties, standards and norms.
Israel is currently still enjoying impunity, which only encourages its forces, violations.
As such, Al Mezan believes that the international community is obliged to protect Palestinian civilians in the OPT and to bring all the Israelis who participated in, or who ordered the perpetration of such crimes to justice.

[1] Reference is made the IOF operation of 22 July 2002, which killed 14 Palestinians, including nine children, and injured approximately 145 others,.
A statement was made by Ariel Sharon in the hours following the attack that the operation was “one of our greatest successes�.
See Time.
Com “Why Israel's Air Strike Worries the US�, 23 July 2002.

[2] One dunam equals 1,000 square meters in the international system.