Palestinian Police Destroy Marijuana Plants
- Israel uses Palestinian teens as human shields
AJP and agencies
Sister of Palestinian Mohammed al-Galban, who was killed by Israeli
soldiers, mourns his funeral
The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem accused the Israeli Occupation
Forces (IOF) of using Palestinian teenagers as human shields (a
military and political term describing the presence of civilians in or
around combat targets to deter an enemy from attacking those targets,
according to Wikipedia) during an operation in the West Bank city of
According to B'Tselem, Israeli soldiers took two Palestinians, a boy
and a girl, aged between 11 and 15 years old, while conducting a
military offensive last week, asking them to enter houses in which
they were searching for fighters and weapons, before they raid them.
International law considers the use of human shields a war crime.
Article 51 of the Geneva Conventions, "Protocol Additional to the
Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (Protocol 1)," prohibits the use
of civilians as human shields "to render certain points or areas
immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield
military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede
military operations." And Article 52 clearly prohibits attacking
civilian infrastructure unless it is of military value, and Article 54
prohibits attacking food and water equipment, unless it is of military
value and does not cause civilians to starve or be forced to move.
Also the Human Rights Watch states that "civilians acting as human
shields, whether voluntary or not, contribute indirectly to the war
capability of a state. Their actions do not pose a direct risk to
opposing forces. Because they are not directly engaged in hostilities
against an adversary, they retain their civilian immunity from
attack." However it notes that the use by a state of human shields,
whether voluntary or not, is a violation of international law, citing
Protocol I of the First Geneva Convention.
Israel has previous instances in the occupied Palestinian territories
where it violated all above mentioned articles
Also the use of human shields has been ruled illegal by Israel's
Supreme Court and is prohibited by military orders.
Earlier an Associated Press cameraman captured a photo of an incident
that took place on Feb. 25, where Sameh Amira, 24, appeared used by
Israeli troops as they raided apartments in the city's casbah, or Old
Amid, Amira's 15-year-old cousin, told B'Tselem that he was used by
the soldiers as well as Mr. Amira during military operations were they
were forced to come along as the Israelis searched three houses,
forced to enter rooms ahead of the Israelis and empty cupboards and
open windows to make sure there're no bombs that would risk the
The rights group also quoted Jihan Dadush, 11, as saying that members
of the Israeli army kidnapped her from her home three days later, and
asked her to open the door of a neighboring apartment they sought to
B'Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli said that
"The army must investigate what happened and act accordingly -- try
people, make sure the rules are clarified and understand where the
failures were, in order to prevent this from happening again," she said.
* Discrimination against Arab Israelis
Meanwhile, The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination demanded the Israeli army ease roadblocks and other
restrictions on Palestinians as well as control settlers' violence and
The committee, which examined the records of 13 countries at a
four-week meeting in Geneva, said that the IOF trains in Palestinian
villages, stressing that Israel's security measures must be
re-calibrated to avoid discrimination against Arab Israelis or
Palestinians living in the occupied territories.
It further warned against the unjust distribution of water resources,
also criticizing the "denial of the right of many Palestinians" to
return to their land.
Palestinian hospital officials reported Saturday that the Israeli
occupation forces shot dead a Palestinian man near the Gaza border on
Friday, adding that they had retrieved the man's body, which they said
was riddled with bullets.
The Israeli military repeated same claims it uses each time it kills
Palestinians, arguing that the soldiers opened fire at the man after
two Palestinians came close to the Israeli-built border fence.
"The force suspected them of trying to plant an explosive device,"
Israeli military spokeswoman said.
"The force fired at them and identified hitting one of them," she added.
"We have called on Palestinians many times not to come towards the fence."
No weapons were found at the scene of the incident.
Palestinians arrested after Israeli settlers attack them
A 48 year old Palestinian man was walking home about 11 am when he was
attacked with stones by a 14 year old settler outside the Israeli
settlement of Beit Hadassa. Three other settler youths about the same
age supported this attack. The soldier on duty intervened and told the
settlers to leave. The Palestinian's 14 year old son and his friend
were approaching from the checkpoint and saw the trouble. As they
arrived a settler stopped his car, jumped out, grabbed the son and
pushed him up against a car. He managed to escape and ran towards the
checkpoint. A police car stopped and arrested the Palestinian...
Israeli forces violate international law, attack ambulance driver
Israeli forces severely beat an ambulance driver in the northern West
Bank, reports the Jenin branch of the Union of Palestinian Medical
Relief Committees. Soldiers stopped the ambulance while it was enroute
to the village of Sair for a free medical day. They knocked the driver
to the ground and beat him, causing injuries to his face and head.
Israeli settlers steal video camera from international volunteer
The children began to physically assault the two women, kicking them
and one of their video cameras. One adult female settler was also
present but did nothing to prevent the children from harassing the
workers. One of the settler children then stole the video camera from
one of the HRWs and the settlers ran away towards the illegal Tel
Rumeida settlement located in the center of Hebron city.
Israeli army invades several West Bank areas and abducts 14 civilians
Israeli forces invaded several cities and towns located in different
parts of the West Bank and abducted 14 Palestinian civilians on Monday
morning. In Bethlehem city in the southern part of the West Bank,
Israeli troops and jeeps attacked and searched residents' houses
located in Al Aza refugee camp. Soldiers forced families out of their
homes during the search
Hamas: We're ready to defend Gaza
Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan said in response to reports that Israel
was planning a major operation in the Gaza Strip, "Hamas and the
Palestinian people are fully prepared for the next battle with the
Israeli enemy. Our response will be painful because our men are
prepared for jihad and martyrdom. Hamas remains committed to jihad as
a strategic option for liberating all of Palestine. This enemy
understands only the language of force and we will teach them an
Olmert offer for Arab talks draws sceptical response
But Saudi officials say the kingdom would only consider talks if
Israel clearly accepted the Arab peace initiative without any
conditions. A statement issued after Monday's Saudi cabinet session
stated the kingdom's position. "Israel should realise that peace
requires that it ends its constant violations and inhuman aggression
towards the Palestinian people before anything else, and accept legal
decisions passed by world bodies," it said.
Gaza journalists strike in protest of BBC journalist kidnapping
Palestinian journalists on Monday began a three-day strike to protest
the kidnapping of British Broadcasting Corp. correspondent Alan
Johnston, the longest-held reporter ever abducted in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian police crack down on growing West Bank lawlessness
International Herald Tribune
RAMALLAH, West Bank: Palestinian security forces have fixed traffic
lights, chased car thieves, arrested petty criminals and destroyed
hundreds of marijuana plants in a two-week campaign to halt rising
lawlessness in the West Bank, they said Monday.
Whereas Palestinians in the West Bank once lived in relatively safe
communities, crime has been rising in recent years, including car
theft and drug dealing. The upsurge came with widening poverty and
unemployment and a weakening of the security forces, side effects of
more than six years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.
The 80,000 members of the security forces have only received partial
salaries in the past year because of a foreign aid boycott imposed on
the Hamas government. Gunmen whether militia members or criminals
are far more powerful than the police.
Most Palestinians don't feel safe. A March opinion poll showed that 43
percent of Palestinians wanted to make fighting crime its first
priority over just 13 percent who wanted the government to focus on
restarting peace negotiations.
Two weeks ago, security forces started cracking down on crime in the
northern West Bank city of Nablus, a center for gangs trading in
stolen cars and drugs.
They began with fixing broken traffic lights, to give residents a
sense of order. Security forces confiscated unregistered, uninsured
cars, causing a rush of residents to get their car papers in order. In
some cases, police pursued car and motorcycle thieves, often firing in
the air during high-speed chases.
Since then, the crackdown has spread to other areas. Now, there are
checkpoints in most West Bank cities, and residents have to hand over
papers to prove their cars are not stolen.
Diab Al-Ali, a senior security official, said his men confiscated 551
cars and 21 motorbikes and arrested 94 suspected criminals in two
weeks. Security officials also found 62 kilograms (136 pounds) of
marijuana and 3,443 plants.
Palestinians said they were pleased.
Ayman Tambour, owner of a minimarket in central Nablus said he'd been
robbed twice by masked gunmen, and had his car stolen once in the past
Now, he is quietly relieved by the sight of uniformed policemen. "When
I see them, I feel better. But as long as there's armed men in the
streets, I won't feel safe," he said.
AP reporter Ali Daraghmeh contributed to this report from Nablus.
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