Geneva—The United Nations and all governments doing business with Israel must demand immediately that it cease the deliberate and excessive use of force against Palestinians, says the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor in a new report on the past 100 days of Palestinian protests against the occupation.
Between 1 October and 8 January, 3,401 Palestinians, with the youngest only 8 years old, have been arrested by Israeli forces—primarily for throwing stones, a mostly symbolic form of protest that can keep youth in Israeli prison for up to 20 years. Many of these arrests took place when Israeli forces stormed private homes in the middle of the night, and some occurred when soldiers raided hospitals. One in every 3 detainees is a victim of cruel treatment such as beatings, handcuffing and blindfolding.
Israeli soldiers also have killed 150 Palestinians, including seven women and 27 minors , refusing to return 24 of the bodies to their families. Another 15,759 Palestinians have been injured, 92 of them seriously—including 58 journalists and 103 emergency medical personnel. That compares to the killing of 27 Israelis (including one woman) by protesting Palestinians and the injury of 385, of which 33 were serious.
" Israel is guilty of severe violations of international humanitarian law and of human rights standards " says Richard Falk, chairman of the Euro-Med board of trustees and former UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
To date, however, international officials who try to hold Israel accountable are marginalized or forced resign, with the most recent example Makarim Wibisono, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the OPT. Wibisono was charged with investigating crimes committed during the summer 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza, but was refused cooperation by Israel.
The latest, youth-led rash of Palestinian protests was set off initially by increasing fears that Israel was seeking to take over the Al Aqsa Mosque compound. However, since then, the unrest has spread throughout the West Bank and into Gaza and Israel, with the most incidents occurring in Hebron.
“These experiences—witnessing siblings seized from homes, or being held directly for hours or days in Israeli prisons and often tortured as a result—will shape a generation to come, just has it has their parents’,” observes Maha Hussaini, spokesperson for the Euro-Med Monitor. “The international community, and Israel, is creating the very motivation for violence they claim to want to stop.”
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