NPK-info 18-07-2001 - Nederlands Palestina Komitee / www.palestina-komitee.nl

Hierna allereerst een bericht over een verzwegen [niets over gezien of
gehoord in onze media] protest bij de opening van de "Maccabiah Games".
Twee citaten:
* " When Prime Minister Ariel Sharon started speaking, one group of women
stood with a large banner, "War Criminals." ".
* "Any support for the State of Israel today, is a rubber stamp for
assassinations, bombings of civilian cities,
ethnic cleanings, forced impoverishment, discrimination and apartheid of
millions of Palestinians."

Twee oproepen:
* A call to all free nations of the world, Governments and people.

Wat "gewone" berichten:
* Armed Occupier Is Hardly a Hero, Hanna Nasir, LA Times, 9-7-01
Citaat: "... the simple fact that the price of peace is the end of
* Landmines Planted Around Israeli Military Outpost in the Occupied
* War crime investigator accuses Israel of state terrorism ( May 30, 2001)
* First GCMHP Study on the Psychosocial Effects of Al-Aqsa Intifada
* Under the Guise of Security: House Demolitions in Gaza, MERIP/Chris Smith
Citaat: "Slowly, slowly, [the Israelis] are demolishing houses as they build
their roads and settlements."

Zie voor diverse acties en rapporten
* LAW www.lawsociety.org
* Palestine Solidarity Campaign www.palestinecampaign.org
* B'Tselem [http://www.btselem.org]: Torture of Palestinian Minors

NPK/WL, 18-7-2001

One People - One Crime!
 At the opening ceremony of the 16th Maccabiah Games 8
 brave women, divided into two groups and dressed in
 black took action to protest Israeli policies.  When
 Prime Minister Ariel Sharon started speaking, one
 group of women stood with a large banner, "War
 Criminals."  When this first group was dragged and
 beaten by other spectators and then brutally removed
 from the stadium by Israeli police, the second group
 of women stood with a large sign, "Stop Ethnic
 Cleansing."  Again, Israeli spectators hit and grabbed
 the women, and again, Israeli police came and dragged
 away the peaceful, nonviolent protesters.  The women
 were detained outside the stadium and then taken to
 Talpiyot Prison, where they were being held.  The
 group was released after being charged with improper

 The group released the following statement by
 circulating flyers at the ceremony:

 To the Jewish Communities:
 We citizens of Israel want to warn you that you have
 been duped!

 The Israeli government invited you to come as a show
 of support for the State of Israel.  And yet, your
 presence here does the exact opposite.

 Any support for the State of Israel today, is a rubber
 stamp for assassinations, bombings of civilian cities,
ethnic cleanings, forced impoverishment,
 discrimination and apartheid of millions of
 Palestinians.  These were the warning signs in the
 Munich 1936 Olympics.  The whole world turned away
 then, and look what happened. Are you ready to do the

 We, who have been living this nightmare day in and
 out, want to tell you the truth that you will not hear
 from the Israeli Maccabiah officials who brought you
 over.  The Israeli government does not act in
 self-defense, but purely on an offensive basis.  The
 Israeli military is occupying a foreign land and the
 struggle to end this occupation and return Palestinian
 refugees is a struggle for liberation from oppression
 like in South Africa.  Just look at the facts.  In the
 last 10 months, the Israeli government murdered 560
 Palestinians (31% children), shot and injured over
 16,000 Palestinians, beat up 72 journalists, damaged
 over 4000 Palestinian buildings, uprooted 25,000 olive
 and fruit trees, bulldozed 42,000 dunams of
 Palestinian land, closed 41 schools (20,000 students)
 and caused $2 billion in losses to the Palestinian

 The entire world human rights community including
 Israeli organizations, have denounced Israel's killings and excessive use
of force against the 3
 million Palestinians under Israeli occupation and the
 1 million Palestinian citizens of Israel.

 And while you sit here in Teddy Stadium, built on the> destroyed
Palestinian village of Malha, and celebrate
 a Jewish ("white-only") sports event, know that those> same indigenous
Malha residents are just a few miles
 from here, barely surviving in squalid refugee camps
 inside Jerusalem and in the West Bank.  Just last
 week, Jerusalem Mayor Olmert destroyed 13 homes of
 these same refugees rendering these Palestinians
 homeless and destitute once again.  Is this the Jewish

 Your presence here for the Maccabiah supports Ariel
 Sharon, under indictment for war crimes and who at the
 very moment together with the security forces, is
 planning the next round of bombings, assassinations,
 destruction and atrocities.  Most of these actions
 have and will be carried out with US made weapons,
 financed by US tax dollars.

 We citizens of Israel cannot sit silent, when the
 writing is on the wall for the next atrocity against
 the Palestinian people.  We plead with you to get up
 and leave and withdraw your support for the Israeli
 government's horrific policies against Palestinians.
 They kept silent, and millions of Jews suffered.  It's
 your chance to
 speak up.

 For more information: www.btselem.org, www.law.org

A call to all free nations of the world, Governments and people.

We are scared!

Some of you are worried about the violence in Palestine and Israel.

Unfortunately, this violence has been going on for the past 34 years in the
form of occupation of the Palestinian territory by Israel, and few seemed to
be worried.

That is why we are scared.

We are scared first, because few wanted to consider the occupation of the
West Bank and Gaza in June 1967 as a straightforward occupation, which is a
major violation of human rights and international law.

Almost from the beginning, it became evident that this was not a plain
occupation ( a temporary affair), but rather a planned attempt at
displacement of the Palestinian people from their land and settling Israeli
citizens in this occupied Palestinian territory. This colonization is the
only case to take place in the second half of the 20th century and indeed
the longest occupation in that century.

We are scared!

Because now Sharon is preparing for war. This is his mentality.

With this mentality he entered Beirut in 1982 with the intention of
liquidating the PLO. Sure he failed, but at what price!. Thousands of
Palestinians were murdered at Sabra and Shatilla.

For the Lebanon campaign, Israel fabricated an incident at its London
Embassy and used it as a justification for the Lebanon war.

We see now the writing on the wall. Israel is ready for war, and is just
waiting for the "right" justification. We will not be surprised if another
incident is fabricated, as in the past.

Will the International Community wait for another episode and massacre
before they consider intervention by sending an International Force to
protect the Palestinians under Israeli occupation?

We are scared that this be the case!

Violence will end when occupation ends. Talks about ending occupation should
start now, without preconditions or excuses put forth by the occupier to
prolong the occupation and hence the violence and the agony of all the

Palestinian Council for Justice & Peace
P.O. Box 874
Ramallah - Palestne
Tel +972-2-2986601

BADIL Resource Center - LAW Society
Joint press release, 13-7-2001 (E/38/2001)

NGOs, Unions, and Concerned Individuals Again Appeal to the United


US compliance with, and the apparent indifference of official Europe
to the gradual increase of Israeli gross violations of international
humanitarian and human rights law in the 1967 occupied Palestinian
territories in recent days, has been interpreted as a "green light"
for assault by Israel's right-wing government headed by Ariel Sharon.
In the past three days, at least 34 homes of Palestinian families,
most of them refugees, were destroyed in and around the refugee camps
of Rafah (Gaza) and Shu'fat (Jerusalem, West Bank), and dozens more
are slated for demolition in the Ramallah area. Residents of al-
Arroub camp and the town of Beit Ummar (Hebron), unable to leave
their communities since the closure for Palestinians of the main
Bethlehem-Hebron highway, have become targets of Israeli gunfire.
More homes were damaged and some 20 persons injured by renewed
Israeli shelling of the town of Beit Sahour (Bethlehem) and Hebron;
numerous Palestinian villages as well as Hebron have been invaded by
Israeli "special units" and regular army forces destroying
Palestinian defense positions, arresting people, and setting up new
Israeli army posts. Four Palestinian civilians, among them a newborn
baby, have died at Israeli checkpoints in the past five days, and on
Thursday, 5 July, International Red Cross trucks loaded with
emergency food aid for the besieged community of Yatta (Hebron) were
prevented access by the Israeli occupation army.

According to the Foreign Report published by Jane's Information Group
in London on 11 July, the current Israeli assault is part of a
blueprint entitled "The destruction of the Palestinian Authority and
disarmament of all armed forces", which was presented by Israeli
chief of staff Brigadier General Shaul Mofaz. The plan envisages a
military operation of up to one month, by the end of which PLO
chairman and PA president Arafat would either have left or been
forced to leave the West Bank and Gaza Strip. His closest allies
would be either dead or also out of the area. The Palestinian armed
forces, estimated at some 40,000, would be disarmed, and either dead
or in detention camps. Estimated Israeli casualties would be measured
in the hundreds, Palestinian losses would be in their thousands.
Israeli military and political analysts confirmed yesterday that the
current Israeli measures in the 1967 occupied territories are to be
seen as "phase one of the three-phase modular plan" approved earlier
by the security cabinet.

At this point, only a determined international intervention by means
of monitoring and protection forces mandated to ensure respect for
international law and human rights conventions in the Israeli
occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip can stop the Israeli assault.
Against this background, 53 NGOs, networks, unions, and concerned
individuals have sent yet another appeal for immediate international
protection to the United Nation's Economic and Social Council
(ECOSOC) currently in session in Geneva (2-22 July). The Council,
composed of 54 member states who take decisions by simple majority
vote, is the highest UN body mandated to promote respect for, and
observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

The current NGO appeal was initially submitted to Martin Belinga-
Eboutou, President of ECOSOC and UN Ambassador of the Republic of
Cameroon, by BADIL Resource Center on 3 July, in order to add
emphasis to an earlier call for ECOSOC action issued by the UN
Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).
In a letter (11 May 2001), issued following its April-May session,
CESCR explained that, due to the its limited enforcement capacity,
implementation of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights in crisis situations may require action by the Council
(ECOSOC) and added:  "In view of the Committee's responsibility to
uphold the Covenant and effectively monitor the implementation of the
rights recognized therein, the Committee would be remiss not to
underscore the need for protection measures for the population in the
occupied Palestinian territories." (See also BADIL press release
E/34/2001 on our website).

Now that ECOSOC is in session, NGOs, unions, and concerned
individuals world-wide request the Council to follow up on the
recommendations issued by CESCR and to adopt the following set of
immediate actions:

the occupied Palestinian territories along the lines of earlier calls
made by numerous other UN bodies and agencies, as well as
international human rights organizations, such as Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch. ECOSOC, in its overall
supervisory capacity for the UN human rights system, is particularly
well situated to issue such a call.

months) REPORTING REQUIREMENT under Security Council Resolution 681
(of 1990) which expressly mandates the UN Secretary-General to
monitor the situation of the population of the occupied Palestinian
territories and to  submit a report to the General Assembly every
four months on this topic. The Secretary-General submitted the first
such report pursuant to S.C. Res. 681 in April 1991 (S/22472).  The
process was temporarily discontinued because of the start of the
"Oslo process."

GENEVA CONVENTION to Ensure Israel's Compliance with the Convention,
especially since the overwhelming majority of the High Contracting
Parties currently support convening of such a conference at the
present time.

4. Renew the Mandate Issued by the Commission on Human Rights in Its
"Fifth Special Session" for ALL SPECIAL UN RAPPORTEURS and SPECIAL
REPRESENTATIVES to Make Immediate "Country Visits" to the Occupied
Palestinian Territories to File Official Reports, especially since
none of the eight Special Rapporteurs requested has yet undertaken
such a mission. ECOSOC is urgently requested to urge Israel to grant
permission for such visits.

5. Mandate an Official ECOSOC Study of Appropriate and Implementable
Forms of "Protection" for the Population of the OPTs, including the
Study of the "ROOT CAUSES" of the Conflict Prevailing in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories: Such a study would necessarily have to
address Israel's massive, ongoing violation of the rights of the
Palestinian refugees, who (along with their counterparts, the
"internally displaced" Palestinians inside Israel) number over 5
million persons and consequently comprise between two-thirds and
three-quarters of the entire Palestinian population worldwide.
Israel's violation of the international law-guaranteed rights of the
refugees to return, restitution and compensation in the context of a
"durable solution" to their refugee exile situation is based purely
upon discriminatory grounds and categorically prohibited by
international law.

In addition, a study of "root causes" would necessarily also have to
include a study of Israel's belligerent military occupation, in
violation of the Palestinian people's fundamental human right to self-
determination, as well as Israel's settlement policy, which is in
complete violation of international law.

The appeal to ECOSOC was endorsed by the following:

Abu Sitta, Dr. Salman, researcher (Kuwait);
AIDUN Group (Lebanon);
AL-AWDA The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (USA);
AL-AWDA Palestine Right to Return Coalition-UK (London, UK);
Al Baz, Dr. Ismail, water biologist (Berlin, Germany);
Al-Haq: Law in the Service of Man (Ramallah, Palestine);
Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights (Jabalya Camp, Palestine);
Aref, Dr. Aref A., president, Mawaris American Technologies
(Delaware, USA);
Asean Network for Palestine:  Mohideen Abdul Kader, coordinator
BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
(Bethlehem, Palestine);
CEPAL Canadian-Palestinian Educational Exchange: Jalbout Maysa,
president (Canada);
CESR Center for Economic and Social Rights (New York, U.S.A.);
Children and Youth Center-Shatila: Mahmoud Abbas (Shatila Camp,
Beirut, Lebanon);
CIHRS Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (Cairo, Egypt);
COHRE Center on Housing Rights and Eviction (Geneva, Switzerland);
Confederation Generale due Logement (Paris, France);
CSCA Arab Cause Solidarity Committee (Madrid, Spain);
Deir Yassin Remembered (USA);
Democratic Palestinian Cultural Forum: Nader Al-Salam (Beirut,
Democratic Women Organization: Khalidat Hussein (Lebanon);
EL NADIM Center for the Management and Rehabilitation for Victims of
Violence (Cairo, Egypt);
Family Hardship Cases Committee-Lebanon: Mona Waked;
FIDH International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (Paris, France);
General Union of Palestinian Jurists-Lebanon: Souheil El-Natour
(Beirut, Lebanon);
Habitat International Coalition, Housing and Land Rights Committee
(Middle East/North Africa);
Hagopian, Dr. Elaine C., Professor Emerita of Sociology, Simons
College (Boston, USA);
Hewett, Anthony, former UN officer (Jerusalem, Palestine);
High Committee for the Defense of the Right of Return: Ahmad Yousif,
member of secretariat (Amman, Jordan);
Husseini, Jalal, reseracher (Geneva, Switzerland);
ICCP - International Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question
of Palestine: Don Betz, chair (USA);
INMA' Social Development Society: Dejani, Tagreed (Lebanon);
Jabara, Abdeen, attorney (New York, USA);
King-Irani, Laurie, Ph.D. (Annapolis, Maryland, USA);
LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and
the Environment (Jerusalem, Palestine);
Martyrs' Follow Up Committee: Majda Faissal (Lebanon);
MIFTAH - Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue
and Democracy (Jerusalem, Palestine);
MSRI Malaysian Sociological Research Institute (Kuala Lumpur,
Murray, Dr. Nancy, Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights
National Lawyers Guild, Texas-Oklahoma Chapter (USA);
Noumoff, Dr. S. J., McGill University (Montreal, Canada);
Organisation Mondiale contre la Torture (Geneva, Switzerland);
Palestinian Right of Return Committees in Denmark and Europe: Issa,
Dr. Mahmoud (Copenhagen, Denmark);
Palestinian Writers and Journalists Union-Lebanon: Fathy Klaib;
PCHR Palestine Center for Human Rights: Dr. Raji Sourani, director,
(Gaza, Palestine);
Sayigh, Rosemary, researcher (Beirut, Lebanon);
Shihadeh, Dr. Musil, representative of American group in Egypt
(Cairo, Egypt);
TERAS: Mohamed Azmi Hamid, executive director;
The Egyptian Center for Housing Rights (Cairo, Egypt);
Third World Network: SM Mohamed Idriss, coordinator;
Union of Palestinian Youth-Lebanon: Leila Al-Ali;
Waltz, Dr. Viktoria, lecturer, University of Dortmund (Germany);
Yamouri, Najat, Vice President, Moroccan Support Committee for Girls
Education (Rabat, Morocco);
Ziad, Tariq, engineer (UK);

* For the full text of this appeal to ECOSOC see:

* For more on international protection and protection of refugee camp
areas see BADIL Occasional Bulletins, nos. 1, 2, and 6:

BADIL Resource Center aims to provide a resource pool of alternative,
critical and progressive information and analysis on the question of
Palestinian refugees in our quest to achieve a just and lasting solution for
exiled Palestinians based on the right  of return.
PO Box 728, Bethlehem, Palestine; tel/fax. 02-2747346; email:
info@badil.org; website: www.badil.org

Armed Occupier Is Hardly a Hero

Commentary in LA Times

     A couple of weeks ago, I witnessed a
confrontation with the Israeli occupation forces
regarding the closure of the Birzeit-Ramallah road.
Around 7:30 a.m., a group of university professors and
I met at the checkpoint between Ramallah and the
campus in Birzeit. We wanted to be assured of the safe
and smooth crossing of the students.
     Hundreds of students were at that checkpoint,
barred by Israeli soldiers from going to their
classes. By 8:30 a.m., the number of students rose to
about 2,000. They waited patiently as my colleagues
and I tried to persuade the officer in charge to let
them pass so that they would not miss their classes.
Itzick (that is the name I heard the soldiers call
him) indicated that he was just following higher
orders. But he was allowing some people to pass
according to what appeared to be his own whims.
     In an effort to touch an element of humanity in
the officer, I offered him some fruit and coffee that
a student had given me. He refused rudely. He could
not see a possible gesture of goodwill from a
Palestinian. We all seemed to represent something
abhorrent to him. Yet the students were young,
cheerful and not much different in age from him. They
could have been his partners in a swimming club or on
a basketball team.
     Of course, he was the stronger partner; he was
armed. The students had only their books. Yet he felt
uneasy and the students felt more relaxed. They were
standing on their home territory, at present occupied,
but they knew that someday that territory would be
theirs. On the other hand, Itzick probably realized
that someday he would have to leave that area for
good. He probably didn't fully understand why he
should be there at all. But he was acting according to
orders, like a robot. A robot with orders to shoot and
     At one point, he gave orders for his Jeep to be
revved up and seemed ready to drive through the
students to disperse them. Only luck and the courage
of the students made him stop. Without provocation, he
was losing his nerve.
     He decided to end the encounter by calling on
members of his unit to attack with tear gas, sound
bombs and rubber bullets. The students dispersed and
everybody went home. The peace process was buried one
inch further down.
     I do not know if Itzick went home and bragged to
his friends about what he had done. Maybe they hailed
him as a hero. But to me he is no hero. A hero is
somebody who can think and act rationally and
humanely, despite orders to the contrary. Itzick was
just a robot, and no robot can be a hero.
     Since the 1967 war and the occupation of the West
Bank and Gaza, Israel has convinced most of its
citizens and probably the world to think that the
occupation of Palestinian land is justified. Israelis
also are convinced that their young soldiers who
maintain security in the occupied territories are
heroes. They are further convinced that peace is
achievable while occupation continues. They do not
seem to appreciate the simple fact that the price of
peace is the end of occupation.
     Almost everybody who occupies other people's
lands has learned that lesson. Charles de Gaulle
understood it after many years of French occupation of
Algeria. The British understood it after years of
colonizing India. A country sometimes gets away with
being an occupying force for some time, but certainly
not forever.
     If that reality was understood and acted on by
Itzick, then he would have been a hero, on moral
grounds at least. But as long as he remains part of an
occupying force and as long as he uses a gun to
disperse unarmed students who are on their way to
study, then a hero he shall never be.
     The real heroes are those Palestinian students
and staff who are able to confront and resist the
occupation while continuing with their daily lives
under the most adverse conditions.
- - -
Hanna Nasir Is President of Birzeit University in the
West Bank

----- Oorspronkelijk bericht -----
Van: Alhaq
Aan: alhaq@apple.shabaka.net
Verzonden: woensdag 4 juli 2001 16:14
Onderwerp: Al-Haq Press Release # 110

For Immediate Release
Press Release # 110

4 July 2001

Landmines Planted Around
Israeli Military Outpost in the Occupied Territories

Israeli forces stationed at an outpost near the village of al-Khader have
planted landmines in the area surrounding the post.  A local family and the
Roman Orthodox Church own the land on which the outpost is located.  To date
mines have accidentally exploded at this location on at least three
different occasions.

On March 4, 2000 Israeli forces informed Ali Salim Saleh of al-Khader that
they would be establishing a military outpost on his land.  Saleh lives on
Jabal Abu Soud, which is a hill that overlooks al-Khader and Bethlehem.
Since its establishment this outpost has been used as a place from which to
shell the village of al-Khader and Bethlehem.  The outpost is located only
15 to 20 meters from Saleh's home, and on several occasion Israeli soldiers
have used the house as a location from which to shoot into the village.
Fifteen family members live in the home, including 3 of Saleh's married
children and six children under the age of 12.

Shortly after the camp was built an Israel officer called upon the Saleh
family and informed them in Hebrew that the area around the outpost was
surrounded with mines, and that they should not walk around their home.
They asked to put up a fence around the home, but were denied permission.
Two weeks later another officer came to the house and again told them to be
careful because there were mines in the area.  Mines have accidentally
exploded three times.  The second explosion occurred approximately two weeks
ago.  Saleh told al-Haq's fieldworker that there was an explosion around
10:30 in the evening.  The next morning when he went outside he noticed a
large hole in the field near his home.  The grass surrounding the hole had
been burned, and nearby stones had been blackened.  A soldier later told him
that they thought a dog walking through the area had set off the mine.  The
most recent explosions occurred on June 30, when two mines detonated during
the night.  What set them off is unknown.  The area around the Saleh family
home has been declared a closed military area since the establishment of the

Since the outbreak of the Intifada 100's of outposts and checkpoints have
been set up throughout the Occupied Territories.  The use of landmines in
this location, and the possibility that they have been used in other
locations throughout the occupied territories leaves al-Haq gravely

On October 30, 2000 Israeli signed the Protocol on Prohibitions or
Restrictions on the use of Mines, Booby-traps and other Devices (II) of the
Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).  The protocol entered into force
in Israel on April 1, 2001.  Article 4(2) of this Protocol states that "It
is prohibited to use weapons to which this Article applies [mines other than
remotely delivered mines, booby-traps, and other devices] in any city, town,
village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians in
which combat between ground forces is not taking place or does not appear to
be imminent".  When it ratified the Protocol Israel submitted eight
declarations related to its obligation.  These included a declaration that
"provisions of the Amended Protocol II, such as those regarding marking,
monitoring, and protection of areas containing mines under the control of a
high contracting party, shall apply to all areas containing mines".  In
placing new mines next to a civilian area Israeli has clearly violated it's
obligations under this protocol.  In refusing to allow a fence to be put up
around the area containing the mines, and in leaving them unmarked, Israel
has also violated its own declarations related to the treaty.

In accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 the Israeli
Authorities are responsible for ensuring the protection of the civilian
residents of the Occupied Territories, as they are protected persons. Al-Haq
therefore calls upon the Israeli government to:

1. Join the Mine Ban Treaty of 1997 calls for a ban on the use, production,
stockpiling, sale,  and transfer of Landmines.
2. Remove all the Landmines from the Occupied Territories. Until the Israeli
authorities comply with demand they must put up fences and post clear signs
warning the people of areas that contain Landmines.
3. Compensate any victims of Landmine explosions.
4. Fulfill its contracted duties as a signatory to the Protocol on
Prohibitions or Restrictions on the use of Mines, Booby-traps and other
Devices (II).


>War crime investigator accuses Israel of state
>( May 30, 2001)
>Source :
>Norwegian expert on international law Terje Lund is
>accusing Israel of practicing state-sponsored
>terrorism and claims that Palestinian Authority
>Chairman Yasser Arafat holds no responsibility for
>Palestinian "terror attacks."
>I regard much of Israel's aggression against
>Palestinians to be pure terrorism" Lund told Norway's
>NTB wire service.
>Lund, who has worked in international law for 20 years
>and has long experience investigating war crimes for
>the UN, said, "Israel is guilty of innumerable war
>Israel is guilty of "crimes [including] abuse of
>civilians, illegal reprisals, deportations, and a long
>list of other war crimes" Lund explained.
>Lund added that he was speaking on a judicial, and not
>a political basis. "The Geneva Convention has it's own
>life and is principally apolitical. After signing them
>it is Israel's duty to clean up its act " Lund said.
>An international court for Middle East war crimes
>should be established if this doesn't happen, he said
>    "Another option is to use the existing war-crimes
>commission based on the Geneva Convention. This has
>never been used, but is put together by 15 of the
>world's top experts on international law and should
>have been sent to the Middle East a long time ago,
>Lund said. "
>Israel is against any international investigation of
>the situation in the occupied territories," Lund said,
>adding that he doesn't see why that should be a
>"Israel has ratified the protocol regarding the war
>crimes commission and has by that accepted its
>jurisdiction" Lund said in defense of his position. He
>did, however, note that according to international
>laws, Israel has some rights to the use of force.
>"Israeli forces are allowed to keep order and calm in
>the occupied territories", and are therefore allowed
>to use what Lund termed "necessary force." "But this
>use of force can only be strictly according to the
>principle of proportionality," he added.
>"One of Israel's methods is to blow up the homes of
>the stone throwing youths, and that is state
>terrorism," Lund said. "This has nothing to do with
>the rights of the occupiers," he said, adding,
>"Another use of force which is absolutely illegal is
>Israel's revenge on civilian targets." Lund also
>thinks there's a widespread misunderstanding that
>international law can regulate what the Palestinians
>can do in response. According to Lund, the
>Palestinians are not covered by the international law
>at all.
>"They have therefore also no rights in connection to
>international law, but are instead protected by the
>UN's human rights conventions," Lund said.
>"If the Palestinians wants to lead an armed fight
>against the occupation, they should immediately
>establish a mini-state and fight based from there,"
>Lund's advised.
>"Then a uniformed Palestinian force will have the
>right to kill according to international law, and to
>be treated as prisoners of war [and] can't anymore be
>called criminals by the Israelis," Lund said.
>Lund is not denying the fact that extremist groups'
>actions against civilian Israeli targets are
>terrorism. But he says there is one big difference.
>"It is totally unacceptable that Israel as a state is
>guilty of these actions. The first to react should be
>the Israelis themselves. By not doing so, they're not
>Lund also thinks Arafat cannot be accused of the acts
>of terror committed by extremist organizations such as
>Hamas or Islamic Jihad.
>"It is not easy to place the responsibility for these
>actions with Arafat. First, he does not have the power
>and authority over all the Palestinians - something
>Israel and the world around has denied him - and
>second he cannot be held responsible as a state
>leader," Lund said.
>The fact that Israel and parts of the world want to
>blame Arafat for everything the Palestinians are doing
>has nothing to do with law, but with politics and
>propaganda, Lund said.

First GCMHP Study on the Psychosocial Effects of Al-Aqsa Intifada:

Significant Increase in Mental Disorders and Symptoms of Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD) among Children and Women

by Doctor Ahmad Youness

July 10, 2001

Gaza Community Mental Health Program's (GCMHP) Research Center conducted a
study on the psychological effects of Israeli bombardment of civilians in
the Gaza Strip. The study aimed to assess the magnitude of trauma among
women and children who were bombarded. The study group consisted of 121
mothers (21-55 years) and 121 children (3-16 years) were residents of the
area close to Al-Tuffah point in Khan Younis and the Salah El-Din gate
area in Rafah. The group excluded those with previous mental health
problems. The most important findings of the study were:

Increase in the rates of exposure to trauma:

99.2% of the group's homes were bombarded

97.5% were exposed to tear gas

2.5% suffered from burns

1.7% were hit by rubber bullets

2.5% were hit on the head and were rendered unconscious

2.5% were prevented from reaching medical care

Increase in the rate of exposure to trauma as a result of witnessing it:

96.6% of the children witnessed shootings

51.7% saw injured or dead who were not relatives

35.1% saw their neighbors injured or killed

22.9% saw family members injured or killed

95.8% witnessed bombardment and funerals

The increase in exposure to trauma led to an increase in the rate of PTSD

54.6% of the children started to develop acute PTSD symptoms

34.5% of the children started to develop medium PTSD symptoms

9.2% of the children started to develop light PTSD symptoms

In addition to the increase in PTSD symptoms, it was discovered that 13.3%
of children are suffering from a sharp increase in mental and behavioral
problems such as sleep disorders, hyperactivity, speech disorders, lack of
concentration, and aggressive behavior.

There was an increase in psychological problems among mothers

19.7% were suffering from somatic symptoms

24.6% were suffering from depression

16.6% were suffering from anxiety

11.8% were suffering from phobia

11.2% wre suffering from psychotic symptoms and psychosis

The study found that there is a strong proportional relationship between
the mental health of mothers and that of children. An increase in a
mother's psychological problems indicated an increase in her children's

Palestinian women and their children are suffering from Israeli violence.
And it is essential that they are given due care through preventive
programs to reduce the psychological anguish. Priority should be given to
the areas that are bombarded.

The research team that conducted the study consisted of Dr. Samir Qouta
and the supervisor, Ms. Hikmat El-Nahal as a field worker, Ms. Nivien
El-Hams an assistant, and Ms. Nida Timraz as a data analyzer. The team
faced numerous difficulties in conducting this study due to the general
situation and its complications.

One the NET: http://www.gcmhp.net
Doctor Ahmad Youness . Journalist and writer > El-Akhbar newspaper .
Tel/Fax : +2 (02) 3366966 . E mail : trchc@idsc.net.eg . afandem@dr.com

MERIP Press Information Note 63

Under the Guise of Security: House Demolitions in Gaza

Chris Smith

July 13, 2001

(Chris Smith is a freelance journalist based in Ramallah, the West Bank.)

The view from Ahmed Khalil Abu Samra's window is a bleak one. To one side is
an Israeli military post. To another, towards the Palestinian town of Dayr
al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, lie Abu Samra's wrecked greenhouses and
the remnants of uprooted olive and fruit trees. Out back is the Israeli
settlement of Kfar Darom, behind a high-voltage fence the Israeli army
erected on his property this spring. Abu Samra's son's house sits in ruins
behind the fence. A freshly cut bypass road -- connecting Kfar Darom to
Israel proper -- runs past his front door. Carved from his land in December,
the road is guarded by heavily fortified watchtowers with machine gun
emplacements. All visitors to Abu Samra's house must pass through the

"I am a prisoner in my own home," says Abu Samra, a regal man of 60 with
still-black hair and a flowing white robe. His family has owned the land for
generations, but his house is now an island in an ever-widening sea of
Israeli settlement, a casualty of what human rights groups say is a
systematic campaign of home demolitions, crop destruction and land
confiscation carried out by the Israeli army under the guise of security


Abu Samra's situation, though extreme, is far from unique. Citing the need
to protect Israeli settlements and military posts from attacks by
Palestinian gunmen, the Israeli army has demolished 269 homes and destroyed
2,280 acres of Palestinian agricultural land since the beginning of the
current intifada, according to LAW, a human rights group based in East
Jerusalem. What is exceptional about the destruction of Abu Samra's property
is that he says he did everything he could to accommodate the Israelis, and
it didn't make any difference.

Shortly after the electrified fence went up in December, says Abu Samra,
soldiers warned him to remove the trees closest to the fence, contending
that Palestinian gunmen could use them as cover when firing on the
settlement. Abu Samra complied, cutting down the rows of palm trees abutting
the fence. But at 11 pm on February 8, the soldiers came anyway. By one in
the morning, they had hacked down 240 palms, 80 olive trees, 80 orange and
lemon trees, bulldozed two acres of greenhouses and destroyed four water
wells. Five months later, the wreckage is still visible in every direction.
"I cut because I wanted to avoid the bulldozer," Abu Samra says. "I thought
that if I cut [down the trees] they wouldn't come."

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman, maintaining that the settlement
often came under heavy fire from Abu Samra's land, says the demolition was
necessary, if regrettable. "Did [Abu Samra] tell you that Hamas and the
tanzim use his house to shoot from?" the spokesman asks. "Unfortunately,
when our soldiers are getting fired on, there's nothing we can do. We have
to fight back. Only since the intifada have we done this." Abu Samra insists
that no one has shot at the settlement from his land.


Contrary to the IDF spokesman's assertion, home demolition and land
confiscation are well-established practices in the Occupied Territories:
every Israeli government since 1967 has used them. According to a 1999
Amnesty International report, at least 2,400 Palestinian homes were torn
down in the West Bank alone between 1987 and 1999 -- approximately 200 per
year. "The demolition of Palestinian houses is inextricably linked with
Israeli policy to control and colonize the West Bank," the report stated,
adding that "construction of [settlements] has depended not just on finding
land...but on alienating it from the Palestinians."

Though the rate of demolitions and confiscations has accelerated since the
current uprising began, the real difference is that Israel now generally
cites security concerns for its operations. In the past, Israeli authorities
usually pointed to administrative regulations, such as "building without a
permit" to explain the demolitions. Human rights groups counter that the
government often refuses to issue building permits to Palestinian
communities under its control to restrict their growth. Though less common
during the uprising, administrative demolitions, such as the razing of 14
homes in Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem on July 9, still occur.

The tenuous US-brokered "ceasefire," which went into effect on June 13, has
not stopped the operations, nor has Israel's self-declared policy of "active
restraint." Rafah, the dusty, shell-scarred town on Gaza's border with
Egypt, has been particularly hard hit since the ceasefire began. At three in
the morning on June 23, bulldozers and tanks rolled into a neighborhood in
the refugee camp, crushing 20 houses and rendering 110 people homeless. They
returned on July 10 to demolish 14 more.

"There was no warning," says Mohammed Barhoum, a 55-year old refugee who
lost his family's house to the June 23 demolition. "I was asleep when I
heard the tanks, and all I could do was get the children and get out," he
says. Days later, Barhoum is still trying to salvage what he can from the
rubble. As he speaks, members of his family sift through the rubble, pulling
out clothing, kitchenware, a child's school bag. Barhoum, who built the
house in 1980 and scoffs at the idea that it was used to shoot at Israeli
military posts, cannot understand why the army destroyed his house. "Our
life is very sad," he says, "from when we are born to when we die."


Palestinians and human rights groups maintain that the latest round of
demolitions suggests a political rather than a security agenda: to maintain
control over the West Bank and Gaza Strip indefinitely, through an
ever-expanding network of settlements, using bypass roads to link them with
Israel and military positions to protect them. "Yes, this is a planned-out
policy," confirms Nizar Farsakh, research assistant at the Applied Research
Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ), which studies land and water issues in the
Occupied Territories. "Slowly, slowly, [the Israelis] are demolishing houses
as they build their roads and settlements."

IDF spokesmen are careful to maintain the official line, but occasionally
the government is more candid about its intentions. "If we don't keep this
territory clean, at the end of the day there will be irreversible facts on
the ground that will reduce our 'maneuvering space,' if you can call it
that, as we enter into negotiations," said  Israel's Deputy Head of Civil
Administration David Bar El in 1998, as quoted by Amnesty International.

A look at a map of the Occupied Territories suggests that army destructions
of Palestinian property are anything but random. Confiscations, occupations
and demolitions overwhelmingly occur in strategic areas -- land adjacent to
settlements, such as Abu Samra's, or fields that can be paved over with a
bypass road connecting an isolated settlement with Israel. "It's important
to see where the [targeted] houses are located and why," says Jad Isaac,
director general of ARIJ. "It's not arbitrary. These sites are meticulously
selected. They are for the bypass roads or new zoning for the settlements,
to increase Israeli control." Or as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon put
it in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz on April 12, "It's
not by accident that the settlements are located where they are.
They...provide strategic depth which is vital to our existence."

Many of these areas, of course, have been major flashpoints during the
intifada, but following its operations the army often expels Palestinians or
annexes their land, either for settlement or military use. In a recent
incident, the IDF bulldozed eight houses in the villages of Wadi al-Amayer
and al-Odeirya, south of Hebron, in retaliation for the murder of an Israeli
from the nearby settlement of Susiya, according to the Palestinian Center
for Human Rights. The houses were located near Road 60, a bypass road
connecting the southern Hebron area settlements with each other.

In the village of Nabi Salih, northeast of Ramallah, the IDF occupied a
Palestinian house on a hilltop directly across from Halmish settlement on
July 8. Arriving at four am, the soldiers evicted Abd al-Karim Mustafa
Tamimi and his family, along with their furniture, and set up a command
post. The house is one of the highest points in the village and, according
to a Reuters report, the IDF seized it because it provided a vantage point
for protecting the settlement. A few hours after the seizure, a soldier
guarding the house explains that "there was fire [on the settlement] from
this area," but he does not know if it came from Tamimi's house. "You'll
have to talk to the District Commander about that," he says.


In Beit Lahia, a sleepy farming town in the northern Gaza Strip, the army
began bulldozing mango trees and knocking down greenhouses belonging to
Mahmoud Abu Halima and his extended family on January 21. In mid-June,
soldiers strung a barbed wire fence across his fields. The fence almost
isn't necessary because most of the family is too scared to set foot on the
land now.

A few hundred yards away on a hilltop by the sea, the terracotta roofs and
ivory walls of the Dugit settlement gleam in the sun. The blue-and-white
Israeli flag flaps in the breeze, while a tank watches over the fields
below. Abu Halima, a 45-year old with a sun-browned face, says that soldiers
shoot into the village at night, and that the army has closed off most of
the fields near the settlement and built an access gate. "I expect them to
confiscate it soon," he says.

Back near Kfar Darom, Abu Samra peers through the wire mesh that covers the
windows in his front room. He installed the mesh in the spring, after
Israeli settlers broke some of the windows with rocks. He has no intention
of leaving his home, no matter what happens. "Where else can I go?" he asks.
"I'll die here inside rather than go out."

(When quoting from this PIN, please cite MERIP Press Information Note 63,
"Under the Guise of Security: House Demolitions in Gaza," by Chris Smith,
July 13, 2001. The author can be reached at smithca77@aol.com.)

For background on house demolitions in the Occupied Territories, see MERIP
Press Information Note 19: Destroying Houses and Lives:

An eyewitness report on the July 9 demolitions in Shuafat is accessible
online at:

Two reports on house demolitions from Palestinian human rights organizations
are accessible online at:

Press Information Notes are a free service of the Middle East Research and
Information Project (MERIP). To subscribe to the MERIP PIN distribution
list, simply respond to ctoensing@merip.org and provide your address in the
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