NPK-info 27-03-2001- Nederlands Palestina Komitee / www.xs4all.nl/~npk

* LAW & CIHRS Statement to the UN Commission on Human Rights, 57th Session
* BADIL: UN Commission of Inquiry - Final Report
* Amnesty calls for right of return, international force
   "Amnesty International Secretary General Pierre Sane yesterday in
   publicly backed the right of return of Palestinian refugees and demanded
that armed
   international observers be deployed in the territories"
* The right to resist,  Baruch Kimmerling,  Ha'aretz 27-3-2001
   Citaat: "Even today, most of the public simply does not know
                that every violent step taken against the Palestinians -
                let alone the aggregate of those steps - borders on
                war crimes, and cannot see the black flag of
                illegality flying over each of those steps. "
* Palestinian Women's Demonstration, The Palestinian Working Women Society,

NPK/WL, 27-3-2001

LAW Submission to the Commission on Human Rights
57th Session
Item five of the provisional agenda

Oral Statement made by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, a non
governmental organisation with Special Consultative Status, and LAW, the
Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment.

22 March 2001

Calls to End Discrimination

We support Michael Melchior's stated calls for an end to all forms of
discrimination and the need for mutual tolerance. We also abhor anti
semitism: indeed Palestinians and other arabs are also semitic people, and
have suffered from others anti semitism. Sadly, the ideals  of tolerance
expressed by Rabbi Melchior have not been practised in reality nor are they
genuinely shared by the key Israeli political/military commanders of the
Israeli Occupying Power: including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

These same commanders wrongly believe that enjoyment of Jewish rights of
self determination requires and justifies the violation and subjugation of
Palestinians' rights of self determination. The international community by
ensuring Palestinians' rights of self determination and respect for their
human rights are not denouncing Jewish rights of self determination.
Similarly, once the international community finally fulfils its obligations
by taking effective measures to stop Israeli violations and passes effective
resolutions it is not expressing racist, anti-Jewish sentiments, but
tackling Israeli practices and policies which have led to gross violations
of Palestinians' rights, and the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators.

The  Israeli Occupying Power undermining Palestinian rights of self

The violence against Palestinians since 29 September 2000 cannot be seen in
isolation: rights of the Palestinian people have been grossly violated by
Israel since 1948 and 1967. The Israeli Occupying power has through all its
discriminatory policies and practices and its belligerent occupation of the
Palestinian Territories denied the Palestinian people their "permanent and
unqualified" right to self determination, "including the option of a State":
as reaffirmed by the Commission.

Continued Occupation

Israel's occupation of the Palestinian Territories is one of the longest
occupations and exercise of colonial domination in recent history. Contrary
to Israeli claims, the Israeli occupying power continues,  following Oslo,
to occupy and exercise ultimate control over the Occupied Territories, in
defiance of all relevant UN resolutions.

First, this is seen by the Interim Agreement between PLO and Israel.  Under
the agreement the Israeli military remains the ultimate source of authority
in the Occupied Territories. Only certain civil government and policing
functions were transferred to the Palestinian Authority under the agreement,
and only in relation to designated areas A. In areas B and C the Israeli
military retains control of "security matters", (with the PA having
responsibility for civil affairs in areas B, and sharing such responsibility
in areas C).  Furthermore, the PA's authority and jurisdiction is limited to
what is expressly provided for under the Interim Agreement, and all PA
legislation must be communicated to the Israeli military government.

The reality of the Israeli occupying power's continued occupation and denial
of Palestinian rights of self determination is also illustrated by its
practices including as follows:

Israel continues to issue military orders affecting all the Occupied
Territories. Military courts established under Israeli military orders
continue to administer the so-called "justice" in the territories.
Areas B and C of the occupied Territories, with their strong Israeli
military and settlers presence, encircle and close off areas A: so the areas
within the Occupied Territories are not contiguous.
The Israeli occupying Power controls Palestinian exports/imports and foreign
Palestinian towns and villages  are under siege by Israeli forces and
settlers. Indeed under Ariel Sharon the siege has intensified. Israel
retains absolute control over Palestinians' freedom of movement within and
outside the Territories.
The Israeli occupying power controls access to goods and services and
facilities, including humanitarian aid and assistance and water supplies.
It implements policies and practices designed to cripple the Palestinian
It impedes Palestinian rights of development.
It bombs and shells civilian areas as a collective punishment.
It continues its land confiscation and house demolitions.
It continues to establish and expand Israeli colonies/settlements within the
Occupied Territories
Equally illuminating have been the statements made by Israeli political and
military commanders themselves, including that of the former Prime Minister
Rabin where he said: "We see the final arrangements as including most of the
Land of Israel.., and alongside it a Palestinian entity, which is less than
a state."

Failure to comply with its obligations as an Occupying Power

The UN Security Council on 7 October 2000 called for: "Israel, the occupying
Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations . under the Fourth
Geneva Convention .."   The Israeli occupying power has failed to adhere to
its obligations and violated Palestinians' rights under the agreements, and
international human rights and humanitarian law.   The Commission and
International Community are called upon to abide by their obligations under
international law, and take immediate and effective measures to ensure that
the Israeli occupying power:
adheres to the terms of UN (Security Council) Resolutions (242 and 338, and
the Commission's Resolution 2000/4); and
ends all its discriminatory policies and practices towards Palestinians
leading to a denial of their rights to self determination, (including gross
violations of human rights and humanitarian law).


LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the
Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving human
rights through legal advocacy.
LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ),
Fédération Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l'Homme (FIDH), World
Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Member of the Euro- Mediterranean
Human Rights Network

BADIL Resource Center
For immediate release, 23-2-2001 (E/17/2001)

UN Commission of Inquiry Releases Final Report -
Emphasizes the Urgent Need for International Protection for
Palestinian Refugees and the Palestinian People in the Occupied

In a sixty page report submitted this week to the 57th Session of the
UN Commission on Human Rights, the special UN Commission of Inquiry,
established (Resolution E/CN.4/S-5/1, 19 October 2000) to investigate
human rights violations committed by Israel in the occupied
Palestinian territories, emphasized the urgent need for international
protection for Palestinian refugees and the Palestinian people.

The report covers the legal status of the conflict, Israel's
excessive use of force, extra-judicial executions/political
assassinations, settlements, and the deprivation of the enjoyment of
economic and social rights (effect of closures, curfews, restrictions
and movement, and destruction of property in addition) and includes a
separate section which emphasizes the "distinctive vulnerability" of
Palestinian refugees.

The Commission of Inquiry report notes that "no other refugee
community in the world is so excluded ... from the protective
mechanisms and responsibility of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR)" and concludes, on the basis of a legal analysis
of the status of Palestinian refugees in international refugee law,
that urgent international efforts are required to extend UNHCR
protection to Palestinian refugees under Article 1D(2) of the 1951
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. The Commission report
further notes that while the question of the right of return is
mostly beyond the scope of the Commission's mandate, a "comprehensive
settlement must deal equitably with the issue of Palestinian refugees
and their rightful claims" including those living outside of the
occupied territories.

The Commission of Inquiry further recommends that an adequate and
effective international presence should be established immediately in
the occupied Palestinian territories to monitor and regularly report
on compliance by all parties with human rights and humanitarian law
standards. The commission members also recommend that protection
should be accorded in strict compliance with the 1949 Fourth Geneva
Convention and that the High Contracting Parties to the Convention
should act with urgency to establish an effective international
mechanism for taking the urgent measures needed.

Among its other recommendations the report notes that a
comprehensive, just and durable peace should be guided at all stages
by respect for human rights and humanitarian law and the full
application of international human rights standards and is linked to
the end of the Israeli occupation and realization of the right of the
Palestinian people to self-determination. The report concludes that
Israeli security forces (i.e., military and police) have used
"excessive and disproportionate force" from the outset of the al-Aqsa
intifada and recommends that Israeli forces should not resort to the
use of rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition, except as a last
resort; that provision of protection for settlers cannot be used for
preemptive shooting of unarmed civilians in areas near settlements or
on access and bypass roads leading to settlements or for the
destruction of Palestinian property; an immediate end to Israel's
extrajudicial execution/assassinations; investigation and prosecution
of persons found responsible for the use of lethal force or the
excessive use of force which has caused death or serious injury; an
immediate end to Israeli closures, curfews and other restrictions on
freedom of movement; respect for Palestinian economic and social
rights; an end to measures that amount to collective punishment;
freedom of movement and safety for the provision of medical relief
and treatment and in providing humanitarian assistance including that
of UNRWA; special protection for children; and, free access to all
places of worship and holy sites.

It is now up to Israel, the United Nations and the international
community to translate the urgent recommendations of the Commission
of Inquiry into concrete policies and programs.

The complete report of the Commission of Inquiry is available on the
UNCHR website (www.unhchr.ch) and on the BADIL website in PDF format.
A delegation from BADIL Resource Center met with the Commission of
Inquiry in mid-February and submitted a report on the impact of the
lack of international protection of Palestinian refugees during the
al-Aqsa intifada. The report is also available on the BADIL website.


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

Amnesty calls for right of return, international force
By Amira Hass (Ha'aretz, 27 March 2001)

Amnesty International Secretary General Pierre Sane yesterday in Jerusalem
publicly backed the right of return of Palestinian refugees and demanded
that armed international observers be deployed in the territories.

Israel responded by declaring the London-based human rights group was losing
the moral high ground, since siding with the Palestinians on these two
explosive issues involved it in political arguments.

Both issues have been at the heart of Israeli-Palestinian acrimony, with the
right of return emerging as one of the causes for the collapse of the peace

Sane said the presence of observers could help reduce friction between
Israelis and Palestinians, and that the right of refugees to return is

"Palestinian refugees were forcibly exiled from their homes," Sane told a
news conference that capped his week-long tour in the territories, where he
met with Israeli and Palestinian officials. Sane also met with Palestinian
Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat, but Israeli ministers refused to meet
with him.

"[The refugees] have the right to exercise their right of return to their
homes. This is an international human right that can't be negotiated away by
politicians," Sane said. He pointed to solutions in El Salvador, Bosnia and
Rwanda that could serve as models.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Amnesty was losing its
credibility: "The group's suggestions on armed observers and Palestinian
refugees are just a recipe for more violence and friction," said Raanan

In a 10-point document, Sane accused both Israel and the PA of sweeping
human rights violations. The document decried PA execution of Palestinians
suspected of aiding Israeli security forces, as well as Israel's destruction
of Palestinian property and its imposition of travel restrictions on West
Bank and Gaza Strip residents.

"Recent months clearly showed, more than once, that when human rights are
sacrificed on the altar of peace and security, there can be no peace and no
security," the Amnesty document said.



Ha'aretz March 27, 2001

                The right to resist
                By Baruch Kimmerling

                As difficult as it may be for us, it's important to make
                clear the political, legal and moral reality in its
                historical context: Since 1967, millions of
                Palestinians have been under a military occupation,
                without any civil rights with, and most lacking even
                the most basic human rights. The continuing
                circumstances of occupation and repression give
                them, by any measure, the right to resist that
                occupation with any means at their disposal and to
                rise up in violence against that occupation. This is a
                moral right inherent to natural law and international
                law.The problem is worsened by physical proximity,
                in which the two populations live next door to one
                another, and how that imposes itself on the form of
                fighting. Indiscriminate Palestinian terrorism against
                civilian populations in the heart of Israel is immoral,
                and has a boomerang effect. It increases anger and
                hatred in the Jewish community and blocks the
                possibility that an empathetic, rational view can be
                taken of rightful Palestinian demands. The terrorism
                also serves as a political tool, consciously used by
                cynical politicians on the right, and lately by some
                leading army commanders, to torpedo any possibility
                of agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.

                Furthermore, steps initiated by the army and the
                settlers often result in the indiscriminate killing of
                Palestinians, which is equally unacceptable by any
                human measure. Hundreds of Palestinians have been
                killed and thousands wounded since the outbreak of
                the Al-Aqsa Intifada in late September. Israel now
                turns frequently to collective punishments - sieges
                and carving up of Palestinian territory - that are
                expressedly forbidden by international law and
                convention. And Israel uses personal terrorism
                against those it defines as field commanders of the
                Palestinian uprising.

                The Palestinian right to resist the occupation is
                strengthened by the Fourth Geneva Convention's ban
                on creating irreversible facts on the ground in
                occupied territories, and especially the ban on
                transferring populations from the occupying state to
                the territories it has conquered. Israel's claim that it
                is not an occupier - because there was no
                sovereignty over those lands since the British left in
                1948, and the Palestinians rejected the 1948 partition
                plan - is at best, dodgy.

                According to the High Court of Justice, which is
                well aware of the Fourth Geneva Convention, all the
                settlements over the Green Line were built for
                "security" reasons, which is the loophole Israel
                found in international law to justify their
                construction. The second "legal" loophole used by
                Israel is that it does not expropriate private property,
                only establishing settlements on "state lands."

                Since 1967, more than 60 percent of the West Bank
                has been defined as "state lands," which in effect has
                meant selective, de facto annexation of the
                territories. This "legal" step was made possible
                because most of the land was not properly listed in
                the books - whether Ottoman, British or Jordanian.
                But all those governments recognized the traditional
                ownership of the territory's farmers.

                Israel made an unprecedented land grab in the 1980s,
                when it surveyed the entire territory, compared its
                findings to the tabu (land registration documents),
                and declared everything unlisted as state property -
                without allowing local inhabitants prove their
                ownership and record their holdings. Thus, the
                legality and morality of all the Jewish settlements
                and holdings in the territories is highly doubtful.

                Several phenomena have dulled Israel's political and
                more senses. Until the end of 1987, Palestinian
                resistance to the occupation was only a minor
                discord. Israeli society enjoyed the fruits of the
                "permanent temporary" occupation without paying
                any significant and immediate price for it. Under
                such circumstances it was easy to combine
                nationalist-religious messianism, Likud-style secular
                chauvinism, and the security-above-all ideology of
                Mapai and Ahdut Avoda to conquer Israel's political

                Even today, most of the public simply does not know
                that every violent step taken against the Palestinians -
                let alone the aggregate of those steps - borders on
                war crimes, and cannot see the black flag of
                illegality flying over each of those steps. A state that
                regards itself as enlightened cannot behave like a
                terror-state, even if it suffers from terrorism.
                Statesmen, generals and simple citizens must see that
                black flag before it's too late and we are all stained
                with the blackest of the black


Monday 19th March
Palestinian Women's Demonstration

At eleven o'clock hundreds of Palestinian Women went out on a peaceful
demonstration to the new military checkpoint, which was established by the
Israelis within the new Sharon plan that has included 90 new military posts
within the West Bank and Gaza. This new checkpoint was placed at Kalandia, a
refugee camp north of Jerusalem to consolidate the severing of Jerusalem
from the rest of the West Bank and another checkpoint only half a mile away
set up at Al-Ram neighborhood since 1991 for the same purpose. The women
raised their voices in demand of protection for the Palestinians,
implementing U.N resolutions and to establish a just peace and guarantee
security. The women's voices was lifted high in the space of Jerusalem in
the hope that they would find echo in the Arab world and internationally.
The policy of mass punishment is increasingly suffocating the Palestinians
and the Israelis intend to make the Palestinians succumb as a result of
Sharon's aggressive policies that are enveloped by the gossamer web of
Peres' lies. The women moved forwards confidently challenging the soldiers'
weapons and saying to them, go back to your girlfriends and wives , your
governments have transformed you into tools for murdering us and your own
humanity every second of the day. The soldiers glared at us but remained
silent and the women marched past them continuing their demonstration ,
while at the top of the hill the soldiers in the tank held their guns up
ready to shoot. The soldiers at Al-Ram chekpoint however, threw sound bombs
and tear gas at us and the Israeli jeep drove into the crowd to disperse the
demonstration. Some women were injured - Itaf from Beitunia and Kawthar from
Kufr 'Ein. Hanan "Ashrawi's legs were burnt by the sound bomb . The smoke
rose in columns in the area and the young men rushed forward to build
barricades in preparation for the funeral of a young Palestinian
boy,Mouhamed Nassar,who was martyred after his skull was crushed by the
settlers of Neve Ya'cov ( an Israeli settlement built on the lands of Beit
Hanina , north of Jerusalem) His ribs were crushed and he was then thrown in
a parknext to the settlement. The tortured women and children of Palestine
call on you to end the occupation, your silence is a position that does not
help in building a true and just peace in the area. Your silence will not
help us to achieve this peace in the whole region. Why, why does the world
see that monetary support , which comes to the dead could make us calm down
and why do they not see that economic and political support should come to
the living so that we can survive. What are you waiting for ? - For the
Palestinians to annihilated like the Red Indians in America? The movement of
nations and their struggles have obliterated the principle of eliminating
nations and their human and national rights. We call on you to be with us as
Israel's iniquitous aggression is a disgrace for all humanity in the 21st
century. No one should shirk their responsibility!!

Amal Khreshe

The Palestinian Working Women Society
Tel: 972-2-2986761 / 2981977 Fax: 2963288
Email: pwws@planet.edu
 Web site: www.pal-pwws.org




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