An ongoing human rights crisis

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Human Rights, Occupation Views: 6089

Woman sitting in the remains of her house in al-'Ayn refugee camp in Nablus.

The human rights situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories continues to deteriorate. Some 2,500 Palestinians, most of them unarmed and including some 450 children, have been killed by the Israeli army and more than 900 Israelis, most of them civilians and including more than 100 children, have been killed by Palestinian armed groups since the start of the current uprising, or Intifada, in September 2000. Tens of thousand of Palestinians and thousands of Israelis have been injured, many maimed for life. Palestinians do not feel safe neither in the street nor in their homes, as Israeli army aircrafts, helicopter gun-ships and tanks frequently shell Palestinian refugee camps and densely populated residential areas. Israelis also do not feel safe when they leave their homes, as Palestinian armed groups deliberately target Israeli civilians in suicide bombings and other attacks on buses, restaurants and other public places. 

In addition, Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are subject to a wide range of human rights violations. Close to 20,000 Palestinians have been made homeless and thousands of others have lost their livelihood as the Israeli army has destroyed some 3,000 homes, vast areas of agricultural land and hundreds of other properties in the past three and a half years alone. Thousands of other houses have been damaged, many beyond repair. Israel's justification for the destruction is "military/security necessity". In Israel and in the East Jerusalem area security forces have also destroyed hundreds of homes of Palestinian citizens and residents of Israel on the grounds of lack of building permits. 

Families are forcibly evicted from their homes, often at night, without prior warning. They are given only a few minutes to leave their home and are not allowed to salvage their possession. The unprecedented scale of destruction has resulted in widespread violations of the right to adequate housing and standard of living for tens of thousands of people and violates fundamental principles of international human rights and humanitarian law. Whatever the justification for the destruction, the result is the same: thousands of families have been made homeless and left to rely on the charity of relatives, friends and humanitarian organizations. 

The massive destruction of agricultural land in the Occupied Territories includes vast areas of land recently destroyed to make way for a fence/wall which Israel is building in the West Bank. Composed of a series of obstacles 60 to 80 meters wide in average, the fence/wall is planned to run for more than 600 kilometers. Although Israel claims that it is intended to block entry into Israel to Palestinian suicide bombers and other potential attackers, most of the fence/wall (close to 90%) does not run between Israel and the Occupied Territories but inside the West Bank, turning Palestinian towns and villages into isolated enclaves, cutting off communities and families from each other, separating farmers from their land and Palestinians from their places of work, education and health care facilities and other essential services. The route of the fence/wall has been designed so as to encompass a large number of Israeli settlements inside the Occupied Territories, in violation of international law. 

The construction of the fence/wall inside the Occupied Territories violates international law and is causing grave human rights violations. Israel's legitimate need to secure its borders and prevent entry to people who may constitute a threat to its security do not justify the building of such a fence/wall inside the Occupied Territories, as security measures could be taken on Israeli territory, between Israel and the Occupied Territories 

In addition to the fence/wall, military checkpoints, blockades and a barrage of other restrictions confine Palestinians to their homes or immediate surroundings. Such disproportionate and discriminatory restrictions imposed by Israel on Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have had a devastating impact on the lives of three and a half million Palestinians. 

For Palestinians even short trips of a few kilometers, when at all possible, can take hours on lengthy detours to avoid areas surrounding Israeli settlements and roads used by Israeli settlers. Ordinary activities, such as going to work or to school, getting to hospital or visiting relatives expose women and men, young and old, to such risks. 

As a result, the Palestinian economy has virtually collapsed. Unemployment has soared to close to 40%, two thirds of the Palestinian population is now living below the poverty line, and malnutrition and other health problems are spreading. Most Palestinians are now forced to rely, to some degree at least, on charity for food and other basic needs. 

Israel's right to take reasonable, necessary and proportionate measures to protect the security of its citizens does not allow such disproportionate and discriminatory restrictions and collective punishment, which violate international law. 

The worsening situation is frequently discussed by world leaders, the United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League and others. Yet the international community has failed the Palestinian and Israeli victims in the pursuit of a "peace and security" formula which, if achieved, cannot be durable unless based on respect for the fundamental human rights of all and unless all parties are held accountable for their abuses. As the situation continues to worsen the need for steps to be taken becomes more pressing. Amnesty International has repeatedly called for international monitors to be sent to Israel and the Occupied Territories. The call has been echoed by Palestinians and Israelis and at the international level, but the international community has failed to act in the face of Israel's refusal to allow monitors. While the deployment of human rights observers alone cannot solve the complex situation, their presence could contribute to saving Palestinian and Israeli lives..

Source: Amnesty International

  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Human Rights, Occupation
Views: 6089

Related Suggestions

The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Older Comments:
Oh brothers and sisters of humanity
Why not look into you hearts and find solutions;
The issue in palestine and Israel is about humanity;
It is about mothers being killed
Children being killed
Innocent lives taken away
Dreams of humanity shattered into pieces
Children with no homes playing toys in the open air;
Everyone is hiding behind the veil of her/his heart;
When we can all reach out for one other
With peace and beauty from the heart
Flowers instead of bullets
Peace instead of violence
Then can the heart find some rest
To reflect on her/his short moments of short glory
Glory to be alive
Glory to breath
Glory to have shade under the beauty of God's creation;
Glory to reflect on our short chapter of living in this world;
Remember the next world is eternal
Much longer and forever
One wonders why make life difficult for one another in this world;
When we should be treasuring every moment of it
With peace and happiness in our hearts
Celebrating our humanity with dignity
Dignity from the heart with no ego attached to it
Peace to you all my brothers and sisters in humanity;

onething for sure!
Israel (Zeonists) is The NEONAZI
They should remember what happened with their grandparents. So don't say that you're the victims of holocaust!!! Stop saying that junk, coz you did the same thing!!!!

I am a Christian but from where im standing it looks like you Muslims are having some serious problems... oh my God! what the hell is wrong with you people. if all of the Arab leaders could untie then there would be no israel, the wars against Israel that you gave had were all sloppy and neither country trusted the other! Jordan wouldn't even let Iraq pass.

the Muslims these days bitch on about israel but they dont actually do anything! God, whats wrong guys!!!!

ok forget trusting the Arab leaders to do anything (they cant even visit Palastine and look at the murder, opression, pain and suffering let alone help it)

right so forget having faith in the arab leaders...
if all of you Muslims did that "jihad" thing you belive in, then Israel would be long gone.

Muslims really need to gear up. i understand becasue Christians are the same, they completely ignore their relgion and dont follow anything but atleast we can unite and fight wars together (even if it is for our own intrest, as it usually is!)

U Muslims got a lot of work to do you know.

Mebrocky you are not the editor of this site, what you think is both irrelevent and insignificant. An article is posted and opinion to the article is encouraged. Sometimes, posters submit the most .. inane comments in order to create strife or ditter the scope of the article. Belittle you say? Everybody is belittling something on this site.
Let's analyse your inane comment:"It doesn't help, and it makes people just stop reading and caring." My answer to your more than imbecilic suggestion is, did any reading of this site impede a catastrophe like Abu Ghraib? No! Maybe because ..Ben and "goody-goodys" like you visit more often this site than people that are not Muslims and would care to dare to change things. ..Why, .. does US give a hoot on the Arab League's opinion? I care for the opinion of people like Akbar Khan, Ahmed Ashgher, Zinedine, and many others for whom I apologize to leave out. For the opinion of people like you or Ben, Samir Bolous, Mike D., Tim B., etc., .. You are taking up precious space from those people that honestly and sincerely want to establish an intelligent dialogue with the Muslims trying to understand the sensitivities of Islam and its message.
Bottom line Mebrocky, if anybody is insensitive to the current situation in Iraq and Palestine and comes up with .. means of diverging the attention, I'll pound on him or her! US is commiting a crime against humanity together with Israel, last we had this was in the time of Hitler! As it was played down then up to the point when it was too late and 6 million people were inhumanely disposed of, I DREAD THAT TO HAPPEN AGAIN! Comprende ..?! Turn around, .. and if you really want to help, address the problem, explane yourself before anybody else to people like Ben and Samir Bolous what is going on, .. Do not pick at me or at any of the Muslims on this site! OK?

Amnesty gives a good and pretty impartial evaluation of this horrible situation. Akbar Khan - good comment -Hudd D'Alhamd I think you, I or anyone else should not belittle someone(Ben), for what seemed to be an honest question. It doesn't help, and it makes people just stop reading and caring.

I agree that the situation in Palestine is unacceptable. I thnk that the question is, why isn't more being done by the international community to address the problem?
I think that the answer to the issue is to change tactics. We've all seen the violence in the media. What has it gotten us? Just more violence. I think the time has come for passive resistance; protest injustice, yes, but do so in the manner of Martin Luther King Jr. I believe that this will get the job done a lot faster and with less heartache for everyone.


This answer is for Ben. What are you trying to do my Jewish friend?! How can anybody in his right mind compare Sudan to Palestine?! Thousand of black Muslims killed by Arab militiamen? Please, get a gip on yourself, buddy! Thousand over what period of decades? Don't forget that black Muslims kill too. Sudan is an independent country and the so called black Muslims(you must be an idiot, because all Muslims and Christian in Sudan are black, for God's sake!) are just another ethnicity, like say Kurds and Arabs in Iraq. No need for you fool to make it a racist issue, it's bad as it is. What you fail to understand in your intellectual limited capability is that the situations you mentioned in Sudan, Rusia(Chechnia), China, are all internal turmoils. The diference with Israel and now with Iraq is that Both Israel and USA are invadors and occupiers of these places and they systematically empose foreign values and culture on an unwilling indigenious population and want their anihilation to the point that Palestine would be just another generic name for Israel inhabited by Israelis of judaic religion with a marginal controled minority of "aliens", or Arabs, if you will. Iraq, would be a US based "democracy", with an enslaved population to the different US administrations and serving their agenda. Still you can't see the difference? Are you so blind? Moreover, Sudan, Rusia, China are not democracies. Israel and USA claim to be, do you see the difference, or are you hopeless?!
Although the situation in any of these places, Sudan, Rusia, India, China, etc. is deplorable, they have simple solutions. An ultimatum from UN or USA. Why they don't do it? Shoot me, I can't tell, maybe because they are considered internal issues? Palestine and Iraq are not internal issues, they are an international scandal, dude!
Here you err, if the Israelis weren't Jewish, but Ottomans(Muslim Turks) or Christians or Hindus or even Arab Muslim invading from Yemen, you would still have the intifada

You're right is like the 600 Muslims in Nigeria who were slaughtered by rebels invading their villages, and most of these murdered were womenan and children. And yes Al-Haram Al-Sharif is one reason why, the other reason is because this is the longest on-going conflict in recent history. Zionists who invaded Palestine came in as terrorists. They came doing exactly what Palestinians have been using since 1994, the martyrdom and killing civilians.

the 30-50 million Muslims in China, the Muslims in Sheeshan/Chechnya, Kashmir, Gujurat, Albania, Bosnia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Iraq, Thailand, Singapore, etc. etc. etc.....these are all places where Muslims are being slaughtered, humiliated, burned alive, tortured, and so on. Do you see a constant pattern here. These issues cannot be ignored...but at the same time, I find in your comment an undertone which sounds like to me that you're trying to say that Muslims should forget about Palestine and let it be taken over by Israeli's, and focus on other parts of the world. Sorry but, last Saturday, the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe of 1948) Anniversary took place, and the Likud Government ordered the demolition of thousands of homes and made thousands of this how Israel wishes to spread democracy? Kind of like American soldiers in Iraq spreading freedom and democracy in Abu Ghraib prison and other places raping women, torturing men and little 12 year old girls...if someone commits a crime against humanity, tey should be condemned. Israel is not exempt and their intentions are well known and understood by many Muslims and non-Muslims alike. There are many like Sharon and Sharon himself have explaiend their beliefs of "greater Israel" from Egypt across to Jordan and so on passed the Euphrates.

Israel is not and should be be immune to the international laws, and the anti-proliferation treaty. This is a clear double standard. Israel is the threat to stability in hte region.

I deplore what is happening in Gaza, it is indeed a humanitarian tragedy. But please, in Sudan thousands of Black Muslims have been killed by Arab militiamen- where is the anger? where are the leftwing and Muslim protestors!? China is persacuting Muslims in Xinjiang Province- where is the anger of the Muslim world!? The Russians have brutalized Muslim Chechens, so how come I do not see Muslims protesting in the streets? Is it because these Muslims are not Arabs or is it because the Israelis are mostly Jewish? I know some of you will say it is because of the Al-Haram Al-Sharif, and that is fine, but please tell that to the couple hundred thousand Black Muslims who have been forced from their homes in the past few months or the thousands of Chechens killed or the Muslims who can not practice their faith in China. Someone please explain to me why the plight of these Muslims, infinitely worse than that of the Palestinians is met with a collective yawn by the Muslim community. I'm not being sarcastic, I would really like to understand why this is the case.

You make it sound as if there is no hope. Americans at long last are being shown pictures of unarmed demonstrators being murdered in Palestinian communities by Israel's armed forces. Americans are being shown satellite views of large areas of housing that have simply disappeared - in the furthest reaches of the territory from which Israel claims to be withdrawing. In addition, it has been at least a little while since Americans have heard reports of attacks against civilians on Israel's side of the Green Line. Does that seem like a coincidence? Palestinian freedom fighters have been urged to change their tactics and it would appear they have begun to do so. There is indeed hope for Palestine.

Americans tend only to look at pictures and perhaps read a few captions. Keeping that in mind, settlements are not pinpoints on a map; they are instead huge tracts of land. What Israel is building, throughout the West Bank of Palestine, is considerably more than a fence; it is more like a maze of "Berlin Walls" but with a twist - it is being built entirely on foreign territory (buffer zones and all). Don't bother telling the story to the Americans; telling Americans what they don't want to hear is simply a waste of time - but do perhaps consider making an effort to show them.

Here is another thought. Forcing your sympathizers (whether your sympathizers be American, Israeli or otherwise) into the embrace of your adversaries seems highly unlikely to help your cause. If the Vietnamese people had started terrorizing the American people, within America itself, Hanoi would have shortly thereafter begun to resemble the surface of the moon. Instead, the Vietnamese people restrained themselves (in that regard) and Vietnam - reunified - gained its independence.


In Response to P.Dean's comment, first of all thankyou for speaking the truth and trying to be just and fair in your understanding.

In my understanding and according to the little knowledge that I have of my beautiful religion "Islam", you are absoloutly right. It is our weakness as Muslims that we are not standing up to defend the oppressed and persecuted all over the world. Indeed it is an obligation upon us to help the oppressed, whether they are Muslims or not and this is called "Jihad", which the enemy is trying to root out of our minds, lives and perhaps even our books. But insha Allah(God Willing) they cannot succeed, eventually Muslims will rise up to the task and the only way to do that is to obey God and His messenger as God has commanded. SO TO ALL THE MUSLIMS, WE MUST WAKE UP AND HOLD ON TO THE ROPE OF ALLAH TOGHETHER SO THAT ALLAH(SWT) MAY FORGIVE OUR SINS AND HAVE MERRCY ON US ALL. WE MUST ESTABLISH "SALAH" AND FOLLOW THE MESSENGER MUHAMMAD(PBUH) IN ALL OF OUR MATTERS.

This message is for the Israelis.
Did you already for get to what HITLER has done to you? The way you are doing to the Palestinians is not much difference.
Cruel, Barbaric and Inhuman.
If you want to keep their lands, at least give them weapons.

we as muslims need to understand that nothing has the right to be worshipped except allah and muhammed(saws) is the last messenger. every human is inclined to feel remorse for whats going on overseas to all the muslims because we are humans created to have those feelings, but we have to keep in mind and think about why allah has sent down his anger upon these muslims. look at how they worship statues and these pictures of these shekhs worshipping saddam, etc., and not following the ways of rasullullah(saws) and for those muslims overseas who does follow the last msg and the qruan as taught by rasulullah by allah's mercy. this is a test for those believers and may allah reward them plentiful for their pateince. and although the israelies may feel victorious in the beginning because they have the americans on there side. the muslims will be victorious in the end because we have allah on our side and allah will not not disappoint the believers. the americans are just a tool used for those who has been disobedient and obeying allah and his messenger, it is not to say that the americans and the israelies are the believers as it is clearly defined who the believers are. (they are only the tool)

To P. Dean: I entirely agree with you. It is not the United States or even Israel that should be blamed. It's those satanic Arab regimes in the middle-east. If we, as a Ummah, would all rise against these governments (think of Egypt, Saudi-Arabia, Syria, ...) and cut off oil supplies to every western nation, cut off water to Israel, move our military forces in Palestine, you will see the world tremble of fear. They will not even dare to fight, including Israel. Just as Allah (all praise to him) tells us in the Koran: "if you do not divide yourself, no harm will reach you". And indeed, look what's happening to our world...if we would only unite.

All the leaders of the world including EU and Islamic world know that Israel wants no peace. The only piece they're interested in is another piece of Palestinian "real estate", as Rumsfeld put it.

Yet none of them has the guts to face up to these morons and tell them to just get out of Palestinain lands. They just pussyfoot with words and more resolutions which Israel doesn't care about. Yet, its bulldog, The US, is happy to invade Iraq for breaking UN resolutions but not only vetos any resolution against Israel but also ignores the exisiting ones. Double standards.

So, knowing this indisputeable fact - Tom Delay just a couple of days ago said that the the US will stand by Israel no matter what. So, given this blind infatuation with this evil regime, what are we to do?

Some, join Al-Qaeda an others who act unilaterally are all called 'terrorists'. That includes anyone who rightfully tries to defend his patch from the thieving Israelis and Americans. They even closed down Moqtada Sadr's newspaper - which has led to this current state of standoff in Najaf/Karbala. Powell even has asked Qatari government to reign in Al-Jazeera because it shows their atroshities! So, they have proven to be dogmatic and unreasonable. They boast that their press is free but want to dictate their will on our press!

We can't expect multi-Islamic forces uniting and closing in on Israel with final ultimatums because they have chemical weapons and nukes. Besides our governments have not the guts to do such a heroic act.

Perhaps the common civilians can plan a peaceful march towards the borders of Israel and camp outside the total Israeli land borders to show the world their disgust at the Zionist killings. Once millions converge in Syria/Lebanon/Jordan/Eygpt, then perhaps the world will see our resolve - that is if our governments can facilitate such and open their borders with full support, including tents, food, and all facilities incl. medical. Any gutsy person for

It is bad enough that Israel and the US have brushed this just monsterous matter aside, but Moslems too ? I find that just incredulous. Why is it that Moslem countries are not rising to the occassion? I can understand that their leaders are hand picked like puppets by our country but after all these are only mortals. After all the Russians too had a clown in place, Barbak Karmal look what his end was? Why can't the Moslems learn from the bravery of their breathren in Afghanistan? I am sure that if every Arab nation mustered the courage and gave vent to that shame and dignity they have hidden somewhere within and attacked Israel simultaneously - Israel, its murder, torture, oppresion, and the misery of the Palestinian people, indeed of the Moslem world will be eliminated. I blame the Arabs and teh Moselems for letting their own fellow Moslems be savaged this way by an out of control lunatic and murderous Israel.

When one Palestinian kill one Isreali, the whole world shouts and US will BARK at Palestinians and every muslims as terrorist.

When Isrealis terrorise and kills thousands of Palestinians, US will ask both sides to exercise maximum restraint. Look at the US hypocracy.

O Muslims. Be patient. Almigthy Allah is watching everything and Insha Allah he will take care of everything.

Allah(SWT) never destroyed any nations until they reach the height of attrocities. US and Isreal has gone beyond all those limits. Insha Allah, Allah will punish them severely and surely.


Alright! The whole world knows and the whole world oposes, still USA dictates and Israel demands. Is this a joke? The UN and the World is irrelevant, has no authority it is just a puppet to US and Israel. Israel make a mockery of democracy, civil rights, humanitarian ideologies, legality and justice! So what is the point of this article just to tell us what we already know and reiterate the fact that UN and the world community are but a bunch of pussies that cannot step up to a small poodle like country Israel and put a muzzle and a leash on her? Why because of the big hound-dog USA? If the UN and especially the world community would really want to implement their point of view, their justice, if you will, they could get to any hound-dog and its poodle in no time. Don't tell me that USA owns the world 'cause I'm audi to immigration to another planet!
Peace to all!