Subscribe to RSS Feed

Israel killed more than 650 Palestinians in 2006,
up threefold from 2005: Amnesty

The Associated Press
International Herald Tribune
May 23, 2007

JERUSALEM: Israeli troops killed more than 650 Palestinians last year – half of them unarmed civilians and including some 120 children – a threefold increase from 2005, a leading human rights group said Wednesday.

In its annual 2007 global report, Amnesty International also criticized Israel for deepening the poverty in Palestinian territories by withholding customs duties, and widening a network of blockades and other travel restrictions.

The group accused soldiers and settlers of committing "serious human rights abuses, including unlawful killings, against Palestinians, mostly with impunity." No such killings were documented in the report.

The number of Israelis killed by Palestinian armed groups diminished by half last year, to 27, including 20 civilian adults and one child, the report said.

By The Associated Press' count, 580 people were killed on the Palestinian side and 34 on the Israeli side in 2006.

Amnesty reported a "significant increase" in the launching of homemade rockets by Palestinian armed groups from Gaza into southern Israel, in which two Israeli civilians were killed. But the report gave no number for rockets fired and did not quantify the increase.

The report "shows that the conflict can only be solved through diplomacy and not through military methods," the director of Amnesty's Israeli branch, Amnon Vidan, told reporters.

The Israeli military, in a statement, said it "does its utmost to avoid harming innocent people ... in contrast to terror organizations that do their utmost to harm innocent civilians."

It said, without elaborating, that the report was "rife with inaccuracies" and rejected what it called "the attempt to equate terror organizations" with a "democratic state that acts within the confines of the law to exercise its right to defend itself, its sovereign territory, and civilians against terror organizations."

Most of the Palestinians were killed in the course of frequent air and artillery bombardments against the Gaza Strip, though dozens were also killed in the West Bank, Amnesty said. Israeli attacks "escalated dramatically" after Palestinian armed men attacked a military post inside Israel in June 2006, capturing a soldier, the report said.

Amnesty accused Israel for violating the economic and social rights of Palestinians by restricting passage within Palestinian territories and keeping vital cargo and passenger crossings closed for large chunks of time. Israel says it closes the passages because of security concerns, but the closures grew much more frequent after the soldier, who remains in captivity, was seized.

Israel's withholding of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax duties to the Palestinians caused humanitarian conditions in the West Bank and Gaza to deteriorate "to an unprecedented level," the report said. Poverty, food aid dependency, health problems and unemployment have reached "crisis levels," it added.

Israel suspended the tax transfers after Islamic Hamas militants swept Palestinian parliamentary elections but refused to renounce violence or recognize Israel's right to exist.

Amnesty criticized Israel for the continued expansion of Jewish settlements and stepped-up construction of a West Bank barrier. Israel says it is building the enclosure to keep out attackers, but the barrier places about 10 percent of the West Bank on the "Israeli" side.

The report also restated Amnesty's earlier finding that Israeli forces committed war crimes and other "serious violations of international humanitarian law" in their 34-day campaign against Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas last summer.

New Book on the Israel Lobby


Alison Weir's new book Against Our Better Judgement: How the U.S. was used to create Israel brings together meticulously sourced evidence to outline the largely unknown history of U.S.-Israel relations.


Buy the book on Amazon.com.


Visit the book website for reviews, more ordering options, and upcoming author events.

Multimedia

Gaza After Disengagement

Captured Prisoners

ICAHD Video on Home Demolitions

B’Tselem Video on Home Demolitions

Related Articles

UN attacks Israeli rights ‘crimes’

Israel killed more than 650 Palestinians in 2006,
up threefold from 2005: Amnesty

Red Cross Report Says Israel Disregards Humanitarian Law

Does It Matter What You Call It?
Genocide or Erasure of Palestinians

Palestinian human rights NGOs condemn Beit Hanoun Massacre; call for international investigation

More Articles on International Law

Additional Resources

IHL Report – Review of the Applicability of International Humanitarian Law to the Occupied Palestinian Territory

UN Maps

Amnesty Report – Israeli army must respect human rights in its operations

Organizations

Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine

Al-Haq

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

Amnesty International

International Humanitarian Law Research Initiative


If Americans Knew distributes and posts to our website copyrighted material, sometimes without the permission of the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of the Israel/Palestine conflict. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law since it is being disributed without profit for purely educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

This website is printer-friendly. Please Print this article and share it with your friends and family.