Living Under Occupation

?Living Under Occupation

PALESTINE .... An Arab cause it is, at least to the patriotic Arabs. A human cause; it goes without saying, but quote me any ethically executed human rights code protecting the Palestinians from Israelis and I'll be glad to reconsider Human rights violations remain a constant feature of life for the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza strip. The Palestinians right to self-determination enshrined in UN Resolution 3236 of 22 of November 1974. The right of self - determination is recognized in the Charter of the United Nation and is the basis of international Covenants on Human Rights.

Settlements continue, Israel currently has 223 Jewish-only settlements and "outposts" built on confiscated Palestinian land, they violate the human rights of Palestinians on a number of grounds. They breach international law, as they create, and are intended to create, permanent change, which is prohibited.

By setting its own citizens on occupied land, the Israeli State breaches both the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Forth Geneva Convention of 1949, Article 46 of the Hague Regulations explicitly prohibits the confiscation of private property. Settlements bring with them attendant infrastructure, like industrial zones and by pass roads that further aggravate Palestinians losses, in terms of land for example. A large proportion of this land was fertile. This has had an impact of Palestinian agriculture, viewed by many observers as one of the few economic sectors in the territories with real growth potential. By isolating and dissecting Palestinian population centers and applying military orders to them and the Israeli civil law to the settlers, as well as dividing water resources inequality between the Jewish population in the territories and the non Jewish, Israeli breaches article 3 of the declaration on granting independence to colonial countries and peoples which condemns such policies as radical segregation and apartheid.

Homes have been demolished by the Israeli authorities, over 18,147 Palestinian homes since 1967. Most homes demolitions occur as part of settlement expansion and is a policy often used by Israel as a form of collective punishment. Collective punishment is prohibited by international law, specifically article 33 of the fourth Geneva Convention.

The Israeli authorities have routinely used lethal force, mostly against unarmed civilians. Palestinian civilians have been routinely shot and killed during public protest. Palestinians are often killed at road blocs, particularly during periods of closure. In some instances, those shot and killed by Israeli security forces have been children, some under the age of 13. The penalty for an Israeli civilian that kills a Palestinian can at times trivial to say the least, in one incident a settler that had killed a Palestinian was fined one "agora" which is equivalent of 0.28 of a single US dollar. The callous disregard for the basic right to life has been a salient feature.

Despite being a signatory to the UN Convention Against torture, the Landau Commission which looked into the issue on behalf of the Israeli authorities, gave the go ahead to the Israeli security services to administer such treatment to its detainees by stating that the use of "moderate physical force" could be applied during the interrogation of those suspected of posing a security risk to the state.

Torture is expressly forbidden under international humanitarian law and Israel was condemned for using torture in 1998. Methods of torture by the Israeli authorities include sleep deprivation while shackled in painful positions, food withdrawn and or medical assistance withheld, imprisonment in a closet and Violent Shaking can do damage to the brain has been a particularly common forms of torture used by the Israeli security services, in effect, fifty years after the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Israel stands as the only country to formally legalize torture.

The Israeli authorities have been known to impose what could be called blockades are usually imposed on Jewish holidays and feasts or after bombings, after clashes with Palestinians or prior to anticipated protest. Closures cause considerable economic hardship, by denying the movement for Palestinian workers going to work. Closures often results in the waste of Palestinian agricultural produce as vegetables and the like rot, and in the case of Gaza under siege, the ban on fishermen going to sea, denies the possibility of an income, as they are unable to carry out their livehood.

It has been estimated that closures cost over millions US dollars a day. This has had a devastating effect on local industry. Closures also routinely impede the work of the medical emergency services denying individuals urgent care. The closures inflicted on the Palestinian population of the occupied territories is a form of collective punishment which violates article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and also the right to the freedom of movement enshrined in article 12 of the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Completely contrary to international law and UN resolutions 242 and 338.

Israel has declared Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the Hebrew state. UN General Assembly Resolution 53/37 adopted in December 1998 by a vote of 149 to 1 - with USA abstaining- declared that the General Assembly... determines that the decision of Israel to impose its laws jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem is illegal and therefore null and void and has no validity whatsoever. The issue of Jerusalem is one of the most contentious, and brings into play, regional dynamics, due to its religious significance. The entire Muslim and Christian worlds are concerned about the fate of the city. The Human rights implications of this ongoing Israeli policy is obvious, and any increase in its pace, has as its knock on effect on the violation of Palestinian human rights in the city.


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