Saturday, October 02, 2004

PR GAZA: Israeli killings f Palestinians mount 10-02-04

Israeli Occupation Forces Commit War Crimes in Gaza Strip
1 October 2004
The Palestinian National Committee for International Humanitarian Law (PNCIHL) expresses its deep concern towards the losses in Palestinian civilians and the human suffering arising from the continuous Israeli aggression on North Gaza Strip, during the last two days. This has lead, so far, to the death of (35) martyrs, mostly women, children and aged civilians, as well as around (200) injured persons, demolishing (50) residential houses and bulldozoring large areas of land. However, it is expected that these losses to increase to the extent of being a human catastrophe, in view of Sharon’s decision, along with the Ministers’ Council for Security Affairs to expand the scope of their military operations, namely " Days of Regret" , as a manifestation of their intentions to cost the Palestinian citizens enormous casualties.
The PNCIHL iterates that the use of excessive force by the Occupation Forces, such as air and artillery bombardments of residential neighborhoods and civilian concentrations , in addition to mass destruction of properties and houses that is not rendered by imperative military necessity, constitute war crimes under the rules of International Humanitarian Law - these rules do not accept any justification vis-à-vis prohibition of launching primitive local rocket bombs on settlements, as an excuse for targeting Palestinian civilians, knowing that the settlements are illegal, in accordance to these rules. According to the convention of the International Criminal Court (ICC), these settlements are considered war crimes.
The PNCIHL affirms that the reprisal measures imposed on the Palestinian civilians and their properties are encouraged and supported by the American Administration, which was recently exemplified in the statement by the Head of the State Dept., Collin Powell. He expressed his antagonistic feelings towards the "intifada" and the Palestinians, which is practically identical to the Israeli position. Moreover, these reprisal measures have been nourished by illusions created through Sharon’s "Disengagement Plan" on the public opinion and political arenas – this plan encompass alleged withdrawal from Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. Consequently, the PNCIHL demands immediate release of these illusions and to focus on facts on the ground. Actually, the Israeli forces are in the process of promoting and expanding their military occupation and destruction of the infrastructure of Gaza Strip, but in reality, they are not considering withdrawal, or putting an end to this occupation
In view of the constant refraining of the UN Security Council to restore international peace and security in the region, due to the American veto, the PNCIHL requests the UN General Assembly to review its performance towards the illegitimate Israeli policies and practices, and activate its role by adopting more effective mechanisms, most importantly, the "Unity for Peace" as well as sanctions.
The PNCIHL calls upon the contracting parties to the Geneva Conventions to meet their legal responsibilities, as stipulated in their provisions, including "enacting any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed grave breaches".
The PNCIHL confirms the necessity for the international community of states to take prompt and appropriate measures to provide protection for the Palestinians in the OPT from the nightmare of the "Terror of State" – as experienced in Darfur Region and other places throughout the world.