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Israel/OPT
10.10.00
Urgent Interventions

Israel/Palestine : over 20 Palestinian children have been killed

CHILD CONCERN
Case ISR/PAL 101000.CC

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Israel and Palestine.

Brief description of the situation

Since the start of the confrontation between Palestinians and Israeli forces on 29th September 2000, far too many children have experienced extreme violence against themselves and their families. Regardless of who is responsible for the current clashes and violence experienced, child casualties are a grave violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms and therefore completely unacceptable.

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by a reliable source that over 20 Palestinian children have been killed, with an additional four declared clinically dead after sustaining serious injuries during the clashes. In addition, approximately 1000 children have been wounded, at least 12 children have been shot in the eyes and at least 200 have been arrested. Moreover, hundreds of Palestinian children have been forced to flee from their home in order to escape the violence.

These children died horrible deaths. According to the information, some of them presented signs of beatings before being shot dead, others were severely injured and bled to death. Some children were hit by machine gun fire from helicopters with live ammunition, mushrooming dum-dum bullets or with missile fragments. In some instances, Israeli security forces impeded wounded children from receiving access to medical assistance.

According to the information received, medical institutions in Palestine have been documenting and investigating the wounds of the children and they have found that most of these were inflicted by shots aimed directly at the children’s chests and eyes. The wounds of many of these children will become permanent disabilities.

Furthermore, children have experienced intense gunfire, assault, forced evacuation and kidnapping. The property of their families have been occupied, badly damaged or destroyed, (including private houses, electric generators, water tanks), leaving more than 240 children without homes, in situations of food shortage and without access to medical care.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Israel and Palestine urging them to:

i. take all necessary measures to put an end to this confrontation and guarantee that children do not become victims, caught up in armed action. OMCT recalls that the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention, adopted in 1977 extends full protection of children as civilians from all military actions (article 51). Furthermore article 38 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, notes that “…State Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by armed conflict”;

ii. guarantee adequate compensation to the families of all child victims and prompt medical assistance to all injured children;

iii. guarantee the immediate release of all arrested children, as foreseen in article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, stating that the “… arrest, detention of imprisonment of a child …. shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time”;

iv. ensure that all law enforcement agencies conform to international human rights standards and ensure a thorough and impartial investigation into all deaths and injuries in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;

v. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all children throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Furthermore, please write to your respective governments calling on them to put pressure on the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to come to an agreement in order to put and end to this confrontation.

Addresses

Israel Authorities

Ehud Barak, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Office of the Prime Minister, 3 Kaplan Street Hakirya, Jerusalem 91007, Israel, Faxes: +972 2 566 4838 and +972 3 691 7915

Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, 29 Salah al-Din Street, Jerusalem 91029, State of Israel. Fax : + 972 2 6285 438

Minister of Defense, Ministry of Defense, 7 "A" Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel. Fax: +972 3 697 62 18.

Minister of Police, Ministry of Police, PO Box 18182, 3 Sheikh Jarrah, Kiryat Hamemshala, Jerusalem 91181, State of Israel. Fax : + 972 2 5826 769.

The Embassy of Israel in your respective countries.

Palestinian Authorities

Yasser Arafat, President of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Khadra Building, Omar al-Mukhtar Street, Gaza, via Israel. Fax : + 972 7 2822 365/6 ( if voice, say "fax, please").

Palestinian Authority, Minister of Justice, Abu Khadra Building, Omar al-al-Mukhtar Street, Gaza, via Israel.
Fax : + 972 7 822 236 or +972 7 286-7109

Khalid al-Qidrah, Attorney General, Palestinian Authority, Attorney General Building, Yarmouk, Gaza, via Israel. Fax : + 972 7 824 503

Geneva, 10th October 2000

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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