Human rights groups have condemned the recent Israeli aggressions against Palestinians, which include, in addition to increased settler violence, the killing of a Jenin youth, the demolition of homes in Hebron and the extensive bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip. The Euro-Mid Observer, furthermore, has released to the public its recent findings on Israeli abuses against Palestinian children.The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), in a recent statement, called upon the international community “to take immediate and effective actions to put an end to such crimes’, and reiterated its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to “fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
“These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions,” said the statement.
WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency reports that members of an Israeli undercover unit opened fire on Yousef Abu Zagha, 20, while he was on his way back home from buying food for the pre-fast meal in observance of Ramadan. Yousef was killed instantly with three bullets to the heart, the left shoulder and forearm.
According to eyewitnesses, the area went completely quiet after the unit fired at him.
Concerning the demolitions of the homes of alleged Hamas suspects, in Hebron, PCHR noted that “the destruction of the two houses is part of the collective punishment policy and reprisals against Palestinian civilians in violation of Article 33 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to Protection of Civilians in Times of War which provides: “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”
Furthermore, in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli air force launched 11 strikes, in which 44 missiles were fired on paramilitary training sites and agricultural stores.
The Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights, noted in a recent statement, as well, that Israel commits numerous human rights violations against illegally arrested Palestinian children, to include torture and coerced confessions during their detention, in violation of international laws.
“As Israel conducts a wave of mass home break-ins and arrests across the West Bank in retaliation for the alleged kidnapping of three youth from one of its illegal settlements, a new report documents that Palestinian children are at much greater, ongoing risk from Israeli forces,’ the statement begins.
According to the organization, between 2,000 and 3,000 Palestinian children and youth are arrested annually by Israeli authorities, with an average of 400 a year. Child detainees are as young as 12 and 15 years old.
By Euro-Mid’s account, WAFA further reports that Israeli authorities have raided more than 1,500 Palestinian homes and businesses and arrested more than 550 Palestinians, “in a search for the kidnappers and an attempt to wipe out the Hamas political party, which it has labeled as responsible without citing evidence.”
Israeli settlers have also intensified their attacks against Palestinians, according to WAFA, after the bodies of three settlers, allegedly abducted by Hamas members, were uncovered in the town of Halhoul, near Hebron, in a field not far from where they reportedly went missing.
According to witnesses, a Palestinian child escaped a kidnapping attempt by a settler in Jerusalem.
Apparently, the settler attempted to force the child into his car in Sha’fat, outside of Jerusalem, where residents managed to pry him out of the setter’s hands.
The child was transferred to hospital for treatment.
Just previously, on the preceeding night, a number of settlers assaulted a Palestinian taxi driver in the city of Jerusalem, spraying pepper gas into his face. He was also taken to a hospital, following the incident.
West of Jerusalem, settlers attacked and severely beat another Palestinian youth.
Additionally, ‘price tag’ vandals painted racist graffiti on the walls near the illegal settlement of Beit Shemesh, also in Jerusalem.
“Six Palestinians have died as a result (of the intesified raids) – including a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the chest at point-blank range and a 78-year-old woman who suffered a heart attack during a house raid,” Euro-Mid Observer went on to say, adding that their findings echo previous conclusions made by other international groups:
In a report filed in February of 2013, UNICEF found that the abuse of children who come into contact with the Israeli military detention system ‘appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process.”
Ihsan Adel, a legal officer at the Euro-Mid, notes: “The Israeli police or military typically break into homes in the middle of the night or take youth right off the streets without telling them what they are charged with or informing their parents, as required by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
“How is that different from the reported kidnapping of the Israeli students?’ Adel asks. ‘And yet it is occurring every day, every year. Where is the international outrage?”
See recent related IMEMC articles: Awne Shamsiyeh: “The camera is like a weapon, so I can resist non-violently.”