* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of AmnestyInternational *

5 June 2002
MDE 15/095/2002

After today's horrific suicide bomb attack on a bus in Israel
Amnesty International stressed the need for international
observers with a clear human rights mandate to be sent to the
region. The organization expressed dismay over the bomb attack on
the bus and the cycle of violence.

      The suicide bombing of a car which crashed into a bus at
Megiddo junction at 7.15 a.m. on 5 June 2002 killed at least 16
Israelis and injured dozens of others. Many of those killed and
injured were civilians.

      "We condemn this attack and all targeting of civilians,"
said Amnesty International. "Such deliberate killing of civilians
is contrary to the basic principles of humanitarian law."

      "International observers should now be accepted by Israel
and sent by the international community to ensure respect for
human rights by all sides. The present cycle of attacks and
reprisals is only leading to more killings, more shattered lives
in an atmosphere of destruction and hatred."

      Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are suffering
human rights violations, including closures, arbitrary detention
and prolonged curfews. The lack of any hope for the future,
political as well as economic, is leading to despair. "But there
can never be any justification for deliberately targeting
civilians," Amnesty International insisted.

      The organization commented that, if international
observers had been sent to Israel and the Occupied Territories
when the organization had first called for them in October 2000,
lives of both Israelis and Palestinians might have been saved.
"Nineteen months later, after 1,400 Palestinians and more than
400 Israelis including more than 350 Israeli civilians have been
killed it is now time to act," the organization commented.