People Under Occupation
A Periodical Deals With The Israeli Violations, Issued by The Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace

Annex to November 2000

Mid of November2000/ Annex

"We are the last of colonial powers. There are regimes that kill and oppress its citizens, yet nowhere in this world where one people dominates another by means of massive military power as we Israelis do" Shulamit Aloni.
Israeli Occupation Must Leave … International Protection of the Palestinian People is Desperately Needed

The outburst of the recent Palestinian uprising on 28 September 2000 came to assert the Palestinian people could no longer tolerate life under Israeli occupation, the last of belligerent occupations witnessed by the previous century. The uprising also affirms Palestinian readiness to pay the price for freedom and independence no matter how high it is. Additionally, the uprising is a clear expression of Palestinian frustration over Israeli procrastination in implementing not only the resolutions by international legitimacy but also the numerous agreements they have signed with the PLO. During the past futile seven years, Israel, steadily, declared its intention to implement only a partial withdrawal from Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the territories it occupied during the 1967 June War. This Israeli scheme, still governed by Greater Israel philosophy, is only a maneuver involves a temporary withdrawal that would allow setting up a “Protectorate Palestinian state” surrounded by hundreds of Israeli settlements. These settlements would enhance dismemberment of Palestinian territories and leave it weak enough to allow, through economic siege, de-population of the land. Thus, Israel could overrun the Palestinian state any time in the future and annex it without having to deal with a heavy Palestinian population.

Israel had occupied the Palestinian Territories during the June War in 1967. In total defiance of international law, Israel subjected the Palestinian population to extremely harsh repressive measures including “ethnic cleansing” in an attempt to de-populate the land and turn those who stay into “slaves” for Israeli settlers.

During the past thirty-three years, Israeli authorities issued hundreds of Military Orders to consolidate its control over the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Israeli repressive measures continued undeterred ever since contrary to provisions of international humanitarian law. Israeli authorities subjected the Palestinians to practices such as arbitrary detention, extra-judicial killing, confiscated their private and communal properties, unlawful deportation and destruction of homes.

The Arab-Israeli conflict would definitely turn into a religious war should Israelis cling to this ideology. Moslems firmly believe this holy land is an integral part of Islamic endowment that must not be compromised. The provocative visit by Ariel Sharon to the third holiest shrine for Moslems (Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem) with the consent of the Israeli government that provided him with the protection of 3000 troops is a step that would incite religious conflict that would not only involve the Palestinians but the whole Christian and Moslem world.

Israeli belligerent occupation has led to severe deterioration of economic and health conditions, destruction of the infra-structure, and caused colossal suffering to thousands of Palestinian families.

Since the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories in1967, the Palestinian people have suffered numerous violations of all walks of life. Israel violated every single provision in human rights principles:

Israeli soldiers and/or settlers killed more than 3000 Palestinian civilians since 1967 sometimes in cold blood. Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli settler, killed 29 Palestinian worshipers at al-Haram al-Ibrahim al-Sharif in Hebron in February 1994. Israeli policemen and soldiers killed and wounded dozens also at al-Aqsa Mosque in October 1991. During the current uprising, started on 29 September 2000, Israeli soldiers killed more than 170 Palestinians, including 45 children, and maimed over 7000 others. Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora were not spared either. Thousands were killed in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon during the last three decades.

Israeli authorities expelled, illegally, more than a thousand Palestinians for resisting occupation. Additionally, the occupation authorities refused to allow 90,000 Palestinians from returning to the Occupied Territories alleging they had lost their right of residence for staying abroad for over a year.

Israeli authorities in the occupied city of East Jerusalem applied numerous measures to strengthen Israeli control over the holy city. These measures included demolition of homes; confiscation of land and property; ethnic cleansing through confiscation of identity cards etc. Additionally, Israeli authorities refused to register over 10,000 infants born to Palestinian parents carrying Jerusalem identity cards.

Israeli occupation authorities confiscated a total of 4,025,719 square dunums of land in East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and the West Bank since 1967. Israelis used military orders, forged documents, brutal force and provisions in the Absentee Law to usurp Palestinian land. Since the signing of Oslo in 1993, Israeli authorities confiscated 384,421 square dunums (6% of the West Bank) and confiscated another 10% of the Gaza Strip alleging it is state owned land. Since 1967, Israel transferred 40% of the West Bank land to state land, 10% to Absentee property, and 10% to national reserves. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupation authorities confiscated 26% of the total area of the Strip. Between 1967 and 2000, Israel built 218 illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories including East Jerusalem. International law strictly prohibits an occupying power from transferring its own nationals to the territories it occupies

Israeli authorities destroyed and uprooted thousands of mature trees, especially, olive trees. The Palestinian society depends largely on production of olive oil. Research centers estimate that 249,373 trees, mostly olive, were destroyed or uprooted by Israeli army or settlers.

During the past three decades over 815,000 Palestinians had gone through the Israeli prison system mainly for resisting occupation activities. To this day, approximately 1650 Palestinian political prisoners are still held in Israeli detention facilities. During the current uprising Israeli military authorities arrested around 600 Palestinians including children under the age of 15

Israeli occupation authorities demolished a total of 8036 Palestinian homes during the past three decades. About 40,000 persons became homeless. Currently, 2300 Palestinian families face the threat of losing their homes in occupied East Jerusalem and neighboring suburbs. During the current uprising, Israeli military shelled over 250 homes and several residential areas in Gaza and the West Bank.

Ever since June 1967, Israeli occupation authorities seized control of Palestinian water resources. Palestinian aquifers are estimated to hold/produce about one billion cubic meters annually. Israel transfers only 130 million cubic meters to the Palestinians per annum while it pumps the rest to its illegal settlements in the occupied territories or to holding reservoirs in Israel proper. In Gaza, aquifers and renewable water resources produce approximately 580 million cubic meters annually. Israel sells about 115 million cubic meters to the Palestinian while pumps the rest to its illegal settlements in the Strip.

Since 1967, Israel turned the Occupied Palestinian Territories to a garbage dump for disposing its industrial, especially hazardous, waste. Sewage waters from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories pose grave dangers to human life and the environment, especially agricultural land and water aquifers. Israeli settlers established dozens of stone quarries inflicting heavy damages to the Palestinian countryside. Heavy pollution caused chronic health problems among Palestinian residents adjacent areas.

Israeli occupation authorities impeded natural growth of Palestinian national businesses. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian workers could not find any employment but inside Israel proper. Israeli employers subjected Palestinian workers to harsh and exploitative measures. The employer or one of his agents killed workers at their place of employment, sometimes, when workers demanded compensation for the work done. Many others were killed, injured or imprisoned by Israeli soldiers or settlers.

 Israelis desecrated numerous Christian and Islamic holy sites ever since the early days of occupation. Israeli soldiers and settlers destroyed many holy shrines. On 21 August 1969, an Australian Jew set fire to al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem. In October 1991, several Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured in what became known as al-Aqsa Massacre. In February 1994, an Israeli extremist killed 29 worshipers during morning prayers in Hebron. Several members of Christian and Moslem clergy were killed. Jewish fundamentalists burned several churches and mosques. Israeli authorities restricted freedom of access to religious sites in East Jerusalem after the closure of the city in 1993. Most recently, a visit by the infamous General Ariel Sharon to al-Aqsa Mosque triggered the current uprising, known as, al-Aqsa Intifada. Israeli brutal reaction to peaceful demonstrations, organized by Palestinians, to protest Sharon’s desecrating visit, left over 200 Palestinians dead and over 10000 wounded.

International Resolutions Regarding Israeli Violations During Al-Aqsa Uprising

Dozens of international bodies adopted resolutions condemning Israeli atrocities against Palestinian civilians. These resolutions link up with a plethora of similar ones adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, other UN specialized agencies and other international bodies. Despite worldwide condemnation, Israel, supported by unlimited American bias, continues to challenge international legitimacy. The following is a summary of these resolutions:

UN Security Council Resolution 1322

In October 2000, the Security Council expressed regret over the provocation that occurred, on 28 September 2000, at al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, and over the violence ensued afterwards throughout the Territories occupied by Israel in 1967 which resulted in the killing of many Palestinians. The Security Council also condemned the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against the Palestinians. The Council affirmed the importance to set-up a mechanism to conduct an objective prompt investigation into the violent incidents. As well, the Council demanded that Israel honor its commitments and responsibilities in accordance with the 4th Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilians in Time of War.

The Emergency Arab Summit 21-22 October ?2000??

The Arab Summit, convened on 21-22 October 2000 in Cairo-Egypt, held Israel responsible for (1) pushing the Middle East towards tension and violence through its atrocious and aggressive practices against the Palestinian people; (2) disparagement of the issue of Al-Quds Al-Sharif (East Jerusalem) and its pre-determined provocation driven by contemptuous racism. The Summit called upon Israel to cease its aggression and to restraint its oppressive and provocative practices against the Palestinian Arabs. The Summit recognized the Palestinians’ right to compensation for loss of human life and economic losses. Arab leaders demanded formation of an international independent commission, within the framework of the United Nations, to investigate the causes and determine the party responsible for the recent violent incidents. The commission would report to the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Commission regarding the seriously intolerable deterioration in human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Arab leaders requested that both UN Security Council and General Assembly provide international protection for the Palestinian population under Israeli occupation.

The Arab Summit avowed pursuit of Israeli perpetrators of war crimes in accordance with provisions of international law. Arab leaders demanded the UN Security Council establish an international criminal court to try Israeli officials responsible for atrocities against Arabs and Palestinians of the Occupied Palestinian Territories similar to the court established to try Rwandan and Yugoslav war criminals.

Arab leaders reaffirmed the crises on the bilateral tracks have impeded the multi-lateral track. They decided to stop any official or unofficial activities with Israel. In this context, they called for a total ban on economic and regional cooperation with Israel.

The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (Geneva)

The UNHRC condemned arbitrary and excessive use of force by Israeli forces against unarmed Palestinian civilians. The Commission called upon Israel, the occupying power, to immediately cease its use of force against unarmed civilians and to abide with its commitments and legal obligations provided for in the 4th Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilians in Time of War. The UNHRC called upon the international community to take immediate effective measures to compel Israel cease hostilities and put an end to Israeli flagrant human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Commission reaffirmed the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories represents, in itself, a flagrant grave violation of Palestinian human rights. Finally, the UNHRC confirmed the intentional systematic killing of civilians, especially children, by Israeli occupation forces is a flagrant grave violation of the right to life and a crime against humanity.

Thirty-three years have passed since Israel occupied the Palestinian Territories in 1967 and subjected its civilian population to harsh intolerable measures of oppression and annihilation. The world remained silent as Palestinians are killed, often in cold blood, by Israeli occupation forces and settlers. Although Israel had ratified the 4th Geneva Convention when the United Nations accepted Israel’s membership. Yet, Israel refuses adamantly to apply provisions of the Convention to the territories it occupies. Despite the signing of numerous accords, agreements and memoranda with the Palestine Liberation Organization and the PNA, Israel continues, undeterred, with practices that violate the letter and spirit of these agreements. Many resolutions by the international community, such as UN 242 and 338, have demanded Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Nevertheless, Israel blatantly rejected these calls and obstinately did cling to its ideology of Greater Israel and its narrow self-serving interpretation of the Torah that claims “This land was solely given to the Jews by God”.

The intolerable desperate situation on the ground necessitates a prompt deployment of international forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to provide badly needed protection for the unarmed Palestinian civilians. This mechanism would effectively provide favorable conditions to establish a permanent just and real peace for both peoples.

Dear Colleagues,

Your efforts, in addition to those of many peace-loving elements worldwide, to ensure immediate international protection for the Palestinian people, has become an utmost urgent matter essential to establishing a comprehensive just peace in this torn region of the Middle East.

Former Israeli President, Ezer Weizman, said: “You do not have to speak Arabic in order to make peace with the Arabs. You only have to be a human being”.