Press Release
The Massacre Continues:
159 killed and thousands wounded, destruction of property and collective
punishments against the Palestinian civilians
For immediate release
Time: 10:30 GMT

    Today, 5/11/2000 at about 12:00 noon, the belligerent Israeli
Occupation Forces opened fire at Palestinian demonstrators. As a result
16-year old Palestinian child, Mahir Mohammad Assaeedi, resident of
Albureij refugee camp was killed after being shot in the head. Till now,
the Israelis have killed at least 159 Palestinians and injured thousands
others. In this context, the belligerent Israeli Occupation Forces
continued their use of excessive and lethal forces against the
Palestinian civilians.

     On the other hand, the belligerent Israeli Occupation Forces
continued to shell the Palestinian civilians and their properties in all
the areas throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Tanks and missiles
have been used to shell Rafah, Khan-Younis, Hebron, Bethlehem, and Beit
Jala. As a result many houses and greenhouses have been damaged.

     Moreover, the belligerent Israeli Occupation Forces continued
imposing collective punishments against the Palestinian civilians in the
Occupied Palestinian Territories. In this context, the Israelis continue
to besiege the Palestinian Territories as a whole, separating them from
the rest of the world, on one hand. On the other hand, they continue to
besiege the Palestinian cities, separating them from each other. This
situation absolutely prevents the freedom of movement of individuals.
The (Special UN Coordinator) office in Gaza estimates the daily
Palestinian loss resulting from the Israeli closure by $US 9 million.
    The Israelis have been closing the international airport of Gaza
since 31/10/2000. This is the third time the Israelis close this airport
since the beginning of Alaqsa intifadhah /uprising. The closure of the
airport prevents the arrival of humanitarian aid sent to the Palestinian
Territories and hinders the transfer of the injured to hospitals abroad.

    Additional Palestinian losses resulted from the destruction of
properties and industrial premises. Based on the data available to the
field- work unit of AL-MEZAN Center for human rights, 197.5 Donums owned
by Palestinian civilians in Gaza strip have been cleared since
29/9/2000. Besides, 129 houses in Gaza Strip have been, either totally
or partially, damaged during the same period.  Moreover 14 mosques and
one temple for the Samiri cult have been attacked in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip during the same period.

    The Israeli continuation to commit anti humanitarian and war crimes
against the Palestinian civilians, protected by the 4th Geneva
Convention, ascertains more than any earlier time, the need to provide
protection for the civilian Palestinians. This is a legal request that
should not submit to or be influenced by political considerations.

     AL-MEZAN Center for Human Rights welcomes Mrs. Mary Robinson, the
high UN commissioner on human rights, who will visit the Palestinian
Territories next week. In this context AL-MEZAN hopes that she will; as
has always demonstrated, make every effort to support the Palestinian
victims. We hope that she will make use of the respect, appreciation and
position she enjoys among the international community to provide
protection for the Palestinian civilians, and urge the international
community to chase the Israeli war criminals and bring them to trial.
    Previous experiences during the last few years the human rights were
sacrificed under the pressure of political considerations. As a result,
Palestinians were killed and their properties destroyed. In the light of
this, we at AL-MEZAN hope that this visit will be the starting point of
a special UN position/ role that does not submit to political