Date: 02 July 2008
PCHR Publishes a Report on Extra-judicial Execution of Palestinians
PCHR published a new report titled, “Extra-judicial executions … Official, Declared Israeli Policy” covering Israeli extra-judicial executions against Palestinians during the period from 1 August 2006 till 30 June 2008. The report is the ninth of its kind in a special series on extra-judicial executions by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against Palestinian activists during Al-Aqsa Intifada.
The first part of the report discussed international standards prohibiting extra-judicial executions. These included the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) and additional protocols and the Rome Statute. The second part discussed the official Israeli position vis-à-vis extra-judicial executions. Israeli legislative, executive, and judicial authorities officially support this policy, making Israel the only state in the world that officially commits these crimes.
The third part of the report included statistics of extra-judicial executions during the reporting period. These statistics showed that IOF committed 96 extra-judicial executions against Palestinian activists from all political parties in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Israel accused them of involvement or planning operations against Israeli targets in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) or Israel. The total number of victims in these 96 crimes was 173 Palestinians: 150 were intended targets and 23 were civilian bystanders. The civilian victims included 3 women and 3 children. In the Gaza Strip, IOF committed 63 extra-judicial executions that killed 119 Palestinians (103 targeted and 17 bystanders); while in the West Bank IOF committed 33 extra-judicial executions that killed 54 Palestinians (50 targeted and 4 bystanders).
The report cited that since the beginning of Al-Aqsa Intifada, Israel committed 348 extra-judicial executions. These crimes killed 754 Palestinians, constituting 20% of the total number of Palestinians killed during the Intifada. These victims included 521 intended targets and 233 civilian bystanders. Among the civilian were 71 children and 20 women. The West Bank victims were 350 that included 274 targeted persons and 76 bystanders; and in the Gaza Strip, the victims were 405 that included 157 bystanders and 248 targets.
The fourth section of the report discussed the tools utilized by Israel to commit extra-judicial executions. The most notable tools are targeting by military aircraft, operations by under-cover units, ambushes, and house sieges.
The fifth section included stark examples of IOF extra-judicial executions during the reporting period. They included the extra-judicial execution targeting El-Hayya clan members in Gaza City on 20 May 2007 that resulted in the killing of 8 victims, 7 of them from the same family (including 2 children). A second example was the targeting of El-Yazji family members on 16 January 2008 that killed 3 persons: two brothers and a child.
The final section included recommendations to the international community and the High Contracting Parties of the 4th Geneva Convention. These recommendations called for immediate intervention to put an end to Israeli war crimes and human rights violations and to pressure Israel to respect the provisions of the 4th Geneva Convention (1949). There was also a call for intervention to end Israeli extra-judicial executions that is considered a form of summary execution without trial. The Centre also called for prosecuting the perpetrators of these crimes, and for the provision of international protection for the civilian population of the OPT as the only mean to prevent the recurrence of these crimes.
Note: The Arabic version of the report is currently available on PCHR’s web site. An English version will be published after translation.