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The killing of three Israeli settlers should not lead to retaliation and collective punishment

Saturday, 05 July 2014 11:24
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FIDHlogowebFIDH condemns grave human rights violations including acts that amount to collective punishment that have occurred in the West Bank and Gaza strip since the kidnaping and the killing of three Israeli teenagers.

Eyal Yifrach, aged 19, and Gil’ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel, both aged 16, were reported missing after they tried to hitchhike home from the southern West Bank, near the Kfar Etzion settlement, on 11 June 2014. Israeli forces reported finding their bodies in a shallow grave north of Hebron on June 30. 

On July 2, the body of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian teenager who was kidnapped and murdered, was found near a forest in West Jerusalem. 

Since June 30, Israeli settlers have attacked Palestinians in the Hebron and Bethlehem areas, with a nine-year-old girl reportedly injured after a settler ran her over with his car. Settlers have also set up three new outposts in the occupied West Bank since the Israeli teens’ bodies were found.  

“We strongly condemn the killings. Those responsible for these heinous crimes must be held accountable before an independent and fair tribunal. But these crimes cannot justify retaliation and escalation of violence”, said Shawan Jabarin, Vice President of FIDH. 

“Since the abduction of the Israeli teenagers, the use of excessive force and collective punishment by the Israeli armed forces have been recorded in flagrant disregard of international law. The Israeli government should put an immediate end to such practices”, said Karim Lahidji, President of FIDH. 

Our organisations are very concerned about the large scale investigations by the Israeli forces which amount to collective punishment in the West bank since the disappearance of the Israeli boys and increasingly since June 30. 

According to the information received, the Israeli forces are carrying out late-night house raids, ransacking homes, demolishing houses and destroying private possessions while intimidating and harassing residents, especially in the cities surrounding Hebron. Closures have been imposed on the city restricting the freedom of movement of approximately 100,000 Palestinians. Israel has also bombed dozens of sites in the Gaza strip. 

During raids on Palestinian towns, refugee camps, and villages that have been taking place since June 12, Israeli forces have shot and killed at least five Palestinians. More than 500 Palestinians have been arrested across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, approximately 100 of whom have been placed under administrative detention - a practice that continues to be carried out unlawfully by Israel despite a hunger strike of over 125 Palestinian prisoners resulting in serious threats to their lives. 

Our organizations call on the Israeli security forces to stop all forms of collective punishment, and to take all feasible measures to prevent reprisal attacks.