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Author Topic: Israel's Policy of Extrajudicial Killings
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posted 16 September 2003 05:53 PM      Profile for evenflow        Edit/Delete Post
Israel's Policy of Extrajudicial Killings

Israel has adopted a policy of extrajudicial killings (or assassinations) of Palestinian activists in an attempt to suppress the current Palestinian uprising against its brutal military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. As of August 6, 2001, between 40-60 Palestinians have been murdered as a result of these extrajudicial killings, at least 13 of whom were innocent bystanders. Extrajudicial killings are often implemented by a missile strike from a helicopter gunship, wreaking havoc in Palestinian residential areas and causing casualties to civilians. For instance, Israel's assassination of two Hamas activists in Nablus on July 31, 2001 also killed two journalists and two children aged 7 and 10.

Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian activists is illegal according to both Israeli law and international law. Israel has outlawed the death penalty; however, its policy of extrajudicial killings allows it to circumvent this prohibition and execute people by other means. Worse yet, Israel is executing people without charging them with having committed a specific crime; without furnishing any evidence as to their "guilt"; and without the due process of a free and fair trial. Vaguely worded assurances from Israeli security agencies (which readily admit to torturing Palestinians to extract information) that those targeted for assassination are guilty of "acts of violence and terror" are hardly credible. This policy seriously undermines Israel's claim to being a democratic state based on the rule of law.

Furthermore, Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian activists is in clear violation of customary international law that protects basic human rights such as the right to a free and fair trial. The policy also violates the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to which Israel is a High Contracting Party. Article 3(d) of this Geneva Convention prohibits at any time and in any place "the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples." It is time to hold Israel accountable to its commitments and to international norms of civilized behavior.

A call to action article from Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel. Very articulate and well written.

From: learning land | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged

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