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This pamphlet provides an overview of the three main parts of Palestinian society, those living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, those who remain refugees, and those who live as citizens of Israel.

P UBLISHED BY S TUDENTS FOR J USTICE IN PALESTINE AT UCLA

SJPBRUINS . COM

Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA is a student organization working in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle. You can find us online at www.sjpbruins.com, on twitter @sjpatucla, and on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sjpatucla. This booklet was made by members of our student organization and is available for other Palestine solidarity groups to use at no cost. Please contact us if you would like a customized copy for your Palestine Solidar- ity organization. However, in all other cases, this work is covered by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

First printing, March 2013

Contents

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Where is Palestine?

 

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1.1 Location

 

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1.2 Modern Boundaries

 

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1.3 Further Reading

 

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The West Bank

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2.1 Settlements

 

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2.2 Facts & Figures

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2.3 Legal Status

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2.4 Settler Violence

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East Jerusalem

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3.1 Legal Status

 

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3.2 Facts & Figures

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3.3 The ‘Judaization’ of East Jerusalem

 

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3.4 Denial of Freedom of Worship

 

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Restrictions on Palestinian Movement

 

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4.1 The Apartheid Wall

 

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4.2 Facts & Figures

 

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Destruction of Property

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5.1 Home Demolitions

 

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5.2 Theft & Destruction Of Natural Resources

 

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5.2.1 Water

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5.2.2 Destruction of Agriculture

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6

Prisoners

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6.1 Background

 

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6.2 Torture & Abuse

 

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6.3 Administrative Detention

 

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6.4 Child Prisoners

 

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The Apartheid Analogy

 

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7.1 General Definition

 

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7.2 Evidence

 

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7.3 South African Opinions

 

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7.4 Critics

 

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Gaza

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8.1

Gaza Under Occupation

 

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8.1.1 International Law

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8.1.2 Restrictions on movement near border farmland

 

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8.1.3 Restrictions on Fishing

 

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8.1.4 Economic Strangulation

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8.1.5 Humanitarian Crisis

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9

Assaults on Gaza

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9.1

2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead

 

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9.1.1 The Assault

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9.1.2 Facts & Figures

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9.1.3 Evidence of War Crimes

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9.2 2012 - Operation Pillar of Cloud

 

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9.3 2014 - Operation Protective Edge

 

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9.3.1 Children Killed & Injured By Israel’s Latest Assault

 

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9.3.2 Children Traumatized

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9.3.3 Destruction of Civilian Infrastructure

 

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9.3.4 Statements by Major Human Rights Organizations

 

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Refugees

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10.1 The Nakba

 

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10.2 Facts about The Right of Return & Palestinian Refugees

 

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10.2.2

Responsibility for the Palestinian Refugee Problem

 

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11

Palestinians in Israel

 

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11.1 Background

 

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11.2 Institutionalized discrimination

 

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11.3 Trends of Intolerance inside Israel

 

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11.4 Discrimination in the Educational Sector

 

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11.4.1 Discriminatory legal structure

 

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11.4.2 Willful discrimination against Palestinians:

 

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11.4.3 Academic support for violence

 

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12

Conclusion

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61

Location Modern Boundaries Further Reading

1. Where is Palestine?

A Nakba survivor stands in front of her former lands in Iqrit.

1.1 Location

Palestine is at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, and forms a land bridge connecting the continents of Africa and Asia. One of the longest continuously inhabited areas of the world, Palestine has been recognized as a distinct geographical region since the Greek and Roman eras. (The name derives from the Philistines, a sea-faring people who invaded and settled the area in ancient times. The Arabic name for the country is still Filasteen.)

More recently, Palestine has been used to refer to the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, areas administered by the Palestinian Authority while being militarily occupied by the state of Israel. However, these territories represent less than a quarter of former Palestine.

1.2 Modern Boundaries

The modern boundaries of Palestine were drawn by the British, following their conquest of the region from the Ottoman Turks during World War I. Against the explicit wishes of the native Palestinian Arabs, the British were granted a "mandate" over Palestine after the war ("mandates" were granted by the League of Nations to Britain and France over former Ottoman provinces to assist their peoples toward eventual national independence). Originally the mandate included what is today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, but the British split off Jordan for autonomous governance in 1921. The British ruled Palestine directly through an appointed High Commissioner from the end of World War I to 1948. The terms "Historic Palestine" or "Mandate Palestine" are sometimes used to denote this entity, which was about the size of Vermont.

The mandate ended on May 14, 1948, when British troops withdrew from Palestine. The previous November 29, the United Nations General Assembly had recommended the partition of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab, with an internationalized status for Jerusalem. War broke out almost immediately. Better-armed and trained Jewish forces began to expand out of the areas allocated to the Jewish state, pushing many Palestinians into exile.

8

Chapter 1. Where is Palestine?

8 Chapter 1. Where is Palestine? By the time of Israel’s Declaration of Independence the day

By the time of Israel’s Declaration of Independence the day after British withdrawal, on May 15, 1948, roughly 750,000 Palestinians had fled or been forced out of their homes. When armistice agreements were concluded in 1949, Israeli military forces controlled 78% of Mandate Palestine. The remaining 22 percent, comprised of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, fell under Jordanian and Egyptian administrations, respectively. By then, roughly three quarters of a million Palestinians had become refugees. In 1967, Israel invaded and occupied the remaining Palestinian land in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (as well as Syria’s Golan Heights). The military occupation of these lands continues today.

Thus, Palestinian society has been split into three parts: one part living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, one part made refugees in 1948, and one part remaining inside Israel’s borders. This pamphlet addresses each population in the pages that follow.

1.3 Further Reading

More extensive reading on the history of and present circumstances in Palestine includes the following titles:

Khalidi, Rashid. The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood. Beacon Press, 2007.

Khalidi, Rashid. Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Conscious- ness. Columbia University Press, 2013.

Makdisi, Saree. Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation. WW Norton & Company,

2010.

Pappe, Ilan. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Oneworld Publications, 2007.

Pappe, Ilan. A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples. Cambridge Univer- sity Press, 2006.

Said, Edward W. The Question of Palestine. New York: Vintage Books, 1980.

Sayigh, Rosemary. Palestinians: From Peasants to Revolutionaries: A People’s History. London: Zed Press, 1979.

Settlements Facts & Figures Legal Status Settler Violence

2. The West Bank

A boy walks to a checkpoint on his way to school in Hebron, West Bank.

2.1 Settlements

on his way to school in Hebron, West Bank. 2.1 Settlements A map of settlements (the

A map of settlements (the colored regions) in the occupied West Bank (UN, 2012)

Almost immediately after the 1967 War ended, Israel began to colonize the occupied territo- ries in violation of international law, with Jewish-only “settlements.” The settlement enterprise was established with the purpose of creating irreversible “facts on the ground,” thereby solidify- ing Israeli control over the occupied territories and ensuring that under any future diplomatic agreement Israel would retain possession of vast and strategically important tracts of Palestinian territory.

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Chapter 2. The West Bank

The settlement enterprise was also intended to ensure that a genuinely sovereign Palestinian state would never emerge in the occupied territories. In the words of Henry Siegman, Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress from 1978 to 1994 and former Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations:

“A vivid recollection from the time I headed the American Jewish Congress is a helicopter trip over the West Bank on which I was taken by Ariel Sharon [the former Israeli prime minister and defense minister and godfather of Israel’s settlement enterprise]. With large, worn maps in hand, he pointed out to me strategic locations of present and future settlements on east-west and north-south axes that, Sharon assured me, would rule out a future Palestinian state.” 1

In 2011, respected Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem noted:

“The extreme change that Israel has made in the map of the West Bank prevents any real possibility to establish an independent, viable Palestinian state in the framework of exercising the right to self-determination.” 2

2.2 Facts & Figures

As of 2012, there are more than half a million Israeli settlers living in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Of those, upwards of 300,000 live in the expanded boundaries of East Jerusalem. In addition, approximately 20,000 settlers live in settlements in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

As of 2012 there were some 130 official settlements and more than 110 “outposts” (nascent settlements built without official government approval) in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

According to Human Rights Watch: "Palestinians face systematic discrimination merely because of their race, ethnicity, and national origin, depriving them of electricity, water, schools, and access to roads, while nearby Jewish settlers enjoy all of these state-provided While Israeli settlements flourish, Palestinians under Israeli control live in a time warp - not just separate, not just unequal, but sometimes even pushed off their lands and out of their homes." 3

From 1993 to 2000, as Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) negotiated what came to be known as the Oslo Accords, the number of Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem), nearly doubled, from 110,900 to 190,206 according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. Accurate figures for settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, which are mostly built and expanded before 1993, are harder to find, but as of 2000 the number of settlers in East Jerusalem stands at more than 167,000 according to B’Tselem.

Settlements and related infrastructure (including Israeli-only roads, army bases, the sepa- ration wall, closed military zones, and checkpoints) cover approximately 42% of the West Bank.

In a 2012 report entitled “Torpedoing The Two State Solution,” Peace Now, the leading experts on Israel’s settlement enterprise, documented a 20% rise in construction starts in the West Bank in 2011 over the previous year. 4

2.3 Legal Status

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Israel withdrew its soldiers and 8000 settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005, however Gaza remains under Israeli occupation according to international law as Israel continues to control all entry in and out of the territory, as well as its coastline and airspace.

In 2004, Dov Weisglass, a top advisor to then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said that the withdrawal of settlers from Gaza (the “disengagement” plan) was intended to “freeze” the peace process, by alleviating international pressure on Israel to take further action, stating,

“And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.

The disengagement is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formalde- hyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.” 5

2.3 Legal Status

The pre-amble of UN Security Council Resolution 242, which was passed shortly after the 1967 War, in November 1967, stresses “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.” The text of Resolution 242, which is the cornerstone of the two-state solution and international efforts to make peace in the region for more than two decades, calls for the “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” 6

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War states that, “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” 7

The Hague Convention also forbids occupying powers from making permanent changes in the occupied territory unless it is a military necessity. 8

In its 2004 advisory opinion that deemed the wall that Israel is building in the West Bank illegal, all 15 judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) also found Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, to be in contravention of international law. 9

Successive Israeli governments have argued that settlement building does not violate inter- national law, however a formerly classified document dated September 1967 shows that the legal counsel to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, advised the government of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol that “civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention." Disregarding the opinion, in September 1967, Eshkol’s Labor government authorized the establishment of the first civilian settlement, Kfar Etzion, on the outskirts of Hebron in the West Bank. 10

6 See the Resolution: http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/7D35E1F729DF491C85256EE700686136 7 See Article 49: http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/ 385ec082b509e76c41256739003e636d/6756482d86146898c125641e004aa3c5 8 See The Hague: http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/195?OpenDocument 9 See the opinion: http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1677.pdf 10 See The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/10/opinion/10gorenberg.html

12

Chapter 2. The West Bank

International human rights organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch have all condemned Israel’s settlement enter- prise as illegal.

Numerous United Nations resolutions have also affirmed that Israel’s colonization of Pales- tinian land in the occupied territories is a violation of international law. In 1979, the Security Council passed Resolution 446, which states: “the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.” 11

2.4 Settler Violence

peace in the Middle East.” 1 1 2.4 Settler Violence Aftermath of a “price tag" attack

Aftermath of a “price tag" attack on Palestinian Christians. (Photo via Middle East Monitor.)

Many settlements like Yitzhar, Kiryat Arba, and Itamar, are home to heavily armed religious extremists who frequently attack Palestinians and their property, including physical assaults and murder, graffiti and arson attacks against mosques, and the destruction of olive trees and other crops.

In March 2012, the Guardian newspaper reported that senior European Union officials had drafted a confidential report concluding that Jewish settlers are engaged in a systematic and growing campaign of violence against Palestinians and that "settler violence enjoys the tacit support of the state of Israel.” 12 Also in 2012, the US State Department listed settler violence against Palestinians as a form of terror. 13

Under Israel’s occupation regime, Israeli settlers living in the West Bank are subject to the civilian laws of Israel, with the attendant legal rights and protections, while Palestinians are subject to Israeli military law, and are granted virtually no legal rights or protections.

2.4 Settler Violence

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According to a 2012 report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

The weekly average of settler attacks resulting in Palestinian casualties and property damage increased by 32% in 2011 compared to 2010, and by over 144% compared to

2009.

In 2011, approximately 10,000 Palestinian-owned trees, primarily olive trees, were dam- aged or destroyed by Israeli settlers, significantly undermining the livelihoods of hundreds of families.

In 2011, 139 Palestinians were displaced due to settler attacks.

Over 90% of monitored complaints regarding settler violence filed by Palestinians with the Israeli police in recent years have been closed without indictment.

There are 80 communities with a combined population of nearly 250,000 Palestinians vulnerable to settler violence, including 76,000 who are at high-risk. 14

The most notorious instance of settler violence was carried out by an Israeli-American settler, Brooklyn-born Baruch Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinians as they prayed in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994. More than 100 others were wounded in the attack. In the unrest that followed, another 25 Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers. Just over a month after the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre, Hamas launched its first suicide bombing against Israeli civilians.

A 2012 UN report documented the rising use of threats, violence and intimidation by settlers to deny Palestinians access to their water resources in the West Bank. It found that Israeli settlers have been acting systematically to gain control of some 56 springs, most of which are located on private Palestinian land. The report also criticized Israeli authorities for having "systematically failed to enforce the law on those responsible for these acts and to provide Palestinians with any effective remedy.” 15

In recent years, settlers have begun so-called “price tag” attacks against Palestinians and their property in response to Israeli government actions that displease them, such as the dismantling of settlement outposts. The price tag campaign has included a string of more than a dozen arson attacks against, and desecrations of, West Bank mosques. In two cases, mosques inside of Israel’s internationally recognized borders were also torched.

Legal Status Facts & Figures The ‘Judaization’ of East Jerusalem Denial of Freedom of Worship

3. East Jerusalem

A woman presents an ID card to soldiers in an attempt to reach East Jerusalem for Friday prayers.

3.1 Legal Status

Following the 1967 War, Israel unilaterally expanded East Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries and formally annexed it. Neither move has been recognized by the international community, including the United States.

Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem has been repeatedly rejected by the international com- munity through a series of UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolutions 252, 267, 471, 476 and 478. Resolution 252 (1968) states that the Security Council “[c]onsiders that

actions taken by cannot change that status.”

which tend to change the legal status of Jerusalem are invalid and

Although Israel has attempted to make a distinction between them, according to international law, there is no legal difference between East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied territories. As such, Israel has no internationally recognized legal claim to any part of East Jerusalem, including the Old City and its holy sites.

Recently, the Israeli Supreme Court has begun recognizing as legitimate legal claims from Jews to properties in East Jerusalem that were allegedly owned by Jews prior to Israel’s creation in 1948. As a result, at least three Palestinian families and one shop owner have been evicted in recent months to make way for Jewish settlers who claimed ownership of the land pre-1948. At the same time, the Supreme Court refuses to recognize legal claims by Palestinian Arabs to properties owned in what became Israel in 1948.

3.2 Facts & Figures

Following its capture in 1967, Israel expanded the municipal boundaries of East Jerusalem, which comprised about four square miles, annexing an additional 45 square miles (more than 17,000 acres) of the occupied West Bank to the city.

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Chapter 3. East Jerusalem

Since 1967, Israel has expropriated approximately 5776 acres of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem. 1

Palestinian residents of Jerusalem contribute around 40% of the city’s taxes but only receive 8% of municipal spending.

In an attempt to separate and isolate East Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied West Bank, Israel has built a ring of settlements around its outskirts. This ring has been reinforced by the wall Israel is constructing, which also separates Israeli settlements in and near East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. 2

Since 1993, Israel has prohibited non-Jerusalemite Palestinians from entering the city unless they obtain an Israeli-issued permit, which is rarely granted. As a result, over four million Palestinians are denied access to their holy places in Jerusalem, are prohibited from studying in East Jerusalem, and are denied certain medical treatments that are only available in East Jerusalem hospitals.

The State Department’s Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2011 noted:

“Restricted access to East Jerusalem had a negative impact on patients and medical staff trying to reach the six Palestinian hospitals there that offered specialized care unavailable in the West Bank. IDF soldiers at checkpoints subjected Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulances from the West Bank to violence and delays, or refused entry into Jerusalem even in emergency The PRCS reported hundreds of violations against its teams and humanitarian services during the year. Most incidents included blocking access to those in need, preventing their transport to specialized medical centers, or maintaining delays on checkpoints for periods sometimes lasting up to two hours.” 3

3.3 The ‘Judaization’ of East Jerusalem

According to the 2009 US State Department International Religious Freedom Report: “Many of the national and municipal policies in Jerusalem were designed to limit or diminish the non-Jewish population of Jerusalem.” 4 According to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem:

“Since East Jerusalem was annexed in 1967, the government of Israel’s primary goal in Jerusalem has been to create a demographic and geographic situation that will thwart any future attempt to challenge Israeli sovereignty over the city. To achieve this goal, the government has been taking actions to increase the number of Jews, and reduce the number of Palestinians, living in the city.” 5

Methods used by Israel as part of an effort to “Judaize” or alter the religious composition of Jerusalem by increasing the number of Jews while decreasing the number of Palestinians, include:

Revoking residency rights and social benefits of Palestinians who stay abroad for at least seven years, or who are unable to prove that their “center of life” is in Jerusalem. Since 1967, Israel has revoked the residency rights of about 14,000 East Jerusalem Palestinians, of which more than 4,500 were revoked in 2008.

3.4 Denial of Freedom of Worship

17

The encouragement of Jewish settlement in historically Palestinian-Arab areas. While severely restricting the expansion of Palestinian residential areas and revoking Palestinian residency rights, the Israeli government, through official and unofficial organizations, encourages Jews to move to settlements in East Jerusalem.

Systematic discrimination in municipal planning and in the allocation of services and building permits. According to a 2011 report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

“Since 1967, Israel has failed to provide Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem with the necessary planning framework to meet their basic housing and infras- tructure needs. Only 13 percent of the annexed municipal area is currently zoned by the Israeli authorities for Palestinian construction, much of which is already built-up. It is only within this area that Palestinians can apply for building permits, but the number of permits granted per year to Palestinians does not begin to meet the existing demand for housing and the requirements related to formal land registration prevent many from applying. As a result, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem find themselves confronting a serious shortage in housing and other basic infrastructure. Many residents have been left with no choice other than to build structures “illegally” and therefore risk demolition and displacement.”

Demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures built without difficult to obtain permission from Israeli authorities. Since 1967, approximately 2000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in East Jerusalem. According to official Israeli statistics, from 2000 to 2008 Israel demolished more than 670 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. The number of outstanding demolition orders is estimated to be as high as 20,000.

According to Human Rights Watch’s 2012 World Report:

“Israel usually carries out demolitions on the grounds that the structures were built without permits, but in practice such permits are almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain in Israeli-controlled areas, whereas a separate planning process available only to settlers grants new construction permits much more readily.” 6

3.4 Denial of Freedom of Worship

Since 1993, Palestinians living in the West Bank have been forbidden by Israel to enter East Jerusalem without a difficult to obtain permit. As a result, millions of Palestinian Muslims and Christians living in the West Bank and Gaza are prevented from accessing their holy sites in Jerusalem.

According to the 2010 State Department International Religious Freedom Report:

“[Israel’s] strict closure policies and the separation barrier constructed by the Israeli government severely restricted the ability of Palestinian Muslims and Christians to reach places of worship and to practice their religious rites, particularly in Jerusalem.”

The report also noted:

18

Chapter 3. East Jerusalem

“The Government of Israel’s construction of a separation barrier, begun in 2002 due to stated security concerns, has severely limited access to holy sites and seriously impeded the work of religious organizations that provide education, healthcare, and other humanitarian relief and social services to Palestinians, particularly in and around East Jerusalem.” 7

The Apartheid Wall Facts & Figures Roadblocks and Checkpoints

4. Restrictions on Palestinian Movement

Palestinians queue to pass through a checkpoint alongside the wall in order to reach jobs inside Israel.

4.1 The Apartheid Wall

In June 2002, under the pretext of security, the Israeli government began unilaterally constructing a wall, much of it on Palestinian land inside the occupied West Bank. (Since 1994, the Gaza Strip has been surrounded by an Israeli wall that cuts off the 1.6 million Palestinians living there from the rest of the world. See section on Gaza restrictions.)

In July 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an advisory opinion deeming the West Bank wall to be in violation of international law. It considered the wall to be part of a process of illegal annexation of occupied land, and denied the claims that it could be justified by security or military needs. The court concluded that the wall must be dismantled, and ordered Israel to compensate Palestinians harmed by its construction. It also called on third-party states to ensure Israel’s compliance with the judgment. 1

While the ICJ’s decision was an advisory opinion, and therefore not binding on the parties, it is an authoritative statement of the status of the wall in international law.

20

Chapter 4. Restrictions on Palestinian Movement

20 Chapter 4. Restrictions on Palestinian Movement Section from 2011 UN map of the wall, focused

Section from 2011 UN map of the wall, focused on the Jerusalem area. The green line is the internationally recognized border of Israel, while the red and black represent the current and planned construction of the wall inside of Palestinian territory. The red shaded areas indicate Palestinian towns that now exist between Israel and the wall, cut off from the rest of the West Bank. The colored X symbols indicate checkpoints and other gates and barriers to passage.

4.2 Facts & Figures

As of May 2012, more than 325 miles of the wall have been built, at a cost of $2.6 billion (US). Once completed, the full length of the wall is projected to be between 420 and 440 miles (according to the Israeli Defense Ministry and Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, respectively), more than twice the actual length of Israel’s border with the West Bank. 2

Eighty-five percent of the wall will be built not along Israel’s internationally recognized pre-1967 border, but on Palestinian land inside the occupied West Bank.

When finished, the wall, along with the settlements, Israeli-only highways and closed military zones, are projected to cover 46% of the West Bank, effectively annexing it to Israel.

Critics have accused Israeli authorities of designing the wall’s route to envelop as much Palestinian land and as many Israeli settlements as possible on the western, or Israeli side, while placing as many Palestinians as possible on the eastern side. In total, about 98% of the Israeli settler population is expected to end up on the Israeli side of the wall.

The wall also surrounds much of occupied East Jerusalem, cutting its more than 200,000 Palestinian residents off from the rest of the occupied West Bank.

During construction of the wall, Israel has destroyed large amounts of Palestinian farmland and usurped water supplies, including the biggest aquifer in the West Bank.

4.3 Roadblocks and Checkpoints

21

4.3 Roadblocks and Checkpoints

and Checkpoints 21 4.3 Roadblocks and Checkpoints The notorious Ephraim Gate checkpoint in the northern West

The notorious Ephraim Gate checkpoint in the northern West Bank. A Palestinian man was crushed to death here in January, 2014. Photo via Mondoweiss.

At any given time, there are upwards of 500 checkpoints, roadblocks, and other barriers to Palestinian movement inside the West Bank - an area smaller than Delaware - hindering Palestinians from moving between their own towns and cities and the outside world. Palestinians are prohibited from driving on the vast network of settler roads built inside the West Bank, which are restricted to Israeli citizens. In addition to limiting movement of individual Palestinians, Israeli restrictions also impede the flow of commercial goods and commerce, with adverse effects on the Palestinian economy and development.

According to a September 2011 report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

522 roadblocks and checkpoints obstruct Palestinian movement in the West Bank, com- pared to 503 in July 2010.

200,000 people from 70 villages are forced to use detours between two to five times longer than the direct route to their closest city due to movement restrictions.

One or more of the main entrances are blocked to Palestinian traffic in ten out of eleven major West Bank cities.

Four of the five roads into the Jordan Valley are not accessible to most Palestinian vehicles.

Almost 80 percent of land in the Jordan Valley is off-limits to Palestinians, with the land designated for Israeli settlements’ ‘firing zones’ and ‘nature reserves.’ (See here for 2012 UN map)

Palestinian access to their private land around approximately 55 Israeli settlements is highly restricted. 3

Home Demolitions Theft & Destruction Of Natural Resources Water Destruction of Agriculture

5. Destruction of Property

A man in Hebron, West Bank, watches as his home is demolished using a Caterpillar bulldozer.

5.1 Home Demolitions

Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states:

“Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.” 1

Israel has demolished approximately 24,800 Palestinian homes in the occupied territories since 1967. 2 Demolitions are carried out for three stated reasons: military purposes; “administrative” reasons (i.e. a home or structure is built without difficult to obtain permission from Israel); and to deter or punish militants and their families, a violation of provisions of international law that prohibit collective punishment.

According to Human Rights Watch’s 2012 World Report:

“Israel usually carries out demolitions on the grounds that the structures were built without permits, but in practice such permits are almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain in Israeli-controlled areas, whereas a separate planning process available only to settlers grants new construction permits much more readily.” 3

Since 1967, some 2,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in occupied East Jerusalem. According to official Israeli statistics, from 2000 to 2008 Israel demolished more than 670 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. The number of outstanding demolition orders is estimated at up to 20,000. Palestinians in East Jerusalem are often forced to choose between demolishing their own homes and paying for Israeli authorities to do it.

24

Chapter 5. Destruction of Property

5.2 Theft & Destruction Of Natural Resources

After taking control of the occupied territories in 1967, Israel began to exploit their natural resources. Most critically in the semi-arid region, Israel began to exploit aquifers and other water sources.

According to international law, including Article 55 of the Hague Regulations, an occupying power is prohibited from using an occupied territory’s natural resources for its own benefit. 4 An occupying power may only use resources in an occupied territory for military necessity or for the benefit of the occupied population. Thus, Israel’s exploitation of Palestinian resources such as water for use in Jewish settlements and inside Israel proper is a clear breach of international law, a position supported by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International.

Despite this clear prohibition, in December 2011, in response to a petition filed by Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Israeli companies could continue exploiting Palestinian resources in the occupied territories.

5.2.1 Water

resources in the occupied territories. 5.2.1 Water Amnesty International report on water access restrictions

Amnesty International report on water access restrictions for Palestinians. 5

While Israeli settlers water their lawns and fill swimming pools, Palestinians living nearby often cannot access an adequate amount of water for drinking, cooking, or proper hygiene. In the West Bank, Israeli settlers consume on average 4.3 times the amount of water as Palestinians. 6 In the Jordan Valley alone, some 9000 settlers in Israeli agricultural settlements use one-quarter the total amount of water consumed by the entire Palestinian population of the West Bank, some

5.2 Theft & Destruction Of Natural Resources

25

2.5 million people.

A 2012 UN report documented the rising use of threats, violence and intimidation by settlers

to deny Palestinians access to their water resources in the West Bank. It found that Israeli settlers have been acting systematically to gain control of some 56 springs, most of which are located on

private Palestinian land. The report also criticized Israeli authorities for having “systematically failed to enforce the law on those responsible for these acts and to provide Palestinians with any effective remedy.”

According to a 2010 Human Rights Watch report, 60,000 Palestinians living in Area C of the West Bank (which is under full Israeli control) lack access to running water, and must pay high prices – up to one-sixth of their income – to bring in water tankers, which in turn require special permits from Israel. 7

A 2009 Amnesty International report entitled “Israel rations Palestinians to trickle of water”

found:

“In the Gaza Strip, 90 to 95 per cent of the water from its only water resource, the Coastal Aquifer, is contaminated and unfit for human consumption. Yet, Israel does not allow the transfer of water from the Mountain Aquifer in the West Bank to Gaza. Stringent restrictions imposed in recent years by Israel on the entry into Gaza of material and equipment necessary for the development and repair of infrastructure have caused further deterioration of the water and sanitation situation in Gaza, which has reached [a] crisis point.” 8

According to Amnesty International, Palestinians received on average of 18.5 gallons of water per person per day, falling short of the World Health Organization’s standard of 26.5 gallons per person per day, the minimum daily amount required to maintain basic hygiene standards and food security. In addition to water and arable land, Israel also exploits Palestinian resources such as minerals, including from the Dead Sea.

5.2.2 Destruction of Agriculture Since the start of the occupation in 1967, Israel has destroyed vast amounts of Palestinian agricultural land in order to construct settlements and attendant infrastructure such as roads and military bases, and for the separation wall. In addition, vast amounts of farmland have been destroyed in Israeli military operations and by rampaging Jewish settlers, who frequently set fire to Palestinian farmland, uproot olive trees, and even kill livestock.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories, in 2011 alone some 10,000 Palestinian-owned trees, mostly olive trees, were damaged or destroyed by Israeli settlers, significantly undermining the livelihoods of hundreds of West Bank families.

Between 2000 and 2007, more than half a million Palestinian olive trees were destroyed by Israel for the construction of the separation wall or by settlers. 9

Background Torture & Abuse Administrative Detention Child Prisoners

6. Prisoners

The family of Samer Issawi, on hunger strike for over 200 days, holds his photograph

6.1 Background

According to the Israel Prison Service, there were about 4424 Palestinian prisoners and security detainees being held in Israeli prisons as of the end of April 2012. According to prisoners’ rights organization Addameer, there were 4653 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel as of May 1, 2012. 1 Since 1967, Israel has imprisoned upwards of 700,000 Palestinians from the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, or about 20% of the total population of the occupied territories. 2 Those who are charged are subjected to Israeli military courts that human rights organizations have criticized for failing to meet the minimum standards required for a fair trial.

According to Amnesty International’s 2011 Annual Report on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories:

“Palestinians in the [occupied territories] subject to Israel’s military justice system continued to face a wide range of abuses of their right to a fair trial. They are routinely interrogated without a lawyer and, although they are civilians, are tried before military not ordinary courts.” 3

According to Human Rights Watch’s 2012 World Report:

‘Israeli military justice authorities arbitrarily detained Palestinians who advocated non-violent protest against Israeli settlements and the route of the separation barrier. In January a military appeals court increased the prison sentence of Abdallah Abu Rahme, from the village of Bil’in, to 16 months in prison on charges of inciting violence and organizing illegal demonstrations, largely on the basis of coerced statements of children.’ 4

28

Chapter 6. Prisoners

28 Chapter 6. Prisoners Sign at a protest for Hana Shalabi, who went on a 43

Sign at a protest for Hana Shalabi, who went on a 43 day hunger strike to protest her administrative detention. She was released, but exiled to the Gaza Strip for 3 years.

6.2 Torture & Abuse

Until 1999, the use of torture by Israeli military and security forces was both widespread and officially condoned under the euphemism of “moderate physical pressure.” Methods included beatings, forcing prisoners into painful physical positions for long periods of time, and sleep deprivation.

In 2000 it was revealed that between 1988 and 1992 Israel’s internal security force, the Shin Bet, had systematically tortured Palestinians during the first, mostly nonviolent, uprising against Israel’s occupation, using methods that went beyond what was allowable under government guidelines for “moderate physical pressure.” These methods included violent shaking, tying prisoners into painful positions for long periods, subjecting them to extreme heat or cold, and severe beatings, including kicking. At least 10 Palestinians died and hundreds of others were maimed as a result. 5

In 1999, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the use of “moderate physical pressure” was illegal, however reports of torture and abuse of Palestinian prisoners continued unabated. 6 Amnesty International’s 2011 Annual Report on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories states: “Consistent allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, including of children, were frequently reported. Among the most commonly cited methods were beatings, threats to the detainee or their family, sleep deprivation, and being subjected to painful stress positions for long periods. Confessions allegedly obtained under duress were accepted as evidence in Israeli military and civilian courts.” 7

Other abusive practices employed by Israel against Palestinian prisoners include the use of solitary confinement, denial of family visits, and forcing prisoners to live in unsanitary living conditions.

The harsh conditions endured by Palestinians in Israeli prisons prompted a series of hunger strikes, including a mass hunger strike by more than 1500 prisoners in early 2012 leading to some concessions from Israel. The concessions reportedly included an end to the use of solitary confinement as a punitive measure and allowing family visits for prisoners from Gaza.

6.3 Administrative Detention

29

6.3 Administrative Detention

Israel uses a procedure known as administrative detention to imprison Palestinians without charge or trial for months or even years. Administrative detention orders are normally issued for six-month periods, which can be extended indefinitely.

Administrative detention was first instituted by the British during the Mandate era in 1945, prior to the creation of Israel.

There are currently as of May 29, 2012, approximately 308 Palestinians being held in administrative detention. 8

Since 1967, some 100,000 administrative detention orders have been issued by Israel.

Although there are none currently being held in administrative detention, Israeli authorities have in the past used the procedure against Palestinian children as well as adults.

Israel’s frequent use of administrative detention has been condemned by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as Israeli human rights groups like B’Tselem.

An end to the use of administrative detention was one of the main demands of a recent wave of hunger strikes by Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

In May 2012, Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch implicitly admitted that Israel uses administrative detention for reasons other than stated urgent "security" concerns, urging authorities to "use it only if there’s a need." 9

6.4 Child Prisoners

As of April 2012, there were 220 Palestinian minors in Israeli prisons. 10

Since September 2000, Israel has arrested and imprisoned more than 7000 Palestinian children. 11

Like all Palestinians from the occupied territories, Palestinian children are subject to Israeli military tribunals.

Palestinian minors are frequently arrested in the middle of the night by Israeli soldiers, taken away without their parents and harshly interrogated without a guardian or lawyer present.

According to a recent report by the Israeli NGO No Legal Frontiers, which followed the cases of 71 Palestinian children as they made their way through the Israeli military court system:

The most common offense was throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. In most cases the object was not actually thrown, did not hit a target, or cause any damage. In no case was serious harm caused.

In 94% of cases the children were held in pre-trial detention and not released on bail.

In 100% of cases, the children were convicted of an offense.

87% of them were subjected to some form of physical violence while in custody. 12

30

Chapter 6. Prisoners

Under pressure from human rights organizations and children’s rights advocates, the Israeli army announced in 2011 that it would raise the age that Palestinians are treated as adults from 16 to 18 years of age, however, critics complain that they are still subject to the same unjust and abusive treatment accorded Palestinian adults.

General Definition Evidence South African Opinions Critics

7. The Apartheid Analogy

Women protest the pass system in South Africa, which is analogous to today’s checkpoint system in the West Bank.

7.1 General Definition

The United Nations International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973) defines apartheid as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.” 1

7.2 Evidence

Over the entirety of its 64-year existence, there has been a period of only about one year (1966-67) that Israel has not ruled over large numbers of Palestinians to whom it granted no political rights simply because they are not Jewish. Prior to the start of the occupation in 1967, Palestinians who remained inside what became Israel in 1948 were ruled by martial law for all but one year, not unlike Palestinians in the occupied territories have been for the past 45 years.

According to a 2010 Human Rights Watch report entitled “Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Discriminatory Treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories":

"Palestinians face systematic discrimination merely because of their race, ethnicity, and national origin, depriving them of electricity, water, schools, and access to roads,

while nearby Jewish settlers enjoy all of these state-provided

While

Israeli settlements flourish, Palestinians under Israeli control live in a time warp - not just separate, not just unequal, but sometimes even pushed off their lands and out of their homes." 2

One of the first people to use the word “apartheid” in relation to Israel was Israel’s first prime min- ister, David Ben Gurion, who warned following the 1967 War of Israel becoming an “apartheid state” if it retained control of the occupied territories. In 1999, then-Israeli prime minister and current defense minister Ehud Barak stated:

32

Chapter 7. The Apartheid Analogy

"Every attempt to keep hold of [Israel and the occupied territories] as one political entity leads, necessarily, to either a nondemocratic or a non-Jewish state. Because if the Palestinians vote, then it is a binational state, and if they don’t vote it is an apartheid state.” 3

In 2010, Barak repeated the apartheid comparison, stating:

"As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity

If this bloc of

millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state." 4

called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or

In 2006, former US President Jimmy Carter published a book entitled, “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid” comparing Israel’s regime in the occupied territories to South African apartheid. In 2007, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned that Israel would face a civil rights struggle similar to the one mounted against apartheid in South Africa if it did not relinquish the occupied territories. Although he later claimed not to have made the remarks, US Secretary of State was quoted at a private event warning that Israel risked becoming an apartheid state if it did not end the occupation quickly. 5

7.3 South African Opinions

Many veterans of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa also consider Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to be a form of apartheid. One of the most outspoken voices has been that of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, one of the heroes of the struggle against South African apartheid, who has repeatedly made the comparison. In 2012, Archbishop Tutu wrote that Israel’s version of apartheid is actually worse than South Africa’s, stating: “Not only is this group of people [Palestinians] being oppressed more than the apartheid ideologues could ever dream about in South Africa, their very identity and history are being denied and obfuscated.” 6

7.4 Critics

Some critics assert that Israel’s occupation regime cannot be compared to apartheid because it was not meant to be permanent. Proponents of the apartheid analogy counter that whatever Israel’s intentions, the occupation has been in place for nearly half a century and the Bantustan- like arrangement is so entrenched due to the construction of settlements and the wall, and other unilateral Israeli actions, as to make it irreversible and therefore, de facto, permanent.

Gaza Under Occupation International Law Restrictions on movement near border farmland Restrictions on Fishing Economic Strangulation Humanitarian Crisis

8. Gaza

Palestinian children travel to an UNRWA school to seek shelter after evacuating their homes near the border in Gaza City on July 13, 2014. (UN/Shareef Sarhan)

8.1 Gaza Under Occupation

Since the early 1990s, Israel has restricted passage to and from occupied Gaza, but in 2006, following Hamas’ victory in Palestinian elections, Israel tightened its restrictions severely and imposed a total naval blockade on the tiny coastal enclave.

imposed a total naval blockade on the tiny coastal enclave. 2011 Map of Gaza, provided by

2011 Map of Gaza, provided by Israeli human rights organization GISHA

34

Chapter 8. Gaza

8.1.1 International Law

Israel’s siege and naval blockade of Gaza are acts of collective punishment, which is illegal under international law, and is considered as such by the United Nations and human rights organizations such as Amnesty International.

A 2009 Amnesty International report following Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s devastating

military assault on Gaza in the winter of 2008-9, stated:

‘The prolonged blockade of Gaza, which had already been in place for some 18 months before the current fighting began, amounts to collective punishment of its entire population.

‘The Fourth Geneva Convention specifically prohibits collective punishment. Its Article 33 provides: “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”’ 1

In 2011, the UN released the so-called Palmer Report on Israel’s attack against the Freedom

Flotilla in May 2010 that killed nine Turkish activists (one of them a US citizen). The report deemed Israel’s blockade legal, however it was widely considered a politicized whitewash, containing the important caveat that “its conclusions can not be considered definitive in either fact or law." Shortly after the Palmer Report was released, an independent UN panel of experts released a report concluding that Israel’s blockade of Gaza does violate international law, stating that it amounts to collective punishment in "flagrant contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law." 2 The International Committee of the Red Cross and a UN fact-finding mission into Israel’s attack on the Freedom Flotilla reached the same conclusion in 2010.

Israeli officials have admitted that the siege is not motivated primarily by security concerns, but is part of a strategy of "economic warfare" against the people of Gaza. In 2006, senior advisor to then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Dov Weisglass, said the goal of the Gaza siege was to put the 1.6 million people of Gaza “on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

Despite the fact that Israel loosened restrictions under international pressure following the assault on the Freedom Flotilla in 2010, the siege and blockade continue to strangle Gaza economically. According to a 2012 Human Rights Watch report:

“Israel’s punitive closure of the Gaza Strip, tightened after Hamas’s takeover of Gaza in June 2007, continued to have severe humanitarian and economic consequences

for the civilian population

the growth depended on international assistance. The economy had not returned to pre-closure levels; daily wages, for instance, had declined 23 percent since 2007. Israel’s near-total restrictions on exports from Gaza hindered economic recovery. Due to low per capita income, 51 percent of the population was unable to buy sufficient food, according to UN aid agencies.” 3

Gaza’s

economy grew rapidly, but the World Bank said

8.1 Gaza Under Occupation

35

8.1.2 Restrictions on movement near border farmland

In May 2010, Israel declared “no-go” zones within 300 meters (328 yards) from the wall that surrounds Gaza. In practice, however, the UN has concluded that the no-go zone is actually 500 meters (546 yards). Palestinians who venture into this area risk being shot by Israeli soldiers without warning. Numerous Palestinian civilians, including children and the elderly, have been wounded and killed in these areas.

Human rights organizations such as B’Tselem have documented dozens of cases of cases in which Israeli soldiers opened fire at people who posed no threat and were much farther than 300 meters (328 yards) from the wall - up to 1,500 meters (1640 yards) away. 4 According to UN statistics, the area of the official no-go zones, together with the area in which entry is effectively restricted due to a real risk of gunfire, covers about 39 square miles, or 17% of the total area of Gaza. The no-go zones affect some 113,000 Palestinians (7.5% of Gaza’s population), causing harm to their homes, land, workplaces, and schools. Seven schools are located in these areas.

8.1.3 Restrictions on Fishing

are located in these areas. 8.1.3 Restrictions on Fishing Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of

Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of Gaza. Photo by Max Blumenthal.

In the Interim Agreement signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization as part of the Oslo Accords during the 1990s, Israel agreed to allow fishing boats from Gaza to travel some 20 nautical miles from shore, except for several buffer zones near the borders with Israel and Egypt to which they were denied entry altogether. But according to a 2011 report from B’Tselem: “In practice, however, Israel did not issue permits to all the fishermen who requested them, and allowed fishing up to a distance of 12 nautical miles.”

Since Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s devastating military assault on Gaza in the winter of 2008-9, the Israeli navy has reduced that limit to three nautical miles.

According to the aforementioned 2011 B’Tselem report:

36

Chapter 8. Gaza

“In addition to the harsh restrictions on fishing, B’Tselem has documented cases in which naval forces have attacked and harassed fishermen. The documented cases include, for example, gunfire, detention, delay, and confiscation of boats and fishing equipment.

‘The prohibition on entering deep waters and the danger now inherent to every excursion to sea deny fishermen access to areas abundant with fish, limiting their catches [to] small fish of poor quality. As a result, it is extremely hard to earn a living from fishing, or even cover fishing expenses. Given the lack of other sources of income in the Gaza Strip, some fishermen are left no option but to violate the prohibition and endanger their lives.”

8.1.4 Economic Strangulation

Export of Palestinian goods, the import of raw materials and access to Gaza’s natural resources have been severely restricted, devastating Gazan businesses and the ability of the region to be self-sufficient, thereby rendering it dependent on international aid. For example:

Economic output per capita has fallen by 40 percent of 1994 levels.

95 percent of Gaza’s 3,900 industrial businesses are closed or have suspended work. The other five percent are operating at 20 to 50 percent of capacity. This has cost between 100,000 and 120,000 jobs.

Israeli restrictions block access to 35 percent of Gaza’s agricultural land and fishermen are forbidden to fish beyond 3 nautical miles from the shore. In 2010, employment in agriculture fell from 14,900 to 10,100.

While Gaza needs 670,000 truckloads of construction material, an average of 715 enter per month, at 11 percent of pre-blockade levels. The construction industry now has 10,000 workers, 42 percent of pre-blockade levels.

Unemployment is at 45.2 percent, with only 40.3 percent of working-age Gazans in the labor force. Youth unemployment is at more than 47 percent.

290 truckloads of exports were allowed out of Gaza between November 2010 and May 2011. Before the siege, more than 960 truckloads a month exited Gaza. This is only five percent of pre-blockade levels.

In 2011, a weekly average of 900 truckloads of goods entered Gaza. Before the siege, 2,807 truckloads entered weekly.

On March 2, 2011, Israel closed the Karni crossing, forcing importers and exporters to use the Kerem Shalom crossing. For wheat exporters, this increased transport costs by 235 percent and for wheat importers by 30 percent.

Between June 2010 and March 2011, the cost of wheat flour increased by 50 percent and vegetable oil increased by 40 percent. Meanwhile, the average wage has decreased by more than 25 percent since 2007.

Gazan households spend 56 percent of their expenditures on food, with 52.5 percent eating lower quality food and 67 percent buying food on credit as a result of high food costs. 5

8.1.5 Humanitarian Crisis

The amount of goods allowed into Gaza by Israel falls far short of the minimum required to avoid malnutrition, poverty, and prevent or treat a variety of illnesses. The United Nations’ fact-finding mission regarding Israel’s attack on the 2010 humanitarian flotilla found that "a deplorable

5 See the IMEU’s Factsheet on Gaza: http://imeu.net/news/printer0019136.shtml

8.1 Gaza Under Occupation

37

situation exists in Gaza" that "is totally intolerable and unacceptable in the twenty-first century. It is amazing that anyone could characterize the condition of the people there as satisfying the most basic standards."

Consider the following statistics:

54 percent of households face food insecurity, defined as inadequate physical, social or economic access to food. An additional 12 percent are considered vulnerable to food insecurity. Only 20 percent of Gazan households are food secure.

38 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

Since the blockade began, the number of Palestinian refugees completely unable to secure access to food and lacking the means to purchase even the most basic items, such as soap, school stationery and safe drinking water (’abject poverty’) has tripled to 300,000.

75 percent of households polled by the World Food Programme in the Gaza Strip received outside aid.

Gaza’s hospitals are at "zero stock levels" for 178 of 480 essential medications, with another 69 at low stock. Of 700 essential medical supplies, 190 are at "zero stock levels" and another 70 at low stock.

Due to lack of fuel, the Gaza Power Plant runs at 45 percent capacity, leading to daily blackouts of eight to twelve hours. Given this fuel shortage, 90 percent of private cars are no longer driven and of public services, only 15 percent are operational. (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, The Illegal Closure of the Gaza Strip: Collective Punishment of the Civilian Population, December 10, 2010)

In the Gaza Strip, 95 percent of water sources are unfit for drinking. Water-borne diseases cause 26 percent of illnesses in Gaza.

Because of lack of treatment capacity and electricity, Gaza authorities must release around 80,000 cubic meters of sewage into the Mediterranean Sea on a daily basis.

The construction of 86,000 houses is required to meet natural growth and recover from previous Israeli invasions. 6

6 See the IMEU’s Factsheet on Gaza: http://imeu.net/news/printer0019136.shtml

2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead The Assault Facts & Figures Evidence of War Crimes

2012

- Operation Pillar of Cloud

2014

- Operation Protective Edge

Children Killed & Injured By Israel’s Latest Assault

Children Traumatized Destruction of Civilian Infrastructure Statements by Major Human Rights Orga- nizations

9. Assaults on Gaza

Palestinians in Gaza inspect an unexploded missile launched by Israel during Operation Protective Edge.

9.1 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead

On December 27, 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a massive, 22-day military assault on the Gaza Strip. The ferocity of the attack was unprecedented in the more than six-decade-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, killing some 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians.

In the aftermath of the offensive, a UN-appointed fact finding mission found strong evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both the Israeli military and Palestinian militias. 1 Investigations by human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch came to the same conclusion.

9.1.1 The Assault

Six months before Cast Lead, Israel negotiated a ceasefire with Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups in Gaza. Under the agreement, which went into effect on June 19, 2008, both sides agreed to stop hostilities across the Green Line, the de facto border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Despite a number of violations by both sides, the truce was largely successful.

Hamas negotiators claim that Israel agreed to end its closure of Gaza’s border crossings as part of the ceasefire agreement, however Israeli officials dispute this. While Israel did resume operations at one border crossing, the overall policy of closure did not change. Two months after the truce began, the UN reported that the number of goods allowed into Gaza actually decreased.

Nevertheless, overall, a situation of relative quiet prevailed in and around Gaza until Novem- ber 4, when Israeli soldiers staged a raid into the Strip, killing six members of Hamas. The attack, which took place on the eve of the US presidential elections, ended the ceasefire and led

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Chapter 9. Assaults on Gaza

to an escalation of hostilities culminating in Cast Lead the following month.

Cast Lead proceeded in two phases: a week of intense aerial bombing followed by two weeks of a joint air and land assault and invasion. The surprise attack began at 11:30 a.m. on December 27, 2008, with Israeli F-16 fighter jets, Apache helicopters, and unmanned drones striking more than 100 locations across the tiny, crowded Gaza Strip within a matter of minutes.

Among the targets were four Palestinian police stations, including the central police head- quarters in Gaza City, where a graduation ceremony for new officers was underway. Ninety-nine police personnel and 9 members of the public were killed in the first minutes of the attack. By the end of the first day at least 230 Palestinians had been killed.

The massive bombardment continued until January 3, 2009, when the Israeli army invaded the Strip from the north and east. Israel’s navy also shelled Gaza from offshore.

On January 18, 2009, under enormous international pressure and just two days before Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States, Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew its forces from Gaza. Palestinian armed groups followed with a separate unilateral ceasefire.

9.1.2 Facts & Figures

According to investigations by independent Israeli and Palestinian human rights organiza- tions, between 1,385 and 1,419 Palestinians were killed during Cast Lead, a majority of them civilians, including at least 308 minors under the age of 18. More than 5000 more were wounded. Thirteen Israelis were also killed, including 3 civilians. (See below for a more detailed breakdown of casualties)

According to the UN, 3,540 housing units were completely destroyed, with another 2,870 sustaining severe damage.

More than 20,000 people - many of them already refugees, some two or three times over - were made homeless. 2

Attacks on Gaza’s electricity infrastructure caused an estimated $10 million in damage, according to the Israeli advocacy group Gisha.

268 private businesses were destroyed, and another 432 damaged, at an estimated cost of more than $139 million, according to an assessment by the Private Sector Coordination Council, a Palestinian economic group. A separate report found that 324 factories and workshops were damaged during the war.

According to the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides services to Pales- tinian refugees, the offensive damaged almost 20,000 meters (approx. 12 miles) of water pipes, four water reservoirs, 11 wells, and sewage networks and pumping stations. Israeli shelling also damaged 107 UNRWA installations.

Eighteen schools, including 8 kindergartens, were destroyed, and at least 262 others damaged. Numerous Palestinian government buildings, including police stations, the headquarters of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and part of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ compound, were also destroyed.

After an investigation of the destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza, Human Rights Watch accused the Israeli military of violating the international ban on "wanton destruc- tion" found in the Fourth Geneva Convention.

9.1 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead

41

9.1.3 Evidence of War Crimes

In April 2009, following international outrage at the carnage caused by Cast Lead, the UN Human Rights Council established a Fact Finding Mission to investigate possible violations of international law committed during the conflict. Leading the mission was Justice Richard Goldstone, a former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and war crimes prosecutor for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

The four members of the mission visited Gaza in late May and early June 2009, holding hearings there and in Geneva. They conducted 188 interviews and reviewed more than 10,000 pages of documents, more than 30 videos, and 1,200 photographs.

Israel refused to cooperate with the inquiry, denying the mission the opportunity to meet with Israeli officials or visit the West Bank.

As a result of its investigation, the mission issued the so-called "Goldstone Report," a 575- page document detailing alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli military. The report also accused Palestinian armed groups of war crimes as a result of indiscriminate rockets attacks on Israeli civilians living near Gaza.

The Goldstone Report documented 36 specific cases and incidents where Israeli forces allegedly violated international laws during the Gaza offensive. These include:

Samouni family massacre: In perhaps the most infamous incident of the war, Israeli soldiers ordered around 100 members of the Samouni family into a single building in the Zaytoun area of Gaza City. Soldiers held the family in the building for 24 hours before shelling the building on January 4, 2009. Twenty-one members of the family, all civilians, were killed. 3

Al-Daya family massacre: On January 6, an Israeli F-16 jet fired a missile at the home of the Al-Daya family, also in the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City, killing 22 family members, most of them women and children. 4

White flag killings: The UN mission and human rights groups also documented several cases in which witnesses saw Israeli soldiers kill Palestinians who were fleeing while carrying makeshift white flags to indicate their status as civilians. In one case, a soldier shot and killed two women, Majda and Rayya Hajjaj (aged 37 and 65 respectively) who were fleeing with their families while carrying a white flag in the town of Johr Ad-Dik. In August 2012, in a plea deal with prosecutors, a solider was sentenced to just 45 days in prison for their deaths. To date he’s the only person to face serious charges stemming from Cast Lead. 5

Use of white phosphorus in populated areas: Rights groups, journalists, and the UN mission in Gaza also documented numerous instances of the use of white phosphorus, an incendiary substance that is illegal when used in populated areas. Israeli forces used white phosphorus in attacks on at least two hospitals (Al-Quds Hospital and Al-Wafa Hospital), as well as the central UN compound in Gaza City. Numerous civilian casualties were caused by white phosphorus in the small, densely populated Strip. 6

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Chapter 9. Assaults on Gaza

In addition to the Goldstone Report, human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued reports of their own documenting numerous allegations of war crimes being committed by Israeli forces. 7

9.2 2012 - Operation Pillar of Cloud

In November of 2012, Israel broke a ceasefire with Hamas, returning the area to its largest conflict since Operation Cast Lead. As documented by the New York Times, the assault began when Israel assassinated the leader of Hamas’ military wing, Ahmed Jabari, who had been in charge of negotiating cease-fires with Israel. By the end of the operation, 160 Palestinians had died, 105 of whom were civilians, and 30 of whom were children. 971 Palestinians were wounded. 6 Israelis (4 civilian) were killed during the fighting. Israel has repeatedly violated the November 21 ceasefire that ended the conflict, killing and injuring several Gazans. 8

Human Rights Watch accused Israel of committing possible war crimes through the knowing targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. One example of this is the shelling of the Al-Dalu family home, which resulted in the deaths of 10 family members. Human Rights Watch condemned the attack as an example of Israel blatantly targeting civilians. Other accusations of potential war crimes surround the known targeting of Palestinian media and journalists.

9.3 2014 - Operation Protective Edge

media and journalists. 9.3 2014 - Operation Protective Edge The last moments of Gazan children who

The last moments of Gazan children who had been playing soccer on the beach near Shaati refugee camp. This image shows them running from Israeli shelling moments before they were killed.

According to the United Nations, between July 7 and August 26, at least 2131 Palestinians were killed in Gaza as a result of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge.” 9 According to both the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, 2168 Palestinians were killed. 10

9.3 2014 - Operation Protective Edge

43

According to the UN, at least 1473 of the dead were civilians, including 501 children and 257 women, with another 379 individuals yet to be identified. According to PCHR, 1662 civilians were killed, including 519 children and 297 women, while Al Mezan reported that 1666 of the dead were civilians, including 521 children and 297 women.

According to the UN, at least 142 Palestinian families lost three or more members killed in a single Israeli attack, for a total of 739 fatalities (see here for more), and up to 1500 children were orphaned.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 11,100 Palestinians were wounded, includ- ing 3374 children, 2088 women, and 410 elderly people. The UN estimates that 1000 of the injured children will suffer a lifelong disability.

During the same period, 71 Israelis were killed by Palestinians, including 66 soldiers and four civilians, as well as one foreign worker from Thailand.

In its August 21 daily Gaza emergency update, the UN noted:

“Human rights organizations have expressed serious concerns regarding incidents where civilians or civilian objects have been directly hit by Israeli airstrikes, in circumstances where there was allegedly no rocket fire or armed group activity in the close vicinity. Such cases raise concerns about the targeting of civilians, in violation of the principle of distinction.”

“Of particular concern is the alarming number of incidents since the onset of the emergency in which multiple members of the same family have been killed.”

9.3.1 Children Killed & Injured By Israel’s Latest Assault

According to the United Nations, between July 7 and August 25 the Israeli military killed at least 495 Palestinian children in Gaza during “Operation Protective Edge.” The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights puts the number at 518, while the Palestinian Center for Human Rights puts it at 519. All three figures exceed the number of Palestinian children killed in the last two major Israeli assaults on Gaza combined, approximately 350 during “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008-9 and 35 in November 2012. The number of children killed also exceeds the total number of Israelis, civilians and soldiers, killed by Palestinians in the last decade.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, between July 7 and August 20, 3106 Pales- tinian children were injured by the Israeli military in Gaza.

Of the more than 3100 children wounded, the UN estimates that 1000 of them will suffer a permanent disability as a result of their injury. Thousands of unexploded bombs and shells pose a danger to civilians returning to areas they fled from during the fighting, putting children at particular risk.

9.3.2 Children Traumatized

The UN estimates that 373,000 children require direct and specialized psychosocial support (PSS), while all of Gaza’s approximately 900,000 children have been affected by the war and need some level of psychosocial support. On July 28, UNICEF released a statement entitled “No

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Chapter 9. Assaults on Gaza

safe place for children in Gaza.” 11 In it, the head of the organization’s Gaza field office, Pernille Ironside, declared: “The physical and psychological toll that the violence is having on people is

almost terrified to their core.”

.We see children killed, injured, mutilated and burnt, in addition to being

Symptoms of trauma being evidenced by children include wetting of the bed, clinging to parents, and nightmares.

At least one Palestinian minor, a 16-year-old boy (now 17) named Ahmad Abu Raida, was held hostage for five days by invading Israeli soldiers and used as a human shield during their search for tunnels near his home near Khan Younis in southern Gaza, according to an investiga- tion carried out by Defence for Children International - Palestine.

Most children six and older in Gaza have lived through three major Israeli military assaults during their short lifetimes: the first in the winter of 2008-9, and the second in November 2012.

9.3.3 Destruction of Civilian Infrastructure

November 2012. 9.3.3 Destruction of Civilian Infrastructure Term papers litter the area around the bombed Islamic

Term papers litter the area around the bombed Islamic University of Gaza. This paper is from an assignment to "Explain the image of women in T.S. Eliot’s work." Photo by Refaat Alareer.

Israeli attacks caused widespread damage to Gaza’s already frail and dilapidated electrical grid, run down and in disrepair after seven years of siege and blockade. Most notably, on July 29 Israel bombed Gaza’s only power plant, 12 knocking it out of commission indefinitely, prompting Amnesty International to condemn the attack as an act of "collective punishment” against the entire population. 13 (Israel previously bombed the plant during assaults in 2006 and 2008-09.) 14 According to the UN, even following repairs to what remains of the electrical grid, most areas of Gaza continue to endure up to 18 hours of electrical outages a day. 15

Israel’s destruction of Gaza’s power plant caused the shutdown of water treatment plants, while Israeli tank fire put Gaza’s largest sewage treatment plant out of commission. 16 Other Israeli attacks did extensive damage to Gaza’s water and sewage systems, also already in critical

9.3 2014 - Operation Protective Edge

45

condition due to the siege and previous Israeli assaults, leading to the release of raw sewage into open pools, farmland, and the Mediterranean Sea, causing health concerns and affecting fishermen. On August 5, Oxfam warned that Israeli attacks damaging wells, pipelines, and reservoirs had caused the contamination of fresh water supplies, already heavily contaminated before the assault, and that 15,000 tons of solid waste had leaked into the streets of Gaza.

According to the September 4 UN Gaza crisis report, 450,000 people were unable to access municipal water systems due to infrastructure damage and/or low water pressure and on average, 20% to 30% of Gaza’s water and wastewater systems remain significantly damaged.

Israeli attacks damaged 24 hospitals 17 and reportedly killed 16 medical workers. 18 In addition, according to the UN, 22 schools were destroyed and 118 damaged, and at least six teachers killed. As a result of the ongoing violence, schools being damaged and destroyed, and displaced people taking refuge in schools, nearly half a million children had the start of their school year delayed, from August 24 to September 14. As the UN noted in its September 4 Gaza crisis report:

“The education sector was already overstretched prior to the crisis, suffering from

.When

schools open, children will face even more acute over-crowding and under-resourcing

a shortage of almost 200 schools, with classes running in double

as a result of the collateral damage suffered.

“Additionally, with hundreds of thousands of children in need of psychosocial support (PSS), teachers and educational staff (many of whom have also experienced acute trauma) will be stretched to provide the appropriate support required to ease children back in to school and to provide ongoing support throughout the school year.”

9.3.4 Statements by Major Human Rights Organizations The newsmedia and major human rights organizations have documented attacks on civilians, civilian structures, hospitals, mosques, and schools. The United Nations has commissioned an investigation similar to 2009’s Goldstone Report which will investigate such incidents as evidence of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. Meanwhile, human rights monitors have issued the following statements:

On July 21, Defence for Children International – Palestine Section issued a statement entitled “Death toll of Palestinian children spirals as Israel expands Gaza offensive” which detailed several Israeli attacks that killed children, noting that: “Israel’s military offensive on the Gaza Strip has been characterized by the direct targeting of civilian homes and infrastructure, and the indiscriminate targeting of civilians, which constitutes a war crime.” 19

Also on July 21, ten Israeli human rights organizations, including B’Tselem, The Associa- tion for Civil Rights in Israel, The Public Committee against Torture in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel and Rabbis for Human Rights, expressed alarm at the “high rate of civilian casualties,” which “raises concerns about grave violations of international humanitarian law.” The accompanying press release noted: 20

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Chapter 9. Assaults on Gaza

“The organizations emphasize that sending alerts or providing warnings to resi- dents does not transform them, or their homes, into legitimate military targets, and does not exempt the army from its duty to avoid executing indiscriminate attacks in the area. ‘In the absence of a protected area for residents that provides shelter and an answer to their humanitarian needs, military commanders can not claim that they have taken sufficient precautions to avoid causing injury.”’

On July 21, Amnesty International USA issued a statement entitled “Attacks on Medical Facilities and Civilians Add to War Crime Allegations.” 21 Documenting large scale destruction of civilian areas such as the Shejaiya neighborhood, and the escalating number of civilian casualties, Amnesty noted, “Issuing warnings to evacuate entire areas does not absolve Israeli forces of their obligations to protect civilians under international humanitarian law.” A Human Rights Watch statement that followed the next day found that, “In many, if not all, of these cases [that it investigated], Human Rights Watch found no evidence of a military target. Israeli forces’ failure to direct attacks at a military target violates the laws of war. Israeli forces may also have knowingly or recklessly attacked people who were clearly civilians, such as young boys, and civilian structures, including a hospital – laws-of-war violations that are indicative of war crimes.” 22

violations that are indicative of war crimes.” 2 2 United Nations Works and Relief Agency Director

United Nations Works and Relief Agency Director Chris Gunness breaks down during an interview about the civilian casualties of Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza

Degree of Civilian Suffering

On August 1, Oxfam released a statement entitled, “Gaza crisis spiraling out of control,” which documented the degree of suffering in Gaza:

“The crisis in Gaza is fast spiraling out of control with water supplies critically

low and a public health crisis

announcement means many more lives will be at risk.

The collapse of the latest brief ceasefire

“Conditions are increasingly desperate in overcrowded schools and buildings where up to 450,000 people are sheltering. Many people are getting as little as three litres of safe water a day, far below international emergency standards. Massive destruction of water and sewage systems and electricity supplies has reduced water

9.3 2014 - Operation Protective Edge

47

supply to Gaza’s entire population of 1.8 million people. Spills of raw sewage threaten to contaminate water sources and the threat of disease is rising. There are already reports of 30 cases of meningitis, as well as skin diseases among children and cases of gastroenteritis.”

“The destruction of Gaza’s only power plant earlier this week has plunged much of Gaza into darkness and left vital water pumps struggling to keep going. Three of Gaza’s four main power supplies have now been completely destroyed or exten- sively damaged by the violence of the past few weeks, cutting off more than 80 percent of Gaza’s power. Most municipal water supplies have now stopped running.”

“‘The outrageous level of destruction is much worse than anything we have seen in previous military operations and the situation is getting worse by the hour. Tens of thousands of families have fled but are trapped with nowhere safe to escape, shel- tering in horrific conditions and terrified to move. The international community’s response to such suffering has so far been shamefully weak. Every day that this goes on is putting many more civilian lives at risk,’ said Nishant Pandey, head of Oxfam in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel.”

“Hospitals that Oxfam works with are struggling to cope. Six of the nine busiest hospitals in Gaza have been directly hit or badly damaged, with three of them now closed. Another four Oxfam-supported health clinics and many others have been damaged or shut. Many health facilities are running short of fuel to keep life-saving operations going.”

“‘Oxfam condemns the rockets that continue to be fired from Gaza towards Israel, but this does not justify Israel’s outrageously disproportionate use of force which has killed so many civilians and destroyed so much of Gaza. All civilians, whether Palestinian or Israeli, have the right to live in security, but military operations that bring such levels of death and destruction will not make anyone safer in the long term,’ said Pandey.

“Oxfam said the international community must do much more to ensure an urgent and permanent ceasefire, but that lasting peace will only be possible with an end to the ongoing blockade of Gaza. For the past seven years people in Gaza have been living under an Israeli blockade which prevents the free flow of goods and people in and out of Gaza, devastating the economy and severely restricting people’s livelihoods.”

Israeli Claims

Israeli government officials have claimed that they warned civilians sufficiently and that Pales- tinians were using civilians as human shields. These claims are directly contradicted by human rights monitors. Amnesty International wrote on July 25th,

“Israeli forces have carried out attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians, using precision weaponry such as drone-fired missiles, as well as munitions such as ar- tillery, which cannot be precisely targeted, on very densely populated residential

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Chapter 9. Assaults on Gaza

areas, such as Shuja’iyyeh. They have also directly attacked thousands of homes. Is- rael appears to consider the homes of people associated with Hamas to be legitimate military targets, a stance that does not conform to international humanitarian law."

“Although the Israeli authorities claim to be warning civilians in Gaza, a consistent pattern has emerged that their actions do not constitute an ‘effective warning’ under international humanitarian law. Israeli attacks have also caused mass displacement of Palestinian civilians within the Gaza Strip.”

“Effective advance warning to civilians is only one of the prescribed precautions in attack aimed at minimizing harm to civilians. When Israeli forces have given warn- ing in many cases key elements of effective warning have been missing, including timeliness, informing civilians where it is safe to flee, and providing safe passage and sufficient time to flee before an attack. There also have been reports of lethal strikes launched too soon after a warning to spare civilians. In any event, issuing a warning does not absolve an attacking force of its obligations to spare civilians, including by taking all other necessary precautions to minimize civilian casualties and damage to civilian structures. Israel’s continuing military blockade on the Gaza Strip and the closure of the Rafah crossing by the Egyptian authorities since the hostilities began mean that civilians in Gaza cannot flee to neighbouring countries.”

Amnesty also disputed claims of human shields, stating, “Amnesty International is moni- toring and investigating such reports, but does not have evidence at this point that Palestinian civilians have been intentionally used by Hamas or Palestinian armed groups during the current hostilities to ‘shield’ specific locations or military personnel or equipment from Israeli attacks.”

International Criminal Court

Amnesty International responded to Operation Protective Edge by releasing a statement entitled, “International Criminal Court key to breaking cycle of injustice for war crimes,” which read in part:

“The UN Security Council has repeatedly failed to take effective action to respond to violations in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories or hold perpetrators accountable, in large part because of opposition from the USA, which has repeatedly vetoed resolutions critical of Israel. On some occasions the USA has been the sole voice against all other members of the Council.”

“Amnesty International is also calling on both the Palestinian and Israeli authorities to support a Security Council referral, and take other measures that would allow the ICC to step in and ensure their co-operation with the Court.

“In particular, the organization calls on the Palestinian Authority to submit a declara- tion accepting the ICC’s jurisdiction over crimes under international law committed since 1 July 2002, when the Court was established. Amnesty International also calls on the Palestinian Authority to become a party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC.”

9.3 2014 - Operation Protective Edge

49

“The Palestinian Authority has been consistently pressured by the USA, Israel, Canada, the UK and other EU Member States not to take steps to grant the ICC jurisdiction; such pressure has included threats to withdraw financial assistance on which the Palestinian Authority depends.”

Human Rights Watch has joined Amnesty International in strongly recommending the intervention of the International Criminal Court.

Arms Embargo

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both taken strong positions in favor of ending military transfers to Israel and Gaza pending adherence to international law. Amnesty International’s July statement read in part, “Amnesty International is also calling on the UN to immediately impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups with the aim of preventing further serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by the parties to the conflict. Pending such an embargo, all states must immediately suspend all transfers of military equipment, assistance and munitions to the parties, which have failed to properly investigate violations committed in previous conflicts or bring those responsible to justice.” 2<