Mass Military Campaign / Collective Punishment Imposed on Palestine

Mass Military Campaign / Collective Punishment Imposed on Palestine

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.

Pillage is prohibited.

Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.

Article 33, Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949

Such is the letter and the spirit of international law, namely The Forth Geneva Convention which concerns the protection of civilians in time of war and military occupation, and to which Israel has been a signatory since 1951.

And yet, over the last 72 hours, Israel has:

Murdered, point-blank, Ahmad Arafat Sabarin, a 21-year-old resident of Jalazoun refugee camp in Ramallah during an army invasion late Sunday night-early Monday morning (15-16 June). Ahmad, a political prisoner, had only recently been released from Israeli occupation prison. He died in hospital as a result of live ammunition shot at his chest from a very close distance. Ahmad is the 10th martyr in the district of Ramallah over the past 3 months.

— Kidnapped at least 150 Palestinian civilians, among them – members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), including Dr. Aziz Dweik, head of the PLC. Some of the kidnapped have been transferred to Huwara military base for interrogation; the location of others is unknown. Human rights organisations have documented the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinians detained at the hands of the Israeli occupation.

— Injured dozens of Palestinians with steel rubber-coated bullets and tear gas canisters.

— Conducted numerous violent raids in the cities of al-Khalil (Hebron), Bethelehem, Ramallah, Nablus, Salfit, Tulkarem, Qalqiliya, Tubas, and Jenin; dozens of villages all across the West Bank have been subjected to brutal night raids, destruction of property, hijacking of private homes, assaults, intimidation, and verbal and physical violence. Shops and other business premises have also been ransacked, their CCTV footage stolen, computers and other valuables confiscated. Villagers report that in some houses, occupation soldiers stole all the money they could find.

— Declared the area in and around al-Khalil – the largest city in the West Bank after Jerusalem – a ‘closed military zone’, imprisoning up to 800,000 residents and imposing a military regime on the civilian population.

— Severely restricted the basic human right to freedom of movement by erecting flying checkpoints and roadblocks; closing entrances to towns; obstructing civilians from reaching their daily-life destinations such as the market or neighbourhood streets or relatives’ homes without being harassed; checking people’s IDs and vehicles and arbitrarily deciding who is allowed to pass and who is not; revoking Israeli work permits for residents of al-Khalil, severely impacting their income;  and creating a general atmosphere of brutal intimidation, designed to remind Palestinians yet again that they are under a colonial military rule.

— Bombed Gaza for several nights in a row. Children among the injured.

Denied family visits to relatives of Palestinians Israel holds prisoner.

— Illegal Israeli settler colonists have been engaging, with impunity, in their own terror attacks: illegal colonists from Yitzhar, which is considered one of the most violent colonies, brutally assaulted a young Palestinian man at Huwara checkpoint on Sunday; the man required medical assistance as his face was smashed and his body covered in blood. Illegal colonists have also been throwing rocks at passing Palestinian vehicles in numerous locations, including the roundabout on Road 5, near the illegal colony of Ariel.

The above follows the announcement on Friday 13 June of the abduction of 3 illegal Israeli settlers and members of the occupation army who were reported missing late Thursday night in the Bethlehem-Khalil area.

Collective punishment is illegal under international law.

Collective punishment is what Palestinians in their occupied land have been subjected to in the last 3 days.

Occupation army in al-Khalil, which it holds under a tight military grip.

Occupation army in al-Khalil, which it holds under a tight military grip.

Gaza Under Attack, 15 June 2014.

Gaza Under Attack, 15 June 2014.

Video of Sunday night’s army attack on Jalazoun camp:

Top image by Rami, Gaza by WorldBulletin, al-Khalil by Nasser, all via Twitter.