More Palestinians Illegally Expelled to Gaza

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Encouraged by the absence of international reactions to its rampageous onslaught against the Palestinians, the Israeli occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday decided to deport a number of Palestinian citizens from their hometowns in the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, hundreds of kilometers away.

The Israeli state-run radio quoted an IOF spokesperson as saying that the army would deport 15 Palestinian citizens currently interned in a Zionist military facility to the Gaza Strip.

The internees, whose identity has not been made known, are being held without charge or trial, live in the West Bank and the Israeli apartheid authorities accuse them of resisting the Israeli occupation. In addition, a Palestinian woman, a wife of a political activist, will also be deported to Gaza as a punishment for her husband for opposing the Israeli occupation.

The army spokesperson claimed the 15 “committed acts of terror.” However, the spokesperson didn?t say why they were not prosecuted and that no charges were brought against them.

Transferring inhabitants from their places of residence is considered a war crime under international law. However, the Israeli regime, encouraged by its guardian-ally, the United States, consistently defied international law by carrying out war crimes against the Palestinian people.

Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat denounced the expulsion orders as a violation of international human rights conventions. “It’s a very dangerous step,” Erekat told The Associated Press. “This is not an act of self-defense. This is an act that deserves the condemnation of the United States, the European Union and other members of the international community.”

On Monday, London based Amnesty International accused Israel of committing “war crimes” in Rafah in southern Gaza Strip. “The repeated practice by the Israeli army of deliberate and wanton destruction of homes and civilian property is a grave violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, notably of Articles 33 and 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and constitutes a war crime,” said Amnesty International.

Between October 10 and 12, Israeli troops entered Rafah and destroyed more than 100 Palestinian homes leaving over 1200 Palestinians homeless. The original estimate from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the body which cares for Palestinian refugees, was that 2000 were made homeless, but that was later revised.

The report noted that in the past three years the Israeli army has destroyed some 4,000 Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as vast areas of cultivated land, hundreds of factories and other commercial properties, roads and public buildings. During the same time period the Israeli occupation army has destroyed more than 1,000 Palestinian homes in the Rafah area alone.

The Amnesty report called on the “Israeli authorities to put an immediate end to the practice of destroying Palestinian homes and other properties, and of using excessive, disproportionate and reckless force against unarmed Palestinians and in densely populated residential areas, which frequently result in the killing and injuring of unarmed civilians, including children.”


Published Tuesday, October 14th, 2003 - 09:24am GMT

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