[more p.4]

455. On 9 June 1994, a police spokeswoman indicated that the police in the northern region of Israel were continuing to crack down on the residents of the territories found inside the Green Line. In the previous week, more than 200 residents of the territories had been arrested and returned to the territories. Tough measures were also being taken against employers who permitted or encouraged those without permits to stay in Israel. (Jerusalem Post, 9 June 1994)

456. On 12 June 1994, the Cabinet voted to increase the number of Palestinians permitted to work in Israel by another 10,000. With the Cabinet approving 13,000 new work licences a week earlier, it is estimated that the total number of Palestinians now permitted to work in Israel was 35,000 to 39,000, bringing the level approximately to that reached before the Hebron massacre. (Jerusalem Post, 13 June 1994)

457. On 12 June 1994, it was reported that during the previous days the police had arrested 909 Palestinians who did not have permits to enter or work in Israel. Forty employers who had illegally employed workers from the territories were fined about $700 for each illegal worker. (Jerusalem Post, 12 June 1994)

458. On 19 June 1994, the Israeli Cabinet for the third consecutive week increased the number of Palestinians permitted to work inside Israel. Some 10,000 additional permits were issued, bringing the number of permits to 55,000 from 16,000 one month earlier. Before a wave of stabbings resulted in the closure of the territories in March 1993, 120,000 Palestinians used to work in Israel. Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry approved a total of 14,644 work permits for foreign labourers in the construction industry who have arrived mostly from Romania, Bulgaria and Thailand. Licences for additional 3,404 foreign workers were approved for the agricultural sector. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 20 June 1994)

459. On 22 June 1994, inspectors of the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry arrested 24 Arab workers from the territories who were illegally employed in Maitar, near Beersheba. The workers had neither work permits nor permission to be in Israel. Four employers were fined about $700 for each illegal worker. (Jerusalem Post, 23 June 1994)

460. On 20 July 1994, Deputy Defence Minister Mordechai Gur told the Knesset that only 19,000 of the 35,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who had work permits actually worked in Israel. Gur was responding to demands that the Government allow more Palestinians to work in Israel because of the desperate economic situation in Gaza. (Jerusalem Post, 21 July 1994)

461. On 1 August 1994, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that it would open markets to most agricultural produce from the territories, as agreed within the framework of the economic agreement signed by Israel and the PLO. Most agricultural products would be allowed to enter, although quotas were imposed on the import of Palestinian tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, melons, poultry and eggs. The quotas would be removed in four years. The army would conduct routine checks of Palestinian trucks carrying fresh produce into Israel. (Jerusalem Post, 2 August 1994; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 5 August 1994)

462. On 4 August 1994, it was reported that the Palestinian employees of St. John's Ophthalmological Hospital in Jerusalem had asked the Israeli labour union Histadrut to help them negotiate a better wage agreement with the hospital's management. The workers were threatening a general strike if the management failed to grant them conditions equal to those applied in other hospitals within Israel. Following the request, the Jerusalem Labour Council wrote to the management at St. John's demanding that it begin negotiations immediately. The staff at St. John's includes 150 Palestinians who reside in Jerusalem and in the territories. (Jerusalem Post, 4 August 1994)

463. On 11 August 1994, 10 Palestinian doctors, residents of the autonomous area and of the West Bank, completed a special course at the Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. The courses were offered in fields that ranged from general medicine to hospital management. (Ha'aretz, 12 August 1994)

464. On 12 August 1994, it was reported that Dr. Rahada Shaweh, manager of the Gaza Children's Hospital and member of the Palestinian Authority (PA), had stated that the PA did not have the money to pay for treatment given to Gazan children in Israeli hospitals. Under an agreement between the PA and Israeli hospitals, which was valid until the end of August 1994, children from Gaza could be sent for treatment to Israeli hospitals as long as the PA paid the bill. According to Shaweh, in June, 154 children from the Gaza Strip suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses were referred to hospitals in Israel, while 248 children were sent to Israel for treatment in July. (Jerusalem Post, 12 August 1994)

465. On 12 August 1994, it was reported that for the past three months, the Israeli water company, Mekorot, had been diverting the flow of water from Ubediyyah to the nearby Israeli settlements of Maaleh Adumim and Mikdar. The Palestinian villagers now have to collect water from wells scattered in the nearby mountains, which has given rise to diseases owing to water contamination. (The Jerusalem Times, 12 August 1994)

466. On 14 August 1994, the Cabinet approved an increase in the number of Palestinians allowed to work inside the Green Line in Isreal to 63,750, which represented the largest number since the territories were first closed off 18 months earlier. The construction and agriculture industries have been traditionally supportive of increasing the Palestinian labour force. Spokesmen for the construction industry stated recently that a saturation point had been reached owing to the injection of foreign labour from Europe. Until a wave of fatal stabbings, which took place in March 1993, about 120,000 Palestinians worked in Israel either legally or illegally. (Jerusalem Post, 15 August 1994)

467. On 14 August 1994, a municipal spokesman stated that the Education Ministry had given its approval for the construction of 180 new classrooms for Arab pupils in Jerusalem as part of a three-year plan to upgrade their schools. Mayor Ehud Olmert praised the decision as an important step towards reversing years of neglect in the development of Arab schools in the city. The city recently sent letters to some 1,000 parents of Arab pupils, telling them that they would have to remain in private schools until new classrooms were built. About 21,000 Arab pupils attend classes in city schools, as compared with about 28,000 who are enrolled in private schools run by churches and the Wakf (the trustee of Muslim properties). The first 60 of the new classrooms were slated for construction the following year, with an additional 60 classrooms to be built during each of the subsequent years. (Jerusalem Post, 15 August 1994)

468. On 18 August 1994, the Labour and Social Welfare Ministry announced that some 25,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who worked in Israel would receive social benefits as of the following month. The benefits, as part of their wages, would be deposited directly into their bank accounts rather than being issued as cheques, which was the mode of payment until that time. The social benefit funds would be deposited through the Bank of Palestine in Gaza. (Jerusalem Post, 19 August 1994)

469. On 18 August 1994, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres reportedly stated, during a meeting with the Norwegian Foreign Minister Bjorn Tore Godal, that Israel would transfer 75 per cent of all tax revenues the Civil Administration had collected to the Palestinian Authority, once the Authority had established a tax collection agency. (Jerusalem Post, 19 August 1994)

470. On 26 August 1994, Palestinian sources reported that Israeli soldiers had arrested scores of Palestinian labourers at the Zar'een junction inside the Green Line. Each man was fined 450 shekels before being released. The soldiers claimed that the permits issued by the Civil Administration allowed the workers to enter the Green Line but did not allow them actually to work. (The Jerusalem Times, 26 August 1994)

(e) Other developments

471. No information is available under this heading.

2. Measures affecting certain fundamental freedoms

(a) Freedom of movement

Oral evidence

472. The Director of the Association of Israeli-Palestinian Physicians for Human Rights described to the Special Committee how the closure of the occupied territories had affected the freedom of movement of medical staff:

473. A witness who testified before the Special Committee described how the restriction of the freedom of movement can cost someone their life:

474. A witness who testified before the Special Committee described the freedom of movement in the Gaza Strip:

475. A field researcher from the Palestine Human Rights Information Centre provided the Special Committee with the following information concerning the freedom of movement of members of human rights organizations who wanted to investigate the Hebron massacre:

476. One witness described the situation at military checkpoints:

477. Testimonies referring to the restrictions on the right to freedom of movement may be found in documents A/AC.145/RT.634 (Mr. Neve Gordon), A/AC.145/RT.635 (Mr. Yahya Ahmed Yahya), A/AC.145/RT.640 (Mr. Mahmoud Jabarin), A/AC.145/RT.641 (Mr. Mahmoud Jabarin) and A/AC.145/RT.642/Add.1 (anonymous witness).

Written information

478. On 7 April 1994, Palestinians from the territories were barred from entering Israel, including East Jerusalem. The ban also applied to all the workers who had a work permit (only 13,000 after the Hebron massacre on 25 February) and all vehicles from the territories. At the same time, police launched an operation to locate all Arabs from the territories within the Green Line and escort them back to their homes. (Ha'aretz, 8 April 1994; Jerusalem Post, 8, 11 April 1994; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 15 April 1994)

479. On 8 April 1994, it was reported that the Palestinian Medical Union had organized a demonstration near the Dahiet El Barid checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, to protest the prohibition of their entrance into Jerusalem by the Israeli authorities. Doctors, nurses and employees in the health sector were denied entrance to Jerusalem and thereby to their hospitals and laboratories. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 April 1994)

480. On 9 April 1994, 20 doctors were reportedly barred from reaching the Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Some doctors from the nearby Makassed Hospital managed to pass through roadblocks after a five-hour delay. In Gaza, the Palestine Health Council spokesman, Dr. Riyadh Zanoun, stated that 16 Palestinians suffering from cancer and other illnesses had been turned back at roadblocks since 8 April, which prevented them from reaching hospitals in Israel for chemotherapy and other treatment unavailable in Gaza. The army maintained that ambulances and medical staff were permitted past roadblocks into Israel despite the closure and that it was checking the reports to the contrary. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 10 April 1994)
481. On 15 April 1994, the Association of Israeli-Palestinian Physicians for Human Rights had reportedly asked the St. Yves Society, a Catholic society for human rights, to obtain legal assistance in order to put an end to measures taken by the Israeli authorities that prevented medical aid from being provided to Palestinians in the occupied territories under curfew. (The Jerusalem Times, 15 April 1994)

482. On 17 April 1994, a delegation of Israeli Muslims and Muslims from the territories crossed the Allenby Bridge to participate in Jordan's celebration following the completion of the restoration of the Dome of the Rock cupola. (Jerusalem Post, 18 April 1994)

483. On 22 May 1994, it was reported that, following the killing of two IDF soldiers near the Erez checkpoint in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians would not be allowed to leave Gaza for Israel until the Palestinian police had set up its own checkpoint a few metres before the Israeli one and guaranteed that Palestinians were not carrying weapons. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 22 May 1994)

484. On 26 May 1994, it was reported that (following the detention of five Jews in Jericho by Palestinian police on 24 May) OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Ilan Biran issued orders allowing Palestinians free passage into and out of Jericho, while Jews would now be allowed into the city only if they remained on Route 90, which passed through it. (Jerusalem Post, 26 May 1994)

485. On 26 May 1994, it was reported that more than 15 mobile military checkpoints were being periodically erected at the boundaries borders of Hebron in addition to those already existing permanently between Hebron and Bethlehem. Military checkpoints were also reportedly being set up on the Wad Al Nar road. (Al-Tali'ah, 26 May 1994)

486. On 9 June 1994, it was reported that the Israeli authorities were procrastinating in delivering visitors' permits to the residents of Gaza, particularly those living in Jordan. (Al-Tali'ah, 9 June 1994)

487. On 10 June 1994, it was reported that Sheikh Bitawi, 52, an Islamic leader and religious judge, who had been expelled along with more than 400 Palestinians to southern Lebanon in 1992, had received a green identity card that would not allow him to enter Jerusalem until the end of 1994. (The Jerusalem Times, 10 June 1994)

488. On 11 June 1994, Police Minister Moshe Shahal stated that, as another measure to ease the closure, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had authorized all Palestinian women as well as boys (from the West Bank) under the age of 16 to enter Israel. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 12 June 1994)

489. On 21 June 1994, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel stated in its annual report that the GSS was increasingly withholding travel permits from residents of the territories who refused to collaborate with the Israeli authorities. The growing number of complaints indicated that the problem was getting worse, possibly due to the closure of the territories, which had made people much more dependent on the permits. (Jerusalem Post, 22 June 1994)

490. On 23 June 1994, Jordan urged the world community to persuade Israel to make it easier for Palestinians to enter the territories and the self-rule areas by way of the Allenby Bridge. According to Jordanian Minister of the Interior, Salameh Hammad, there had been no change in Israeli policy at the bridge crossing since the beginning of Palestinian autonomy and he demanded that Israel extend the legal working hours for Palestinians employed in Israel and ease the bureaucratic procedures. More Palestinians use the bridge during the summer, which caused major congestions and allowed only 2,000 Palestinians to enter each day. (Jerusalem Post, 24 June 1994)

491. On 27 June 1994, it was reported that Israel had agreed to relax its control at border crossings and increase the number of hours that the Allenby Bridge would be open from 7 hours a day to as many as 24. (Jerusalem Post, 27 June 1994)

492. On 7 July 1994, it was reported that the IDF had arrested 46 Palestinian workers in Kalkiliya alleging that they intended to enter Israel without a permit. According to one of the workers, Mahmoud Al Shaer, they were all taken to the police station where they were beaten by policemen and forced to admit that they were trying to enter Israel unlawfully. (Al-Tali'ah, 7 July 1994)

493. On 18 July 1994, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin indicated that Israel would not change the procedures by which Palestinians were granted work permits, and that Palestinian labourers would continue to be admitted through the Erez checkpoint in accordance with their security clearance. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 19 July 1994)

494. On 20 July 1994, Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala), the Palestinian Minister of the Economy, was banned from attending a gathering of investors in Jerusalem. According to Oded Ben-Ami, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's spokesman, Qureia was barred from entering because the conference was held in Jerusalem rather than the self-rule areas Gaza or Jericho. (Jerusalem Post, 21 July 1994; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 22 July 1994; Al-Tali'ah, 27 July 1994)

495. On 20 July 1994, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation announced that it would submit a bill to the Knesset to prevent the Palestinian Authority from operating in Jerusalem (also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 22 July 1994). Justice Minister David Liba'i stated that the bill was not meant to prevent Arab residents of the city from engaging in any legal political activity. According to the bill, the Palestinian Authority would have to obtain written permission to establish any offices within Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post, 21 July 1994)

496. On 22 July 1994, it was reported that IDF and PLO representatives met in Gaza in order to improve the procedures at the four Palestinian checkpoints channelling Palestinians to the Erez checkpoint prior to entering Israel. The Palestinians would increase the number of policemen deployed at the checkpoints and up to 500 labourers at a time would be allowed to proceed to the Erez checkpoint (also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 22 July 1994). Those who are seeking permits would have to wait until 8 a.m. until the flow of workers with permits decreased. Israel agreed to speed up the opening of a new checkpoint to process 20,000 labourers. (Jerusalem Post, 22 July 1994)

497. On 24 July 1994, Col. Shaul, the commander of the northern sector of the Gaza District, stated that the Erez checkpoint for entry from Gaza to Israel was being run under new procedures, based on the conclusions drawn from the Erez checkpoint riots. Both Israel and the Palestinians increased the number of their forces at the checkpoint. The Palestinians were screening the workers more carefully to make sure that they had work permits before they arrived at the checkpoints, where Israel had doubled the number of queues the workers could pass through. In the morning, between 16,000 and 18,000 workers from Gaza passed through the checkpoints to their jobs in Israel. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 25 July 1994)

498. On 3 August 1994, it was reported that, following an appeal to the High Court of Justice, Ziad Abu Nada, from the Gaza Strip, had been allowed by the security forces to come into Israel in order to obtain a visa from the German Consulate in Tel Aviv in order to go to study in Germany. (Ha'aretz, 3 August 1994)

499. On 10 August 1994, it was reported that Palestinian residents of the West Bank, even those residing in villages surrounding Hebron, were prevented from entering the city. Residents described Hebron as being similar to the city of Jerusalem because of the numerous military checkpoints erected at its entrances as well as inside the city itself. (Al-Tali'ah, 10 August 1994)

(b) Freedom of education

Oral evidence

500. One witness provided the Special Committee with a detailed account of how the closure of the occupied territories had affected the freedom of education and, concomitantly, the freedom of movement of students and the administrative procedures they have to go through in order to obtain permits:

501. Overcrowding of schools has been a persistent problem in the occupied territories. A witness who testified before the Special Committee described it in the following manner:

502. Testimonies on the restrictions to the right to freedom of education may be found in documents A/AC.145/RT.634/Add.1 (anonymous witness) and A/AC.145/RT.636 (Mr. Mazen Gamil Shaqurah).

Written information

503. On 5 April 1994, Attorney Tamar Peleg-Sarik of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, filed an appeal with the High Court of Justice on behalf of 14 students from the Gaza Strip studying in universities of the West Bank, demanding that the Defence Minister and the IDF commandants in the territories allow these and an additional 1,100 students who find themselves in the same situation, to go to the West Bank in order to continue their studies despite the closure on the territories since 25 February. On 21 April 1994, it was reported that a second petition concerning the same subject had been filed by Attorney André Rosenthal. (Ha'aretz, 6, 21 April 1994)

504. On 8 April 1994, it was reported that Israeli soldiers had broken into the compound of Hebron University after students and soldiers had clashed at the entrance to the building. Two students were wounded by bullets after inhaling tear-gas. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 April 1994)

505. On 12 April 1994, Palestinian leaders called for Arab schools and colleges in Jerusalem to close for two days to protest the damage the closure of the territories was doing to the educational system in East Jerusalem. The educational leaders were particularly upset that teachers who lived in the territories but worked in Jerusalem were being denied entrance into the city. In the past, they were issued special permits to enter during a closure. Most Arab schools in Jerusalem had reportedly been forced to close since the closure was imposed on 7 April, because teachers could not come to work. (Jerusalem Post, 13 April 1994; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 15 April 1994)

506. On 27 May 1994, it was reported that the Palestinian authorities had received a list of 555 students from the Gaza Strip (out of 1,300) who were allowed to go back to their studies in the West Bank. The students were previously prevented from returning to the West Bank owing to the closure of the Gaza Strip. (Ha'aretz, 29 May 1994)

507. On 24 August 1994, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators initialled in Cairo an overall agreement transferring part of Israel's Civil Administration to the Palestinians. The transfer of administration regarding education in Ramallah was to be followed by a similar transfer in Nablus, Jenin, Bethlehem and Hebron on 28 August, affecting the lives of 60 per cent of the Palestinian population who had so far been unaffected by self-rule in Gaza and Jericho. The Palestinian Education Department was reportedly due to start functioning on 29 August 1994. The coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj.-Gen. Danny Rothschild, said on Israel Radio on 21 August that control over education could be transferred because it was relatively inexpensive compared with the other spheres. (Ha'aretz, 28 August 1994; Jerusalem Post, 22, 28 August 1994)

508. On 25 August 1994, the school system in Nablus was handed over to Palestinian control. The handover in Nablus followed the first transfer of a school system a day earlier (on 24 August) in Ramallah. Palestinians also took control of the school system in Jenin, Tulkarm and Kalkiliya on the same day, and in Bethlehem and Hebron on 28 August 1994. The entire educational system was due to be in Palestinian hands by 29 August, just before the beginning of the school year on 1 September. (Jerusalem Post, 26 August 1994)

(c) Freedom of religion

Oral evidence

509. A person who was wounded during the massacre perpetrated at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron told the Special Committee what had happened on the eve of the incident:

510. The field researcher of the Palestine Human Rights Information Centre also described the situation at the Ibrahimi Mosque on the night before the massacre:

511. The same witness spoke to the Special Committee about the general situation at the Ibrahimi Mosque:

512. Mr. Jabarin described to the Special Committee the general situation concerning the freedom of religion in the Hebron area:

513. One of the persons injured at the Ibrahimi Mosque during the Hebron massacre with whom the Special Committee spoke at the King Hussein Medical Centre in Amman described how settlers interfered in the enjoyment of the freedom of religion:

514. A housewife from Halhul told the Special Committee about restrictions concerning the freedom of religion, also referring to the Hebron massacre:

515. Testimonies on the restrictions to the right to freedom of religion may be found in documents A/AC.145/RT.640 (Mr. Mahmoud Jabarin), A/AC.145/RT.641 (Mr. Mahmoud Jabarin), A/AC.145/RT.642 (Mrs. Soumaya Yaser Melhem), A/AC.145/RT.642 (Mrs. Soumaya Yaser Melhem) and A/AC.145/RT.644 (Mr. Hosni al Ragabi).

Written information

516. On 11 April 1994, a march started towards the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron to protest the closure of the mosque. (The Jerusalem Times, 15 April 1994)

517. On 17 June 1994, it was reported that Maj.-Gen. Ilan Biran, the head of the Central Command, had confirmed that the Ibrahimi Mosque would not be open to either Jewish or Muslim worshippers for at least five weeks. Biran told the Israeli media that the mosque would be reopened only if a barrier were erected to separate the Muslim worshippers from the Jewish worshippers inside the Mosque and if a permanent Israeli checkpoint, reinforced with a large military force at the entrance to the Mosque compound, were installed to prevent clashes between the two groups. Biran subsequently added the clarification that work to construct special, separate entrances had not yet been completed. (The Jerusalem Times, 17 June 1994)

518. On 1 July 1994, the head of the Islamic Awqaf, Sheikh Suleiman Ja'abari, complained during a meeting with the French Minister of Religious Affairs that the Israeli Government was trying to confiscate 56 dunums of land belonging to the Awqaf located south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Ja'abari also stated that the Israelis were implementing a campaign to close down mosques throughout the occupied territories, in addition to the confiscation of Muslim religious property and cemeteries. (The Jerusalem Times, 1 July 1994)

519. On 26 August 1994, the head of the Islamic Awqaf in Jerusalem, Adnan Husseini, condemned the Jerusalem municipality's plans to carry out a tourist project on the Salludha land south-east of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Husseini considered the continuation of works, which had started two months ago, "an attack and a desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic graves". (The Jerusalem Times, 26 August 1994)

(d) Freedom of expression

Written information

520. On 10 May 1994, it was reported that reporters covering the occupied territories and settlements had protested to Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Ehud Barak, and senior IDF officers against the orders concerning the closing of certain areas, including Jericho, which prevented them from covering the withdrawal process. The journalists announced that they would petition the High Court if the closure orders were not rescinded. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 10 May 1994)

521. On 15 May 1994, it was reported that the media coverage of the handover of Jericho to Palestinians on 18 to 20 May was only allowed after a successful petition to the High Court of Justice by the Foreign Press Association, which had claimed that its members were unable to work properly because the army was insisting that they travel in groups, escorted by soldiers. As a result, 15 journalists with foreign passports and foreign press cards who had signed a waiver absolving the army of responsibility for their safety were allowed to enter Jericho freely. However, local reporters who thought that they would also benefit from the High Court ruling were not permitted to enter Jericho. The Foreign Press Association had petitioned against the declaration of Jericho as a closed military area, which threatened to keep them away from the scene of a major story. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 15 May 1994)

522. On 10 July 1994, the National Federation of Journalists and four reporters who cover issues relating to settlers petitioned the High Court of Justice over the army's decision to declare the Kiryat Arba neighbourhood, where settlers had broken into empty apartments, a closed military zone. According to the petition, the army's decision to close off the area because of a civil disturbance and not for security reasons was a grave violation of free speech and the public's right to know, as well as being in contravention of a promise made by the army in December to permit the coverage of all events taking place in the territories, except when there was a clear security risk. (Jerusalem Post, 11 July 1994)

523. On 27 July 1994, the owners of a private Palestinian television station stated that the IDF had closed it down and confiscated the equipment, on the grounds that it was broadcasting "inciteful" programmes. They added that soldiers detained and questioned the four owners of the Al-Ru'aa station in the town of Beit Sahur before releasing them on bail. According to one of the station's owners, Israel had licensed the station before it began broadcasting in mid-June. He also denied broadcasting any programme with a political content. (Jerusalem Post, 28 July 1994)

524. On 11 and 17 August 1994, some 10 to 20 Palestinian journalists demonstrated in support of the pro-Islamic weekly newspaper al-Bayan, which was closed by order of the Interior Ministry for being linked with Hamas. The newspaper, published under a licence issued five or six months earlier, appealed to an Islamic readership but claimed to enjoy editorial independence. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 18 August 1994; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 12 and 19 August 1994)

3. Information on settlers' activities affecting
the civilian population

Oral evidence

525. The Director-General of the Land and Water Establishment for Studies and Legal Services summed up the situation regarding settlers in the following manner:

526. This is how one person who testified before the Special Committee viewed the problem of settlers:

527. A field worker of the B'tselem human rights organization indicated that settlers have often acted with impunity. He described the problem in the following manner:

528. A field researcher from the Palestine Human Rights Information Centre described a specific incident of settler violence in the occupied territories:

529. The same witness provided further information to the Special Committee about the violent acts perpetrated by settlers:

530. The same field researcher provided the Special Committee with a detailed account of another killing committed by settlers and the attitude of the Israeli army on that occasion:

531. This is what Mr. Jabarin told the Special Committee about the carrying of arms in the occupied territories:

532. At the King Hussein Medical Centre in Amman, the Special Committee heard the following testimony of a person who was injured during the Hebron massacre:

533. Another witness who was also injured during the Hebron massacre informed the Special Committee about a complaint made by Muslim worshippers that was also mentioned in the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the massacre headed by Justice Shamgar:

534. A third person who was injured at the Ibrahimi Mosque on 25 February stated the following about the general behaviour of settlers in Hebron:

535. Accounts of the effect of settlers' activities on the civilian population of the occupied territories may be found in documents A/AC.145/RT.638 (Mr. Khader Shkirat), A/AC.145/RT.639 (Mr. Bassem Eid), A/AC.145/RT.639/Add.1 (anonymous witness), A/AC.145/RT.640 (Mr. Mahmoud Jabarin), A/AC.145/RT.641 (Mr. Mahmoud Jabarin), A/AC.145/RT.644 (Mr. Hosni al Ragabi) and A/AC.145/RT.644 (Mr. Mohamed Youssef Mohamed).

Written information

536. On 12 April 1994, a pregnant Palestinian woman was fatally wounded in her home in El-Jib (north of Jerusalem) by a stray bullet fired by a settler who was shooting at stone-throwers. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 13 April 1994)

537. On 22 and 23 April 1994, Palestinian sources reported that settlers had shot and critically wounded a 14-year-old Palestinian boy in Gaza. The sources indicated that Palestinian youths may have been throwing stones at the settlers. (Jerusalem Post, 24 April 1994)

538. On 26 April 1994, leaders of the outlawed Kach and Kahane Hai groups announced that they were now working together, after years of fighting about who would take over the role of slain Kach founder Rabbi Meir Kahane. They outlined their planned activities as aimed at forcing the Government out of office, including steps they said could not be made public, hinting at their possible illegal nature. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 27 April 1994)

539. On 28 April 1994, settlers are reported to have increased their provocative acts against Arab merchants in Jerusalem's Old City, particularly in the Bazar and Khan Zeit quarters. (Al-Tali'ah, 28 April 1994)

540. On 2 May 1994, Moshe Levinger and his wife, accompanied by a group of settlers, reportedly threw stones and empty bottles at Arab houses near their settlement, in the vegetable market in Hebron. (Al-Tali'ah, 5 May 1994)

541. On 3 May 1994, young settlers from Hebron are reported to have attacked Palestinian students from the Kartabaa Primary School for Girls. (Al-Tali'ah, 5 May 1994)

542. On 9 May 1994, it was reported that Samih Dana had complained that Israeli children from Kiryat Arba had been pelting the windows of his nearby house with stones and had broken six windows at the back of his house. (Jerusalem Post, 9 May 1994)

543. On 16 May 1994, 15 Palestinians were wounded, one of them seriously, when students from the Yeshivat Nir in Kiryat Arba opened fire at stone-throwing Palestinians near a Hebron mosque during prayers and when soldiers intervened to end the clash. The IDF indicated that settlers had opened fire after they were stoned while walking near the Police Square in Hebron. Two settlers, who are thought to have used their weapons, were arrested for investigation by police after the shooting. A fight between Arabs and yeshiva students in the Old City of Jerusalem left an Arab man injured, apparently by another Arab resident. (Ha'aretz, 17 May 1994; Jerusalem Post, 17, 19 May 1994)

544. On 17 May 1994, residents of Kfar Adumim blocked the Jerusalem-Jericho road. Fights between them and Arabs who were trying to travel to Jericho were reported. Jewish youths rampaged through the Christian and Muslim quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem, causing extensive damage to at least one Arab-owned store. (Jerusalem Post, 18, 19 May 1994; also referred to in Al-Tali'ah, 19 May 1994)

545. On 19 May 1994, the owners of more than 20 Arab stores in Jerusalem's Old City found that the doors of their stores were glued shut. They had to use blow torches in order to get into their shops. Jews were believed to be responsible for these acts of vandalism. (Jerusalem Post, 20 May 1994)

546. On 24 May 1994, the residents of Gush Katif began patrolling roads in the area in order to monitor the implementation of the agreements with the PLO, following concerns that the Palestinian police were already violating them. The patrols would be part of a new group called the Gush Katif Settlements Committee, an organization set up a day after Palestinian police shot at the tyres of an Israeli car, near the Nissanit settlement in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. (Jerusalem Post, 25 May 1994)

547. On 2 June 1994, following the stoning of a settler near Kiryat Arba, a number of Jews stoned Arab cars driving near the settlement. (Jerusalem Post, 3 June 1994)

548. On 4 June 1994, a clash was reported between settlers from Netzarim, in the Gaza Strip, and students from the Islamic University. According to Palestinian sources, settlers stoned two buses transporting students when they passed near the settlement. Several windows were broken. Students came out of the buses and started throwing stones at the settlers. The IDF, who were stationed at the entrance to the settlement, then intervened and arrested a student who was later handed over to the Palestinian police. (Ha'aretz, 5 June 1994)

549. On 5 June 1994, some 15 to 20 settlers from the Jordan Valley set up makeshift roadblocks near the northern entrance of Jericho and temporarily prevented cars that were leaving the city from driving with PLO flags. The roadblocks were set up in response to an incident on 3 June when a Palestinian policeman prevented a settler from driving through Jericho with an Israeli flag. The roadblock was lifted when the police intervened shortly after it had been set. Settlers from the area then tried to drive through Jericho in a convoy but were prevented by the IDF from passing through its roadblocks. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 6 June 1994)

550. On 5 June 1994, it was reported that a high-ranking source from the General Staff had stated that in the Gaza Strip over 15,000 soldiers were engaged in protecting some 4,500 settlers. (Jerusalem Post, 5 June 1994)

551. On 8 June 1994, two groups of Jews from Kiryat Arba and Jerusalem were prevented by soldiers and Border Police from praying in front of the Machpelah Cave in Hebron. The cave itself had been closed since the massacre took place there in February. (Jerusalem Post, 9 June 1994)

552. On 12 June 1994, an IDF patrol caught an Israeli man firing in the direction of houses located in the Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah. No one was injured during the incident. (Jerusalem Post, 13 June 1994)

553. On 22 June 1994, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Ehud Barak told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee that the army had not yet established a special Border Police unit to deal with demonstrations by Jewish settlers in the West Bank. The Central Command would be reinforced by a military police unit, which would handle the breaking of the law by Jews and Palestinians, thus freeing regular units to carry out security duty. (Jerusalem Post, 23 June 1994)

554. On 28 June 1994, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Ehud Barak stated that, if it were to become necessary, the army could amend and redefine regulations regarding the opening of fire on settlers who violated the law and he indicated that more attention should be given to those regulations. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 29 June 1994)

555. On 3 July 1994, settlers in the Jenin area blocked the road adjacent to the Madovan settlement and stopped Arab-owned cars. They checked identity cards, tearing several of them, and severely beat up a number of passengers. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 July 1994)

556. On 8 and 9 July 1994, settlers squatted in vacant apartments in Kiryat Arba. Arab-owned property near Hebron and Ramallah was vandalized in reaction to the murders of Sarit Prigal and Aryeh Frankenthal. A number of Kiryat Arba and Hebron residents went into vacant government-owned apartments in Givat Yitzhak, located between Kiryat Arba and its adjacent neighbourhood of Givat Harshina, and began moving their belongings into the apartments. Skirmishes broke out between the settlers and soldiers after a large police and IDF force had arrived. The apartments had been built under the administration of former Housing Minister Ariel Sharon, but had not been sold. Demonstrations erupted in Kiryat Arba and the windshields of Arab-owned cars were smashed and tyres punctured in Arab villages in the area. Kach claimed responsibility for the attacks, as well as for breaking the windshields of Arab-owned cars in Jerusalem on the Shabbat. Arab sources stated that Arab houses had been stoned and shot at, cars destroyed and salt thrown into vineyards. The tyres of cars in four Palestinian villages near Akeb were also slashed. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 10 July 1994)

557. On 10 July 1994, the National Federation of Journalists and four reporters who cover issues relating to settlers petitioned the High Court of Justice over the army's decision to declare the Kiryat Arba neighbourhood, where settlers had broken into empty apartments, a closed military zone. According to the petition, the army's decision to close off the area because of civil disturbances and not for security reasons was a grave violation of free speech and the public's right to know, as well as being in contravention of a promise made by the army in December to permit the coverage of all events taking place in the territories, except when there was a clear security risk. (Jerusalem Post, 11 July 1994)

558. On 11 July 1994, the settlers left the 15 apartments which they had occupied, thereby defusing the one-week standoff between themselves and the Government over the Ashmarot Yitzhak neighbourhood in Kiryat Arba. The settlers agreed to leave in exchange for a meeting with the Housing Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer, which took place after the settlers had left, during which Eliezer agreed to look into requests for the settlement's development (also see sect. E, Annexation and settlement, below, on 16 July) (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 12 July 1994)

559. On 22 July 1994, Israeli settlers are reported to have taken over farm land belonging to the villagers of Izbet Salman in the Kalkiliya area. In another development, settlers from Al Kana seized land belonging to the villagers of Zawiya. (The Jerusalem Times, 22 July 1994)

560. On 26 July 1994, it was reported that the outlawed Kach organization was running a summer camp for youth and providing them with paramilitary training and indoctrination. Nine teenagers, aged 12 to 18, attended the first session in Kiryat Arba, which ended on 27 July 1994. Two additional sessions were planned to take place in Kiryat Arba and Mitzpeh Yeriho in the coming weeks. (Jerusalem Post, 26 July 1994)

561. On 1 August 1994, three Kach activists who had organized the paramilitary camp in Kiryat Arba a week earlier were summoned for questioning by the police. The group's spokesman, Itamar Ben-Gvir, one of the persons who were summoned, indicated from a public telephone that they were not going to cooperate with the police. (Ha'aretz, 29, 31 July 1994; Jerusalem Post, 31 July, 1 August 1994)

562. On 3 August 1994, the IDF Behavioural Sciences Unit released the results of a poll conducted among some 1,000 soldiers, which found that soldiers serving in the territories were frustrated by the insulting and humiliating treatment they were subjected to by settlers. Soldiers found it difficult to deal with settlers and were not adequately trained to meet the challenge of the problems that they faced. According to West Bank Command Maj.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz, the soldiers were required to perform the tasks of policemen such as escorting the settlers' children. They were also regularly harassed, insulted and offended by a minority of extremist settlers. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 4 August 1994)

563. On 4 August 1994, former Kach activist Natan Levy, one of the organizers of a Kach summer camp, was detained for questioning. Summonses for the arrest of two other organizers of the camp were issued by the Natanya Magistrates Court. The summonses were issued after the three men, Itamar Ben-Gvir, Natan Levy and Avishai Raviv did not come voluntarily to be questioned by the police about the camps. (Jerusalem Post, 5 August 1994).

564. On 7 August 1994, the spokesman for the outlawed Kach group, 18-year-old Itamar Ben-Gvir, was handed an IDF order forbidding him from entering the West Bank before 5 September 1994, for security reasons. He was given the order after two hours of questioning by the Serious Crimes Division of the Police in Petah Tikva, in connection with a recent paramilitary camp organized by the group. A second activist of the same group, Avishai Raviv, was also questioned on the same day. Although Kach was outlawed by the Government after the Hebron massacre, its members have continued to be active. (Jerusalem Post, 8 August 1994)

565. On 14 August 1994, following two shooting attacks against Israeli vehicles near the Kissufim junction, dozens of settlers gathered on the main road to Gaza, threw stones at Palestinian cars and blocked the street with garbage. Palestinians responded by throwing stones. In an effort to prevent an escalation of the hostilities on both sides, the IDF and the Palestinian police sealed off the area of the incident. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 15 August 1994)

566. On 23 August 1994, settlement leaders in Gush Katif marked the one hundredth day since the beginning of the autonomy by releasing a report that described the security situation in the Gush as "difficult and getting worse". A senior officer of the Southern Command stated that the remarks contained in the report were politically motivated and inaccurate, as the number of attacks against Jewish settlers had declined one third since the implementation of the Cairo agreement. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 24 August 1994)

D. Treatment of detainees

Oral evidence

567. The Director of the Association of Israeli-Palestinian Physicians for Human Rights informed the Special Committee about the prisons in which the inhabitants of the occupied territories were detained:

568. The Special Committee asked the same witness about torture:

569. In addition, the Special Committee inquired about the report of the Landau Commission which allows for the exercise of "moderate physical pressure" on detainees:

570. The Special Committee had the opportunity to hear the detailed testimony of Mr. Bassem Tamimi from Al Nabi Salem near Ramallah who was tortured by the Shabak after his arrest on 9 November 1993, almost two months after the signing of the Declaration of Principles:

571. Mr. Tamimi described his second stay in the same room and the torture that followed:

572. Mr. Tamimi's torture continued:

573. While he was in Hadassah hospital, Mr. Tamimi received the visit of an interrogation officer from the intelligence service:

574. The Director of the Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners provided the Special Committee with the following information concerning the practice of torture after the signing of the Declaration of Principles:

575. As regards conditions of detention, the same witness stated the following:

576. A person who was among the first prisoners to be released after the signing of the Declaration of Principles described his own experience concerning arrest to the Special Committee:

577. The same witness described the general conditions of detention that he saw during his detention:

578. Mr. Omar described before the Special Committee his problems in obtaining medical care in prison:

579. A witness stated the following with regard to the conditions of detention regarding prisoners from the occupied territories:

580. Testimonies relating to the treatment of detainees may be found in document A/AC.145/RT.634 (Mr. Neve Gordon), A/AC.145/RT.635 (Mr. Mohamed Omar), A/AC.145/RT.636 (Mr. Mazen Gamil Shaqurah), A/AC.145/RT.645 (Mr. Ahmad Al Sayyad) and A/AC.145/RT.645 (Mr. Bassem Tamimi).

Written information

(a) Measures concerning the release of detainees

581. On 4 May 1994, the High Court of Justice rejected a petition against the impending release of 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, ruling that it was a political issue, which only the Government could decide on. In response to the petition, the State told the Court that all released prisoners would have to refrain from further "terrorist" activity for the next three years. (Ha'aretz, 5 May 1994; Jerusalem Post, 3, 5 May 1994)

582. On 5 May 1994, up to 500 Palestinian prisoners (some 400 of whom were residents of the Gaza Strip) were released, mostly from the Ketziot tent camp in the Negev desert and from the Gaza prison in the centre of Gaza City. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 5 May 1994)

583. On 5 May 1994, some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners and detainees were reportedly freed. Some 800 persons were released from the Ketziot tent camp in the Negev desert, Ansar 3. The Israeli authorities closed down Gaza prison, freeing almost all its 450 inmates. Several members of Hamas were not released and were moved to other prisons (Ketziot and Ashkelon). (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 6 May 1994; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 6 May 1994)

584. On 10 May 1994, it was reported that administrative detainees at the Ketziot Prison had refused to sign a document pledging their support for the peace process and promising to refrain from "terrorism" if released. (Jerusalem Post, 10 May 1994)

585. On 26 May 1994, it was reported that the Israeli authorities had released 110 detainees from Nablus prison while 390 remained in custody. (Al-Tali'ah, 26 May 1994)

586. On 8 June 1994, a Palestinian official stated that PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat had refused an Israeli offer that 240 Palestinian security prisoners be released on condition that they remain in Gaza until their terms had expired. According to the Cairo Agreement, some 5,000 out of 9,000 Palestinian prisoners were supposed to be released within five weeks of the 4 May signing. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 9 June 1994; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 10 June 1994)

587. On 9 June 1994, the Government released several hundred Palestinian prisoners. The IDF spokesman's office stated that the prisoners who were released were not members of militant Islamic groups opposed to the peace process and that they had not killed Israelis. The Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners, a Palestinian monitoring group based in East Jerusalem, stated that Israel had freed only some 2,000 of the 5,000 prisoners it had agreed to release by that time under the Cairo Agreement. In a statement, the group also complained that those released were required to sign a statement pledging to avoid violence and to support the peace process, which was not a part of the Agreement. Military sources indicated that the delay in the releases had resulted partly from Palestinian rejection of a demand that some of those released remain in the autonomous zones only. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 10 June 1994; Ha'aretz, 12 June 1994)

588. On 12 June 1994, it was reported that the IDF had announced that Israel had released more than 500 Palestinian prisoners on 9 and 10 June, amid a dispute over whether some of them would be required to stay inside Gaza or Jericho until the end of their sentences. Figures released by the Palestinian police indicated that only 180 were released in Gaza and 287 in Jericho, but that several dozen other prisoners might have been released directly from prisons to their nearby homes. The Gazans who were freed, mostly from the Ketziot detention camp in the Negev, included 80 persons who had been serving life sentences, mostly for killing alleged "collaborators". It was expected that some of them would have to remain in Gaza until the end of their sentences. (Jerusalem Post, 12 June 1994; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 17 June 1994)

589. On 14 June 1994, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin linked the release of Palestinian prisoners to how the Palestinian Authority adhered to the Israel-PLO accord on the issue of collaborators. Rabin stated that any action related to the pursuit of collaborators was not in accordance with the agreement. Rabin also indicated that Israel would maintain its demand that freed prisoners who were convicted of killing collaborators or had committed other violent crimes serve out their terms in the self-rule areas. Some 287 prisoners currently find themselves in an uncertain situation in a Jericho camp awaiting a final decision concerning their future. Some 128 among them were convicted murderers who were serving life terms. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 15 June 1994)

590. On 16 June 1994, 170 (or 201) Palestinian prisoners were released. However, several hundred (possibly as many as 800) prisoners refused to sign a declaration renouncing violence and have therefore, remained in prison. The release form that the detainees in question were required to sign stated that the prisoner recognized his freedom was granted within the framework of the peace agreement with the PLO, and agreed to desist from all acts of violence and terror and to respect the law. Some 160 criminal prisoners were also handed over to the Palestinian authorities in Gaza, to serve the remainder of their sentences there. According to Brig.-Gen. Yom Tov Samia, 4,900 prisoners had been released since the 4 May accord. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 17 June 1994)

591. On 22 June 1994, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Ehud Barak told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee that Israel had released 3,400 Palestinian prisoners since the signing of the Cairo Agreement. (Jerusalem Post, 23 June 1994)

592. On 23 June 1994, it was reported that, according to Ahmad Sayyad, the director of the Mandela Institute, an advocacy group for Palestinian prisoners, 5,330 Palestinian prisoners remained in jail together with 1,500 others who could be freed if they signed a pledge to remain in Gaza or Jericho. (Jerusalem Post, 23 June 1994)

593. On 23 June 1994, it was reported that 38 Palestinians who were released during the past months by Israel under the autonomy agreement, had been sent back to jail by the security authorities for reverting to "terrorist" activities. (Ha'aretz, 23 June 1994)

594. On 24 June 1994, Palestinian women prisoners in Israeli prisons, Tel Mond in particular, have confirmed that among the 5,000 prisoners in Tel Mond only 6 were released. Five of them were under administrative detention while the sixth had been sentenced to 24 months imprisonment, of which she had completed 22 before her release. (The Jerusalem Times, 24 June 1994)

595. On 29 June 1994, hundreds (possibly 400) Palestinian detainees, including members of groups opposed to the peace process, were released from the Ketziot detention centre under the Cairo Agreement after they had agreed to sign a statement pledging to avoid violence. According to the Israeli-PLO Agreement, some 4,200 out of 5,000 Palestinian prisoners had now reportedly been released. (Ha'aretz, 30 June 1994; also referred to in Al-Tali'ah, 30 June 1994)

596. On 4 July 1994, it was reported that at the meeting held in Paris between PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, Arafat would raise the issue of the estimated 3,500 to 4,000 Palestinian prisoners and detainees who were still to be released under the Cairo Agreement who were held in Israeli prisons. Arafat announced that he would not rest until Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was released (also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 8 July 1994). Peres indicated that the leader of Hamas would only be released if he signed a pledge of non-violence and support for the Israeli-Palestinian accord. (Jerusalem Post, 4 July 1994)

597. On 20 July 1994, a female security prisoner from East Jerusalem, Rabiha Shtai, 36, was released from Hasharon prison after serving two thirds of an eight-year sentence for illegal possession of weapons and membership in a hostile organization. A representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross and a doctor visited her prior to her release and reported that she was in reasonably good condition, although she was reported to be suffering from liver cancer and other serious ailments. Shtai had been on a hunger strike since 22 June. There are still 36 female security prisoners detained in Hasharon prison. (Jerusalem Post, 21 July 1994; Ha'aretz, 22 July 1994; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 22 July 1994)

598. On 2 August 1994, it was reported that some 4,500 of the 5,000 prisoners Israel had pledged to release under the Cairo Agreement were released so far. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 2 August 1994)

599. On 5 August 1994, the "Struggle Committee" of the Nablus Central Prison reported that 60 prisoners whose names appeared on the released list were still detained. (The Jerusalem Times, 5 August 1994)

600. On 10 August 1994, eight female security prisoners were released from Hasharon prison after having received commutations of their sentences from President Ezer Weizman. They were aged from 17 to 20, and were from East Jerusalem, Ramallah and villages in the West Bank. After the release, some 27 female security prisoners still remained in detention at Hasharon Prison. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 11 August 1994)

601. On 21 August 1994, in a letter to OC Central Command Maj.-Gen Ilan Biran, Jordan Valley settlers called upon the IDF to stop sending freed Palestinian prisoners to Jericho, claiming that the town was quickly becoming a refuge for convicted "terrorists". The letter came two days after some 247 Palestinian prisoners (many reportedly members of Fatah) and many of whom had killed suspected "collaborators") had been released on condition that they remain in Jericho. Itim reported that a group of Palestinian prisoners succeeded in escaping from Jericho over the weekend after they were released from prison on Friday 19 August 1994 and brought to the city. Two (or three) of the fugitives were captured when they tried to pass the Na'ama roadblock in order to return to their homes. (Ha'aretz, 21, 22 August 1994; Jerusalem Post, 22 August 1994)

602. On 25 August 1994, freed Palestinian prisoners threatened a mutiny against Israel and Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority if there was no improvement in their living conditions. The more than 4,500 Palestinian prisoners who were released by Israel had had to sign a pledge renouncing violence and backing the Israel-PLO autonomy accord as a condition for their release. However, most stated that they had not realized that the accord mandated that they serve the remainders of their sentences in the self-rule areas. So far, about 550 prisoners with anywhere from a few months left of their sentences to life terms, were confined to Jericho. Most of the freed prisoners have been crammed into two crumbling military camps and two public buildings in Jericho, with 12 to 20 sometimes living in a single room. At least nine have been arrested by the IDF for trying to leave the Jericho area. (Jerusalem Post, 26 August 1994)

(b) Other information concerning detainees

Written information

603. On 11 April 1994, the Israeli authorities turned back buses heading for the Negev prison although the visitors were all in possession of special permits obtained through the Civil Administration and the Red Cross. (The Jerusalem Times, 15 April 1994)

604. On 4 May 1994, a lawyer from the human rights organization A-Dameer stated that 398 administrative detainees were held in Ketziot prison, 207 of whom were from the West Bank and the other 191 from the Gaza Strip. The lawyer added that seven of these detainees were to be released during the first wave of releases. However, two of the candidates for release refused to sign a document which included special terms for their release. (The Jerusalem Times, 6 May 1994)

605. On 13 May 1994, it was reported that 24 prisoners had refused to sign an oath saying that they would not commit further acts of "terrorism" or perpetrate acts of violence against Israelis. According to the A-Dameer lawyer, Khaled Kusmar, Palestinian prisoners considered that forcing them to sign such a document was a violation of their freedom. The lawyer stated that the Israeli wardens had beaten some prisoners for refusing to sign the form such as Mamoun Karaje, from the village of Safa near Ramallah, who was sentenced to 80 months of imprisonment. The prisoners confirmed that the Fara prison authorities had placed the prisoners who had refused to sign the statement in solitary confinement. (The Jerusalem Times, 13 May 1994)

606. On 31 May 1994, it was reported that with the evacuation of Gaza Prison, some 400 prisoners were transferred to Prison Service jails. (Jerusalem Post, 31 May 1994)

607. On 2 June 1994, it was reported that the IDF may investigate the release of several dozen Palestinian prisoners who did not meet the necessary criteria for release because of their involvement in terrorist attacks which Israel said would disqualify prisoners from being released. The army is also investigating the legal grounds for re-incarcerating the prisoners who were released by mistake. (Jerusalem Post, 2 June 1994)

608. On 10 June 1994, it was reported that 41 Fatah supporters imprisoned at Jenin central prison (Jneid prison) were summoned by the Israeli military authority to sign a new document in order to be transferred to serve the remainder of their prison sentences in the Palestinian self-rule areas. The prisoners rejected the conditions. (The Jerusalem Times, 10 June 1994)

609. On 15 June 1994, it was reported that, according to a survey released by Human Rights Watch/Middle East, torture and ill-treatment continued in the territories under Israeli military control. However, the IDF rejected the report's contention of systematic abuse, maintaining that confessions that were not given freely by prisoners were not acceptable in military courts. The report was based mainly on investigations that preceded the Oslo Accords in September 1993 and consisted of interviews with 36 Palestinians interrogated since June 1992 (10 of whom after September 1993), four IDF soldiers who attended interrogation sessions and attorneys defending Palestinian detainees. The study, entitled "Torture and Ill-Treatment", indicated that 300 Palestinians had been arrested in May 1993 and held for at least 12 days. The IDF still participated in interrogations despite a 1991 inquiry that urged that prisoners be interrogated by other security agencies. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 15 June 1994; also referred to in Al-Tali'ah, 16 June 1994; The Jerusalem Times, 17 June 1994)

610. On 15 June 1994, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel demanded that Justice Minister David Liba'i establish a committee of experts to examine Israeli legislation on torture and its degree of compliance with international treaties. The demand was made in response to a report by Human Rights Watch and to a television documentary entitled "The Film That Wasn't". Human Rights Watch interviewed 36 Palestinians who claimed that they were systematically tortured by the army during interrogation. The documentary contained interviews with Palestinians who described being chained to chairs or being kept with sacks over their heads. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 16 June 1994; also referred to in Al-Tali'ah, 16 June 1994)
[more p.5]


© Copyright 1996-2000
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Geneva, Switzerland