Wednesday, May 19, 2004

War Crimes

In a report issued yesterday by Amnesty International (compiled before the recent incursions into Gaza as described in the post below), Amnesty has condemned the widespread destruction of homes in Israel and the Occupited territories. Citing the Geneva Convention, Amnesty describes these actions as war crimes:

"More than 3,000 homes, vast areas of agricultural land and hundreds of other properties have been destroyed by the Israeli army and security forces in Israel and the Occupied Territories in the past three and a half years. Tens of thousands of men, women and children have been made homeless or have lost their livelihood. Thousands of other houses have been damaged, and tens of thousands of others are under threat of demolition, their occupants living in fear of homelessness. House demolitions are usually carried out without warning, often at night, and the occupants are forcibly evicted with no time to salvage their belongings. Often the only warning is the rumbling of the Israeli army's US-made Caterpillar bulldozers beginning to tear down the walls of their homes. The victims are often amongst the poorest and most disadvantaged. In most cases the justification given by the Israeli authorities for the destruction is 'military/security needs', while in other cases it is the lack of building permits. The result is the same: families are left homeless and destitute, forced to rely on relatives, friends and humanitarian organizations for shelter and subsistence. . . .

According to Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, 'extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly' is a grave breach, and hence, a war crime."

The rest of the report can be found here.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?