Cut off arms to Israel, Amnesty Int’l says, citing 22 civilians killed at protests last year

Bilal Tamimi being attacked by an Israeli soldier during demonstration in Nabi Saleh, May 2013. Photo by Tamimi Press, used in Amnesty Int'l report

Bilal Tamimi being attacked by an Israeli soldier during demonstration in Nabi Saleh, May 2013. Photo by Tamimi Press, used in Amnesty Int’l report

Amnesty International has released a stunning report saying that the international community should cut off military aid to Israel because Israel has killed dozens of civilians at peaceful protests in the last three years “widespread impunity”– including 22 civilians last year. The human rights organization concludes

It urges the USA, the European Union and the rest of the international community to suspend all transfers of munitions, weapons and other equipment to Israel.

“Without pressure from the international community the situation is unlikely to change any time soon,” said Philip Luther [Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International].

“Too much civilian blood has been spilled. This long-standing pattern of abuse must be broken. If the Israeli authorities wish to prove to the world they are committed to democratic principles and international human rights standards, unlawful killings and unnecessary use of force must stop now.”

Here’s the PDF for the 87-page report, which is titled, ”‘Trigger-happy’ Israeli army and police use reckless force in the West Bank.”

The Institute for Middle East Understanding emphasizes that the report comes out just as AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is having its Washington conference at which it will celebrate US aid to Israel:

Its publication coincides with the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, which runs from March 2 to 4 in Washington, DC, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with President Obama, which is scheduled to take place while Netanyahu is in Washington for the conference.

The report documents “mounting bloodshed” in the occupied territories as a result of the Israeli army’s use of “unnecessary, arbitrary and brutal force against Palestinians” over the past three years. In the press release accompanying the report, which is included below, the director Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, Philip Luther, notes: “The frequency and persistence of arbitrary and abusive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers and police officers – and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators – suggests that it is carried out as a matter of policy.”

Amnesty’s summary emphasizes that the victims were protesting occupation:

Israeli forces have repeatedly violated their obligations under international human rights law by using excessive force to stifle dissent and freedom of expression, resulting in a pattern of unlawful killings and injuries to civilians. They do so with virtual impunity due to the authorities’ failure to conduct thorough investigations. This report focuses on the use of excessive force in the West Bank since the beginning of 2011. It includes cases of killings and injuries of Palestinian civilians in the context of protests against Israel’s continuing military occupation of the Palestinian territories, illegal Israeli settlements and the fence/wall.

Here’s more from Amnesty’s coverage of its report,

Israeli forces have displayed a callous disregard for human life by killing dozens of Palestinian civilians, including children, in the occupied West Bank over the past three years with near total impunity, said Amnesty International in a report published today.

The report, Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank, describes mounting bloodshed and human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) as a result of the Israeli forces’ use of unnecessary, arbitrary and brutal force against Palestinians since January 2011.

In all cases examined by Amnesty International, Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers did not appear to be posing a direct and immediate threat to life. In some, there is evidence that they were victims of wilful killings, which would amount to war crimes.

“The report presents a body of evidence that shows a harrowing pattern of unlawful killings and unwarranted injuries of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces in the West Bank,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

“The frequency and persistence of arbitrary and abusive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers and police officers – and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators – suggests that it is carried out as a matter of policy.”

Deaths and injuries

Amnesty International has documented the killings of 22 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank last year, at least 14 of which were in the context of protests. Most were young adults under the age of 25. At least four were children.

According to UN figures, more West Bank Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in 2013 than the total number killed in 2011 and 2012 combined. Forty-five were killed in the past three years.

Peaceful protesters, civilian bystanders, human rights activists and journalists are among those who have been killed or injured.

In the last three years at least 261 Palestinians, including 67 children, have been seriously injured by live ammunition fired by Israeli forces in the West Bank.

An astonishing number of Palestinians in the West Bank – more than 8,000, including 1,500 children – have been wounded by other means, including rubber-coated metal bullets and the reckless use of tear gas, since January 2011.

Algemeiner has attacked the report, saying Amnesty’s bias is proved by video of one incident that shows Palestinian demonstrators throwing large stones at occupying Israeli soldiers.

“According to Amnesty, the IDF must wait until a soldier is killed before using lethal force…. The anti-Israel bias is blatant.”

But as Annie Robbins points out, the stone-throwing Algemeiner publicizes followed the killing of three Palestinians by Israeli soldiers (see Allison Deger’s reports at the links).

Algemeiner completely strips the context of the event out of their report.

Omar Barghouti says Amnesty has made a “courageous call,” and highlights the fact that it echoes Palestinian demands:

In 2011, Palestinian civil society had called for a full military embargo on Israel (export and import), including joint military production and all military-related research. This is one of the highest priorities for the global BDS movement.

Amnesty’s courageous call for cutting all transfer of weapons to Israel is a very significant first step towards a full embargo. Israel should not get away with what Amnesty rightly characterizes as “war crimes” and “willful killings” of Palestinian civilians.

The US government may seem hopeless for the time being. It will take a lot more work to make it respect its own laws and stop all military sales to Israel because of its use of US weapons in committing human rights violations and war crimes. Well, the fact that the US uses those same weapons to commit even more heinous crimes makes that case that more tougher.

But the US government is hardly seen as a bastion of human rights by the great majority of the world.

Hypocritical European governments, on the other hand, that claim to uphold international law and to respect human rights are gesturing towards — but still dragging their feet in implementing — any meaningful ban on products of companies producing in illegal colonies in the OPT, while continuing military trade and research with Israel. They should be exposed and pressured to respect their own laws, as well as international law.

India, Brazil, China and other governments that are supposedly “pro Palestinian” must also be held accountable for their massive import of Israel weapons, mostly “field tested” on Palestinian, Lebanese and other civilians.

About Phil Weiss with Annie Robbins

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine | Tagged

{ 66 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. First now? Not that countless of wars, warcrimes past decades wasnt enough?
    Well I guess its a good move anyway..

  2. radii says:

    not only arms but every single dollar of U.S. taxpayer money too … in 2003 Netanyahu said, “In ten years we [israel] won’t need U.S. money anymore” and I agree

  3. Les says:

    What happened to Amnesty International’s leadership that now allows it to look at Israel?

    • personally i think we’re entering the crunch time (remember there’s a 9 month window until palestinians go back to the UN – apr 29) wrt kerry’s framework (i think netanyahu is coming to dc next week and he’s going to be presented w/the US proposal) so ..my hunch is this is being released now to buttress the pressure on israel. but they’ve known it all along. how could they not, they must read mondoweiss!

      • Blownaway says:

        As long as the US indulges Israel, there is no amount of pressure that anyone anywhere can apply to Israel. Obama is making a show of squeezing Netanyahu so they can hang the Palestinians out to dry

        • Obama is making a show of squeezing Netanyahu so they can hang the Palestinians out to dry

          i am not so sure of that blownaway. he doesn’t have to run again. he asked for and got a 9 month window from abbas. so what did abbas get in return for that window? he must have gotten something. there’s not much obama can do if abbas goes back to the UN and because of congress the US is under mandate to stop funding any UN orgs palestine joins. if they join this spring there will be 2.5 years while obama is still in office for the wheels to turn in the int’l court system before we get a new admin.

          a lot can happen in that time. especially if the US just stands down.

          • Blownaway says:

            Annie Palestinians have been hanging their hopes on a second term president who isn’t running for anything to be fair without fear. It’s been a hope for decades. But the reality is he wants another democrat to be President and it’s same old same old. This site has done an excellent job of documenting Obama’s most influential friends and what their number one concern is. Every politician remembers what happened to Bush one. Bill Clinton also sold out in his second term.

          • i’m ever the optimist blownaway. and clinton had his wife to think about. something’s gotta break sometime, and it will.

      • ivri says:

        Your hunch is correct Annie – they always choose the timing to dovetail with hard moments of Israel. That was also, for instance, also the case with another similarly harshly worded indictment of Israel (if I am not wrong by the Intl red cross) before a scheduled UN security council meeting following the release of teh Goldstone committee report.

        • the thing is ivri, this thing has been going on for a long long time, and they were mostly silent. why is that? plus, wrt 2013. israel made it’s intentions known, what they planned to do, and the US media and obama admin was mostly silent.

          the day after “nine Israeli ministers were in a closed meeting discussing ways to threaten Palestinians over their bid” they ramped up incitement, provocations and killing people immediately: link to mondoweiss.net

          12/19
          Israeli prediction of third intifada follows days of provocation in Hebron
          link to mondoweiss.net [includes timeline]

          1/8 Why is Israel declaring the start of the Third Intifada?link to mondoweiss.net

          1/29 A 21-year-old woman is killed, two brothers in their 70s beaten — and never accountability
          link to mondoweiss.net

          The Haaretz article excerpted below, published January 24, states that four unarmed Palestinians between the ages of 16 and 21 were killed the preceding week, and a fifth person’s life hung by a thread, he has since died. In each of these killings, the youth posed no immediate danger. The time frame does not take into account the unprovoked, driveby killing the day before Haaretz’s list, of Lubna Munir Hanash, 21, shot in the head by Israeli soldiers. The soldiers opened fire from a civilian car at the entrance to al-Arrub refugee camp south of Bethlehem on January 23.

          Lubna Hanash’s youth, innocence and beauty are hardly singular or extraordinary qualities when it comes to victims of Israeli violence. And the perpetrators, as usual, will surely not be held accountable. (The occupying authorities have come out with the usual story of provocation.)

          Avner Gvaryahu of Breaking the Silence underscores the routine nature of many civilian killings in The real rules of engagement in the West Bank.

          more at the links. whatever the reason, this report was loooong overdue.

          • ivri says:

            Yes, Annie, this is one of the intractable conflicts of our times and it has always involved violence and bloodshed. It is long enough indeed but that also means that “the spectators” already got used to the bad news from there – already in effect immune to that. Another Amnesty report and a figure of 22 casualties for a year, is unlikely to make a dent in that.

          • seafoid says:

            “Yes, Annie, this is one of the intractable conflicts of our times and it has always involved violence and bloodshed.”

            Intractable my ass. Israel is a political economy problem and it requires a political economy solution involving lowering the living standards of the people who live off the occupation.

            voila.

        • ivri says:

          Annie: “Something`s gotta break sometime”
          This summarizes well what the Arab outlook on Israel has ever been. Here we have this miniature country, surrounded by many hostile forces, embroiled with a restive Palestinian population that is relatively big, In the intl. scene the Arabs influence outdoes by far that`s of Israel, and so on – so just wait it out patiently until all the above add up to the inevitable. Admittedly, this has also been a constant worry on the mind of Israelis. Yet, miraculously, other things happened, contrary to these expectations and some of them pretty much of the opposite kind (e.g. the one by one collapse of Arab countries), the huge economic and technological strides of Israel and its demographic growth, the perennial warnings, which never materialize, about an “imminent” change of attitude in the US vis-a-vis Israel, and so on – so, at some point, you begin to think that, well, perhaps there is some other higher logic in play here.

      • Joe Catron says:

        The report’s new, but Amnesty’s support for an arms embargo on Israel (as well as Palestinian resistance groups) dates back to at least February 2009.

        “Amnesty International has called on the UN to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on the parties to the conflict.”

        link to amnesty.org

    • Hostage says:

      What happened to Amnesty International’s leadership that now allows it to look at Israel?

      This is nothing new. There’s 9 pages in the index of online AI reports on Israel and the Palestinian Territories. They date back to 1998, but for as long as I can remember AI has been asking someone, anyone, to please bring the Israeli leadership to justice for serious crimes and suspend arms sales to the Middle East.

      • ok, maybe you’re right. but this (pdf) link to amnesty.org is 2 pages.

        and here’s another 2 pg pdf, granted it does say URGENT ACTION link to amnesty.org

        but this is a more comprehensive report.

        • Hostage says:

          I was responding to Les, who suggested that something had “changed” that now allows AI to look at Israel. I don’t think there has been any change.

          AI has always reported on Israel and has even turned over some of its reports to the ICC Prosecutor. See:
          *Amnesty calls on ICC to act on Cast Lead ‘war crimes’ NGO also calls on all states to investigate and prosecute crimes committed in Gaza conflict under “universal jurisdiction.” link to jpost.com
          * Israel/Gaza: Operation “Cast Lead”: 22 days of death and destruction link to amnesty.org
          * Palestine should accede to the International Criminal Court now link to refworld.org

          • Blownaway says:

            That’s the problem. Nothing has changed. Israel has violated US arms laws blatantly and publicly for years with not a word from Congress. Does anyone really think another AI report is going to get any more traction than pictures of US made phosphorus bombs used on civilians?

        • Sumud says:

          Hi Annie ~ AI did issue a call for an arms embargo on Israel in Feb 2009, Joe mentions it above but the link appears broken. Here is a link to the download page for their 45 page report:

          ISRAEL / OPT: FUELLING CONFLICT: FOREIGN ARMS SUPPLIES TO ISRAEL/GAZA

          I’m glad they are re-stating their case.

          There are also another 20-25 civilians killed at non-violent protests in the West Bank and Gaza before the report period of 2011 – I wonder why they didn’t include that period?

          • Hostage says:

            Does anyone really think another AI report is going to get any more traction than pictures of US made phosphorus bombs used on civilians?

            It certainly could, since the ICC Prosecutor can investigate reports about crimes subject to its jurisdiction that are in the public domain or those received under Article 15(2) of the Rome statute from NGOs:

            The Prosecutor shall analyse the seriousness of the information received. For this purpose, he or she may seek additional information from States, organs of the United Nations, intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations, or other reliable sources that he or she deems appropriate, and may receive written or oral testimony at the seat of the Court.

            link to web.archive.org

    • Susan A says:

      Les: I think Amnesty has often looked at Israel: this is one reason why Israel supporters won’t buy Amnesty raffle tickets (though they’d never admit that that was the reason :). But now Amnesty are becoming far more vociferous in their criticism, perhaps simultaneously encouraged and emboldened by all the positive movement recently, and horrified at the ever-worsening situation on the ground. In any event, this gives people such as myself good reason, in addition to our own good reasons, to demand that our governments stop collaborating on killer-drone technology etc.

  4. RudyM says:

    Can U.S. mainstream media ignore this? I did a quick search of news coverage and not seeing much if any coverage yet from that sector. (Suggested NYT slant: Harsh New Amnesty International Report Creates PR Dilemma for Israel.)

    This has the potential to be very big, since it has the potential to pull in young American progressives who might otherwise largely ignore Israel/Palestine. That’s just my subjective impression of who gets involved with AI.

    • Giles says:

      I suspect the mainstream media in the US will completely ignore this story and stay with the only story of late…gay rights.

    • Henry Norr says:

      nytimes.com now has a story, by Isabel Kershner, that talks about the AI report, but it’s under the headline “Palestinian Man Found Dead After Standoff With Israeli Forces” – the first three paragraphs are about a Palestinian found dead in his Bir Zeit home “after a standoff with Israeli forces who had come to arrest him, according to the Israeli military.” You get to the AI report only if you make it to the fourth paragraph; the rest of the story (11 paragraphs in all) is all about the report.

      Frankly, I wonder how many Times readers will bother with a story that appears to be about an incident that is, sadly, pretty routine. No doubt that’s why the Times handled the story that way. The only good thing about it is that the story includes a link to the AI press release.

      in the fourth paragraph of under the headline

      • Citizen says:

        Does the NYT handle anything else this way? Say gay or female rights? Or immigration issues, or job dirty issues or Obamacare, or banking reform? Is the NYT handling Ukraine this way?

      • Sumud says:

        Talk about burying the lede – did Kershner not go to journalism school? I guess she did, so the structure of the article is deliberate.

        Not satisfied with that, she then has to use an article title which misrepresents events. It should have been:

        Palestinian man killed during standoff with Israeli Forces.

        He wasn’t just “found dead”, he was murdered by Israeli occupation soldiers.

        What a slimeball Kershner is.

  5. American says:

    10,000th time.
    Israel will not stop until *forced to stop.
    Whether there any Palestines left alive by then who knows.

    • Naftush says:

      The 10,000th time? Israel has murdered 220,000 “Palestines”? At 22 per year, is that your count back to 7986 BCE or is it your projection to the year 12014? If Israel’s all about genocide at you imply, it should learn to aim.

      • Talkback says:

        In sincerely hope for you Naftush, that you only play dumb.

      • Giles says:

        Israel has murdered 220,000 “Palestines?

        That’s probably about right if you go back to pre 1948

      • seafoid says:

        Naftush

        20% of the refugees died within a year of the Nakba.
        That’s 140K already.
        How many Lebanese has Israel murdered in total? At least 40K
        Up to 180 K now.

        Egyptians? I guess 20K.
        Syrians? Say 10K

        We still need 10K . Israel has easily murdered that many Palestinians.

        don’t forget Israel is Judaism and mass murder is Israel so …

      • talknic says:

        @ Naftush shows us what seems to be a stupid person unable to understand “22 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank last year”

        The stupid person then tries to make a point

        ” The 10,000th time? Israel has murdered 220,000 “Palestines”? At 22 per year, is that your count back to 7986 BCE or is it your projection to the year 12014?”

        With such ignorant and stupid supporters, it’s little wonder Israel has dug itself a big black illegal facts on the ground hole from which it cannot now legally afford to extricate itself.

        ——–
        ” If Israel’s all about genocide at you imply, it should learn to aim”

        What a stupid argument. There is nothing in the UN definition of genocide that says it only applies to shooting people or the speed at which it occurs

        • Citizen says:

          One doesn’t do industrial rat poison and gas chambers in the post-1945 world. One doesn’t even do mass trucking and railroading in the 21st Century. It’s a matter of PR. One does Sodastream mainstream, and, in the alternative press, the endless daily events noticed by Twitter and via weekly Mondoweiss updates on Palestinian life these days. So, let’s look at the latest annual AIPAC meeting, eh? Bibi will be meeting with Obama during this event. He’s scheduled to meet with Abbas in March. Let’s see if the contours of Kerry’s framework are the subject of an upcoming NYT piece, perhaps deep within something titled, ” Palestinian man denied water for his orange tree.” Who knows, the piece may even include the fact most of Israel’s water comes from Palestinian land?

      • “The 10,000th time? Israel has murdered 220,000 “Palestines”?”
        Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant math skills! :)
        As for logic, common sense, not so much.
        BTW, where’s Mooser when he’s much needed. He would have made a jewel out of this one.

      • Qualtrough says:

        Naftush, thank goodness you feel that way about the learning to aim thing. Perhaps you have some influence and could do something to improve that and reduce the number of children Israeli forces always seem to end up shooting. I am sure you will agree that it is a horrendously high number that should really be zero. Once their aim improves I expect the toll of dead children to go way down.

  6. Qualtrough says:

    Well, they must be anti-semitic, that’s the only explanation.

  7. seafoid says:

    Every time there is a gun rampage in the States the NRA will wheel someone out to say the problem isn’t guns, it’s untreated mental illness.

    Israel has too many guns and an untreated group mental illness. It’s not going to be enough to just take away the guns.

    • Citizen says:

      @ seafoid
      In Israel, private gun ownership is quite restricted, while the youth is conscripted to arms. In the US, it’s the reverse. Americans arm themselves against their own privatized government, while in Israel the same type is armed by the government. That’s the difference between multiculturalism, diversity writ large, and writ small.

  8. Naftush says:

    AI’s echo chamber is at work again (the first time, probably, being its opinionating on the Northern Ireland conflict). AI Secretary General Salil Shetty to Al Jazeera (Feb. 10), “We are not an expert [sic] on military matters. So we don’t want to, kind of, pontificate on issues we don’t really understand” (NGO Monitor).

  9. Hostage says:

    “According to Amnesty, the IDF must wait until a soldier is killed before using lethal force…. The anti-Israel bias is blatant.”

    Using the Algemeiner’s logic, the Palestinian rock tossers are showing great restraint. After all, Amnesty documented the killings of 22 Palestinians last year; forty-five killed and at least 261 Palestinians, including 67 children, seriously injured by live ammunition in the past three years; and more than 8,000, including 1,500 children wounded by other means. After all of those provocations, they have only resorted to throwing rocks. Surely the Algemeiner is merely feigning mock surprise about that limited response. Their concern for the safety of these gangs of armed Israeli thugs and war criminals is very touching. But surely they would be better off if they avoided demonstrations and stayed in their garrisons on the other side of the armistice line.

    • Talkback says:

      It’s not the Algemeiner’s Logic. The article was written by the smoke mortar Liar of Ziyon.
      link to elderofziyon.blogspot.de

      Where Amnesty only raises the question, if the IDF had to use lethal force after an Israelis soldier was injured, the Liar of Ziyon insinuates that AI declared that the IDF is only allowed to use lethal force, after a soldier has been killed.

      But maybe they are not lying and just plain stupid.

      • Hostage says:

        Clearly, if the use of deadly force is permitted after someone has been injured or killed, the AI casualty numbers reveal the legal basis for the Palestinians to exercise that option in line with Article 51 of the UN Charter. Let’s also not forget that the UN voted to grant Palestine the status of an “observer state”. So Israel has been violating the UN Charter prohibitions ever since regarding the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of “any state”.

      • talknic says:

        “But maybe they are not lying and just plain stupid.”

        Stupid liars are common to the cause

      • Clearly, if the use of deadly force is permitted after someone has been injured or killed, the AI casualty numbers reveal the legal basis for the Palestinians to exercise that option

        that was my point hostage, when, in the article, i followed with ” the stone-throwing Algemeiner publicizes followed the killing of three Palestinians by Israeli soldiers

  10. Lets see what mini-dershowitz – hophmi says about this, he seems to love this violence.

  11. I hope this report is made available to Sean Penn, Neil Young and Justin Timberlake.

  12. Talkback says:

    Please allow me to quote from 6. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:

    Israeli soldiers have repeatedly committed serious human rights and humanitarian law violations, including unlawful killings, in response to Palestinian opposition and protests in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The cases documented in this report represent only a minority of the cases that have occurred over recent years and which follow a general pattern, in which Israeli forces use excessive, often lethal, force against Palestinians who pose no threat to their lives or the lives of others. Soldiers are permitted to do so effectively with impunity – inasmuch as the official system established to investigate alleged human rights violations or other abuses by Israeli soldiers is neither independent nor impartial. This creates a situation of absolute absence of justice and the growing environment of impunity which the Israeli army and police enjoy. As the occupying power in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Israel is responsible for the welfare of the inhabitants of the occupied territories, all of whom are protected persons. It must respect and protect the rights of Palestinians. Instead, Israeli forces routinely violate their obligations under international human rights law and the law of occupation by unlawfully killing and injuring civilians, including children, who are posing no threat to their lives or those of others. This has carried on for decades with the full knowledge of the Israeli government and military command. Authorities appear unwilling to send a strong signal to their forces that serious violations of the rights of Palestinians are not acceptable and will no longer be tolerated. They should do so – by ensuring that all alleged violations of the rights of Palestinians by Israeli forces are investigated promptly, thoroughly and independently, and that those responsible for committing unlawful killings or other violations are brought to justice according to the standards set by international law and, if found guilty, receive punishments commensurate with the gravity of the crimes. As long as Israeli soldiers and police are not held to account for abusing their powers and committing such serious abuses, the pattern of unlawful killings of protesters will continue, and Palestinians will be denied their right to peaceful protest without fear of injury or death.

    Accordingly, Amnesty International calls on the Israeli authorities to do the following:
    - Rescind Military Order 101 and relevant articles in Military Order 1651 and fully respect the right of Palestinians in the West Bank to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
    - Ensure that the Israeli army, Border Police and other security forces policing demonstrations or performing other law enforcement duties at all times comply fully with the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. The UN Code of Conduct stipulates that in the performance of their duty, law enforcement officials shall respect and protect human dignity and maintain and uphold the human rights of all persons. The term “law enforcement official” includes all officers of the law, whether appointed or elected, who exercise police powers, especially the powers of arrest or detention. In countries where police powers are exercised by military authorities, whether uniformed or not, or by state security forces, the definition of law enforcement officials includes officers of such services.
    - Ensure that law enforcement officials apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force (including use of handcuffs or other restraints), which should be used only if non-violent means have proven to be, or are likely not to be, effective. If the use of force is unavoidable, they must always exercise restraint in its use. The use of any force by law enforcement should be strictly limited to those situations where it is absolutely necessary and strictly proportional to the legitimate aim pursued and to minimize damage and injury. In any use of force, the police must at all times respect human rights, including the right to life and the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment. The risk of injury and death should therefore always be minimized. In any event, intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life. All governments must ensure that arbitrary or abusive use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials is punished as a criminal offence under their law.
    - Prohibit the firing of live ammunition and rubber/plastic-coated metal bullets unless it is strictly unavoidable for fully trained firearms officers under effective regulation, monitoring and control to use lethal means of force to the minimum extent necessary to protect life in self-defence or defence of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury, and only when less extreme means are insufficient to achieve this objective.
    - Prohibit the discharge of “less lethal” projectiles or baton rounds, such as those made purely from rubber or plastic, unless the projectiles are sufficiently accurate not to cause unwarranted injury and, as an alternative to the use of lethal force, it is strictly necessary for fully trained firearms officers who are subject to effective regulation, monitoring and control to discharge such projectiles in order to protect life in self-defence or defence of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury – and only permit the discharge of such projectiles in a manner likely to decrease the risk of unnecessary harm when less extreme means are insufficient to achieve this objective.
    - Prohibit the deployment and use of toxic chemical irritants likely to increase the risk of unnecessary harm or unwarranted injury and death to persons, such as firing a metal cartridge of irritant directly at an individual, using toxic chemicals in very high concentrations, using irritants in a manner likely to have indiscriminate effects such as when sprayed or fired over a wide area or into drinking water or food, launching such chemicals at or near people who are in confined spaces where exits and ventilation points are restricted, or launching the irritants near elderly people, children or others who may have difficulty in moving away to avoid the dangerous effects of toxic chemicals.
    - Establish strict rules and training for the use of hand-held batons by law enforcement officers in order to minimize the use of force and to prevent unwarranted injuries, including the prohibition of baton blows aimed at a person’s head, neck and throat, spine, lower back, solar plexus, knees and ankles.
    - Establish a transparent system open to public scrutiny including an independent body of medical, scientific, and judicial experts to review and report on the safe development and dangers of non-lethal incapacitating weapons and “less lethal” weapons in order to establish effective regulations and appropriate specialist capacity for the lawful deployment and use of such weapons in appropriate situations by fully trained and accountable law enforcement officials, with a view to increasingly restraining the application of means capable of causing death or injury, as well as arbitrary, abusive and excessive force.
    - Ensure that all officers required to carry out law enforcement duties are selected by proper screening procedures, have appropriate moral, psychological and physical qualities for the effective exercise of their functions and receive continuous and thorough professional human rights based training. Their continued fitness to perform these functions should be subject to periodic review.
    - Sign, ratify and strictly implement the Arms Trade Treaty without delay giving particular attention to implementing measures for the strict control of all imports, exports, transits, transshipments and brokering of all types of conventional arms and additional measures to prevent diversion and illicit trafficking of conventional arms. Pending the Treaty’s entry into force, state authorities should declare that they will apply provisionally Article 6 and Article 7 (as provided for in Article 23 on Provisional Application), prohibiting the transfer of arms that could be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
    - Initiate a review of policing of demonstrations without delay to ensure that, in the future, the practices of Israel’s security forces in policing demonstrations are consistent with international human rights standards especially the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and the recommendations above. Such measures should include the issuing of unequivocal orders and rules of engagement for policing demonstrations as a situation of law enforcement as opposed to a situation of military imperative, conducting training of forces, and ensuring accountability inside the army, Border Police and other security forces through appropriate disciplinary procedures.
    - Publicly disclose all existing use of force regulations and any other rules relevant to policing demonstrations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
    - Review existing legislation to ensure that all war crimes and serious human rights violations are crimes under national law.
    - Conduct independent, impartial and prompt investigations into all reports of Palestinian civilians killed or seriously injured by the actions of Israeli forces in the OPT. Where sufficient admissible evidence exists, prosecute Israeli personnel responsible for unlawful killings or injuries according to fair trial standards. As a first step towards bringing Israeli accountability mechanisms closer to international standards, implement all the recommendations of the Israeli-appointed Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of 31 May 2010 (known as the Turkel Commission) concerning investigations conducted by the IDF, as published in the Commission’s second report of February 2013.
    - Provide all victims of crimes under international law committed by Israeli forces in the OPT with full reparations, including restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition. Financial compensation and other forms of reparation should be appropriate and proportional to the gravity of the violation, the harm suffered and the circumstances of the case. Facilitate access for Palestinians in the OPT to all judicial proceedings, including those which are initiated in Israel.
    - Ensure that Israeli forces protect Palestinian civilians and their property against violence by Israeli settlers by instructing them to arrest Israeli settlers who assault Palestinians or destroy their property, by carrying out prompt, detailed and thorough investigations of complaints of settler violence submitted to them, and by deploying patrols to protect Palestinian schoolchildren and other civilians in areas where there is a danger of settler violence.
    - Invite the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to visit Israel and the OPT. Amnesty International calls on the PA and the PLO (on behalf of the State of Palestine) to do the following:
    - Sign and ratify, without reservations, international human rights treaties including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and international humanitarian law treaties including the Geneva Conventions.
    - Ensure that the bodies of individuals who have been killed by security forces in the West Bank receive autopsies.

    Amnesty International calls on the authorities of the United States of America (USA), European Union (EU), EU member states and other countries to do the following:
    - Suspend transfers to Israel of munitions, weapons, and related equipment including crowd control weapons and devices, training and techniques until substantive steps have been taken by Israel to achieve accountability for previous violations and effective mechanisms are in place to ensure that items will not be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law. The suspension should include all indirect exports via other countries, the transfer of military components and technologies, and any brokering, financial or logistical activities that would facilitate such transfers. This recommendation is particular relevant to the USA, as the largest foreign source of supply of weapons, munitions, police equipment and military aid to Israel.
    - States should ensure that any co-operation with Israel in the areas of law enforcement, security and justice does not contribute to the commission of human rights violations or violations of international humanitarian law.
    - Sign, ratify and strictly implement the Arms Trade Treaty without delay giving particular attention to implementing measures for the strict control of all imports, exports, transits, trans-shipments and brokering of all types of conventional arms and additional measures to prevent diversion and illicit trafficking of conventional arms including lethal and “less lethal” weapons and munitions. Pending the Treaty’s entry into force, state authorities should declare that they will apply provisionally Article 6 and Article 7 (as provided for in Article 23 on Provisional Application), prohibiting the transfer of conventional arms that would be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.
    - Exercise their obligations under the principle of universal jurisdiction to conduct prompt, thorough, independent and impartial criminal investigations of anyone suspected of crimes under international law. If there is sufficient admissible evidence, states should prosecute the suspect or extradite him or her to another state willing and able to do so in fair proceedings which do not result in the imposition of the death penalty, or surrender him or her to an international criminal court which has jurisdiction. In addition to being obliged to exercise universal jurisdiction for grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol I, as well as over torture, enforced disappearance and extrajudicial executions states are permitted to exercise universal jurisdiction for all other crimes under international law.
    - Urge the State of Palestine, represented at the UN by the Palestine Liberation Organization, to sign and ratify international human rights and humanitarian treaties without reservations, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Oppose any type of sanctions or pressure seeking to prevent the PA from signing or ratifying any international treaties. Ensure that the threat of withholding assistance essential to fulfilling the human rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is never used as a bargaining tool to further political goals, such as obstructing access to international justice through the International Criminal Court.

  13. talknic says:

    @ Hostage “Using the Algemeiner’s logic..”

    Uh? :-)

  14. ivri says:

    The big problem for those who wish that the report will make a real impact is quantitative. In this world and also recalling numbers of casualties from suicide bombings of Palestinians in the second Intifada – the 22 number for casualties IN A YEAR pretty much sounds as an evidence of the contrary, demonstrating that exceptional measures of restraint are being taken by the IDF in tackling these highly explosive situations.

    • Light says:

      Ivri, do you comment without reading? 22 is not the total number killed just the number killed at peaceful demonstrations.

      Amnesty International has released a stunning report saying that the international community should cut off military aid to Israel because Israel has killed dozens of civilians at peaceful protests in the last three years “widespread impunity”– including 22 civilians last year.

    • ivri
      Yes killing and shooting kids, what a “restrained” IDF…

    • Amsterdam says:

      Ivri, is it really that difficult to understand what Amnesty is talking about? And if you want to talk about the casualties of the Second Intifada, be my guest: the number of Palestinian casualties was three times the number of Israeli casualties. What about that?

    • Cliff says:

      @irvi

      How many Israelis died due to Palestinian suicide bombing?

      List the total casualties w/ a credible source, kthx.

  15. calm says:

    Some Israeli killings of Palestinian civilians in West Bank may be war crimes
    RT
    Host Bill Dod interviews Yonatan Gher
    Correspondent: Paula Slier
    February 27, 2014
    link to rt.com
    link to amnesty.org
    link to amnesty.org
    (.MP4 Format)
    link to img.rt.com

  16. Hostage says:

    the 22 number for casualties IN A YEAR pretty much sounds

    More than 5 times as many demonstrators as the Guardsmen killed at Kent State. The US media still managed to cover that smaller incident. At the time, a lot more people were dying in other parts of the world.

    • ivri says:

      “Guardsmen killed at Kent state”
      Reason is, Hostage, that other aspects, qualitative in nature, could be more important than the no. of casualties. Killings in a university, is a shocker and what happens at home always matters more.

      • Hostage says:

        “Guardsmen killed at Kent state”
        Reason is, Hostage, that other aspects, qualitative in nature, could be more important than the no. of casualties.

        Where I’m from if you’re killing even one peaceful demonstrator under the color of law you’ll need to defend yourself actions in court. Bear in mind that the Goldstone mission report noted that 19 peaceful demonstrators, including 6 children had been killed by Israeli forces and cited “Repression Allowed, Resistance Denied: Israel’s suppression of the popular movement against the Apartheid Wall of Annexation”, Addameer and Stop the Wall report, July 2009 as a reliable source for further information on the subject.

        I’ve commented before that killing people who are demonstrating peacefully against apartheid is definitely an example of a constituent act of the crime of apartheid:

        (f) Persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid.

        Article II, Definition, International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid link to www1.umn.edu

  17. Daniel Rich says:

    Perhaps a bit drastic, but…, if we change it to ‘Cut off arms to of Israel’ this methodical surgery will prevent the ‘Apartheid State’ from being able to reach for its arsenal of weaponry?

    • ivri says:

      Yes, it crossed my mind too that cutting of arms supplies to a country which is itself a major arms supplier – doing so on a global scale and competing with the very Big Guys of this market – is a bit antiquated as a threat.