End collective punishment of the Palestinian people [Archives:2006/960/Front Page]

July 3 2006

Yemen Times sides by human rights international organizations around the world and strongly condemns Israel's illegal attacks and siege of the Gaza Strip. These ongoing military operations are nothing less than the collective punishment of an entire civilian population. As such they blatantly contravene Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits 'collective penalties' and all likewise measures of intimidation. During the period 20th May and 21st June this year Israel's occupation forces killed 30 Palestinians, including 7 children, in the Gaza Strip. Among them were 7 members of the Ghalia family who were decimated in an Israeli gun-boat attack on a Gaza beach. All the others were killed by helicopter missile and artillery fire.

We view the frantic international efforts to secure the release of a single Israeli soldier captured in combat in the occupied territories as utter hypocrisy and disgraceful double-standards. There are at least 9,800 Palestinians currently being held by the occupation forces in Israeli prisons. Of that number, Israel is holding 126 Palestinian women and 450 minors. The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem has confirmed that 85% of Palestinian detainees have been tortured during interrogation.

We call for an immediate end to the degrading and inhuman treatment of Palestinian prisoners. We demand their immediate release and an end to the extrajudicial killings of civilians. We urge the Yemeni government and all international governments to honor their treaty obligation to 'ensure respect' for the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.