B´Tselem: Rise in number of civilians killed in conflict (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Elior Levy, AFP Published: 03.21.12, 13:18)
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In annual report, Israeli rights group says security forces killed 68
Palestinians in Gaza last year, 11 more in West Bank. Director:
Protracted nature of Israel’s occupation only exacerbates human
The past year saw a sharp rise in the number of civilians killed in
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an Israeli human rights group
reported on Wednesday.
An annual report from the Jerusalem-based B’Tselem showed that in
2011, Israeli security forces killed a total of 105 Palestinians in
the Gaza Strip, of whom 37 were confirmed as non-combatants.
“The picture is harsh, not because of dramatic events or a sudden
deterioration, but precisely because of the routine,” the report
“This year, we enter the 45th year since Israel occupied the West
Bank and Gaza Strip. What was supposed to be a temporary situation
appears firmly entrenched with no change in sight.”
Israel captured the West Bank, the Golan Heights, mainly Arab east
Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 Six-Day War, but pulled
its settlers and soldiers out of Gaza in 2005.
The 63-page B’Tselem report said that the 2010 Gaza total was 68
fatalities, of whom 18 were not taking part in hostilities.
In the West Bank and east Jerusalem, it said, Israelis killed 11
Palestinians in 2011, although it could not give a definitive
breakdown of how many were engaged in hostilities.
“Human rights violations are inherent in a military occupation, and
the protracted nature of Israel’s occupation only exacerbates human
rights violations,” B’Tselem quoted its executive director, Jessica
Montell, as saying.
"We´ll continue trying to decrease (the number of human rights
violations) as much as possible, but it is clear that as long as the
occupation exists the Palestinians will not be able to fully realize
Between January and December 2011, B’Tselem said, Palestinians killed
11 Israeli civilians, among them a couple and three of their children
murdered in their West Bank settlement home.
Eight of the deaths occurred in the West Bank, two in rocket attacks
on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip and one from a bomb in
In 2010 five Israeli civilians, two foreign nationals and three
members of the Israeli security forces were killed, the report added.
The report also noted that Hamas´ courts in Gaza sentenced eight
people to death in 2011. Three of them were executed. The Palestinian
Authority´s courts in the West Bank sentenced one person to death
The report also indicates a steady decrease in the number of underage
Palestinians being held in Israeli detention facilities. In 2011 some
200 Palestinian minors were held in Israel on any given month,
compared with a monthly average of 320 minors in 2008.
According to B´Tselem´s data, 650 indictments were filed against
Palestinian minors two years ago. Some 40% of them were charged with
throwing stones at Israeli security forces, while others were charged
with hurling Molotov cocktails and belonging to illegal
The report further claimed that 39% of all construction starts
authorized by the State last year were beyond the Green Line. Most
construction starts were in east Jerusalem´s Israeli neighborhoods.
The rights group said Israel has stepped up its efforts to expand
existing Jewish neighborhoods in the eastern part of the capital.
The IDF Spokesperson´s Unit said in response: "The army is in
constant contact with human rights groups, including B´Tselem. The
report will be thoroughly reviewed. "
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet´s Palestinian Affairs Correspondent,
at: email@example.com (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 03/21/12)
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