Halt Israeli Massacres Against Palestinian Civilians: Call for International Protection of the Palestinian People, Including its Refugees in Palestine and in Exile

On 28 September 2000, Ariel Sharon, head of the Israeli Likud party, conducted a so-called private visit, accompanied by 3,000 Israeli police and special forces, to the Muslim holy site of al-Haram al-Sharif (site of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock) in the Old City of Jerusalem, despite repeated warnings by Palestinian and several American officials that the visit could destabilize the situation on the ground. The provocation created by the visit, and the massive Israeli police presence in the Old City and around the al-Haram al-Sharif, resulted in Israeli occupation forces, including snipers, opening fire on the large number of Palestinian worshippers assembled for Friday prayer, thus triggering the bloodiest Israeli-Palestinian confrontations since the beginning of the Oslo process in 1993. 


Today, five days later, battles between mainly civilian Palestinian protestors - many of them refugees - and the Israeli occupation have spread all over the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Palestinian population centers inside Israel (Galilee, Jaffa, Negev). Israeli repression has escalated day by day, including measures which are clearly outlawed by international conventions (Fourth Geneva Convention/Protection of Civilians under Occupation; Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Convention on the Rights of the Child), such as the use of life ammunition and dum-dum bullets against civilians, many of them children; the use of tanks, LAU-missiles, and gun-helicopters against large crowds of protestors, Palestinian civilian homes and security targets; shooting at Palestinian medical staff and ambulances. Thus the violent confrontations between the heavily armed occupation forces and the Palestinian popular resistance equipped with stones and Molotov-cocktails - supported by weakly armed Palestinian security forces - has led to an unprecedented toll of deaths and injuries among the Palestinian people.  

By today, October 2, over 40 Palestinians, including children, have been killed and over 1,500 injured, mainly by bullet wounds to the upper part of the body and head. While Palestinian protest marches and violent confrontations with armed Israeli forces continue throughout the country, the number of Palestinians killed in Israel is reported to have reached three. Public protest against the Israeli repression and solidarity with the Palestinian people has spread from the Palestinian camps in Lebanon and from Cairo, to the United States, Canada, and Europe, where solidarity protests organized by the Palestinian Right of Return Coalition (Al-Awda), the Belgian-Palestinian Association, the Flemish Palestine Committee, will be held today and tomorrow in front of Israeli embassies and consulates in New York, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, Brussels, a.o. - in addition to a protest picket in London, held on 29 September. (For coordination of international solidarity contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; www.egroups.com/group/Al-Awda)

In light of the aggravating situation, BADIL Resource Center joins the demand of Palestinian popular institutions and NGOs and the international solidarity movement for a rapid and efficient intervention of the international community for the protection of the Palestinian people. Specifically, we call upon the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Mary Robinson, urging her to implement her mandate to: 

1. Respond to the current, serious Israeli violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people in the 1967 occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and in Israel, among others by an immediate investigation of the events; 

2. Stimulate and coordinate action for the protection of the human rights of the Palestinian people, including Palestinian rights in Jerusalem and the right of Palestinian refugees to repatriation and restitution of their properties, throughout the United Nations system; 

3. Undertake preventive human rights action in the 1967 Israeli occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, especially with regard to Jerusalem - and with regard to Palestinian refugees in Palestine and in exile whose rights and demands for repatriation and restitution (UN Resolution 194) require serious action on behalf of the United Nations and the international community.  


BADIL calls upon all those concerned about Palestinian human rights to address the above appeal to: 


Ms. Mary Robinson 

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Fax: 0041-22-917 9016

Copies to:  

  • UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; 
  • Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli, Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Ms. Darka Topali and Mr. Karim Ghezaroui, Human Rights Officer/OHCHR-Geneva: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Dr. Amin Mekki-Medani/OHCHR-Gaza and West Bank: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

END the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip - STOP the Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine - Provide INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION for the rights of the Palestinian people, including its refugees!