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UN human rights investigators denounce Israeli actions

UN human rights investigators denounce Israeli actions  
 GENEVA | June 25, 2004

 Haaretz- United Nations human rights investigators on Friday denounced Israel for targeted assassinations, excessive use of force and destruction of homes in the occupied Palestinian territories.  

In a joint statement issued after a weeklong annual meeting, about 30 special rapporteurs urged the Security Council to deploy an international protection force to stop the “abuses”.

They also denounced suicide bombings carried out by militants against Israelis.

Last Update: 25/06/2004 23:20

UN human rights investigators denounce Israeli actions  

By Reuters  

GENEVA – United Nations human rights investigators on Friday denounced Israel for targeted assassinations, excessive use of force and destruction of homes in the occupied Palestinian territories.  

In a joint statement issued after a weeklong annual meeting, about 30 special rapporteurs urged the Security Council to deploy an international protection force to stop the “abuses”.

They also denounced suicide bombings carried out by militants against Israelis.

Miloon Kothari, UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, said the statement was provoked by the worsening situation in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“In the last week alone there have been extra-judicial executions, Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli troops, confiscation of agricultural lands, demolition of homes has continued in Gaza and construction of the annexation wall has continued,” he told a news conference.

Kothari, an independent expert from India, said the statement was “unprecedented” because it was first such collective statement by UN human rights rapporteurs.

“It is very important to have a collective position calling into question these practices and also calling upon the Security Council to authorize an international protection force.”

In April and May, Israeli forces assassinated Hamas leaders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi, whose Islamic group is sworn to Israeli’s destruction and has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings.

“We deplore the practices of the Israeli authorities, including targeted killings, excessive use of force during military incursions, arbitrary and long periods of incommunicado detention and torture and other forms of inhuman and degrading ill-treatment,” the statement said.

“Furthermore, we deeply regret the policy of demolition of Palestinian houses and destruction of civilian property, the massive confiscation and destruction of land, and restrictions on the freedom of movement…” it said, noting the disruption to vital sectors including health, education and work.

Israel has said it has destroyed homes in Rafah in the southern Gaza strip to uncover tunnels used to smuggle weapons from neighboring Egypt and in fighting with militants.

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