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Six Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations appeal to the Israeli High Court: Decreasing the

16-04-2006 00:00

Six Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations have appealed to the Israeli High Court, opposing a decision to decrease the 'security range' which would exposes civilians to danger.
Last week, a missile was dropped on a house in the Gaza Strip, killing a child Hadeel Ghaben and injuring 12 members of her family.
On behalf of six human rights organizations: Physician for Human Rights, Btselem, Citizen's Rights Organization, Public Committee Against Torture, Gaza Mental Health Center and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Israeli lawyer Micheal Sfard demanded an urgent meeting at the Israeli High Court on the morning of April 17th to discuss and attempt to cancel the decision issued by the Minister of Defense and President of the Israeli Army General Staff to decrease the 'security range' which would augment numbers of victims.
Haaretz correspondent Amos Harel disclosed new orders given by military commanders to decrease the range of artillery shelling to a distance of 100 meters from people’s houses instead of 300 meters.
It is quite obvious that the shelling of missiles can deviate from targets by some meters, which would threaten people's lives in addition to causing damage to public and private facilities.
This happened recently when missiles were fired a short distance from houses.
Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations confirm that artillery shelling is not a response to Qassam rockets or a means of self- defense; it is rather for punishment and an attempt at deterrence.
They also consider commands to decrease the 'security range' as a violation of the basic rules of warfare and thus illegal.
Further, soldiers who execute such commands should be questioned and brought to international justice for committing war crimes.
For further information, please contact the followings: Arab Media Center in Betselem,
Contact person: Sohad Saqallah, 0599-6936476 – sohad@btselem.
org Physicians for Human Rights,
Contact person: Salah Haj Yahia, 0599-7591097 – mail@phr.
org.
il Al Mezan Center for Human Rights,
Contact person: Jamil Sarhan, 0599-321065 – jamil@mezan.
org End

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