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Israeli human rights organizations in an urgent letter to the Ministers of Defense and Public Security: refrain from collective punishment of Palestinians following the abduction of three Israelis

This morning, HaMoked, together with other human rights organizations working in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, sent an urgent letter to the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Public Security demanding they refrain from collective punishment of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and cancel the harshened detention conditions of Palestinian prisoners.

The organisations stressed that the need to return the abductees safe and sound to their homes and families is clear to all, yet already now there is concern that many of the actions undertaken, which harm the Palestinian population, do not serve this purpose.

The extensive raids and detentions raise concerns that some of these actions are not the result of pressing operational needs. The military actions in Palestinian city centers and the sweeping and arbitrary restrictions on travel cause disproportionate harm to the Palestinians' basic rights, including their rights to safety, health, freedom of movement and livelihood.

Furthermore, imposing restrictive conditions on a group of Palestinian prisoners solely based on their organizational affiliation is a severe violation of the prohibition against collective punishment.

The organisations call on the ministers to re-examine the guidelines given to the forces operating in the field, and to refrain from any actions which needlessly violate rights, as well as any acts of collective punishment against the Palestinian civilian population. In addition, the organisations demand that the ministers order the immediate cancellation of the harsher conditions imposed on Palestinian prisoners held in the West Bank and in Israel. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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