U.S. report slams Israel, PA for human rights records
By Nathan Guttman, Haaretz Correspondent and Agencies
Israel and the Palestinian Authority were criticized for their poor human
rights records in the U.S. State Department's annual report on human rights
conditions worldwide, published Monday.
The report said Israel's overall human rights record in the territories had
remained poor, and had worsened in several areas, as it continued to
commit "numerous, serious human rights abuses."
"Security forces killed at least 990 Palestinians and two foreign nationals
and injured 4,382 Palestinians and other persons during the year, including
innocent bystanders," the report said.
The report also criticized Israel's liquidation policy and harm done to
innocent civilians in the framework of such operations. It said Israeli
security forces had targeted and killed at least 37 Palestinian terror
suspects in 2002.
"Israeli forces undertook some of these targeted killings in crowded areas
when civilian casualties were likely, killing 25 bystanders, including 13
children," the report said.
It noted that the Israeli government said it had made every effort to reduce
civilian casualties during these operations.
The report also criticized the Palestinian Authority's rights record.
It said many members of Palestinian security services and the Fatah faction
of the Palestine Liberation Organization had participated with civilians and
terrorist groups in violent attacks against Israeli settlers, other civilians
"The PLO and PA have not complied with most of their commitments, notably
those relating to the renunciation of violence and terrorism, taking
responsibility for all PLO elements, and disciplining violators," the State
Department report said.
Although there was no conclusive evidence that the most senior PLO or PA
leadership had given prior approval for these acts, the report said some
leaders had endorsed such acts in principle in public speeches and