ADC Condemns Israel’s Use of Palestinian Civilians as Human Shields
Washington, DC — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) today issued a strong protest against Israel’s use of Palestinian civilians in Nablus as human shields in fighting with Palestinians. Reports from several credible Palestinian NGO and human rights sources confirm that today Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus seized a building containing 16 apartments, isolated all the residents in two rooms, and forced a number of young men to serve as human shields. The young men were reportedly forced to wear Israeli military helmets and vests, and stand in front of windows throughout the building.
In a letter to President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell, ADC President Ziad Asali demanded the United States intervene to prevent further Israeli use of Palestinian civilians as human shields. “It is outrageous that occupation forces should force civilians, whom they are bound by the Geneva Convention to protect, to pose as soldiers and stand in harm’s way as human decoys,” Asali wrote. “We strongly urge the Administration to intervene to put an end to Israel’s increasingly brutal attacks against Palestinian civilians,” he continued. “In recent days, numerous Palestinian civilians, including several young children, have been killed by Israeli forces. In some cases, these civilians were killed by Israeli forces using American made and supplied weapons in direct violation of US law. Some Palestinian civilians have also been killed by flechette nail bombs, considered one of the most deadly and cruel anti-personnel weapons available,” Asali pointed out.
At least 26 Palestinian civilians s have been killed by Israeli attacks in the past 24 hours, and almost 1,000 Palestinians and 270 Israelis have been killed in the past 16 months. ADC renews its call for urgent international protection for the Palestinian people in light of these latest outrages. The international community, including the United States, has a solemn obligation to provide protection to civilians living under foreign military occupation who are being constantly attacked. The international community also needs to take steps to ensure that the Israeli occupation of Palestine, which is the source of the current conflict, is quickly brought to a complete and final end. ADC strongly believes that ending the occupation is the only way to bring peace to Israel and Palestine.