(including areas under the palestinian authority's jurisdiction)

About 6,500 Palestinians were arrested on security grounds by the Israeli authorities; 6,245 were tried before Israeli military courts. More than 700 Palestinians and nine Israelis were held in administrative detention without charge or trial. At least 5,450 remained held at the end of the year, including almost 240 administrative detainees. Approximately 5,000 Palestinian prisoners and detainees were released, most in the context of agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Prisoners of conscience included administrative detainees and conscientious objectors to military service. Torture or ill-treatment during interrogation remained systematic. At least 82 Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces, some in circumstances suggesting extrajudicial executions or other unlawful killings. One man was sentenced to death. The Palestinian Authority's security forces arrested, apparently arbitrarily, hundreds of Palestinians and there were reports of torture and ill-treatment: one Palestinian died in custody. At least 15 people died after being shot by Palestinian Authority forces in circumstances which suggested they were unlawfully killed. Palestinian armed groups committed human rights abuses including hostage-taking and deliberate and arbitrary killings.

In May the Israeli Government headed by Yitzhak Rabin and the PLO signed an Agreement on the Gaza Strip and Jericho Areas establishing the Palestinian Authority with jurisdiction over those areas. plo Chairman Yasser Arafat returned to the Gaza Strip as head of the Palestinian Authority in July.

In the Occupied Territories, the Israeli authorities continued to make extensive use of firearms, arrests and restriction orders confining Palestinians to the Occupied Territories.

In February at least 29 people were killed in the Haram al-Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron by Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli settler, who was himself killed. More than 30 people were killed by Israeli forces in the two weeks following, mostly during demonstrations or riots. Two Jewish militant groups, Kach and Kahane Hai, were banned after the massacre. A judicial inquiry concluded that the settler had acted alone, but that there had been security failures. It recommended that open-fire regulations be clarified. An international monitoring force, the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), was deployed between May and August in Hebron.

Attacks by armed Palestinians continued. About 75 Israeli civilians and 13 members of the Israeli security forces were killed in such attacks, as were over 70 Palestinian civilians. Many were carried out by Islamist groups such as Hamas, Islamic Resistance Movement.

More than 600 renewable administrative detention orders of up to six months were imposed on Palestinians. Appeals under a two-step process of judicial review usually took place several weeks after arrest. In most cases, detainees and their lawyers were not provided with crucial information about the reasons for detention. Prisoners of conscience held in administrative detention included Qasem al-Khaliliyya Tawfiq Qasem, who was released in February after three months' detention. At his appeal, which was rejected, the judge stated that he had not been involved in any violent activities. Other Palestinian administrative detainees included Fatmah ‘Ataynah, allegedly a member of Islamic Jihad. She was held between February and August. Ahmad Qatamesh, allegedly a senior official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and detained since September 1992, had his administrative detention order renewed twice (see Amnesty International Reports 1993 and 1994). Nine members of Kach and Kahane Hai were administratively detained for periods of between three and six months. Baruch Marzel, the leader of Kach, was released in September and placed under house arrest for six months.

Israeli prisoners of conscience included conscientious objectors to military service. For example, Peter Weiner was sentenced in March to 28 days' imprisonment for refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories.

Mordechai Vanunu remained held in solitary confinement for the eighth consecutive year (see Amnesty International Reports 1988 to 1994). Amnesty International believed his treatment to be cruel, inhuman and degrading and called for his immediate release as redress for the past and persistent violations of his human rights. Avraham Klingberg, a 76-year-old physician and university professor held since 1983 on spying charges (see Amnesty International Report 1994), had an appeal for his release on medical grounds refused.

In May Israeli forces abducted Mustafa al-Dirani, the leader of the Faithful Resistance, a Lebanese armed group, from his home in south Lebanon. The Israeli authorities said they interrogated him about the whereabouts of Ron Arad, an Israeli airman missing in Lebanon (see Lebanon entry), but gave no information on his whereabouts or legal status. He was still held at the end of the year. More than 30 Lebanese and other foreign nationals also remained held in Israeli administrative detention. They included Shaikh ‘Abd al-Karim ‘Ubayd, abducted from Lebanon with three others in 1989, and six Lebanese Shi‘a Muslims transferred secretly to Israel in 1990 after having been detained by the Lebanese Forces militia in 1987 (see Amnesty International Report 1994).

Over 200 detainees were held incommunicado without charge or trial at any one time in the Khiam detention centre in an area of south Lebanon controlled by Israel and the South Lebanon Army (see Lebanon entry).

Some 6,245 Palestinians were tried by Israeli military courts on charges including acts of violence. The maximum period adults could be held before being brought before a judge was reduced from 18 days to 11 days. Detainees were frequently denied access to lawyers and relatives for longer periods. Confessions obtained during incommunicado detention were often the main evidence against detainees. Over 5,000 Palestinians were released, most in the context of negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

Palestinian detainees continued to be systematically tortured or ill-treated during interrogation by the General Security Service (GSS), often while held incommunicado. Methods used included hooding with dirty sacks, shackling in painful positions for prolonged periods, beatings, sleep deprivation and confinement in dark, closet-sized cells. For example, Hani Muzher said that he had been deprived of sleep for at least a week and shackled in painful positions for prolonged periods during his interrogation in Ramallah Prison in July and August. Following an appeal to the High Court of Justice, the GSS agreed that he would no longer be deprived of sleep. His trial on charges of activities in the PFLP began in December. Members of a group of 12 Jewish militants, who were arrested in September and October, said that they were tortured. Oren Edri, an officer in the Israel Defence Force, alleged that he was hooded, insulted, roughly handled and confined in a dirty cell. He was later charged with passing weapons to Jewish militants.

In February new legislation provided for complaints against GSS interrogators to be investigated by the police or the Ministry of Justice. In November, following the taking as hostage of an Israeli soldier by Hamas in October, the authorities revealed that they had relaxed the secret interrogation guidelines laid down by the Landau Commission in 1987. The Landau Commission guidelines themselves permit the use of "moderate physical pressure".

In April the UN Committee against Torture considered Israel's initial report. The Committee found the authorization of the use of "moderate physical pressure" to be "completely unacceptable" and expressed concern at the "large number of heavily documented cases of ill-treatment in custody". The Committee recommended that the interrogation procedures be published and that all interrogation practices in breach of the Convention be ended immediately.

At least 82 Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces. Some were shot during armed clashes; others were killed in circumstances suggesting that they may have been victims of extrajudicial executions. For example, in March, six members of Fatah, the main faction of the PLO, were shot dead apparently without warning by an undercover unit in Jabalia Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. One was reportedly shot in the head after being wounded and apprehended. The authorities later said that their killings had been a mistake, as none was sought for arrest, but said that the open-fire guidelines had been correctly applied.

In November Hani ‘Abed, associated with Islamic Jihad and suspected of involvement in the killing of two Israeli soldiers in May, was killed in a car-bombing in the Gaza Strip. His death followed statements by Israeli officials suggesting that those responsible for armed attacks against Israelis might be targets for extrajudicial executions. Israel did not deny responsibility for his death, nor for an explosion in Lebanon which killed three people, including two members of Hizbullah (see Lebanon entry).

According to the authorities, 12 Israeli soldiers were tried for violating military orders. In July disciplinary measures were reportedly taken against six border police, including a chief officer for the West Bank, for incidents in Hebron, including the mosque massacre. Two border guards were dismissed in July after beating at least one prisoner in a detention centre in Bethlehem.

In November a military court in Jenin sentenced Sa‘id Badarnah to death for plotting a suicide bomb attack in Hadera in April. An automatic appeal to the Military Court of Appeal in Ramallah had not concluded by the end of the year. The last execution was that of Adolf Eichmann in 1962.

The Israeli authorities used massive firepower against houses in which suspects were believed to be hiding. In other cases, houses were sealed or destroyed. In November the house of the family of the suicide-bomber Salah Nazzal, who killed 23 people in a bus-bombing in October, was destroyed after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against a demolition order.

The Palestinian Authority's security forces arrested hundreds of Palestinians, many apparently arbitrarily. Most were suspected members of Islamist and other groups opposed to the peace agreement with Israel. They included prisoners of conscience. All were released without charge after spending between a few days and two months in detention, nearly all without access to lawyers or a judge. For example, two journalists, brothers Taher and ‘Amer Shriteh, were arrested in October and held for nine days, apparently for faxing a Hamas leaflet. Scores of Palestinians said to have collaborated in the past with the Israeli authorities were also detained; none was brought before the courts but they reportedly had access to lawyers and judges.

Reports of torture in the Palestinian Authority's areas were received. Methods used included beatings. In July Farid Abu Jarbu‘ died in the interrogation centre of Gaza Prison where he had been held incommunicado for about two weeks on suspicion of having collaborated with the Israeli authorities. The Palestinian Authority acknowledged he died as a result of violence and set up an official investigation. Four officials were arrested in connection with his death. All were reportedly released and no trial had been held by the end of the year.

At least 15 people were killed by Palestinian Authority forces after May, some in circumstances suggesting unlawful killings. Salah al-Sha'er, aged 15, was shot in the abdomen in Rafah in August following a wedding, when the group he was with had an argument with policemen. He died shortly afterwards. Seven policemen were arrested and an investigation launched. The seven were later released pending the outcome of the investigation. In November, 13 Palestinians were killed by Palestinian Authority forces during a demonstration by Hamas supporters outside a mosque in Gaza City; the lives of the security forces had not been in danger. A judicial commission of inquiry was established.

Palestinian armed groups committed grave human rights abuses including deliberate and arbitrary killings and hostage-taking. In April and October, suicide bombers killed at least 35 people, most of them civilians, in Afula and other towns. Hamas claimed responsibility for these and other attacks as well as for the hostage-taking of Nachshon Waxman, an Israeli soldier, in October. He was killed, along with three of his captors and one Israeli officer, when Israeli forces attempted to free him. Over 70 Palestinians, mostly suspected of "collaborating" with the Israeli authorities, were also killed by Palestinian groups.

Amnesty International sought the immediate and unconditional release of prisoners of conscience and called for all administrative detainees to be tried promptly and fairly, or released. It sought clarification on the use of firearms and called for impartial investigations in cases of killings by Israeli forces. It urged the Israeli Government to dissociate itself from any policy of extrajudicial executions. It also called for a thorough review of policing methods used by Israeli forces in the Occupied Territories, and for the mandate of the TIPH to include effective human rights monitoring. In April Amnesty International published a report, Israel and the Occupied Territories: Torture and ill-treatment of political detainees. Its recommendations included prompt access to judges and lawyers, the prohibition of any "physical pressure" during interrogation, and the effective investigation of allegations of torture.

Amnesty International expressed concern about attacks on houses possibly containing suspects. The authorities denied that such attacks were a form of punishment, stating that all suspects were given the opportunity to surrender. However, the authorities did not clarify evidence presented by Amnesty International in 1993 that explosives were used after houses were stormed (see Amnesty International Report 1994).

The Israeli authorities provided information on a number of individual cases and commented on the Amnesty International Report 1994, arguing that the situation on the ground had been ignored.

In an oral statement to the UN Commission on Human Rights in February, Amnesty International referred to its concerns in the Israeli-Occupied Territories, including south Lebanon, calling for on-site human rights monitoring in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Amnesty International urged the Palestinian Authority to introduce clear procedures governing arrest, detention and interrogation and called for impartial investigations into abuses. The Palestinian Authority had not responded to cases raised with it by the end of the year.

Amnesty International condemned hostage-taking and deliberate and arbitrary killings by Palestinian armed groups. It called on them to respect funda-mental principles of humanitarian law and to halt human rights abuses. Hamas informed Amnesty International that it was "anxious not to inflict any harm on civilians" but said this could only be guaranteed "if Jewish settlers were disarmed and forced out of the territories they illegally occupy". Amnesty International stressed that respect for basic principles of humanitarian law was unconditional.

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