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ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES/PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: Palestinian Authority: Hamas and Fatah must end revenge killings,attacks and abductions

18 Jun 2007
Region: ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES/PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
Topic: Regional conflict
The leadership of both Fatah and Hamas must ensure that the securityforces and armed militias under their respective control in the West Bankand Gaza Strip put an end to the cycle of abuses that is forcing manypeople to flee.
Many have been forced to leave the Gaza Strip in recentdays to escape the deliberate and unlawful killings of Fatah militants andsupporters by Hamas gunmen. Similarly, in the West Bank, Hamas membershave been forced into hiding by revenge killings, abductions and attacksagainst their properties carried out by Fatah gunmen.

"Both Fatah and Hamas must put an end to the cycle of revenge killings,attacks and abductions of each others' supporters. They must ensure thatdetainees are not mistreated and are afforded due judicial process, andthat those responsible for abuses are brought to justice in fair trials,"said Malcolm Smart, Director of the Middle East and North AfricaProgramme.

The number of those abducted or detained by each side and their fate is asyet unknown and there are fears that detainees may be used by both sidesas bargaining chips to extract concessions by the other side, or may evenbe killed.

"The political leadership on each side has condemned killings and attacksby the other side but has kept silent about the abuses committed by itsown fighters. While both sides have promised to impose law and order inthe West Bank and Gaza Strip, there is no sign so far that concretemeasures are being implemented on the ground. In the meantime, theatmosphere of lawlessness and impunity fuels the spiral of violence andrevenge," said Malcolm Smart.

Amnesty International also called on Israel to lift the blockade on Gazaand ensure the supply of crucial basic services to Gaza's population.There are growing fears that the dire humanitarian situation in the GazaStrip will deteriorate further, after Israel tightened its blockade on themovement of people and goods in and out of the area, and Israeli companiesannounced the suspension of electricity and fuel supplies.

The organization reiterates its call on the international community,notably neighbouring countries, to take measures to stop the flow ofweapons which fuel the violence and lawlessness in the Gaza Strip and therest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Both Israel andPalestinian factions must behave in a manner that would not hinder accessto humanitarian relief and medical assistance for the civilian population.

AI Index: MDE 21/011/2007
June 2007

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