Adalah Submits Pre-petition: 60 Palestinians Confined in an Apartment in Ramallah


On 2 April 2002, Adalah submitted a pre-petition to the Attorney General's office regarding the detention of 60 Palestinian civilians in an apartment building in Ramallah. The letter was filed on behalf of Law: The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment. 

Soon after the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) entered Ramallah, the IDF occupied the building, which is located near the office of the Palestinian Preventative Security Service. Israeli military forced the residents into two small rooms on the first floor. The detainees, including 10 women, 14 children and 6 infants, are being held in inhumane conditions. They have no access to food, medicine or other basic supplies, and water and electricity have been cut off. The residents are unable to move within or leave the building. Israeli security forces are denying the residents access to medical services, and have prevented medical personnel from reaching the building. 

The holding of civilians in such conditions is a breach of international humanitarian law; Article 55 of the Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War states that "the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population." Adalah calls for immediate intervention to allow the detained civilian residents access to basic supplies such as water, food, and medicine, and freedom of movement within their building. Any further delay in granting access to such necessities will almost certainly endanger people's lives.