18 April 2002

Adalah Demands that Attorney General's Office Compel Israeli Army to Stop Using Palestinian Civilians as Human Shields

Today, Adalah Staff Attorney Marwan Dalal sent a pre-petition to the Attorney General's office demanding that the office compel the Israeli army to stop using Palestinian civilians as human shields in its military operations. Although the army has previously denied the use of Palestinians as human shields, an article published today by Ha'aretz military correspondent Amos Harel, titled "More Testimonies: The IDF is Using Palestinians to Search Homes of Suspects," revealed that this practice has been and is currently in use. The article quotes an Israeli army reserve officer stating that the army employs this practice in its operations, including recent operations in the Jenin refugee camp.

In the pre-petition, Adalah argued that the use of this practice by the army is a clear violation of Palestinians' rights to life, dignity and safety. Further, Adalah stressed that the use of Palestinians as human shields contravenes the duties of the Israeli army as an occupying power under international human rights and humanitarian law, in particular Article 51 of the Geneva Convention (IV) Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949), which states inter alia that: "The Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces."

Adalah informed the Attorney General's office that it intends to pursue further legal action if the army is not forced to stop using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

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