EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 15/16/93
UA 426/93 Deliberate and arbitrary killings / Fear of
further killings 2 December 1993
ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES Shalva Uzana
Shalva Uzana and Yitzhak Weinstock, two Israeli civilians, were shot and killed
on 1 December 1993 near al-Bireh in the Israeli-occupied West Bank when their
car came under fire from another car. The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)
is reported to have claimed responsibility for this most recent attack, and
to have threatened further similar attacks.
Amnesty International condemns such deliberate and arbitrary killings, which
violate fundamental principles of humanitarian law. During 1993 it has
appealed several times to Hamas to refrain from killing civilians, as well
as soldiers taken prisoner, but it has received no response.
Amnesty International reiterates its appeals to Hamas, and to all other
Palestinian armed organizations, to end immediately attacks against civilians
and violence to prisoners.
Since September 1993, when Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization
(PLO) signed the Declaration of Principles, killings by both Israeli forces
and Palestinian groups have continued unabated in the Occupied Territories.
In recent months, Israeli civilians and soldiers taken prisoner have been
deliberately killed by Palestinians. Some have been shot, others have been
victims of stabbings and the ramming of vehicles. In addition to Hamas,
responsibility for many such killings has been claimed by the Islamic Jihad;
the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; and the Democratic Front
for the Liberation of Palestine. Members of Fatah have been ordered to stop
all armed attacks against Israelis.
Palestinian civilians have also been killed in recent months by Israeli forces,
some in circumstances suggesting that the use of lethal force was not necessary
or proportionate, or that those shot were victims of extrajudicial executions.
Amnesty International has called on Israel to ensure that its forces do not
perpetrate such killings and to take prompt and adequate measures against those
Amnesty International takes no position on any peace settlement between Israel
and the Palestinians or on the legitimacy of resorting to arms in pursuit of
political aims. However, it believes that governments and armed political
groups must at all times respect fundamental principles of humanitarian law.