2004: Hundreds die at Israel's hand

The Israeli army has killed or murdered hundreds of Palestinians who played no part in the ongoing Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation in 2004.

by
    The death toll in Palestine continues to rise

    The announcement comes in the annual report of Israeli human rights group B'tselem and refers to Palestinians in occupied Arab east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The organisation has monitored human rights violations in the occupied territories throughout the year.
     
    The report, released on 1 January, said that out of 803 Palestinians killed by the Israeli army from 1 January to 27 December 2004, at least 450, including children, had not been participating in hostilities when killed.
     
    The real figure, Palestinian officials insist, is significantly higher.
     
    The B'tselem report said it was not clear if 19 additional Palestinians killed in the same period were involved in the resistance.
     
    At least seven more Palestinians, including a 10-year-old Gaza girl, were killed in the four closing days of 2004, bringing the year-long Palestinian death toll to 810.

    Settlers and soldiers
     
    B'tselem said 107 Israelis, including 40 soldiers and 67 civilians, were killed by Palestinian resistance fighters.

    Israelis in illegal Jewish
    settlements often carry arms

    The organisation classified those killed among paramilitary Jewish settlers as civilians rather than giving them their own category.
     
    According to the report, the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army and settler gunmen since the outbreak of the second intifada (uprising) in September 2000 stands at 3174, including 617 minors.
     
    Of those, 1702 (nearly 54%) were not involved in the resistance. 

    Death ratios

    The Israeli death toll stood at 940, including 116 minors. The Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish settlers have killed five Palestinian children for every Israeli child killed by Palestinian fighters or in bombings.

    Rania Siyam who was killed by
    Israeli forces in Khan Yunus

    Of the 940 Israelis killed, 300 were soldiers or security personnel, the rest were civilians and settlers.
     
    The B'tselem report gave no statistics on the number of injured on either side.
     
    Palestinian sources contend that as many as 60,000 Palestinians, the vast bulk of them civilians, including many children, have been injured in the course of the intifada.
     
    Of those, nearly 1700 have sustained lifelong disabilities, lost a limb or become completely or partially paralysed.
     
    Nearly 2000 Israelis, soldiers and civilians, were injured in the past 52 months, most of them suffering light injuries.
     
    House demolitions
     
    During 2004, the Israeli army demolished 1538 homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including many multi-storey apartment buildings, leaving 11,500 Palestinians homeless.

    According to the B'tselem report the number of Palestinian homes destroyed since September 2000 reached 4100, rendering more than 28,000 Palestinians homeless.

    Palestinians in the rubble of a
    destroyed house in Dair al-Balah

    Palestinian sources put the number of demolished homes at 9000.
     
    In addition, it is believed the Israeli army has uprooted more than 1.3 million trees, mainly olive trees, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, either as a reprisal against a resistance attack or to clear the land for the so-called separation wall, the gigantic part-wall part-fence structure Israel has been erecting in the West Bank.
     
    The Israeli army also seized hundreds of kilometres of land owned mainly by Palestinian farmers, apparently for the purpose of using it for the future expansion of Jewish-only settlements in the occupied territory.
     
    Finally, in the course of the 52-month intifada, the Israeli army has arrested as many as 40,000 Palestinians or 1.5% of all Palestinians in the occupied territories.
     
    Currently, Israel is detaining between 7500 and 8000 Palestinians, many of them professionals, students and community leaders.
     
    About 1000 Palestinians are held indefinitely, without charge or trial, ostensibly as a punishment for their anti-Israeli views or their ideological orientation.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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