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'Price Tag,' Israel's revenge tactic
Sat, 30 Apr 2011 16:23:24 GMT
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Israel's wall
Munir Nuseibah of Al Quds Human Rights Clinic explains that the Israeli aims to force the Palestinians leave their villages through collective punishment.

Following is the rush transcript of an interview with Munir Nuseibah about the Israeli invasion of Palestinian villages and collective punishment.

Press TV: Let's talk about the West Bank for a minute because when we consider collective punishment we often talk about Gaza and people being imprisoned by barbed wire, which is a obvious siege. In the West Bank right now there are refugee camps undergoing what your clinic might describe as collective punishment. What is that? What is going on at the refugee camp?

Nuseibah: It's basically a refugee camp as it is basically a village of around 6000 Palestinian citizens, and it's just unfortunate that the village is very close to the illegal settlement where five members of the settlements were murdered in March. And the Israeli occupation Army has been invading this village several times since March on a daily basis. They are arresting children, women, men and elderly people.

There is a story of an 80 year old man and a 70 year old woman who was his wife. She was pushed violently. The man was taken to prison, and asked did you murder these five people in the settlement. The same has happened to a large number of the residents of this village.

Press TV: Do the residents understand why they are being targeted? The reason that soldiers give is that they are on a routine investigation or a murder investigation.

Nuseibah: This is the announced goal that they are investigating. Have you ever heard of an investigation where the whole village and everyone living there is a suspect? Can every person of a village be a suspect of murder? Of course not! Can a fifteen year old child as well as an 80 year old man be a suspect of this murder? Hundreds have been arrested so far. These people are not suspects.

This is the truth. What the Israeli army is doing now with the occupation is that they are punishing this whole village just because apparently it is for revenge. There are also records that say their actual goal for these people is to [make them] leave their village and go somewhere else.

Press TV: Let me just ask about reports as I have one here from the International Solidarity Movement who were activists in this village. They are saying Hala, age six was kicked by soldiers as they raided her home. Other reports of things like school books being torn up, and sugar being ruined by oil, so these aren't just searches, are they?

Nuseibah: They are not. It's certainly punishment for the whole public. And I do not understand why they are consistent in punishing the whole population. However, this is very consistent. You can see that the whole wall and the whole checkpoint system in the West Bank is collective punishment. You can see the same policy in Gaza. When they put a price tag, and then a missile goes out of Gaza then we will decrease the amount of food and medicine that gets into Gaza. They call it “price tag.”

Press TV: Who calls it price tag?

Nuseibah: The Israeli government. The Israeli officials and this is a stated policy. So this is illegal under international law and both Israeli and Palestinian Human Rights Organizations, and International Human Rights Organizations apply the same standards. However, the Israeli occupying institutions do not recognize that even human rights and international humanitarian law, which rules how a ruling power is working in an occupied territory, has to function.

They don't recognize that it's even applicable. So the standards that the occupation uses when it treats the Palestinian civilians including children, and all of the others are not the same as they would treat their own populations or treat other populations.

NM/PKH
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