[30 June 2016] – Today, WCLAC lodged a follow-up submission with the UN concerning the devastating impact that Israeli military night raids are having on Palestinian women and families in the West Bank. The latest submission includes 50 testimonies from women who have first-hand experience of a night raid between January and May 2016. This is the third submission on night raids lodged by WCLAC with the UN since June 2015 (submission 1 and2).
According to research conducted by WCLAC, it is estimated that since June 1967, the Israeli military has conducted at least 66,000 night arrest raids on Palestinian homes, or an average of four night raids every night. This figure does not include the more common night raids in which no arrests are made or day-time incursions into Palestinian town and villages, which if included are estimated to bring the likely total number of raids to around 150,000 since 1967.
The issue of military night raids on civilian centres of population was recently raised by the US Department of State
in its most recent annual report on human rights. In the report the State Department referred to WCLAC’s earlier submissions to the UN relating to repeated night raids conducted by the Israeli military on Palestinian homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The report found that Israeli forces conducted the raids “in a widespread and systematic manner” and noted that they almost universally led to “a sense of fear and terror” among residents.
WCLAC’s most recent submission also notes that in the overwhelming majority of arrest cases Palestinian detainees are transferred and held in detention facilities located inside Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. This policy of unlawful transfer and detention has been applied by the State of Israel since June 1967 and currently affects around 7,000 men, women and children each year.
WCLAC requests that the Special Rapporteurs independently assess the claims included in the submission and issue a statement with their conclusions, including findings relating to:
- The link between night-raids and continued settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem;
- The inevitable role settlements play in increasing tension and violence in the region and how their continued presence is undermining the international legal order; and
- The unlawful transfer and detention or protected persons outside occupied territory in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.