B’Tselem: Compensating Palestinian Victims of Israel is Obligation, Not Charity

Victims of Shujaiyeh massacre. Over 100 Palestinians were killed there in 2014. (Photo: via Al-Rai')

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories has published a report yesterday which detailed Israel’s killing of thousands of Palestinians since the second Palestinian uprising which broke out in 2000, noting that these killings went without compensation and that Israel is obligated under international law to pay compensations to its own victims.

“From September 2000 – when the second intifada broke out – through February 2017, Israeli security forces killed 4,868 Palestinians who were not taking part in hostilities. About a third of them (1,793) were under the age of 18,” the organization said.

B’Tselem added,

“Paying compensation to persons who have suffered injury to themselves or their property is not an act of charity – it is the state’s obligation under international law. Not compensating Palestinian victims severely infringes upon their human rights as they are denied redress for violation of the basic rights to life, physical integrity and property.”

The Israeli human rights organization noted that Israel cited “three major justifications” for its refusal to pay compensation to Palestinians harmed by Israeli occupation forces:

“the immunity from liability for “warfare activity” as provided by law and implemented by the courts is too narrow and does not take into account the nature of the first and second intifadas, and that as a result the state was obliged to pay compensation in cases which did not merit doing so; and that it is customary in armed conflict for “each party to assume the damage it incurs”.

B’Tselem has called on Israel to compensate its Palestinians victims who are not engaged in what it described ‘hostilities’ noting that it is Israel’s duty to do so under international law.


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