Monday 4 November 2002

Amnesty accuses Israel of war crimes in West Bank

The human rights group Amnesty International accused Israel on Monday of war crimes through what it said was the unjustified killing and maltreatment of Palestinians during an army offensive in the West Bank.

The London-based group said few of the abuses inflicted last spring had been impartially investigated.

The army reoccupied Palestinian West Bank cities with the declared aim of rooting out militants behind a campaign of suicide bombings that have killed scores of Israelis.

"The relationship of the conflict to the deteriorating human rights situation has led to a growing understanding that there can be no peace in the region until human rights are respected," Amnesty International said in a 76-page report.

The report detailed what Amnesty called unlawful killings and abusive treatment of detainees in two West Bank cities where Palestinian militants put up the fiercest resistance to the army crackdown on their two-year-old uprising for statehood.

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