Amnesty International

4 June 2001
MDE 15/049/2001

Amnesty International strongly condemned the killing of 20 civilians and wounding of 100 others in a Tel Aviv discotheque on 1 June.

Hamas yesterday claimed responsibility for the attack. "Such an attack, deliberately killing teenagers on a night out, is shocking and reprehensible," Amnesty International said today. "There can never be any justification for the targeting of civilians."

Amnesty International repeated its many previous calls for Palestinian armed groups to stop attacking civilians.

"The right to life and to physical integrity is the foundation of all other human rights. The loss of human life is irreversible," said Amnesty International. "Each government authority, each armed group and all individuals must recognize this right."

Amnesty International also expressed concern at the stringent blockade, sometimes including humanitarian goods, of Palestinian towns and villages ordered by the Israeli Government, called on the Israeli Government to lift any punitive blockades and not to carry out any reprisals.

"Even when armed groups show a total disregard for human life, governments must still respect fundamental human rights," the organization said.

Since the beginning of the recent intifada Amnesty International has issued three major reports and scores of other public statements and actions to stop human rights abuses. Amnesty International has called on the Israeli authorities to end unlawful killings, house destruction and torure or ill-treatment. It has also called on the Palestinian Authority to end the death penalty and on armed groups to cease attacks on civilians.

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