From: "Lawsociety" <law@lawsociety.org>

Israel's occupation open fire at Hebron bakery, and take injured Palestinian hostage
24 January 2002

Today, January 24, 2002, an Israeli under cover unit with the help of
Israel's occupation forces raided a bakery in downtown Hebron and shot
indiscriminately at staff, injuring 21-year old Hazim al-Kawasmi and took
him hostage.

The bakery, which is located in the Palestinian-controlled area of the
city (also known as H1) is owned by Mohammad Shweiki.

Eight Israeli under cover agents (also known as Mosta'ribeen), who were
disguised as Arabs, raided with the help of Israel's occupation forces
the bakery and opened fire. Hazim al-Kawasmi was injured in his legs.
Five other Palestinians were also injured. Rami al-Keimari (20) was
injured in his arm, Aziz al-Shweiki (52) in his foot, Tarek al-Kawasmi
(14), Rabah al-Shweiki (33) and Anas al-Shweiki (16) sustained bruises.

Rabah Shweiki told LAW that the assailants opened fire indiscriminately
and then physically abused the bakery's staff. Two of the injured staff
members were then dragged out and taken to an Israeli army post. One of
them, Aziz al-Shweiki was later released. Hazim al-Kawasmi has been taken
hostage.

Aziz Shweiki, who is currently hospitalized, told LAW that Israeli under
cover agents dragged him towards a military ambulance and was severely
beaten by Israeli troops on the road. He received medical treatment at
the Israeli military post and was released 40 minutes later. He added
that he had seen Hazim Al Kawasmi who was injured and bleeding.

Israeli radio claimed that Hazim is a member of the Tanzim and that he is
wanted by Israel. It also said that he was receiving medical treatment at
Hadasa hospital. However, Rabah Shweiki denied Israeli claims "Hazim has
worked in the bakery for seven years, he has never been wanted and he is
not politically affiliated," he added.

This latest assault is further evidence of Israel's disregard civilian
life and security of person.

LAW strongly condemns the Israeli crime and holds Israel's government
accountable for the safety and well being of Hizam Kawasmi. Hostage-
taking is unacceptable under any interpretation of international
humanitarian law, and like the prohibition of torture, is never subject
to derogation. International humanitarian law categorically prohibits
hostage-taking. Under article 34 of the Fourth Geneva Convention hostage-
taking is prohibited.

LAW demands the immediate release of Hazim Al Kawasmi.
____________________________

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the
Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving
human rights through legal advocacy. LAW is affiliate to the
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Federation Internationale
des Ligues de Droits de l'Homme (FIDH) and the World Organisation
Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the
Environment, PO Box 20873, Jerusalem, tel. +972-2-5833530, fax. +972-2-
5833317, email: law@lawsociety.org, web: http://www.lawsociety.org