UN rights chief dismayed by Israel's violations
 
November 16, 2000, 12:20 AM
AMMAN (AFP English)
 
- The UNís top human rights official Mary Robinson
arrived Wednesday in Jordan from Gaza, saying the
situation in the Palestinian territories was "very
serious" and she would raise the matter in a report.
"I am very concerned about the human rights situation
in the Palestinian territories," Robinson said in an
arrival statement broadcast on state television.

She cited the surge of deadly clashes in the Gaza
Strip and West Bank Wednesday where eight Palestinians
were killed by Israeli gunfire, saying the "situation
is very serious".

Robinson said she will detail her findings in a report
which she hopes "will be helpful to find a way
forward", adding that she will draw attention to the
violence in order to reflect her message.

Earlier in the Gaza Strip she condemned Israelís
excessive use of force to quell the Palestinian
uprising.

"I have been made very aware of the strong need for
international protection," Robinson told reporters in
Gaza City after meeting Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat. "I am very concerned about excessive use of
force." Palestinians want international forces to
monitor the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they say to
prevent Israel from gunning down Palestinian
demonstrators.

Israel, however, blames the Palestinians for the
deadly seven-week wave of violence and says it has
used maximum restraint to stifle the uprising that has
left some 230 people dead, most of them Palestinians.

Robinson told reporters that there was a "disturbing
pattern" to the bullet wounds received by Palestinians
shot by Israeli soldiers during the daily clashes.

"There were a disproportionate number of injuries to
the upper body, the head and many from live ammunition
or rubber-bullets fired at very close quarters," she
said.