Israel and the Occupied Territories: Civilians' lives
                       must be respected
* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
International *

MSANEWS  2 October 2000
MDE 15/032/2000
187/00

Amnesty  International  condemned  indiscriminate   killings   of
civilians following four  days  of  clashes  in  Israel  and  the
Occupied Territories which have  left  at  least  35  Palestinian
civilians dead and hundreds of others injured.

"The dead civilians, among them  young  children,  include  those
uninvolved in the conflict and seeking safety," the human  rights
organization said, "The loss of civilian life is devastating  and
this is compounded by the fact that  many  appear  to  have  been
killed or injured  as  a  result  of  the  use  of  excessive  or
indiscriminate force."

"Israeli security  forces  appear  to  have  used  indiscriminate
lethal force on many occasions  when  their  lives  were  not  in
danger," Amnesty International said, "We  have  been  saying  for
years that Israel is killing civilians unlawfully  by  firing  at
them during demonstrations  and  riots.  International  standards
clearly  state  that  governments  should  develop  as  broad  as
possible a range of non-lethal incapacitating  weapons  and  that
firearms are a last resort."

On 29 September, hundreds of Israeli  police  and  border  guards
entered the Aqsa Mosque compound after Friday prayers, apparently
in response to stone-throwing by Palestinians.  Israeli  security
forces opened fire on civilians  indiscriminately,  resulting  in
the death of at least five Palestinians and the injury of  dozens
of others.

Clashes  between  Israeli   security   forces   and   Palestinian
demonstrators broke out all over  the  West  Bank  and  the  Gaza
Strip, as well as in Israel since Friday. There  have  also  been
armed confrontations between the Israeli and Palestinian security
forces. The Israeli army has used rubber-coated metal bullets and
admitted  using  live  ammunition  on  some  occasions.   Israeli
helicopter gunships apparently killed a 10-year-old  boy  on  the
roof of a house in Nablus on 10 October, and shot at buildings in
Gaza.

"This  is  excessive  and  indiscriminate  use  of  force  is  in
contravention of international human rights standards which state
that police and security forces may only use firearms in  extreme
circumstances, when  life  is  in  danger  and  other  means  are
ineffective. These standards apply in all  situations,  including
in times of emergency." Amnesty International said.

"Civilian deaths will continue  unless  the  Israeli  authorities
take this message to heart."