Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Israeli soldiers stand guard at the entrance of Yatta, near the West Bank city of Hebron, on Thursday. (Photo: Reuters/Mussa Qawasma)

With Latest Denial of Rights, Israel May be Guilty of 'Collective Punishment': UN

After deadly Tel Aviv attack, Israel cracks down, boosting troops in West Bank and barring Palestinian entry for Ramadan

Israel's blanket ban on Palestinian entry—put in place after Wednesday's deadly attack in Tel Aviv—"may amount to prohibited collective punishment and will only increase the sense of injustice and frustration felt by Palestinians in this very tense time," the United Nations' top human rights official said Friday.

As Agence France-Presse reported, "the Israeli military on Thursday revoked permits for 83,000 Palestinians to visit Israel during Ramadan...and said it would send hundreds more troops to the occupied West Bank after a Palestinian gun attack that killed four Israelis in Tel Aviv."

"We might be the only country in the world where another nation is under occupation without civil rights...You can't hold people in a situation of occupation and hope they'll reach the conclusion everything is alright."
—Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai

On Friday, it said it would temporarily bar Palestinians from entering Israel until Sunday.

In addition, Reuters reports, Israel suspended 204 work permits held by individuals in the extended families of the alleged attackers, and Israeli security forces sealed off their entire hometown of Yatta. According to Electronic Intifada, "[a]pproximately 100 high school students from Yatta were briefly detained by Israeli forces on Thursday as they tried to leave the town to attend their final exams."

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein condemned the attack, but expressed concern about Israel's crackdown, citing the Geneva Conventions, which say that punishing people for crimes they have not personally committed can amount to collective punishment.

"Israel has a human rights obligation to bring those responsible to account for their crimes. And this, it is doing. However, the measures taken against the broader population punish not the perpetrators of the crime, but tens, and maybe hundreds, or thousands of innocent Palestinians," said Hussein’s spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani, in Geneva on Friday.

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and newly installed, far-right Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed to take punitive actions in response to Wednesday's attack, the Guardian reports that Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai "struck a markedly different tone on Thursday [...] by linking the continuing violence to Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories."

He told Army Radio: "We might be the only country in the world where another nation is under occupation without civil rights...You can't hold people in a situation of occupation and hope they'll reach the conclusion everything is alright."

According to the Middle East Monitor, this week marks the 49th anniversary of Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Progressive International Convenes Global Summit to Achieve Vaccines for All

The virtual gathering aims to foster "vaccine internationalism" and cooperation to put human lives over corporate greed.

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·


'There Is No Excuse': Amnesty Slams Biden Over Skyrocketing ICE Detentions and 400,000+ Expulsions

"Nearly half a year in, the administration has still not delivered on change that has not only been promised, but is of the utmost urgency."

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·


After Campaigning Against Death Penalty, Biden Admin Seeks Execution of Boston Marathon Bomber

Advocates say the president could eliminate the use of the death penalty by commuting all federal death row sentences.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


Led by Sanders, Senate Dems Weigh $6 Trillion Infrastructure Bill as Bipartisan Talks Fail on Climate

"The Republican Party has made clear that they are not prepared to stand up for the American people and address the many crises facing working families today. We can get to work without them."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


Progressive Warnings Grow as Big Oil-Backed Republicans Endorse Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework

"The Senate GOP members participating in these talks on infrastructure have accepted a career total of $15,896,919 in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·