oPt

The WCLAC Bulletin - June 2014

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Tensions rise after the abduction of children – June was marked by a rise in Israeli military activity in the West Bank following the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers who were hitchhiking in occupied territory on 12 June. Nineteen days later the bodies of the three teenagers were found in shallow graves a few kilometres from where they were abducted. Reports indicate they were murdered shortly after being taken. While no organization claimed responsibility, the Israeli authorities attributed the act to a Hamas cell. According to the UN (1, 2 and 3), during the search for the missing teenagers, the Israeli military conducted widespread military operations across the West Bank in which at least six Palestinians were killed, 239 injured and 723 arrested. Shortly after the discovery of the bodies of the teens, Israeli forces evacuated the families of the two individuals suspected of the killings from their respective apartments in Hebron city, and conducted explosions in both of them, partially destroying the apartments. Six persons, including four children, relatives of the two alleged perpetrators were consequently displaced. At the time of the explosions, neither suspect was in custody or convicted of an offence – a policy that has been endorsed by Israel’s Supreme Court. On 2 July, a Palestinian teenager was abducted in East Jerusalem, beaten and burnt alive. By 6 July the media was reporting that six Jewish extremists had been detained in connection with the revenge attack.