Background on events in Jericho, 14 March 2006:
On 14 March U.S and British monitors of the P.A controlled Jericho prison withdrew, citing fears for their security. Under a 2002 agreement between the governments, the monitors had been ensuring the incarceration of Ahmed Saadat, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who is suspected by Israel of having ordered the assassination of Cabinet Minister Rehavam Zeevi in 2001. Others held at the facility included Fuad Shubaki, believed to have been responsible for the Karine-A weapons smuggling ship.
With the departure of the monitors and the end of the agreed framework, the Israeli government moved to detain Saadat and the others at the prison. IDF forces surrounded the site and called on all the prisoners to come out. Some prisoners were stripped down to their underwear to ensure they were not concealing explosives. After ten-hours, Saadat, Shubaki and the other four PFLP members surrendered.
Amnesty International issued a press release on 14 March calling on Israel to "end its policy of assassinations and excessive use of lethal force." AI was responding to the confrontation at the Jericho prison, where members of the terrorist PFLP were being held under international agreement. AI criticized the "extra-legal" arrangement of PFLP leader Saadat’s incarceration and stated that the organization was "deeply concerned" for his safety. Following AI’s pattern, this statement ignored many key details, including Saadat’s crucial role in the assassination of Israeli Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001.
B’Tselem and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel accused Israel of violating the Geneva Convention when pictures of detainees in their underwear from the Jericho prison were published in newspapers. B’Tselem sent a letter to the IDF Judge Advocate General stating "security considerations…do not justify parading the detainees in front of the media" and added "It was the duty of the security forces to take proactive steps to conceal the detainees from the cameras." The NGOs omitted to mention the IDF’s explanation that the media took and broadcast the pictures without permission or cooperation from the army. This suggests that the NGOs were more interested in condemning the IDF than in protecting the rights of the Palestinians.
B’Tselem also issued a press release condemning a Palestinian suicide bombing near the settlement of Kedumim on 30 March that killed four Israelis. It stated "attacks aimed at civilians undermine all rules of morality and law. Specifically, the intentional killing of civilians is considered a "grave breach" of international humanitarian law and a war crime." The statement called on the Palestinian Authority to prevent such attacks.
The Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees ( PARC, a partner of Christian Aid) issued a statement on 15 March claiming that Israel’s capture of Ahmed Saadat was "aimed to trigger [sic] state of unprecedented chaos in the Palestinian Territories and to give a cover to Israel’s unilateral plans to permanently annex the majority of the West Bank and Jerusalem." PARC further digressed from its humanitarian remit to use the incident to demonize Israel, stating that "Israel wanted to reintroduce the region to a vicious circle of violence and counter violence…to maintain control over the Palestinian land and prevent the implementation of the two state solution."