A Special Issue on the 6th Anniversary of the al-Aqsa Intifada
Six Years of Israeli Aggression on the OPT; IOF Commit Unprecedented War Crimes against Palestinian Civilians and Property
This report coincides with the 6th anniversary of the eruption of the al-Aqsa Intifada, which broke out following the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to al-Aqsa Mosque (the Holy Sanctuary) in occupied Jerusalem. Over the last six years, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have perpetrated grave breaches of international law, including war crimes, against Palestinian civilians in a manner unprecedented since 1967. The sixth year of the Intifada witnessed an increasing escalation in Israeli war crimes as the international community remained silent and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 failed to meet their obligations to ensure respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and provide protection for Palestinian civilians. The international silence has served to encourage the Israeli government and its occupation forces to perpetrate more war crimes with impunity against Palestinian civilians. Over the last 12 months, IOF have stepped up illegal operations in the OPT, especially in the Gaza Strip. The number of Palestinian civilians killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip in the second half of the year reminds of the numbers of civilians killed by IOF in the West Bank during the Operation Defensive Shield in spring 2002.
In the sixth year of the Intifada, 504 Palestinians, including 398 civilians (79%) have killed by IOF. The number of civilian victims includes 93 children (23%) and 14 women (3.5%). According to PCHR’s documentation, 138 Palestinians have been extra-judicially executed by IOF (34.5% of the total number of civilian victims). This number includes 90 targeted persons and 48 civilian bystanders, including 23 children.
By the end of the sixth year of the al-Aqsa Intifada, 3859 Palestinians, including 3069 civilians (79.5%), have been killed. According to PCHR’s documentation, 585 Palestinians have been extra-judicially executed by IOF (19% of the total number of civilian victims). This number includes 376 targeted persons and 209 civilian bystanders, including 71 children.
Contrary to claims by IOF that they withdrew from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, which PCHR viewed as a form of redeployment, IOF waged an open war on the Gaza Strip after Palestinian resistance activists had killed two IOF soldiers and captured a third on 25 June 2006. This wide scale military campaign named “Operation Summer Rains” is still ongoing. Since the beginning of this campaign, 237 Palestinian, including 147 civilians, have been killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip. The number of civilian victims includes 53 children and 13 women. In addition, 821 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 220 children and 35 women, have been wounded.
According to PCHR’s documentation, IOF have fired at least 260 air-to-surface missiles and hundreds of artillery shells at targets, mostly civilian ones, in the Gaza Strip. Buildings of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National economy, the office of the Palestinian Prime Minister and a number of educational institutions have been destroyed. The electricity generation plant, providing 45% of the electricity of the Gaza Strip, was destroyed, and electricity networks and transmitters have been repeatedly attacked. Six bridges linking Gaza City with the central Gaza Strip and a number of roads have been destroyed. IOF have also destroyed hundreds of donums  of agricultural land and dozens of houses have been destroyed. The Palestinian governmental compound in Nablus has been destroyed. Many families in the Gaza Strip have been forced to leave their houses. IOF warplanes have destroyed 44 houses belonging to activists of Palestinian factions.
In the sixth year of the Intifada, IOF continued to shell Palestinian residential areas. Complete families were killed or wounded by the IOF shelling. For instance, on 9 June 2006, IOF killed ‘Alai Ghalia, his wife and 5 of the their children. On 12 July 2006, IOF killed Nabeel Abu Silmiya, his wife and 7 of their children. IOF have employed warplanes to extra-judicially executed Palestinian in densely populated areas, rendering casualties among Palestinian civilians, especially children. Furthermore, IOF have adopted a new policy since 23 July 2006, under which they warn Palestinian civilians that their houses would be attacked, a very short period that does not exceed an hour prior to the actual attack. IOF often claim that weapons are stored in these houses or that tunnels are dug under them to smuggle weapons.
In the West Bank, IOF continued to construct the annexation wall inside the West Bank territory, in violation of international law and humanitarian law, and the advisory opinion issued by the International Court of Justice in Hague, which considered the construction of the wall illegal and called for its dismantlement.
In an attempt to undermine the results of the Palestinian elections, which were held on 25 January 2006, IOF waged an arrest campaign against members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) representing the Change and Reform Bloc affiliated to Hamas and cabinet ministers. IOF arrested 31 PLC members, including the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the Secretary. The PLC Deputy Speaker was released later. In addition, IOF arrested 8 ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister. Three ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister, were released later, while the others have been kept in custody.
On 14 March 2006, IOF completed initiated a large-scale military operation that imed to apprehend Ahmad Sa’adat, the Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the elected member of the PLC, a number of PFLP activists charged with assassinating Rehavam Ze’vi (Israeli ex-Minister of Tourism), and Major General Fuad al-Shobaki, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council who is charged with smuggling the Karen A arms shipment.
This operation was initiated 15 minutes after the sudden withdrawal of American and British monitors charged with guarding Sa’adat, in accordance with an agreement, drafted mainly by the United States. Israeli, American, and British officials attempted to deny any prior coordination between them. However, the Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, said in statements to Haaretz newspaper after the operation that Israel knew beforehand about the time of the monitors’ withdrawal from Jericho prison. Further, he stated that the army had been preparing for over a week to storm the prison and kidnap the prisoners.
PCHR had previously stressed that no party, whether the IOF, Palestinian National Authority, or international community, has the right to formulate an agreement that violates International Humanitarian Law. This position was stated in reference to the agreement regarding Sa’adat’s detention in Jericho prison (refer to the PCHR’s press release dated 4 June 2002). Thus, PCHR raises question over the international community’s role in enforcing past and future agreements to which Israel is a party.
Israeli military actions have violated the political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights of Palestinian civilians.
The six years of the al-Aqsa Intifada have been characterized by the following Israeli military attacks:
A table showing those injured during the al-Aqsa Intifada from 29 September 2000 to 28 September 2006 
A table showing land levelling, house demolitions and destruction to industrial and educational facilities in the Gaza Strip during the al-Aqsa Intifada, from 29 September 2000 to 28 September 2006
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Escalate Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
Israeli violations of international law continued in the OPT during the reported period (21 - 27 September 2006):
Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 6 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and a woman, in the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday morning, 21 September 2006, IOF killed two Palestinian civilians, including a woman in Um al-Nasser village, northeast of Rafah. IOF killed the woman from a zero range when she protested against IOF soldier who beat her deaf husband. The woman was left bleeding until for several hours. The other civilian was killed in the same area by the indiscriminate IOF gunfire. On the same day, IOF killed 3 children in Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip, while they were herding sheep. On 27 September 2006, a child was killed when IOF dropped a bomb at a neighboring house. In addition, 21 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children, were wounded by the IOF shelling in Rafah.
Thus, the number of Palestinians killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip since 25 June 2006 has increased to 237, including 53 children and 13 women. In addition, 821 others, mostly civilians, including 220 children, 35 women, 4 paramedics and 6 journalists, have been wounded.
In the West Bank, 6 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded by IOF gunfire throughout the West Bank.
Incursions: During the reported period, IOF conducted at least 33 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they raided dozens of houses and arrested 16 Palestinian civilians, including a child. IOF also transformed two houses into military sites. In an act of piracy, IOF broke into the Jordanian National Bank and 11 money exchange shops in the West Bank. They arrested 7 money exchangers and confiscated large amounts of money. Israeli sources estimated the confiscated money at 6 million NIS (US$ 1.3 million), and claimed that these money exchange shops transferred amounts of money that were used to finance attacks on Israeli targets. In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 4 incursions in the southern Gaza Strip villages of Um al-Nasser and al-Foukhari, and into the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia. During these incursions IOF arrested 11 Palestinian civilians and demolished at least 14 houses.
Restrictions on Movement: IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Occupied East Jerusalem.
IOF have imposed a strict siege on the Gaza Strip. They have closed its border crossings as a form of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians.
IOF have closed Rafah International Crossing Point since 25 June 2006, even though they do not directly control it. During the reported period, the crossing point was reopened for 3 days and thousands of Palestinians were able to travel from and to the Gaza Strip. IOF have closed commercial crossings of the Gaza Strip, especially al-Mentar (Karni) crossing. As a consequence, the economic situation inside the Gaza Strip has further deteriorated and many goods have been lacked in markets. During the reported period, IOF partially reopened al-Mentar (Karni) crossing, east of Gaza City, and Sofa and Kerem Shalom crossings near Rafah. IOF have also continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip had been prevented from traveling through this crossing. IOF have allowed international workers to pass through the crossing. With this closure, only few Palestinian patients have been able to travel to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank. In addition, IOF have prevented Palestinian fishermen from fishing for 3 months.
IOF have tightened the siege imposed on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. They have isolated Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. IOF have continued to separate between the north and south of the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF positioned at various checkpoints around imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. During the reported period, IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 8 Palestinian civilians, including a child.
The outcome of crimes committed by IOF since 25 June 2006:
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (21 - 27 September 2006)
1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank
Thursday, 21 September 2006
1. Mahmoud Daoud Abu Mo’ammar, 51, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body;
2. Ra’fat Mahmoud Abu Mo’ammar, 27, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body;
3. Ahmed Mahmoud Abu Mo’ammar, 4, wounded by shrapnel to the chest;
4. Haneen Mahmoud Abu Mo’ammar, 7, wounded by shrapnel to the head;
5. Haneen Hussein Zo’rob, 4, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body;
6. Ayman Nasser Zo’rob, 19, wounded by a live bullet to the left leg; and
7. Ahmed Mohammed Younis, 26, wounded by shrapnel to the right hand.
According to eyewitnesses, IOF did not allow medical crews into the area. At approximately 12:30, IOF withdrew from the area after having destroyed 13 houses, in which 129 people (15 families) lived, and arrested 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a woman:
1. Hassan Hussein Zo’rob, 43;
2. Aamena Mohammed Zo’rob, 25;
3. Saleh Khalil Zo’rob, 63;
4. Mahrous Saleh Zo’rob, 27; and
5. Salah Saleh Zo’rob, 13.
1. ‘Alaa’ Saqer Dahrouj Abu Dahrouj, 15;
2. Zaidan Rafiq Mohammed Abu Rashed, 16; and
3. Mohammad Selmi Mohammed Masalha, 17.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, while herding, the children had come near an abandoned rocket launcher used earlier by Palestinian gunmen to fire a homemade rocket. It is noted that another civilian was killed on the day before in similar circumstances. Thus, the number of Palestinian civilians killed under similar circumstances over the past 3 months has mounted to 15 victims.
Friday, 22 September 2006
Saturday, 23 September 2006
Sunday, 23 September 2006
Monday, 25 September 2006
Tuesday, 26 September 2006
1. Majdi Samer Abu al-Haija, 18;
2. Mohammed Samer Abu al-Haija, 22;
3. Lutfi Samer Abu al-Haija, 24;
4. Hitler Samer Abu al-Haija, 27;
5. Ussama Mohammed ‘Aabed, 28; and
6. Qaher Mohammed ‘Aabed, 37.
Wednesday, 27 September 2006
2. Continued Siege on the OPT
IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Occupied East Jerusalem.
Following an attack launched by Palestinian militants on 25 June 2006 near the Israeli-Egyptian border, southeast of Rafah, which left two IOF soldiers and two of the attackers dead and a third IOF soldier missing, IOF have closed all border crossings of the Gaza Strip:
The closure of border crossings deprives the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip of their right to freedom of movement, education and health.
IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on fishing in the Gaza Strip. Following the attack on IOF on 25 June 2006, IOF prevented fishing. Approximately 35,000 people in and around Gaza’s coastal communities rely on the fishing industry, including 2,500 fishermen, 2,500 support staff and their families. Fishermen have been subjected to intensive monitoring by IOF, which use helicopter gunships and gunboats to monitor the fishermen. On a number of occasions, IOF has opened fire against the civilian fishermen in order to enforce the 9 nautical mile limit imposed on them. The Oslo Accords make provision for Gaza’s sea to be fished to 20 nautical miles.
The West Bank
IOF have imposed a tightened siege on the West Bank. They have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians and imposed curfews on a number of Palestinian communities.
At approximately 14:30 on Saturday, 23 September 2006, IOF positioned at the checkpoint near the entrance to Senjel village, northwest of Ramallah, opened fire at a Palestinian taxi. As a result, 4 passengers, including a child, were wounded:
1. Jameel ‘Abdul Rahman Zaidan, 48, from Qabalan village south of Nablus, wounded by a live bullet to the left elbow and shrapnel to the back and the left shoulder;
2. Majed Nawaf Snoubar, 33, from Yatma village south of Nablus, wounded by shrapnel to the right shoulder;
3. Mohammed Saleh al-Aqra’, 20, from Qabalan village south of Nablus, wounded by shrapnel to the right elbow; and
4. ‘Ali Mohammed al-Aqra’, 15, from Qabalan village south of Nablus, wounded by shrapnel to the head and the right hand.
IOF soldiers also arrested the taxi driver, ‘Abdul Fattah Hussein ‘Aabed, 42. In his testimony to PCHR, Jameel ‘Abdul Rahman Zaidan, 48, stated:
“At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 23 September 2006, I was traveling in a Palestinian taxi together with 6 persons, including two children. We were traveling from Ramallah towards Qabalan village. At approximately 14:30, we were surprised by an Israeli military checkpoint near the southeastern entrance of Senjel village, north of Ramallah. Israeli soldiers were stopping and searching Palestinian vehicles. When we arrived at the checkpoint, Israeli soldiers were searching an ambulance of Palestine Red Crescent Society. One of the soldiers pointed to our driver to move forward and he did. Soon, we heard Israeli soldiers screaming: “Stop! Stop!”. They also opened fire at the taxi. Some of us were wounded, but the driver continued to travel forwards. When we became 500 meters away from the checkpoint, we were surprised by an Israeli military jeep. It intercepted the taxi. The wounded were evacuated to a hospital in Nablus, and the driver was arrested by Israeli soldiers.”
At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, 21 September 2006, IOF soldiers positioned at Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested 3 Palestinian university students from Dura village near Hebron:
1. Nafez Jebara al-Faqeeh, 23;
2. Mohammed Jebara al-Faqeeh, 21; and
3. Yousef ‘Aayed al-Faqeeh, 20.
Also on Thursday evening, IOF positioned at Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of Nablus, arrested 3 Palestinian university students from Tammoun village, southeast of Jenin:
1. Ahmed Sa’ad Bisharat, 24;
2. Islam Khalil Bisharat, 23; and
3. Mohammed Rasheed Bani ‘Ouda, 23.
1. Rami Salama Abu Tarboush, 18; and
2. Mohammed ‘Abdul Karim al-‘Ajoul, 17, both from al-‘Azza village near Bethlehem.
3. Construction of the Annexation Wall
IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory.
4. Settlement Activities and Attacks by Settlers against Palestinian Civilians and Property
Israeli settlers (living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law) have continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and property:
Recommendations to the International Community
1. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.
2. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel’s respect of the Convention in the OPT and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.
3. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to comply with its legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.
4. PCHR recommends international civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and NGOs to participate in the process of exposing those accused of grave breaches of international law and to urge their governments to bring these people to justice.
5. PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel. PCHR further calls upon the EU states to prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the OPT.
6. PCHR calls upon the member States of the EU, and all other states, to adopt a voting pattern at the UN bodies, particularly the General Assembly, Security Council and Commission on Human Rights which is keeping with international law.
7. PCHR demands that the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion be immediately implemented by the international community.
8. PCHR calls on the international community to recognize the Gaza disengagement plan, which was implemented last year, for what it is - not an end to occupation but a compounding of the occupation and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
9. In recognition of ICRC as the guardian of the Fourth Geneva Convention, PCHR calls upon the ICRC to increase its staff and activities in the OPT, including the facilitation of family visitations to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
10. PCHR appreciates the efforts of international civil society, including human rights organizations, bar associations, unions and NGOs, and urges them to continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel’s respect for human rights in the OPT and to end its attacks on Palestinian civilians.
11. In light of the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupying forces on access for international organizations to the OPT, PCHR calls upon European countries to deal with Israeli citizens in a similar manner.
12. PCHR reiterates that any political settlement not based on international human rights law and humanitarian law cannot lead to a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian question. Rather, such an arrangement can only lead to further suffering and instability in the region. Any peace agreement or process must be based on respect for international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.
 1 donum is equal to 1000 square meters.
 These figures wounds by live bullets only.
 These figures do not include 277 flats in apartment buildings in the destroyed in the Gaza Strip. It does not either include houses demolished in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the context of collective punishment measures against families of activists of the Palestinian resistance.
 This number does not include buildings of 4 ministries and dozens of educational institutions.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is an independent legal body based in Gaza City dedicated to protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law and upholding democratic principles in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It holds Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and is an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, the FÚdÚration Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network. PCHR is a recipient of the 1996 French Republic Award for Human Rights.