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 (12 - 18 October 2006):
Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 28 Palestinians, 17 of whom civilians, including two children and a woman, in the Gaza Strip. Twenty-four of the victims were killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip. In addition, 44 Palestinians, including 14 children and four women, were wounded. This increase in the number of casualties in the Gaza Strip followed orders by the Israeli Defense Minister Amir Perets to his army to expand military operations in the Gaza Strip allegedly to stop the armament of Palestinian organizations.
In the Gaza Strip, IOF killed 24 Palestinians and wounded 29 others, including five children and four women.
On Thursday, 12 October 2006, IOF moved into Greater ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis. During this incursion, which continued until Saturday, 14 October 2006, IOF killed seven Palestinians, including four civilians (a man, his child, a woman and a young man). The man and his child were killed when they were inside their house. Three members of the Palestinian resistance were also killed when they clashed with IOF. On Thursday evening, IOF killed three Palestinian civilians, including a man and his child, when they bombarded a room in al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City. On Friday, 13 October 2006, IOF extra-judicially executed four Palestinians in two separate attacks in Beit Lahia town and Gaza City. On Saturday, 14 October 2006, IOF killed six Palestinians, including two civilians, when IOF helicopter gunships fired five missile at a number of members of the Palestinian resistance in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya. On Tuesday, 17 October 2006, IOF killed two Palestinians, including one civilian, during an incursion into Jabalya. On Wednesday, 18 October 2006, IOF killed two members of the Palestinian resistance during an incursion into Rafah.
IOF also launched four air strikes on three houses and two stores of car batteries in the Gaza Strip. As a result, five houses were destroyed and a number of other ones were severely damaged. IOF often warn residents of houses of their intention to attack them a very short time prior to the attack.
In the west Bank, IOF killed four Palestinians. On Tuesday, 17 October 2006, IOF killed two Palestinians, including one civilian, in Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. On the same day, IOF extra-judicially executed two Palestinians in ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp, west of Nablus. In addition, four Palestinians were wounded by the IOF gunfire.
Incursions: During the reported period, IOF conducted at least 30 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they raided dozens of houses and arrested 48 Palestinian civilians, including seven children, the youngest of whom is seven years old. IOF also transformed six houses in Hebron into military sites.
In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted six military incursions into areas in the Gaza Strip. The widest of these incursions was into Rafah on 18 October 2006. This incursion has been the widest into the southern Gaza Strip town since the implementation of the Israeli Disengagement Plan in the Gaza Strip in September 2005. During these incursions, IOF killed a number of Palestinians, razed at least 120 donums  of agricultural land, raided and searched houses, transformed a number of houses into military sites, stole some belongings and arrested eight Palestinians. They also interrogated hundreds of Palestinian civilians.
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 this period, the crossing has been opened for 14 separate days. 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 approximately four 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. They have further prevented Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from entering Jerusalem to pray in al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy month of Ramadan. IOF positioned at various checkpoints around Jerusalem imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. During the reported period, IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested three Palestinian civilians.
Annexation Wall: While they have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank, IOF have prevented Palestinian farmers in the north and south of the West Bank from reaching their agricultural lands, which are planted with olives, located behind the Wall. According to these farmers, IOF have refused to issue permits for them to be able to reach their lands. The farmers have expressed their concerns that they may lose the current olive season. IOF often fire at Palestinian farmers to drive them away from their lands.
The outcome of crimes committed by IOF since 25 June 2006:
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (12-18 October 2006)
1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank
Israeli Offensive on ‘Abasan Village
On Thursday morning, 12 October 2006, IOF moved into Greater ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yuis. During this incursion, which continued for at least two days, IOF killed a man and his child, when they were inside their house in Greater ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis. They also killed a woman, a young man three members of the Palestinian resistance. In addition, eleven Palestinians, nine of whom including a woman are civilians, were wounded by the IOF gunfire. Investigations conducted by PCHR indicate that IOF used excessive force without taking into consideration the principles of necessity and discrimination in attacking Palestinian resistance activists. IOF also arrested four Palestinians, and razed at least 120 donums of agricultural land planted with olives, palms, fruits and vegetables.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 01:45 on Thursday, 12 October 2006, special units of IOF moved nearly 800 meters into Greater ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis. IOF soldiers raided and searched three houses. They transformed these houses into military sites. A number of members of the Palestinian resistance gathered to confront IOF. Soon, IOF military vehicles, reinforced by helicopters, moved into the village. They opened fire at agricultural areas. As a result, two Palestinian civilians were wounded. Soon after, an IOF helicopter gunship fired three missiles at a number of members of the Palestinian resistance, who were on a field located near a number of houses. One of these missiles hit the western part of a house belonging to ‘Aadel Zer’ei Mahmoud Qudaih, 40, in which eight people live. As a result, his child, 13-year-old Suhaib, was instantly killed, where as he was seriously wounded and died at the hospital later. In addition, Qudaih’s wife, 35-year-old ‘Abeer ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Qudaih, was wounded by shrapnel to the face and the limbs. Palestinian civilians were able to evacuate the child’s body and his mother to the hospital more than two hours later. The other missiles hit the targeted resistance activists. As a result, three resistance activists were killed by shrapnel throughout their bodies:
1. Salah al-Din Rashad Shihda Qudaih, 21;
2. Na’el Fawzi Suleiman Qudaih, 22; and
3. ‘Abdul Rahman ‘Abdullah Mohammed Qudaih, 22.
Six Palestinians, including four civilians, were also wounded:
1. Nabeel Ahmed Qudaih, 38, wounded by shrapnel to the face;
2. Tha’er Ahmed Qudaih, 26, wounded by shrapnel to the side and the feet;
3. ‘Omar Khader Qudaih, 22, wounded by shrapnel to the side and the right hand;
4. Ibrahim ‘Abdullah Qudaih, 20, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body;
5. ‘Azmi Salem Qudaih, 31, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body; and
6. Na’el Salem Qudaih, 23, wounded by shrapnel to the hands.
At approximately 07:00, Mohammed Ramadan Baraka, 18, was seriously wounded by two live bullets to the chest and the left shoulder, when IOF positioned near the cemetery of the village opened fire indiscriminately. He was evacuated to the hospital, but medical efforts to save his life failed and he was pronounced dead at 12:00.
Later, IOF expanded their incursion into the village. They raided and searched dozens of houses and forced their male residents aged 15-40 out. IOF soldiers arrested 150 Palestinians and took them to military sites to the northeast and southeast of Rafah. They interrogated and violently beat these Palestinians. Later, IOF released these Palestinians excluding four, including two brothers:
1. ‘Azmi Barham Abu Daqqa, 31, a member of the Executive Force of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior;
2. Tamer Kamal Qudaih, 28, a member of the Palestinian National Security Forces;
3. Mohammed Kamal Qudaih, 25, a member of the Palestinian National Security Forces; and
4. Ussama Ahmed Abu Daqqa, 30, an intelligence officer.
At approximately 06:30 on Friday, 13 October 2006, IOF soldiers positioned on tanks and on the roofs of a number of houses in Qudaih area opened fire at dozens of Palestinian civilians who gathered on a branch road in the area. As a result, Zahra Ahmed Joma’a Qudaih, 29, a mother of four children, was killed by a live bullet to the chest, and Fadi Husni Qudaih, 23, was wounded by a live bullet to the right hand.
At approximately 16:50, Shareef Helmi Qudaih, 20, was wounded by a live bullet to the right foot, when IOF opened fire indiscriminately.
During this incursion, which continued until 00:00 on Saturday, 14 October 2006, IOF razed at least 120 donums of agricultural land planted with olives, palms, fruits and vegetables. They also destroyed irrigation networks and two agricultural pools and damaged a house. Palestinian civilians accused IOF soldiers of stealing jewelry and money from their houses during house raids.
Thursday, 12 October 2006
1. ‘Abdullah Mohammed al-Zohour, 25, a police officer; and
2. Mohammed Faisal ‘Atawna, 15.
1. Mahmoud Mustafa Ghunaim, 24;
2. Maher Saber Salah, 26; and
3. Ramzi Mustafa Salah, 32.
1. Mustafa Bilal ‘Omran, 19; and
2. Qusai Hisham Hannoun, 17.
1. Safiya Sa’id Farawana, 54, wounded by shrapnel to the head;
2. Wissam Hassan Farawana, 26, wounded by shrapnel to the head;
3. Mohammed Ashraf Farawana, 50, wounded by shrapnel to the face;
4. Iftikhar Sa’id Farawana, 50, wounded by shrapnel to the left hand; and
5. Wafaa’ Hani Eqtaifan, 13, wounded by shrapnel to the eye.
Friday, 13 October 2006
1. Yousef Hamad Nasasra, 26, seriously wounded by shrapnel to the right eye; and
2. Tayseer ‘Aaref al-Haj Mohammed, 50, wounded by shrapnel to the abdomen and the feet.
Saturday, 14 October 2006
1. Ahmed Hassan Abu al-‘Eish, 19;
2. Rami Abu Rashed, 23;
3. Sakher Fayez Abu Jabal, 21;
4. Mohammed Fayez Shaqqura, 20;
5. Salman Hassan al-‘Er, 29, a resident of the area; and
6. Fayez ‘Ali al-‘Er, 33, a resident of the area.
In addition, eight Palestinians were wounded:
1. Mohammed Nabil al-Na’ouq, 21, wounded by shrapnel to the abdomen;
2. Salam Hashem ‘Asaliya, 22, wounded by shrapnel to the back;
3. ‘Aadel Salman al-‘Er, 38, wounded by shrapnel to the chest;
4. Su’ad ‘Abed Rabbu, 50, wounded by shrapnel to the head;
5. Ra’ed Shalayel, 31, wounded by shrapnel to the abdomen;
6. Hani Siam, 31, seriously wounded by shrapnel throughout the body;
7. Haitham Lu’ai Saleh, 19, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body;
8. Mohammed Hashem ‘Asaliya, 20, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body.
IOF withdrew from the town at approximately 04:00, leaving large destruction to agricultural land and civilian facilities.
1. Mohammed Sati Daraghma, 16, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right thigh;
2. Mohammed Kamal Sawafta, 15, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right foot; and
3. Ibrahim Mohammed Abu Salah, 12, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right foot.
A number of live bullets also hit the building of the municipality, when a meeting of the municipal council was being held, but no casualties were reported.
Sunday, 15 October 2006
Monday, 16 October 2006
1. Mo’taz Ma’zooz al-‘Affouri, 21; and
2. Eyad Kamal al-Teerawi, 22.
Tuesday, 17 October 2006
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 23:00 on Monday, 16 October 2006, IOF moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They took position in al-Zakarna area in the southwest of the village and opened fire at houses. In the early morning of Tuesday, a number of Palestinian militants clashed with IOF. One of the militants, 18-year-old ‘Omar ‘Abdul Ra’ouf Mahmoud Zakarna, was killed by several live bullets to the head, the chest, the neck and the limbs. Three militants were also wounded and arrested by IOF:
1. Salah Daraghma, 22;
2. Mohammed Yousef Zakarna, 27; and
3. Ahmed Mohammed Abu al-Rub, 20.
IOF also raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
1. Mahmoud ‘Ali Hifnawi, 19; and
2. Ahmed Khalil Abu al-Rub, 19.
At approximately 08:00, a number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired at the children and at houses. As a result, Hani Mahmoud Mahmoud Ahmed Smadi, 24, was killed by a live bullet to the heart. According to eyewitnesses, an IOF soldier positioned inside a house in the village shot Smadi dead when he was standing in front of his house. In addition, seven Palestinian civilians, including six children, were wounded:
1. ‘Izziddin Mohammed ‘Abdul Rahim, 16, seriously wounded by a live bullet to the chest;
2. Mahmoud Ahmed Hanaisha, 20, wounded by shrapnel to the abdomen and the chest;
3. ‘Alaa’ Hantawi, 10, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the shoulder;
4. Mahmoud Hassan Abu al-Rub, 15, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullets to the foot;
5. Mahmoud Hassan Abu al-Rub, 12, wounded by shrapnel to the body;
6. Mohammed Mahmoud Abu ‘Obaid, 13, wounded by a live bullet to the foot; and
7. Mohammed Yousef Zakarna, 16, wounded by a live bullet to the foot.
1. Hassan Mahmoud Shakarna, 22, from Nahalin village west of Bethlehem; and
2. Muhannad ‘Olayan, 23, from ‘Anata village northeast of Jerusalem.
Wednesday, 18 October 2006
1. Bassem Yasser Hanaisha, 7;
2. Ahmed ‘Ali Abu al-Rub, 10;
3. Haitham Yasser Hanaisha, 12;
4. Anwar Faleh Abu al-Rub, 15;
5. Bilal Mohammed Abu al-Rub, 35;
6. Fadi Khalil Abu al-Rub, 24;
7. Ahmed Khalil Abu al-Rub, 22;
8. Mahmoud Khalil Abu al-Rub, 18;
9. ‘Ali Yassin Abu al-Rub, 38;
10. Khaled ‘Abdul Rahim Abu al-Rub, 25;
11. Faleh Abu al-Rub, 50;
12. Mohammed Faleh Abu al-Rub, 24;
13. ‘Azmi Faleh Abu al-Rub, 19;
14. Mahmoud Ahmed Hanaisha, 20; and
15. ‘Abdullah Ahmed Hanaisha, 19.
1. Fu’ad Soufan, 25;
2. Eihab Qarqash, 22; and
3. Ihsan ‘Awadi, 26.
1. Ashraf Motee’ al-M’ashar, 27, hit by a live bullet to the head; and
2. Mohammed Mohammed Abu ‘Arar, 23, hit by a live bullet to the abdomen.
This operation has been the first of it kind, in which IOF reach Salah al-Din Street and the Egyptian border since the implantation of the Israeli Disengagement Plan in the Gaza Strip in September 2005. As the operation continued, at approximately 06:00, IOF called through megaphones on male Palestinian civilians to get out of their houses. When these civilians got out, IOF handcuffed and blindfolded them.
Also at approximately 03:00, a special unit of IOF moved hundreds of meters into al-Shouka village to the south of Sofa crossing on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. IOF soldiers raided and searched a number of houses. At approximately 08:30, IOF heavy military vehicles moved into the area to reinforce the special unit. IOF arrested a number of Palestinian civilians. Four of the detainees were identified as:
1. ‘Eissa Shihda Mo’ammar, 47;
2. ‘Abdul Karim ‘Eissa Mo’ammar, 20;
3. Ahmed Marzouq Mo’ammar, 24; and
4. Mohammed Salem Mo’ammar, 49.
2. Extra-Judicial Executions
During the reported period, IOF committed three extra-judicial executions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which left seven Palestinians dead.
1. Mohammed Jameel al-Talouli, 39;
2. ‘Aadel Rashad al-Maqousi, 30; and
3. Rasem Fathi Zhaher, 35.
In addition, a civilian bystander, 14-year-old Sa’ad ‘Aadel Abu ‘Olba, was wounded by shrapnel to the feet.
1. ‘Aadel Yousef Abu al-Rish, 22, hit by a live bullet to the head; and
2. Firas Bassam Abu al-Rish, 22, his cousin, hit by two live bullets to the chest.
The former was a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Fatah movement, and the latter, who died shortly after having been evacuated to the hospital, was not wanted by IOF. Soon, IOF military vehicles moved into the camp to secure the withdrawal of IOF.
3. 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 30 September 2006, IOF gunboats opened fire at a fishing boat belonging to ‘Abdul Ra’ouf al-‘Aamoudi in Khan Yunis. The boat was severely damaged, but the fishermen who were on board were able to jump into water and swim towards the beach. On Sunday, 1 October 2006, IOF gunboats opened fire at a number of fishing boats in Khan Yunis. No casualties were reported, but a number of boats were damaged. On Monday, 2 October 2006, IOF killed a Palestinian fisherman (see above).
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.
On Thursday morning, 12 October 2006, IOF positioned in Beit ‘Einoun area in the east of Hebron arrested Yousef Mahmoud Ya’qoub, 25, as he passed through a checkpoint in the area.
On Saturday morning, 14 October 2006, IOF soldiers positioned at Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of Nablus, violently beat ‘Alaa’ Mahmoud Shahrour, 20, a university student from Bala’a village east of Tulkarm, when he was on his way to Nablus. He sustained a cut to the head and bruises to the hand.
On Friday noon, 13 October 2006, IOF positioned at Tayaseer checkpoint at the entrance of the northern Jordan Valley arrested a Palestinian civilians who was on his way to the area. He had not bee identified.
4. Construction of the Annexation Wall
IOF have continued to prevent Palestinian farmers from reaching their agricultural lands located behind the Annexation Wall to cultivate olives, which constitute the only source of income for hundreds of Palestinian families. According to a number of Palestinian farmers, IOF soldiers positioned at iron gates established on the Wall have continued to prevent them from reaching their lands even though they have valid permits that allow them to cross those gates.
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.
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 Federation 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.