Weekly report on human rights violations

August 08-14, 2002

Israeli occupying forces this week continued their full-scale offensive in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), killing more Palestinians and destroying more public and private property. They committed two new assassinations, in which three Palestinians were killed. This week, eight Palestinian civilians, including a 12-year-old child, were killed by Israeli occupying forces.

For the 55th consecutive day, Israeli occupying forces have maintained control over Nablus, imposing a strict siege and curfew on the city. In the last three weeks, Palestinians were able to exit their homes only once. Since Israeli occupying forces resumed their offensive on the city on Friday, 2 August, they have lifted the curfew imposed on the city only once on Friday, 9 August, and only for four hours. Israeli occupying forces have prohibited any movement in and out and of the city. They have raided houses and arrested many Palestinians. All aspects of daily life in the city have been paralyzed, which caused large losses to the city’s economy, which mainly depends on trade. Students of an-Najah University, whose number exceeds 12000, have not been able to take their final exams, and many students who passed the exams of the General Certificate of Education (Tawjihi) have not been able to receive their transcripts in order to apply for universities.

Israeli occupying forces have continued to use Palestinian civilians as human shields. This week, they used a Palestinian civilian from Tubas village near Jenin as a human shield while assassinating a Palestinian activist. Israeli forces used this method on a wide scale during their offensive on Jenin, Nablus and Ramallah in April. Lawyers of the Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (LAW) and ‘Adalah submitted an appeal to the Israeli High Court against the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields and against endangering their lives, but the court rejected the appeal, giving Israeli occupying forces the green line to use it more. On Monday, 12 August, Israeli forces assassinated a Palestinian before the eyes of his family in al-Yamun village, west of Jenin. The Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot said on its Arabic web site that Israeli forces assassinated a Palestinian, apparently wanted for his activities in al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.

In violation of international law and international humanitarian law which prohibit collective punishment, Israeli occupying forces took retaliatory measures against families of Palestinians who have carried attacks against Israeli targets both inside the Green Line and in the OPT. On 8 and 13 August, Israeli occupying forces destroyed seven houses in Bethlehem, Hebron and Jenin. On Monday, 12 August, an Israeli military court decided to expel three members of these families to the Gaza Strip: Kifah ‘Ajouri and his sister Intissar, and ‘Abdul Nasser ‘Assida.

Israeli occupying forces encroached into Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip, specifically in Beit Lahia. On Thursday, 8 August, Israeli occupying forces invaded Beit Lahia. They shelled houses, killing a Palestinian civilian and wounding five others. They also raided and searched houses and arrested six Palestinian civilians. This week, Israeli occupying forces razed large areas of Palestinian agricultural land in the Gaza Strip, particularly in Khuza’a village near Khan Yunis, Beit Hanoun and Gaza.

In an apparent willful killing on Saturday, 10 August, Israeli occupying forces fired at a vehicle of electricity maintenance in Nablus, killing its 45-year-old driver.

Israeli occupying forces have maintained the total siege imposed on the OPT, collectively punishing Palestinian people. Israeli forces have partitioned Palestinian areas, transforming them into cantons, violating Palestinian civilians’ economic, social and cultural rights. Thousands of Palestinians continue to be subjected to a tight military curfew imposed by Israeli occupying forces. In the Gaza Strip, on 11 and 12 August, Israeli occupying forces held Palestinian cars between Abu Houli and al-Matahen military checkpoints, north of Khan Yunis. They forced Palestinian civilians out of the cars, checked them and held them for hours.

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