Weekly report on human rights violations

August 1-7, 2002

The report prepared by the UN Secretary General on the Occupied Palestinian Territories issued on 1 August 2002 neglected facts and evidence provided by local and international human rights organizations regarding grave breaches and war crimes perpetrated by Israeli occupying forces in the OPT, especially those in Jenin and the old town of Nablus in March and April 2002. Israel has thus committed additional war crimes against Palestinian civilians and their property.

This week, Israeli occupying forces have continued their full-scale offensive in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), killing more Palestinians and destroying public and private property. They committed five new assassinations, in which nine Palestinians were killed. This week, 18 Palestinian civilians, including two children and an old woman, were killed by Israeli occupying forces.

In a continuation of the policy of assassination and extra-judicial killing officially adopted by the Israeli government against Palestinian activists and militants, this week Israeli occupying forces committed five assassinations. On Friday, 2 August, Israeli occupying forces assassinated a Palestinian in Salem village, east of Nablus. On Sunday, 5 August, Israeli occupying forces assassinated two Palestinians in Burqa village, northwest of Nablus. On the following day, Israeli occupying forces assassinated two Palestinians in Nablus. On Wednesday, 7 August, Israeli occupying forces assassinated a Palestinian activist and two passing civilians in Tulkarm. On the same day, Israeli occupying forces assassinated a Palestinian in Khan Yunis.

In violation of the international law and 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 1 August, the Israeli Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein told the Israeli General Security Service that Israeli authorities could deport to the Gaza Strip relatives of Palestinians who carried out attacks against Israeli targets. He also permitted the demolition of some of those relatives’ homes. Immediately, the Israeli cabinet for political and security issues decided to expel family members of Palestinians who participated in armed attacks against Israeli targets to the Gaza Strip and to demolish their homes. Soon, Israeli occupying forces demolished and destroyed 14 homes and arrested some members of these families.

Israeli occupying forces have maintained military control over most of the West Bank and have imposed curfews, which are lifted for approximately 3 hours each day. They raided houses and arrested hundreds of Palestinians.

This week, Israeli occupying forces shelled Palestinian residential areas, killing a child and a woman in al-Qarara village, north of Khan Yunis.

Israeli occupying forces encroached into Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip, specifically in Beit Lahia, Rafah and al-Qarara. They destroyed three Palestinian houses and a number of civilian facilities, especially in Rafah and Beit Lahia. They also arrested many Palestinians in al-Qarara and Beit Lahia. On 5 August, Israeli combat helicopters shelled a workshop in Gaza, completely destroying it, damaging three other workshops and wounding four Palestinian civilians.

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 5 August, Israeli occupying forces closed Salah al-Din Street, northeast of Rafah, isolating around 160,000 Palestinians living in the town from the rest of the Gaza Strip. As a result of this closure, working at Sofa crossing east of the town and Rafah Terminal south of the town was obstructed.

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