Weekly report on human rights violations

July 11-17, 2002

Israeli occupying forces have continued their full-scale offensive in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), killing more Palestinians, destroying public and private property and violating fundamental rights of Palestinian civilians, including the right to free movement, medical treatment, food, education and work. They have maintained control over most of the West Bank, imposing a curfew on about 1.5 million Palestinians. This week, Israeli occupying forces encroached into more Palestinian areas, killing a number of Palestinians and destroying some public and private facilities using tanks and warplanes. 11 Palestinians, including 10 civilians, one of whom is a journalist, were killed by Israeli occupying forces during this week.

In a continuation of the assassination policy officially adopted by the Israeli government against Palestinian activists and political leaders, on Sunday, 14 July, Israeli occupying forces carried out an assassination attempt in Khan Yunis, when an Israeli F-16 fighter jet launched two missiles at a house, targeting five allegedly wanted Palestinians. No casualties were reported, but the houses and adjacent houses were severely damaged. An Israeli military spokesman claimed that the attack targeted a factory, that makes mortars, in order to destroy it and kill the owner’s son who manages it.

On Wednesday, 17 July, an Israeli F-16 fighter jet attacked a turnery workshop in al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, completely destroying it and severely damaging an adjacent workshop.

In incidents of willful killing, this week, Israeli occupying forces shot dead three Palestinians in Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip and Nablus in the West Bank. On Thursday, 11 July, Israeli occupying forces moved into Deir al-Balah and raided houses. They mounted the roof of a house they sized, from which they fired at Palestinians, killing a 17-year old civilian who was near his house, and a policeman. The two bled to death as Israeli occupying forces denied them access to medical care.

On Sunday, 14 July, Israeli occupying forces that were re-imposing curfew on Nablus and its refugee camps opened fire at Palestinian houses and civilians. A 24-year-old Palestinian civilian from Balata refugee camp was killed by a live bullet in the neck.

As part of the Israeli policy of targeting local and foreign journalists and reporters working in the OPT, Israeli occupying forces opened fire at a number of Palestinian journalists in Jenin, who were filming an Israeli offensive on the West Bank town. Two journalists were wounded, one of whom died from his wound the following day.

Israeli occupying forces have maintained the total siege imposed on the OPT in a collective punishment of the Palestinian people. Israeli forces have separated Palestinian areas, transforming them into cantons, violating economic, social and cultural rights of Palestinian civilians. More than 1.5 million Palestinians have been under a curfew imposed by Israeli occupying forces. Palestinian civilians who try to move from one area to another in the West Bank when curfews are lifted are subject to humiliation and shooting by Israeli occupying forces at military checkpoints and roadblocks. In Nablus, secondary schools students have still not been able to attend final exams of the General Certificate of Education (Tawjihi), although these exams ended two weeks ago in other areas. This may delay declaring results of these exams in the whole West Bank, which may affect students’ ability to apply for universities on time. In the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday, 16 July, Israeli occupying forces closed Abu Houli and al-Matahen military checkpoints, north of Khan Yunis, on Salah al-Din Street. They blocked many cars between the two checkpoints, including an UNRWA bus carrying students on their way to Gaza. Israeli soldiers forced Palestinian civilians to get out of cars and checked them. Then, they detained about 30 civilians, including about 26 students of the UNRWA Vocational Training Center in Gaza. 9 students were taken to an Israeli military location where they were interrogated. They were all released, except one who remained in custody by Israeli occupying forces.

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