Weekly report on human rights violations

June 13-19, 2002

Israeli occupying forces continue to perpetrate more violations against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). This week, Israeli forces encroached into more Palestinian areas, killing a number of Palestinians and destroying public and private facilities. Seven Palestinians, including 5 civilians, were killed by Israeli occupying forces this week.

Under security pretenses and in an apparent move to seize more land, Israeli occupying forces initiated a large scale operation to unilaterally redefine the borders between Israel and the OPT. On Sunday, 16 June, Israeli forces started establishing ‘a security fence’ between the West Bank and Israel. In its first stage, the fence will extend from Salem military roadblock west of Jenin in the north to Kufor Qassem military roadblock in Qalqilya in the south.

Due to this fence, 13 Palestinian villages and 40000 Palestinians will be separated from the rest of the OPT. Israeli forces confiscated thousands of donums of Palestinian agricultural land for this end. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces razed large areas of Palestinian agricultural land in the north as a preliminary step towards establishing a buffer zone around Jewish settlements.

This week, Israeli occupying forces invaded the West Bank cities of Jenin, Tulkarm, Bethlehem, Hebron and Salfit. They raided houses and arrested some Palestinians.

As part of their policy of targeting Palestinian civilians and striking the Palestinian economy, on 19 June, Israeli combat helicopters destroyed four Palestinian workshops located inside residential areas in the Gaza Strip. A number of houses and civilian properties were also damaged. Israeli forces claimed that these workshops were making mortars.

This week, Israeli occupying forces razed large areas of Palestinian agricultural land in the Gaza Strip.

In continuation of the policy of assassination officially adopted by the Israeli government against Palestinian activists and leaders, this week, Israeli occupying forces assassinated two Palestinians in Bethlehem and al-Khader on 17 and18 June respectively.

In an apparent willful killing, on 13 June, Israeli occupying forces beat to death a 54-year-old Palestinian civilian from Silwan village in occupied Jerusalem. They also wounded his son with two live bullets in the chest.

Israeli occupying forces have maintained the total siege imposed on the OPT in a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people. Israeli forces have separated Palestinian areas, transforming them into cantons. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupying forces have maintained a strict siege on al-Mawasi area, isolating it from the rest of the strip. On 17 June, Israeli occupying forces prevented students of al-Mawasi area from attending the Tawjihi (end of secondary school) exams in Rafah and Khan Yunis.

After the ICRC and the Palestinian liaison made efforts to solve the problem, Israeli forces allowed students to have their exams in a school inside the area. On 18 June, Israeli occupying forces ordered Palestinian fishermen in Khan Yunis to move from their fishing harbor in Khan Yunis to Rafah fishing harbor, in an apparent first step to transform the harbor into a military base or a settlement centre. When Palestinian fishermen rejected this step, Israeli occupying forces beat and insulted them. Israeli occupying forces checked and arrested some Palestinian civilians while crossing al-Matahen military checkpoint, north of Khan Yunis, which divides the Gaza Strip into two parts.

Israeli forces also started establishing an iron barrier at al-Shuhada’ junction, south of Gaza City, apparently to control movement of Palestinians on Salah al-Din Street (the road between the north and south of the Gaza Strip), in the case of closure of the coastal road. Israeli forces will likely take measures similar to those at al-Matahen military checkpoint.

Israeli occupying forces at military checkpoints and roadblocks continued to fire at Palestinian civilians traveling on the main roads, killing one and wounding more than ten. On 16 June, Israeli forces at a military checkpoint in the West Bank shot dead a 20-year-old Palestinian civilian when he resorted to an alternative road other than a main road.

To download full report click here.