Weekly report on human rights violations

May 16 - 22, 2002

This week, Israeli occupying forces perpetrated more human rights violations against Palestinian civilians and property in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). They shelled and moved into Palestinian cities and villages and invaded the West Bank cities of Jenin, Tulkarm and Salfit. This week, 12 Palestinians, 11 of them civilians, were killed, including three children and two women.

In a continuation of the policy of assassination officially adopted by the Israeli government, Israeli occupying forces carried out two new assassinations: in Ramallah on 16 May, and in Balata refugee camp in Nablus on 22 May. Five Palestinians, including a bystander, were killed.

Israeli occupation forces also shelled and invaded PNA-controlled areas. On 19 May, they moved into the east of Gaza City and partially demolished two factories, one of which is the only factory that produces oxygen in the Gaza Strip.

On 16 May, Israeli occupying forces razed approximately 20 donums of Palestinian agricultural land in the same area. On 21 May, Israeli occupying forces demolished three Palestinian houses in al-Mughraqa area, south of Gaza city, even though PCHR had already obtained a decision by the Israeli Supreme Court to stop the demolition.

This week, Israeli occupying forces shelled Palestinian residential areas in Khan Yunis and Rafah, killing a child and wounding more than 10 civilians in Rafah. A number of houses were also damaged.

Israeli occupying forces have maintained the total siege imposed on the OPT, constitute collective punishment again the Palestinian population. Israeli forces have separated Palestinian areas, transforming them into cantons and imposed a curfew on several Palestinian areas in the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupation forces have divided the strip into three isolated zones for several weeks. In a new measure Israeli occupying forces on 20 May issued a military order declaring al-Mawasi area in Rafah and Khan Yunis a ‘closed military area’ and obliging its Palestinian residents to obtain magnetic cards and special permits issued by the Israeli civil administration to be able to move.

Two days later, an Israeli officer handed magnetic cards to all residents of the area over the age of 16. On the same day, the Israeli defense minister stated that his government would establish a 350-km-long security fence separating Israel from the West Bank.

In three separate incidents, Israeli occupying forces at military roadblocks and checkpoints at the entrances to Palestinian cities and villages shot dead three Palestinian civilians, including a woman, in the West Bank.

According to lawyers of the Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (LAW), Israeli occupying forces put around 500 Palestinians who were arrested during the Israeli full-scale offensive on the West Bank into administrative detention, a form of detention that allows Israeli forces to hold Palestinians for indefinitely renewable periods of 6 months without charge.

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