Weekly report on human rights violations

May 9 - 15, 2002

This week, a European-brokered agreement between Israel and the PNA led to the unlawful deportation of 39 Palestinians trapped in the Church of the Nativity to end an almost-40-day siege. According to the deal, 13 Palestinians were deported in a British military plane to Cyprus where they would temporarily remain until an agreement on the countries that would receive them could be concluded. In addition, 26 Palestinians were moved to the Gaza Strip. The agreement violates international humanitarian and human rights law, which prohibits the unlawful deportation of individuals from their own countries. PCHR is dismayed that Palestinians continue to be forced to unlawfully leave their homeland.

The publication of this report coincides with the 54th anniversary of the Nakba – the uprooting and dispersion of the Palestinian people in 1948. This anniversary reminds the world of large-scale human rights violations committed by successive Israeli governments against the Palestinian people over the past five decades, the latest of which was that in the Jenin refugee camp, under an ongoing conspiracy of silence amongst the international community.

This week, Israeli occupation forces perpetrated more human rights violations against Palestinian civilians and property in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPýT). In an apparent willful killing, Israeli occupation forces shot dead a Palestinian child in Gaza. The child bled to death and his body was discovered on the following day. In another willful killing, the body of a Palestinian civilian from al-Qebia village near Jerusalem was discovered after he had been arrested by Israeli occupation forces. An examination of the body revealed evidence of torture.

In a continuation of the policy of assassination officially adopted by the Israeli governments against activists of Intifada, Israeli occupation forces killed two members of the Palestinian General Intelligence in Halhoul town near Hebron on 14 May. One of the victims was beaten to death after he had been wounded.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupation forces shelled and invaded Palestinian areas, especially in Rafah, demolishing four houses completely and three houses partially, and wounding more than ten people. They also demolished a number of civilian facilities. Israeli forces also razed large areas of agricultural land in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza strip.

Israeli occupation forces have maintained the total siege imposed on the OPT in a collective punishment for the Palestinian people. 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. They have denied access of students to their schools and universities, and employees to their work places, violating their economic, social and cultural rights.

On 12 May, Israeli forces imposed a curfew on al-Mawasi area in Rafah and arrested a number of Palestinian civilians. Israeli forces at military roadblocks in the Gaza Strip searched and fired at Palestinian civilians traveling on main roads and arrested dozens of Palestinians.

On 13 May, Israeli occupation forces established a military checkpoint at the entrance to the Bedouin village in the northern Gaza Strip. Palestinian journalists were not immune to the Israeli military siege. On 12 May, Palestinian journalists were prevented by Israeli military order from moving near Israeli military roadblock in the West Bank.

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