Weekly report on human rights violations

April 25 - May 01, 2002

Israeli occupation forces continued invasions into Palestinian areas, killing a number of Palestinians and destroying public and private property. This week, 27 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including three children and three handicapped people, were killed by Israeli occupation forces.

Since 29 March, Israeli occupation forces have launched an unprecedented all-out offensive on the West Bank cities. They have also carried out incursions in Palestinian cities and villages in the Gaza Strip under the cover of intense shelling, killing a number of Palestinian civilians.

The Israeli government has also continued attempts to undermine efforts to reveal facts about war crimes committed by Israeli occupation forces in Jenin refugee camp. First, it declared that it would not cooperate with the UN Fact-Finding Mission, then it expressed its opposition to the composition of the mission. It called for adding personnel to the mission, before demanding impunity for any of its officers and soldiers who would testify before the members of the mission. The Israeli government also demanded to see the mission’s final report 48 hours before its presentation to the UN Security Council. In the end, the Israeli government decided not to receive the mission.

While the Israeli government continued to refuse to implement UN Security Council Resolutions 1402 and 1405 which call for an Israeli withdrawal from PNA-controlled areas, Israeli occupation forces invaded more Palestinian areas, especially in Hebron and Qalqilya, killing 11 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and wounding more than 20. They also arrested dozens of Palestinians and destroyed public and private properties.

Israeli occupation forces have maintained a strict siege on the Church of the Nativity, insisting that those inside the church must surrender. Israeli forces arrested a number of those who decided to leave the church. They also fired at the church, killing a Palestinian.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupation forces shelled and invaded PNA-controlled areas, especially in Rafah, killing four Palestinian civilians, including a 2-year-old infant and a handicapped young man, whom an Israeli tank ran over. A number of Palestinian civilians were also wounded and a number of houses were severely damaged by Israeli shelling.

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 imposing 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.

This week, Israeli forces tightened the internal siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, and many Palestinian civilians were forced to spend nights at Israeli military roadblocks, waiting to be allowed to travel between the north and south of the Gaza Strip.

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