Weekly report on human rights violations

November 14 - 20, 2002

Israeli occupying forces have perpetrated more human rights violations against Palestinian civilians, including willful and extra-judicial killings, shelling of, and incursion into Palestinian areas and agricultural land leveling. This week 13 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 5 children, a woman and an old man, were killed by Israeli forces. This number does not include Palestinians who were killed while carrying out attacks against Israeli tartgets.

After the attack carried out by 3 Palestinian fighters on Friday evening near “Kiryat Arba’ ” settlement, southeast of Hebron, which left 12 Israeli soldiers and armed settlers dead, Israeli occupying forces invaded Hebron. They seized complete control over the town and imposed a curfew. They arrested dozens of Palestinians and demolished the houses of fighters who have carried out attacks against Israeli targets or are wanted by the Israeli forces. Israeli occupying forces have also continued its military campaign against Nablus, which began last week. Israeli forces shelled houses and civilian facilities and fired at Palestinian civilians killing 2 boys and a woman.

In a continuation of the policy of extra-judicial assassination, officially adopted by the Israeli political and military establishments, the Israeli military this week committed 3 extra-judicial assassinations in the West Bank, killing 7 Palestinians. On Tuesday evening, 19 November 2002, Israeli occupying forces assassinated Tariq Helmi al-Zaghal, 20, an activist of the Fatah Movement from Tulkarm, and killed 4 Palestinian civilians. On Friday, 15 November 2002, Israeli occupying forces shot at Mahmoud ‘Abbas Mustafa ‘Obeid, 37, from ‘Anza village in Jenin, before the eyes of his father. They later arrested him and shot him dead. On Sunday, 17 November 2002, an undercover unit of Israeli forces attempted to assassinate Riadh ‘Abdul Rahman ‘Abdul Ghani, 30, from Saida village in Tulkarm. Israeli soldiers shot at ‘Abdul Ghani’s two brothers, killing one brother and wounding the other, while he Ghani himself survived the attempt.

This week, the Gaza Strip was subjected to various kinds of attacks by the Israeli occupying forces. This morning, dozens of Israeli heavy military vehicles, reinforced with combat helicopters and covered by intense shelling, moved approximately 4km into Khuza’a and ‘Abasan villages. They destroyed the house of Talal Abu Zharifa, who is wanted by the forces. Israeli forces used a number of Palestinian civilians as human shields when searching houses. They also fired at Palestinian ambulances wounding 2 paramedics and damaging 3 ambulances.

On Sunday, 17 November 2002, Israeli combat helicopters shelled the headquarters of the Palestinian Preventive Security in Tal al-Hawa neighborhood in the south of Gaza City. Meanwhile, more than 30 Israeli heavy military vehicles moved from “Netzarim” settlement south of the city, 2 km into the city. The incursion continued until 03:00 on the following day, when Israeli forces withdrew to “Netzarim” settlement. A number of buildings inside the headquarters of the Preventive Security were destroyed, and a number of houses - al-Quds Hospital of Palestine Red Crescent Society, two ambulances and a number of private cars - were damaged. The electricity and telephone networks in the area were also damaged. In addition, a Palestinian journalist was wounded by shrapnel while he was filming the Israeli incursion. On Saturday, 16 November 2002, Israeli combat helicopters destroyed an industrial workshop in a residential area in the center of Gaza City. A number of neighboring houses and civilian facilities were severely damaged.

On Sunday, 17 November 2002, Israeli combat helicopters destroyed an industrial workshop in Khan Yunis. A number of neighboring houses were damaged. This week, Israeli forces also razed more areas of Palestinian agricultural land in Deir al-Balah and Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip.

In violation of international humanitarian law, which prohibit collective punishment, Israeli forces continued their retaliatory campaign against families of wanted Palestinians and those who carried out attacks against Israeli targets. In this context, they destroyed a house in Tulkarm and 3 houses in Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus, in addition to the houses that were destroyed in Hebron. In addition, the Israeli forces have maintained the total siege imposed on the OPT and have partitioned Palestinian areas, transforming them into cantons. Futhermore, they have imposed curfews on several areas.

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