19 - 25 December 2002
Israeli occupying forces have perpetrated more war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinian civilians, including willful and extra-judicial killings, shelling of and incursions into Palestinian areas, house demolitions, and agricultural land leveling. This week, 19-25 December 2002, 9 Palestinians – all civilians including a member of the Palestinian Security Forces, 3 children and a woman, were killed by Israeli forces.
This week, three Palestinian children were killed by the indiscriminate Israeli shelling within the Gaza Strip, and a woman died from a previous wound sustained by the Israeli shelling. On Thursday, 19 December 2002, Nada Kamal Madhi, 11, from Rafah, was killed by a live bullet in the chest, while she was in her bedroom, when Israeli forces shelled residential areas in Rafah. On Saturday, 21 December 2002, Hanin So’ud Abu Sitta, 12, from Rafah, was killed by a live bullet in the abdomen, while she was on her way back home from school, when Israeli forces shelled residential areas in Rafah. On Tuesday, 24 December 2002, Mohammed Fikri Mubarak Bureik, 14, from Jabalya, was killed by shrapnel from a Flechette shell fired by Israeli forces positioned on the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, east of Jabaliya. On Friday, 20 December 2002, Siddiqa al-Ghoul, 42, from Rafah, succumbed to a wound she sustained on 12 July 2002, when Israeli forces shelled residential areas in Rafah.
In an apparent willful killing, a Palestinian civilian from Maithaloun village in Jenin was killed when an Israeli armored personnel carrier smashed the car he was traveling in.
In a continuation of the policy of extra-judicial assassinations officially adopted by the Israeli political and military establishments against Palestinian activists, this week, Israeli occupying forces perpetrated two new extra-judicial assassinations that left dead three Palestinians in Jenin and Nablus. On Monday, 23 December 2002, Israeli forces assassinated Mustafa Jalal Baqqas, 30, and Shaman Hussein Subeh, 29, both from Burqin village in Jenin. This was on agricultural areas located nearly 3km away from their village. On Wednesday, 25 December 2002, Israeli forces assassinated Taleb Mohammed Abu Hawash, 32, from Nablus, having raided the flat where he was staying. Field investigations carried out by the Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (LAW) indicate that Israeli soldiers fired at the victim from a close distance and that he bled to death.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupying forces carried out a series of incursions into Palestinian areas in Rafah and Deir al-Balah, during which they shelled these areas and destroyed a number of houses and civilian facilities. On Friday and Saturday, 20 and 21 December, 2002, Israeli forces demolished eight houses in Wadi al-Salqa village, east of Deir al-Balah. On Monday, 23 December 2002, Israeli forces demolished and destroyed eight houses, three brick factories and a cow farm, and damaged 18 houses in Rafah. Hundreds of Palestinians were rendered homeless.
In violation of international and humanitarian law which prohibits collective punishment, Israeli forces took retaliatory measures against families of Palestinians who have carried attacks against Israeli targets in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and those wanted by Israeli forces. In this context, they destroyed five houses in Deir al-Balah and two others in Rafah. Another thirty houses were damaged during this action.
Israeli forces have maintained the total siege imposed on the OPTs, collectively punishing the Palestinian people. Israeli forces have partitioned Palestinian areas, transforming them into cantons, violating Palestinian civilians’ economic, social and cultural rights. They have also imposed curfews on several different areas.
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