Weekly report on human rights violations

9 - 15 January, 2003

The Israeli occupying forces have perpetrated more illegal actions and human rights violations against Palestinian civilians, including extra-judicial and willful killings, shelling of and incursions into Palestinian areas, house demolitions, and agricultural land leveling. This week, 12 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including a mentally handicapped man, were killed by Israeli forces and settlers.

On Saturday, 11 January 2003, Khan Yunis was subjected to the widest Israeli military invasion since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000. Dozens of Israeli heavy military vehicles, covered by intense shelling and reinforced with combat helicopters, moved into the southern Gaza Strip town. They destroyed dozens of Palestinian civilian facilities and houses, killed a member of the Palestinian National Security Forces and injured 14 other Palestinians.

Israeli occupying forces also conducted a series of incursions into the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. They destroyed a Palestinian house, destroyed roads leading to the town, caused widespread destruction to the town’s infrastructure, and killed a member of the Palestinian National Security Forces.

This week, 6 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a handicapped man, were killed by the Israeli occupying forces and settlers in the West Bank in a number of cases of willful killings.

In addition, two Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed when the Israeli forces attempted to assassinate two activists of the Hamas movement. In addition, a child from the central Gaza Strip town of Deir al-Balah succumbed to a wound he sustained last month.

In violation of international law and international 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 the Israeli forces.

In this context, they destroyed five houses in Ramallah, Tulkarm and Nablus in the West Bank, Silwan village in occupied East Jerusalem, and Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip, and closed three other houses in Silwan village.

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.

This week, Israeli occupying authorities continued to prevent Palestinians aged 16-35 from traveling abroad. Israeli forces at military checkpoints throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories continued to restrict the movement of Palestinian civilians and pose threats to their lives by firing live ammunition and tear gas at them. This week, a pregnant woman was aborted due to tear gas inhalation.

To access the full report click here.