Weekly report on human rights violations

27 March - 2 April  2003

Despite statements made by Israeli political and military officials that their occupying forces decreased their military operations, Israeli occupying forces have perpetrated more illegal actions and human rights violations against Palestinian civilians and their property.  This week, 27 March – 2 April 2003, 10 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including two children, were killed by Israeli occupying forces.

On Wednesday, 2 April 2003, Israeli occupying forces killed 4 Palestinians, injured some others, destroyed 4 houses and severely damaged roads and public service supplies, when they invaded the al-Salam and al-Brazil neighborhoods in Rafah.  Three of the victims were killed by a missile fired by an Israeli combat helicopter.  A number of roads and electricity supplies were severely damaged.

On Thursday, 27 March 2003, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced by heavy military vehicles and helicopters, moved into the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun.  An undercover unit of Israeli forces shot dead two members of the Palestinian National Security Forces.  One of the victims bled to death.  Three Palestinian civilians were also wounded by the Israeli gunfire.  Israeli forces also raided a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinians. 

On the same day, Israeli occupying forces moved into Rafah.  They demolished 4 Palestinian houses and razed areas of agricultural land.  In addition, two Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire. 

In the West Bank, Israeli occupying forces moved into Palestinian areas.  They raided houses and detained over 1200 Palestinians.  On Wednesday, 2 April 2003, Israeli occupying forces invaded Tulkarm refugee camp.  They imposed a curfew, raided houses and detained over 1200 Palestinians.  The camp is still under curfew. 

In an excessive use of lethal force, Israeli occupying forces shot dead 4 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  On Sunday, 30 March 2003, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian civilian and arrested his 3 friends while they were hunting birds in the southeast of Gaza city.  On Thursday, 27 March 2003, Israeli occupying forces moved into Tulkram.  They fired at a number of Palestinian civilians who were sitting near their houses, injuring one who bled to death. 

On Saturday, 29 March 2003, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian child in ‘Askar refugee camp, east of Nablus, when they fired at a number of children who threw stones.  On Wednesday, 2 April 2003, 15-year-old ‘Omar Mousa Ahmed Mutiar, from Qalandya refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, died from an injury he sustained by Israeli occupying forces on Friday, 28 March 2003. 

In violation of international humanitarian law, which prohibits collective punishment, Israeli forces took retaliatory measures against families of Palestinians who have carried out attacks against Israeli targets in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and those wanted by Israeli forces.  In this context, they destroyed 4 Palestinian houses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  A number of adjacent houses and civilian facilities were severely damaged. 

Israeli occupying forces have maintained a total siege on the OPT.  They have isolated Palestinian communities from one another.  They have partitioned the Gaza Strip into three separate zones and have restricted the movement of people and goods.  They have also maintained curfews on some areas in the West Bank. 

Since Saturday, 15 March 2003, Israeli occupying authorities prevented Palestinians aged 16-35 from traveling abroad.  Israeli occupying forces have also maintained a strict siege on al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip for several months, which has caused a deterioration of the living conditions of Palestinian civilians in the area.     

To access the full report click here.