Weekly report on human rights violations

3 - 9 April  2003

As the world and international, Arab and local media are busy following the developments of the US-British led war on Iraq, Israeli occupying forces have perpetrated more illegal actions and human rights violations against Palestinian civilians, including willful killings, shelling of and incursions into Palestinian areas and agricultural land leveling.  This week 3-9 April 2003, 18 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 5 children, were killed by Israeli occupying forces.

 In a continuation of the policy of extra-judicial assassination officially adopted by the Israeli government against political and field activists of the Intifada, and in disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, this week, Israeli occupying forces committed three new extra-judicial assassinations, which left dead 9 Palestinians, including 3 targeted individuals. On 8 April 2003, Israeli occupying forces committed an assassination in Gaza City, which left 7 Palestinians dead, only two of whom were targeted.  Five the victims, including two children, were killed by a missile launched by an Israeli combat helicopter when they gathered in the place of the attack. On 7 April 2003, Israeli occupying forces assassinated a Palestinian in the northern West Bank town of Salfit.  On 3 April 2003, Israeli occupying forces assassinated a Palestinian in Nablus. 

 Israeli occupying forces conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, during which they attacked Palestinian civilians and property.  On 9 April 2003, Israeli occupying forces moved into the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. This incursion continued until the following morning, during which Israeli forces killed 5 Palestinians, including a child, and injured 9 others.  This week, Israeli occupying forces conducted a series of incursions into Rafah, during which they demolished 6 Palestinian houses. 

 For the second consecutive week, Israeli occupying forces have maintained control over the northern West Bank town of Tulkarm.  They have imposed a curfew on the town, raided houses and arrested some Palestinians. 

 In cases of apparent willful killing, Israeli occupying forces shot dead 4 Palestinian civilians, including two children, and wounded more than 10 others in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 

 In another crime committed by Zionist gangs against Palestinian civilians, 19 Palestinian school children were injured as a result of a bomb explosion, for which a terrorist Jewish organization claimed responsibility. 

 A Jewish organization called “Children’s Wrath” claimed responsibility for the attack through sending a statement to the Israeli media.  The statement mentioned the attack “came in retaliation for the killing of children by Arabs.” 

 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 two Palestinian houses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

 In a continuation of the policy of house demolition in Jerusalem and its suburbs to force the Palestinian population to leave the city in persistent attempts to Judaize the city, Israeli occupying forces demolished 17 Palestinian houses and a barracks in occupied Jerusalem under the pretext of the lack of building licenses. 

 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 Palestinians civilians in the area. 

To access the full report click here.