10 - 23 July 2003
Despite the sharp decrease in armed clashes, Israeli occupying forces have continued to perpetrate human rights violations against Palestinian civilians, including collective punishment, shelling of and incursions into Palestinian areas, and arrests.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupying forces opened fire at Palestinian residential areas for no apparent reason, wounding 5 Palestinian civilians. A number of Palestinian houses and two security sites were also damaged.
In a step aimed at the annexation of more Palestinian land to Israeli settlements, which are established illegally on Palestinian lands, Israeli occupying forces effectively annexed an area of 283 donums of Palestinian land to “Morag” settlement in southern Gaza.
Israeli occupying forces have continued to deny access for Palestinian farmers to their agricultural lands to replant them, including lands leveled by the Israeli occupying forces. On 19 July 2003, Israeli occupying forces opened fire at a Palestinian farmer who attempted to replant his agricultural land in Beit Hanoun.
Israeli occupying forces have maintained a strict siege on large parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Although Israeli forces redeployed on the main roads in the Gaza Strip, they continued to obstruct movement of Palestinians on these main roads and stopped vehicles to conduct searches.
In addition, Israeli occupying forces have continued to restrict movement at border crossings and maintained the siege imposed on al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip and the al-Sayafa area in the northern Gaza Strip. Palestinian workers continue to face humiliating measures at “Erez” (Beit Hanoun) crossing in the northern Gaza Strip on their way to their work places in Israel. Israeli occupying forces have continued to restrict passage of goods through commercial crossings of the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, Israeli occupying forces have maintained a strict siege on Palestinian communities, isolating them from one another.
In a violation of international humanitarian law, Israeli forces continued its policy of collective punishment against families of Palestinians who are alleged to be responsible for attacks against Israeli. In this context, they destroyed 2 houses in Beit Reema village near Ramallah.
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