Weekly report on human rights violations

On 15 December 2003, Israeli occupying forces destroyed 22 refugee homes in the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip (Photo: PCHR, 2003)

4 - 10 March 2004

This week, Israeli occupying forces continued to violate the Palestinian civilians’ human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs).  Human rights violations included the use of extra-judicial assassinations and willful killings.  Throughout the week, Israeli occupying forces also conducted incursions into Palestinian areas; shot at Palestinian civilians, including children; indiscriminately shelled residential areas and demolished houses; and leveled agricultural land.  Israeli occupying forces also continued construction of the “separation wall” inside the West Bank and have continued to impose a tight siege on the OPTs.  This week, 25 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed and more than 20 others injured by Israeli occupying forces.  In addition, 2 children died from previous injuries.

This week, Israeli occupying forces conducted 6 military incursions into Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip.  An Israeli military attack in a Palestinian residential area in central Gaza Strip conducted on Sunday 7 March 2004, left 14 Palestinians dead, including four children, and more than 80 others wounded, including 26 children.  Israeli occupying forces also demolished 20 houses and razed 22 donums of agricultural land in Rafah.     

In the West Bank, Israeli occupying forces conducted a series of military incursions into Palestinian areas.   These incursions left 4 Palestinian civilians dead.  Israeli forces also arrested dozens of Palestinians, including 8 children and one woman.  Israeli forces destroyed a house in ‘Anza village in Jenin, claiming they found mortar shells inside it. 

In a continuation of the policy of extra-judicial assassinations officially adopted by the Israeli government, on Wednesday afternoon, 10 March 2004, an Israeli undercover unit assassinated 5 Palestinians in Jenin, including 4 members of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of Fatah movement. 

Israeli settlers continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property, and this week razed areas of Palestinian land to expand existing settlements.  A Palestinian child from Jerusalem died from a previous injury sustained when an Israeli settler car ran over him. 

Israeli occupying forces continued construction of the “Separation Wall” inside the West Bank, and razed more areas of Palestinian agricultural land for the purpose of this construction.  Israeli forces attacked Palestinian civilians, Israeli peace activists and international solidarity groups who demonstrated against this construction.  A strict siege on al-Ramadin village, south of Hebron remained imposed for this purpose.   

Israeli occupying forces continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem. 

In the Gaza Strip, these forces have continued to impose a tightened siege on the total area, and imposed more restrictions on movement at border crossings and military checkpoints.  They have also maintained the closure of a number of main and branch roads in the Gaza Strip by Israeli soldiers stationed at Israeli military checkpoints.  Such restrictions on freedom of movement are in contravention of international human rights law to which Israel is a state party, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

In the West Bank, Israeli occupying forces have continued to impose a strict siege on Palestinian communities and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.  They have blocked a number of roads using cement blocks, sand barriers, and trenches.  They have also erected temporary checkpoints and arrested a number of Palestinians.  Israeli occupying forces claimed that they had dismantled a number of military checkpoints in the West Bank, but this has been proven to be untrue.

To download the full report click here.