This week, Israeli occupying forces have escalated violations of human rights against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). Human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupying forces included willful killings, incursions into Palestinian areas, indiscriminate shelling and house demolitions. Israeli occupying forces have also continued construction of the “Annexation Wall” inside the West Bank and have continued to impose a tight siege on the OPTs. This week, 22 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 4 children, were killed by Israeli occupying forces.
On Tuesday morning, 11 May 2004, Israeli occupying forces invaded al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the south of Gaza City and intensely shelled the area. This operation continued until Wednesday night, and left 15 Palestinians dead, including 4 children, and injured at least 200 others, including 35 children. Israeli troops destroyed a number of houses and razed large areas of agricultural land. One of the victims was hit by a live bullet in the head and bled to death as ambulances were not able to reach him. This operation came as an action of collective punishment following the destruction of an Israeli military vehicle, which left 6 Israeli soldiers dead.
Also in the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupying forces conducted other military incursions into Palestinian areas. Israeli troops destroyed 47 Palestinians houses in Rafah and Khan Yunis, rendering 388 people (59 families) homeless. They also razed 149 donums of agricultural land in Khan Yunis.
On Thursday morning, 6 May 2004, Israeli occupying forces began establishing a separating wall along the “Kissufim” settler road, which separates between al-Qarara village, north of Khan Yunis, and Wadi al-Salqa village, east of Deir al-Balah. For this purpose, they razed large areas of Palestinian agricultural land and demolished a number of houses.
On 9 May 2004, Israeli occupying forces killed a Palestinian farmer, claiming that he was armed. PCHR’s investigations refute the truth of this claim, and the farmer was working on an agricultural land in the area.
In the West Bank, Israeli occupying forces escalated attacks against Palestinian civilians, killing 6 of them. Israeli occupying forces conducted a series of military incursions into Palestinian areas, during which they arrested dozens of Palestinians.
Israeli occupying forces have continued construction of the “Annexation Wall” inside the West Bank, especially around Jerusalem and in the northern Jordan Valley, although the Israeli High Court issued a number of injunctions stopping the construction of the wall in some Palestinian villages.
This week, Israeli occupying forces have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPTs and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem. In the middle of the week, Israeli occupying forces partitioned the Gaza Strip into 3 isolated zones. They have also continued to close all border crossings into the Gaza Strip.
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