Israeli occupying forces have perpetrated more violations of human rights against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). This week, 13 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 4 children and one woman, were killed and a number of other civilians were injured by Israeli troops. Human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupying forces included willful and extra-judicial killings, incursions into Palestinian areas, indiscriminate shelling, house demolitions and land leveling.
In the Gaza Strip, 7 Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops. Two of the victims were killed in an extra-judicial execution carried out by Israeli troops in Gaza City on 22 July 2004. A woman and an 11-year-old child were killed in Khan Yunis on 25 and 26 July 2004, when Israeli troops shelled Palestinian residential areas in the town. On 24 July 2004, Israeli troops shot dead a 16-year-old Palestinian child in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, which has been subject to a wide scale Israeli offensive for the 5th consecutive week. On 27 July 2004, Israeli troops killed 2 Palestinians during an incursion into al-Shojaeya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City.
This week, Israeli troops conducted 9 military incursions into Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip, during which Israeli troops demolished 14 houses in Rafah and Khan Yunis, rendering 137 people (22 families) homeless, razed 10 donums1 and demolished 5 agricultural houses in Khan Yunis. Israeli troops have continued their wide scale offensive on the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun for the 5th consecutive week. This week, they razed more areas of agricultural land and destroyed some civilian facilities in the town. At least 3500 donums of agricultural land, mostly planted with citrus, the main agricultural product in the Gaza Strip, have been razed in the town by Israeli troops since the beginning of this offensive, causing large losses to the Palestinian agricultural sector.
On 22 and 25 July 2004, Israeli warplanes launched 3 aerial attacks; 2 against a house and the third one against a workshop. Israeli troops also fired at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis in 3 occasions this week. As a result, a patient, a nurse and a child were injured.
In the West Bank, Israeli occupying forces launched a series of attacks against Palestinian civilians. This week, 6 Palestinian, including 2 children, were killed by an undercover unit of Israeli occupying forces in another extra-judicial execution in Tulkarm on 25 July 2004. A number of Palestinian civilians were also wounded by the Israeli gunfire. Israeli troops also arrested dozens of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank. On 28 July 2004, Israeli troops destroyed a house in Tulkarm in the context of retaliatory measures against families of Palestinian activists.
Israeli occupying forces are expected to resume construction of the annexation wall around Jerusalem. Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz approved on Tuesday, 27 July 2004, proposed changes to the track of the wall following a decision taken by the Israeli High Court in this regard on 30 June 2004. However, even after these changes, the wall will still be constructed inside the West Bank, in violation of international law and an advisory opinion issued by the International Court of Justice on 9 July 2004 demanding that Israel halt construction of the annexation wall since it is illegal.
Israeli occupying forces have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPTs and have imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops have continued to close most border crossing for the 17th consecutive week, and have imposed severe restrictions on internal movement. Since Sunday morning, 18 July 2004, Israeli troops have continued to close Rafah Terminal on the Egyptian border, the only outlet for the Gaza Strip to the outside world. In the West Bank, Israeli occupying forces have continued to impose a strict siege on Palestinian communities. They have also imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.
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