Israeli occupying forces have perpetrated more violations of human rights against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). This week, 8 Palestinians, 6 of whom are civilians, including 3 children and one woman, were killed and dozens of other civilians were injured by Israeli troops. Human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupying forces included willful killing, incursions into Palestinian areas, indiscriminate shelling, house demolitions and land leveling. Israeli troops have also continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They also arrested dozens of Palestinians civilians.
In the Gaza Strip, 6 Palestinians, 5 of whom were civilians, including 3 children and one woman, were killed by Israeli troops. On 30 July and 1 August 2004, a 15-year-old child and a woman were killed in Khan Yunis by Israeli troops. On 4 August 2004, 3 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were killed by the Israeli shelling in the northern Gaza Strip, which has been subject to a wide scale Israeli offensive for the second consecutive month. Also on 4 August 2004, a Palestinian was killed when he clashed with Israeli troops that had moved into Rafah refugee camp and destroyed a number of houses and civilians facilities. This week, Palestinian residential areas in Rafah and Khan Yunis were subject to indiscriminate Israeli shelling. At least 30 Palestinian civilians were injured. The northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun and neighboring areas have been subject to a wide scale Israeli offensive for the 6th consecutive week. This week, Israeli troops further tightened the siege imposed on these areas. They also shelled Palestinian residential areas and opened fire at Palestinian civilians. In addition to the aforementioned 3 civilians who were killed in Beit Hanoun, at least 50 other civilians, including around 20 children, were injured, some of whom were in a serious condition. On two occasions, 2 women and their children were injured while they were inside their houses.
This week, Israeli troops conducted 6 military incursions into Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip. The widest of these incursions was into Rafah refugee camp on 3 and 4 August 2004, during which Israeli troops demolished 22 houses, rendering 269 people (53 families) homeless. In two other incursions into Rafah and Khan Yunis refugee camp on 29 July and 1 August 2004 respectively, Israeli troops demolished 13 houses, leaving 159 people (31 families) homeless. On 30 July 2004, Israeli helicopter gunships destroyed a factory that lies under an apartment building in al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City. The building belongs to the family of a Palestinian woman who carried out a bombing against Israeli troops at Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, Israeli occupying forces launched a series of attacks against Palestinian civilians. This week, 2 Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops; on 29 July 2004, a Palestinian was killed when he clashed with Israeli troops in ‘Allar village near Tulkarm, and on 4 August 2004, a Palestinian civilian was killed when Israeli troops opened fire at passing civilians in Nablus. Israeli troops also arrested dozens of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank. On 29 July 2004, Israeli troops destroyed a house belonging to the family of a Palestinian detainee in Beit Leqia village, southwest of Ramallah.
Israeli occupying forces have continued to construct the annexation wall inside the West Bank. This week, this construction took place mainly in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the northern Jordan Valley. Israeli occupying forces issued a number of military orders confiscating more areas of Palestinian land for the purpose of the construction of the wall. In the same context, on Monday, 2 August 2004, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz stated, following a visit to a section of the wall, that the route of the wall would not be moved back to the 1967 border, in violation of international humanitarian law and an advisory opinion issued by the International Court of Justice on 9 July 2004. This advisory opinion demanded that Israel halt construction of the annexation wall and dismantle the section that had been already constructed, 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, since 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, depriving thousands of Palestinian civilians of their right to freedom of movement. 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. Israeli troops also imposed a curfew on a number of Palestinian communities for long periods.
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