Israeli occupying forces have continued their attacks in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). This week 4 Palestinians, three of them children, were killed. A number of others were injured, many of them seriously. IOF engaged in random shelling of heavily populated civilian areas and military incursions using heavily armoured vehicles, including tanks and bulldozers. The series of closures and curfews imposed on Palestinians through both the West Bank and Gaza continued so limiting their right to freedom of movement.
In the Gaza Strip, 2 children were killed in Rafah city. On 6th of August, 2004, IOF opened fire on a group of children while they are trying to infiltrate into Israel ostensibly to find work. One of them was killed. This incident reflects the excessive use of force. On the 5th of August a Palestinian girl died having spent one week in hospital as a result of serious injuries caused by an attack by IOF.
This week, Israeli military troops conducted 6 new incursions into Palestinian Territories. Block J in the Rafah refugee camp was subject to a widescale incursion involving armoured vehicles, including tanks, supported from the air by military aircraft, specifically helicopter gunships. In total 26 houses were demolished and 52 families were left homeless as a direct result of this incursion. At least 130 donums of Agricultural land were razed in al-Wadi village, in the middle of Gaza Strip. In Khan Yunis in the southern part of the Gaza strip, IOF demolished 4 houses which provided shelter for five families. In the same incident many Palestinian citizens were injured as a result of indiscriminate shelling being applied in the areas where they live.
In the West Bank, two Palestinian civilians, including 1 child, were killed. The first was killed in Salfit town, to the south of Nablus on Friday the 6th of August 2004. The child, who was a victim of a willful killing by IOF, was 17 years old and was killed in Nablus. The IOF have subsequently claimed that he was armed. Israeli troops continued with a series of attacks and incursions against the oPts. They demolished two homes in Dehaisha refugee camp, to the south of Bethlehem. The houses are owned by three Palestinians who are currently being detained by the Israelis. A number of attacks were launched by Israeli settlers Palestinian civilians and their property.
The construction of the annexation wall in the West Bank has continued. This week, the construction focused on the areas around Jerusalem and surrounding al-Ram from all directions. The Wall isolates this town from the surrounding Palestinian community in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The wall will also prevent any future rural expansion with respect of agricultural development and the surrounding population. These measures will also affect Palestinians who hold an identity card from Jerusalem. Those who live in al Ram will heavy restrictions placed on travel to Jerusalem.
IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the oPt and have imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In the Gaza Strip, there was a partial closure of the international border passage connecting the Gaza Strip with the Egypt, and so with the world. In addition to this heavy restrictions have been imposed at the Qarni crossing preventing free movement of goods in and out of the Gaza Strip.
Although the Rafah terminal was reopened on Friday 6, August 2004, Palestinian civilians still suffered from heavy restrictions imposed at the terminal. A large volume of people crossing to and from Gaza had accumulated at the border during the 20 day closure. This in turn caused serious delays for those people trying to pass through. One Palestinian citizen, suffering from diabetes, died in the terminal on his way back to Gaza strip.
In the West Bank, temporary military checkpoints were widespread. The military checkpoints divided the West Bank from north to south. IOF also prevented freedom of movement to many cities by closing many of the permanent checkpoints. The military imposed a curfew on many cities, towns and villages and launched several arrest campaigns.
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