Weekly report on human rights violations

Overview of Kalandia checkpoint and the wall separating Ramallah from northern areas of Jerusalem. (Arjan El Fassed)

Israeli occupying forces have perpetrated more human rights violations against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). This week, 22 Palestinians, including 3 children, were killed and dozens of other civilians were injured by Israeli troops. Human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli troops included willful and extra-judicial 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.

In the Gaza Strip, 21 Palestinians, including 3 children, were killed by Israeli troops. On 7 September 2004, 14 Palestinians were killed when Israeli troops shelled a training center belonging to the Hamas movement in Gaza City. On 2 September, 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed by Israeli troops that had moved into the central Gaza Strip town of Deir al-Balah. On 3 and 7 of September 2004, 2 children from Rafah died from injuries they sustained from Israeli shelling, one of them had sustained his injuries last May. Another Palestinian civilian from Khan Yunis died on 4 September 2004 from a previous injury caused by Israeli troops. In addition, a number of Palestinian civilians were wounded by the Israeli shelling, including a schoolchild who was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the head when she was sitting on her desk in a school in Khan Yunis refugee camp on 7 September 2004.

On Wednesday, 8 September 2004, Israeli troops, reinforced by heavy military vehicles and helicopters, invaded large areas in the northern Gaza Strip. They established military posts in high areas. They also destroyed a number of roads and seized complete control over Salah al-Din Street, which links the northern Gaza Strip to other areas in the strip. As a result of the Israeli shelling, 17 Palestinian civilians, including 13 children, were wounded, 4 of whom are in a serious condition. This offensive on the northern Gaza Strip is still ongoing. PCHR is worried that this offensive could be similar to an offensive on the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, which continued for one month and left dozens of Palestinians dead or injured and hundreds of donums of agricultural land and dozens of houses destroyed.

This week, Israeli troops conducted 5 military incursions into Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip. During these incursions, Israeli troops destroyed 4 houses, leaving 16 Palestinian civilians homeless, and razed 32 donums of agricultural land, in addition to the victims mentioned above.

In the West Bank, an undercover unit of Israeli troops extra-judicially executed a Palestinian in Jericho on 8 September 2004. Israeli troops also launched a series of attacks against Palestinian civilians. A number of Palestinian civilians, mostly children, were wounded by the Israeli gunfire. Israeli troops also arrested dozens of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank. In addition, Israeli troops destroyed 2 houses in the context of retaliatory measures against families of Palestinian activists. Israeli settlers, who live in the OPTs in violation of international humanitarian law, launched a series of attacks against Palestinian civilians and their properties.

Israeli Occupation Forces have continued to construct the annexation wall inside West Bank territory. This week, this construction took place mainly in occupied East Jerusalem and Hebron. This construction threatens the future of occupied East Jerusalem and its residents. This week, Israeli troops started to construct sections of the wall in Hebron, a challenge to international resolutions that call for the ending of all construction of the wall.

Israeli occupation 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. On 7 September 2004, Israeli troops divided the Gaza Strip into 3 separate zones. They have also continued to close Erez crossing for the second consecutive week. On 3 September 2004, Israeli troops imposed a tightened siege on al-Sayafa area in the northern Gaza Strip and prohibited movement to and from the area. In the West Bank, Israeli troops have continued to impose a strict siege on Palestinian communities. They have also imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians and arrested some of them while crossing military checkpoints. Israeli troops also imposed a curfew on a number of Palestinian communities.

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