Israeli occupying troops have launched more attacks against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), especially in the Gaza Strip. This week, 16 Palestinians, 6 of whom were civilians, including a child, were killed and dozens of others were injured by Israeli troops. Human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupying troops included willful killings, incursions into Palestinian areas, indiscriminate shelling, land leveling and total closure imposed on Palestinian communities.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops killed 16 Palestinians. Fourteen of the victims, 4 of whom were civilians, including a child, were killed by Israeli troops during 2 incursions into al-Nimsawi neighborhood and Khan Yunis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on 17 and 22 December 2004. During these incursions, Israeli troops used disproportionate force against members of the Palestinian resistance who clashed with these troops. In addition, at least 60 Palestinian civilians, including 26 children, were injured by Israeli troops, which also destroyed 48 houses, rendering 351 people homeless. They also damaged a number of civilian facilities, including Nasser Hospital and an elementary school. On 17 December 2004, a Palestinian civilian died from a previous injury he had sustained by Israeli troops in Jabalya refugee camp. On 22 December 2004, Israeli troops killed a Palestinian civilian in the northern Gaza Strip, apparently as he was attempting to infiltrate through the border with Israel.
This week, Israeli troops conducted 3 incursions into Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip, during which they razed 69 donums of agricultural land and arrested 2 Palestinian civilians. Israeli troops continued to shell Palestinian residential areas. This week, 16 Palestinian civilians were injured, including 9 children in Rafah and Khan Yunis. On 16 and 17 December 2004, the Israeli air force destroyed a house, 15 shops and a workshop in Rafah. It also destroyed a workshop and a garage in Gaza City on 17 December 2004.
In the West Bank, Israeli troops moved into various areas throughout the West Bank, injured a number of Palestinian civilians and arrested dozens of others. They also destroyed 2 houses in the context of retaliation against families of Palestinian detainees. In addition, they raided offices of a number of civil societies and confiscated some of their contents.
Israeli troops have continued to construct the annexation wall inside the West Bank territory. They started to raze areas of Palestinian agricultural land in Jayous village, northeast of Qalqilya, and Far’oun village, south of Tulkarm. On Friday, 17 December 2004, Israeli occupation authorities issued a military order confiscated large areas of Palestinian land for the purpose of the construction of the wall in Hebron.
Israeli troops 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 and the West Bank, including Jerusalem.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops have continued to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip either partially or completely. They have closed Rafah Terminal on the Egyptian border for the 2nd consecutive week. They have continued to impose severe restriction on internal movement. On 21 December 2004, Israeli troops closed the costal road that links Gaza City with the central Gaza Strip. These measures violate the Palestinian economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights.
In the West Bank, Israeli troops imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They stopped, checked and humiliated Palestinian civilians while crossing military checkpoints throughout the West Bank. They imposed curfews on a number of Palestinian communities and arrested a number of Palestinian civilians while crossing military checkpoints.
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