17-23 February 2005
ISRAELI OCCUPATION FORCES (IOF) LAUNCH MORE ATTACKS IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY (OPT)
Despite the ceasefire declared by the Israeli and Palestinian sides in Sharm al-Sheik on 8 February 2005 and the Palestinian commitment to this declaration, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have launched more attacks against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
This week, human rights violations perpetrated by IOF included incursions into Palestinian areas, indiscriminate shelling and total closure imposed on Palestinian communities contrary to Israeli official claims regarding easing closure measures. IOF have also continued to construct the annexation wall inside the West Bank Territory and confiscated more areas of Palestinian land for this purpose.
On 22 February 2005, the Israeli military prosecutor admitted before the Israeli Parliamentary Constitution Committee that “the real reason for stopping the demolition of houses of those who carry armed attacks is that this policy has proved to be ineffective.” This admission came following a decision taken by the Israeli military chief of staff two weeks ago stopping this policy. These developments prove that this policy is a retaliatory one and does not serve as a deterrent. PCHR has always emphasized this fact and considered this policy as a war crime against innocent civilians and their property.
On 19 February 2005, Ja’far ‘Aboud, 19, from Nablus, died from an injury he had sustained on 19 November 2004, when IOF moved into the city and opened fire at shops and markets in its center. This week, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were seriously injured when IOF opened fire at Palestinian residential areas in the Gaza Strip. IOF also conducted 6 incursions into Palestinian areas in the West Bank, during which they raided and searched houses and arrested 7 Palestinian civilian civilians. They also arrested 2 other civilians in al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip.
IOF have continued to construct the annexation wall inside the West Bank Territory. In violation of international humanitarian law and the advisory opinion issued by International Court of Justice, the Israeli cabinet approved new plans for the routes of the wall.
According to Israeli sources, the new plans will annex major settlements such as “Gush Etzion” settlement block, southwest of Bethlehem, and “Ma’le Admomim” settlement bloc, east of Jerusalem, to Israel. This week, the Israeli High Court issued 2 temporary injunctions freezing the construction of the wall near the villages of ‘Olayan and Safa, west of Ramallah. The court will likely cancel these injunctions as it did in the past to follow the IOF’s decision to construct the wall.
Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have launched a series of attacks against Palestinian civilians and property. IOF have continued to confiscate areas of Palestinian land for settlement activities.
IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT, including Jerusalem.
In the Gaza Strip, contrary to Israeli official claims regarding easing measures of closure imposed on the Gaza Strip, IOF have continued to completely or partially close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip, and impose severe restrictions on the internal movement of Palestinian civilians.
IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the travel of Palestinian civilians through Rafah International Crossing Point. They have also continued to close a number of roads and crossings in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the current Intifada. IOF have continued to impose a strict siege on Palestinian communities near Israeli settlements, causing more suffering to Palestinian civilians.
In the West Bank, IOF have continued to impose a strict siege on Palestinian communities. They have also imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. This week, they erected a number of military checkpoints and arrested a number of Palestinian civilians. They also beat a number of civilians and imposed restrictions on journalists.
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