24 - 30 March 2005
Despite the fact that there has been no loss of life, the IOF have continued to expand settlements, construct the Annexation Wall, continue incursions into Palestinian areas resulting in arbitrary arrests and injuries to Palestinian civilians and maintain a situation of closures and check points across the OPT. Despite the image that Israel wishes to portray of IOF withdrawal from a number of towns in the West Bank including Tulkarm and Jericho, Israel still exert control over these areas and the daily lives of the Palestinians within them and remain the Occupying Power
This week, human rights violations perpetrated by IOF included shooting at Palestinian civilians, incursions into Palestinian areas, house raids and arbitrary arrests. In violation of international law and humanitarian law, IOF have also continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank territory and confiscated more areas of Palestinian land for this purpose. They have continued to expand existing settlements at the expense of Palestinian land, in violations of Palestinian civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Contrary to Israeli official claims, the IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.
This week, IOF conducted 24 military incursions into Palestinian areas in the West Bank, during which they opened fire at residential areas and raided and searched houses. The widest incursion was into Jenin on 28 March 2005, during which the IOF arrested 12 Palestinian civilians. In addition, eight Palestinian civilians, including four children and two brothers, were wounded and some others suffered from tear gas inhalation. IOF arrested during the reporting period 29 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and 3 police members. They also seized three houses and transformed them into military sites.
IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank territory, especially in Ramallah and Hebron. For the purpose of the construction of the Wall they confiscated 224 donums of land in the villages of ‘Azzoun and Kufor Thuluth near Qalqilya, and 170 donums in the villages of al-Jeeb and Nabi Samuel near Jerusalem. They also ordered the vacation of 4000 donums of land in Nahalin village near Bethlehem. This week, IOF used force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians in protest to the construction of the Wall. Four Palestinian civilians were wounded and a number of others suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have launched a series of attacks against Palestinian civilians and property. This week, they severely beat 10 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Contrary to Israeli claims, the IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT, including Jerusalem. On Wednesday morning, 23 March 2005, the IOF imposed a comprehensive closure on the OPT from the Jewish Purim. This closure continued until Monday morning, 28 March 2005.
In the Gaza Strip, the 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. They have also continued to close a number of roads and crossings in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the current Intifada. The IOF have continued to impose a strict siege on Palestinian communities near Israeli settlements, causing more suffering to Palestinian civilians. Since the beginning of this month, the IOF has used a special checking set, which causes health problems. This week, IOF continued to impose severe restrictions on travel through Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border. They also arrested a man and his son.
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, the IOF erected a number of sudden military checkpoints. They stopped and checked Palestinian civilians and arrested five Palestinian civilians. They also severely beat five civilians. Thousands of Palestinian Christians were denied access to the holy sites in East Jerusalem.
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