Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued to launch attacks on Palestinian civilians and property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). 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 specifically international humanitarian law, IOF have also continued to construct the “Annexation Wall” inside the West Bank territory. They have also continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.
This week, IOF used three Palestinian civilians as human shields in military operations in the OPT.
This week, IOF killed three Palestinians in the West Bank, including two children. On Monday morning, IOF killed killed Shafiq ‘Abdul Ghani, 34, in Saida village near Tulkarm. On 4 May 2005, IOF shot dead two Palestinian children from the ‘Aassi family in Beit Liqia village near Ramallah. The children were with a number of Palestinian civilians who were throwing stones at the IOF.
This week, IOF conducted at least 16 military incursions into Palestinian areas in the West Bank, including the Palestinian controlled town of Tulkarm. The widest of these incursions was into Saida village near Tulkarm (resulting in the death of a Palestinian civilian) and into al-Fawar refugee camp near Hebron (resulting in the injury to seven Palestinian civilians). During other incursions, IOF injured 8 Palestinian civilians, including four children, and arrested 10 others.
An Israeli Military Court issued a ruling on Tuesday, 3 May 2005, ordering an Israeli officer who was responsible for killing a Palestinian child, 3-year-old Mohammed Jaradat, to serve the army four of ‘disciplinary works’. The child was killed on 25 July 2003, when an Israeli tank fired at him near Barta’a village, southwest of Jenin, before the eyes of his mother and grandmother. The punishment once again demonstrates the impunity granted to the IOF by the Israeli judiciary.
Construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank was suspended this week due to the religious holidays in Israel. However, violations relating to the construction of the Wall continued. The IOF used force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians in protest to the construction of the Wall. On Sunday evening, 1 May 2005, IOF fired upon demonstrators in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah, and wounded 10 persons, including a journalist. According to local sources, IOF used new rubber-coated metal bullets in the incident, which are round and penetrate flesh.
Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On Thursday morning, 28 April 2005, IOF started to raze areas of Palestinian land, which were confiscated on 11 March 2005, in Deir al-Hatab village. IOF claimed that this land was confiscated for military purposes but in fact the land was confiscated to expand the neighboring “Allon Moreh” settlement. On Tuesday morning, 3 May 2005, IOF ordered residents of pastoral areas to the east of Tammoun village, southeast of Jenin, to vacate their homes and animal farms and demolished them. Israeli settlers also launched a series of attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in Hebron.
IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT, including Jerusalem. On Tuesday, 3 May 2005, IOF lifted the comprehensive closure imposed on the West Bank since Thursday morning, 21 April 2005, excluding the northern area. Despite this the IOF continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the reporting period including the following restrictions:
They have continued to close Za’tara checkpoint near Nablus for the second consecutive week. They also erected a number of sudden military checkpoints where they stopped and checked Palestinian civilians and arrested seven persons.
In 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. They have continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip for the second consecutive week. They have continued to impose severe restriction at checkpoints on the main road in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces have continued to use a special checking machine at Rafah International Crossing Points, despite warnings from the Palestinian National Authority and human rights organizations of its dangers.
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