Israeli violations of international law continued in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) during the reporting period (5-11 May 2005). This week, human rights violations perpetrated by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) included shooting at Palestinian civilians, incursions into Palestinian areas, house raids and arbitrary arrests. In violation of international law, including international humanitarian law, IOF have also continued to construct the ‘Annexation Wall’ inside the West Bank territory and to expand settlements. They have also continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.
In the West Bank, ‘Abdul Fattah Raddad, 25, from Saida village near Tulkarm, died from injuries he sustained on 2 May 2005. He had been evacuated to an Israeli hospital after he had been injured and arrested by the IOF.
This week, IOF used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli solidarity activists in protest to the construction of the Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah, injuring six. They also used force against Palestinian farmers resulting in a Palestinian women miscarrying and three arrests. The farmers land had been confiscated for the purpose of the construction of the Wall in Deir al-‘Asal village, southwest of Hebron.
Force was also used to break up another protest on 9 May 2005 in the old town of Jerusalem where 11 people were injured. Palestinian Muslims were protesting their denial of entry to the al-Aqsa Mosque for prayers.
This week, IOF razed areas of Palestinian land in al-Sammou’ village for the purpose of the construction of the Wall. They also placed signs to determine the route of the Wall to the south of al-Zahiriya village, south of Hebron. In addition, IOF imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilian on both sides of 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. On 8 May 2005, a number of Israeli settlers seized 18 donums of Palestinian land in al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip. They also destroyed an electricity tower and severely beat a Palestinian civilian. In the West Bank on 7 May 2005 an Israeli settler poured an unknown substance into two wells in Kufor Qddoum village, north of Qlqilya. On 10 May 2005, IOF issued a number of military orders confiscating at least 800 donums of Palestinian land in Bethlehem and Nablus. On the same day, a number of Israeli settlers from “Qidoumim” settlement, northeast of Qalqilya, prevented dozens of Palestinian farmers from reaching their agricultural land in the neighboring Kufor Qaddoum village. This week, Israeli settlers living in settlement posts in Hebron launched more attacks against Palestinian civilians and property.
This week, IOF conducted at least 14 military incursions into Palestinian areas in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF injured a number of Palestinian civilians and arrested 17 others, including a child and six students. In violation of Palestinian civil and political rights the IOF closed two offices used by the Palestinian Central Election Commission to register Palestinian electors in Jerusalem.
IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT, including Jerusalem:
On Tuesday, 10 May 2005, IOF instituted a comprehensive closure on the OPT which has resulted in severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. These closures will continue until Saturday evening, 14 May 2005. The IOF also continued to close a number of checkpoints in the northern West Bank for the third consecutive week and erected temporary military checkpoints. At checkpoints the IOF arrested eight Palestinian civilians, including two university students.
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 third consecutive week. They have continued to impose severe restriction at checkpoints on the main road in the Gaza Strip. IOF have continued to use a special checking machine at Rafah International Crossing Points, despite warnings from the PNA and human rights organizations of its dangers.
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