Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 5 Palestinians, including 4 in the Gaza Strip. On 31 December 2005, IOF shelled the northern Gaza Strip and killed two Palestinian civilians, who were at least 2 kilometers away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. On 1 January 2006, IOF extra-judicially executed a member of the Islamic Jihad and a taxi driver. Another member of the Islamic Jihad and 3 civilian bystanders were injured. On 4 January 2006, IOF shot dead a Palestinian in Dura village near Hebron. In addition, 29 Palestinian civilians, including 19 children, were wounded by the IOF gunfire. IOF aircrafts also shelled a civilian facility in Bani Suhaila village near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
Incursions: IOF conducted 25 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF raided houses and arrested 30 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children and a girl. IOF also transformed 5 houses into military sites. IOF used undercover units and trained dogs during these incursions.
Restrictions on Movement: IOF have continued to impose a comprehensive siege on the OPT, in violation of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of Palestinian civilians.
IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the Gaza Strip, transforming it into a big prison. Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border, the sole outlet for the Gaza Strip to the outside world, has been partially reopened. The crossing point is operated for 8 hours a day only. The Kerem Shalom border commercial crossing has not bee operated so far. IOF have closed Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for Palestinian workers and traders since 16 December 2005. IOF have also continued to impose severe restrictions at commercial border crossings in the Gaza Strip. In addition, IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on fishing by chasing and firing at Palestinian fishing boats.
IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF tightened the siege imposed on occupied Jerusalem and isolated it from the rest of the West Bank. IOF also erected more checkpoints at the entrances to Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF positioned at various checkpoints arrested 4 Palestinian civilians, including ‘Abeer Qubti, the spokeswoman of the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel (Mossawa). As the campaigns for the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections started, IOF have imposed severe restrictions on the movement of candidates and staff members of the Central Election Commission. During the reported period, IOF prevented the transportation of election materials from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip.
Annexation Wall: IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank territory. During the reported period, IOF continued to raze areas of Palestinian land in Beit Jala. They also razed areas of agricultural land and uprooted at least 400 olive trees in Sikka village, southwest of Hebron. Land leveling in the two areas aims at constructing new sections of the Wall. In addition, IOF razed areas of Palestinian land to establish a fence around “Shavi Shomron” settlement, northwest of Nablus. IOF also used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists in protest to the construction of the Wall in Beit Jala. IOF arrested a candidate for the Palestinian parliamentary elections during this demonstration. Further, IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians on both sides of the Wall.
Illegal Settler Activities: Israeli settlers in breach of international humanitarian law continue to reside in the OPT and have launched a series of attacks against Palestinian civilians and property. During the reported period, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian civilians and property in Hebron. On 3 January 2006, IOF demolished a house in Beit Hanina village, north of Jerusalem. During the reported period, dozens of Israeli settlers moved back to the evacuated “Sanour” settlement, south of Jenin.
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