Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 4 Palestinians, including a woman and her son, in the West Bank. On 12 January 2006, IOF extra-judicially executed a Palestinian in Jenin, while another Palestinian blew himself up. The two were members of the al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad. On 15 January 2006, IOF killed a Palestinian woman and her son and wounded 5 other members of the same family in Roujib village, east of Nablus, for no apparent reason. Israeli military sources claimed that IOF fired at the house in response to gunfire from the house. On 17 January 2006, IOF killed a Palestinian gunman who clashed with them when they came to arrest him in Tulkarm. In addition 18 Palestinian civilians were wounded by IOF gunfire in the West Bank.
Incursions: IOF conducted 54 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF raided houses and arrested 94 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children. IOF also transformed 6 houses into military sites. IOF used undercover units and trained dogs during these incursions. An IOF dog bit an elderly woman in Kufor al-Dik village near Nablus.
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. Even though IOF reopened Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing on 15 January 2006 and allowed dozens of Palestinian workers to travel to their work places inside Israel, they re-closed it on 18 January 2006. IOF also closed al-Mentar (Karni) commercial crossing, east of Gaza City, on 15 January 2006 and closed Sofa crossing, northeast of Rafah, on 18 January 2006.
IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. They have imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. Since the beginning of this year, IOF have separated the north of the West Bank from other Palestinian communities. These measures have coincided with the initiation of campaigns for Palestinian parliamentary elections. IOF have operated Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem, and have transformed Za’tra checkpoint, south of Nablus, into a crossing. Thus, IOF have divided the West Bank into 3 separate zones whose contiguity is controlled by them. IOF have continued to prevent residents of the towns of Tulkarm and Jenin from crossing Za’tara checkpoint.
Furthermore, since the beginning of this year, IOF have allowed humanitarian cases only to cross the aforementioned checkpoint. These penal measures have impacted at least 800,000 Palestinians living in the northern West Bank and thousands of traders, workers, employees and students from the center and south of the West Bank, who have interests in the northern West Bank. These measures have violated Palestinian civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. These measures have coincided with the initiation of campaigns for the upcoming parliamentary elections. IOF have imposed severe restrictions on the movement of candidates and their staff not only in East Jerusalem, but also throughout the West Bank, including Palestinian communities isolated behind the Annexation Wall. Additionally, IOF have prohibited the movement of candidates between the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. During the reported period, IOF arrested 13 candidates and volunteers of election campaigns. IOF positioned at various checkpoints also arrested 5 Palestinian civilians.
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 land to the east of “Shavi Shomron” settlement, northwest of Nablus, to establish a wall around it. They also continued to aze areas of land in ‘Aaboud village, northwest of Ramallah, in Bal’ein village, west of the town, and in Beit Jala town for the purpose of the construction of sections of the Wall.
On 9 January 2006, the Israeli High Court rejected a petition submitted by Palestinian civilians from the illages of Beit Siera and Shaqba, west of Ramallah, against the route of the Wall near “Mode’in” settlement. The court also canceled all previous temporary injunctions stopping the construction of the Wall in the area. According to Israeli sources, the Israeli Defense Minister ordered IOF to complete the construction of the Wall near East Jerusalem by the end of March 2006.
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 launched a series of attacks on Palestinian civilians and property in Hebron. They also uprooted 120 olive trees in Yatta village, south of Hebron; and seized 150 dunums of land in Dura village, southwest of the town. IOF demolished 5 houses in the West Bank.
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