Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 5 Palestinians within the space of 24 hours. On Sunday morning, 19 February 2006, an IOF aircraft launched a missile at two members of the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees in Khan Yunis, killing them. At noon, IOF willfully killed two Palestinian children in Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. On Monday morning, 20 February 2006, IOF killed two Palestinian gunmen during an exchange of fire in Nablus. During the reported period, IOF shelled Palestinian communities in the Gaza Strip. An artillery shell hit an apartment building in the northern Gaza Strip. A two-year-old child was seriously injured by shrapnel. During the reported period, 42 Palestinian civilians, including 25 children, two women and an international solidarity activist, were wounded by the IOF gunfire.
Incursions: IOF conducted 31 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. The widest of these incursions was in Nablus and the neighboring Balata refugee camp. During this incursion, IOF killed 3 Palestinians, including two children, wounded 36 civilians and arrested at least 13 others. They also transformed a number of houses into military sites. In other incursions, IOF raided houses and arrested 79 Palestinian civilians, including 26 children. IOF also transformed 6 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 large 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. IOF allowed less than 2,500 Palestinian workers to travel to their work places inside Israel through Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing. Palestinian workers are also checked in a special room that is equipped with an as yet unidentified type of x-ray machine. Although IOF reopened al-Mentar (Karni) commercial crossing, east of Gaza City, they have so far allowed the entry of foodstuffs only.
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. IOF have continued to prevent Palestinians aged below 45 from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday Prayers. During the reported period, IOF arrested 11 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children and a girl, at various checkpoints in the West Bank.
Annexation Wall: IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF continued to construct a separation barrie r around “Shavi Shomron” settlement, northwest of Nablus. IOF constructed cement sections of the wall at a distance of nearly 500 meters from the eastern border of the settlement near the Nablus — Jenin road. IOF declared their intention to construct new sections of the Wall near Hebron. According to Israeli sources, Israel plans at this stage to construct a section of the Wall near Hebron. This section will not reach the Dead Sea. The route of this section is still under discussion by the Israeli government and its construction comes in the context of a plan to cut off the Jordan Valley from the remainder of the West Bank. IOF plan to construct a separation fence to cut off agricultural areas in the Jordan Valley, which are estimated at half a million dunums.(1) In addition, IOF used force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians in protest to the construction of the Wall in Bal’ein, Beit Siera and ‘Aaboud villages near Ramallah. They also imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians living in communities located near the Wall.
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