Following his party’s victory in the Israeli elections held on 28 March 2006, Ehud Olmert stated that he would impose the borders of the State of Israel according to the route of the Annexation Wall, in violation of international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. This statement proves that the construction of the Wall has a political rather than a security aim, as claimed by Israel. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfill their moral and legal obligations to ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
During the reported period, IOF killed 5 Palestinians, including a child. On 23 March 2006, IOF killed two militants from the Palestinian resistance near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. On 25 March 2006, IOF shot dead a Palestinian child near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, when he attempted to enter Israel to search for a job.
On 27 March 2006, IOF killed a militant from the Palestinian resistance near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. On the same day, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian in al-Yamoun village, southwest of Jenin. They claimed that he had fired at them but in fact he was unarmed at the time. During the reported period, 18 Palestinian civilians were wounded by the IOF gunfire.
IOF conducted 27 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF raided houses and arrested 44 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children. In addition, IOF transformed 6 others 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.
During the reported period, IOF partially reopened al-Mentar (Karni) commercial crossing, east of Gaza City, but only under strict restrictions. The Gaza Strip had suffered from a severe economic crisis for weeks prior to this temporary and partial reopening. On 28 March 2006, IOF imposed a total closure on the Gaza Strip and closed all border crossings between it and Israel.
IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on Palestinian communities in the West Bank and have imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the area. On Monday morning, 27 March 2006, IOF declared the transformation of Qalandya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem into a border crossing. Only residents of Jerusalem, who have Israeli identity cards, and residents of the West Bank, who have permits to enter Jerusalem, will be allowed to pass through the “crossing”.
Although IOF postponed the operation of the checkpoint as a border crossing, they have continued to conduct prolonged and complicated electronic searches on Palestinian civilians. They have continued to humiliate and insult civilians. During the reported period, IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 7 Palestinian civilians, including two children.
IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF continued to level land near the entrance to Dahiat al-Barid area, north of Jerusalem, in order to construct a new section of the Wall in the area. They removed cement blocks surrounding a checkpoint in the area. By completing the construction of this new section of the Wall, all entrances to Dahiat al-Barid area and al-Ram village will be closed.
In the meantime, on Monday morning 27 March 2006, IOF declared the operation of Qalandya checkpoint, south of Ramallah, as a border crossing between the West Bank and Jerusalem. Qalandya checkpoint separates Ramallah and Jerusalem. It was transformed into a border crossing in the context of Israeli efforts to Judaize Jerusalem and separate it from the West Bank. IOF razed areas of Palestinian agricultural land near “Ennab” settlement, east of Tulkarm, to establish a separation fence around the settlement. According to eyewitnesses, IOF established a road, which is 30 meters wide, around the settlement in preparation for building the fence.
During the reported period, IOF resumed the construction of the separating fence around “Shavi Shomron” settlement. On 26 March 2006, IOF issued a military order to confiscate 80 dunums of land belonging to Palestinian civilians, for the purpose of constructing a section of the Wall near “Gili” settlement.
In addition, IOF used force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli peace activists in protest to the construction of the Wall in Bal’ein and Beit Siera villages, west of Ramallah. Seven Palestinian civilians were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets and others suffered from tear gas inhalation. IOF also arrested 3 Palestinian civilians and 4 Israeli solidarity activists.
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, 5 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were injured in attacks made by Israeli settlers. The settlers also uprooted at least 400 olives trees and damaged a number of houses.
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