Over the course of the week of 8-14 June 2006,
Israeli violations of international law escalated in the OPT during the reported period (8–14 June 2006):
Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 28 Palestinians in the OPT, including 27 in the Gaza Strip. This number includes 21 unarmed civilians, including 7 children. Seven of the victims were from the same family (father, mother and 5 of their children), who were killed on Friday, 9 June 2006, when IOF fired a number of shells, while they were at the beach in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. IOF claimed that their investigations concluded that “the explosion resulted from a bomb planted by Palestinians targeting IOF”. However, field investigations conducted by PCHR and those conducted by a Human Rights Watch military expert refute this claim and prove that the victims were killed by shrapnel from IOF shelling.
During the reported period, IOF conducted 7 extra-judicial executions in the OPT, which killed 19 Palestinians, including 18 in the Gaza Strip. On 13 June 2006, 10 Palestinian civilians, including a man, his child, his brother-in-law and 4 medical personnel, were killed when IOF attacked a car in Gaza City. On 9 June 2006, 3 Palestinian civilians, including two brothers, were killed when IOF attempted to extra-judicially execute a number of Palestinians in Jabalya town. On 8 June 2006, IOF extra-judicially executed 4 Palestinians in Rafah, including Jamal Abu Samhadana, Secretary General of the Popular Resistance Committees. On 14 June 2006, an IOF undercover unit extra-judicially executed a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement, in Jenin. In addition, on 11 June 2006, two members of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, were killed, when an IOF aircraft fired a missile at them, while they were attempting to launch locally made rockets at Israeli towns. Also during the reported period, 67 Palestinian civilians, including at least 20 children, were wounded by IOF gunfire in the Gaza Strip. Five of the wounded, including 3 children, were from the same family, whose members were killed at the beach in Beit Lahia. In the West Bank, 9 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded by IOF gunfire.
Incursions: During the reported period, IOF conducted at least 40 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, particularly Nablus. During these incursions, IOF raided houses and arrested 49 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children. Thus, the number of Palestinians arrested by IOF since the beginning of 2006 has increased to 1,720. In addition, IOF transformed two houses into military sites. One of those houses was used by IOF to extra-judicially execute a Palestinian in Jenin. 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. IOF have continued to monitor the movement of Palestinian civilians through Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border. During the reported period, IOF refused to increase working hours at the crossing in order to cope with the increasing number of travelers during the summer. Although IOF allowed the transportation of food aid from Egypt into the Gaza Strip through Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, southeast of Rafah, in April 2006, the crossing has not yet been officially opened. IOF have also continued to prevent Palestinian workers from the Gaza Strip from reaching their work places in Israel through Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing. They have continued to prevent hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip from traveling to the West Bank. IOF have partially operated al-Mentar (Karni) commercial crossing, east of Gaza City. As a result of the repeated closures of the crossing, the economic conditions in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated.
IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. IOF have continued to separate the north and south of the West Bank. For this purpose, they have closed Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, and re-established their presence at ‘Attara checkpoint, north of Ramallah. They have also erected two new checkpoints near Ramallah. IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank abused a number of Palestinian civilians. During the reported period, IOF at checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 8 Palestinian civilians, including a girl.
Annexation Wall: IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF razed areas of Palestinian agricultural land in ‘Azzoun ‘Atma village, south of Qalqilya, near “Uranit” settlement, west of the village, and near “Sha’ari Tekva” settlement, east of the village. IOF plan to establish a new settler road linking these two settlements. IOF also demolished a house and an animal farm in Toura al-Gharbiya village, southwest of Jenin. On 9 June 2006, IOF used forced to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized in protest to the construction of the Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah Wall. IOF fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators. As a result, 7 Palestinians civilians, including 4 children, were wounded.
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 3 attacks on Palestinian civilians and property in Bethlehem and Hebron, which injured 6 civilians and damaged 4 houses.
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (8–14 June 2006)
1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property
Thursday, 8 June 2006
1. Hussein Mohammed Abu Hussein, 24;
2. Zakria Ayoub al-Jamal, 24;
3. ‘Abdul Halim ‘Omar Abu Hussein, 32;
4. Ja’far ‘Abdul Rahim Abu Hussein, 23;
5. Rafe’ Ahmed al-Ja’bari, 30, a police officer; and
6. Shareef Hamdi al-Muhtasseb, 24.
During house raids, IOF fired sound bombs inside and near houses and violently beat Yahia al-Muhtasseb, 27. He sustained serious bruises throughout the body. A number of houses were also damaged.
Friday, 9 June 2006
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, approximately 16:40, an IOF gunboat stationed off the coast of Beit Lahia fired 7 successive artillery shells at Palestinian civilians on the beach in the Waha area, north of Beit Lahia. The shells landed on the beach, which had been crowded with civilians at the time. Seven civilians from the same family (father, mother and five children) were killed. A 10-year-old child from the same family escaped death but was captured on a television camera crying hysterically beside her father’s body. A further 32 civilians, including 13 children, were wounded. Two of the wounded were from the same family and were in a serious condition.
The family members killed in the attack were:
1. ‘Ali Issa Ghalia 49, the father;
2. Ra’eesa Ghalia, 35, the mother;
3. Haitham, 5 months;
4. Hanadi, 18 moths;
5. Sabrin, 4;
6. Ilham, 15; and
7. ‘Aalia, 17.
Israeli television Channel 2 broadcast footage of an IOF gunboat firing the shells at the beach, with one of the navy soldiers scanning the beach with binoculars; thus indicating that the crime had been perpetrated with a premeditated intent to kill.
Saturday, 10 June 2006
Sunday, 11 June 2006
1. Jameel Mahmoud Hamed, 22;
2. Mustafa ‘Ali Hamed, 27;
3. Ghassan Ra’ed Hamed, 22;
4. Shehada ‘Ali Hamed, 26;
5. Tha’er Mousa Hammad, 20;
6. Rushdi Mohammed Hammad, 23; and
7. Ahmed Mustafa Hamed, 22.
1. Mohammed Baker al-Masri, 24; and
2. Salem Mohammed al-Rabee’, 35.
In addition, 3 other members were wounded, one of them seriously.
Monday, 12 June 2006
Tuesday, 13 June 2006
1. Samer Hakam Bani Shamsa, 20; and
2. ‘Atiya Na’im Hamayel, 20.
1. Mohammed Yousef Ma’rouf, 17;
2. ‘Ali Yousef Ma’rouf, 20;
3. Lafi Mahmoud Leftawi, 17; and
4. Yasser Jawdat al-Sarrawi, 15.
1. Ahmed Mohammed al-Jour, 15, wounded by a live bullet to the right side;
2. Sa’di Khaled Karaja, 15, wounded by a live bullet to the left leg; and
3. Ahmed Nahid al-Sarfiti, 15, wounded by a live bullet to the right thigh.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006
1. Nassim Mahmoud Abu ‘Eisha, 20;
2. Anas al-Khatib, 21; and
3. Murad ‘Abdul Qader Abu Salah, 20.
1. ‘Ali Fathi al-‘Ajouri, 16;
2. ‘Alaa’ Mohammed al-‘Ateeq, 17;
3. Mustafa Fahmi al-Aa’raj, 16; and
4. Mohammed Ameen Abu Ghoush, 17.
1. Nihad Mohammed Ghawawda, 14; and
2. Firas Fayez Ghawawda, 17.
2. Extra-Judicial Executions
During the reported period, IOF committed 7 extra-judicial executions, which killed 19 Palestinians, including 13 civilian bystanders. These civilians included a man and his child; two brothers; and 4 medical personnel. Four other targeted persons survived one of these attacks.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR:
1. Nidal Nabil Mousa, 21, from Rafah, a member of the al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad;
2. Ahmad Mohammad Morjan, 28, from Gaza City, a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah movement; and
3. Mohammad ‘Asaliya, 22, from Jabalya, a member of the PRC.
Immediately following the execution, IOF admitted responsibility for the attack. Israeli media sources reported that Defense Minister Amir Peretz had personally approved the operation.
1. Khaled Yousef Ahmad al-Za’anin, 41;
2. Bassel ‘Ata Zayed al-Za’anin, 26; and
3. Ahmad ‘Ata Zayed al-Za’anin, 22.
1. Hussam Hamad, 32, a paramedic;
2. ‘Adnan Daoud Taleb, 38, a paramedic;
3. Ashraf Farouq al-Mughrabi, 30;
4. Hisham Ashraf al-Mughrabi, 14;
5. Maher Ashraf al-Mughrabi, 8;
6. ‘Ali al-‘Omari, 23, a medical worker;
7. Mousa Nasrallah, a medical worker;
8. Shawqi al-Saiqali, 42;
9. Ibrahim al-Da’lees, 22; and
10. Rafeeq al-Mubayed, 18.
In addition, at least 30 other civilians, including a number of children, were wounded; the wounds of 12 of them were described by medical sources as serious.
3. Continued Siege on the OPT
IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Occupied East Jerusalem.
Although IOF have been redeployed around the Gaza Strip, they have maintained the occupation of the Gaza Strip by controlling all outlets and crossings.
The closure of border crossings deprives the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip of their right to freedom of movement, education and health.
IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on fishing in the Gaza Strip. Approximately 35,000 people in and around Gaza’s coastal communities rely on the fishing industry, including 2,500 fishermen, 2,500 support staff and their families. Fishermen have been subjected to intensive monitoring by IOF, which use helicopter gunships and gunboats to monitor the fishermen. On a number of occasions the Israeli military has opened fire against the civilian fishermen in order to enforce the 9 nautical mile limit imposed on them. The Oslo Accords make provision for Gaza’s sea to be fished to 20 nautical miles.
The West Bank
IOF have continued to impose a strict siege on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. They have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians and imposed curfews on a number of Palestinian communities.
At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 11 June 2006, IOF positioned at Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of Nablus, arrested Yafa al-Du’aifi, 20, when she was traveling out of Nablus.
At approximately 18:00 on Monday, 12 June 2006, IOF positioned at Beit Eiba checkpoints, west of Nablus, arrested Ahmed Tayseer ‘Aaboudi, 21, from Kufor al-Labad village east of Tulkarm.
At approximately 03:00 on Monday, 12 June 2006, IOF positioned at Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, arrested Eihab Ahmed Riahi, 20, from Kufor Sour village south of Tulkarm.
At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, 13 June 2006, IOF positioned at Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, arrested Muhannad Khamis Sa’ada, 18, from Tulkarm, who suffers from a number of diseases.
On Monday evening, 12 June 2006, IOF patrolling near the Annexation Wall to the west of Ethna village, west of Hebron, arrested two members of the Palestinian National Security Forces who were having a picnic in the area:
1. Hamza Jebril al-Hattawi, 23; and
2. Mohammed Hassan al-‘Asafra, 25.
On Tuesday noon, 13 June 2006, IOF positioned at the southern entrance of Halhoul town, north of Hebron, arrested Mohammed Ahmed al-Nabtiti, 27, a journalist at Marah Radio, from Hebron.
4. Construction of the Annexation Wall
IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory.
1. Mahdi ‘Abdul Mo’men Abu Rahma, 17, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the hand;
2. Suleiman Waheed Yassin, 14, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the foot;
3. ‘Ali Hamdan Abu Rahma, 14, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the foot;
4. Mohammed Fares Yassin, 11, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh;
5. Khamis Fathi Abu Rahma, 23, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the hand;
6. Fu’ad Mohammed Samara, 20, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the chest; and
7. ‘Aayed Khalil Abu Rahma, 20, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the leg.
5. Settlement Activities and Attacks by Settlers against Palestinian Civilians and Property
Israeli settlers (living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law) have continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and property:
1. Ahmed Mohammed al-Shawahin, 51;
2. Adham Ahmed al-Shawahin, 22;
3. Saddam Ahmed al-Shawahin, 18;
4. ‘Anan al-Nawaj’a, 27; and
5. Mahmoud Hassan al-Shawahin, 31.
A number of settlers also spread toxic substances onto agricultural land and set fire to at least 1500 square meters of agricultural land.
Recommendations to the International Community
- PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.
- PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel’s respect of the Convention in the OPT and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.
- PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to comply with its legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.
- PCHR recommends international civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and NGOs to participate in the process of exposing those accused of grave breaches of international law and to urge their governments to bring these people to justice.
- PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel. PCHR further calls upon the EU states to prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the OPT.
- PCHR calls upon the member States of the EU, and all other states, to adopt a voting pattern at the UN bodies, particularly the General Assembly, Security Council and Commission on Human Rights which is keeping with international law.
- PCHR demands that the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion be immediately implemented by the international community.
- PCHR calls on the international community to recognize the Gaza disengagement plan for what it is - not an end to occupation but a compounding of the occupation and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
- In recognition of the ICRC as the guardian of the Fourth Geneva Convention, PCHR calls upon the ICRC to increase its staff and activities in the OPT, including the facilitation of family visitations to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
- PCHR appreciates the efforts of international civil society, including human rights organizations, bar associations, unions and NGOs, and urges them to continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel’s respect for human rights in the OPT and to end its attacks on Palestinian civilians.
- In light of the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupying forces on access for international organizations to the OPT, PCHR calls upon European countries to deal with Israeli citizens in a similar manner.
- PCHR reiterates that any political settlement not based on international human rights law and humanitarian law cannot lead to a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian question. Rather, such an arrangement can only lead to further suffering and instability in the region. Any peace agreement or process must be based on respect for international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is an independent legal body based in Gaza City dedicated to protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law and upholding democratic principles in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It holds Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and is an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, the Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network. PCHR is a recipient of the 1996 French Republic Award for Human Rights.