Weekly report on human rights violations

Huda Ghalia crying near her father’s body, as he and a number of members of his family were killed by the Israeli shelling on 9 June 2006.


Over the course of the week of 8-14 June 2006,

  • 28 Palestinians, including 7 children, were killed by IOF.
  • 7 of the victims were from the same family and were killed by IOF shelling in Gaza. (Investigations conducted by PCHR and other human rights organizations refute Israeli claims that IOF shelling was not responsible for this crime.)
  • 19 of the victims were extra-judicially executed by IOF.
  • 76 Palestinian civilians, including at least 20 children, were wounded by IOF gunfire.
  • IOF conducted 40 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, particularly Nablus.
  • 49 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children, were arrested by IOF.
  • Two houses were transformed by IOF into military sites.
  • IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF have continued to close border crossings of the Gaza Strip; the north of the West Bank has been separated from the south; and IOF arrested 8 Palestinian civilians, including a girl, at checkpoints in the West Bank.
  • IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall in the West Bank; IOF razed areas of agricultural land near ‘Azzoun ‘Atma village, south of Qalqilya; and IOF demolished a house and an animal farm in Toura al-Ghabiya village, southwest of Jenin.
  • Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property in the OPT: 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded and 4 houses were damaged by attacks launched by Israeli settlers.

    Summary

    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

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Kufor Ra’ei village, southwest of Jenin. They patrolled the streets. They withdrew from the village a few hours later and no arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Fahma village, southwest of Jenin. They patrolled the streets. They withdrew from the village a few hours later and no arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into ‘Ein Sara, Dwairban and Abu Sunaina neighborhoods in the north, southwest and south of Hebron respectively. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 6 Palestinians:

    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.

  • At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Nablus and neighboring refugee camps. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mahmoud Na’im Dwaikat, 25.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm town and refugee camp. They besieged a house belonging to the family of Ussama Fa’eq al-Jermi, 22. They ordered him through megaphones to get out and surrender. As soon as he got out of the house, IOF arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Saida village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched 3 houses to arrest3 Palestinians but these Palestinians were not there.

    Friday, 9 June 2006

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They patrolled the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They withdrew from the town a few hours later and no arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Seilat al-Harthiya village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mahmoud ‘Awad Shawahna, 35.
  • At approximately 03:15, IOF moved into Nablus and neighboring refugee camps. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested ‘Abboud al-Bustami, 24.
  • In the afternoon, IOF killed 7 members of the same family (father, mother and 5 children), who had been enjoying a day on the beach to the west of Beit Lahia town. The family was hit by artillery shells fired by an IOF gunboat. At least 30 other civilians, including 10 children, were wounded.

    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.

  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into the south of Tulkarm. They patrolled the streets and raided a number of shops. They checked the identity cards of a number of Palestinian civilians. No arrests were reported.

    Saturday, 10 June 2006

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring ‘Askar refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Eyad Mohammed Rasheed, 22.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into the west of Tulkarm. They then moved east towards the edges of Bala’a village. They searched the area. According to eyewitnesses, IOF soldiers were masked and armed. The objective of this operation was not clear.

    Sunday, 11 June 2006

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Duhaisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Yassin Ya’qoub Abu ‘Omar, 30.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Duha village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched an apartment building and arrested Ahmed Muneer Abu Seraj, 20.
  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into Jenin. They opened fire at houses. A number of Palestinian militants clashed with IOF. As a result, one of the militant, 28-year-old Mahmoud Abu al-Jaheem, was wounded by several live bullets to the leg but managed to escape. Soon, IOF raided a clinic of the Patient’s Friends Charitable Society searching form al-Jaheem.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Abu Sunaina in the south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Eyad ‘Abdullah Abu Turki, 32, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 7 Palestinian civilians:

    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.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF aircrafts fired two missiles at a number of members of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, who were attempting to launch locally made rockets from agricultural areas to the east of Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip at Israeli towns located near the Gaza Strip. As a result, two members of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam were killed:

    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

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into Taqqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Muneer Dakhlallah al-‘Omour, 27, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They patrolled the streets and opened fire. They then raided and searched a number of houses but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into Tubas village, southeast of Jenin. They patrolled the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They withdrew from the village a few hours later and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 13:30, an IOF undercover unit moved into Tulkarm, traveling in a civilian car with a Palestinian registration plate. The unit stopped a car on the Tulkarm–Shwaika road. Four masked members of the unit got out of the car and arrested the second car’s driver, Salah Ahmed Balahawi, 39.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF moved into al-Fara’a refugee camp, southeast of Jenin. A number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. Immediately, IOF fired live and rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the children. As a result, a number of children suffered from tear gas inhalation. IOF soldiers arrested two brothers: Saber Raja al-Khatib, 30, and his brother Mohammed, 25.

    Tuesday, 13 June 2006

  • At approximately 01:00, an IOF undercover unit moved into Tulkarm. Members of the unit hid behind olive trees located near a site of the Palestinian General Intelligence. Palestinian security men suspected the unit were present, so they exchanged fire with its members. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Beeta village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

    1. Samer Hakam Bani Shamsa, 20; and
    2. ‘Atiya Na’im Hamayel, 20.

  • At approximately 01:45, an IOF undercover unit moved into Jenin. A number of Palestinian militants clashed with the unit. Immediately, at least 8 IOF jeeps moved into the town to support the undercover unit. IOF withdrew from the town later, and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into ‘Aaida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Ahmed Yassin Qaraqe’, 16.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 4 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Mohammed Yousef Ma’rouf, 17;
    2. ‘Ali Yousef Ma’rouf, 20;
    3. Lafi Mahmoud Leftawi, 17; and
    4. Yasser Jawdat al-Sarrawi, 15.

  • Also at approximately 03:00, IOF moved into the east of Tulkarm. They besieged an apartment building belonging to the al-Tuhal family. They ordered residents of the building through megaphones to get out. They then verified the identity cards of the residents and arrested Mahmoud Ghaleb al-Tuhal, 36.
  • Also at approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Thinnaba suburb, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Hussein Mohammed ‘Awad, and arrested his two sons: Ussama, 25, and Mohammed, 27.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Jabalya, opened fired at a number of Palestinian children near the border, following the funeral procession of victims of an extra-judicial execution in Gaza City. As a result, 3 children were wounded:

    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

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Kharas village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of ‘Omran ‘Omar Jalajla, 22, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mohammed Ahmed al-Shalabi, 17.
  • Also at approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Be’r al-Mahjar neighborhood in the northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Majdi Abu Mohammed al-Dab’at, 21, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:45, IOF moved into Beit Wazan village, west of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Nassim Mahmoud Abu ‘Eisha, 20;
    2. Anas al-Khatib, 21; and
    3. Murad ‘Abdul Qader Abu Salah, 20.

  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into ‘Aaida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 4 Palestinian children:

    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.

  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Duha village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mo’tassem Wajeeh Abu ‘Aker, 17.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beer al-Basha village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian children:

    1. Nihad Mohammed Ghawawda, 14; and
    2. Firas Fayez Ghawawda, 17.

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians: Eihab Jameel Salama, 20; and his brother Fadi, 24.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into Taqqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Ali Taha Humaida near a secondary school. They held the 11 residents in one room and transformed the house into a military site. They fired live bullets and sound bombs sporadically near the school.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Tubas village, southeast of Jenin. They patrolled the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They withdrew from the village a few hours later and no casualties or arrests were reported.

    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:

  • At approximately 23:20 on Thursday, 8 June 2006, an IOF aircraft launched a missile at a number of Palestinian activists near a training site for the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), located on land previously occupied by “Rafiah Yam” settlement, west of Rafah. The activists attempted to flee to the neighboring fields but IOF aircrafts fired 3 missiles at them. Four of the men were killed, including Jamal ‘Ataya Abu Samhadana, 43, Secretary-General of the PRC and the Supervisor-General of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior. Abu Samhadana had survived a number of previous assassination attempts, having been wounded in one such attempt on 9 December 2004. The other three victims were:

    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.

  • At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 9 June 2006, IOF aircrafts fired a missile at a group of PRC activists, who were in the east of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip. The missile went astray and landed nearby, wounding one of the activists. The wounded man was from the al-Za’anin family and was taken to al-‘Awda Hospital in Jabalya for treatment. Ten minutes later, three of his relatives, including two brothers, went to the hospital to check on their wounded relative. They were traveling in a civilian car. On their return, when they arrived near the Tal al-Za’tar area in Jabalya, an IOF aircraft fired a missile at their car. The car was destroyed and all its occupants were killed:

    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.

  • At approximately 17:10, also on Friday, an IOF aircraft fired a missile at a civilian vehicle, in which 3 members of the military wing of Hamas were traveling. The car was traveling near al-Shaimaa’ School in the Beit Lahia. The passengers managed to jump out of the car before the missile hit it. They were moderately wounded.
  • At approximately 17:40 on Friday, an IOF aircraft launched a missile at a civilian car that was traveling in al-Lababeedi Street in the center of Gaza City. A member of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, was traveling in the car. The missile went astray and fell a few meters away from the car. The car was damaged, but the driver was able to escape. IOF admitted responsibility for this attack, and claimed that the IOF air force pursued a car belonging to a group of the ‘Izziddin al-Qsasam Brigades, but the attack failed.
  • At approximately 11:45 on Tuesday, 13 June 2006, an IOF aircraft launched one missile at a civilian vehicle (Volkswagen) that was traveling near Martyr Mohammed al-Durra Hospital in al-Tuffah neighborhood in the northeast of Gaza City. Two members of the al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, were traveling in the car. The missile directly hit the car, killing one member of the al-Quds Brigades, Hammouda al-Wadiya, 25, from Gaza City. Palestinian civilians living in the area gathered around the car and two paramedics from the nearby hospital came to provide first aid. Immediately, IOF aircrafts launched another missile at the car, killing 10 civilians, including a man, his two children and 4 medical personnel:

    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.

  • At approximately 22:30, an IOF infantry unit moved into Jenin. IOF soldier raided a house belonging to Dr. Malek Mohammed Hassan, 48, opposite to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital. They held him and his family in one room on the second floor of the house, and forced him to turn the lights off. IOF soldier took position on the first floor. At approximately 01:00 on the following day, IOF soldiers opened fire at Mohammed Subhi Naji al-Wahesh, 24, who was walking near the hospital. He was instantly killed by a live bullet to the chest. At approximately 03:30, a number of IOF vehicles moved into the town and the soldiers left the house. According to eyewitnesses, al-Wahesh was fired at from a distance of 70 meters and without warning. Al-Wahesh, who was a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement, had been subjected to another execution attempt earlier in this year.

    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.

    Gaza Strip

    Although IOF have been redeployed around the Gaza Strip, they have maintained the occupation of the Gaza Strip by controlling all outlets and crossings.

  • Rafah International Crossing Point: Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border is the sole outlet for the Gaza Strip to the outside world. Daily working hours at the crossing point have been increased to 10 hours. During the reported period, IOF refused to increase working hours at the crossing to cope with the increasing number of travelers during the summer. It is noted that Kerem Shalom commercial crossing to the southeast of Rafah, which is designated for imports under joint Israeli-Palestinian control has not been operational. The crossing was opened a few weeks ago to allow the transportation of food aid from Egypt into the Gaza Strip due to the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip caused by repeated closures of al-Mentar (Karni) commercial crossing. On Friday, 5 May 2006, IOF closed the crossing in violation of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement on border crossings.
  • Al-Mentar (Karni) Commercial Crossing: The crossing is the only commercial one serving the Gaza Strip. IOF frequently close the crossing as a means of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians. During the reported period, IOF partially operated the crossing and allowed the importation of limited amounts of goods, but prohibited the exportation of goods from the Gaza Strip.
  • Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing: IOF have prevented Palestinian workers from reaching their work places inside Israel through Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing since 12 March 2006. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have been prevented from traveling through this crossing. During the reported period, IOF decreased the number of patients permitted to travel to Israeli hospitals from 50 to 20. IOF have allowed international workers and Palestinian National Authority officials who have VIP cards to pass through the crossing, but without their private cars. Concerning patients with serious medical conditions, who need medical care in Israel, these people are subjected to prolonged and complicated checks by IOF. IOF have prevented patients under 35 from entering Israel and imposed a condition that patients must be transferred to hospital rather than to clinics and private medical centers. Patients are subjected to prolonged and complicated checks that can extend up to 6 hours. IOF have also prevented Palestinian ambulances from entering Israel and families of patients have therefore been forced to hire Israeli ambulances at high prices. Contrary to Israeli claims concerning the ease of restrictions imposed at the crossing, IOF have allowed only 10 traders who have VIP cards to pass through the crossing, but have continued to prevent workers from traveling to their work places in Israel.
  • Sofa crossing: IOF also control Sofa crossing, northeast of Rafah, which is designated for the transportation of construction raw materials. IOF repeatedly close the crossing for no clear reason.

    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.

  • Ramallah: IOF have imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They reinforced their presence at ‘Attara checkpoint, north of Ramallah. According to eyewitnesses, IOF positioned at the checkpoint abuse Palestinian civilians. On Thursday morning, 8 June 2006, IOF positioned at ‘Attara checkpoint imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They conducted prolonged checks on Palestinian civilians. On Friday evening, IOF imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They erected a number of checkpoints at the main intersections leading to the town. On Sunday morning, 11 June 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint near “Oufra” settlement, northeast of Ramallah, and another one on the road that links Jaba’ intersection with Qalandya checkpoint, south of Ramallah. IOF positioned at the two checkpoints stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.
  • Nablus: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. During the reported period, IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Sunday morning, 11 June 2006, IOF positioned at “Yitshar” checkpoint, south of Nablus, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They prevented Palestinian civilians coming from Jenin and Tulkarm, especially those aged below 35, from crossing the checkpoint. IOF positioned at Hawara and Za’tara checkpoints, south of Nablus, also imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They stopped and thoroughly searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Monday noon, 12 June 2006, IOF closed Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of Nablus, and prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians. This closure continued until 19:00. IOF also erected a number of checkpoints at the main intersections to the northwest of Nablus. On Tuesday morning, 13 June 2006, IOF positioned at Beit Eiba checkpoint, south of Nablus, prevented Palestinian civilian vehicles from traveling out of the city.

    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.

  • Tulkarm: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday, 8 June 2006, IOF closed Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, and Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of the town, and prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the town. On Saturday, 10 June 2006, IOF erected a number of checkpoints on dirt roads, which are often used by Palestinian civilians when checkpoints erected on the main roads are closed. IOF held a number of Palestinian civilians for several hours. On Monday, 13 June 2006, IOF imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They erected more checkpoints on the main roads leading to the town. At approximately 16:00, IOF closed Ennab checkpoint, east of the town. On Tuesday, 13 June 2006, IOF closed Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, and prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians through the checkpoint. At the same time, they imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians through Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of the town.

    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.

  • Jenin: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Saturday morning, 10 June 2006, IOF erected two checkpoints in al-Far’a area, southeast of Jenin. On Monday morning, 12 June 2006, IOF started to dig a trench near the main road that links Ya’bad and ‘Arraba village with Jenin, apparently to prevent Palestinian civilians from using alternative roads. IOF also erected a number of checkpoints around the town. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. At noon, IOF erected a checkpoint at the southern entrance of Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles. At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 13 June 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint on the Tubas–Nablus road. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles.
  • Hebron: At approximately 11:00 on Saturday, 10 June 2006, IOF positioned at the northern entrance of al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, fired a sound bomb at ‘Eiisa ‘Abdul Hamid Kawazba, 26, for no apparent reason, when he was on his way to his work. He was injured in the head.

    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.

  • Qalqilya: At approximately 15:30 on Tuesday, 13 June 2006, IOF positioned at Habla checkpoint, south of Qalqilya, arrested Firas Nizar Zamari, 20, from ‘Azzoun village east of Qalqilya.

    4. Construction of the Annexation Wall

    IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory.

  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 9 June 2006, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli solidarity activists organized a peaceful demonstration in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the 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:

    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.

  • On Sunday morning, 11 June 2006, IOF started to raze areas of Palestinian agricultural land in ‘Azzoun ‘Atma village, south of Qalqilya. According to the local council of the village, IOF continued to raze land and uproot trees on the succeeding days 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 between the two aforementioned settlements. It is worth noting that ‘Azzoun ‘Atma village has been isolated by the Wall.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 12 June 2006, IOF moved into Toura al-Gharbiya village, southwest of Jenin. They demolished a 180-square-meter house belonging to Taher Mas’oud Qabaha, which is located nearly 50 meters away from the Wall. IOF also demolished a 120-square-meter animal farm belonging to Fayez Khalil Qabaha.

    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:

  • At approximately 19:00 on Thursday, 8 June 2006, 3 Israeli settlers traveling in a civilian car with an Israeli registration plate moved out of “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem, and attacked Mohammed ‘Abdul Fattah Ghunaimat, 28, from Sourif village northwest of Hebron. Ghunaimat was on the main road waiting for a taxi to travel to his village. He sustained serious bruises and cuts.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 13 June 2006, a number of Israeli settlers moved from “Abraham Avino” settlement in the old town of Hebron, and attacked a number of houses in the old town, using stones, empty bottles and iron bars. A number of houses were damaged.
  • Also at approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 13 June 2006, at least 15 Israeli settlers from “Ma’oun” settlement to the east of Yatta village, south of Hebron, traveling in a number of civilian vehicles with Israeli registration plates attacked a number of Palestinian farmers in al-Ma’oun area. They violently beat the farmers. As a result, 5 farmers sustained bruises and cuts:

    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

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. PCHR demands that the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion be immediately implemented by the international community.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.