Weekly Report on Human Rights Violations

Palestinians inspect a demolished house after it was targeted by an Israeli warplane in the northern Gaza Strip, 27 July 2006. (MaanImages/Wesam Saleh)


20-26 July 2006

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Escalate Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Launch an Unprecedented Media Campaign in the Gaza Strip

  • 41 Palestinians, 23 of whom were civilians, including 9 children, 3 women and two disabled persons, were killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip.
  • 9 of these civilians from 3 families were killed in 3 separate attacks.
  • 151 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 24 children, two women, two journalists and two paramedics, were wounded by the IOF gunfire.
  • IOF launched a series of air strikes on a number of houses in the Gaza Strip.
  • 6 houses were destroyed and dozens of others were severely damaged.
  • IOF threatened and warned Palestinian civilians by phone to destroy their houses if they helped Palestinian resistance activists.
  • IOF conducted 28 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and invaded al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City.
  • IOF razed 207 donums[1] of agricultural land in al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.
  • IOF razed areas of land in al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City.
  • IOF destroyed a house in Kufor Qaddoum village near Qalqilya.
  • IOF arrested 78 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.
  • IOF destroyed the governmental compounds in Nablus.
  • OF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF have imposed a tightened siege on the Gaza Strip; Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border has been closed; IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested two Palestinian civilians.
  • IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall in the West Bank.
  • Israeli settlers have continued attacks Palestinian civilians and property in the OPT; two Palestinian civilians were wounded.

    Summary

    As the international community has remained silent, IOF have continued to wage a full scale offensive on the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip. During the reported period, IOF have waged a media war against Palestinian civilians. They have dropped leaflets in streets and on roofs of houses, phoned civilians threatening to destroy their houses if they helped Palestinian resistance activists, and ordered a number of Palestinian resistance activists through phone calls on their mobile phones to evacuate their houses, which would be destroyed. IOF have further continued to attack journalists in an attempt to prevent them from reporting on Israeli practices in the OPT. They have also penetrated the broadcasting waves of a number of local radio, and broadcast warnings and threats to Palestinian civilians. Israel seeks to legitimize collective punishment against Palestinian civilians by claiming in its media that it does not target unarmed civilians and that it warns them before attacking any building belonging to them or located near them.

    PCHR, monitoring with utmost concern the developments of this offensive, calls upon the international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and United Nations, to immediately intervene to force IOF to stop this offensive and allow the passage of foodstuffs, medical supplies and fuels into the Gaza Strip. PCHR warns the international community of the policies of collective punishment and reprisals practiced by IOF against the Palestinian civilian population, especially the destruction of electricity sources and the denial of passage of foodstuffs and fuels into the Gaza Strip, which will lead to a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Attacks in the OPT are not merely violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, rather they constitute a war waged by Israel against Palestinian civilians. This war has included the destruction of the civilian infrastructure, including an electricity generation plant and a number of bridges, and imposed a strict siege on the Gaza Strip - all border crossings have been closed for the movement of persons and goods to and from the Gaza Strip has been prohibited. This war waged by Israel is a war against civilians, in disregard to international humanitarian law. Israel has been encouraged by the US support and the European silence to launch more attacks against Palestinian civilians and then against Lebanon.

    The outcome of crimes committed by IOF since 25 June 2006:

  • 157 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 33 children and 8 women, have been killed by IOF.
  • At least 700 Palestinian civilians, including 158 children and 21 women, have been wounded by the IOF gunfire.
  • At least 170 air-to-surface missiles and hundreds of artillery shells have been fired at Palestinian civilian and military targets in the Gaza Strip.
  • Buildings of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National economy, the office of the Palestinian Prime Minister and a number of educational institutions have been destroyed.
  • The electricity generation plant, providing 45% of the electricity of the Gaza Strip, was destroyed, and electricity networks and transmitters have been repeatedly attacked.
  • 6 bridges linking Gaza City with the central Gaza Strip and a number of roads have been destroyed.
  • Hundreds of donums of agricultural land and dozens of houses have been destroyed.
  • Hundreds of Palestinian civilians, including 8 ministers and 26 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council have been arrested.
  • The Palestinian governmental compound in Nablus has been destroyed.
  • Many families in Rafah, Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia have been forced to leave their houses.
  • IOF intelligence have warned some Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by phone to evacuate their houses, which would be attacked.

    Israeli violations of international law continued in the OPT during the reported period (20-26 July 2006):

    Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 38 Palestinians, including 21 civilians, in the Gaza Strip. The victims included a mentally disabled person, 8 children and 3 women. In addition, a child, a mentally disabled person and a resistance activist died from previous wounds. Nine of the victims are from 3 families and were killed in 3 separate attacks: a woman, her two children and their uncle were killed in al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City on 21 July 2006, when IOF shelled their house; an old woman and her grandchild were killed in Beit Lahia on 24 July 2006, when an IOF aircraft fired a missile at their animal cart; and a woman and her two children were killed in Jabalya on 26 July 2006, when IOF shelled their house. Four Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed, when IOF shelled al-Nada tower buildings, west of Beit Hanoun. A child was also killed, when IOF shelled al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis. Another child was killed in al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. IOF have moved into al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City, killing 17 Palestinians.

    In addition, 146 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 33 children, two women, two paramedics and two journalists, were wounded by IOF gunfire. Thus, the number of Palestinians killed by IOF since the beginning of “Operation Summer Rains” on 25 June 2006 has increased to 149, including 77 civilians. These civilians have included 32 children and 8 women. In addition, 626 others, mostly civilians, including 163 children, 21 women, 4 paramedics and 4 journalists, have been wounded.

    IOF also launched at least 30 air strikes on a number of targets in the Gaza Strip, including 5 houses belonging to Palestinian resistance activists. These houses were destroyed, and a number of neighboring houses and civilian facilities were severely damaged. IOF intelligence officers ordered owners of these houses by phone to evacuate their houses. The targeted houses were not located in confrontation areas, or in areas used to fire rockets. They were distributed in different parts of the Gaza Strip. In addition, they were multi-story apartment structures. The destruction caused fear among the civilian population. These bombardments are a flagrant violation of Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prescribes that “it is prohibited for the occupying power to destroy private property of individuals, groups, state, public authority, or social and cooperative organizations except if military operations deem it an unavoidable necessity.” The legal interpretation of this article sets the following criteria for targeting a civilian installation:

  • The destruction during military operations;
  • The installation poses a direct danger to soldiers of the occupying power; and
  • Destruction is the only remaining option to avoid the security threat.

    These criteria do not fit the cases in which IOF bombed civilian houses.

    In a further escalation, IOF fired dozens of artillery shells at al-Nada tower buildings, west of Beit Hanoun. A number of Palestinian civilians were killed or wounded and a number of flats were damaged. Residents of the building were forced to leave their flats due to the IOF shelling. It is worth noting that the number of towers in the area is 26, each of which consists of 18 flats. At least 2,300 Palestinians or 468 families live in these buildings.

    In the West Bank, a Palestinian civilian was killed by shrapnel when IOF destroyed the Palestinian governmental compound in Nablus. In addition, 5 civilians, including two children, were wounded by the Israeli gunfire.

    Incursions: During the reported period, IOF reoccupied some areas in the Gaza Strip. The widest of such operations was in al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City, which started on 26 July 2006. On 21 July 2006, IOF withdrew from al-Maghazi refugee camp, following a two-day incursion into the camp. During this incursion, IOF killed 17 Palestinians and wounded 125 others. They also destroyed 207 donums of land, 13 houses and the civilian infrastructure of the camp.

    In the West Bank, IOF conducted at least 28 military incursions into Palestinian communities, during which they raided dozens of houses, buildings and civil institutions. IOF raided houses and arrested 78 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children and 5 brothers.

    On Friday evening, 21, July 2006, IOF withdrew from Nablus following a 3-day incursion into the city. During this incursion, IOF killed 5 Palestinians, including two civilians, and wounded 68 civilians, including 27 children and 3 journalists. They also destroyed the Palestinian governmental compound in the city.

    Restrictions on Movement: 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: Following an attack launched by Palestinian militants on 25 June 2006 near the Israeli-Egyptian border, southeast of Rafah, which left two IOF soldiers and two of the attackers dead and a third IOF soldier missing, IOF have closed all border crossings of the Gaza Strip:

    IOF have closed Rafah International Crossing Point, even though they do not directly control it. They have prevented European observers working at the crossing point form reaching it. PCHR has always warned following the agreement reached between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, which was brokered by the United States and the European Union, that IOF have complete, even though indirect, control over the crossing point. On 18 and 19 July 2006, IOF permitted reopening the crossing point partially, with the presence of EU observers and in agreement with the Egyptian side, for travelers wishing to come back to the Gaza Strip. IOF have closed commercial crossings of the Gaza Strip, especially al-Mentar (Karni) crossing. As a consequence, the economic situation inside the Gaza Strip has further deteriorated and many goods have been locked in markets. IOF have also continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. In addition, IOF have prevented Palestinian fishermen from fishing.

    IOF have tightened the siege imposed on Palestinian communities in the West Bank since Thursday morning, 20 July 2006. They have cancelled permits offered to Palestinians from the West Bank to enter Jerusalem. 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 between the north and south of the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF positioned at various checkpoints around imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. During the reported period, IOF at checkpoints in the West Bank arrested two Palestinian civilians, and violently beat a third one. On 26 July 2006, a Palestinian patient at an IOF checkpoint near Qalqilya, as IOF prevented his evacuation to the hospital to be treated for an acute heart attack.

    Annexation Wall: IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF razed areas of Palestinian land in al-Sawhra al-Gharbiya village, east of occupied Jerusalem, to complete the construction of a section of the Wall in the area. IOF also razed dozens of donums of agricultural land in Jourat al-Shama’a village, south of Bethlehem, to construct a section of the Wall to the southeast of “Efrat” settlement.

    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, two Palestinian civilians were wounded when settlers fired at them in two separate attacks in Housan village, west of Bethlehem, and al-Zahiriya village, south of Hebron. IOF also burnt trees in Abu Ghunaim Forest to expand “Har Homa” settlement, south of Jerusalem.

    Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (20 - 26 July 2006)

    1. Israeli Offensive on the Gaza Strip

    For the fifth consecutive week, IOF continued their open-ended offensive on the OPT, especially in the Gaza Strip, after Palestinians had captured an IOF soldier from a military outpost on 25 June 2006. Since then, IOF have been perpetrating war crimes and serious violations in several areas in the Gaza Strip. These crimes have included willful killing, disproportionate use of lethal force; destruction of civilian infrastructure, including electricity and water networks; large scale destruction of public and private property; air strikes and mock air raids on civilian targets, including educational institutions; governmental compounds; and training sites and activists of Palestinian resistance organizations.

    In addition, IOF have targeted journalists and media crews covering the events on the ground. PCHR believes that attacks against journalists aims at hindering journalists from conducting their professional duty of sending the picture of crimes perpetrated by the Israeli government to world public opinion.

    The military escalation has been accompanied by the complete closure imposed on the Gaza Strip since 25 June 2006, and the subsequent severe humanitarian and economic conditions. IOF have closed border crossings, keeping thousands of Palestinians at the Egyptian side of the Rafah International Crossing Point, and preventing the flow of food, medicines and fuel through commercial crossings. As a result, the Gaza Strip is on the verge of a humanitarian and environmental disaster.

    During the reported period, the IOF spokesman stated that IOF would attack houses under suspicion to prevent militant groups from accumulating weapons. Following this statement, IOF have attacked a number of houses in the Gaza Strip after ordering their residents to evacuate them. Many Palestinian civilians living near the targeted houses have been also forced to leave their houses.

    Thursday, 20 July 2006

    IOF continued their offensive on al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, which started on Wednesday morning, 19 July 2006.

  • At approximately 08:00, IOF arrested 14 young men from houses used as military sites. IOF soldiers handcuffed and blindfolded these young men and took them to “Kissufim” military post, east of Deir al-Balah. There, IOF interrogated these young men, but released them 12 hours later.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF soldiers positioned atop of houses in al-Maghazi refugee camp fired at Mohammed ‘Awad Muhra, 14, from Jabalya, when he was at the northern entrance of the camp. He was seriously wounded by a live bullet to the chest. He was evacuated to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, but he died from his wound. The child went to the camp to witness the IOF incursion.
  • At approximately 11:00, medical sources at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City declared that 13-year-old Fadwa Faisal al-‘Arrouqi died from a wound she had sustained on Wednesday evening, 19 July 2006. IOF fired an artillery shell at her family’s house in al-Za’faran area in al-Maghazi refugee camp. Her mother was killed.
  • Also at approximately 11:00, IOF fired a number of artillery shells at the northern Gaza Strip. One of these shells fell near a cow farm belonging to the al-Nadi family in the east of Jabalya. As a result, 15-year-old Yasser Ziad al-Nadi was wounded by shrapnel throughout the body.
  • At approximately 11:50, an IOF drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian resistance activist in al-Qasstna areas in al-Maghazi refugee camp. As a result, a resistance activist, 21-year-old Yasser Mohammed Abu Lebda was killed and two other activists were wounded.
  • At approximately 13:00, an IOF drone fired a missile at some Palestinians, including a number of resistance activists, at the northern entrance of al-Maghazi refugee camp. As a result 3 civilians and two resistance activists were seriously wounded.
  • At approximately 14:00, an IOF drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian resistance activist in al-Qasstna areas in al-Maghazi refugee camp. As a result, 9 resistance activists were wounded, and later two of them died from their wounds:

    1. Mousa Hassan Qandil, 47; and
    2. Mustafa Hussein Qattoush, 21.

  • At approximately 19:30, an IOF drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian resistance activists in al-Qasstna areas in al-Maghazi refugee camp. As a result, a resistance activist, 19-year-old Isma’il Nazmi Rayan was killed, and 4 other activists were wounded.
  • Over the day, IOF continued to open fire indiscriminately in al-Maghazi refugee camp. A number of Palestinian civilians and resistance activists were wounded. Two paramedics were among the wounded:

    1. Mohammed Khamis al-Salhi, 42, wounded by shrapnel to the left shoulder; and
    2. Mohammed Yousef al-‘Azaiza, 22, wounded by shrapnel to the right forearm.

    Friday, 21 July 2006

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF started to redeploy outside of al-Maghazi refugee camp following a two-day incursion into the camp. IOF had completed their redeployment by 05:30, leaving a number of casualties and extensive destruction to civilian property and infrastructure. The outcome of the IOF offensive on al-Maghazi refugee camp was:
  • 17 Palestinians, including 4 children and a woman, were killed.
  • 125 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 30 children and 4 paramedics, were wounded. At least 30 of the wounded were in a serious condition.
  • 4 houses were completely destroyed.
  • 9 houses were partially destroyed.
  • A sewing workshop belonging to Ahmed Hassan ‘Abdul Jawad, in which 80 workers used to work, was destroyed.
  • At least 200 donums of agricultural land were razed.
  • The infrastructure of the camp, including roads and electricity and water networks, was severely damaged.
  • In another crime of disproportionate use of lethal force, IOF killed 4 members of one family. A mother, her 2 sons, and the sons’ nephew were killed by an artillery shell that fell onto their house in al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City. This crime was the second of its kind in the same quarter this month; two weeks earlier, a mother and 2 of her children were killed in similar circumstances.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 06:10, an IOF tank stationed along the border east of Gaza City fired a shell at a house belonging to Jaber Harara, located near al-Mentar Hill close to the border. The shell landed directly on the roof of the 3-story house. Two of Jaber’s children and their cousin were on the roof. They were killed instantly. Jaber’s wife went up from the second floor to see what happened after the first shell landed. As soon as she reached the roof, a second shell was fired at the roof. She was killed instantly. The victims were identified as:

    1. Mo’min Jaber Harara, 18;
    2. ‘Aamer Jaber Harara, 21;
    3. Sabah Harara, 45, the mother of the above two victims; and
    4. Mohammad Hamdi Harara, 27.

    In addition, two other members of the family were wounded by shrapnel:

    1. Mohammed Jaber Harara, 20; and
    2. ‘Omar Jaber Harara, 18.

    Commenting on the crime, an IOF spokesman claimed that IOF soldiers noticed two militants in the area, who were about to fire rockets at the border, and IOF fired shells at them. IOF moved into the area after firing the shells, and started to raze agricultural land.

  • At approximately 07:30, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Yunis, fired a number of artillery shells at al-Faukhari areas and the vicinity of Sofa crossing, southeast of the town. A Palestinian civilian, 18-year-old Hussam Bassam Wafi was wounded by shrapnel to the right side when he was inside his house in al-Manara area, nearly 2,500 meters away from the border.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF fired a number of artillery shells at the northern Gaza Strip. One of these shells fell near houses at al-Sikka Street in Beit Hanoun, wounding 19-year-old Mohammed Sami Jarada with shrapnel throughout the body.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF fired a number of artillery shells at the northeast of Beit Hanoun. These shells landed dozens of meters away from houses in al-Amar neighborhood in the northeast of the town. One of the shells fell onto a house belonging to Nabeel Muhareb Abu ‘Amsha, in which 8 individuals live. The house severely damaged, and the owner; his 12-year-old child ‘Abdul Rahman; and his 9-year-old nephew, Ra’ed Muhareb Abu ‘Amsha, were wounded by shrapnel throughout the body.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF fired a number of artillery shells at the northern Gaza Strip. As a result, Jom’a Mohammed al-‘Er, 32, was wounded by shrapnel throughout the body, when he was near his house in the east of Jabalya town.

    Saturday, 22 July 2006

  • At approximately 07:20, IOF positioned at the border, east of Jabalya, fired a number of artillery shells at the town. A Palestinian civilian, 73-year-old ‘Atiya Daifallah al-Sawarka, was wounded by shrapnel to the right hand.
  • At approximately 20:00, medical sources at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City declared that Ahmed ‘Abdul Rahman Abu ‘Awad, 22, a resistance activist from al-Maghazi refugee camp, died from a wound he had sustained during the IOF incursion into the camp. Thus, the number of Palestinians killed by IOF during that incursion increased to 16.

    Sunday, 23 July 2006

  • At approximately 08:00, IOF, accompanied by two bulldozers, moved some meters into the industrial zone near Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. They seized control over the zone and remained there until the evening. At approximately 17:00, IOF fired from inside the industrial zone at Palestinian civilians who were near it. As a result, Fawaz Natteel, 42, was wounded by a live bullet to the feet.

    Monday, 24 July 2006

  • At approximately 00:15, IOF warplanes fired 3 missiles at a 4-storey house belonging to Mohammed Hisham al-Sheikh Deeb, 31, in al-Mashtal Street in the northwest of Gaza City. The three missiles hit the house, but only one of them exploded. As a result, the house was severely damaged.

    According to al-Sheikh Deeb, who is a member of the Palestinian resistance, he received a phone call on his mobile from an unknown number at approximately 23:00 on Sunday, 23 June 2006. The caller claimed that his name is Dani and he is an Israeli intelligence officer. He informed him that his house would be attacked and that he should evacuate it in one hour. Al-Sheikh Deem immediately evacuated the house. At midnight, the Palestinian police arrived at the areas and told the owner that they were informed that his house would be attacked.

  • At approximately 12:30, IOF positioned to the east of Gaza International Airport, east of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Shouka village near the airport. A Palestinian woman, 30-year-old ‘Aaesha Shehada ‘Edwan, was wounded by a live bullet to the right thigh, when she was near her house.
  • In the afternoon, IOF killed 5 Palestinian civilians, including two children and an old woman, in two separate attacks on Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia towns in the northern Gaza Strip. Sixteen other civilians, including 5 children and a woman, were wounded. IOF shelled residential areas in the two towns.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 13:25 on Monday, 24 July 2006, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired a number of artillery shells at al-Nada tower buildings in the west of the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. One of these shells hit building (10), only 20 meters away from Beit Hanoun clinic. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed:

    1. Saleh Ibrahim Nasser, 14;

    2. Sadiq Ahmed Nasser, 31; and

    3. Sa’di Ahmed Na’im, 30.

    In addition, 11 other civilians, including 3 children and a woman, were wounded. PCHR’s field worker in the northern Gaza Strip reported that residents of the affected area started to leave it to avoid being harmed by the IOF shelling.

    At approximately 15:35, IOF resumed shelling residential areas in the northern Gaza Strip. A number of shells hit al-‘Atatra area near the American International School, northwest of Beit Lahia. As a result, a Palestinian woman and her grandchild were killed when they were on their way back home on an animal cart:

    1. Khairiya Hashem al-‘Attar, 62; and

    2. Nadi Habeeb al-‘Attar, 10.

    Three other civilians, including two children, were also wounded by shrapnel.

  • At approximately 17:45, an Israeli warplane fired two missiles at a 20-square-meter, tin-made room on a tract of agricultural land belonging to the Quraiqe’ family in al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the south of Gaza City. The room was destroyed. IOF claimed that the room was used as a store of weapons.
  • In the evening, IOF killed a Palestinian child and wounded her sister and a third civilian when they shelled al-Nada tower buildings and Beit Hanoun farms in the northern Gaza Strip.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 18:25, IOF shelled al-Nadar tower buildings, west of Beit Hanoun. An artillery shell landed near tower building 12. As a result, Khitam Mohammed Rebhi Tayeh, 11, and her sister Nuha, 10, were wounded, when they were on their way to a grocery shop. Khitam was seriously wounded, and she died later. A third civilian, 49-year-old Sameer al-Ashqar, was wounded by shrapnel to the right foot.

  • At approximately 19:00, IOF resumed shelling on al-Nada tower buildings, west of Beit Hanoun. An artillery shell fell near tower building (26). As a result, two Palestinian civilians were wounded:

    1. ‘Emad Yousef Sahweel, 33, wounded by shrapnel to the left hand; and
    2. Eshtaiwi al-‘Aazazma, 32, wounded by shrapnel to the left foot.

  • At approximately 20:30, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Beit Hanoun, fired a number of artillery shells at Beit Hanoun farms. As a result, 14-year-old Nidaa’ ‘Aaref Abu Jarad was wounded by shrapnel to the head when she was near her house.
  • At approximately 23:50, an IOF fighter jet fired a missile at a 200-square-meter, two-storey house belonging to ‘Omar Mohammed al-Mamlouk, in which were 14 individuals (two families) in al-Shojaeya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. The missile hit the house and destroyed it. A store, two cars and an engineering office belonging to the al-Wadiya family were also damaged. In addition, a neighboring house belonging to the al-Mamlouk familywas destroyed and two civilians were wounded: ‘Ouda ‘Abdullah al-Bashiti, 19; and his brother Khairi, 18. ‘Omar al-Mamlouk told PCHR that he received a phone call on his mobile phone 20 minutes before the attack. The caller was a person who claimed to be an Israeli intelligence officer. The officer informed al-Mamlouk that his house would be attacked and that he should evacuate it.

    Tuesday, 25 July 2006

  • At approximately 01:15, an IOF fighter jet fired a missile at a 240-square-meter, 3-storey house belonging to Salah Saleh al-Sha’er, 48, in Gizan al-Najjar area in the southeast of Khan Yunis. The house was destroyed and 7 neighboring ones were severely damaged. In addition, Sa’id Salama al-Najjar, 45, was wounded to the head. According to al-Sha’er, an IOF intelligence officer informed his brother Akram, a member of the Islamic Jihad, that the house would be attacked and it should be evacuated. Shortly following the evacuation of the house, IOF attacked it.
  • At approximately 01:25, an IOF fighter jet fired a missile at an under-construction house belonging to Naji Qeshta, a member of Hamas, in al-Brazil neighborhood in the south of Rafah. As a result, the house and two neighboring houses were destroyed, and another house and a factory were severely damaged. In addition, 15 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children, were wounded. Nine of the wounded are from the Abu Zaid family, whose house was destroyed.
  • At approximately 10:00, medical sources at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City declared that Khader Mohammed al-Maughari, from al-Maghazi refugee camp, who is dumb, died from a wound he had sustained on 19 July 2006, during the IOF incursion into the camp. Thus, the number of Palestinians killed during this incursion increased to 17.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF positioned near Sofa crossing, southeast of Khan Yunis, fired a number of artillery shells at al-Fukhari in the southeast of Khan Yunis. As a result, two Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded:
  • Sami Hamada Shurrab, 12, wounded by shrapnel to the thighs; and
  • Zuhair Mohammed al-Mallahi, 18.

    PCHR’s field worker in Khan Yunis reported that a shell fell near an ambulance that was on its way to evacuate the wounded, but no casualties were reported.

  • At approximately 17:20, IOF moved nearly 400 meters into agricultural areas to the east of al-Maghazi refugee camp. They razed a 7-donum area of agricultural land planted with tomatoes and destroyed a n irrigation store and a water tank belonging to Serhi Salama Abu Mandil.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses and agricultural areas in the village. As a result, Ashraf ‘Abdullah ‘Awad Abu Zaher, 14, was killed by a live bullet that entered the back and exited the chect. His father, 35, was wounded by two live bullets to the left hand and the right foot, and his sister Nisma, 6, was wounded by shrapnel to the right thigh. The father and his children were checking their agricultural land.

    Wednesday, 26 July 2006

  • In the early morning, IOF initiated a wide scale incursion into al-Shojaeya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. IOF have opened fire at Palestinian civilians and destroyed civilian property. The IOF operation has so far killed 17 Palestinians, including 5 civilians, and wounded 67 others, including 12 children. Two journalists were also wounded by the IOF gunfire while reporting on this incursion.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 00:30, IOF tanks, armored vehicles and bulldozers moved nearly one kilometer into the Gaza Strip, east of Gaza City. These forces took positions on the eastern outskirts of al-Sha’af and al-Tuffah neighborhoods in Gaza City. IOF started to fire heavily at the houses. In addition, IOF drones fired missiles at Palestinian civilians and resistance activists. At approximately 05:00, an IOF drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian resistance activists, who were in a civilian populated area in Abu Hassanain Street in al-Sha’af neighborhood. As a result, 4 resistance activists and two civilians, including a 3-year old girl, were killed:

    1. Bara’ Nasser Habib, 3, hit by shrapnel to the head and body;
    2. Mohammad Sobhi Haniya, 25;
    3. Hussam Jassar al-Saudi, 30;
    4. Yahia Srour al-Saudi, 24;
    5. Salam Suleiman al-Saudi, 42; and
    6. Saleh Khader Hassanain, 20.

    At approximately 06:30, an IOF drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian resistance activists. One of them, Yasser Khamis Banat, 20, was killed by shrapnel throughout the body.

    At approximately 10:15, an IOF tank fired a shell at a number of Palestinian resistance activists in al-Shorafa grove, near a brick factory. Two resistance activists were killed by shrapnel throughout the body:

    1. Mohammad Salah al-Bahtini, 35; and
    2. Nabil Nasser Zaino, 21.

    At approximately 12:30, an IOF tank opened fire at a number of Palestinian civilians in Salah al-Din Street, near the 7-Up Factory. Hani Mohammad H’jeila, 28, was killed by a live bullet to the chest.

    At approximately 12:50, an IOF drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian civilians near Bahloul fuel station in Salah al-Din Street. A resistance activist, Nafez Hanouna, 23, was killed.

    At approximately 15:20, an IOF drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian. A resistance activist, Majed Hamdi Habash, 30, was killed.

    At approximately 13:30, an IOF drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian. A resistance activist, Mohammed Nahedh Habib, 29, was killed.

    At approximately 14:00, an IOF drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian. A resistance activist, Mohammed Anwar Sa’du, 19, was killed.

    At approximately 19:00, medical sources at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City declared that ‘Adnan Waleed al-Saudi, 20, a resistance activist, died from a wound he had sustained in the morning.

    At approximately 20:30, an IOF warplane fired a missile at a number of Palestinian. A resistance activist, Na’el Fa’eq Abu ‘Aassi, 20, was killed.

    At approximately 22:20, Ziad Mohammed Salem, 45, was killed by a live bullet to the chest, when he was near his house, as IOF continued to fire at the area.

    IOF bulldozers continue to raze large tracts of agricultural land in the area. Most of the land belonged to members of the families of al-Sourani, al-Jadba and al-Shurafa.

  • At approximately 03:20, an IOF helicopter gunship fired two missiles at a 200-square-meter, two-storey house belonging to Yousef Ibrahim al-Nijma, in which 10 individuals live, in al-Twam suburb, west of Jabalya. The two missiles hit the first floor of the house and destroyed. In addition, 5 neighboring houses and a mosque were damaged. The owner, who is a Hamas activist, told PCHR that his son received a phone call on his mobile phone from a person who claimed to be an Israeli intelligence officer. The officer told the son that the house would be attacked and should be evacuated in 15 minutes. Neighbors also evacuated their houses.
  • At approximately 06:30, IOF shelled al-Nada tower buildings, west of Beit Hanoun. An artillery shell fell near tower building (15), wounding Mohammed Hassan Abu Zayed, 35, with shrapnel throughout the body.
  • At approximately 14:10, an IOF drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian resistance activists to the east of Salah al-Din Street, southeast of Jabalya. A resistance activist, Mahmoud Mohammed Suleiman al-Bursh, 22, from Jabalya, was killed, and another one was wounded.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, north of Beit Lahia, opened fire at a mentally handicapped Palestinian civilian near the border. He was wounded by several live bullets throughout the body. He has not been so far identified.
  • At approximately 18:50, IOF fired a number of artillery shells at the east of Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip. A shell hit the house, wounding the owner’s wife and their 4 children. They were all evacuated to Shifa Hospital, but the wife and two of the children were wounded:

    1. Asmaa’ ‘Ali ‘Oukal, 32, the wife, hit by shrapnel throughout the body;
    2. Shahd, 1; and
    3. Maria, 5.

    The other two children who were wounded are: Amani, 4; and Sumaya, 13.

  • At approximately 21:50, an IOF drone fired a missile at a house belonging to Fakhri Abu al-‘Aish in Jabalya refugee camp. The missile did not explode, but the house was damaged. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:50, an IOF fighter jet fired a missile at a 170-square-meter, two-storey house belonging to Jihad Khaled al-Kahlout, in which 8 individuals live, in Tal al-Za’tar neighborhood in Jabalya. The house was destroyed and a number of neighboring houses were damaged. The owner, a Hamas activist, told PCHR that he received a phone call two days earlier from an Israeli intelligence officer, who ordered him to evacuate his house as it would be attacked.

    Incursions into Palestinian Areas and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank

    Thursday, 20 July 2006

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into ‘Anabta village, east of Tulkarm. They opened fire indiscriminately. As a result, 17-year-old Khalil Ghassan Abu Raya, 17, was wounded by a live bullet to the right hand, when he was sitting with his friends near his house.

    Friday, 21 July 2006

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Kharas village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Ahmed Nabeel Qudaimat, 20;
    2. Jihad ‘Ali Muhareb, 23; and
    3. ‘Abdul Ghaffar Qudaimat, 24.

  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit Oula village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

    1. Mahmoud Mohammed Isma’il, 23; and
    2. Khaled Musallam Farrash, 16.

  • At approximately 13:40, IOF that had been besieging the governmental compound (Muqata’a) in Nablus since Wednesday, 19 July 2006, destroyed the remaining parts of the southern part of the compound. Debris from the compound hit al-Sal’ous apartment building, nearly 500 meters away from the compound. As a result, Ahmed Rasheed ‘Ennab Abu Keshek, 31, was killed by shrapnel, when he was in the balcony of his flat on the second floor of the building. The victim was a nurse.

    Soon after, a number of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles besieging the governmental compound. Immediately, IOF fired at these civilians, wounding 21, including 7 children.

  • In the evening, IOF withdrew from Nablus, leaving several casualties and large destruction. The outcome of the IOF operation in Nablus was:
  • 5 Palestinians, including two civilians, were killed.
  • 68 civilians, including 27 children and 3 journalists, were wounded.
  • A number of governmental buildings were destroyed.
  • The southern part of the governmental compound was destroyed.
  • At least 100 Palestinians were arrested.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Anas Hamed Swaidan, 17, and arrested him.

    Sunday, 23 July 2006

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Taqqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses, and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Fadi Za’al Humaid, 19;
    2. Joma’a Ameen Sabbah, 18; and
    3. Fares ‘Ata Jabrin, 26.

    Monday, 24 July 2006

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into Karza village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Sayel Diab Doudin, 21, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 00:20, IOF moved into Taffouh village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

    1. Sufian Mohammed al-Tarada, 22; and
    2. Rezeq Nayef Khamaisa, 21.

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Sanour village, northeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Hassan Habaiba, 33, a police officer, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qaizoun and al-Rama neighborhoods in the northeast of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested ‘Aassem Ayoub Seder, 19, a university student.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Beit Ta’mar village, east of Bethlehem, opening fire indiscriminately. They imposed a curfew on the village and raided and searched houses in the eastern part of the village, after forcing their residents out. They then arrested Nayef Ibrahim Zawahra, 26, a member of the Palestinian intelligence.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Duha village, southwest of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Ra’ed Hussein Fararja, 27.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Bitounia town, southwest of Ramallah. They patrolled in the streets. They withdrew from the town an hour later, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into al-Deir quarter in the center of al-‘Eizariya village, east of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the familt of ‘Abdullah Jouda Bassa, 17, and arrested him.

    Tuesday, 25 July 2006

  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring ‘Askara refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 4 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Mohammed ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al-Ashqar, 18;
    2. Majdi Jawad al-Shaka’a, 32;
    3. Rami ‘Azzam Yssin, 18; and
    4. Ahmed Mohammed Mansour, 18.

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Bala’a village, east of Tulkarm. They besieged a house belonging to Mohammed Saqer ‘Omar, 30. They opened fire near the house and called on residents of the house through megaphones to get out, and they did. IOF then raided and searched the house and arrested the owner.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They opened fire indiscriminately and patrolled in the streets. They withdrew two hours later, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into ‘Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. They besieged al-Samhouri apartment building and took position atop of a number of neighboring houses. They ordered residents of the building through megaphones to get out. They then raided and searched the building and arrested Wissam Mousa al-Mimi, 23.
  • Also at approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched two houses after forcing their residents out. They then arrested two Palestinian civilians:

    1. Ayman Fu’ad Ghannam, 22; and
    2. Mahmoud Yousef Zindiq, 18.

  • At approximately 21:30, an IOF undercover unit, reinforced by heavy military vehicles, moved into al-Bireh, traveling in a civilian car with an Israeli registration plate. The undercover unit moved towards Um al-Sharayet neighborhood and imposed a curfew on it. The unit then besieged two apartment buildings in the center of the neighborhood. IOF soldiers also besieged the building of Palestine Television and confiscated guns from its guards. IOF further prevented journalists from reaching the area. According to eyewitnesses, a number of IOF soldiers took position atop of a number of houses near the besieged buildings. IOF then called on residents of the two buildings through megaphones to get out, claiming that a wanted person was hiding in one of the two buildings. IOF checked the residents and held them on the first floor of a building opposite to the besieged buildings. IOF verified the identity cards of the residents and interrogated them. IOF then opened fire at a flat on the third floor of one of the besieged buildings and blew up its entrance. At approximately 00:30 on the following day, IOF shelled the flat, and ten minutes later, they broke into the building. The building was severely damaged. At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested one of the residents, ‘Emad al-Hindi. Later, an IOF spokesman claimed that al-Hindi was wanted for his activities in the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Tarama village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 7 Palestinian civilians, including 5 brothers:

    1. Ahmed ‘Abdul Karim Ghannam, 17;
    2. Nasser ‘Abdul Karim Ghannam, 18;
    3. Riad ‘Abdul Karim Ghannam, 20;
    4. Sameer ‘Abdul Karim Ghannam, 22;
    5. Ibrahim ‘Abdul Karim Ghannam, 27;
    6. Islam Nemer Ghannam, 17; and
    7. ‘Emad Ahmed Jadallah, 18.

  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into Dura village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses. They also stopped and checked passing Palestinian civilians in the streets. A number of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. Immediately, IOF fired at these civilians, wounding 16-year-old Nader Hassan al-Sharawna with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the left thigh. Before their withdrawal from the village, IOF arrested two Palestinian civilians:
  • Mohammed Hamdi al-Shirha, 21; and
  • Ahmed Nadi al-Sulaibi, 20.

    Wednesday, 26 July 2006

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Khader village, southwest of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Sa’id Dar Mousa, 40, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Harayeq and Wad al-Hariya neighborhoods in the southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Ussama Mohammed al-Jamal, 20;
    2. Isma’il Mohammed Abu ‘Eisha, 19; and
    3. Bader Lafi Ghaith, 20.

  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Fourik village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 4 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Bassam Nemer al-Haj, 45;
    2. Mohammed ‘Abdullah Hanani, 18;
    3. Tariq ‘Abdullah Hanani, 17; and
    4. Najeh Sabti Khatatba, 55.

  • At approximately 06:30, IOF moved into Yatta village, south of Hebron. They closed its entrances, patrolled in the streets and imposed a curfew on al-Jurfan and Wad al-Buqai’ areas in the south of the village. They then searched cars, fields and deserted houses. At approximately 10:00, IOF withdrew from the village and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 18:30, an IOF undercover unit moved into Kufor Qaddoum village, east of Qalailya, traveling in a civilian car with a Palestinian registration plate. The unit moved to the center of the village and surrounded at least 40 Palestinian civilians. Soon, IOF military vehicles moved into the village. They besieged a house belonging to Mohammed Hussein Qaddoumi, 70. They ordered residents of the house through megaphones to get out of the house and they did. IOF checked and verified the identity cards of the residents, claiming that they were searching for wanted Palestinians. IOF then demolished the house. During this operation, Hamada Shaker Eshtaiwi, 18, one of the civilians who were held by IOF at the center of the village, asked an IOF soldier to urinate in a nearby place and the soldier agreed. When Eshtaiwi moved from his place, another IOF soldier fired 5 live bullets at him from a close range. He was wounded by two live bullets to the neck and the left hand. Palestinian civilians called for an ambulance, but IOF prevented the medical crew from reaching Eshtaiwi, claiming that they fired at him because they thought that he intended to escape. Later, an Israeli ambulance arrived at the area and evacuated him to an unknown destination. At approximately 01:30 on the following day, IOF arrested 40 civilians from the village.

    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

    Following an attack launched by Palestinian militants on 25 June 2006 near the Israeli-Egyptian border, southeast of Rafah, which left two IOF soldiers and two of the attackers dead and a third IOF soldier missing, IOF have closed all border crossings of the Gaza Strip:

  • Rafah International Crossing Point: Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border is the sole outlet for the Gaza Strip to the outside world. IOF have closed Rafah International Crossing Point, even though they do not directly control it. They have prevented European observers working at the crossing point form reaching it. PCHR has always warned following the agreement reached between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, which was brokered by the United States and the European Union, that IOF have complete, even though indirect, control over the crossing point. Thousands of Palestinian civilians have been stuck at the Egyptian side of the crossing, and hundreds of others have been deprived of their right to receive medical treatment abroad. During the reported period, the crossing point was completely closed. The crossing point was partially reopened on 18 and 19 July 2006 to allow thousands of Palestinians stuck at the Egyptian side to cross towards the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of Palestinians visiting the Gaza Strip from other Arab countries have been stuck inside the Gaza Strip.
  • Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing: IOF have completely closed Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, which links the Gaza Strip with Israel and the West Bank. Before this latest closure, IOF had 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 had been prevented from traveling through this crossing. IOF had allowed international workers and Palestinian National Authority officials who have VIP cards to pass through the crossing, but without their private cars. With this closure, Palestinian patients have been prevented from traveling to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank.
  • Al-Mentar (Karni) Commercial Crossing: IOF have closed the crossing, which is the main commercial crossing for the Gaza Strip. As a consequence, the economic situation inside the Gaza Strip has further deteriorated and many goods have been lacked in markets. IOF have prevented the free flow of fuel, food and medical supplies since. The Gaza Strip started to suffer from a lack of basic foodstuffs and fuel. During the reported period, the crossing was partially reopened for a few hours to allow the flow of foodstuffs into the Gaza Strip, whereas Nahal Ouz crossing was opened for a few hours to bring fuel into the Gaza Strip.

    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. Following the attack on IOF on 25 June 2006, IOF prevented fishing. 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, IOF 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 tightened the siege imposed on the West Bank since 20 July 2006. They have cancelled all permits offered to Palestinians to enter Jerusalem. They have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians and imposed curfews on a number of Palestinian communities.

  • Jerusalem: IOF have imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in occupied Jerusalem. They cancelled all permits offered to Palestinians from the West Bank to enter the city. They reinforced their presence at checkpoints erected at the entrances of the city and stopped and searched Palestinian civilians vehicles. They also patrolled in the streets and stopped and checked Palestinian civilians. On Thursday morning, 20 July 2006, IOF closed all entrances to the villages of Jaba’, Za’im, Hazma, al-Swahara, Abu Dis and al-‘Eizariya. They also closed all branch dirt roads leading to these villages. On Friday, 21 July 2006, IOF prevented Palestinians aged below 45 from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque. They also imposed severe restrictions on checkpoints erected at the entrances of the city. On Saturday, 22 July 2006, IOF stopped, checked and interrogated dozens of young men inside the city.
  • Ramallah: IOF have imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They reinforced their presence at Qalandya crossing at the southern entrance of the town. On Friday morning, 21 July 2006, IOF closed the crossing for two hours. They also repeatedly closed it on Saturday, 22 July 2006.
  • Tulkarm: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday, 20 July 2006, IOF erected a number of checkpoints on the road that links Tulkarm with the villages of al-Sha’rawiya area, north of the town. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Saturday evening, 22 July 2006, IOF closed Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, and prevented Palestinian civilians from passing through it. On Sunday morning, 23 July 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint at Bala’a intersection, east of Tulkarm. They prevented Palestinian civilians from passing through it. They also chased a number of civilians who resorted to alternative dirt roads, and detained them fro several hours.

    At approximately 12:00 on Sunday, 23 July 2006, IOF positioned at Bala’a checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, violently beat Ma’awia Hassan Mousa, 35. He sustained bruises throughout the body. IOF soldiers chased Mousa and held him under the sun as he and other young men attempted to resort to alternative dirt roads to avoid prolonged checking by IOF.

  • Hebron: On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 20, 21 and 22 July 2006, IOF closed all iron gates and checkpoints erected at the entrances of the Ibrahimi Mosque and the old town. They also closed roads near settlement outposts in the center and southeast of the town. They prevented Palestinian civilians from reaching mosques, especially the Ibrahimi Mosque. IOF further erected several checkpoints on roads leading to Hebron. They imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians on those roads.

    On Sunday morning, 23 July 2006, IOF positioned at “Etzion” checkpoint, north of Hebron, arrested Isma’il ‘Ali Sabbah, 25, from Bethlehem, a member of the Palestinian National Security Forces.

  • Qalqilya: On Wednesday evening, 26 July 2006, Mahmoud Ahmed ‘Ali Simha, 63, from Jayous village east of Qalqilya, died as IOF positioned at a checkpoint near ‘Azzoun village prevented his evacuation to the hospital to be treated from an acute heart attack. Abu Simha died following an hour of waiting at the checkpoint.

    Construction of the Annexation Wall

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

  • On Monday morning, 14 July 2006, IOF started to raze areas of Palestinian land in al-Sawhra al-Gharbiya village, east of occupied Jerusalem. According to eyewitnesses, IOF destroyed 35 donums of land and a number of animal farms and walls, to complete the construction of a section of the Wall in the area. The destroyed land belongs to the families of Shuqairat, al-Saleh, al-Salhout and Ghannam.
  • On Tuesday morning, 25 July 2006, IOF razed dozens of donums of agricultural land in Jourat al-Shama’a village, south of Bethlehem to construct a section of the Wall to the southeast of “Efrat” settlement. IOF have prevented Palestinian farmers from reaching their land in the area for 6 months.

    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:

  • On Thursday morning, 20 July 2006, IOF burnt the remaining trees in Abu Ghunaim forest to the south of occupied Jerusalem, where “Har Homa” settlement stands, to expand the settlement. According to ‘Emad al-Atrash, Executive Director of Wildlife Society, IOF repeatedly burnt trees in the area, and sent fire engines to extinguish fire as if fire was accidental.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Sunday, 23 July 2006, an Israeli civilian car stopped near a house belonging to Qassem ‘Ali Abu Wazza in Hares village, south of Salfit. Three Israeli settlers got out of the car and one of them broke into the house pointing his gun at the family. Members of the family started to scream, so neighbors arrived at the house and were able to take the gun from the settlers. A few minutes later, IOF arrived at the area. They raided the house and violently beat Abu Wazza and his son, 22-year-old Suhail, claiming that the family “threatened the security of settlers.” According to Abu Wazza, the settler apparently intended to kill him and his family.
  • On Tuesday evening, 25 July 2006, an Israeli settler from “Beitar Elite” settlement, west of Bethlehem, fired at Mousa ‘Atiya Hamamra, 47, from Housan village, when he was on his way back home. Hamamra was wounded by a live bullet to the lower jaw.
  • At approximately 11:30, an Israeli settler traveling in a civilian car fired at two Palestinian civilians, while they were grazing animals near al-Zahiriya village, south of Hebron. One of these civilians, Suleiman Shafiq al-Tal, 27, was wounded by shrapnel to the legs, and 3 sheep were killed. The settler then escaped towards the neighboring “Tina Omarim” settlement. The two civilians told PCHR that the settler who attacked them is known of his aggressive acts against Palestinian civilians in the area.

    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 in 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, which was implemented last year, 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 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.

    Related Links

    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.