Weekly report of human rights violations

Palestinians attend the funeral of Jihad Abu Snemh who was killed by Israeli forces in Rafah Refugee Camp southern Gaza Strip, 11 September 2006. (MaanImages/Hatem Omar)


Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Escalate Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), and the Gaza Strip Remains Under Occupation One Year Following the IOF Redeployment

  • 6 Palestinians, including two children, were killed by IOF.
  • 3 of the victims, including two civilian bystanders, were extra-judicially executed by IOF in Qabatya village near Jenin.
  • 29 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and 6 women, were wounded by the IOF gunfire.
    IOF have continued to launch air strikes on houses in the Gaza Strip; one house was destroyed in Gaza City.
  • IOF conducted 35 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 4 others into the Gaza Strip.
  • IOF arrested 55 Palestinian civilians, including two children, 3 women and two wounded persons, in the West Bank.
  • 4 houses were destroyed and 280 donums of agricultural land were razed by IOF in the Gaza Strip.
  • IOF transformed a number of houses into military sites.
  • IOF raided various offices of Prisoners’ Supporters Association and closed the Association for two years.
  • IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF have imposed a tightened siege on the Gaza Strip; and IOF positioned at a various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child.
  • IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall in the West Bank; they confiscated 100 donums of land in al-Khader village south of Bethlehem; and the Israeli High Court approved resuming the construction of the Wall to the northwest of Jerusalem.
  • Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property in the OPT; an Israeli settler ran down a Palestinian child in Qalqilya.

    Summary

    The publication of this report coincides with the first anniversary of the IOF redeployment in the Gaza Strip, under which IOF dismantled Israeli settlements and deployed along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Israel claimed then that its forced withdrew from the Gaza Strip and ended 38 years of occupation, but facts on the ground refute this claim, as IOF have continued to commit crimes against Palestinian civilians and property in the Gaza Strip and have maintained control over it border, airspace and sea. In the meantime, IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall and expand settlements in the West Bank. 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, since 25 June 2006, when Palestinian militants launched an attack on an IOF military site near Rafah. During the reported period, IOF have continued their attacks on Palestinian civilians and property.

    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 lift the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. PCHR also warns the international community of the consequences of the policy of collective punishment and reprisals practiced by IOF against the Palestinian civilian population, especially the destruction of energy resources and the denial of the flow of fuels needed for providing basic services.

    Israeli violations of international law continued in the OPT during the reported period (7 - 13 September 2006):

    Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 5 Palestinians, including a child. A sixth Palestinian also died from a previous.

    In the West Bank, IOF killed 4 Palestinians, including a child. Three of the victims, including two civilian bystanders, were extra-judicially executed by IOF in Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. IOF killed two of these victims after having wounded and captured them. The fourth victim, who was child, was shot dead by IOF in Bethlehem on 12 September 2006. In addition, 22 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and 5 women, were wounded by IOF gunfire. One of them was pronounced clinically dead.

    In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian civilians was killed by IOF shelling in Rafah on 10 September 2006. Another Palestinian died on 9 September, from a previous wound he had sustained in an armed clash with IOF in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis. In addition, 7 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded by the IOF gunfire.

    Thus, the number of Palestinians killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip since 25 June 2006 has increased to 228, including 48 children and 12 women. In addition, 813 others, mostly civilians, including 216 children, 30 women, 4 paramedics and 4 journalists, have been wounded.

    IOF also launched an air strike on a house in the Gaza Strip belonging to Palestinian resistance activist. The house was destroyed, number of neighboring houses and civilian facilities were severely damaged and 4 Palestinian civilians were wounded.

    Incursions: During the reported period, IOF conducted at least 35 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they raided dozens of houses and arrested 55 Palestinian civilians. In addition, IOF raided various offices of Prisoners’ Supporters Association, and closed them for two years. They also closed the office of a lawyer in Jenin. In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 4 incursions in the southern Gaza Strip villages of ‘Abasan, Khuza’a and al-Shouka, and the central Gaza Strip town of Deir al-Balah. During this incursions, IOF arrested 4 Palestinians; razed at least 280 donums of agricultural land; and destroyed 4 houses, 4 bird farms and 4 wells. They also damaged the electricity and water supplies.

    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

    IOF have imposed a strict siege on the Gaza Strip. They have closed its border crossings as a form of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians.

    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. 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 lacked in markets. During the reported period, IOF partially reopened al-Mentar (Karni) crossing, east of Gaza City, and Sofa and Kerem Shalom crossings near Rafah. IOF have also continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. In addition, IOF have prevented Palestinian fishermen from fishing.

    West Bank

    IOF have tightened the siege imposed on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. They have isolated Jerusalem from the rest of 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 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 positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child.

    Annexation Wall: IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF issued a military order confiscating 100 donums of Palestinian land in al-Khader village, west of Bethlehem, to complete the construction of a section of the Wall near Road 60, which links Jerusalem with the southern West Bank. Upon the completion of its construction, this section of the Wall will separate Bethlehem from its western countryside, and will prevent Palestinian farmers in al-Khader village from farming their agricultural land. On 10 September 2006, the Israeli High Court approved the planned route of the Wall in villages located to the northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. Thus, at least 500 donums of Palestinian land would be effectively annexed to Israel. In taking this decision, the court rejected 7 petitions submitted by residents of these villages. It is worth noting that 5 Israeli settlements stand in the area. The court claimed that “the purpose of the construction of the Wall is to protect the lives of Israeli citizens from terrorist attacks, so its expected benefit is great.” The court further claimed that the new route “minimized the impact of the wall on Palestinians, and created a balance between the right of Israelis to be secure, and the right of Palestinians to farm their lands.” This latest decision violates the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice on 9 July 2004, which called for the dismantlement of the Walla. It also violates the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and other international human rights instruments. IOF also used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli peace activists in protest to the construction of the Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. As a result, 15 demonstrators were injured.

    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 4 attacks on Palestinian civilians. In one these attacks, an Israeli settler ran down a Palestinian child in Qalqilya. IOF also demolished two civilian facilities in Taqqou’a village, east of Bethlehem.

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

  • 263 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 51 children and 12 women, have been killed by IOF.
  • At least 983 Palestinian civilians, including 277 children and 37 women, have been wounded by the IOF gunfire.
  • At least 253 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 9 ministers and 31 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), including the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Secretary, have been arrested. Minster of Prisoners’ Affairs, Minister of Labor and Second Deputy Speaker of the PLC were released.
  • 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 has warned some Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by phone to evacuate their houses, which would be attacked.
  • 41 houses belonging to activists of Palestinian factions were destroyed by IOF warplanes.
  • IOF have imposed a strict siege on the OPT, and have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

    Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (7 - 13 September 2006)

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

    Thursday, 7 September 2006

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into al-Furaidees village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses, and arrested a man and his two sons:

    1. Mohammed Jamal al-Mubarak, 60;
    2. Hassan Jamal al-Mubarak, 34; and
    3. Mansour Jamal al-Mubarak, 32.

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Tammoun village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses. They withdrew from the village a few hours later, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into ‘Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of house, and arrested Shirine Fathi Qandeel, 26, and arrested her. She is married to a man in ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya, and a mother of two children. She came to visit her family on the camp on 6 September 2006. When she knew that her neighbor, ‘Oufa Suleiman Abu Khait, 90, was in agony, she went to visit her and slept there. Soon, IOF raided and searched the house, and arrested her. In her testimony to PCHR, Rasmiya Hussein Abu Khait, 30, stated:

    “At approximately 02:30 on Thursday, 7 September 2006, I woke up hearing sounds of IOF vehicles near our house. I looked through the window, and saw IOF soldiers knocking the door of a neighboring house belonging to Fathi Qandeel, who is blind. I went back to bed and sat hearing what was going on outside. Nearly 10 minutes later, our door was knocked at. I opened the door. I found our neighbor, Fathi Qandeel, accompanied by his child. A number of IOF soldiers were behind them. Qandeel asked me about his daughter Shirine. I told him that she was sleeping. An IOF soldier ordered me to awake her. Shirine woke up as she heard the noise. IOF female soldiers checked her. IOF then raided and searched the house, and arrested Shirine for no apparent reason.”

  • At approximately 19:30, IOF moved into several areas in Hebron. They patrolled in the streets. They withdrew from these areas at 21:30 and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF moved into Jabal Abu Rumman neighborhood in Hebron. They raided and searched some houses, and damaged a number of them. IOF withdrew from the area at 02:30 on the following day, and no arrests were reported.

    Friday, 8 September 2006

  • At approximately 00:50, IOF moved into al-Salam Street in the west of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses belonging to the al-Natsha family, and arrested Nabeel Na’im al-Natsha, director of Hebron Equestrian Association.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched offices of Prisoners’ Supporters Association in al-Bassateen Street. They confiscated two computer sets and a number of files, and closed the association for two years. At the same time, they raided and searched the office of attorney Fadel Bushnaq. They confiscated a computer set and a number of files, and closed the office for two years.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided offices of Prisoners’ Supporters Association in the center of the town. They damaged a number of computer sets and files, and closed the association for two years.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Salfit village, southwest of Nablus. They raided offices of Prisoners’ Supporters Association and al-Nahda Charitable Society in the center of the village. They damaged the furniture and confiscated a number of files. They then closed Prisoners’ Supporters Association for two years.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched offices of Prisoners’ Supporters Association in the center of the city. They confiscated a number of computer sets and some files. They closed the association for two years. According to the military order closing the association, the order can be appealed in 16 days. It claimed that the association is illegitimate and carry out illegitimate activities. According to the director of the association, Mohammed Bisharat, the association has been licensed to work inside Israel since 1982. It is also licensed by the Palestinian National Authority to work in the West Bank.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF moved into various areas in Hebron. The erected a number of checkpoints, and stopped and checked Palestinian civilians. They also raided and searched a school and a number of shops. IOF withdrew later, and no arrests were reported.

    Saturday, 9 September 2006

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into ‘Ein Sara neighborhood in Hebron. They raided and searched offices of Prisoners’ Supporters Association. They damaged the furniture and confiscated a number of documents. They then closed the association for two years.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Shawawra village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses, and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

    1. Ra’fat ‘Omar Abu Lawi, 27; and
    2. Rami Shaher Abu Salem, 25.

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved Jenin. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. At approximately 04:30, they withdrew, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into the center of Nablus. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. At approximately 06:30, IOF withdrew from the city and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into nearly one kilometer into Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis. It is worth noting that IOF had redeployed out of the village on Thursday evening, 7 September 2006 following a two-day incursion. They raided a number of houses and transformed them into military sites. They then destroyed a cemetery belonging to the Abu Rouk family and exhumed graves. At approximately 09:15, a number of members of the Palestinian resistance exchanged fire with IOF. One member of the resistance, 26-year-old Zaid al-‘Abed Abu Sa’ada, was seriously wounded by a live bullet to the neck. At approximately 23:00, IOF redeployed outside the village leaving extensive destruction:

    1. They destroyed a 100-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house belonging to Kamal Jebril Abu Rujaila, 47, in which 11 people (3 families) lived.
    2. They damaged a number of houses.
    3. They razed 151 donums of agricultural land planted with olives, palms, fruits and vegetables, and destroyed 23 greenhouses and 4 agricultural pools.
    4. They destroyed 3 bird farms over birds.
    5. They destroyed a car (a 1996 white Opel) belonging to Wa’el Rezeq Abu Rouk.
    6. They destroyed a well
    7. They damaged the electricity and water supplies.

  • At approximately 19:30, IOF moved into Tubas village, southeast of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They withdrew from the village later, and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 20:00, medical sources at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City declared that Nasser Mohammed Msabbeh, 20, from ‘Abasan village east of Khan Yunis, died from a wound he has sustained two days earlier, when IOF warplanes attacked him and a number of other members of the Palestinian resistance in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into ‘Anabta village, east of Tulkarm. A number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. Immediately, IOF fired at the children, wounding 16-year-old ‘Izziddin Mohammed Toum with shrapnel throughout the body.

    Sunday, 10 September 2006

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into the center of Nablus. They patrolled in the streets and fired sound bombs. A few hours later, IOF withdrew from the city and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into Shwaika suburb, north of Tulkarm. A number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. IOF soldiers chased the children. They arrested 13-year-old Asyad Khaled al-Shaker. They held him for a few hours and then released him.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF positioned inside Gaza International Airport, east of Rafah, fired a number of artillery shells at house in al-Shouka village near the airport. As a result, Jihad Selmi Abu Snaima, 14, was killed by shrapnel throughout the body, when he was bear his house. In addition, Nayef Mohammed Abu Snaima, 22, was seriously wounded by shrapnel throughout the body.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Tammoun village, southeast of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

    Monday, 11 September 2006

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Halhoul town, north of Hebron. They raoded and searched a number of houses and arrested 4 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Khalil Mohammed Jawabra, 19;
    2. Eihab Mohammed al-Baba, 19;
    3. Tariq Bilal al-Baba, 19; and
    4. Jihad Khalil Abu Yousef, 18.

  • At approximately 02:00, an IOF infantry unit moved nearly 700 meters into ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis. IOF soldiers raided 4 houses and transformed them into military sites after holding their respectful residents in one room of each. Two hours later, IOF vehicles, reinforced by drones, moved into the area. They arrested 5 Palestinian civilians, including a man and his two sons, and took them to a military site to the east of Rafah to interrogate them. These civilians were released later. During this incursion, IOF destroyed two houses belonging to the families of Abu Ta’iya and al-Daghma, in which 24 people lived, and damaged an under-construction house belonging to the Abu Daqqa family. IOF also razed 79 donums of agricultural land planted with olives, vegetables and palms and destroyed a well and a number of irrigation networks. In addition, ‘Omar Ahmed al-Daghma, 20, was wounded by a live bullet to the right leg.
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

    1. ‘Ameed Fu’ad al-Sayeh, 27;
    2. Hassan Saleh Tayem, 20; and
    3. Qalawan Ma’rouf, 20.

  • Also at approximately 02:50, IOF moved into Beit Qad village, northeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 5 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Firas Nader Jalamna, 26;
    2. Mohammed Nader Jalamna, 22;
    3. Lu’ai Nader Jalamna, 25;
    4. Tawfiq ‘Ezzat Jalamna, 27; and
    5. Ahmed ‘Ezzat Jalamna, 23.

  • At approximately 03:00, IOf moved into Tulkarm town and refugee camp and the neighboring ‘Ezbat al-Jarad village. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinians:

    1. Talal ‘Abdullah Jeetawi, 52, the Imam of a mosque in the center of the town;
    2. Mohammed ‘Ali al-Hamshari, 19; and
    3. Samer ‘Adnan Abu Jamous, 21, a police officer.

  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Kufor Ne’ma village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses. They also raided the consolation house of Ma’ath al-Shayeb, 17, who was killed by a mysterious explosion in the afternoon.

    Tuesday, 12 September 2006

  • At approximately 01:00, an IOF fighter jet dropped a bomb on a 170-square-meter, two-storey, uninhabited house belonging to ‘Abdul Rahman al-Ramli, a member of Hamas, in the southwest of Gaza City. The house was destroyed and a number of neighboring houses were severely damaged. In addition, 4 Palestinian civilians were wounded:

    1. Deena Mohammed Hassouna, 9 months, wounded by shrapnel to the feet;
    2. Mahmoud Yousef Hassouna, 22, wounded by shrapnel to the face;
    3. Nabeela Nabeel al-Najjar, 50, wounded by shrapnel to the left foot; and
    4. Jawdat Tahseen al-Khuzondar, 31, wounded by shrapnel to the right foot.

    It is worth noting that IOF had destroyed two already destroyed two houses belonging to al-Ramli in al-Nasser and Tal al-Hawa neighborhoods in Gaza City.

  • At approximately 02:30, an IOF special unit moved nearly 500 meters into al-Shouka village, east of Rafah. IOF soldiers raided a site of the Palestinian National Security Forces, and held 3 security men for 3 hours.
  • Also at approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Housan village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 5 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Mohammed Yasser Shousha, 18;
    2. ‘Alaa’ Yasser Shousha, 20;
    3. Mohammed Yasser Hamamra, 19;
    4. Ibrahim Mousa Hamamra, 18; and
    5. Ibrahim Yasser Sabatin, 20.

  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Amjad ‘Abdul Hadi al-Tumaizi, 34, an intelligence officer, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved nearly 300 meters into the east of Deir al-Balah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ussama Hussein Abu Safiya, 50, director of the district office of the Higher Committee for Local Elections, and ‘Abdul Hai Salem Sa’id. They held the families in one room in each and transformed the roofs into militart sites. Later, IOF arrested Abu Safiya and his son, 18-year-old Hussein. The son was released later. During this incursion, IOF bulldozers razed areas of Palestinian agricultural land and destroyed a number of civilian facilities:

    1. They destroyed a house belonging to Ashraf Rajab Fattouh.
    2. They razed 50 donums of agricultural land belonging to the families of Abu Safiya, Ben Sa’id, Abu Hamam, al-Telbani, al-Musaddar and Abu Matwi.
    3. They destroyed two wells belonging to ‘Ouda ‘Abdullah Ben Sa’id and Jalal Furaih al-Musaddar.
    4. They destroyed a 300-square-meter farm belonging to ‘Ouda ‘Abdullah Ben Sa’id, and damaged two others belonging to Ashraf Fattouh and ‘Abdul Hai Salem Sa’id.

    IOF claimed that they moved into the areas to destroy a tunnel.

  • At approximately 15:10, IOF moved into Wadi Ma;ali and al-‘Ein neighborhood in the center of Bethlehem. They besieged a house belonging to ‘Ali Ahmed Salahat, 23. They forced residents of neighboring houses out, and then opened fire at Salahat’s house. Nearly 45 minutes later, an IOF bulldozer started to demolish parts of the house. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers opened fire indiscriminately, wounding 4 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children:

    1. Mohammed ‘Omar ‘Awad Shoriya, 13, from Rakhma village southeast of Bethlehem, seriously wounded by a live bullet to the back, and died from his wound later;
    2. Ayman Ibrahim Masalma, 16, seriously wounded by a live bullet to the abdomen;
    3. Najah Deeb Bouja, 25, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the left leg; and
    4. Khalil Ibrahim al-Mismis, 14, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head.

    According to eyewitnesses, an IOF soldier fired at Shoriya from a range of less than 50 meters, when he was near a shop belonging to his family. IOF withdrew from the area at approximately 19:00 after they had arrested ‘Ali Salahat, who was allegedly wanted.

  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into ‘Ein al-Baida village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Mohammed Fayez Yousef, 24;
    2. Mahmoud Fayez Yousef, 27; and
    3. Eyad Fawzi Yousef, 26.

    Wednesday, 13 September 2006

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Raboud village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Anwar Yousef Qutait, 21;
    2. Yahia ‘Abed Qutait, 20; and
    3. Suleiman Isma’il Qtaina, 20.

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

    1. Ghassan Ahmed Tahaina, 23; and
    2. Bassam Ahmed Tahaina, 28.

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

    1. ‘Ali Yousef Simman, 20;
    2. Durgham Yousef Qashmar, 19; and
    3. Mohammed Hassan Nujaim, 19.

  • At approximately 22:45, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses and agricultural land located to the west of the border. As a result, Mohammed Sameer Abu Lebda, 23, was wounded by shrapnel to the head.

    2. Extra-Judicial Executions

    During the reported period, IOF committed two attempts to extra-judicially execute Palestinians. In one of these attempts, 3 Palestinians were killed, while the other one failed and the targeted persons survived the attack.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR:

  • At approximately 16:30 on Thursday, 7 September 2006, an IOF undercover unit moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin, traveling in two civilian cars with Palestinian registration plates. When the two cars arrived at al-Zakarna area, IOF soldiers opened fire at two Palestinian who were walking in the area, wounding one of them, Rasheed Mohammed ‘Abdul Hadi Zakarna, 37, with a live bullet to the right shoulder, while the other one, Ashraf Adeeb Zakrna, 26, was able to escape to a house belonging to Mohammed Qassem Zakarna. The former fell onto the ground. Two other Palestinians got out of their house to offer help to the wounded me, but IOF soldiers fired at them wounding the two:

    1. Kamel Kayed al-Loubani, 28, wounded by a live bullet to the right leg; and
    2. Zakaria Kayed al-Loubani, 32, wounded by a live bullet to the pelvis.

    The two were able to move back to their house. A number of IOF soldiers raided the house and one of them shot Kamel dead. Other IOF soldiers brought Rasheed into the house and shot him dead. The Israeli operation targeted Rasheed Zakarna, who was allegedly wanted for being a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a military wing of Fatah movement. IOF soldiers then raided a house belonging to Mohammed Qassem Kafarna, where dozens of Palestinians were celebrating a wedding party Ashraf Zakarna. They opened fire indiscriminately, wounding 12 Palestinian civilians, including 5 women. During their withdrawal from the village, IOF opened fire at a number of Palestinian civilians. As a result, Mohammed Mahmoud Fahed Abu al-Rub, 36, was killed by a live bullet to the heart. Five other civilians were also wounded. One of them, 18-year-old Haitham Najeh Subhi ‘Assaf, was seriously wounded by a live bullet to the head. He was later pronounced clinically dead.

    In his testimony to PCHR, Mahmoud Kayed al-Loubani, 46, stated:

    “At approximately 16:30 on Thursday, 7 September 2006, I saw Rasheed Mohammed ‘;Abdul Hadi Zakarna, 36, and Ashraf Adeeb Zakarna, 26, walking near my house, which is located behind Qabatya secondary school. Two civilian cars with Palestinian registration plates were traveling behind them. Immediately, the two men were fired at from inside the two cars. Rasheed was wounded by a live bullet to the right shoulder, while Ashraf was able to escape towards a house belonging to Mohammed Qassem Zakarna. A number of masked Israelis soldiers got out of the two cars and hid among houses. My brothers, 32-year-old Zakaria and 28-year-old Kamel, went towards Rasheed to offer him help. Immediately, IOFR soldiers fired at them. The two were wounded by live bullets, but they were able to move back to the house. IOF soldiers broke into the house, bringing Zauhair Zakarna, 38, who was wounded by a live bullet to the right leg, with them. I moved down to the first floor to offer help to my wounded brothers. IOF soldiers pointed their guns at me and ordered me to stay back. Soon, an IOF soldier shot my brother Kmel dead. Later, an Israeli military jeep arrived at the area. The soldier who killed my brother expressed his pride of killing my brother to an officer who was in the jeep, and the officer highly appreciated him. Soon after, IOF soldiers raided Mohammed Qassem Zakarna’s house to bring Ashraf. Women there screamed and IOF soldiers opened fire indiscriminately, wounding a number of civilians. IOF soldiers brought Ashraf out. He was bleeding. I heard an Israeli soldier telling him not to afraid, because they would make him have a rest like Rasheed. Before their withdrawal from the village, IOF soldiers arrested Ashraf and my brother Zakaria.”

  • At approximately 21:45 on Monday, 11 September 2006, an IOF drone fired a missile at a civilian car that was traveling in al-Nour neighborhood in the north of Rafah. A number of members of the al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, were traveling in the car. The missile went astray, and the Palestinian activists were able to escape from the car. Soon, the IOF drone fired another missile at the car, destroying it. Earlier, IOF drones fired 3 missiles at al-Shaboura refugee camp, where the targeted car was initially traveling. The missiles hit two houses belonging to the families of Deeb and Abu Mar’ei. The two houses were severely damaged, but no casualties were reported.

    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

    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. Thousands of Palestinians visiting the Gaza Strip from other Arab countries have been stuck inside the Gaza Strip. On Thursday morning, 10 August 2006, Ms. Maria Teleria, Press and Public Information Officer of the EU observers at Rafah International Crossing Point, issued a press release, declaring that the crossing point would be opened from 08:30 to 20:00. However, the crossing point was opened at 10:00 and was re-closed at 12:45 as the EU observers withdrew from it. Approximately 1596 Palestinians were able to travel to Egypt and other countries through the crossing point. On Friday, 11 August 2006, the crossing was opened at 10:00, but it was re-closed at 14:00. Approximately 2800 Palestinian were able to travel from the Gaza Strip to Egypt and other countries. On 25 August 2006, the crossing point was opened on both directions from 08:00 until 18:00. On that day, 3104 Palestinians were able to travel abroad and 3204 others were able to travel back to the Gaza Strip. On 26 August 2006, the crossing point was operated from 08:00 until 14:00. On that day, 2500 Palestinians were able to travel abroad, and 1070 others were able to come back to the Gaza Strip. The suffering of thousands of Palestinians as a result of the closure of the crossing has continued since 25 June 2006.
  • 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 have allowed international workers to pass through the crossing. With this closure, few Palestinian patients have been able to travel to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank. The crossing is operated from 08:00 to 21:00 daily.
  • 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. During the reported period, IOF partially reopened the crossing. They allowed the importation of foodstuffs and medicines into the Gaza Strip, and the exportation of several goods from the Gaza Strip to Israel and the West Bank. IOF also partially reopened Sofa and Kerem Shalom crossings near Rafah, and allowed the entry of humanitarian aids provided by Arab countries 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 imposed a tightened siege on 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 continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians at various checkpoints around the town, especially Attara checkpoint, north of the town, and Qalandya checkpoint, south of the town. During the reported period, IOF positioned at ‘Attara checkpoint conducted prolonged checking for Palestinian civilians, including medical crews. IOF soldiers also stopped and searched ambulances, and checked medical crews.
  • Nablus: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday morning, 7 September 2006, IOF issued a decision closing Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of Nablus, daily from 19:30 until 06:00 on the following day. At noon, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint at the northern entrance of Nablus conducted prolonged and humiliating checking for Palestinian civilians and forced them to wait for long hours at the checkpoint. On Saturday, 9 September 2006, IOF positioned at the two checkpoints at the western and northern entrances of Nablus imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They conducted prolonged checking for Palestinian civilians. On Monday morning, 12 September 2006, IOF positioned at the two checkpoints at the western and northern entrances of Nablus imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At noon, IOF closed Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, and Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of the city. Later, IOF claimed that they arrested a Palestinian who was carrying explosives.

    On Friday noon, 8 September 2006, IOF positioned at Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Mohammed Khaled al-Natsha, 18, from Nour Shams refugee camp east of Tulkarm.

    On Friday evening, IOF positioned at the same checkpoint arrested Anees Ramadan, 21, from ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ checkpoint west of Nablus.

  • Tulkarm: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday, 7 September 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint at al-Jaroushiya checkpoint, north of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. They also held dozens of civilians who resorted to alternative dirt roads for long hours. On Friday, 8 September 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint at Bala’a intersection, east of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles, and forced civilians to cross the checkpoint on foot. On Saturday, 9 September 2006, IOF soldiers positioned at ‘Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, and Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of the town, continued to prevent Palestinian civilians aged below 35 from crossing the two checkpoints. On Sunday, 10 September 2006, IOF positioned at various checkpoints around Tulkarm imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They also fired at civilians who resorted to alternative dirt roads. On Monday, 11 September 2006, IOF closed al-Kafriyat checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, for no apparent reason.
  • Jenin: IOF have continued to severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Saturday evening, 9 September 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint at Tammoun intersection, southeast of Jenin, a second one on Tubas - Nablus road, and a third one in al-Fara’a area. On Sunday morning, 10 September 2006, IOF erected two checkpoints on Jenin - Nablus road. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles, and chased civilians who resorted to alternative roads. At approximately 22:00 on Sunday, IOF erected a checkpoint on the main road in ‘Aqqaba village, southeast of Jenin. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.
  • Hebron: On Saturday noon, 9 Sepetmber 2006, IOF positioned at iron gates in the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the old town of Hebron arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Hussam Jawad al-Natsha, 22;
    2. Ahmed ‘Awad al-Khatib, 17; and
    3. Isma’il ‘Awad al-Khatib, 15.

    4. Construction of the Annexation Wall

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

  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 1 September 2006, at least 250 Palestinian civilians and 50 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 soldiers violently beat the demonstrators. As a result, 6 Palestinian civilians, 6 Israeli solidarity activists and 3 international ones sustained bruises and fractures.
  • On Sunday, 10 September 2006, the Israeli High Court approved the planned route of the Wall in villages located to the northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. Thus, at least 500 donums of Palestinian land would be effectively annexed to Israel. In taking this decision, the court rejected 7 petitions submitted by residents of these villages. It is worth noting that 5 Israeli settlements stand in the area. The court claimed that “the purpose of the construction of the Wall is to protect the lives of Israeli citizens from terrorist attacks, so its expected benefit is great.” The court further claimed that the new route “minimized the impact of the wall on Palestinians, and created a balance between the right of Israelis to be secure, and the right of Palestinians to farm their lands.” This latest decision violates the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice on 9 July 2004, which called for the dismantlement of the Walla. It also violates the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and other international human rights instruments.
  • On Monday morning, 11 September 2006, IOF demolished a 150-square-meter bird farm belonging to Tariq and Fathi Qabaha in Toura al-Gharbiya village, southwest of Jenin, which is located near the Walla. IOF claimed that the bird farm was built without a license, although it had been standing in the area for 15 years.
  • On Tuesday morning, 12 September 2006, IOF issued a military order confiscating 100 donums of Palestinian land in al-Khader village, west of Bethlehem, to complete the construction of a section of the Wall near Road 60, which links Jerusalem with the southern West Bank. Upon the completion of its construction, this section of the Wall will separate Bethlehem from its western countryside, and will prevent Palestinian farmers in al-Khader village from farming their agricultural land.

    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:

  • On Thursday morning, 7 September 2006, some Israeli settlers from “Kiryat Arba” settlement, southeast of Hebron, escorted by IOF, raided a tract of land belonging to Ahmed As’ad Jaber in al-Ras neighborhood to the west of the aforementioned settlement. They razed a large area of the land, whose case was being considered by the Israeli High Court. When Palestinian civilians attempted to stop the settlers, IOF intervened and moved these civilians back. IOF claimed that the settlers had a permission from the army to do whatever they consider appropriate in the area.
  • On Thursday noon, a number of Israeli settlers from “Kiryat Arba” settlement, escorted by IOF and a technical crew, started to stable cameras along a settler road established to the south of the settlement, although the Israeli High Court issued a decision one year ago stopping the establishment of the road on Palestinian land. Israeli settlers also placed cement blocks on Palestinian land. Israeli settlers have repeatedly attacked Palestinian civilians in the area, and IOF have not considered any of the complaints submitted by Palestinian civilians against such attacks.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Sunday, 10 September 2006, a number of Israeli settlers from “Gush Etzion” and “Kermi Tsur” settlements, escorted by IOF, moved into Halhoul town, north of Hebron. They broke into Prophet Younis Mosque in the northeast of the town, and conducted Jewish prayers inside it for an hours.
  • At approximately 08:30 also on Sunday, an Israeli civilian vehicle deliberately ran down Hiba Jamal al-‘Azazma, 10, when she was on her way back home from school near the main road leading to Qalqilya. The diver fled from the area. The child was seriously injured. She was first evacuated to an UNRWA hospital in Qalqilya, but as she was in a serious condition, she was transferred to an Israeli hospital. Later, the Israeli police arrested the driver who ran down the child. He is an Israeli settler.
  • The Israeli “There Are Judges” issued a report on Monday, 11 September 2006, asserting that at least 90% of the complaints submitted by Palestinians who are subject to attack by Israeli settlers in the West Bank are neglected. According to the report, in 2005, Palestinians submitted 299 complaints against settlers, but 90 of these complaints were neglected under various claims, such as the lack of evidence or the escape of perpetrators. In some cases, Palestinian were even obstructed from submitting complaints.
  • On Tuesday morning, 12 September 2006, IOF, reinforced by a bulldozer, moved into Taqqou’ village, east of Bethlehem. They demolished a 120-square-meter and a 180-square-meter barracks belonging to Khalil Safi al-Badan. They claimed that the two structures were built without licenses.

    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, 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.

    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 dÚration 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.