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
IOF have continued to launch air strikes on houses in the Gaza Strip; one house was destroyed in Gaza City.
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.
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.
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:
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
1. Mohammed Jamal al-Mubarak, 60;
2. Hassan Jamal al-Mubarak, 34; and
3. Mansour Jamal al-Mubarak, 32.
“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.”
Friday, 8 September 2006
Saturday, 9 September 2006
1. Ra’fat ‘Omar Abu Lawi, 27; and
2. Rami Shaher Abu Salem, 25.
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.
Sunday, 10 September 2006
Monday, 11 September 2006
1. Khalil Mohammed Jawabra, 19;
2. Eihab Mohammed al-Baba, 19;
3. Tariq Bilal al-Baba, 19; and
4. Jihad Khalil Abu Yousef, 18.
1. ‘Ameed Fu’ad al-Sayeh, 27;
2. Hassan Saleh Tayem, 20; and
3. Qalawan Ma’rouf, 20.
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.
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.
Tuesday, 12 September 2006
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.
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.
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.
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.
1. Mohammed Fayez Yousef, 24;
2. Mahmoud Fayez Yousef, 27; and
3. Eyad Fawzi Yousef, 26.
Wednesday, 13 September 2006
1. Anwar Yousef Qutait, 21;
2. Yahia ‘Abed Qutait, 20; and
3. Suleiman Isma’il Qtaina, 20.
1. Ghassan Ahmed Tahaina, 23; and
2. Bassam Ahmed Tahaina, 28.
1. ‘Ali Yousef Simman, 20;
2. Durgham Yousef Qashmar, 19; and
3. Mohammed Hassan Nujaim, 19.
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:
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.”
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 FÚdÚration 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.