Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (11 - 17 January 2007):
Killing: On 14 January 2007, IOF killed two members of the Palestinian resistance in the northern Gaza Strip. IOF fired at them when they were 20 meters away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. In the West Bank, on 16 January 2007, a Palestinian detainee died in the Negev Prison inside Israel due to medical negligence.
Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 30 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF raided houses and arrested 54 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children and a woman and her daughter. IOF also transformed two houses into military sites. In the Gaza Strip, on 14 January 2007, IOF moved nearly 200 meters into ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis, and leveled areas of land. On 15 January 2007, IOF moved nearly 300 meters into al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis, and leveled areas of land.
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 since 25 June 2006, even though they do not directly control it. The crossing point was not opened. IOF have partially reopened commercial crossings, especially al-Mentar (Karni) crossing, but many goods and medical supplies have been lacked in markets in the Gaza Strip. IOF have also continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have been prevented from traveling through this crossing. IOF have allowed international workers to pass through the crossing. With this closure, only few Palestinian patients have been able to travel to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank. In addition, IOF have continued to prevent Palestinian fishermen from fishing for nearly 7 months.
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. Contrary to Israeli claims, IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. During the reporting period, IOF soldiers positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 3 Palestinian civilians, including a girl.
Annexation Wall: IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank. On Monday morning, 15 January 2007, IOF razed large areas of land in Um Salamouna village, southwest of Bethlehem, to construct a section of the Wall. IOF also used force to disperse peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli solidarity activists in protest to the construction of the Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah, and Um Salamouna village, southwest of Bethlehem. As a result, 14 demonstrators and a journalist were injured.
Settlement Activities: On Thursday morning, 11 January 2007, Israeli settlers escorted by IOF started to raze large areas of agricultural land in Yatta village, south of Hebron, to establish a settler road near “Sousi” settlement. On 15 January 2007, the Israeli Ministry of Housing published an invitation for bids to construct 44 new housing units in “Ma’ale Adomim” settlement, east of occupied Jerusalem. This bid aims at expanding the settlements around Jerusalem and accelerate the Judaization of the city.
The outcome of crimes committed by IOF since 25 June 2006:
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (11 - 17 January 2007)
1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
Thursday, 11 January 2007
1. ‘Aadel Shaker Shanyour, 35; and
2. Mohammed Radwan al-Takhman, 32.
1. Jihad ‘Abdul Hadi Eshtaiwi, 22;
2. Wassim Khalil Abu ‘Ali, 22; and
3. Islam Saleh Shalwit, 23.
1. Fathi ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ‘Amru, 53; and
2. Jadallah ‘Abdullah al-Rajoub, 48.
1. Mahmoud Riad Abu Srour, 21; and
2. ‘Arafa ‘Abdul Rahman Abu Srour, 19.
1. ‘Abdullah Rassem Shana’a, 22;
2. Mohammed ‘Ali Abu Qamar, 21;
3. Mahmoud Mohammed al-Khatib, 21;
4. Ahmed Ibrahim Qattawi, 20; and
5. Ahmed Mohammed al-Khatib, 23.
1. Khaled Mohammed al-Haj, 45, a senior political leader of Hamas; and
2. Ghassan ‘Abdul Wahab al-Zughbi, 34.
1. Ayman Hussein Matar, 13;
2. Zafer Hisham al-Froukh, 13;
3. Bilal Hashem Mtawar, 15; and
4. Firas Hamdi al-Froukh, 15.
Friday, 12 January 2007
Saturday, 13 January 2007
Sunday, 14 January 2007
1. Mousa Mohammed Qarmout, 22, from Beit Lahia, hit by shrapnel from the shell to the chest and the abdomen; and
2. Kamal Mo’in Khader, 18, from Jabalya refugee camp, hit by a live bullet to the head.
Monday, 15 January 2007
1. Ayman Lu’ai al-Khalili, 22;
2. ‘Omar Mohammed ‘Arafat, 21;
3. Mohammed Sabe’ Kalbouna, 22;
4. ‘Emad Hamed Jouda, 20;
5. Radwan Isma\il Swaidan, 19;
6. Sami ‘Aj’aj, 23; and
7. ‘Omar ‘Aj’aj, 26.
1. Ibrahim Qassem al-Sheikh, 32; and
2. Bilal Taha al-Sheikh, 22.
Tuesday, 16 January 2007
1. Ibrahim Fawzi Abu al-Reesh, 17; and
2. Jalal Bassam Ghanama, 21.
1. Ashraf Isma’il al-‘Adam, 30; and
2. Mahmoud Mohammed al-Shrouf, 39.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007
1. Mohammed Jebril Makhamra, 33;
2. Fahed Mohammed ‘Awadh, 35;
3. Ahmed Mousa Makhamra, 37;
4. Mousa Khalil al-Najjar, 40; and
5. Mohammed Khalil al-Harini, 38.
A Palestinian Prisoner Dies in an Israeli Prison
On Tuesday, 16 January 2007, Jamal Hasan ‘Abdullah al-Sarahin, 37, from Beit Oula village north of Hebron, a father of a child, died in the Negev Prison (Ansar 3) inside Israel. PCHR is concerned that he might have died as a result medical negligence and delay in offering him medical treatment.
Al-Sarahin was suffering from a blood disease. His health condition deteriorated approximately a week ago, but the administration of the prison procrastinated his transfer to the hospital. On Tuesday morning, his health condition further deteriorated. At approximately 10:00, the administration of the prison took him out of his cell to transfer him to the hospital. At approximately 15:00, the administration of the prison informed the representative of prisoners that he died 4 hours after he had been admitted into Soroka Hospital.
2. 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.
IOF have continued to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip. During the reporting period, these crossings were partially reopened to allow the entry of basic foodstuffs, medical supplies and other necessities into the Gaza Strip. The total siege imposed by IOF on the Gaza Strip has left disastrous impacts on the humanitarian situation and has violated the economic and social rights of the Palestinian civilian population, particularly the rights to appropriate living conditions, health and education. It has also paralyzed most economic sectors. Furthermore, severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the Palestinian civilian population.
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. During the reporting period, IOF arrested 14 Palestinian fishermen opposite to Rafah seashore. They released 8 fishermen later, but have kept the others in custody. The Oslo Accords allow Palestinian fishermen to go fishing up to 20 nautical miles away from the Gaza seashore.
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 Sunday evening, 14 January 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Ruba Mahmoud Tlaib, 19, from Qeera village southwest of Nablus.
On Tuesday morning, 16 January 2007, IOF positioned at al-Karama International Crossing Point on the Jordanian border arrested Nidal Ahmed ‘Oufi, 20, from Tulkarm refugee camp, when he was on his way to Jordan.
3. Construction of the Annexation Wall
IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory.
4. Settlement Activities and Attacks by Settlers 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.