Weekly Report of Human Rights Violations

Israeli Occupation forces terrify Palestinian school children. (PCHR)

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

  • A Palestinian was extra-judicially executed in Jenin.
  • 12 Palestinian civilians, including two journalists and 5 children, and an Israeli solidarity activist, were wounded by IOF gunfire.
  • IOF conducted 40 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  • IOF arrested 46 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children.
  • Israeli settlers have continued attacks Palestinian civilians and property in the OPT.
  • IOF demolished 12 houses in Hebron and a 13th one in Jerusalem.
  • IOF confiscated 22 donums[1] of agricultural land in Hebron and Tulkarm.
  • Israeli soldiers launched at least 5 attacks on Palestinian civilians and property, including an attempt to demolished the fence of a mosque in Hebron.
  • 3 Palestinian civilians (an old man and two children) were injured by those attacks.
  • IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT.
  • IOF have operated Erez crossing as an international crossing point.
  • Two Palestinians died as IOF positioned at checkpoint obstructed their evacuation to hospitals.
  • IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested one Palestinian civilian.
  • The Gaza Strip has suffered from shortages in fuels and basic goods.

    Summary

    Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (15 - 21 February 2007):

    Shooting: On Wednesday morning, 21 February 2007, IOF extra-judicially executed a member of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad) on Jenin.

    During the reporting period, 12 Palestinian civilians, including two journalists and 5 children, and an Israeli solidarity activist, were wounded by the IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

    In the West Bank, 11 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children and two journalists, were wounded by the IOF gunfire. On 15 February 2007, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when IOF fired at a number of Palestinian demonstrators. On the same day, a Palestinian child was wounded in ‘Azzoun village in similar circumstances. On 16 February 2007, a Palestinian civilian and a journalist were wounded when IOF fired at demonstrations organized in Hebron and the neighboring Beit Ummar village in protest to excavations in the vicinity of the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. In addition, 7 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and a journalist, and an Israeli solidarity activist were wounded when IOF fired at a peaceful demonstration organized in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall.

    In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian civilian was wounded in Beit Lahia town in the north, when IOF fired at a number of Palestinian civilians who were gathering metals near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

    Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 40 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF raided houses and arrested 46 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children. Thus, the number of Palestinians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of this year has mounted to 509. IOF also raided and searched offices of a number of institutions in Hebron and Qalqilya.

    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 since 25 June 2006, even though they do not directly control it. During the reporting period, IOF reopened the crossing point for one. 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. On Friday, 16 February 2007, IOF opened the new Erez International Crossing Point under new procedures. Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have to obtain permits from the IOF Civil Administration as it was the case before. However, Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have to hand their identity cards the Israeli Ministry of Interior to get travel documents. In the past, they had to hand identity cards to IOF at Erez crossing. This includes 800-1000 women from East Jerusalem married to men in the Gaza Strip. According to Palestinians who traveled through the new crossing point, IOF imposed the same restrictions on their movement as in the past. In addition, IOF have continued to prevent Palestinian fishermen from fishing for nearly 8 months.

    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. Contrary to Israeli claims, IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. Two Palestinian civilians died as IOF soldiers at checkpoint obstructed their evacuation to hospitals. During the reporting period, IOF soldiers positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested one Palestinian civilian.

    Annexation Wall: IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank. During the reporting period, IOF issued a new military order seizing 44600 square meters of land in Brouqin and Kufor al-Dik, southwest of Nablus, for alleged military purposes to establish a security fence. IOF plan to initiate a new stage of the construction of the Wall in the area. The construction of this section of the Wall will isolate large areas of land in the two villages, and will deprive them of their need for expansion. Additionally, IOF issued 17 military orders concerning areas of land isolated by the Wall to the west of Ethna village, west of Hebron. According to the orders, 11 Palestinian families would be forced to leave their houses and not to build any structure in the area.

    Settlement Activities: During the reporting period, Israeli settlers living in the West Bank in violation of international law continued their systematic attacks on Palestinian civilians and property. IOF also continued to destroy civilian property for the purpose of settlement expansion. During the reporting period, IOF demolished 12 houses and a number of animal farms, claiming that they were built without licenses. IOF also demolished a house in Qutna village, northwest of Jerusalem, for the same reason. Additionally, IOF confiscated 21 donums of land in Tulkarm, and 665 square meters in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. Israeli settlers launched 5 attacks on Palestinian civilians, which injured 3 Palestinian civilians (two children and an old man).

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

  • 505 Palestinians, 320 of whom are civilians, including 96 children and 30 women, have been killed by IOF. In the Gaza Strip alone, 411 Palestinians, 246 of whom are civilians, including 85 children, 28 women and 4 paramedics, have been killed by IOF.
  • At least 1731 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 374 children, 111 women. In the Gaza Strip alone, 1298 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 351 children, 104 women, 4 paramedics and 7 journalists, have been wounded by the IOF gunfire.
  • At least 329 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 10 ministers and 31 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), including the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Secretary, have been arrested. Minster of Prisoners’ Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister, 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.
  • 73 houses belonging to activists of Palestinian factions have been 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 (15 - 21 February 2007)

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

    Thursday, 15 February 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Qabatya village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched dozens of houses and arrested Samer Ahmed Nazzal, 19.
  • Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Kufor al-Dik village, west of Salfit. They opened fire at houses and shops, damaging a number of them. A number of Palestinian boys gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired bullets and tear gas canisters at the boys. A number of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

    Zuhair Ibrahim Kousa, 54, arrested to pressure his son to surrender to IOF, but was released 7 hours later; and Mohammed Suleiman al-Banna, 17.

  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp, west of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

    Mujahed Sami Abu al-Reesh, 18;
    Tamer Bassam Abu al-Reesh, 20; and
    Marwan ‘Ata Abu al-Reesh, 25.

  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit ‘Awa village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

    Khaled Ibrahim Swaiti, 30;
    Ma’ath ‘Abdul Hamid Qahoush, 17; and
    Ahmed ‘Aayed Swaiti, 18.

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Yatta village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Tayseer Mousa Roba’ei, 35, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Marda village, north of Salfit. They opened fire at houses and shops. A number of Palestinian children and young men gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. IOF soldiers fired at them, but no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOf moved into Taffouh village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched offices of Taffouh Orphan Association. They confiscated two computer sets and a number of files, and closed decided to close the offices for two years.
  • At approximately 16:30, an IOF undercover unit moved into Jinsafout village, east of Qalqilya, traveling in a civilian vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate. The vehicle stopped near a carpentry workshop belonging to ‘Abdul Qader Jom’a Qaddoumi, 31, from Kufor Qaddoum village. Six IOF soldiers got out of the vehicle and arrested Qaddoumi.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into Marda village, north of Salfit, opening fire indiscriminately. A number of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. IOF soldiers fired at those civilians, wounding 19-year-old Mohammed Shareef Ma’touq with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the left foot.
  • At approximately 18:30, dozens of IOF military vehicles moved into Tulkarm. IOF raided dozens of shops and cafÚs. A number of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired at those civilians, wounding 17-year-old Mohammed ‘Emad al-Haroun with a bullet to the left leg. Additionally, dozens of children suffered from tear gas inhalation fired by IOF.

    Friday, 16 February 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into al-Haras neighborhood in Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested ‘Omar Mohammed al-Qawasmi, 42, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Za’tara village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Khalil Yousef Zawahra, 24, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into ‘Aaida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. Theyt raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Munther Fu’ad ‘Olayan, 22, a member of the Palestinian National Security Forces, and arrested him.
  • At noon, dozens of Palestinian civilians demonstrated at the eastern entrance of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, in protest to excavations by IOF in the vicinity of the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. They threw stones at an IOF military post in the area. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired at the demonstrators, wounding Nasser Hussein Shyoukhi, a journalist, with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the left leg.
  • Also at noon, dozens of Palestinian civilians demonstrated in the center of Hebron in protest to excavations by IOF in the vicinity of the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. They threw stones at IOF soldiers positioned in the area. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired at the demonstrators, wounding 27-year-old ‘Ala’ei Mohammed al-Joulani with a rubber-coated meta bullet to the right thigh.
  • At approximately 16:30, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, north of Beit Lahia town, fired at a number of Palestinian civilians who were gathering metals near the border. As a result, 12-year-old ‘Abdullah Saleh Ma’rouf was wounded by a bullet to the right side.

    Saturday, 17 February 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into ‘Azzoun villag, east of Qalqilya. They besieged the building of the council of Joint service, which provides water and electricity to the village. They blew up doors, broke into the building and damaged its contents.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Sanour village, south of Jenin, opening fire at houses and shops. A number of houses and shops were damaged.
  • Also at approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Kufor Ra’ei village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched dozens of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Beit Jala town. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ibrahim Suleiman al-Qurbi, 36, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched offices of the Islamic Charitable Association. They violently beat the guard, 25-year-old Ashraf Mohammed Abu Ras, and confiscated 3 computer sets, a photocopier, a fax machine and a number of files. They also decided to renew the closure of the offices for two additional years.

    Sunday, 18 February 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They opened fire indiscriminately, and raided and searched a number of houses.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They fired tear gas canisters at al-Salam Preparatory School in the south of the town.
  • Also at approximately 11:00, IOF moved into Kufor Saba neighborhood in Qalqilya. They raided a number of shops and forced their owners to close them. They also fired bullets and sound bombs. No casualties were reported.

    Monday, 19 February 2007
  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ma’an Hussein Jawabra, 17, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Hasan Wadi, 17, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses. They informed them that Mohammed Zaki Qawazah, who is allegedly wanted, must surrender or he would be killed.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into several areas in Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Hatem Mahmoud Shihada, 52, a physician;
    2. Jameel Nemer al-Karaki, 34; and
    3. Salah Baker al-Husseini, 38.

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

    1. Isma’il Ibrahim Ehmaidat, 22;
    2. Muneeb Mohammed Abu Fara, 20; and
    3. Mohammed Anwar Abu Fara, 21.

  • At approximately 22:00, an IOF undercover unit moved into al-Walaja village, northwest of Beit Jala. IOF soldiers raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mohammed ‘Omar al-Saifi, 17.
  • At approximately 23:00, an IOF undercover unit moved into al-Zababda village, southeast of Jenin. IOF soldiers raided a 3-storey apartment building belonging to Waleed Du’aibes. They humiliated its residents, searched it and confiscated a number of mobile phones. Later, IOF military vehicles moved into the village to secure the withdrawal of the undercover unit, and no arrests were reported.

    Tuesday, 20 February 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

    1. Bajes Nakhla, 24; and
    2. Eyad Safi, 22.

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Beeta village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Nihad Mahmoud Mustafa, 26.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Deir Samet village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 7 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Mohammed Isma’il al-Hroub, 23;
    2. Tha’er Isma’il al-Hroub, 22;
    3. Mohammed Jaber al-Hroub, 24;
    4. Hamza Hussein al-Hroub, 20;
    5. Ameen Ahmed al-Hroub, 21;
    6. Bahaa’ ‘Ali al-‘Adam, 21; and
    7. Wa’el Hasan al-Hroub, 24.

    Wednesday, 21 February 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Sufian Ahmed Hasayen, 40, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Jayous village, north of Qalqilya. They raided and searched dozens of houses and arrested two Palestinian children:

    1. Ahmed Mahmoud Baida, 17; and
    2. Mohammed ‘Abdul Hafeez ‘Abdul Rahman, 17.

  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 5 Palestinian civilians:

    1. Mohammed Najeeb Nazzal, 23;
    2. Ahmed Najeeb Nazzal, 22;
    3. Ahmed Mohammed ‘Abdul Raziq, 23;
    4. Mo’tassem Ziad Nazzal, 18; and
    5. Mohammed Sameer Nazzal, 18.

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Bahaa’ al-Sa’di, 20, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 12:00, an IOF undercover unit moved into Beit Jala town. IOF soldiers arrested Mohammed Hasan ‘Abed Rabbu, 22, from al-Duhaisha refugee camp south of Bethlehem, when he was walking in the street.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They stopped and checked a number of Palestinian civilians and arrested two of them:

    1. ‘Emad Ahmed al-Kuhla, 24; and
    2. Mustafa ‘Ali Habayeb, 25.

    2. Extra-Judicial Execution

    On Wednesday morning, 21 February 2007, IOF extra-judicially executed a member of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad) in Jenin.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 09:15 on Wednesday, 21 February 2007, an IOF undercover unit and a number of soldiers moved into al-Bassatin area in the west of Jenin, using two civilian vehicles. The two vehicles intercepted a car in the area, in which Mahmoud Ibrahim Qassem ‘Obaid, 24, was traveling. IOF soldiers got out of their vehicles and opened fire at ‘Obaid. He was instantly killed. According to medical sources, he was hit by several gunshots to the head. Soon, IOF military vehicles moved into the area to secure the withdrawal of the undercover unit and other soldiers. The victim was a leader of the al-Quds Brigades. It is worth noting that IOF arrested the victim’s brother on Thursday morning, 15 February 2007.

    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

    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.

  • 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. The crossing point has been closed since 25 June 2006. During the reporting period, the crossing point was reopened on Monday, 19 February 2007, and about 1000 Palestinians were able to travel from the Gaza Strip, whereas 800 others were able to travel back.
  • 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. IOF have prevented Palestinian female patients aged under 40 from passing through the crossing, even though most of these patients are in serious conditions and suffer from serious diseases. Since the beginning of this year, IOF have allowed only 45 patients to travel to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank through the crossing. IOF have also continued to prevent members of the Palestinian Legislative Council representing Hamas from traveling to the West Bank and Jerusalem. On Friday, 16 February 2007, IOF opened the new Erez International Crossing Point under new procedures. Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have to obtain permits from the IOF Civil Administration as it was the case before. However, Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have to hand their identity cards the Israeli Ministry of Interior to get travel documents. In the past, they had to hand identity cards to IOF at Erez crossing. This includes 800-1000 women from East Jerusalem married to men in the Gaza Strip. According to Palestinians who traveled through the new crossing point, IOF imposed the same restrictions on their movement as in the past. IOF have allowed only 300 traders to pass through the crossing point, whereas they have continued to prevent family visitation to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
  • 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. The number of imported containers is estimated at 350 daily, whereas 75 containers are exported from the Gaza Strip.
  • Nahal Ouz Crossing: This crossing is designed for the entry of fuels. IOF allow the entry of limited amounts of fuels into the Gaza Strip, which do not meet the needs of its population. On Friday, 9 February 2007, IOF denied the entry of benzene and gasoline. However, IOF allow the entry of nearly 400 tons of domestic gas daily.
  • Sofa Crossing: During the reporting period, IOF partially reopened Sofa crossing, northeast of Rafah, allowing the entry of aggregate and some food aid. However, IOF have continued to close Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, southeast of Rafah.
    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. 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.

  • Jerusalem: As IOF have continued excavations in the vicinity of the al-Aqsa Mosque, they have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the city. on Friday morning, 16 February 2007, IOF erected additional checkpoints at the entrances of occupied Jerusalem. Hundreds of IOF soldiers were also deployed in the old town and surrounding streets. IOF prevented male Palestinian civilians aged under 50 and female ones under 40 from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • Nablus: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday, 15 February 2007, IOF positioned at various checkpoints around Nablus imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. IOF soldiers positioned at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, prevented Palestinians from Tulkarm and Jenin aged 16-35 and those from Nablus aged under 25 from passing through the checkpoint. On Saturday morning, 17 February 2007, IOF closed the northeastern entrance of Nablus and prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians for several hours. On Sunday morning, 18 February 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, prevnted Palestinians from Tulkarm and Jenin aged under 30 from passing through the checkpoint.
  • Tulkarm: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They have prevented Palestinians aged under 35 from passing through all checkpoints around the town. On Thursday, 15 February 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of Bala’a village, east of Tulkarm, on Tulkarm-Nablus road. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. They also chased civilians who resorted to alternative dirt roads, and held them for several hours under the rain. IOF also erected another checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Leed village, east of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles and prevented civilians aged under 35 from passing through the checkpoint. IOF soldiers chased civilians who resorted to alternative dirt roads. On Friday, 16 February 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Far’oun intersection, south of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Saturday, 17 February 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, and Ennab checkpoint, east of the town, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They continued to prevent Palestinians aged under 35 from passing through the two checkpoints. They also closed dirt roads located near the two checkpoints. On Sunday, 18 February 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Bala’a intersection, east of Tulkarm. They imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from Tulkarm. On Monday morning, 19 February 2007, IOF closed Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, from 06:00 to 10:00, and prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the town. On Wednesday, 21 February 2007, IOF closed Wad al-Teen checkpoint from 06:00 to 10:00, and prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the town.
  • Jenin: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday morning, 15 February 2007, IOF reinforced their presence at the southern entrance of Jenin. They erected a checkpoint in the area. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. IOF also erected a checkpoint on the road that links Jenin with Qabatya village in the south and prevented Palestinian civilians from passing through it for several hours. IOF erected a third checkpoint near al-Zababda village, southeast of Jenin. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Friday morning, 16 February 2007, IOF erected two checkpoints at the northern entrance of al-Zababda village, southeast of Jenin, and near Haddad tourist resort, east of the town. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Saturday morning, 17 February 2007, IOF erected a number of checkpoints in al-Fara’a Valley, east of Jenin. At noon, IOF soldiers positioned at Tayaseer checkpoint, southeast of Jenin, prevented Palestinian civilians from passing through the checkpoint. On Sunday morning, 18 February 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint on the main road that links Jenin with Tubas village in the southeast.

    On Thursday morning, 15 February 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at the checkpoint at the southern entrance of Jenin arrested ‘Abdullah Ibrahim ‘Obaid, 21, from Jenin refugee camp.

  • Qalqilya: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday, 15 February 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the northern entrance of ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Friday, 16 February 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of Jayous village, northeast of Qalqilya. They stopped and checked Palestinian civilians. On Saturday, 17 February 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint to the east of Qalqilya imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the town. On Sunday, 18 February 2007, IOF closed the southern entrance of Qalqilya from 06:00 to 12:00. When the checkpoint was reopened, IOF soldiers imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Monday, 19 February 2007, IOF closed the gate established at the entrance of ‘Azzoun ‘Atma village at 20:00, two hours before the specified time for its closure. As a result, dozens of Palestinian civilians from the village and neighboring villages were not able to go back homes. On Wednesday, 21 February 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Seer intersection, north of Qalqilya, and obstructed the movement of Palestinian civilians from Seer village to neighboring villages.

    At approximately 00:00 on Monday, 18 February 2007, ‘Aadel Rasheed ‘Omar, 22, from Beit Ameen village, east of Qalqilya, died as IOF closed the sole entrance of ‘Azzoun ‘Atma village and obstructed his evacuation to the hospital. According to the Mayor of ‘Azzoun ‘Atma village, at approximately 22:45 on Sunday, 17 February 2007, a tractor which ‘Omar was driving turned over him. Soon, a taxi transported him to the hospital. When the taxi arrived at the entrance of ‘Azzoun ‘Atma village, IOF soldiers prevented it from exiting the village. An hour later, IOF soldiers allowed the taxi to pass through, but ‘Omar was then dead.

  • Hebron: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians inside and around Hebron. On Thursday morning, 15 February 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Kharsa intersection, south of Hebron. They stopped, checked and interrogated Palestinian civilians. On Friday evening, 16 February 2007, IOF soldiers positioned in the center of Hebron prevented a number of international peace activists from entering a house the Sayaj family in Tal Rumaida neighborhood to clean it and stay in it to prevent Israeli settlers from seizing it. On Sunday afternoon, 18 February 2007, IOF positioned in the old town of Hebron gathered statistical information about owners of a number of shops located near checkpoints in the area for alleged security considerations.
  • Bethlehem: On Friday afternoon, 16 February 2007, IOF closed the entrance of Um Salamouna village, south of Bethlehem, and prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the village. At approximately 12:30 on Sunday, 18 February 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at al-Sawahra checkpoint on Wadi al-Nar road, northeast of Bethlehem, blew up a Palestinian civilian car on suspicions that it was carrying explosives. According to eyewitnesses, IOF soldiers closed the checkpoint for two hours.
  • Ramallah: On Wednesday evening, 21 February 2007, Mowaffaq Younis Shafeeq Erhaimi, 34, from Beit Reema village, northwest of Ramallah, died at ‘Attara checkpoint north of the city as IOF soldiers denied him passage to the hospital. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 15:30, Erhaimi was seriously injured to the head while working in a construction site in his village. His colleagues called from an ambulance, which evacuated him. When the ambulance arrived at ‘Attara checkpoint searched it and obstructed its passage. At approximately 17:10, IOF allowed the ambulance to pass through the checkpoint, but Erhaimi died before reaching the hospital.

    4. Construction of the Annexation Wall
    IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory. During the reporting period, IOF used force against a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilian in protest to the construction of the Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah.

  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 16 February 2007, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli solidarity activists demonstrated in protest to the construction of the Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. IOF soldiers positioned near the Wall fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators, and violently beat them. Eight demonstrators, including 4 children an Israeli solidarity activist, in addition to a journalist, were wounded:

    1. Mohammed Adeeb Abu Rahma, 13, hit by a tear gas canister to the back;
    2. ‘Alaa’ Jalal al-Khatib, 13, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the abdomen;
    3. Mousa Hussam Rasheed, 13, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh;
    4. Mohammed Ahmed al-Khatib, 17, wounded by two rubber-coated metal bullets to the back and the thigh;
    5. Ramzi Rebhi ‘Ataya, 18, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the back;
    6. Adham Mahmoud Abu Rahma, 22, hit by a tear gas canister to the thigh;
    7. ‘Emad Mohammed Bernat, 34, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the leg; and
    8. Nir Arieli, 26, hit by a tear gas canister to the abdomen.

    5. Settlement Activities and Attacks by Settlers against Palestinian Civilians and Property

  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 15 February 2007, IOF moved into Um al-Khair, Mnaisel and al-Qwaiwees areas to the south and east of Yatta village, south of Hebron. They demolished 6 houses and a number of sheep farms after using force against their residents and a number of Israeli solidarity activists to force them out of the houses. Four Palestinian civilians sustained bruises. IOF soldiers also arrested Majed Hathalin 22, and Ezra Lawi, 45, an Israeli solidarity activist. Additionally, IOF demolished 6 houses and a number of animal farms in Mnaizel and al-Qwaiwees areas.
  • Also on Thursday, a number of Israeli settlers from “Meskyout” settlement in the northern Jordan Valley stole 6 sheep belonging to a Palestinian shepherd in the area.
  • During the reporting period, IOF issued a military order seizing 21 donums of land in Shoufa and Kufor al-Labad villages, east of Tulkarm, near “Ennab” and “Avni Hefetz” settlements. IOF plan to put cameras to monitor areas located near the aforementioned settlements. Palestinian farmers are concerned that putting such cameras could be a prelude for the seizure of more land near the two settlements.
  • Also during the reporting period, IOF issued a military order confiscating a 665-square-meter of land in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, allegedly to establish a desalination plant. They gave the owners 45 days to appeal against the order.
  • On Friday evening, 16 February 2007, a number of Israeli settlers from “Kiryat Arba” settlement, southeast of Hebron, attacked a number of houses and shops in Wad al-Hussain area. They threw stones and empty bottles at houses and shops. IOF were present in the area, but did not intervene to stop the attack.
  • On Saturday afternoon, 17 February 2007, a number of Israeli settler children from “Ramat Yishai” settlement in Tal Rumaida neighborhood in the center of Hebron chased and beat the children of Hisham Younis al-‘Azza when they were back home. Jannat Hisham al-‘Azza, 14, sustained bruises throughout the body. IOF were present in the area, but did not intervene to stop the attack.
  • At approximately 15:00 also on Saturday, a number of Israeli settlers from “Sousia” settlement, south of Hebron, attacked a number of houses belonging to the al-Nawaj’a clan. They violently beat Khalil Salama al-Nawaj’a, 65. He sustained bruises throughout the body.
  • At approximately 08:40 on Monday, 19 February 2007, a number of Israeli settlers living in settlement posts in the center of Hebron attempted to demolish the fence of al-Aqtab Mosque and a number of shops, which are located nearly 200 meters away from “Abraham Avino” settlement in the old town. A number of Palestinian civilians living in the area attempted to stop the demolition. IOF arrived at the area. IOF and settlers clashed with Palestinian civilians. An Israeli settlers violently beat 6-year-old Gandhi Nidal al-‘Owaiwi. He sustained bruises throughout the body. IOF then evacuated the settlers from the area and forced Palestinian civilians to go back homes. Later, IOF closed two shops in the area. It is worth noting that IOF have closed al-Aqbat Mosque and dozens of shops in the area for 6 years.
  • On Wednesday morning, 21 February 2007, IOF moved into Qutna village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem. They demolished a 150-square-meter house belonging to Hani Mohammed Saleh, claiming that it was built without a license.

    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.

    Related Links

  • Palestinian Centre for Human Rights