Weekly Report on Human Rights Violations

Israeli troops walking through the Old City of Nablus during curfew imposed by the IOF. (Research Journalism Initiative)


Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

22 - 28 February 2007

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

  • Four Palestinian were killed by IOF in the West Bank.
  • Three of the victims were extra-judicially executed by IOF in Jenin.
  • Twenty-eight Palestinian civilians, including two journalists, four children and four women, were wounded by IOF gunfire.
  • IOF attacked an Italian cinema crew in Hebron.
  • IOF conducted 43 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  • IOF launched a wide scale military campaign on Nablus.
  • IOF arrested 55 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children.
  • IOF arrested a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Hebron.
  • Israeli settlers have continued attacks Palestinian civilians and property in the OPT.
  • IOF demolished three agricultural facilities in Hebron.
  • IOF confiscated 199 donums[1] of agricultural land in Jenin to establish a settler road.
  • IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT.
  • IOF have operated Erez crossing as an international crossing point.
  • IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested five Palestinian civilians, including two children.
  • 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 (22 - 28 February 2007):

    Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed four Palestinians and wounded 28 others in the West Bank.

    On Monday, 26 February 2007, an IOF sniper shot dead ‘Anan Mohammed al-Teebi, 42, with a bullet to the neck, and wounded his son, 24-year-old Ashraf, with a bullet to the hand, when he attempted to offer help to his father. The victim was on the roof of his house in the old town, when the IOF sniper shot him. IOF prevented ambulances from entering the area and arrested the son. On Wednesday morning, 28 February 2007, an IOF undercover unit extra-judicially executed 3 Palestinians in Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. The victims are members of the Islamic Jihad, and one of them is the leader of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad) in the northern West Bank. In addition, 28 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, 4 women and two journalists, were wounded by the IOF gunfire.

    Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 43 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During the reporting period, launched a wide scale military operation against Nablus and neighboring refugee camps. During this operation, which continued for two days, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded eight others, including a child and two children. IOF also arrested at least 150 civilians, transformed a number of houses and two schools into military sites, raided a number of television and radio stations and obstructed the movement of medical crews. IOF withdrew from the city without declaring an end to their operation. During other incursions, IOF raided houses and arrested 55 Palestinian civilians, including six children and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Thus, the number of Palestinians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of this year has mounted to 564.

    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 partially reopened the crossing point for one day only. 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 more than 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. During the reporting period, IOF soldiers positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested five Palestinian civilians, including two children.

    Annexation Wall: IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank. During the reporting period, IOF issued demolished 6 under-constructions houses in Far’oun village, south of Tulkarm which are located near the Wall. IOF also used force against a 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. As a result, 13 Palestinian civilians, including two journalists and two children, were wounded.

    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. During the reporting period, IOF issued a military order seizing 199 donums of land in Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, until the end of 2014 to establish a new settler road in the area. The order gave the owners 7 days to appeal against it. According to a report published by the Israeli Peace Now on Monday 26 February 2007, 21 settlements and 10 settlement outposts expanded to incorporate at least 1900 donums of land that are classified as protected natural areas.

    Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (22 - 28 February 2007)

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

    Israeli Offensive on Nablus

    During the reporting period, [Israeli occupation forces] launched a wide scale military operation against Nablus and neighboring refugee camps. During this operation, which continued for two days, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded eight others, including a child and two children. IOF also arrested at least 150 civilians, transformed a number of houses and two schools into military sites, raided a number of television and radio stations and obstructed the movement of medical crews.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 01:00 on Sunday, 25 February 2006, at least 60 IOF military vehicles, accompanied by bulldozers, moved into Nablus and neighboring refugee camps through various directions and imposed a curfew. IOF declared that their Operation “Hot Winter” in Nablus could continue for several days. IOF withdrew from the city two days later, without declaring an end of the operation. IOF raided an a number of local television and radio stations, through which they broadcasted statements inciting against Palestinian resistance groups. They even declared names of a number of Palestinians whom they would arrest. Violations of human rights perpetrated by IOF during this operation included:

    Shooting

    At approximately 12:00 on Monday, 26 February 2007, an IOF sniper shot dead ‘Anan Mohammed al-Teebi, 42, with a bullet to the neck, and wounded his son, 24-year-old Ashraf, with a bullet to the hand, when he attempted to offer help to his father. The victim was on the roof of his house in the old town, when the IOF sniper shot him. IOF prevented ambulances from entering the area and arrested the son. IOF also wounded 8 civilians, including a child and two women, throughout the city:

    1. ‘Alaa’ ‘Abdul Raheem Zaid, 24, seriously wounded by several gunshots to the body;
    2. Jamal Jaradana, 16, hit by a sound bomb to the face;
    3. Rawand ‘Aashour, 19, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the shoulder;
    4. Yusra Hasan Sadiq, 18, wounded by shrapnel to the hand and the feet;
    5. ‘Odai al-Shashtari, 18, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head;
    6. Mohammed Hussein al-‘Emla, 20, wounded by a bullet to the right leg;
    7. ‘Alaa’ al-Din ‘Abdul Nasser al-Rmaihi, 19, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the left leg; and
    8. Ashraf ‘Anan al-Teebi, 24, wounded by a bullet to the hand.

    House Raids and Destruction

    IOF transformed roofs of dozens of houses into military sites, from which they fired at whatever moves. They also destroyed a house in the old town belonging to the family of Bassem Abi Sirriya, the leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an armed wing of Fatah movement). A number of neighboring houses were damaged. IOF fired flash bombs into a house belonging to ‘Allam Tbaila in al-Makhfiya neighborhood. They also raided and searched a neighboring apartment building belonging to ‘Otham Suleiman Sal’ous, in which university students live. Additionally, IOF damaged a number of houses and shops when their bulldozers to open paths for military vehicles. On Monday noon, 26 February 2007, IOF demolished parts of a number of shops in the old town to allow military vehicles to move freely.

    Harassment Against Families of Palestinian Intifada Activists

    IOF raided and several houses belonging to families of Palestinian Intifada activists, who are allegedly wanted. They also detained their mother and wives for several hours to force them to surrender.

    Attacks on Hospital and Medical Crews

    On the first day of the operation, IOF besieged the National Hospital and Rafidya Hospital and denied access to medical care in the two hospitals. The two hospitals serves many patients in the northern West Bank. On the following day, IOF besieged private hospitals in the city. IOF also prevented medical crews from offering medical aid to the wounded and patients. IOF soldiers fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at medical crews when they wanted to offer medical aid to the wounded.

    Attacks on Educational Institutions

    IOF declared the entrance of the directorate of education in the city a closed military zone. Thousand of students were not able to go to their schools and universities. On Monday morning, 27 February 2007, IOF transformed Zafer al-Masri School and Jamal ‘Abdul Nasser School into interrogation centers, into which dozens of Palestinian civilians have been brought.

    Attacks on Journalists and Media Institutions

    IOF raided an a number of local television and radio stations, through which they broadcasted statements inciting against Palestinian resistance groups. On Monday morning, 26 February 2007, IOF arrested Sheikh Nabegh Nafez Braik, 43, the owner and manager of Sanabel Television. According to his wife, IOF raided the building of the television station, arrested her husband and confiscated a number of computer sets and video recorders and cassettes.

    Other Incursions

    Thursday, 22 February 2007

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into ‘Eissa neighborhood in the west of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Ra’ed Fayez Thalji, 23, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Bal’a village, east of Tulkarm. They raided a house belonging to the family of Anwar Ahmed E’mayer, who has been detained in Israeli jails. They forced his wife, his 6 children and his 80-year-mother out. They then broke into the house and searched it.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Khaled Hasan Abu Sari, who is allegedly wanted. They were not able to arrest him.
  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into Sa’ir village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Nidal ‘Abed Rabbu al-Mtawar, 22, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 01:15, IOF moved into al-Zahiriya village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ra’ed Mohammed al-Ka’ki, 35, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses. They also fired at a number of others, damaging them. No casualties or arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nbalus. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed ‘Atallah al-Hashash, 19, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Khaled Mohammed Mar’ei, 27, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed As’ad Abu Khalifa, 30, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mousa Mohammed Nawawra, 53, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Khader village, southwest of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mousa Daoud al-Zeer, 44, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Artas village, southwest of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Sami Jamal As’ad, 30, and arrested.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into Jalboun village, southeast of Jenin. They raided a deserted house and transformed it into a military site.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched a number of shops. They also stopped and checked dozens of Palestinian civilians. Furthermore, they fired tear gas canisters. Dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm. Dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. IOF soldiers fired bullets and tear gas canisters at them. Dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.

    Friday, 23 February 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They fired at houses and shops. No casualties were reported.
  • At noon, IOF moved into Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They stopped and checked Palestinian civilians. A number of boys gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired at them, wounding 19-year-old ‘Abdul Rahman Ahmed al-Swaiti with shrapnel from a bullet to the back.

    Saturday, 24 February 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm town and refugee camp. They fired at houses. Dozes of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers detonated sound bombs, terrifying civilians, especially women and children.
  • Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into al-Zababda village, southeast of Jenin. They besieged an apartment building, in which students from the Arab American University. They forced the students out. They then raided and searched all flats.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They besieged a house belonging to Mustafa ‘Abed Killab in Hiteen Street. They arrested two of his sons, Ayman, 32; and Amjad, 27, and his son-in-law, 22-year-old ‘Alaa’ Hussein Mabrouka. Killab’s also have two other sons who have been detained in Israeli jails for more than two years.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They broke into the yards of Rafidya Hospital. They confiscated a gun from a Palestinian policeman guarding the hospital. They handed the gun back in the evening through the military liaison.
  • At approximately 13:30, IOF moved into al-Habla neighborhood in Nablus to evacuate a number of IOF soldiers who had set up an ambush in a house in the area to capture allegedly wanted Palestinians. Dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at them. A number of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into Yatta village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:
    1. Fareed Hamed al-Nawaj’a, 24;
    2. Mohammed Hamed al-Nawaj’a, 22; and
    3. Rassem Badawi al-Nawaj’a, 27.
  • Also at approximately 23:00, IOF moved into Maythaloun village, south of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets. No house raids were reported.

    Sunday, 25 February 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched dozens of workshops in the south of the town and damaged their contents.
  • At approximately 01:00, 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 Jenin town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a house belonging to Nabeel al-‘Abboushi, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 07:30, moved into Tulkarm. They stopped and checked a number of school children.

    Monday, 26 February 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Rummana village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched dozens of houses and arrested 10 Palestinian civilians:
    1. Bilal Shawqi ‘Ammour, 36;
    2. Jamal Shawqi ‘Ammour, 27;
    3. Ahmed Shawqi ‘Ammour, 20;
    4. Mohammed Shawqi ‘Ammour, 19;
    5. Tha’er Jalal Kamel, 25;
    6. Mohammed Jalal Kamel, 22;
    7. Ahmed Mohammed Bushnaq, 35;
    8. Ibrahim Nazem al-Sanouri, 25;
    9. Mahmoud ‘Abdullah al-Sanouri, 20; and
    10. Tha’er Mousa al-Sanouri, 25.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian children:
    1. Mousa Adam Slaibi, 17; and
    2. Mudar Ahmed Abu Daya, 17.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into Kharsa village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Muntasser ‘Eissa Shadeed, 22; and
    2. Khalil Ibrahim Awlad Ahmed, 20.

    Tuesday, 27 February 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into al-Tabaqa village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Muneef ‘Abdul Rahman Hamdan, 28; and
    2. Salem Mohammed Hraibat, 33.
  • In the afternoon, IOF attacked members of an Italian cinema crew in Hebron. Members of the crew were making a documentary film on the suffering of Palestinian children in Hebron. The crew included two Italians and 5 Palestinians. IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint in al-Shuhada Street in the center of Hebron stopped members of the crew and held them from two hours. During this time, Israeli settlers harassed them. One of the settlers got close to the detained crew and provoked its members. He then claimed that a member of the crew, Ra’ed Jihad al-Hilu, 32, attacked him. IOF soldiers called the Israeli police, which arrested al-Hilu and took him to an Israeli police station. When other members of the crew were released by IOF, they went to police station. However, they had to wait for long hours before the police informed them that al-Hilu would be released on bail and that they had to pay it. Members of the crew paid the bail, but the police did not give them a bill. The police claimed that there was no post to stamp the bill. One of the Italian members of the crew was forced to travel to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to pay the bill and then come back to the police station. AL-Hilu was released at 03:30 on Wednesday, 28 February 2007.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin. they besieged a number of houses belonging to the Salah clan in the old town. They opened fire at those houses and forced their residents out. IOF claimed that they wanted to arrested a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an armed wing of Fatah movement) who was able to escape. IOF interrogated two members of the clan near the town. They also broke windows of two cars.

    Wednesday, 28 February 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into ‘Attil village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Sa’ad Mowaffaq Abu Khalil, 16, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into ‘Allar village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Munadel Saleh Shoumarin, 19, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Jayous village, northeast of Qalqilya. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. ‘Omar ‘Abdul Ra’ouf Khaled, 19; and
    2. Mahmoud ‘Abdul Rahman Khaled, 19.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Hatem Rabah Qaffisha, 47, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Halhoul town, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Waleed ‘Abdul Majeed Sha’ban, 22, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 5 Palestinian civilians:
    1. Yahia Mahmoud Taqatqa, 22;
    2. Yousef Ahmed Taqatqa, 21;
    3. Baker Mohammed Taqatqa, 23;
    4. Nabeel Hasan Taqatqa, 21; and
    5. Taher Saber Deiriya, 22.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Marah Rabah village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Yousef Ibrahim al-Sheikh, 28, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Marda village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched dozens of houses and arrested 9 Palestinian civilians, including a child:
    1. Tawfiq Nash’t Khuffash, 22;
    2. Mohammed Ahmed Khuffash, 21;
    3. Na’el Ahmed Khuffash, 19;
    4. ‘Ezzat Sa’di Khuffash, 18;
    5. Tamer Mohammed Suleiman, 18;
    6. Bassem Mohammed Suleiman, 20;
    7. Ameer Nasfat Hjair, 19;
    8. Mohammed ‘Abdullah Hjair, 15; and
    9. ‘Abdul Qader Salem Samari, 18.

    2. Extra-Judicial Execution

    On Wednesday morning, 28 February 2007, an IOF undercover unit extra-judicially executed 3 Palestinians in Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. The victims are members of the Islamic Jihad, and one of them is the leader of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad) in the northern West Bank.

    According to initial investigations conducted by PCHR, 08:00 on Wednesday, an IOF undercover unit moved into Jenin town, traveling in a civilian car with a Palestinian registration plate. The car followed a civilian vehicle, in which 3 Palestinians were traveling. When the car got close to the Palestinian civilian vehicle, IOF soldiers opened fire at it. The three Palestinian escaped in their vehicle towards Jenin refugee camp. When they reached the northern entrance of the camp, their vehicle collided with a wall and stopped. IOF soldiers continued to fire at them. The three Palestinians were killed by gunshots to the upper part of the body:

    1. Ashraf Mahmoud Nafe’ al-Sa’di, 25, the leader of the al-Quds Brigades in the northern West Bank;
    2. Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Naa’sa, 34, a member of the Islamic Jihad; and
    3. ‘Alaa’ Braiki, 24, a member of the Islamic Jihad.

    Al-Sa’di was first wounded and IOF soldiers could have arrested him, but they shot him dead from a zero range.

    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 Thursday, 22 February 2007, for incoming travelers only.
  • 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 450 daily.
  • 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, 23 February 2007, IOF denied the entry of benzene and gasoline.
  • 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. They reopened it for one day only to allow the entry of flour for an international humanitarian organization.

    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, 23 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 45 from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque.

    On Tuesday morning, 27 February 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at al-Za’im checkpoint, east of Jerusalem, arrested Ra’ed Younis Rabai’a, 24, from al-‘Obaidiya village near Bethlehem.

  • 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. During the reporting period, Palestinian civilians were forced to travel on long rough dirt roads to reach Ramallah, which also added more financial burdens on them. There are serious concerns that restrictions imposed on the movement of Palestinian civilians may impact the educational process in the town. On Thursday, 22 February 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Eannab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, preventing the movement of Palestinian civilian vehicles out of the town. They also fired into the area to prevent driver from using alternative dirt roads. On Friday, 23 February 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of ‘Attil village, north of Tulkarm. They prevented Palestinians aged under 35 from passing through the checkpoint. On Saturday, 24 February 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They prevented civilians aged under 35 from passing through the checkpoint. They also conducted prolonged searches on vehicles. On Sunday, 25 February 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Bal’a intersection, east of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Tuesday, 27 February 2007, IOF imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians through Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, and Ennab checkpoint, east of the town.
  • Qalqilya: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They have prevented Palestinians aged under 35 from passing through checkpoints that surround the town. On Thursday, 22 February 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint at the eastern entrance of Qalqilya prevented Palestinians aged under 35 from passing through the checkpoint. On Friday, 23 February 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of Jayous village, north of Qalqilya. They stopped and checked Palestinian civilians. On Saturday, 24 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. They prevented Palestinians aged under 35 from passing through the checkpoint. On Sunday, 25 February 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint near ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.

    At approximately 18:00 on Tuesday, 27 February 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a gate established on the Annexation Wall to the east of Jayous village, north of Qalqilya, arrested two Palestinian civilians: ‘Abada Mohammed Shamasna, 25; and Muhab Mohammed Saleem, 18.

  • Hebron: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians inside and around Hebron. On Monday morning, 26 February 2007, IOF closed the sole entrance of Safa area to the northwest of Beit Ummar village near Hebron. At least 15 houses have been cut off from their surroundings.

    At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 23 February 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint erected at the northern entrance of al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron, arrested Ishaq Khalil Hdaib, 17, claiming that he threw stones at IOF military vehicles.

    At approximately 16:30 on the same day, IOF soldiers positioned at the northern entrance of al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, arrested ‘Alaa’ Hammad Abu Hashash, 16.

    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 10:00 on Friday, 23 February 2007, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli solidarity activists demonstrated to commemorate the second anniversary of their peaceful protests against the construction of the Wall in the village. They started the ceremony with a photo exhibition that showed violence practiced by IOF against demonstrations organized in the village in the past two years. At approximately 13:00, the demonstrators moved towards the gate established by IOF at the Wall and attempted to open it. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators, and violently beat them. as a result, 13 Palestinian civilians, including a two children and two journalists, were wounded:
    1. ‘Aadel Bardalu, 35, a cameraman of CNN, hit by a sound bomb to the face;
    2. Muheed al-Barghouthi, 45, a journalist in the daily local al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the back;
    3. ‘Abdullah Mahmoud Abu Rahma, 36, hit by a sound bomb to the thigh;
    4. Eyad Mohammed Bernat, 33, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the abdomen;
    5. Ibrahim ‘Abdul Fattah Bernat, 24, hit by a tear gas canister to the chest;
    6. Wajdi Shawkat al-Khateeb, 19, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh;
    7. Nemer Mustafa Abu Rahma, 21, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the hand;
    8. Bassel Mansour Mansour, 29, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the mouth;
    9. Yousef ‘Eissa Abu Rahma, 37, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh;
    10. Yassin Mohammed Yassin, 19, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the abdomen;
    11. Mohammed Khalil Abu Rahma, 19, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the abdomen;
    12. Mohammed Ahmed Hamad, 15, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh; and
    13. Mohammed Farouq Khwaira, 10, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 26 February 2007, IOF moved into Far’oun village, south of Tulkarm. They besieged the western part of the village and declared it a closed military zone. The then demolished 6 under-construction houses, which are located near the Wall:
    1. A 120-square-meter, two-storey house belonging to Mufeed Kamel Bdair;
    2. A 140-square-meter, two-storey house belonging to Riad ‘Abdul Karim ‘Omar;
    3. A 150-square-meter, two-storey house belonging to ‘Otham Zaki ‘Arafat;
    4. A 180-square-meter house belonging to Fareed ‘Abdul Jabbar Farekh;
    5. A 180-square-meter house belonging top Mahmoud ‘Abdullah Farekh; and
    6. A 140-square-mter house belonging to Shaker Mahmoud Bdair.

    During this incursion, a number of Palestinian children threw stones at IOF military vehicles. IOF soldiers fired at them and arrested two children: Mohammed Ahmed al-Rushdi, 14; and Mahmoud ‘Ali Abu Shaqra, 17.

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

  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 22 February 2007, IOF moved into al-Liya area at the northern entrance of Ethna village, southwest of Hebron. They removed a mobile container belonging to ‘Abdul Hameed Suleiman Abu Jhaisha, which served as a store of animal feeds. Later, IOF moved towards al-Ras area in the west of the village. They demolished a 400-square-meter bird farm belonging to Ibrahim Hashem al-Batran, and a 150-square-meter sheep farm belonging to Mohammed Hussein al-Nattah. At least 1000 birds died during the attempt to save them before the demolition. IOF did not warn the owner before the demolition of their property.
  • On Sunday, 25 February 2007, IOF issued a military order seizing 199 donums of land in Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, until the end of 2014 to establish a new settler road in the area. The order gave the owners 7 days to appeal against it.
  • According to a report published by the Israeli Peace Now on Monday 26 February 2007, 21 settlements and 10 settlement outposts expanded to incorporate at least 1900 donums of land that are classified as protected natural areas. For instance, 73 buildings in “Kerni Shomron”, and 20 ones in “Beir Arieh” and “Noghohot” settlement were constructed on lands that are classified as protected natural areas. Also according to the report, 4our settlement outpost were established on protected natural areas, the largest of which is “Aloni Sheila. According to the organizations, the annexation of protected natural areas to settlement have political purposes. Peace now submitted names of settlements and settlement outposts to the IOF Civil Administration and demanded comment. According to the organization, there are plans to annex protected natural areas to settlement to reinforce settlement activities.

    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.

    [1] 1 donum is equal to 1000 square meters.

    Related Links

  • Palestinian Centre for Human Rights