Weekly Report on Human Rights Violations

Israeli soldiers stop and search a Palestinian ambulance outside Hebron, 12 March 2007. (MaanImages/Mamoun Wazwaz)


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

08 - 14 March 2007

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

  • A Palestinian boy was killed by IOF when he attempted to infiltrate into Israel to search for a job.
  • The Israeli police beat a Palestinian to death in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • 15 Palestinian civilians, including three children, and an Israeli solidarity activist were wounded by IOF gunfire.
  • 12 of these civilians were wounded in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah.
  • IOF conducted 40 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  • IOF arrested 63 Palestinians, including seven children.
  • IOF raided offices of Afaq Television and used staff members as human shields.
  • IOF stormed an elementary school in Ethna village, west of Hebron, and beat a number of school children.
  • 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 12 Palestinian civilians, including three children and a girl.
  • A Palestinian civilian died at Rafah International Crossing Point due to rushing and congestion.
  • The Gaza Strip has suffered from shortages in fuels and basic goods.
  • IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • Two houses were demolished by IOF in Sour Baher village, southwest of Jerusalem.
  • IOF confiscated 17 donums[1] of agricultural land in Qalqilya.
  • Israeli settlers launched more attacks on Palestinian civilians and property.

    Summary

    Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (8 - 14 March 2007):

    Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian boy in the Gaza Strip, and wounded 15 Palestinian civilians, including three children, and an Israeli solidarity activist in the opt. The Israeli police also beat a Palestinian civilian to death in occupied East Jerusalem.

    On 9 March 2007, IOF shot dead a Palestinian boy and arrested another one in the Gaza Strip when the two boys attempted to infiltrate into Israel to search for jobs, due to the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip. IOF gunboats also wounded three Palestinian fishermen in Rafah.

    In the West Bank, a Palestinian civilian died as he was violently beaten by the Israeli police in occupied East Jerusalem. An Israeli police spokesman claimed that “a young man from al-Tour neighborhood was driving a car, in which a woman from Jordan ,whose entry into Israel is prohibited, was traveling. Policemen requested him to go the police station. As he was mounting stairs, he felt acute pains in the chest. An ambulance was brought, but he died.” According to the victim’s family, his health was good and he was not suffering from any disease. Also during the reporting period, 12 Palestinian civilians, including two children, and an Israeli solidarity activist were wounded when IOF used force against a peaceful demonstration organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah, on 9 March 2007. On 11 March, IOF soldiers fired at a Palestinian civilian in Abu Dis village, southeast of Jerusalem, wounding him seriously.

    Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 40 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, IOF arrested 63 Palestinians in the West Bank and one in the Gaza Strip. Thus, the number of Palestinians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of this year has mounted to 745. IOF further stormed offices of Afaq Television in Nabus. They used staff members as human shields while searching the offices. IOF also stormed an elementary school in Ethna village, west of Hebron, and beat a number of school children.

    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, the crossing point was reopened on 8, 9, 12 and March 2007, and hundreds of Palestinians were able to travel through it. It was also supposed to be reopened on 3 March 2007, but IOF prevented EU observers from reaching the crossing point to operate it. On 8 March 2007, a Palestinian civilian died from a heart attack and five others, including three women, were injured at Rafah International Crossing Point due to congestion and rushing.

    During the reporting period, IOF partially reopened the crossing point for two hours on 2 March 2007 and for 6 hours on 6 March 2007. 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 9 months. During the reporting period, 3 Palestinian fishermen were wounded when IOF gunboats fired at their boat.

    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 at least 12 Palestinians, including three children and a girl.

    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, and IOF continued settlement expansion activities. IOF demolished two houses in Sour Baher village, southwest of Jerusalem, claiming that they were built without licenses. IOF also confiscated 17 donums of Palestinian agricultural land in Qalqilya. Additionally, Israeli settlers living in settlement outposts inside Hebron launched a series of attacks on Palestinian civilians and property.

    Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (8 - 14 March 2007)

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

    Thursday, 8 March 2007

  • At approximately 00:05, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 13 Palestinian civilians:
    1. Ibrahim ‘Emad al-Qutob, 22;
    2. Mohammed ‘Emad al-Qutob, 23;
    3. Jamal Isma’il Hawash, 22;
    4. Mohammed Musbah al-Aghbar, 22;
    5. Amjad ‘Aadel ‘Olaiwi, 31;
    6. Ziad Hawash, 32;
    7. Qassem Hawash, 22;
    8. ‘Alaa’ al-Haj Hasan, 33;
    9. Ashraf Mohammed Abu Samra, 29;
    10. Ayman Mohammed Abu Samra, 30;
    11. ‘Arafa Fayeq Dashoun, 33;
    12. Bashar Fayeq Dashoun, 30; and
    13. Mohammed ‘Abdul Rahman Zaghoul, 30.
  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Nour ‘Aatef al-Fenesh, 19.
  • Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into ‘Attil village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Khaled Bassam Abu Khalil, 23; and
    2. ‘Aadel Adeeb Nassar, 21.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-‘Eizariya village, southeast of Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian children:
    1. Muzaffar Hasan Abu Roumi, 16; and
    2. ‘Abdullah Jamal Khalaf, 15.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested three Palestinian civilians:
    1. Khaled Mohammed Abu Jadu, 22;
    2. ‘Awadh Jobran al-Ta’mari, 23; and
    3. ‘Eid Ahmed ‘Ebayat, 26.
  • Also at approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Rama neighborhood in the north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Yahia ‘Abdul Mo’ez Ershayed, 40, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF soldiers permanently positioned in the south of Hebron stormed a mosque and a number of houses in Zeef area near bypass road #60. They forced civilians out and searched the houses. IOF soldiers also broke windows of two cars belonging to Waheed Hasan Abu Hamdan and ‘Ali Khalil Abu ‘Arram.

    Friday, 9 March 2007

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into al-Duha village, southwest of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Qassem Taha Abu ‘Olaya, 28, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They fired at shops, damaging a number of them.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Seilat al-Harthiya village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Mohammed Ghaleb Jaradat, 25; and
    2. Mohammed Wajeeh Jaradat, 20.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Deir al-Balah town, opened fire at two Palestinian civilians who were attempting to infiltrate into Israel to search for jobs. One of these civilians, Mohammed Ahmed al-Ghalban, 18, from Ma’an village near Khan Yunis, was killed by a gunshot to the head. The other civilian was arrested by IOF. In his testimony to PCHR, Muneer Khalil al-Najjar, 43, an ambulance officer at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, stated:
    At approximately 17:00, we received a phone call from Ahmed Abu ‘Azza, the liaison officer at the Palestinian Ministry of Health, who informed us that a young man’s corpse was near the border. I and another paramedic traveled to the area. We found the corpse nearly 3 meters away from the border. The victim was shot to the head. We evacuated the corpse to the hospital.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Marda village, north of Salfit. They opened fire at houses and shops damaging a number of them. A number of Palestinian civilians threw stones at IOF military vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired tear gas canisters. A number of civilian suffered from tear gas inhalation.

    Saturday, 10 March 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched dozens of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Deir Samet village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Yousef al-Hroub, 32, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Koum village, southwest of Hebron. They raided houses, forced their residents out. They destroyed 3 caves. They then searched houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:
    1. Nidal Khalil al-Rajoub, 30;
    2. Mohammed ‘Abdul Jalil al-Rajoub, 24; and
    3. Ibrahim ‘Abdul Jalil al-Rajoub, 26.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Beit ‘Awa village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:
    1. Ibrahim Mohammed al-Swaiti, 26, who was released from Israeli jails one month ago;
    2. Isma’il Ahmed al-Swaiti, 47, the Imam of the mosque of the village; and
    3. Hayel Mohammed al-Swaiti, 25.
  • At noon, Wa’el Yousef Karawi, 35, from al-Tour neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem, died at an Israeli police station because he was violently beaten by Israeli policemen. An Israeli police spokesman claimed that “a young man from al-Tour neighborhood was driving a car, in which a woman from Jordan ,whose entry into Israel is prohibited, was traveling. Policemen requested him to go the police station. As he was mounting stairs, he felt acute pains in the chest. An ambulance was brought, but he died.” According to the victim’s family, his health was good and he was not suffering from any disease.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, in the morning, Wa’el Karawi was driving his taxi in al-Sawana neighborhood. Israeli policemen at a checkpoint in the area stopped him. They held his car and confiscated his identity card. The ordered him to refer to a police station in the center of Jerusalem. He want there together with a number of his friends. As soon as he arrived at the police station, Israeli policemen violently beat him. They then pulled him inside. Later, he died. At approximately 18:00, the Israeli police delivered victim’s body to his family.

  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Far’oun village, south of Tulkarm. A number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. IOF soldiers chased the children and arrested 16-year-old Murad ‘Abdul Fattah ‘Edwan. According to his mother, he did not throw stones.

    Sunday, 11 March 2007

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Abu Snaina neighborhood in Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Nour Shaker al-Atrash, 18; and
    2. Saleem Zaher al-Atrash, 19.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Nablus. They besieged ‘Aaloul and Abu Salha apartment building in the center of the town. They then raided offices of Afaq Television. They used 4 Palestinian civilians as a human shield while searching the building.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF gunboats opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat near Rafah seashore. As a result, 3 Palestinian fishermen were wounded:
    1. ‘Ali Ibrahim al-Qouqa, 16, seriously wounded by shrapnel throughout the body;
    2. Sami ‘Ali al-Qouqa, 25, seriously wounded by a gunshot to the left forearm; and
    3. Saleem Jamal No’man, 30, wounded by shrapnel to the face.
  • In the evening, IOF moved into Sa’ir village, northeast of Hebron. They chased a number of Palestinian boys, claiming that they threw stones at IOF military vehicle starveling on the nearby bypass road #60. A number of children and young men gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. IOF soldiers arrested 3 young men:
    1. ‘Arafat Shareef Jaradat, 24;
    2. Tal’at Ibrahim Jaradat, 22; and
    3. Rakan Mahmoud Manasra, 20.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF soldiers permanently positioned in Abu Dis village, southeast of occupied Jerusalem, fired at a number of traders of vegetables in the streets. One of the traders, Bassem Mohammed al-Wraidat, 24, from al-Zahiriya village south of Hebron, was seriously wounded by a gunshot to the pelvis. IOF denied him medical aid for nearly 40 minutes. They claimed that they fired at him because he did not obey their orders to stop.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Yousef ‘Amru, 23, and arrested him.

    Monday, 12 March 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Ektaba suburb, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of ‘Alaa’ ‘Omar Abu Tahoun, 19, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Marda village, north of Salfit. They raided and searched a house belonging to Rasmi Sameeh al-Khuffash, 54. They forced the family outs and opened fire inside the house. Members of the family debated with IOF soldiers who accused children of the family of throwing stones at IOF military vehicles on the previous day. IOF soldiers violently beat the owner’s two sons: Ahmed, 19; and Qutaiba, 15. They detained the two sons for several hours. During this house raids, IOF soldiers confiscated a number of CDs from the house.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses in the east of the town and arrested Rabee’ Jihad Nassar, 25.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Zababda village, east of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 14 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children:
    1. Saddam Fawzi al-Sharqawi, 18;
    2. Bilal Ahmed al-Sharqawi, 16;
    3. Jawad Taleb al-Sharqawi, 17;
    4. Mohammed Suleiman al-Sharqawi, 15;
    5. Fadi Mohammed Sawalha, 17;
    6. Mohammed Khandaqji, 24;
    7. Bilal Mara’ba, 22;
    8. Ussama Mara’ba, 22;
    9. Suhail Abu ‘Arqoub, 22;
    10. Mo’ayad Quzmaz, 21;
    11. Mohammed Mahoud ‘Ammour, 20;
    12. Ahmed al-Haj Mohammed, 22;
    13. Mohammed Majed Taha, 22; and
    14. ‘Ekrema Mohammed, 23.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron. They patrolled in the streets and raided a number of shops. Dozens of Palestinian children and young men gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. IOF soldiers fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. They also broke into an elementary school and held school children in two classrooms. They also violently beat a number of children. Additionally, IOF soldiers arrested Marwan Mohammed Sawaifa, 19, claiming that he threw stones at their vehicles.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into Hawara village, south of Nablus, and imposed a curfew.
  • At approximately 15:30, an IOF undercover unit moved into Jenin, traveling in a civilian vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate. The unit intercepted a civilian car that was traveling on Jenin - Haifa road in the west of the town. IOF soldiers arrested 3 Palestinian civilians who were traveling in the car.

    Tuesday, 13 March 2007

  • At approximately 00:45, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Ahmed Ibrahim al-Bouz, 35; and
    2. Rami Mofeed Jom’a, 23.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Subhi Mustafa al-Qawasmi, 38, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched dozens of houses and an apartment buildings. No arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm refugee camp. They raided and searched a house belonging to Rebhi ‘Ali ‘Amara, 49, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Shwaika suburb, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Fathi Ahmed Matar, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses. Before their withdrawal from the city at approximately 07:00 on the following day, IOF arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Mohammed Muneer Sadiq, 23; and
    2. Nasser Helmi Nasser, 21.
  • At night, IOF moved into Bitteen village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed al-Malki. They held the 21 residents of the house in one room and transformed it into a military site.

    Wednesday, 14 March 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-‘Eizariya village, southwest of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:
    1. ‘Eissa ‘Abdul Nasser Sbaih, 20;
    2. Mohammed Sa’id Dar Mousa, 19; and
    3. Eyad ‘Omar ‘Eissa, 24.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested ‘Essam Mahmoud Qouqaz, 24.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Shadi ‘Aadel Zghair, 24, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Yatta village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Jamal ‘Aadel Houshiya. No arrests were reported.

    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.

    Gaza Strip

    IOF have continued to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip for the ninth consecutive month. 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. As a consequence of the total siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, at least 73% of the families in the Gaza Strip live below the poverty line, and unemployment has been estimated at 55%. In addition, the living conditions in the Gaza Strip have further deteriorated with the non-payment of salaries for the public sector for 7 months as international donors have frozen aids provided to Palestinians, and Israeli authorities have suspended the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian National Authority since March 2006. Moreover, the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip has severely impacted the flow of food, medical supplies and other necessities such as fuel, construction materials and raw materials for various economic sectors.

  • 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 8, 9, 12 and March 2007, and hundreds of Palestinians were able to travel through it. It was also supposed to be reopened on 3 March 2007, but IOF prevented EU observers from reaching the crossing point to operate it. On 8 March 2007, a Palestinian civilian, ‘Omar Isma’il Qaza’er, 61, died from a heart attack and 5 others, including 3 women, were injured at Rafah International Crossing Point due to congestion and rushing.
  • 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. 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. During the reporting period, the crossing was closed completely for two days and partially for one day, due to protest by Palestinian transportation companies against the monopoly of transportation by Israeli companies.
  • 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.
  • Sofa Crossing: During the reporting period, IOF partially reopened Sofa crossing, northeast of Rafah, allowing the entry of aggregate. 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.

  • Nablus: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday, 8 March 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of Nablus, and Hawara checkpoint, south of the city, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They conducted prolonged and humiliating checking on Palestinian civilians. In the evening, IOF erected a checkpoint near al-Bathan village, northeast of Nablus. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Sunday morning, 11 March 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at other checkpoints around the city also imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians, especially those aged 16-40.
  • 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, 8 March 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, obstructed the passage of Palestinian civilian vehicles to and from the town. On Friday, 9 March 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint on Tulkarm-Qalqilya road near al-Ras village, south of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilians vehicles. On Saturday, 10 March 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Monday, 12 March 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Bala’a intersection, east of Tulkarm. They held dozens of young men aged under 30 for several hours. On Tuesday, 13 March 2007, IOF closed Wad al-Teen checkpoint from 06:00 to 09:00. When the checkpoint was reopened, IOF imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • Qalqilya: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. During the reporting period, they repeatedly closed the two main entrances of the town. On Thursday, 8 March 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the eastern entrance of Qalqilya, and restricted the movement to and from the town. On Friday, 9 March 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya, and restricted the movement to and from the village. They also chased dozens of young men who resorted to alternative dirt roads. On Saturday, 10 March 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of Seer village, northeast of Qalqilya. They imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from Tulkarm. They also prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from Seer village. On Monday, 12 March 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of Jayous village, northeast of Qalqilya. They prevented Palestinians aged under 35 from passing through the checkpoint. On Tuesday, 13 March 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.

    On Thursday morning, 8 March 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Habla intersections, south of Qalqilya, arrested 3 Palestinians:

    1. Ibrahim Qassem Mara’ba, 35, a member of the Preventive Security Service;
    2. Jassem Hamed ‘Omar, 33; and
    3. Tariq Nizar Zamadi, 23.

    At approximately 16:00 on Monday, 12 March 2007, IOF intercepted and arrested Anwar Mohammed Mara’ba, 46, Assistant Undersecretary of the Palestinian Ministry of Religious Endowments, when he was traveling in his car near ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya.

  • Jenin: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Saturday morning, 10 March 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Tayasser village at the entrance of the northern Jordan Valley, southeast of Jenin, prevented Palestinian farmers from reaching their agricultural lands in Wadi al-Maleh area. On Monday morning, 12 March 2007, IOF imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They erected more checkpoints on the main roads leading to the town, especially near Tubas village, southeast of the town. Additionally, IOF soldiers positioned at Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, and Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, prevented residents of Jenin from passing through the two checkpoints.

    At approximately 10:00 on Friday, 9 March 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Salem checkpoint, east of Jenin, arrested ‘Anan Mohammed Abu al-Khair, 20, from Seilat al-Harthiya village.

    At approximately 17:00 also on Friday, IOF erected a checkpoint on a bypass road to the east of Jenin. They stopped and searched civilian vehicles and arrested 4 Palestinians, including a child:

    1. Murad ‘Azmi ‘Abbadi, 18;
    2. ‘Aazar ‘Azmi ‘Abbadi, 18;
    3. Mahmoud Mohammed Jalbouni, 19; and
    4. Sa’eb Mhamoud Ekmayel, 17.

    At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 13 March 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint near Sanour village, southeast of Jenin, attested Yazan ‘Abdul Karim Jarad, 24, from Tulkarm.

  • Hebron: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians inside and around Hebron. During the reporting period, IOF permanently positioned in the center and south of Hebron imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinians civilians, including students. They stopped, checked and interrogated hundreds of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 9 March 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at al-Haras intersection and another one at the University intersection in the north of the town. They stopped, checked and interrogated Palestinian civilians. On Sunday morning, 11 March 2007, IOF erected 3 checkpoints on al-Zahiriya-Hebron road, on al-Fawar-Yatta road and on Senjer-Hebron road. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilians vehicles and interrogated a number of Palestinian civilians.

    On Sunday noon, 11 March 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint at the main entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the old town of Hebron arrested Asmaa’ Yousef Haned, 24, from Tulkarm, claiming that she was carrying a knife in her bag.

    On Monday morning, 12 March 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at the northern entrance of Hebron stopped two vehicles and a motorcycle of the Palestinian police. They checked and interrogated policemen and confiscated their guns. The police men were released later. Those policemen were on their way to Halhoul town to stop a family quarrel.

    On Tuesday morning, 13 March 2007, IOF soldiers positioned in the old town of Hebron arrested Hatem Ghazi al-Batash, 15, for no apparent reason.

  • Ramallah: On Tuesday noon, 13 March 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the southern entrance of Surda village, north of Ramallah. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles, and arrested Sami Yousef Hussein, 41.

    3. 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, 2 March 2007, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli solidarity activists demonstrated in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah in protest to the construction of the Wall. 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, 12 demonstrators, including two children and an Israeli solidarity activist, were wounded:
    1. Hamza Mohammed Samara, 22, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the leg;
    2. ‘Amru Hisham Nasser, 22, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh;
    3. Sameer Yassin Bernat, 30, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the leg;
    4. Adam Mahmoud Abu Rahma, 22, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the hand;
    5. Mamdouh ‘Aassi, 22,
    6. Mohammed Yousef Abu Rahma, 15, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the back;
    7. ‘Abdullah Ahmed Yassin, 15, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the leg;
    8. Mahmoud Yousef Abu Rahma, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head;
    9. Majdi Hashem Ibrahim, 12, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the back;
    10. Nassim Sa’ed, 32, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the hand;
    11. Fu’ad Hammad, 20, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the face;
    12. Wajdi Noufal, 32, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the back;
    13. Ma’ath Saleh, 28, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the back;
    14. Shareef ‘Aassi, 22, hit by a tear gas canister to the back;
    15. Ahmed Salah al-Din, 24, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh;
    16. Mohammed Elias Nazzal, 48, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh;
    17. Hasan al-‘Aarouri, 45, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the hand;
    18. Mahmoud Fayez Bassa, 18, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the hand;
    19. Mohammed al-‘Abbasi, 28, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the hand; and
    20. Ahmed Mohammed Hamad, 35, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh.

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

  • On Saturday, 10 March 2007, IOF handed military orders to Palestinian civilians in Qalqilya and the neighboring ‘Azzoun village, confiscating 17400 square meters of agricultural land planted with citrus, for alleged military purposes.
  • On Tuesday morning, 13 March 2007, a number of Israeli settlers from “Abraham Abinu” settlement in the old town of Hebron attacked a number of workers of the Construction Committee of the Old Town, in an attempt to prevent them from repairing a house near the settlement. They threw stones and empty bottles at the workers who were repairing a house belonging to the heirs of Yousef No’man al-Sharbati. IOF did not intervene to stop the attack.
  • On Tuesday afternoon, a number of Israeli settlers from “Ramat Yishai” settlement in Tal al-Rumaida neighborhood in the center of Hebron attacked a number of houses in Jabal al-Rahma and Tal al-Rumaida neighborhoods with iron bars and empty bottles, claiming that a number of headstones in the “Jewish graveyard” in Jabal al-Rahma neighborhood were destroyed. IOF positioned in the area did not intervene immediately to stop the attack. A number of houses were damaged.
  • On Wednesday morning, 14 March 2007, IOF moved into Sour Baher village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They demolished two houses without allowing the families to vacate any of their belongings:
    1. A 180-square-meter house belonging to ‘Ata Abu Sarhan; and
    2. A 180-square-meter, 3-storey house, in which 40 individuals (6 families) lived, belonging to Mousa ‘Atwan.

    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 calls for the immediately implementation of the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice, which considers the construction of the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank illegal.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

    10. PCHR calls upon the international community to pressure Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupation forces on access for international organizations to the OPT.

    11. 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