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)
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.
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.
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
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.
1. Khaled Bassam Abu Khalil, 23; and
2. ‘Aadel Adeeb Nassar, 21.
1. Muzaffar Hasan Abu Roumi, 16; and
2. ‘Abdullah Jamal Khalaf, 15.
1. Khaled Mohammed Abu Jadu, 22;
2. ‘Awadh Jobran al-Ta’mari, 23; and
3. ‘Eid Ahmed ‘Ebayat, 26.
Friday, 9 March 2007
1. Mohammed Ghaleb Jaradat, 25; and
2. Mohammed Wajeeh Jaradat, 20.
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.
Saturday, 10 March 2007
1. Nidal Khalil al-Rajoub, 30;
2. Mohammed ‘Abdul Jalil al-Rajoub, 24; and
3. Ibrahim ‘Abdul Jalil al-Rajoub, 26.
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.
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.
Sunday, 11 March 2007
1. Nour Shaker al-Atrash, 18; and
2. Saleem Zaher al-Atrash, 19.
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.
1. ‘Arafat Shareef Jaradat, 24;
2. Tal’at Ibrahim Jaradat, 22; and
3. Rakan Mahmoud Manasra, 20.
Monday, 12 March 2007
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.
Tuesday, 13 March 2007
1. Ahmed Ibrahim al-Bouz, 35; and
2. Rami Mofeed Jom’a, 23.
1. Mohammed Muneer Sadiq, 23; and
2. Nasser Helmi Nasser, 21.
Wednesday, 14 March 2007
1. ‘Eissa ‘Abdul Nasser Sbaih, 20;
2. Mohammed Sa’id Dar Mousa, 19; and
3. Eyad ‘Omar ‘Eissa, 24.
2. Continued Siege on the OPT
IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Occupied East Jerusalem.
IOF have continued to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 donum is equal to 1000 square meters.