Weekly Report on Human Rights Violations

Palestinians hold pictures of their jailed relatives during a rally marking Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, in the West Bank city of Hebron on 17 April 2007. (Mamoun Wazwaz/MaanImages)


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

  • IOF extra-judicially executed a Palestinian activist in Jenin after having arrested him.
  • IOF destroyed a Palestinian house in Qalqilya in the context of collective punishment.
  • Six Palestinian civilians (two women, three children and a mentally disabled man) were wounded by IOF gunfire.
  • IOF conducted 33 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  • IOF arrested 70 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children and a girl.
  • IOF raided offices of a number of charities in Hebron and Tulkarm.
  • IOF transformed three houses into military sites.
  • IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT.
  • IOF positioned at various checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank arrested six Palestinian civilians.
  • IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • IOF demolished a brick factory to the west of Ramallah.
  • Israeli settlers took over a hill to the south of Hebron and set up tents on it.
  • Israeli settlers have continued to occupy a house in Hebron for the fourth consecutive week.

    Summary

    Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (12 – 18 April 2007):

    Shooting:

    During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian activist in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, and wounded six Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

    On Tuesday afternoon, 17 April 2007, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) extra-judicially executed a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an armed wing of Fatah movement) near Jenin town in the northern West Bank. IOF shot him dead after already having arrested him.

    During the reporting period, five Palestinian civilians (two women and three children) were wounded by the IOF gunfire in the West Bank. IOF also destroyed a house in Qalqilya on 14 April 2007, in the context of the policy of collective punishment against families of Palestinian resistance activist. The owner of the house was arrested by IOF nearly two weeks ago for being a member of a Palestinian resistance group.

    In the Gaza Strip, on 16 April 2007, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip fired at mentally disabled Palestinian civilian in Beit Lahia town for no apparent reason. He was wounded by a gunshot to the right knee.

    Incursions:

    During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 33 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, IOF arrested 70 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children and a girl. Thus, the number of Palestinians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of this year has mounted to 963. During the reporting period, raided and searched offices of a number of charities and civil society organizations in the West Bank. They confiscated a number of documents and computer sets. IOF also transformed three Palestinian houses near Jenin into military sites.

    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 12, 16 and 17 April 2007, and hundreds of Palestinians were able to travel through it. 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. The crossing was completely closed on 13 April 007. IOF have also continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have been prevented from traveling through this crossing. IOF have allowed international workers to pass through the crossing. With this closure, only few Palestinian patients have been able to travel to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank. In addition, IOF have continued to prevent Palestinian fishermen from fishing for more than 10 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. IOF also erected more checkpoints on the main roads and intersections in the West Bank. During the reporting period, IOF soldiers positioned at various checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank arrested at least 6 Palestinian civilians. IOF also prevented a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council from traveling to Jordan to receive medical treatment.

    Settlement Activities:

    Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 14 April 2007, Israeli settlers from “Ma’oun” settlement to the east of Yatta village, south of Hebron, took over a 16-donum- area of land to the south of the aforementioned settlement. They set up tents on the land chased and terrified dozens of Palestinian farmers and shepherds. On 16 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned to the southwest of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, opened fire at a number of Palestinian children during clashes between the children and Israeli settlers from “Kermi Tsour” settlement, supported by IOF. As a result of the clashes, two children were sustained fractures. On 17 April 2007, an Israeli settler fired at a number of Palestinian children who were cultivating almonds in Taqqou’ village, south of Bethlehem. One of the children was seriously wounded by a gunshot to the head. During the reporting period, Israeli settlers who had continued to occupy a house belonging to the al-Rujbi family in Wad al-Husain neighborhood near “Kiryat Arba” settlement, southeast of Hebron, for the fourth consecutive week, attacked Palestinian civilians using empty bottles and stones. IOF were present in the area, but did not intervene to stop those attacks. On 18 April 2007, IOF demolished a brick factory in Shaqba village, west of Ramallah, claiming that it was built without a license.

    Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (12 – 18 April 2007)

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

    Thursday, 12 April 2007

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into ‘Ein Khair al-Din Street in the north of Hebron. They raided and searched the office of Change and Reform parliamentary bloc. They confiscated a number of computer sets and documents.
  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Ahmed Mahmoud ‘Ammouri, 21.
  • Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They besieged Abu Safiya building in the east of the town. They blew up the doors of the building and raided and searched offices of al-Ihsan Charity belonging to the Islamic Jihad on the second floor. They confiscated a telephone set, a photocopier and a number of computer sets, and ordered the closure of the offices for to years. The society provides services to poor families.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF raided and searched Rawdat al-Islam Kindergarten of the Islamic Charity in al-Hawoz neighborhood in Hebron. They confiscated a computer set and a number of documents.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit Kahel village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed ‘Ali al-Zohour, 28, and sumonned him for interrogation.
  • At approximately 18:30, an IOF undercover unit moved into Ramallah. Its members besieged an apartment building near Ramallah post office. Soon after, IOF military vehicles moved into the town. IOF soldiers broke into the building. They raided and searched a flat belonging to Sari ‘Orabi, 28, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into al-Bireh. They besieged Bissan apartment building, in which at least 50 people live. They ordered residents of the building through megaphones to get out and gather on a neighboring yard and they did. IOF soldiers verified the identity cards of the residents. They then broke into the building. The blew up the door of a flat belonging to Colonel Mujahed Nemer Ahmed from the Palestinian police, who was not in the flat. They searched and damaged the flat. IOF soldiers then searched his car using dogs. They searched for him in the area until they found and arrested him.

    Friday, 13 April 2007

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Ras al-Joura neighborhood in the north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Ma’awia Majed al-Ja’bari, 24, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into ‘Izbat al-Tabeeb village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 18 Palestinian civilians. They detained those civilian for several hours near a military checkpoint erected at the entrance of the village, claiming that stones were thrown at Israeli settlers’ cars.

    Saturday, 14 April 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They besieged a 120-square-meter house belonging to ‘Ali Shukri Nazzal in Ghayada neighborhood in the center of the town. They opened fire at the house and neighboring houses. As a result, two women were wounded when they were inside their houses:
    1. Fidaa’ ‘Abdul Hafeez ‘Amer, 29, wounded by a gunshot to the left shoulder; and
    2. Sahar Ameen Nazzal, 40, also wounded by a gunshot to the left shoulder.

    Soon after, IOF forced the residents of Nazzal’s house out. They planted explosive devices inside the house and destroyed it. Nazzal had been arrested by IOF two weeks earlier.

  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into Nablu. They raided and searched the Graduate Cultural Center in Rafidya neighborhood and confiscated a number of documents and computer sets. They also raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 5 Palestinian civilians, including a man and his two sons:
    1. Najeh Khalil Jadallah, 52;
    2. Khalil Najeh Jadallah, 22;
    3. Wa’el Khalil Jadallah, 19;
    4. Wa’el Sa’id al-Kilani, 38; and
    5. Mohammed Ahmed al-Daya, 42.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 16-year-old Sa’ad Sayel Swaidan.

    Sunday, 15 April 2007

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into al-Sheikh neighborhood in the center of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Sa’id ‘Abdul ‘Afu al-Qawasmi and arrested his two sons: Shareef, 23; and Marwan, 22.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire. They withdrew from the city a few hours later and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Shuhada Triangle village, south of Jenin. They besieged and opened fire at a house belonging to Mahmoud Mousa ‘As’ous in the east of the village. A number of IOF soldiers took positions atop of three neighboring house. IOF then ordered residents of the besieged house to get out and they did. Immediately, IOF intelligence officers interrogated the residents and arrested the owner’s son, 18-year-old Ahmed. IOF soldiers then broke into the house and confiscated jewelry belonging to the wife of the owner’s other son. At approximately 06:00, IOF expanded their operation in the village to include its western part. They demolished a 10-meter-long fence of a house belonging to Hasan Mousa ‘As’ous, and a balcony of a house belonging to Hussein Mohammed ‘As’ous. IOF soldiers also raided and searched a number of houses in the area and arrested four Palestinian children:
    1. Ma’ath ‘Emad ‘As’ous, 16;
    2. Shadwan Mousa Turkman, 16;
    3. ‘Anan Hussein ‘As’ous, 16; and
    4. Mohammed Sameeh ‘As’ous, 17.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF soldiers patrolling at the southwestern entrance of Sa’ir village, northeast of Hebron, opened fire indiscriminately at a number of Palestinian children in Ras al-‘Aaroudh area. One of the children, 16-year-old Ayman Hussein al-Warasna, was wounded by a gunshot to the right leg. IOF claimed that they fired at a number of Palestinian children who threw stones at military vehicles.

    Monday, 16 April 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire. They then raided and searched a number of houses. IOF withdrew a few hours later and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire. They then raided and searched a number of houses. IOF withdrew from the city a few hours later and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested six Palestinian civilians:
    1. Ameer Riadh Jazmawi, 16;
    2. Tha’er Mousa Salama, 24;
    3. Tha’er Mahmoud Salama, 16;
    4. Ahmed Mohammed Abu Salah, 22; and
    5. Mo’ammar Mustafa al-Sheikh ‘Ali, 32.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, north of Beit Lahia town, opened fire at a Palestinian civilians who was walking nearly 200 meters away from the border, wounding him to the right knee. A Palestinian ambulance evacuated him to the hospital, where he was identified as Ziad ‘Abdul Rahim ‘Ajjour, 37, from Gaza City, who is mentally disabled.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF moved into al-Sair and al-Sahdah neighborhood in the north and west of Hebron respectively. They raided and searched a number of houses and stores and arrested six Palestinian civilians:
    1. ‘Emad Barakat Abu ‘Eisha, 27;
    2. Kifah Barakat Abu ‘Eisha, 30;
    3. ‘Aamer ‘Omar Abu ‘Eisha, 26;
    4. Hamza ‘Omar Abu ‘Eisha, 22;
    5. ‘Abdul Hadi Mohammed Abu ‘Eisha, 21; and
    6. Mohammed Is’haq Abu ‘Eisha, 45.

    Tuesday, 17 April 2007

  • At approximately 00:25, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring Balata and ‘Askar refugee camps. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 6 Palestinian civilians, including a girl and three brothers:
    1. Najwa Hasan Hashash, 19, from Balata refugee camp;
    2. Ahmed Mohammed Abu Salha, 26;
    3. Mos’ab Mohammed Abu Salha, 23;
    4. Baraa’ Mohammed Abu Salha, 21;
    5. Ibrahim Bilal Snounu, 18; and
    6. Hamdi Mahmoud Dwaikat, 28.
  • Also at approximately 00:25, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 6 Palestinian civilians, including a child:
    1. Bassam Hasan Yassin, 14;
    2. Basheer Mohammed Noufal, 25;
    3. Mohammed Ahmed Melhem, 24;
    4. Jasser Ghassan ‘Enaya, 25;
    5. Mohammed Ahmed Abu Hamed, 24; and
    6. ‘Emad ‘Abdul Latif Swaileh, 27.

    IOF also confiscated a car belonging to ‘Ali Mohammed al-‘Abed, who has been detained by IOF.

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire. They then raided and searched a number of houses. IOF withdrew from the village a few hours later, and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Ethna village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Fares Sa’id al-Shamali, 18, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF moved into al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They chased dozens of Palestinian children and young men and raided a number of houses. They held and interrogated a number of Palestinian civilians, and arrested four of them:
    1. Fares ‘Abdul Fattah Jawabra, 15;
    2. ‘Abdul Rahman Zakaria al-Farajin, 18;
    3. Zuhair Abu Warda, 18; and
    4. Muntasser ‘Emad Abu Sharar, 16.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF positioned in the main road between the villages of Beit Ummar and Halhoul, north of Hebron, chased and arrested 14-year-old ‘Izziddin Mahmoud Meqbel, claiming that their military vehicles were subject to stone throwing.
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF moved into Jalboun village, northeast of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They then raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 10 Palestinian civilians, including a man and his two sons:
    1. Ahmed ‘Abdul Rahman Abu al-Rub, 60;
    2. Rafe’ Ahmed Abu al-Rub, 30;
    3. Mohammed Ahmed Abu al-Rub, 26;
    4. Nafe’ ‘Abdullah Abu al-Rub, 32;
    5. Mohammed ‘Abdul Rahman Abu al-Wafa, 56;
    6. Ra’ed Ahmed Abu al-Rub, 32;
    7. ‘Aamer Ahmed Abu al-Rub, 40;
    8. Rateb Ahmed Abu Sair, 20;
    9. Mohammed Yousef Abu al-Rub, 27; and
    10. Moahmmed Sadiq Abu al-Rub, 29.

    Wednesday, 18 April 2007

  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring Balata and ‘Askar refugee camps. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested five Palestinian civilians, including a child:
    1. Yahia Zakria al-Khatib, 18;
    2. Mohammed ‘Ali Sour, 19;
    3. Bahaa’ Ameen al-Sawalhi, 17;
    4. ‘Anan ‘Ali Abu Leil, 33; and
    5. Mo’tassem al-Qarini, 20.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into ‘Aaida refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mo’yad Yassin Abu Sa’di, 16, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Zababda village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested five Palestinian civilians, including a child:
    1. Ahmed Mohammed Sharqawi, 20;
    2. Ahmed Qassem al-Sa’di, 20;
    3. Mohammed Lutif Abu Dan, 20;
    4. Ashraf Fawzi Sharqawi, 25; and
    5. Mohammed ‘Abdullah Turkman, 17.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Beit Reema village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Ahmed Sameh al-Reemawi, 22, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Yasouf village, south of Nablus, opening fire indiscriminately. A number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired at the children wounding two of them:
    1. Ussama Nemer ‘Abdul Raziq, 17, seriously wounded by two gunshots to the abdomen and the right thigh; and
    2. Yassin ‘Ata Yassin, 15, wounded by shrapnel to the shoulder.

    2. Extra-Judicial Execution

    On Tuesday afternoon, 17 April 2007, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) extra-judicially executed a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an armed wing of Fatah movement) near Jenin town in the northern West Bank. IOF shot him dead after having arrested him.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 12:30 on Tuesday, an IOF undercover unit moved arrived at al-Shuhada intersection on Jenin – Nablus road, traveling in a civilian vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate. The vehicle stopped near a stone treatment compound belonging to Fayez ‘Alawna. Two IOF soldiers got out of the vehicle and intercepted a Palestinian car that was traveling in the area. The driver got out of the car with his hands up. The two soldiers moved towards him, and one of them kicked him to the abdomen. The driver fell on his back. The two soldiers then carried him and then left him hitting a tree at the roadside. When he fell onto the ground, one of the IOF soldiers moved towards him and shot him dead to the head and the abdomen from a zero range. The victim was later identified as Ashraf Mahmoud ‘Aaref Hanaisha, 24, from Qabatya village near Jenin. IOF claim that he was wanted. According to eyewitnesses, IOF soldiers also kidnapped two or three persons who were traveling with the victim in the same car.

    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 for the tenth 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 percent of the families in the Gaza Strip live below the poverty line, and unemployment has been estimated at 55 percent. In addition, the living conditions in the Gaza Strip have further deteriorated with the non-payment of salaries for the public sector for seven 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 12, 16 and 17 April 2007.

    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. Since the beginning of this year, IOF have allowed only dozens patients to travel to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank through the crossing. IOF have allowed nearly 350 traders to pass 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.

    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. IOF closed the crossing completely on 13 April 2007. On 16 April 2007, IOF denied the entry of containers belonging to UNRWA. The crossing was supposed to be operated from 08:00 to 23:00 daily, following the summit between Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Howber, the crossing was operated only from 10:30 to 05:30 daily.

    Nahal Ouz Crossing:

    This crossing is designed for the entry of fuels. During the reporting period, the crossing witnessed active movement. IOF allowed the entry of nearly 400 tons of gas and 470 tons of gasoline daily. On 13 April 2007, IOF closed the crossing for no apparent reason.

    Sofa Crossing:

    IOF have continued to close Sofa crossing, northeast of Rafah, which is designed for the entry of aggregate, for the third consecutive week. During the reporting period, IOF partially reopened Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, southeast of Rafah, for two days to allow the entry of some food aids for humanitarian organizations in the Gaza Strip.

    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 afternoon, 12 April 2007, IOF re-established their presence at Jeet checkpoint, southwest of Nablus. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles that were traveling to Jenin, Qalqilya, Tulkarm and the northwestern country of Nablus. On Saturday, 14 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Za’tara checkpoint, south of the city, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They conducted prolonged and humiliating checking on Palestinian civilians. Also on Saturday morning, IOF re-established their presence at Yits’har checkpoint, south of Nablus. They prevented Palestinians from Nablus and Jenin aged under 35 from passing through the checkpoint.

    At approximately 14:30 on Wednesday, 18 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Haitham Ahmed Shouli, 20, from Tulkarm.

    Tulkarm:

    IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They have continued to prevent Palestinians aged under 35 from passing through checkpoints around the town. On Thursday, 12 April 2007, IOF closed Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, until 10:00. When the checkpoint was reopened, IOF imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Friday, 13 April 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Baqa intersection, north of Tulkarm. They prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians on both sides of the checkpoint. They also checked dozens of young men. On Saturday, 14 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They conducted prolonged and humiliating checking on those civilians. On Sunday, 15 April 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Ras village on Tulkarm – Qalqilya road, south of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Monday, 16 April 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of Deir al-Ghosoun village, north of Tulkarm. They stopped and checked Palestinian civilians. They also chased dozens of civilians who resorted to an alternative dirt road to bypass the checkpoint, and held them for several hours. On Tuesday, 17 April 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Bala’a intersection, east of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles.

    At approximately 14:00 on Wednesday, 18 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, arrested Fares Mohammed Qassem, 29.

    Jenin:

    IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Saturday morning, 14 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Tayasser village at the entrance of the northern Jordan Valley, southeast of Jenin, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the villages of Bardala, Kardala and ‘Ein al-Baida. On Sunday morning, 15 April 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint on Jenin – al-Zababda village, southeast of Jenin. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Monday morning, 16 April 2007, IOF erected a number of checkpoints around Jenin. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.

    On Monday morning, 16 April 2007, IOF soldiers who erected a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Swaitat road at the eastern entrance of Jenin arrested Salah Mash’hour Sawafta, 21, and Ahmed Fawzi Sawafta, 26, both from Tubas village southeast of the town.

    Al-Karama International Crossing Point:

    On Thursday afternoon, 12 April 2007, IOF positioned at al-Karama International Crossing Point on the Jordanian border arrested two Palestinian civilians when they were on their way back to the West Bank:

    1. ‘Ali Taher Dandis, 20, from Hebron; and
    2. Mohammed Ahmed Zaidat, 24, from Bani Na’im village east of Hebron.

    On Sunday, 15 April 2007, IOF prevented Sheikh Hamed al-Beetwai, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, from traveling to Jordan to receive medical treatment. According to al-Beetawi, he arrived at the crossing point at 12:00. He was forced to wait for 3 hours and was then informed that he was prevented from traveling. He mentioned that he traveled to Jordan two months ago, where he received medical treatment.

    Hebron:

    On Friday afternoon, 13 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at the entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque stopped Jalal Naji al-Batash, 50, and his wife. They checked, interrogated and violently beat him. He sustained fractures and serious bruises to the limbs.

    Bethlehem:

    On Sunday morning, 15 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at the Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, stopped, checked and violently beat Hamza Mohammed Shawabka, 27, from Hebron. He sustained bruises throughout the body.

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

  • On Saturday morning, 14 April 2007, at least 10 armed Israeli settlers from “Ma’oun” settlement to the east of Yatta village, south of Hebron, took over a 16-donum- area of land to the south of the aforementioned settlement. They set up tents on the land chased and terrified dozens of Palestinian farmers and shepherds. They captured and violently beat Amjad Mousa Reb’ei, 21. He sustained bruises and cuts to the face, the back and the limbs. The owners of land submitted complaints to the Israeli police, but the police and IOF refused to intervene and even provided protection to the settlers. Israeli settlers attempt to establish a settlement outpost in the area named “Havat Ma’oun.”
  • At approximately 12:00 on Monday, 16 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned to the southwest of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, opened fire at a number of Palestinian children during clashes between the children and Israeli settlers from “Kermi Tsour” settlement, supported by IOF. The clashes broke out when Israeli settlers forced Palestinian framers to leave their agricultural lands located near the aforementioned settlement. The soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the children. As a result, two children were sustained fractures:
    1. Sufian Diab Ekhmayes, 17, sustained a fracture to the left leg; and
    2. ‘Amru Shawkat ‘Alqam, 13, sustained a fracture to the right leg.
  • On Tuesday evening, 17 April 2007, an Israeli settler fired at a number of Palestinian children who were cultivating almonds in Taqqou’ village, south of Bethlehem. One of the children was seriously wounded by a gunshot to the head.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 17:15 on Tuesday, a number of Palestinian children were cultivating almonds in al-Baqa’a area near Taqqou’ main road, south of Bethlehem. A civilian vehicle with an Israeli registration plate stopped at the road site, and an armed Israeli settler got out of it. He fired at the children from a range of nearly 60 meters at the children. One of the children, 13-year-old Haitham ‘Ali Khalaf Abu Mefreh, was seriously wounded by a gunshot to the head.

  • On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, 17 and 18 April 2007, Israeli settlers who had continued to occupy a house belonging to the al-Rujbi family in Wad al-Husain neighborhood near “Kiryat Arba” settlement, southeast of Hebron, for the fourth consecutive week, attacked Palestinian civilians using empty bottles and stones. They also brought a number of students of the Jewish Institute in Hebron to stay in the house. IOF were present in the area, but did not intervene to stop those attacks.

    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.

    Related Links

  • Palestinian Centre for Human Rights