Weekly Report on Human Rights Violations

Palestinian students hold a memorial for their classmate, Bushra Bargheesh who was killed the day before by Israeli special forces at her home in the Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank, April 23, 2007. (Raed Abu Baker/MaanImages)


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

  • Nine Palestinians, including two children, were killed by IOF in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
  • Four of the victims were extrajudicially executed by IOF.
  • Eighteen civilians were wounded by IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
  • Thirteen of these civilians, including a journalist, four women and four international human rights defenders, were wounded when IOF used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration against the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bal’ein village near Ramallah.
  • Two children were wounded as a result of the explosion of a mysterious object of the remainders of IOF.
  • IOF conducted 30 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  • IOF arrested 44 Palestinian civilians, including eight children and a girl.
  • IOF transformed a Palestinian house into a military site.
  • 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 house in occupied Jerusalem.
  • IOF demolished seven houses to the south of Hebron, rendering 48 Palestinians homeless.
  • Israeli settlers moved back to the evacuated “Homseh” settlement near Nablus.
  • Israeli settlers have continued to occupy a house in Hebron for the fifth consecutive week.

    Summary

    Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (19 - 25 April 2007):

    Shooting:

    During the reporting period, IOF killed nine Palestinians, including two children, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They also wounded 18 civilians, including two children, a journalist, four women, and four international human rights activists.

    In the West Bank, IOF killed eight Palestinians, including two children. On 21 April 2007, IOF killed a Palestinian who stepped up to the roof of his house to look at IOF when they were besieging a number of houses in Kufor Dan village near Jenin. On the same day, an IOF undercover unit extrajudicially executed three Palestinians in Jenin. Also on the same day, IOF shot dead a Palestinian child as they besieged her family home to arrest her brother. On 22 April 2007, IOF killed two members of the Palestinian resistance in the old town of Nablus. On the same day, IOF shot dead a Palestinian child in Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah.

    During the reporting period, 14 Palestinian civilians were wounded by the IOF gunfire in the West Bank. Thirteen of those civilians, including a journalist, four women and four international human rights defenders, were wounded when IOF used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration against the construction of the Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. Three journalists and an Irish Noble Prize winner also suffered from tear gas inhalation. In addition, two Palestinian children were wounded as a result of the explosion of a mysterious object of the remainders of IOF.

    In the Gaza Strip, on 21 April 2007, IOF extra-judicially executed a Palestinian civilian to the east of Jabalya town. According to information available to PCHR, the victim was not involved in any resistance activity. During the reporting period, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel wounded two Palestinian civilians.

    Incursions:

    During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 30 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, IOF arrested 44 Palestinian civilians, including eight 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 1,007. IOF also transformed a house in Saffa village, northwest of Ramallah, into a military site.

    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. On Sunday morning, 22 April 2007, IOF imposed a total closure on the OPT for the so-called independence day.

    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 only for one day. 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 closed on 23 and 24 April 2007. 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. During the reporting period, IOF completely closed the crossing for three days. 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 five Palestinian civilians. IOF also detained four staff members of the Palestinian Customs Bureau, two journalists and a PCHR field worker near Hebron for several hours.

    Settlement Activities:

    Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 19 April 2007, IOF demolished seven houses in Mnaizal and Qwaiwis villages, south of Hebron, rendering 48 Palestinians homeless. On the same day, IOF razed 4.5 donums [1] of land in al-Twana village, south of Hebron. On 25 April 2007, IOF demolished a house in East Jerusalem, claiming that it was built without a license. On Tuesday morning, 24 April 2007, dozens of Israeli settlers from “Shavi Shomron” settlement, northwest of Nablus, marched towards a site of that was known in the past as “Homesh” settlement at Nablus-Jenin road and set up tents. On the same day, dozens of Israeli settlers, escorted by IOF, closed Ya’bad-Jenin road, south of Jenin, and prevented the passage of Palestinian civilians. The closure of the road continued for several hours. 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 fifth consecutive week, attacked Palestinian civilians using empty bottles and stones. IOF were present in the area, but did not intervene to stop those attacks.

    Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (19 - 25 April 2007)

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

    Thursday, 19 April 2007

  • At approximately 00:15, IOF moved into Tulkarm refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested ‘Abdul Latif Lutfi Melhem, 24.
  • Also at approximately 00:15, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched two houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched a number of houses. IOF bulldozers also demolished parts of a house belonging to Ihsan ‘Abdul Rahim Hallous in Shraim neighborhood.
  • At approximately 01:30, 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:
    1. Ahmed ‘Abdul Rahman Abu Saleh, 24;
    2. Ashraf Mohammed al-Afghani, 32;
    3. Mahmoud Nember al-Saheli, 19;
    4. Mohammed Nemer al-Saheli, 18; and
    5. Mohammed Waleed Abu Daoud, 18.
  • Also at approximately 01:30, IOF moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested six Palestinian civilians:
    1. ‘Amru ‘Ali Abu Haniya, 18;
    2. Murad Saqer Saleem, 18;
    3. Mo’ayad Sameer Saleem, 17;
    4. Eyad Mohammed Abul Haniya, 17;
    5. ‘Abdullah Mohammed Abu Haniya, 19; and
    6. Qussai Hamza Hussein, 20.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Halhoul town, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested three Palestinian civilians:
    1. Rami Mohammed al-Zama’ra, 24;
    2. ‘Ali ‘Abdul Qader Shaheen, 24; and
    3. Sarhan ‘Afeef Sarhan, 21.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Zahiriya village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Mahmoud Hasan Eshnyour, 35; and
    2. Majdi Isma’il al-Tal, 29.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Taqqou’ village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested four Palestinian civilians:
    1. Jom’a Ameen Sabbah, 16;
    2. Mohammed Ameen Sabbah, 16;
    3. Mohammed Jamal Sabbah, 16; and
    4. Sameeh Sabbah, deputy mayor of Taqqou’.
  • At approximately 11:40, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, north of Beit Lahia, fired at two Palestinian children who were at BeiT Lahia beach. One of the children, 16-year-old Ahmed Fat’hi ‘Obaid, was wounded by a gunshot to the left thigh.
  • 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 12:30, IOF moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested five Palestinian civilians:
    1. ‘Abdul Hafez ‘Eissa al-Shamali, 36;
    2. Mohammed ‘Eissa al-Shamali, 33;
    3. Hamza Mahmoud al-Batran, 22;
    4. Bassel Ahmed Farajallah, 25; and
    5. Hammam Sa’id al-Shamali, 18.

    Friday, 20 April 2007

  • At approximately 01:45, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 15:40, IOF moved into Beit Fourik village, east of Nablus. They besieged and opened fire at a house belonging to Fadi Rajeh Hanani. They forced the residents of the house out and interrogated them, claiming that there was a gunman inside the house. They then broke into the house. They searched and damaged it, but they did not find any gunman. During this attack, a number of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. IOF soldiers fired at those civilians, wounding 18-year-old Ahmed ‘Ezzat Khatatba with shrapnel to the left foot.

    Saturday, 21 April 2007

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Tubas village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Kufor Dan village, west of Jenin. They besieged and opened fire at a house belonging to the family of Mahmoud Nasfat Naddaf, 20, in the west of the village. They also raided a number of neighboring houses and transformed them into military sites, from which they fired at whatever moved in the area. In the meantime, Mohammed Sa’id Talal ‘Aabed, 23, stepped up to the roof of his house to check what was going. Immediately, an IOF soldiers positioned a neighboring house belonging to Mohammed Saleh ‘Aabed shot him dead with two gunshots to the jaw and the chest. The victim was a member of the Palestinian police, but he was not on duty and was wearing civilian clothes. Additionally, IOF arrested five Palestinian civilians, including four brothers:
    1. Ziad Nasfat Naddaf, 24;
    2. Ameen Shafe’ ‘Aabed, 27;
    3. Mohammed Shafe’ ‘Aabed, 24;
    4. Mahmoud Shafe’ ‘Aabed, 22; and
    5. Ahmed Shafe’ ‘Aabed, 19.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF moved into al-‘Obaidiya village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Hussein Radaida, 23, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 12:00, IOF moved into Bethlehem and Beit Jala towns. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Ihsan Jameel al-‘Asa, 17; and
    2. Na’im Mohammed al-‘Asa, 30.
  • At approximately 22:00 on the same day, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They besieged and opened fire at a house belonging to Naji Wahesh Bargheesh near Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital. Bargheesh’s daughter, 17-year-old Bushra, was killed by a gunshot to the head, when she was in her bedroom. IOF continued to besiege and fire at the house to arrest the victims brother, 22-year-old ‘Abdul Rahman. They then called through megaphones on residents of the house to get out and they did. However, IOF resumed firing at the house. At approximately 23:30, IOF withdrew from the area, without finding the targeted person.

    Sunday, 22 April 2007

  • At approximately 00:15 on Sunday, 22 April 2007, an IOF undercover unit moved into Nablus, traveling in a civilian vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate. The vehicle stopped neat a house belonging to Nabeel al-Zorba in the old town. Soon after, IOF military jeeps arrived at the area to support the undercover unit. IOF soldiers raided two neighboring houses belonging to the families of Abu al-Hayat and al-Shilla. They then ordered residents of the al-Zorba’s house to get out. Al-Zurba, his wife and their two children immediately got out. Soon after, IOF fired eight shells at the house and many gunshots at the house. Two members of the Palestinian resistance exchanged fire with IOF. The exchange of fire continued until 04:45, and as a result of it, the two resistance activists were killed. They were identified as:
    1. Ameen Mahmoud Libbada, 20, hit by a gunshot to the neck; and
    2. Fadel Mohammed Nour, 25, hit by three gunshots to the neck.
  • At approximately 11:00, two IOF military jeeps moved into Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah. They patrolled in the streets. One of the jeep stopped and IOF soldier got out of it. He shot dead Kareem Khaled Zahran, 15, with a gunshot to the chest, while he was grazing animals away.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF moved into Hawara village, south of Nablus, and imposed a curfew.

    Monday, 23 April 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp and al-Dahia neighborhood, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested four Palestinian civilians:
    1. Mohammed Hamed al-Srouji, 17;
    2. ‘Abdul Rahman Darwish al-Qanni, 18;
    3. Mohammed Jasser Sallam, 17; and
    4. Ghassan Ghazi Abu Hamada, 17.

    Tuesday, 24 April 2007

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Karam Mohammed ‘Amru, 26; and
    2. Mahmoud Fawzi ‘Amru, 30.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They searched farms in the west of the village and arrested Mohammed Ahmed Nazzal, 24.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Sammou’ village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested three Palestinian civilians:
    1. Mohammed Hussein Sarbal, 19;
    2. Ya’qoub Na’im al-Za’arir, 22; and
    3. Ibrahim Ya’qoub al-Hroub, 20.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire. They withdrew from the city and opened fire. At approximately 05:00, IOF withdrew from the city and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Til village, southwest of Nablus. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire. They withdrew from the city and opened fire. At approximately 06:00, IOF withdrew from the village and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Saffa village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided a house belonging to Tha’er Sabbah and transformed it into a military site.

    Wednesday, 25 April 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into the University neighborhood in the north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Bashar ‘Abdul ‘Alim Da’na, 19, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire. They withdrew from the city and opened fire. At approximately 05:00, IOF withdrew from the city and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the north of Jabalya town fired at Salah Zaidan ‘Asaliya, 18, for no apparent reason, when he was on a tract of agricultural land belonging to his family, nearly 400 meters away from the border. He was wounded by a gunshot to the rights shoulder.

    Two Palestinian Children Wounded by the Explosion of a Mysterious Object of the Remainders of IOF

    At approximately 16:30 on Tuesday, 24 April 2007, Majdi Akram Fashafsha, seven, and his brother Anas, four, from Jaba’ village south of Jenin, were wounded when a mysterious object of the remainders of IOF exploded between their hands. The former sustained serious burns to the hands and the right foot and the latter sustained burns to the right elbow. The two children were wounded when they were playing near what was known in the past as Sanour military site at Jaba’-Sanour road.

    2. Extra-Judicial Executions

    During the reporting period, IOF committed two extrajudicial executions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, killing four Palestinians. One of the victims was a civilian who was not involved in any resistance activity.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR:

  • At approximately 17:00 on Saturday, 21 April 2007, an IOF undercover unit moved into Jenin, traveling in two civilian vehicles with Palestinian registration plates. The two vehicles stopped near a female secondary school in Abu Duhair Mount area, which overlooks Jenin refugee camp. IOF soldiers then intercepted and opened fire at a Palestinian civilian car that was traveling in the area. Three Palestinians who were traveling in the car were instantly killed:
    1. Mohammed Ghaleb al-Dumaj, 22, a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an armed wing of Fatah movement);
    2. Ahmed Mohammed al-‘Eissa, 24, also member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades; and
    3. Mahmoud ‘Abdul Latif Ghlail, 23, a member of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad).
  • At approximately 20:35 also on Saturday, an IOF aircraft fired a missile at a civilian car (a red Fiat 127) belonging to Kamal Kazem Mohammed ‘Anan, 43, from Gaza City, which stopped at Sha’sha’a intersection to the east of Jabalya town. The missile directly hit the car burning it. ‘Anan was seriously wounded by shrapnel throughout the body, as he was standing near it. He was evacuated to the hospital, but he died half an hour later. The reasons of the attack are not apparent. It is not clear whether IOF launched this attacks in the context of the policy of extra-judicial executions. According to information available to PCHR, ‘Anan was not involved into any resistance activities. He used to work at the Municipality of Gaza and he was on duty when the attack took place. Nearly half an hour prior to this attack, an IOF aircraft fired a missile at a civilian vehicle, in which a number of members of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad) were traveling, after they had launched home-made rockets at Israeli towns. The missile went astray.

    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 for one day, contrary to the Israeli-Palestinian agreement to operate the crossing point for four days a week.

    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. During the reporting period, the crossing was closed for three days starting from 22 April 2007 for Jewish occasions.

  • 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 partially on 22 April 2007 and completely on the following day. The crossing is operated from 10:00 to 22:00 daily.
  • Nahal Ouz Crossing: This crossing is designed for the entry of fuels. During the reporting period, the crossing witnessed active movement. On 20 April 2007, IOF denied the entry of benzene and gasoline. On 24 April 2007, IOF closed the crossing for Jewish occasions.
  • Sofa Crossing: IOF have continued to close Sofa crossing, northeast of Rafah, which is designed for the entry of aggregate, and 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 morning, 19 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at al-Bathan checkpoint, northeast of Nablus, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They conducted prolonged and humiliating checking on civilians. On Saturday morning, 21 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Hawara and Za’tara checkpoints, south of Nablus, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Sunday morning, 22 April 2007, IOF positioned at various checkpoints around Nablus imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.

    Tulkarm:

    IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday, 19 April 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Bala’a intersection, east of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles. On the same day, IOF soldiers positioned at ‘Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, and Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of the town, prevented Palestinians aged under 35 from passing through the two checkpoints. IOF soldiers chased and beat some of those Palestinians who resorted to alternative dirt roads. On Saturday, 21 April 2007, IOF erected additional checkpoints on the roads leading to Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilians vehicles. On Sunday, 22 April 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Ras village, south of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles using trained dogs. On Monday, 23 April 2007, IOF closed Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, and prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians.

    Jenin:

    IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Sunday morning, 22 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 area. On Monday morning, 22 April 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint to the north of Tubas village, southeast of Jenin. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Monday, 23 April 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint on al-Jarba-Qabatya road, southeast of Jenin. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.

    Hebron:

    IOF have imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians and have erected additional checkpoints inside and outside Hebron. On Saturday morning, 21 April 2007, IOF closed the entrance of Wadi al-Qalaf road, which links Hebron with its western country, with sadn barriers, further restricting the movement of Palestinian civilians. IOF also closed a number of branch and dirt roads to the south and west of Hebron. On Monday and Tuesday, 23 and 24 April 2007, IOF reinforced their presence in the center and southeast of Hebron, to allow Jewish settlers to celebrate the so-called independence day. They stopped, checked and interrogated Palestinian civilians.

    On Monday morning, 23 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at the northern entrance of al-Fawar refugee camp, southwest of Hebron, arrested Ahmed Mohammed al-Hawamda, from al-Sammou’ village south of Hebron.

    At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 22 April 2007, IOF chased a vehicle of the Palestinian Customs Bureau on bypass road #60, northeast of Hebron. Four civil employees were traveling in the vehicle: Nidal Ayoub Jaber, 46; Yousef Mohammed Abu Sharar, 48; ‘Alaa’ ‘Abdullah al-Ja’bari, 28; and Mohammed Abu Qwaider, 45. They were in a work tour to border crossing to ensure that banned goods are not entered into Palestinian markets. An IOF military jeep intercepted the vehicle. IOF soldiers forced the employees out of the vehicle and held and humiliated them although they knew their identities and the nature of their work. IOF also held ‘Abdul Hafiz Diab al-Hashlamoun, 42, a cameraman of APA news agency, when he arrived to the area to photograph the detention and humiliation of the customs employees. They also confiscated his camera and removed the films. Later, IOF expelled a PCHR field worker and a journalist from the area. At approximately 12:00, the detainees were released, but IOF handed to them notices to refer to the Israeli police in “Kiryat Arba” settlement, south of Hebron.

    At approximately 14:10 on the same day, IOF soldiers positioned at Tarqoumia crossing, northwest of Hebron, stopped and detained Fahmi Shahin, a PCHR field worker, and Hussam Abu ‘Allan, a journalist, when they arrived at the area to photograph news installations established by IOF at the crossing, which is expected to be transformed into an international one. IOF soldiers checked their identity cards and cameras several times. At approximately 16:30, IOF soldiers released Shahin and Abu ‘Allan.

    On Wednesday morning, 25 April 2007, IOF soldiers erected a checkpoint at Sousia intersection, south of Hebron. They stopped a vehicle and arrested four Palestinian civilians:

    1. Mohammed Khaled al-Shawahin, 40;
    2. Hasan Husni al-Hallis, 33;
    3. Mohammed Ahmed Abu Zahra, 32; and
    4. Mohammed Mousa Abu Zahra, 30.

    4. Construction of the Annexation Wall

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

  • Following the Friday Prayer on 20 April 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 Wall. 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 four women and four international activists) and a journalist were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets:
    1. Farhan Ibrahim Bernat, 28, wounded by two rubber-coated metal bullets to the hand and the back;
    2. Nasser Mustafa Abu Rahma, 42, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh;
    3. Hussam Kamal al-Khatib, 26, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the leg;
    4. Sameer Suleiman Bernat, 29, wounded by two rubber-coated metal bullets to the abdomen and the leg;
    5. Zuhdiya ‘Ali al-Khatib, 41, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the back;
    6. Sameer Ibrahim Abu Rahma, 29, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head;
    7. Arwa Abu Haikal, 22, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the leg;
    8. ‘Amru Hashem Nasser, 22, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh;
    9. Johanna Niers, 35, a French citizen, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh;
    10. Maria Suseina, 50, a Spanish citizen, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the leg;
    11. Carlo, 30, a Swiss citizen, wounded by two rubber-coated metal bullets to the abdomen and the leg;
    12. Laurence, an Italian citizen, 25, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the leg; and
    13. Mos’ad Abu Te’ma, 34, a cameraman of the British Channel 4, wounded by two rubber-coated metal bullets to the head and the back.

    Additionally, three journalists and an international peace activist suffered from tear gas inhalation:

    1. Shirine Abu ‘Aaqla, 35, from al-Jazeera Satellite Channel;
    2. Ramadan ‘Afana, 30, from al-Jazeera Satellite Channel;
    3. Daoud ‘Aqila, 23, a cameraman of Dubai Television; and
    4. Mairead McWayer, 65, an Irish winner of the Noble Peace Prize in 1976.

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

  • On Thursday and Friday, 19 and 20 April 2007, Israeli settlers who had continued to occupy a house in Wad al-Husain neighborhood near “Kiryat Arba” settlement, southeast of Hebron, since 19 March 2007, attacked Palestinian civilians using empty bottles and stones. They also attacked houses and shops in the area. According to Bassam Fahed al-Ja’bari, the settlers attempted to break into six houses, but they failed as the residents were able to stop them. According to Majdi Nasser al-Ja’bari, the settlers beat his 66-year-old mother, his 51-year-old mother and his 24-year-old pregnant sister-in-law. They also beat Amani Mohammed al-Ja’bari, 12. IOF were present in the area, but did not intervene to stop those attacks. It is worth noting that the Israeli Defense Ministry issued a decision on 5 April 2007 to evacuate the settlers from the house in two weeks, but the decision has not been implemented.
  • At approximately 10:30 on Thursday, 19 April 2007, IOF moved into Mnaizal village, south of Hebron. They demolished a 180-square-meter house, in which 16 people lived, belonging to Mohammed Khalil Abu Qbaita. IOF claimed that the house, which was located nearly 100 meters away from “Msoday Yahuda” settlement, was built without a license. IOF then moved into the neighboring Qwaiwes village. They demolished six houses, in which 48 people lived. Those houses were located nearly 500 meters away from “Sousia” settlement. IOF also handed demolition notices to owners of two houses and a tent.
  • At approximately 13:30 on the same day, IOF moved into al-Tawana village, south of Hebron. They razed a 4500-square-meter area of land belonging to the family of ‘Ali ‘Eissa Reb’ei to the north of “Aviga’il” settlement outpost. They claimed that land is state-owned.
  • On Tuesday morning, 24 April 2007, dozens of Israeli settlers from “Shavi Shomron” settlement, northwest of Nablus, marched towards a site of that was known in the past as “Homesh” settlement at Nablus-Jenin road and set up tents. On their way, those settlers attempted to attack Palestinian civilians on the road. IOF also imposed a curfew on the villages on Burqa and Bazria, on whose lands the evacuated settlement stood. “Homesh” settlement was evacuated nearly 19 months ago in the context of the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan, together with four other settlements near Jenin and all settlements in the Gaza Strip. On 26 March 2007, a number of Israeli settlers returned to the site of the settlement and had stayed there for three days before IOF evacuated them.
  • At approximately 14:00 also on Tuesday, dozens of Israeli settlers, escorted by IOF, closed Ya’bad-Jenin road, south of Jenin, and prevented the passage of Palestinian civilians. The closure of the road continued for several hours.
  • On Wednesday morning, 25 April 2007, IOF moved into al-Tour neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. They demolished a 70-square-meter house belonging to Nawaf Mohammed Shalalda, without allowing its nine residents to vacate any of their belongings. IOF claimed that the house was built without a license.

    Recommendations to the International Community

    1. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.

    2. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel’s respect of the Convention in the OPT and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.

    3. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to comply with its legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.

    4. PCHR 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.

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

    Related Links

  • Palestinian Centre for Human Rights