Weekly Report on Human Rights Violations

A Palestinian boy sits on a wall as he looks at an Israeli soldier during an army operation in the West Bank city of Qalqilia, 28 April 2007. (Khaleel Reash/MaanImages)


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

  • A Palestinian civilian and a member of the Palestinian Presidential Guard were killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, respectively.
  • Three Palestinian civilians were wounded by IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
  • A French solidarity activist was wounded by IOF gunfire in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah.
  • IOF conducted 28 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  • IOF arrested 55 Palestinian civilians, including six children and a woman.
  • IOF arrested a Palestinian civilian in the Gaza Strip.
  • IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT.
  • IOF have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
  • IOF positioned at various checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank arrested 13 Palestinian civilians, including two children.
  • IOF have continued to confiscate Palestinian land for the purpose of the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank.
  • IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • Israeli settlers have continued to occupy a house in Hebron for the sixth consecutive week.
  • Israeli settlers attacked a family in Hebron.

    Summary

    Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (26 April - 2 May 2007):

    Shooting:

    During the reporting period, IOF killed two Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They also wounded three Palestinian civilians and a French solidarity activist.

    On Thursday evening, 26 April 2007, IOF shot dead a member of the Palestinian Presidential Guard (Force 17) and wounded two of his colleagues in al-Bireh town in the West Bank. Those security men were chasing a suspicious vehicle when IOF soldiers positioned in the vicinity of Psegot settlement fired at them. On Wednesday, 2 May 2007, IOF shot dead a Palestinian civilian and arrested his brother in the northern Gaza Strip. IOF fired at the two brothers when they were collecting metals.

    During the reporting period, a French solidarity activist was wounded when IOF used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration against the construction of the Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. Additionally, a Palestinian civilian was wounded by IOF soldiers positioned at Tarqoumia crossing near Hebron.

    Incursions:

    During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 28 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, IOF arrested 55 Palestinian civilians, including six children and a woman. Thus, the number of Palestinians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of this year has mounted to 1,062. IOF also transformed the roof of a building in Hawara village, south of Nablus, 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.

    Gaza Strip

    IOF have imposed a strict siege on the Gaza Strip. They have imposed severe restrictions at 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 three separate days. 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 27 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. 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. 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 13 Palestinian civilians, including two children.

    Annexation Wall:

    IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank. For this purpose, they have confiscated more areas of Palestinian land. On 26 April 2007, IOF issued a military order confiscating 239 donums [1] of agricultural land in Bardala village in the northern Jordan Valley for the purpose of the construction of a new section of the Wall. According to local sources, the construction of the new section would also isolate at least 5,000 donums of agricultural land. On the same day, IOF issued a military order confiscating at least 60 donums of agricultural land in Jalboun and Faqqou’a villages, east of Jenin, for alleged security purposes. This latest military order complemented another one from 2003 to reroute the Wall in Jenin district.

    Settlement Activities:

    Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property, especially in Hebron. On 27 April 2007, an Israeli settlers from Kiryat Arba settlement, southeast of Hebron, opened fire at Palestinian house opposite to the settlement. Soon after, IOF raided the house, beat members of the family and arrested two of them because they confronted the settler who attacked their houses.

    Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (26 April - 2 May 2007)

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

    Thursday, 26 April 2007

  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Jamal ‘Abdul Hadi Nakhla, 40; and
    2. ‘Othman ‘Arabi Nakhla, 22.
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested five Palestinian civilians, including two children:
    1. Sami ‘Abdullah al-Khawaja, 23;
    2. Jihad Fat’hi Qamhiya, 15;
    3. Mujahed Hussein Hassiba, 16;
    4. Hashem Sameeh al-Houh, 23; and
    5. ‘Alaa’ Hafez al-Kayali, 26.
  • In the evening, IOF shot dead a member of the Palestinian Presidential Guard (Force 17) and wounded two of his colleagues.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, a patrol of the Palestinian Presidential Guard erected a checkpoint in al-Bireh town in the context of a security plan to pursue illegal vehicles. At approximately 20:30, officers at the checkpoint suspected a civilian vehicle, so they ordered its driver to stop, but he did not obey the order and traveled towards his family house in Jabal al-Taweel neighborhood in the east of the town near Psegot settlement. Immediately, a vehicle of the Presidential Guard chased the suspicious vehicle. As soon as the security vehicle became close to the suspect’s house, members of his family opened fire at it and security men returned fire. Soon after, IOF soldiers positioned in military posts inside the aforementioned settlement opened fire at the Palestinian security vehicle. As a result, three security officers were wounded:

    1. Mahmoud Tariq Mahmoud al-Ahmad, 28, from Rummana village west of Jenin, seriously wounded by a gunshot to the head (he died shortly after having been admitted into the hospital);
    2. Eyad Wassef al-Basheer, 42, wounded by a gunshot to the thigh; and
    3. ‘Othman Dwaikat, 22, wounded by shrapnel to the head.
    Friday, 27 April 2007
  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Beit Ameen village, south of Qalqilya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to the ‘Omar family. They arrested two Palestinian civilians, but released them later.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Yatta village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Jameela Msabbeh al-Haddar, 50, and arrested her.
  • At approximately 01:10, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into ‘Aaida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Ameer Ahmed al-Ameer, 26; and
    2. Waleed Ibrahim Makkawi, 24.
    Saturday, 28 April 2007
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into al-Salam neighborhood in the northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Ibrahim Misk, 19, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 13:30, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They besieged the Vocational Training Center in the east of the town. They ordered students through megaphones to get out and they did. IOF soldiers checked the students.
  • 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.

    Sunday, 29 April 2007

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-‘Ouja village, north of Jericho, and imposed a curfew. They then raided and searched a number of houses and arrested eight Palestinian civilians:
    1. Muhannad Ahmed Sa’aida, 25;
    2. Hani Ahmed Sa’aida, 33;
    3. Shalash Mustafa Jarhoud, 26;
    4. Helmi To’aima Ka’abna, 33;
    5. Hussein Khalil ‘Atiyat, 31;
    6. ‘Ammar Mahmoud Sa’aida, 31;
    7. Yousef Mohammed Sa’aida, 21; and
    8. Ibrahim Yousef ‘Atiyat, 19.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Ramallah. They besieged the building of the Almsgiving Committee. They then raided and searched offices of the Ex-prisoners Forum. They damaged three computer sets and some documents. They also confiscated some documents related to the forum’s establishment and activities.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They opened fire at a number of civilian vehicles and shops. No casualties were reported, but a number of shops were damaged.

    Monday, 30 April 2007

  • At approximately 00:15, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested eight Palestinian civilians:
    1. Anas As’ad al-Barq, 23;
    2. ‘Aamer ‘Abdullah al-Banna, 26;
    3. Qais Anwar ‘Awayes, 21;
    4. Mohammed Maher ‘Asaliya, 22;
    5. Shareef Mohammed Abu al-S’oud, 22;
    6. Ramzi Jamal Abu al-S’oud, 21;
    7. Zafer ‘Omar al-Ashqar, 21; and
    8. Saher Hamdi ‘Olaiwa, 45.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Samer Jihad Saleh, 22.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Beeta village, southeast of Nablus. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire. Before their withdrawal from the village, IOF arrested three Palestinian children claiming that they threw stones at military vehicles:
    1. Khaled Mohammed Hamdan, 16;
    2. Rasheed ‘Othman Bani Shamsa, 17; and
    3. Qussai Bassem Bani Shamsa, 16.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring Balata refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 5 Palestinian civilians:
    1. Mohammed ‘Abdul Fattah al-Natour, 27;
    2. Salah Hisham al-Riahi, 18;
    3. Bahaa’ Yassin Abu al-Kalbat, 20;
    4. Maher ‘Abdul Rahim Khattab, 30;
    5. Ra’ed Yousef ‘Olaiwi, 18; and
    6. ‘Abdul Rahman Fayez Samara, 21.
    Tuesday, 1 May 2007
  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Qiffin village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested four Palestinians:
    1. Ameen Ahmed Mustafa, 23;
    2. Nabeel Mohammed Hersha, 28;
    3. Yousef Ahmed Sadah, 23; and
    4. ‘Anan Tayseer Te’ma, 24, a member of the Palestinian General Intelligence.
    IOF also summoned four Palestinian civilians for interrogation.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Wissam Nasri Subeh, 32.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Rakhma village, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a houses belonging to ‘Ali Mohammed Shawriya, 55, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-‘Asakra village, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mahmoud Ahmed ‘Owaida, 27, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Hawara village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a five-storey apartment building belonging to Ra’ed Turki. They transformed the roof into a military site.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into Salem village, east of Nablus. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire. They arrested three Palestinian civilians:
    1. Bahaa’ ‘Abdul Rahman ‘Eissa, 17;
    2. Na’el Rebhi ‘Eissa, 18; and
    3. Nour Marwan Hamdan, 18.
    Wednesday, 2 May 2007
  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into Ethna village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mohammed Mutlaq al-Jayawi, 33.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested four Palestinian civilians:
    1. Mohammed Lufi al-Shata, 45;
    2. ‘Alaa’ Ahmed Tawalba, 24;
    3. Ra’ed Ahmed Tawalba, 27; and
    4. Eyad Hussein Hamdan, 23.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mohammed ‘Abdul Rahim al-Aqra’, 27.

  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.

  • Also at approximately 01:15, IOF moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Burqa village, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Sufian ‘Abdullah Hijja, 24.

  • At approximately 10:45, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, north of Beit Lahia, opened fire at Mas’oud Rajab Subeh, 21, and his brother Sa’ad, 22, when they were collecting metal nearly 200 meters away from the border. The former was killed by a gunshot to the head and IOF arrested the latter.

    2. Continued Siege on the OPT

    IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Occupied East Jerusalem.

    Gaza Strip

    IOF have continued to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip for nearly one year. 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 three separate days.
  • 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 800-1,000 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 on 27 April 2007 for no apparent reason. The crossing is operated from 09:30 to 22:30 daily.
  • Nahal Ouz Crossing: This crossing is designed for the entry of fuels. During the reporting period, the crossing witnessed active movement. On 27 April 2007, IOF closed the crossing for no apparent reason.
  • Sofa Crossing: On 30 April 2007, IOF reopened the crossing following two months of closure. During the reporting period Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, southeast of Rafah, was reopened for one day only.

    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. 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, 26 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned Hawara and Za’tara checkpoints, south of Nablus, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They conducted prolonged and humiliating checking on civilians. On Saturday morning, 28 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, 29 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Hawara and Za’tara checkpoints, south of Nablus, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians wishing to travel to Ramallah. IOF soldiers positioned at Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of the city, imposed similar restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.

    At approximately 16:00 on Tuesday, 1 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint established at Rameen intersection, west of Nablus, arrested Sameer Hammouda Khdaish, 33, from Balata refugee camp east of Nablus.

    At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 2 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested ‘Anan Maher ‘Obaid, 20, and his brother ‘Allam, 18.

    Also on Wednesday morning, IOF soldiers positioned at Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Ra’ed Nash’at al-Nadi, 17, from ‘Askar refugee camp northeast of Nablus, claiming that he was carrying home-made hand grenades.

    On Wednesday evening, IOF soldiers positioned at Beit Fourik checkpoint, east of Nablus, arrested Rafeeq Rajeh al-Haj Mohammed, 20, from Beit Fourik village.

  • Tulkarm: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 17:00 on Friday, 27 April 2007, IOF erected a number of checkpoints on the roads leading to the center of Tulkarm, claiming that an Israeli citizen disappeared in the town, which proved to be untrue. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Saturday, 28 April 2007, IOF closed Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, and alternative dirt roads. Many Palestinian were forced to travel to Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of the town, in an attempt to get out of the town. On Sunday, 29 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 closed ‘Attara - Bala’a road, northeast of Tulkarm, which links the town with Jenin, with sand barriers. On Monday morning, 30 April 2007, IOF closed Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, until 11:00. on Tuesday, 1 May 2007, IOF closed Ennab checkpoint until. They informed the Palestinian side that the closure would continue until 14:00 on Wednesday, 2 May 2007. IOF apparently plan to expand the checkpoint to serve as a permanent crossing. On Wednesday, 2 May 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Bala’a intersection. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.

    At approximately 18:30 on Tuesday, 1 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint established at the entrance of Shoufa village, southeast of Tulkarm, arrested Bassam Shareef Shahrour, 16, from Tulkarm.

  • Jenin: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. IOF soldiers positioned at Tayaseer checkpoint at the entrance of the northern Jordan Valley, and al-Hamra checkpoint at the entrance of the central Jordan Valley, have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They have prevented non-residents of the two areas from entering them. On Thursday morning, 26 April 2007, IOF closed the two checkpoints and denied movement to and from the two areas. On Friday morning, 27 March 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint on ‘Aqqaba-al-Kfair road to the north of Tubas village, southeast of Jenin. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Saturday morning, 28 April 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint on al-Jarba - Qabatya road, southeast of Jenin. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Sunday morning, 29 April 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at al-Kfair intersection, southeast of Jenin. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.

    At approximately 16:30 on Tuesday, 1 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint near the campus of the Arab American University, southeast of Jenin, arrested Bilal Khairi Yahia, 28, and Ahmed Mohammed Mershed, 28, both from Kufor Ra’ei village southwest of Jenin.

  • Hebron: IOF have imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians and have erected additional checkpoints inside and outside Hebron. On Thursday and Friday, 26 and 27 April 2007, IOF positioned in the center and south of Hebron imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They stopped, checked and interrogated Palestinian civilians. They patrolled in the streets and stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.

    On Saturday evening, 28 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at al-Leila checkpoint, southwest of Hebron, arrested ‘Abdul Rahman Mohammed Badran, 55, a taxi driver from Ethna village.

    On Tuesday afternoon, 1 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Tarqoumia crossing, northwest of Hebron, fired at Ibrahim Nemer al-Tumaizi, 40, from Ethna village. He was wounded by a gunshot to the abdomen. He was evacuated to an Israeli hospital. According to eyewitnesses, IOF fired at al-Tumaizi when he was near the crossing loading goods to transport them to local markets.

  • Qalqilya: At approximately 18:00 on Monday, 30 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Ras ‘Atiya checkpoint, south of Qalqilya, arrested ‘Abdul Halim Mahmoud Mara’ba, 24.
  • Bethlehem: At approximately 11:30 on Tuesday, 1 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint near “Kfar Etzion” settlement, southwest of Bethlehem, arrested ‘Ali Mohammed Sha’lan, 25, from Bethlehem.

    At approximately 12:30 on the same day, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint at the main entrance of al-Ma’sara village, south of Bethlehem, arrested Hasan Hussein Zawahra, 29.

    At approximately 13:00 on the same day, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint established at al-Sawahra intersection, northeast of Bethlehem, arrested Ahmed Salah al-Harimi, 29.

    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.

  • On Thursday, 26 April 2007, IOF issued a military order confiscating 239 donums of agricultural land in Bardala village in the northern Jordan Valley for the purpose of the construction of a new section of the Wall. According to local sources, the construction of the new section would also isolate at least 5,000 donums of agricultural land. It is worth noting that IOF confiscated at least 4000 donums in the past to construct a section of the Wall extending from Bardala village to al-Matalla village. They also confiscated thousands of donums under security claims and then handed them over to Israeli settlers.
  • Also on Thursday, 26 April 2007, IOF issued a military order confiscating at least 60 donums of agricultural land in Jalboun and Faqqou’a villages, east of Jenin, for alleged security purposes. This latest military order complemented another one from 2003 to reroute the Wall in Jenin district.
  • Following the Friday Prayer on 27 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, a French solidarity activist, 31, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the leg.

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

    Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

  • At approximately 16:30 on Friday, 27 April 2007, a jeep belonging to the guards of Kiryat Arba settlement, southeast of Hebron, stopped 15 meters away from 16-year-old ‘Abdul Karim al-Ja’bari when he was leveling grass in the garden of his family house opposite to the entrance of the aforementioned settlement. An armed Israeli settler got out of the jeep and moved towards the Palestinian child. The settler violently beat the child claiming that he land on which he was belongs to the settlement. The child screamed and asked for help. His father, 56, and his brother, 18-year-old ‘Alaa’, got out to help him. Immediately, the settler fired at them to force them away. Nearly 20 minutes later, IOF arrived at the area. They broke into the house and attacked the family as the settler claimed that members of the family threatened him. Two other members of the family sustained bruises throughout the body: Aayat ‘Abdul Karim al-Ja’bari, 20; and Suleiman ‘Omran al-Ja’bari, 32. IOF also arrested the father and his son, claiming that they threatened the settler and confronted and insulted soldiers. IOF did not interrogate the settler.

    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 1,000 square meters.

    Related Links

  • Palestinian Centre for Human Rights