Weekly Report on Human Rights Violations

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian at a flying checkpoint at the entrance of the West Bank city of Qalqilia, 6 May 2007. (Khaleel Reash/MaanImages)


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

  • Three Palestinians were extra-judicially executed by IOF in the West Bank.
  • Thirteen civilians, including six children and a girl, were wounded by IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
  • IOF conducted 37 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  • IOF arrested 60 Palestinian civilians, including six children and a woman.
  • IOF arrested four Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
  • 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 to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank; IOF soldiers abused a woman at a gate at the Wall at the entrance of a village near Jenin.
  • IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • IOF confiscated area of land in Kufor Qaddoum village near Qalqilya to establish a military road.
  • IOF demolished the building of a center for the rehabilitation of disabled children and a house in East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli settlers stormed a hill in Halhoul town near Hebron and vowed to establish a settlement outpost in the area.
  • Israeli settlers burnt at least 250 donums of agricultural land in Tulkarm.

    Summary

    Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (3 - 9 May 2007):

    Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed three Palestinians in the West Bank, and wounded 13 others, including six children and a girl in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

    On Friday evening, 4 May 2007, two members of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad) and a mentally disabled Palestinian civilian were extra-judicially executed by an IOF undercover unit in Seilta al-Harthiya village, west of Jenin.

    During the reporting period, nine Palestinian civilians, including six children and a girl, were wounded by the IOF gunfire in the West Bank.

    In the Gaza Strip, four Palestinians (two farmers and two members of the Palestinian resistance) were wounded by the IOF gunfire. On Monday, 7 May 2007, IOF carried out an extra-judicial execution attempt in the northern Gaza Strip, but it failed. IOF gunboats also fired at Palestinian fishing boats at Beit Lahia beach.

    Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 37 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, IOF arrested 60 Palestinian civilians, including five 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 1,123. In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted three limited incursions into Palestinian areas, during which they arrested three Palestinian farmers and a member of the Palestinain resistance. The three farmers were released later. IOF also leveled areas of land they had already razed.

    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 lacking in markets in the 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 imposed severe restriction on fishing in the Gaza Strip.

    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 six Palestinian civilians.

    Settlement Activities: Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 5 May 2007, a number of Israeli settlers living in “Msodat Yehuda” settlement to the south of Yatta village, south of Hebron, violently beat a Palestinian civilian. He sustained bruises throughout the body. On 6 May 2007, several Israeli settlers from “Kermi Tsur” and “Kiryat Arba” settlements, north and northeast of Hebron respectively, stormed al-Jumjoma Hill to the northeast of Halhoul town, north of Hebron. They set up a tent in the area and raised the Israeli flag. IOF were present in the area, but they did not intervene to stop the settlers. On the same day, a number of Israeli settlers from “Ennab” settlement, east of Tulkarm, traveling in a civilian car, stopped near Palestinian land in Rameen village, east of Tulkarm. One of those settlers got out of the car and set fire to the planted land. Hundreds of olive and almond trees were burnt. IOF prevented fire fighters from reaching the area for some time. At least 80 donums of land were burnt. On 7 May 2007, IOF issued a military order confiscated nearly 9.5 donums of land Kufor Qaddoum village, east of Qalqilya, to establish a military road between the village and “Qidoumim” settlement. The establishment of the road will restrict access of Palestinian farmers to large areas of land. On 8 May 2007, IOF moved into Wadi al-Jouz area in East Jerusalem. They besieged the building of al-Nojoum Association for Disabled Children. They forced the children and supervisors out and demolished the building, claiming that it was built without a license. On the same day, IOF moved into al-‘Eissawiya village, east of Jerusalem. They demolished a 220-square-meter house belonging to Daoud ‘Ali Nasser, in which 10 people lived. They did not allow the residents to take any of their belongings out. Also on the same day, 8 May 2007, a number of Israeli settlers from “Harish” settlement and “Meiser” kibbutz established on Palestinian land set fire to Palestinian agricultural land in ‘Akkaba village. At least 170 donums of agricultural land planted with olives and citrus were burnt.

    Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (3 - 9 May 2007)

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

    Thursday, 3 May 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Nazlat ‘Eissa village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested five 13-year-old Palestinian children:
    1. ‘Omar Waleed Hasan;
    2. Tariq Ziad Salman;
    3. Jawad Mohammed Salman;
    4. Mustafa Ibrahim al-Far; and
    5. Khaled Mohammed al-Taher.
  • Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Saida village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Usaimar Sameer al-Ashqar, who was not a home. They threatened to kill him if he did not surrender.

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Salama ‘Othman al-Darabee’, and arrested his daughter, 24-year-old Amani.

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Khader village, southwest of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Anwar Mohammed al-‘Assa, 36, and arrested him.

  • Also at approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.

  • At approximately 02:35, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring Balata refugee camp. They blew up the door of a house belonging to Mahmoud Ahmed Maraheel. They searched the house, and when they left it, they opened fire at it. As a result, fire broke out in the furniture. IOF also raided and searched a number of other houses in the city and the refugee camp and arrested three Palestinian civilians:
    1. Mahmoud Saleh Abu Leil, 17;
    2. Khalil Mohammed Abu Leil, 51; and
    3. Khaled Mohammed Zo’aiter, 50.
    Friday, 4 May 2007
  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 16:30, an IOF infantry unit moved nearly 200 meters into the north of Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip. IOF soldiers arrested three Palestinian farmers who were farming a tract of agricultural land belonging to the Abu Halima family: Nizar ‘Abdul Karim Abu Halima, 27; Nizar Ghazi Abu Halima, 25; and Mohammed ‘Awni Habboush, 24. They released the three farmers on the following day noon.

    Saturday, 5 May 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested three Palestinian civilians, including two brothers:
    1. Eyad ‘Abdul Rahman Taqatqa, 27;
    2. Ahmed ‘Abdul Rahman Taqatqa, 24; and
    3. Shareef Mohammed Taqatqa, 26.
  • Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Beit Oula village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Ra’ed Ziad al-‘Adam, 18, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Ektaba village, northeast of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested three brothers:
    1. Tha’er Mahmoud ‘Alaria, 23;
    2. Adham Mahmoud ‘Alaria, 20; and
    3. Eihab Mahmoud ‘Alaria, 18.
  • At approximately 01:45, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested ‘Abdul Rahman Zuhair al-Bal’awi, 18.

  • Also at approximately 01:45, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.

  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved nearly 300 meters into Abu Nada farm in the north of Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip. They chased and fired at a number of members of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad), wounding one of them, 18-year-old Mohammed Mohammed Qarmout. IOF prevented a Palestinian ambulance from attending Qarmout and arrested him. IOF withdrew from the area at approximately 19:00.

  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved nearly 150 meters into al-Farrahin area in ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis. They leveled areas of land they had already razed. They withdrew from the area two hours later.

    Sunday, 6 May 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Taqqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of ‘Adnan Kayed Jebril, 28, and arrested him.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Kufor Ra’ei village, southwest of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets and raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into Nablus. They patrolled in the streets and raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian brothers:
    1. Mas’oud Mohammed al-‘Assa, 42; and
    2. Yasser Mohammed al-‘Assa, 28.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Salem and Deir al-Hatab village, east of Nablus. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire. They withdrew from the two village at approximately 04:30, and no casualties nor arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Ahmed Ibrahim Abu ‘Ali, 17.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They opened fire indiscriminately. As a result, a child and a girl were wounded:
    1. Mohammed Nasser Nejem, 14, wounded by shrapnel to the nose; and
    2. Hiba ‘Aadel Eghbariya, 19, wounded by shrapnel to the eyes.
    Soon after, a number of school students gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired at the students, wounding three of them:
    1. Fu’ad Khaled al-Dumaj, 17, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the left foot;
    2. Ahmed ‘Ali al-Sa’di, 15, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right foot; and
    3. Muntasser al-Nawrasi, 19, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right foot.
    Monday, 7 May 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Beit Oula village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed ‘Abdul Qader al-Saraheen, and summoned him, his sons and his brothers for interrogation.

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided nd searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Rashad ‘Abdul Ghaffar al-Hammouz, 24; and
    2. Na’im Ahmed al-Warasna, 40.
    Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Khader village, southwest of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging toe the family of ‘Ali As’ad Salah, 29, and arrested him.

  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into Beeta village, southeast of Nablus. They besieged the central market in Bir Kouza area, which was established as an alternative to the central market in Nablus due to the siege imposed by IOF on the city. They violently bear Adeeb Mahmoud ‘Olayan, 30, who works in the market, and prevented Palestinians from entering the market.

  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into al-Doha village, south of Bethlehem. They besieged a house belonging to the family of Nidal ‘Ali Malash. They forced the residents of the house out and held then in a nearby place. They then called on Malash through megaphones to surrender. They also demolished the fence of the house. Soon after, a number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF military vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired at the children, wounding 14-year-old Mo’tassem ‘Adnan al-Qaissi woth a rubber-coated metal bullet to the back. IOF continued to besiege the house until the following day morning, but they were not able to arrest Malash as he was not at home. They arrested his brother, 20-year-old Munther, and his bother-in-law Waleed Mohammed Zaqqouq, 24.

  • In the evening, IOF gunboats stationed opposite to Beit Lahia beach in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at the beach to prevent Palestinian fishing boats from sailing. The gunfire continued until the following day morning, and Palestinian fishing boats were not able to sail.

    Tuesday, 8 May 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm town and refugee camp and the neighboring Nour Shams refugee camp and ‘Ezbat al-Jarad village. They raided and searched many houses and arreted 15 Palestinian civilians:
    1. ‘Abdullah Yassin Fuqaha, 42, the spokesman of Hamas in Tulkarm;
    2. Nidal Mohammed Abu Hilal, 23;
    3. Mahmoud Taleb Abu Thubab, 38;
    4. Mahmoud Mustafa ‘As’as, 24;
    5. Raja’ei Ahmed ‘Ammouri, 25;
    6. Ahmed Nemer Abu Jamous, 23;
    7. Ziad Khader Hamdan, 28;
    8. ‘Adnan Tayseer Samara, 23;
    9. Sadiq Sameeh al-Qarout, 23;
    10. Nidal Mohammed Abu Zarifa, 23;
    11. ‘Essam Ghazi Jeetawi, 35;
    12. Ahmed Lutfi Abu Salah, 26;
    13. Nasser Tayseer Samara, 25;
    14. Ahmed ‘Aassem ‘Awadh, 27; and
    15. Ahmed Hasan al-Matrouk, 38.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested three Palestinian civilians:
    1. Nadeem Mohammed Abu Khalaf, 28;
    2. Mohammed Sidqi Eskafi, 47; and
    3. Yassin Hussam Abu Khaled, 49.
  • Also at approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Mohammed Hussein Abu ‘Ayash, 22; and
    2. Sakher Hussein ‘Allami, 20.
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Nablus. They raied and searched a number of houses and arrested Eihab Khamis al-Qarini, 19.

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Kufor Ra’ei village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested four Palestinian civilians:
    1. Suhaib Mohammed Diab, 23;
    2. Mohammed ‘Aayed Atrash, 22;
    3. Ayman ‘Eid Yahia, 30; and
    4. Ahmed Mohammed al-Shiekh Ibrahim, 30.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into al-‘Aqaba village, southeast of Jenin. They photographed a number of houses. They then handed notices to the owners of five houses that their houses would be demolished, claiming that they were built without licenses.
  • At approximately 22:50, IOF moved into Iraq al-Tayeh village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested three Palestinian children:
    1. Mahmoud ‘Abdul Qader Jouda, 15;
    2. Shadi Saleh Jouda, 13; and
    3. Hasan Munjed Jouda, 13.
    Wednesday, 9 May 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.

  • Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring Balata refugee camp. They patrolled in the streets. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Beit Oula village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mo’ayad Mohammed al-Sarahin, 27, and arrested him.

  • At approximately 11:15, IOF soldiers positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Gaza City, fired at two Palestinian farmers who were farming their land near the border. The two farmers were wounded by a gunshot the left foot of each:
    1. Fares Diab Sukkar, 37; and
    2. Mohammed Mhaisen Hajjaj, 59.

    2. Extra-Judicial Execution

    During the reporting period, IOF carried out two extra-judicial execution attempt. On Friday evening, 4 May 2007, two members of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad) and a mentally disabled Palestinian civilians were extra-judicially executed by IOF in Seilta al-Harthiya village, west of Jenin. On Monday, 7 May 2007, IOF carried out an extra-judicial execution attempt in the northern Gaza Strip, but it failed.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR:

  • At approximately 18:00 on Friday, 4 May 2007, an IOF undercover unit moved into Sielat al-Harthiya village, west of Jenin, traveling in two civilian vehicles with Palestinian registration plates. The two vehicles stopped in al-Jab’ei area in the west of the villages. A number of IOF soldiers got out of the two vehicles and opened fire at three Palestinians were sitting near rocks on a tract of land belonging to ‘Ezzat Sa’id Zayoud, killing them:
    1. Ahmed ‘Ezzat Sa’id Zayoud, 21, a mentally disabled civilian bystander;
    2. Mahdi Mohammed Mahmoud Abu al-Kheir, 28; and
    3. Khaled Saleh ‘Aashour.
    Soon after, a number of IOF military vehicles arrived at the area and closed it for nearly an hour. They did not allow ambulances to reach the area. IOF soldiers also arrested four Palestinian civilians who arrived at the area to check what was going on when they heard the sounds of shooting, but released them at night:
    1. Yahia Yousef Jaradat, 31;
    2. ‘Emad Yousef Jaradat, 25;
    3. Ahmed Taher Zayoud, 16; and
    4. ‘Abdullah Husni Zayoud, 36.
  • At approximately 16:25 on Monday, 7 May 2007, an IOF drone fired a missile at a civilian vehicle (a red Volkswagen) which was traveling on Salah al-Din road, nearly 100 meters away from the southern entrance of the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. Mohammed al-Za’anin, 23, a member of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad) was traveling in the vehicle. The missile went astray, and al-Za’anin was able to jump out of the vehicle. He had a shelter in a nearby workshop. The drone fired another missile at the vehicle, destroying it.

    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 nearly one year. The total siege imposed by IOF on the Gaza Strip has left disastrous impact 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 on 3, 8 and 9 May 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. IOF have allowed nearly 400 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 to the Israeli Ministry of Interior to get travel documents. In the past, they had to hand identity cards to IOF at Erez crossing. According to Palestinians who traveled through the new crossing point, IOF impose the same restrictions on their movement as in the past. IOF have decreased the number of patients allowed to travel through the crossing for alleged security claims, even though those patients do not pose any threat to the security of Israelis and they are badly in need for advanced medical treatment. Patients who are allowed to pass through the crossing are forced to wait for long hours to undergo complicated passage and security procedures. They are thoroughly checked in a humiliating manner. Patients are also forced to pay additional financial expenses to use Israeli ambulances to transport them from the crossing to hospitals since Palestinian ambulances are banned from transporting patients. Since the beginning of this year, IOF have allowed 10 patients daily to travel to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank through the crossing. IOF have also continued to prevent many Palestinian civilians from visiting their relatives who are detained in Israeli jails.

    Al-Mentar (Karni) Commercial Crossing: Despite the relative ease of restrictions imposed on the flow of goods, the average number of containers allowed to pass through the crossing daily has mounted to more than 700, including 55 ones of exported goods from the Gaza Strip. 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 4 May 2007, IOF denied the entry of fuels into the Gaza Strip for no apparent reason. On 7 May 2007, the crossing witnessed an active movement, as IOF allowed the entry of at least 118,000 litres of benzene, 216,000 litres of gasoline and 226 tons of gas.

    Sofa Crossing: IOF have reopened Sofa crossing, northeast of Rafah, which is designed for the entry of aggregate. During the reporting period, IOF reopened Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, southeast of Rafah, 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. 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, 3 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They conducted prolonged and humiliating checking on civilians. On Saturday morning, 4 May April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Hawara and Za’tara checkpoints, south of Nablus, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. Also on Saturday, IOF closed the entrance of Yasouf village, south of Nablus, with sand barriers. On Sunday morning, 5 May 2007, IOF soldiers, who re-established their presence at al-Bathan checkpoint, northeast of Nablus, imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They conducted prolonged checking on civilians. On Sunday noon, IOF closed Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, for an hour.

    On Thursday morning, 3 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of Nablus, arrested ‘Izziddin Mohammed Mar’ei, 21, from Saida village north of Tulkarm.

    On Monday morning, 7 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at al-Bathan road, northeast of Nablus, used forced to drive Palestinian civilians away from the checkpoint. They fired tear gas canisters at those civilians. As a result, dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.

    On Monday noon, 7 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at al-Bathan checkpoint, northeast of Nablus, arrested an unknown Palestinian.

    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, 3 May 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Far’oun intersection, south of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Friday, 4 May 2007, IOF reinforced their presence at Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm. They conducted prolonged checking on Palestinian civilians. On Saturday morning, 5 May 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance to Qiffin village, north of Tulkarm, and prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the village. Also on Saturday morning, IOF soldiers positioned at Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Sunday, 6 May 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at al-Ras intersection, south of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Monday, 7 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, conducted prolonged checking on Palestinian civilians passing through the checkpoint.

    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 Friday morning, 4 May 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, 5 May 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at al-Kfair intersection on Tubas - Jenin. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Sunday morning, 6 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Tayaseer checkpoint, southeast of Jenin, conducted prolonged checking on Palestinian civilians. On Monday morning, 7 May 2007, IOF erected two checkpoints on Tubas - Jenin road. They stopped and checked Palestinian civilians.

    At approximately 15:00 on Saturday, 5 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint to the north of Sanour village, southeast of Jenin, arrested Jom’a Ibrahim Turkman, 21, from Jenin refugee camp.

    Qalqilya: At approximately 11:00 on Saturday, 5 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint to the west of ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya, arrested Ahmed Yousef Esleem, 19.

    On Sunday noon, 6 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint at the eastern entrance of Qalqilya arrested two unknown Palestinians.

    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 4 May 2007, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli solidarity activists demonstrated in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah in protest to the construction of the Wall. The demonstrators moved towards the gate at the Wall established in the village and attempted to cross it. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators, and violently beat them. As a result, three Palestinian civilians were wounded:
    1. Ibrahim ‘Abdul Fattah Bernat, 24, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the face;
    2. Mohammed Adeeb Abu Rahma, 13; and
    3. Mahmoud ‘Abdul Karim Mansour, 15, hit by a tear gas canister to the head.
  • On Sunday afternoon, 6 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Barta’a gate at the Wall, west of Jenin, abused Asmaa’ ‘Abdullah Qabaha, 26, when he was on her way back home after she had gone a Cesarean operation in Jenin.

    In his testimony to PCHR, her husband, 26-year-old ‘Anan Nemer al-Shaf’ei, said:

    At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 6 May 2007, I stopped my car in front of the car route near Barata’a gate at the Annexation Wall coming from Jenin to my village, Barta’a. My wife, Asmaa’ ‘Abdullah Qabaha, 26, who had undergone a Cesarean operation on Friday morning, 3 May 2007, and her mother were traveling with me. A few minutes later, an IOF soldier positioned at the gate pointed to us to move forwards. I gathered our identity cards and hospital documents and presented them to the soldiers. He told me that all those who were in the car must get out and go to the passage of persons, which is nearly 500 meters away, to be checked. I tried to explain the health condition of my wife to the soldier, but he refused to listen. Following a debate between me and him, which lasted for nearly 15 minutes, he brought four other soldiers who pointed their guns at me and threatened to beat me. They forced me to take my wife and he mother, who was carrying our baby, out of the car. I accompanied them to the passage of persons and left them thereto be checked. I moved back to my car for search. As my wife was late, I went to the passage of persons. There, a female soldier stopped me and asked in Hebrew if I was the husband of the woman who broke down, and I answered yes. She let me in without checking. Two IOF soldiers escorted me to the checking room. I found my wife on the ground in a coma. She was also suffering from a hemorrhage. Her mother was crying. The soldiers left me there and closed all doors. I called them, but they did not respond. Ten minutes later, the chairman of the local council of our village saw me. He discussed the matter with IOF soldiers, so they brought water. I tried to awaken my wife using water, but my attempts failed. The chairman of our local council asked the soldiers to bring an ambulance. Nearly half an hour later, an Israeli ambulance arrived at the area and evacuated her to an Israeli hospital. IOF soldiers did not allow me to accompany her. The chairman of our local council phoned the IOF Civil Administration demanding [they issue] permits to enter Israel for me, my wife and her mother. The officer in charge agreed to issue such permits, so I immediately went to offices of the Civil Administration in Salem area. At approximately 14:30, I arrived there. IOF soldiers forced me to wait for three hours before allowing me to meet the officer in charge. He issued permits to my wife and her mother and refused to issue one for me. At approximately 19:00, I arrived at Barta’a gate again. IOF soldiers forced me out of my car and held me nearly 100 meters away. They brought a dog to search the car. During the search, IOF soldiers and their dog damaged the car and the medicines I brought for my wife. They allowed me to enter the village at 22:00. My wife and her mother arrived at home nearly half an hour later after my wife had received medical treatment at an Israeli hospital.

    5. 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 16:00 on Saturday, 5 May 2007, a number of Israeli settlers living in “Msodat Yehuda” settlement to the south of Yatta village, south of Hebron, violently beat Ibrahim ‘Aayed Mur, 40. According to eyewitnesses, the settlers intercepted Mur when he was on his way towards Kherbat Janba area in the south of Yatta village and violently beat him. He sustained bruises throughout the body.

  • At approximately 12:00 on Sunday, 6 May 2007, two groups of Israeli settlers from “Kermi Tsur” and “Kiryat Arba” settlements, north and northeast of Hebron respectively, stormed al-Jumjoma Hill to the northeast of Halhoul town, north of Hebron. They arrived at the area in a bus and four cars. They set up a tent in the area and raises the Israeli flag. IOF were present in the area, but they did not intervene to stop the settlers. At approximately 14:40, the settlers left the area vowing to establish a settlement outpost. The land on which the tent was set up belongs to Palestinian civilians.
  • At approximately 16:00 also on Sunday, 6 May 2007, a number of Israeli settlers from “Ennab” settlement, east of Tulkarm, traveling in a civilian car stopped near Palestinian land in Rameen village, east of Tulkarm. One of those settlers got out of the car and set fire to the planted land. Hundreds of olive and almond trees were burnt. IOF prevented fire fighters from reaching the area for some time. At least 80 donums of land were burnt.
  • On Monday, 7 May 2007, IOF issued a military order confiscated nearly 9.5 donums of land Kufor Qaddoum village, east of Qalqilya, to establish a military road between the village and “Qidoumim” settlement. The establishment of the road will restrict access of Palestinian farmers to large areas of land.
  • At approximately 05:30 on Tuesday, 8 May 2007, IOF moved into Wadi al-Jouz area in East Jerusalem. They besieged the building of al-Nojoum Association for Disabled Children. They forced the children and supervisors out and demolished the building, claiming that it was built without a license.
  • Also on Tuesday morning, IOF moved into al-‘Eissawiya village, east of Jerusalem. They demolished a 220-square-meter house belonging to Daoud ‘Ali Nasser, in which 10 people lived. They did not allow the residents to take any of their belongings out.
  • On Tuesday, 8 May 2007, a number of Israeli settlers from “Harish” settlement and “Meiser” kibbutz established on Palestinian land set fire to Palestinian agricultural land in ‘Akkaba village. At least 170 donums of agricultural land planted with olives and citrus were burnt.

    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