Weekly Report on Human Rights Violations

Israeli soldiers stop a group of Palestinians waiting to cross the Huwwara checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus, 16 May 2007. (Rami Swidan/MaanImages)


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

  • Six Palestinians were killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip.
  • Five of the victims were killed by IOF aerial attacks.
  • A baby in the womb of his mother was killed by IOF gunfire.
  • Thirty-six Palestinians were wounded by IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
  • Twenty-seven of them, including two journalists, were wounded by an IOF aerial attack on a site of the Executive Force in Rafah.
  • Three civilians, including a Swiss solidarity activist, were wounded by the IOF gunfire in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah.
  • IOF conducted 26 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and one incursion into the Gaza Strip.
  • IOF arrested 41 Palestinian civilians, including seven children.
  • IOF arrested two Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.
  • IOF demolished a houses in Bethlehem as a form of collective punishment.
  • IOF opened fire at a tract of agricultural land in the southern Gaza Strip burning it.
  • 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 five Palestinian civilians, including a woman children.
  • IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • IOF plan to construct more than 20,000 housing units in the central West Bank.
  • A guard of an Israeli settlement in the West Bank fired at a Palestinian taxi driver, wounding him.

    Summary

    Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (10 - 16 May 2007):

    Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed six Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and a baby in his mother’s womb in the West Bank. They also wounded 36 Palestinians and a French solidarity activist.

    In the Gaza Strip, on 15 May 2007, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel shot dead an officer of the Palestinian National Security Forces who got close the border when he fled from armed clashes between Fatah and Hamas movements the were taking place at al-Mentar (Karni) crossing. On 16 May 2007, three members of the Executive Force of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior were killed and 27 persons, including two journalists and civilian bystander were wounded when IOF warplanes attacked a site of the Executive Force in Rafah. On the same day, two members of Hamas were killed and three others were wounded by an IOF aerial attack in the northern Gaza Strip. On 10 May 2007, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian agricultural land in Khuza’a village. Large areas of agricultural land were burnt.

    On Thursday morning, 10 May 2007, IOF killed a baby in the womb of his woman who was also seriously wounded. This attack took place when IOF moved into ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp, west of Nablus. IOF soldiers took position atop of a building overlooking ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp. They opened fire at Palestinian houses in the camp. As a result, a woman who was pregnant in the 7th month was wounded by a gunshot the back, which killed her baby in the womb. The gunshot hit the baby in the head.

    On 11 May 2007, IOF used force against a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli solidarity activists against the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. As a result, three demonstrators, including a child and a Swiss solidarity activist, were wounded.

    On 13 May 2007, a Palestinian taxi driver was wounded by a gunshot to the buttock when a guard of an Israeli settlement near Salfit fired at him from a zero range.

    Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 26 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, IOF arrested 41 Palestinian civilians, including seven children. Thus, the number of Palestinians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of this year has mounted to 1,164. IOF also demolished a house belonging to the family of an allegedly wanted Palestinian in Bethlehem. In the Gaza Strip, IOF moved into al-Shouka village, northeast of Rafah, and arrested two Palestinian brothers.

    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. 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 approximately a year.

    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 five Palestinian civilians, including a woman.

    Settlement Activities: IOF have continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack On 10 May 2007, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that the Israeli Committee for Planning and Construction approved a plan to construct three settlement neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, which includes the construction of 20,000 housing units, in addition to 500 others in Abu Dis village, southeast of the city. The plan aims at creating territorial continuity between Jerusalem and “Gush Etzion” settlement bloc, south of Bethlehem, and between Jerusalem and “Beit Eil” settlement, north of Ramallah. In the same context, on 13 May 2007, the Israeli government decided to allocate approximately US$ 1.5 billion to develop settlement neighborhoods in Jerusalem out of a concern of the increase of the Arab population in the city. Also on 10 May 2007, IOF handed notices to Palestinian civilians in Salama and Fqaiqees villages to the east and south of “Noghohot” settlement, west of Hebron, to stop building 10 houses and a mosque. On 11 May 2007, Israeli settlers living in “Sousia” settlement, south of Hebron, resumed their attacks on Palestinian farmers on agricultural land located near the settlement.

    Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (10 - 16 May 2007)

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

    Thursday, 10 May 2007

  • In the early morning, IOF killed a baby in the womb of his woman who was also seriously wounded. This attack took place when IOF moved into ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp, west of Nablus.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 00:20, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring refugee camps. A number of IOF soldiers took position atop of a nine story apartment building overlooking ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp, west of the city. At approximately 02:15, those soldiers opened fire at Palestinian houses in the camp. As a result, Maha Ibrahim Qatouni, 30, who was pregnant in the seventh month, was wounded by a gunshot the back, which killed her baby in her womb. The gunshot hit the baby in the head. She was evacuated to the hospital, where she underwent surgery to save her life. The woman was in her bedroom, when she was wounded. In addition, Mohammed Saleh Abu Hamdan, 17, was wounded by a gunshot to the left thigh and shrapnel to the left foot.

    In his testimony to PCHR, the woman’s husband, 27-year-old Mohammed Ahmed Qatoiuni, stated:

    “At approximately 02:15 on Thursday, 10 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned atop of al-Sousa apartment building that overlooks ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp opened fire at houses in the camp. Gunshot penetrated the windows of the third floor of my house. My wife, who is pregnant in the seventh month got up to bring our three children who were crying in the adjacent room. As soon as she stood up, more gunshots penetrated the windows of our bedroom and she was wounded by one gunshot to the back. I rushed towards her and was able to hold her before falling onto the ground. I asked the neighbors to call for an ambulance, and one of my neighbors, who is a paramedic offered my wife first medical aid. Nearly 45 minutes later, an ambulance was able to attend us, and it evacuated my wife to the hospital, where we learnt that the baby in her womb was killed.”

    IOF also raided and searched a number of houses in Nablus and arrested 2 Palestinian children:

    1. Mohye al-Din al-Shahrouri, 14 and
    2. Ahmed Hasan al-Tik, 17.
  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested ‘Aamer As’ad al-Jallad, 23.
  • Also at approximately 00:30, an IOF infantry unit, accompanied by trained dogs, moved nearly 500 meters into al-Shouka village, northeast of Rafah. IOF soldiers raided and searched a house belonging to Mousa ‘Abdullah Mo’ammar, 33, and arrested him and his brother, 28-year-old ‘Othman. The children in the house were extremely terrified and the owner’s wife fainted. IOF soldiers did not allow an ambulance to reach the house to evacuated her to a hospital until they withdrew from the area.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested four Palestinian civilians:
    1. ‘Essam Waleed Saba’na, 23;
    2. Ahmed Nasri Abu al-Rub, 19;
    3. Ameen Taher Zakarna, 22; and
    4. ‘Alaa’ ‘Essam Abu al-Rub, 20.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They also raided and searched a number of houses. Neither casualties nor arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Nihad Mihawesh ‘Amru, 24; and
    2. Yousef ‘Abdul Latif ‘Amru, 20.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Tarqoumia village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:
    1. Diaa’ Ghazi Qa’qour, 23;
    2. ‘Alaa’ al-Din Ghazi Qa’qour, 21; and
    3. Nadi Na’im Tannina, 26.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Ra’fat Muneer Ekhlayel, 22.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into al-Shawawra village, east of Bethlehem. They besieged 130-square-meter, two-story house belonging to Ahmed ‘Awadh Dannoun. They forced residents of the house out and interrogated them searching for the owner, who is allegedly wanted for being a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an armed wing of Fatah movement).
  • At approximately 16:50, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural areas in Khuza’a village, east of the town. As a result, fire broke out on a tract of agricultural land planted with wheat belonging to Radhi Suleiman Abu Zaida. Fire fighters were able to reach the area only two hours later as IOF continued to fire at the area.

    Friday, 11 May 2007

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Majdi Daoud ‘Awadh, 30, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:50, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Saba’ Muneer al-Teeti, 18.

    Saturday, 12 May 2007

  • At approximately 00:45, IOF moved into ‘Attil village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Samer Wajeeh Abu Khalil, 28; and
    2. Tha’er Ghassan Tahlawi, 18.

    Sunday, 13 May 2007

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Yatta village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Mahmoud Abu ‘Ali, and arrested two of his sons: Khaled, 33; and Ra’ed, 30.

    Monday, 14 May 2007

  • At approximately 00:40, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring Balata refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Salam neighborhood in the west of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Khaldoun Hmaidan al-Sharbati, 24, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Zabbouba village, northwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Halhoul town, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Sa’id Ibrahim al-Zama’ra, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 16:30, an IOF undercover unit moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin, traveling in two civilian vehicles with Palestinian registration plates. The two vehicles stopped near the central market the western entrance of the village. IOF soldiers besieged a house belonging to the family of Jihad Hamza Abu al-Rub, 19. Soon after, IOF military vehicles moved into the village to support the undercover unit. IOF soldiers opened fire at the house and forced its residents out. Before their withdrawal from the village, IOF arrested four Palestinian civilians (two brothers and a man and his son):
    1. Jihad Hamza Abu al-Rub, 19;
    2. ‘Abdul Rahman Hamza Abu al-Rub, 22;
    3. Hasan Abu al-Rub, 45; and
    4. ‘Abdul Rahman Hasan Abu al-Rub, 19.

    Later, IOF released the man and his son.

  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into ‘Anabta village, east of Tulkarm. They opened fire at houses and shops damaging a number of them.

    Tuesday, 15 May 2007

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and summoned a number of Palestinians for interrogation.
  • Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They opened fire at houses and shops damaging a number of them.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring refugee camp. They opened fire and raided and searched a number of houses, but neither casualties nor arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Abu Katila neighborhood in the west of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of ‘Aamer Waleed al-Haimouni, 26, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Gaza City, opened fire at Ussama Rasheed al-Madhoun, 38, an officer of the Palestinian National Security Forces from Gaza City. He was killed by several gunshots. Al-Madhoun fled from al-Mentar (Karni) crossing, where armed clashes took place between Hamas and Fatah movements. IOF admitted responsibility for the attack, and claimed that they suspected that al-Madhoun was intending to infiltrate into Israel across the border.

    Wednesday, 16 May 2007

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring refugee camps. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested six Palestinian civilians, including five children:
    1. Mohammed Yahia Ja’arim, 15;
    2. ‘Alaa’ Taleb Maskawi, 16;
    3. Saleh Darwish Hashash, 29;
    4. Mohammed Shaker ‘Aassi, 16 (was released later);
    5. Mohammed Tayseer ‘Aassi, 16; and
    6. Hussin Mahmoud al-Nadi, 15.
  • Also at approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Abu Ghannam neighborhood in the northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:
    1. Mohammed ‘Abdul Fattah Abu ‘Eisha, 45; and
    2. Riad ‘Adnan Abu ‘Eisha, 20.
  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into ‘Attil village, north of Tulkarm. They besieged a house belonging to the family of ‘Alaa’ Mahmoud ‘Atwani, 26. They forced residents of the house out and arrested ‘Atwani. They then fired bombs at the house burning it. Five neighboring houses were damaged.
  • At 13:37, IOF warplanes fired 3 missiles at a site of the Executive Force of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior. As a result three members of the Executive Force were killed:
    1. Najeh Khalil Abu Fakher, 32, hit by shrapnel throughout the body;
    2. Lutfi Lutfi al-Barahma, 28, hit by shrapnel throughout the body; and
    3. Hammad Hasan Mebrad, 23, hit by shrapnel throughout the body.

    In addition, 21 members of the Executive Force were wounded (PCHR has a list of their names). Three civilian bystanders, including two journalists, and three members of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service, whose headquarter is located near the site, were also wounded:

    1. Fadi ‘Omar al-Nahhal, 25, correspondent of the local Shabab Radio, wounded by shrapnel to the leg;
    2. Sameer Mohammed al-Bouji, 22, a journalist, wounded by shrapnel to the back;
    3. Hussein Jaber al-Nairab, 22, a civilian bystander, wounded by shrapnel to the left leg;
    4. Rami Haidar al-Bouji, 21, wounded by shrapnel to the right shoulder;
    5. Jamal Mohammed al-Shawi, 25, wounded by shrapnel to the chest;
    6. Hasan Nabil Abu ‘Armana, 24, wounded by shrapnel to the right knee.
  • At approximately 19:15, an IOF aircraft fired a missile at a deserted house belonging to the al-‘Asali family in Izbat ‘Abed Rabbu area in the east of Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip. Five members of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) were in the house. Two of them were killed:
    1. Rami Subhi Zaqzouq, 30, from Jabalya refugee camp;
    2. Mohammed Fawzan Abu Jasser, 25.

    The other three members were wounded:

    1. Wissam ‘Essam Salem, 20, from Jabalya, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body;
    2. Wassim Tariq Abu ‘Awad, 23, from Jabalya, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body; and
    3. Baha’ al-Din Fat’hi al-Kahlout, 24, from Jabalya, wounded by shrapnel to the legs.

    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 nearly a year 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. On Monday, 14 May 2007, the crossing point was reopened from 09:00 to 17:00, and 1,089 travelers were able to travel out of the Gaza Strip and 1,358 others were able to travel back. On Tuesday, 15 May 2007, the crossing point was reopened at 13:30 to allow 450 members of Palestinian security services who received training in Egypt to travel back to the Gaza Strip.
  • Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing: IOF have completely closed Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, which links the Gaza Strip with Israel and the West Bank. 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. 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. 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: During the reporting period, there was a relative ease of restrictions imposed on the flow of goods, but the crossing was closed due to the armed clashes between Hamas and Fatah movements. The same applies to Nahal Ouz crossing, which is designed for the entry of fuels into the Gaza Strip.
  • Sofa Crossing: IOF have continued to close Sofa crossing, northeast of Rafah, which is designed for the entry of aggregate. During the reporting period, IOF reopened the crossing on 10, 13 and 14 May 2007. Also during the reporting period, reopened Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, southeast of Rafah, on 13 and 15 May, to allow the entry of food aids for a humanitarian organization.

    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 noon, 10 May 2007, IOF closed al-Bathan checkpoint, northeast of Nablus. The closure continued until the evening. IOF also closed Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of the city, for two hours, claiming that they discovered explosives devices carried by a young man who attempted to cross the checkpoint. On Wednesday morning, 16 May 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Yits’har intersection, south of Nablus. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.

    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 morning, 10 May 2007, IOF closed Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, until 10:00. IOF also erected a checkpoint at Bala’a intersection on Tulkarm - Nablus road. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Friday, 11 May 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at Baqa intersection, north of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. IOF also erected a checkpoint at Far’oun intersection, south of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Saturday, 12 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Sunday, 13 May 2007, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Ras village, south of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.

    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 Saturday, 12 May 2007, IOF imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians through various checkpoints around Jenin. They also erected additional checkpoints around the town to further restrict the movement of Palestinian civilians.

    On Tuesday morning, IOF soldiers positioned at a checkpoint established at the entrance of Kufor Ra’ei village, southwest of Jenin, arrested ‘Essam Khaled Melhem, 21.

    Hebron: IOF have continued to imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians inside and around the town. IOF soldiers positioned at various checkpoints and iron gates inside and around the town have continued to stop, check and restrict the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Wednesday morning, 16 May 2007, IOF closed the northern entrances of Hebron, and prohibited the prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the town for nearly 6 hours, allegedly to allow a convoy of Israeli settlers to travel from “Kiryat Arba” settlement, south of the town, to Jerusalem.

    On Wednesday morning, 16 May 2007, dozens of Palestinian civilians from the villages of Raboud, Karza and Abu al-‘Asja and several international and Israeli solidarity activists demonstrated on the main road that links those villages with al-Zahiriya and al-Sammou’ villages, southwest of Hebron. As the soon as the demonstrators make a hole in the rock and sand barrier blocking the road established by IOF since 2000, IOF soldiers attacked the demonstrators and violently beat a number of them. Hmaid Hasan al-Nammoura, 22, and Nidal Mahmoud al-Fasfous, 18, sustained bruises. IOF soldiers also arrested four Israeli solidarity activists.

    Ramallah: On Thursday, 10 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at the entrance of “Oufar” prison, west of Ramallah, arrested Sameera Ahmed al-Fawaghra, 25, from Jourat al-Sham’a village south of Bethlehem, when she was on her way to visit her brother who is detained in the prison.

    At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 13 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at Jaba’ checkpoint, south of Ramallah, arrested ‘Eid Mustafa Tazaz’a, 25, from Qabatya village southeast of Jenin.

    Jericho: On Saturday, 12 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at checkpoint established at the southern entrance of Jericho arrested Maher ‘Aziz ‘Amru, 26, from Dura village southwest of Hebron.

    Al-Karama International Crossing Point: On Sunday evening, 13 May 2007, IOF soldiers positioned at al-Karama International Crossing Point arrested Mo’tassem Ayoub Jaber, 22, from Beit Jala town near Bethlehem, when he was on his way back to the West Bank.

    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.

  • Following the Friday Prayer on 11 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, two Palestinian civilians and a Swiss solidarity activist were wounded:
    1. Adeeb Ahmed Abu Rahma, 35, wounded by two rubber-coated metal bullets to the thigh;
    2. Mohammed Ahmed Yassin, 17, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the shoulder; and
    3. Asaf Parliv, 60, a Swiss solidarity activist, hit by a tear gas canister to the leg.

    IOF also arrested 10 demonstrators, including four Israeli solidarity activists, but released them three hours later.

    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.

  • On Thursday, 10 May 2007, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that the Israeli Committee for Planning and Construction approved a plan to construct three settlement neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, which includes the construction of 20,000 housing units, in addition to 500 others in Abu Dis village, southeast of the city. According to the chairman of the committee, the plan aims at creating territorial continuity between Jerusalem and “Gush Etzion” settlement bloc, south of Bethlehem, and between Jerusalem and “Beit Eil” settlement, north of Ramallah. In the same context, on Sunday, 13 May 2007, the Israeli government decided to allocate approximately US$ 1.5 billion to develop settlement neighborhoods in Jerusalem out of a concern of the increase of the Arab population in the city.
  • Also on Thursday, IOF handed notices to Palestinian civilians in Salama and Fqaiqees villages to the east and south of “Noghohot” settlement, west of Hebron, to stop building 10 houses and a mosque. Stopping the construction of the houses and the mosque, which are located 500-1000 meters away from “Noghohot” settlement, aims at facilitating the expansion of the settlement.
  • On Friday evening, 11 May 2007, Israeli settlers living in “Sousia” settlement, south of Hebron, resumed their attacks on Palestinian farmers on agricultural land located near the settlement. IOF were present in the area, but did not intervene to stop those attacks. According to local sources, two Israeli settlers escorted by two IOF soldiers violently beat Mahmoud Mohammed Nawaj’a, 26, when he was grazing animals on his land. He sustained bruises throughout the body.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Sunday, 13 May 2007, Nasser Saleh Klaib, 38, was wounded by a gunshot to the buttock, when a guard of “Burkan” settlement established on Palestinian land in Hares village near Salfit fired at him. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, Klaib was driving his car back from the aforementioned settlement as he transports workers to and from it, when a guard of the settlement order him to stop near its gate. The guard forced him out of the car and fired at him from a zero range. He was wounded by a gunshot to the buttock. He was evacuated to an Israeli hospital. Some people think that the guard shot Klaib when he refused to pay him a bribery, as the guard often steal belonging of workers.

    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