Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Escalate Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
As the international community has remained silent, IOF have continued to wage a full scale offensive on the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip. During the reported period, IOF have continued their attacks on Palestinian civilians and property.
PCHR, monitoring with utmost concern the developments of this offensive, calls upon the international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and United Nations, to immediately intervene to force IOF to stop this offensive and lift the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.
Israeli violations of international law continued in the OPT during the reported period (17 - 23 August 2006):
Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 28 Palestinians, including 3 children, a mentally disabled young man and an old man. In addition, a man and a woman died from previous wounded. In the Gaza Strip, IOF killed 23 Palestinians, including 11 civilians. These civilians included 3 children and a mentally disabled young man. Twenty of the victims, including the three children, were killed by IOF during a 4-day offensive on al-Shojaeya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. Two of the victims are from the Abu al-Qumboz family, and were killed while they were inside their houses. IOF also killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including an old man and a mentally disabled young man, in Khan Yunis, Rafah and Beit Lahia. A woman from Jabalya also died from a previous wound. In addition, 35 Palestinians, including 9 children, a woman and two journalists, were wounded by the IOF gunfire.
Thus, the number of Palestinians killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip since 25 June 2006 has increased to 217, including 46 children and 12 women. In addition, 755 others, mostly civilians, including 203 children, 28 women, 4 paramedics and 6 journalists, have been wounded.
IOF also launched 3 air strikes on two houses in the Gaza Strip belonging to Palestinian resistance activists. These houses were destroyed, and a number of neighboring houses and civilian facilities were severely damaged. IOF also shelled a house in ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis, after they had killed the owner.
During the reported, IOF fired dozens of artillery shells at Palestinian residential areas and agricultural land in the Gaza Strip. A number of Palestinian civilians were killed or wounded and a number of houses were damaged.
In the West Bank, 5 Palestinians, including a child, were killed by IOF. A sixth Palestinian also died from a previous wound. On 26 August 2006, IOF shot dead a Palestinian child during an incursion into Nablus. On 27 August 2006, IOF shot dead a Palestinian civilian, who served as a guard of a school in Jenin. On 28 August 2006, IOF extra-judicially executed a Palestinian in Ramallah. On 29 August 2006, IOF extra-judicially executed two Palestinians in Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. On 30 August 2006, medical sources at a Jordanian hospital declared that a Palestinian died from a prvious wounded he had sustained when IOF attempted to extra-judicially execute him.
In addition, 17 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children, were wounded by IOF gunfire. One of these children was wounded, when Israeli settlers fired at him in Beit Fourik village, east of Nablus.
Incursions: During the reported period, IOF conducted at least 40 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they raided dozens of houses and arrested 50 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children. IOF also arrested a member of the PLC in Ramallah, and a number of members of local councils representing the Change and Reform Bloc affiliated to Hamas. In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 4 incursions into Palestinian communities, the widest of which was into al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City. IOF moved into Rafah and Khan Yunis and arrested 7 Palestinian civilians, most of them were released later.
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.
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, even though they do not directly control it. They have prevented European observers working at the crossing point form reaching it. IOF have closed commercial crossings of the Gaza Strip, especially al-Mentar (Karni) crossing. As a consequence, the economic situation inside the Gaza Strip has further deteriorated and many goods have been lacked in markets. IOF have also continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. In addition, IOF have prevented Palestinian fishermen from fishing. As a result of the continued siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, poverty has increased to 70% and unemployment has mounted to 55%. The Gaza Strip has also suffered from shortages of basic foodstuffs, fuels and raw materials.
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 have continued to separate between the north and south of the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF positioned at various checkpoints around imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. During the reported period, IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 5 Palestinian civilians, including a university professor.
Illegal Settler Activities: Israeli settlers in breach of international humanitarian law continue to reside in the OPT and have launched a series of attacks against Palestinian civilians and property. On 25 August 2006, Israeli settlers living in “Sousia” settlement, south of Hebron, attacked Palestinian civilians, wounding two of them. IOF also arrested one of the wounded civilians. On 26 August 2006, Israeli settlers opened fire at a number of Palestinian children in Beit Fourik village, east of Nablus. One of the children was seriously wounded. On 27 August 2006, Israeli settlers broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.
The outcome of crimes committed by IOF since 25 June 2006:
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (24-30 August 2006)
1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank
IOF Offensive on al-Shaojaeya Neighborhood in Gaza
On Sunday morning, 27 August 2006, IOF initiated a wide scale offensive on al-Shojaeya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. They killed, wounded and arrested a number of Palestinians and damaged houses and agricultural land.
Sunday, 27 August 2006
1. Hussam Ahmed al-Sirsawi, 6, seriously wounded by shrapnel throughout the body.
2. Fakher Waleed al-Sarsak, 18, wounded by shrapnel to the right forearm;
3. Suhail Salem Houthu, 30, wounded by shrapnel to the left knee; and
4. Jihad Ziad al-Barbari, 24, wounded by shrapnel to the left hand.
1. Ahmed Yasser al-Qerem, 15, wounded by shrapnel to the abdomen;
2. Wa’el Salah Zraina, 17, wounded by shrapnel to the right thigh;
3. Ahmed Hassan Siam, 18, wounded by shrapnel to the left thigh; and
4. Hatem Mahmoud al-Hallees, 33, wounded by shrapnel to the right hand.
Monday, 28 August 2006
1. Mahmoud Hamdi Jundiya, 20;
2. Mohammed Mustafa Hassanain, 20;
3. Khaled Kamal al-‘Ejla, 22; and
4. Ibrahim Subeh Helles, 20.
1. ‘Aiaa’ Kamel Abu al-Qumboz, 43, wounded by shrapnel to the legs;
2. Mohammed Ahmned Abu Baid, 19, wounded by shrapnel to the limbs; and
3. Mohammed Subhi Yassin, 12, wounded by shrapnel to the limbs.
Tuesday, 29 August 2006
1. Nasser Fathi al-Wadiya, 19, wounded by shrapnel to the left leg;
2. ‘Alaa’ Hujaila, 20, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body;
3. Saqer Hujaila, 20, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body;
4. Mohammed Sameer Saleem, 16, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body;
5. ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Sa’di ‘Abdul Qader, 16, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body;
6. Mohammed Na’im Hajjaj, 13, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body; and
7. Ibrahim Sharif Qudaih, 18, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body.
1. Shafiq Rafiq ‘Ayad, 22, wounded by shrapnel to the chest; and
2. Ra’ed Fadel ‘Ayad, 29, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body.
1. Mohammed Yousef Abu ‘Ajwa, 5, wounded by a live bullet to the left forearm;
2. Mohammed Sameer al-Kurdi, 20, wounded by shrapnel to the abdomen; and
3. Mazen Sleem al-Sarsak, 42, wounded by shrapnel to the left forearm.
1. Mohammed ‘Abdullah al-Ziq, 14;
2. Yusri Mohammed Nassim Jaber, 26; and
3. Ahmed ‘Abdul Rahman al-Kwaisi, 19.
Wednesday, 30 August 2006
1. Yasser Mohammed al-Gharabli, 25;
2. Ra’ed Eyad Staita, 27;
3. Rami Jameel al-Gharabli, 27; and
4. Fahed Hamed Jundiya, 23.
1. Nidal ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al-Dahdouh, 14;
2. Eyad Khalil al-Sarsak, 30.
Two other civilians were wounded:
1. Fareed Ahmed ‘Obaid, 35, wounded by shrapnel to the neck; and
2. Luna Fayez Qandil, 25, wounded by shrapnel to the abdomen.
Incursions into Other Areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
Thursday, 24 August 2006
1. Farhan Mousa ‘Alqam, 42, chairman of the local council of the village;
2. Isma’il Ahmed ‘Ammour, 25; and
3. ‘Essam Ibrahim ‘Ammour, 19.
1. Ma’moun Ghaleb al-‘Owaiwi, 27;
2. ‘Abdullah Mohammed Shawar, 43; and
3. Nidal ‘Abdul Mo’ti Abu Sunaina, 33.
1. Mohammed Sameh ‘Afana, 32, a member of the municipal council;
2. ‘Aaref Mohammed Daoud, 26;
3. Eyad Mohammed Daoud, 33;
4. Mohammed Farah Samhan, 26;
5. Tariq Mahmoud Noufal, 27;
6. Mohammed ‘Aadel Abu Ragheeb, 29;
7. Ghassan Mohammed Shuraim, 31;
8. Mohammed Hassan Daoud, 32;
9. Wafa Yousef Houtari, 27; and
10. Mohammed Yousef Zaid, 28.
Friday, 25 August 2006
1. Hashem Hamed al-Mutawar, 33;
2. Ayoub ‘Abdul Fattah Jaradat, 25; and
3. Ayman ‘Abdul Fattah al-Lahaliya, 28.
1. Muhannad Hatem ‘Amarna, 30;
2. Firas Hatem ‘Amarna, 28;
3. Kamel Ahmed Harazallah, 20;
4. Ahmed Tayseer ‘Omar, 21; and
5. ‘Alaa’ Wajeeh ‘Amarna, 20.
Saturday, 26 August 2006
1. A 100-square-meter, two-storey house, in which 6 people lived, rented by Mohammed Rushdi al-Sayeh;
2. A 140-square-meter house, in which 5 people lived, belonging to Bashar Waleed Libbada; and
3. A 110-square-meter house, in which two people lived, belonging to ‘Emad Shawkat Libbada.
At approximately 08:30, a number of Palestinian civilians gathered in the area and threw stones at IOF vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired live and rubber-coated metal bullets at these civilian. One civilian, 15-year-old Muntasser Suleiman Mohammed ‘Akka, was instantly killed by a live bullet the entered the back and exited the abdomen. In addition, 12 civilians, including 7 children and an old man, were wounded:
1. Ahmed Ziad Suleiman, 15, wounded by a live bullet the entered the back and exited the abdomen;
2. ‘Essam Fathi Jom’a, 27, wounded by shrapnel to the right shoulder;
3. ‘Ammar Nizar Shabaru, 16, wounded by two live bullets to the feet;
4. Jaber Nasser ‘Abdul Rahman, 16, wounded by shrapnel to the body;
5. Rani Mohammed al-Aghbar, 18, wounded by two live bullet to the feet;
6. Mahdi ‘Aatef al-Shourati, 13, wounded by a live bullet to the side;
7. ‘Abdul Latif Tahseen Agha, 9, wounded by shrapnel to the neck;
8. ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Khalil Jebril, 18, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right hand;
9. Fathi Mohammed ‘Ameera, 80, wounded by a live bullet to the right foot;
10. Ramadn Hussam al-‘Ajjouri, 13, wounded by a live bullet to the right foot; and
11. Fadi Ahmed al-Khushashi, 18, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head.
Sunday, 27 August 2006
1. ‘Alamiya Abu Hamdiya, 70;
2. Siham Abu Hamdiya, 48; and
3. ‘Othman Rasheed Abu Hamdiya, 35.
Monday, 28 August 2006
1. Ra’ed Ahmed Salah, 26;
2. Mahmoud Ahmed Salah, 32; and
3. Amjad Darwish Salah, 26.
1. ‘Alaa’ Nour al-Din Rayan, 17;
2. Ayoub Ahmed ‘Enaya, 16;
3. Ja’far Ahmed ‘Enaya, 15;
4. Laith Ghaleb Badwan, 15; and
5. Anas Mohammed Majeeda, 15.
Tuesday, 29 August 2006
1. ‘Othman ‘Abdullah Abu Mo’ammar, 33;
2. Mohammed ‘Abdullah Abu Mo’ammar, 31; and
3. Mousa ‘Abdullah Abu Mo’ammar, 27.
IOF also razed areas of agricultural land.
Wednesday, 30 August 2006
1. Mohammed Fathi Ftayer, 47;
2. Amjad Fathi Fatayer, 37;
3. ‘Alaa’ Mohammed Jaber, 23; and
4. Mohammed Ahmed Abu Namous, 21.
1. ‘Aziz ‘Abed Rabbu Radaida, 27;
2. Ahmed Jamal Shanaita, 27; and
3. ‘Ali Salman Shanaita, 31.
2. Extra-Judicial Execution
During the reported period, IOF committed two extra-judicial executions in the West Bank, which killed 3 members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah movement.
According to investigation conducted by PCHR:
1. Ibrahim Nemer Abu Munif, 25; and
2. Hani ‘Abdullah Hashash, 30.
Soon, IOF moved into the camp to secure the withdrawal of the infantry unit. IOF claimed that they noticed two militants on the roof of the building, so they raided the building and exchanged fire with the militants, killing them.
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.
Following an attack launched by Palestinian militants on 25 June 2006 near the Israeli-Egyptian border, southeast of Rafah, which left two IOF soldiers and two of the attackers dead and a third IOF soldier missing, IOF have closed all border crossings of the Gaza Strip:
The closure of border crossings deprives the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip of their right to freedom of movement, education and health.
IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on fishing in the Gaza Strip. Following the attack on IOF on 25 June 2006, IOF prevented fishing. Approximately 35,000 people in and around Gaza’s coastal communities rely on the fishing industry, including 2,500 fishermen, 2,500 support staff and their families. Fishermen have been subjected to intensive monitoring by IOF, which use helicopter gunships and gunboats to monitor the fishermen. On a number of occasions, IOF has opened fire against the civilian fishermen in order to enforce the 9 nautical mile limit imposed on them. The Oslo Accords make provision for Gaza’s sea to be fished to 20 nautical miles.
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.
At approximately 14:50 on Thursday, 24 August 2006, an IOF infantry unit opened fire at a Palestinian civilian vehicle, which was traveling on an alternative branch road, as IOF prevented Palestinians aged below 35 from passing through military checkpoint. The vehicle was transporting a number of Palestinian civilians to Til village, south of Nablus. The driver, 34-year-old Waleed ‘Aaref Zaidan, was wounded by a live bullet to the right leg. In addition, Khaled ‘Abdul Fattah Ramadan, 14, was wounded by shrapnel to the back.
On Saturday noon, 24 August 2006, IOF positioned at Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Mohammed Fareed ‘Abdullah, 21, from Beeta village south of the city.
At approximately 09:30 on Thursday, 24 August 2006, IOF positioned at a checkpoint at Tammoun intersection, southeast of Jenin, arrested Ma’moun Hussein Shihada, 22, from Tammoun village.
On Thursday noon, IOF positioned at the Hamra checkpoint at the entrance of the central Jordan Valley arrested an unknown Palestinian.
4. Construction of the Annexation Wall
IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory.
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 their attacks against Palestinian civilians and property:
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 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.
5. 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.
6. PCHR calls upon the member States of the EU, and all other states, to adopt a voting pattern at the UN bodies, particularly the General Assembly, Security Council and Commission on Human Rights which is keeping with international law.
7. PCHR demands that the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion be immediately implemented by the international community.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. In light of the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupying forces on access for international organizations to the OPT, PCHR calls upon European countries to deal with Israeli citizens in a similar manner.
12. 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.
 1 donum is equal to 1000 square meters.