Weekly report on rights violations: Nine Palestinians killed

A Palestinian doctor tries to save Palestinian fisherman Hani Al-Najar, 27, after he was shot by an Israeli ship at the beach of Dear Al-Balah in Gaza, 2 October 2006. Al-Najar died from his injuries. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)


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

  • Eight Palestinian civilians, including three children, were killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip.
  • Four of the victims were extra-judicially executed by IOF in two separate attacks in Rafah and Khan Yunis.
  • A Palestinian worker was killed inside Israel.
  • Fourteen Palestinian civilians, including four children, were wounded.
    IOF have continued to launch air strikes on houses and civilian facilities in the Gaza Strip; eight houses and a workshop were destroyed in Rafah and Khan Yunis.
  • IOF conducted 33 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and three others into the northern Gaza Strip.
  • IOF arrested 24 Palestinian civilians, including tree children and a girl, in the West Bank.
  • IOF raided offices of a charitable society in Qarawat Bani Hassan village near Nablus.
  • IOF razed at least 20 donums[1] of agricultural land in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF arrested two Palestinian civilian at checkpoints.
  • IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall in the West Bank;
  • Palestinian farmers have been denied access to their agricultural lands to cultivate olives.

    Summary

    Israeli violations of international law continued in the OPT during the reported period (28 September - 4 October 2006):

    Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 8 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, in the Gaza Strip.

    On 29 September 2006, IOF fired a missile at two Palestinian children, who passed near an abandoned rack used in launching home-made rockets at Israeli targets. The two children, who are brothers, were killed. On 30 September 2006, IOF extra-judicially executed two members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Fatah movement, in Rafah. The attacks also wounded two civilian bystanders, including a child. On 2 October 2006, IOF shot dead a Palestinian fisherman opposite to Deir al-Balah seashore in the central Gaza Strip. On 3 October 2006, a Palestinian child was killed and his brother was wounded, when IOF bombarded a workshops adjacent to their house in Khan Yunis. On 4 October 2006, IOF extra-judicially executed two Palestinians in Khan Yunis. In addition, 5 Palestinian civilians were wounded when IOF attempted to extra-judicially execute 3 Palestinians.

    Thus, the number of Palestinians killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip since 25 June 2006 has increased to 245, including 56 children and 13 women. In addition, 829 others, mostly civilians, including 222 children, 35 women, 4 paramedics and 6 journalists, have been wounded.

    IOF also launched 4 air strikes on 3 houses and a workshops in Khan Yunis and Rafah, destroying them. In addition, 5 neighboring houses were severely damaged. Those houses were totally destroyed and a number of neighboring houses and civilian facilities were severely damaged. IOF often warn residents of houses of their intention to attack them a very short time prior to the attack.

    In the West Bank, Wednesday, 4 October 2006, IOF Border Guard soldiers shot dead a Palestinian worker from Tarqoumia village, west of Hebron, after they had arrested him from a construction workshop in the Israeli town of Jaffa. A spokesman of the Israeli police claimed that a live bullet was unleashed by mistake from a soldier’s gun and killed the worker. The soldier was only put under house arrest.

    In addition, 6 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded by IOF gunfire throughout the West Bank.

    Incursions: During the reported period, IOF conducted at least 33 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they raided dozens of houses and arrested 24 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a girl. IOF also raided offices iof a charitable society in Qarawat Bani Hassan village, southwest of Nablus. In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 3 incursions in the northern Gaza Strip. They razed at least 20 donums of agricultural land.

    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 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. On 4 October 2006, the crossing point was reopened and several Palestinians were able to travel from and to the Gaza Strip. 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. During the reported period, IOF partially reopened al-Mentar (Karni) crossing, east of Gaza City, and Sofa and Kerem Shalom crossings near Rafah. IOF have also continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. 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, only few Palestinian patients have been able to travel to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank. In addition, IOF have prevented Palestinian fishermen from fishing for more than 3 months. During the reported period, IOF shot dead a Palestinian fisherman.

    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 have continued to separate between the north and south of the West Bank. They have further prevented Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from entering Jerusalem to pray in al-Aqsa Mosque in the Holy Ramadan. 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 two Palestinian civilians.

    Annexation Wall: IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF prevented Palestinian farmers from the villages of al-Zawia, Mas’ha and Rafat near Salfit, and the villages of Kufor Sour, al-Ras, Far’oun, Jebara and Kufor Jammal near Tulkarm from reaching their agricultural lands, which are planted with olives, located behind the Wall. According to these farmers, IOF refused to issue permits for them to be able to reach their lands. IOF soldiers positioned at gates established along the Wall opposite to these villages did not allow farmers to cross the gates towards their agricultural lands. They also confiscated permits from some farmers. The farmers expressed their concerns that they may lose the current olive season. IOF started the construction of the Wall in villages located to the south of Tulkarm in 2003. The construction of the Wall in the area has isolated and seized at least 40000 donums of land, and has isolated Jebara village from Tulkarm.

    The outcome of crimes committed by IOF since 25 June 2006:

  • 281 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 59 children and 13 women, have been killed by IOF.
  • At least 1034 Palestinian civilians, including 298 children and 41 women, have been wounded by the IOF gunfire.
  • At least 270 air-to-surface missiles and hundreds of artillery shells have been fired at Palestinian civilian and military targets in the Gaza Strip.
  • Buildings of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National economy, the office of the Palestinian Prime Minister and a number of educational institutions have been destroyed.
  • The electricity generation plant, providing 45% of the electricity of the Gaza Strip, was destroyed, and electricity networks and transmitters have been repeatedly attacked.
  • 6 bridges linking Gaza City with the central Gaza Strip and a number of roads have been destroyed.
  • Hundreds of donums of agricultural land and dozens of houses have been destroyed.
  • Hundreds of Palestinian civilians, including 9 ministers and 31 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), including the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Secretary, have been arrested. Minster of Prisoners’ Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Labor and Second Deputy Speaker of the PLC were released.
  • The Palestinian governmental compound in Nablus has been destroyed.
  • Many families in Rafah, Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia have been forced to leave their houses.
  • IOF intelligence has warned some Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by phone to evacuate their houses, which would be attacked.
  • 47 houses belonging to activists of Palestinian factions were destroyed by IOF warplanes.
  • IOF have imposed a strict siege on the OPT, and have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

    Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (28 September - 4 October 2006)

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

    Thursday, 28 September 2006

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qarawat Bani Hassan village, southwest of Nablus. They raided a two-storey building belonging to Qarawat Bani Hassan Charitable Society. The first floor serves as a kindergarten and the second one serves as offices for the society. IOF searched the building, damaged its furniture and confiscated a computer sets, stamps and financial documents.
  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Deir Abu Da’if village, northeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

    1. ‘Obaida Yahia Yassin, 20; and
    2. Ibrahim Khalil Yassin, 22.

  • Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Eskaka village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Waleed Khaled Harb and summoned him to the the Israeli intelligence. At the same time, IOF soldiers raided and searched a houses belonging to Rabee’ Khaled Harb and confiscated two computer sets.
  • At approximately 01:20, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring Balata and ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians, including a girls, from Balata refugee camp:

    1. Do’aa’ ‘Adnan Haj Hussein, 20; and
    2. Bahaa’ Ameen Swalha, 18.

  • At approximately 01:30, an IOF fighter jet dropped 3 bombs at a 450-square-meter house, in which 25 people (5 families) live, belonging to Sabri Suleiman Buraika, located near the Egyptian border, south of Rafah. The house was destroyed and a neighboring house belonging to Kamel Khalil Buraika was severely damaged. The latter told PCHR that he received a call on his mobile phone from a person who introduced himself as Abu al-Nemer from the Israeli intelligence. This person ordered him to vacate his house in 10 minutes, and to give his mobile phone to his uncle Sabri and he did. The Israeli intelligence informed the Sabri Buraika that his house would be attacked in 10 minutes. Buriak asked the officer to give him more time to vacate the house as there were 5 families living in it, and he approved. Half an hour later, the house was bombarded. IOF claimed that there was a tunnel under the house used for smuggling weapons from Egypt into the Gaza Strip.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Northern ‘Assira village, north of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Abdul Qader Sawalha. No arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Eskaka village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Rabee’ Harb, who is allegedly wanted. IOF soldiers were not able to arrest Harb, because he was not there.
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

    1. Nader Mousa Zawahra, 44; and
    2. Rami ‘Atiya Shawriya, 22.

  • Also at approximately 02:15, IOF moved into al-‘Obaidiya village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses, and summoned 5 Palestinian civilians for interrogation: Mohammed Suleiman Shanaita; Nasser Mohammed Suleiman Shanaita; Nayef Shanaita; Mohammed Hassan Shanaita; and Sanad Mohammed Hassan Shanaita.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Zababda village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a stone treatment plant in the southwest of the village, and arrested the two guards of it, claiming that they were wanted:

    1. ‘Ammar ‘Omar ‘Abbas, 28, from al-Shuhad Triangle area south of Jenin; and
    2. Mahmoud ‘Omar Abu Khamis, 33, from Faqqou’a village northeast of the town.

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Seilat al-Harthiya village, southwest of Jenin. They besieged a house belonging to the family of Mahmoud ‘Ajaj Abu al-Khair Tahaina, 20. When he noticed the presence of IOF in the area, he attempted to escape. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired at him. He was wounded by a live bullet to the leg, and IOF arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Roujib village, east of Nablus. They patrolled in the streets, and raided and searched a house belonging to Sidqi al-Halabi. Later, they withdrew from the village, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into al-Fara’a refugee camp, southeast of Jenin. a number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. Immediately, IOF soldiers fired at the children, wounding two brothers:

    1. Muneer Mohammed Abu Daqqa, 14, seriously wounded by a live bullet to the pelvis; and
    2. Sameer Mohammed Abu Daqqa, 11, wounded by shrapnel to the legs.

  • At approximately 13:50, IOF permanently positioned in the center and south of Hebron raided and searched an under-construction building belonging to the Ministry of Health in the center of the old town. The damaged construction raw materials. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into ‘Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, south of Jericho. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of ‘Abdul Hakim al-Qabbani, 27, a member of the Palestinian National Security Forces, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF moved into Tubas village, southeast of Jenin. They patrolled un the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They withdrew from the village later, and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF moved into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. A number of members of the Palestinian resistance exchanged fire with IOF. As a result, one member of the resistance was wounded by shrapnel to the face. IOF then raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 7 Palestinian civilians, including two children:

    1. ‘Abdullah Rasem Khuzamiya, 15;
    2. Mahmoud Rassem Khuzamiya, 17;
    3. Muntasser Rashed Kumayel, 26;
    4. Ziad Fu’ad Abu Wa’er, 20;
    5. Yasser Mahmoud Nazzal, 38;
    6. Ahmed ‘Abdul Qader Saba’na, 23; and
    7. Yasser ‘Ali Abu Ma’alli, 20.

    Friday, 29 September 2006

  • At approximately 00:50, IOF moved into Kherbat Slama area to the west of Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses, and arrested Mohammed Hassan Awlad Mohammed, 20.
  • At approximately 13:15, IOF moved into the villages of Hijja and Baqat al-Hatab, east of Qalqilya. They opened fire at houses and shops. Dozens of houses and shops were damaged.
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They then raided and searched a number of houses in the refugee camp, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 09:15, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel near Nahal Oz crossing, east of Gaza City, fired a missile at two Palestinian children driving their bicycles near al-Shawwa fuel station at Salah al-Din Street, west of Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip. The two children, who are brothers, were directly hit by the missile and their bodies were dismembered. They were later identified as Anwar ‘Abdul Ghani Hamdan, 16; and his brother Hammam, 13, from Jabalia. According to PCHR’s investigations, the two children passed near an abandoned rack used in launching a home-made rocket against Israeli targets earlier. Since the beginning of the Operation Summer Rains launched by IOF in the Gaza Strip, 17 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children and two women, have been killed by IOF, when they passed by areas used in launching home-made rockets.
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF moved into Tubas village, southeast of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They withdrew from the village later, and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 21:15, an IOF helicopter gunship fired two missile at a 3-storey apartment building, in which 26 people (6 families)live, belonging to Subhi ‘Abdul Qader Killab, a member of Hamas, in al-Amal neighborhood in the west of Khan Yunis. The two missiles destroyed the first floor of the building. According to one of Killab’s son, the family received a phone call 15 minutes prior to the attack from a person who introduced himself as an Israeli intelligence officer. He ordered the family to vacate the house because it would be attacked in 15 minutes.

    Saturday, 30 September 2006

  • At approximately 00:10, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring Balata and ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They then raided and searched a number of houses. No casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

    1. Mahmoud Ja’far Abu ‘Arqoub, 21; and
    2. Muheeb Mohammed Abu Ras.

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They then raided and searched a number of houses. No casualties or arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-‘Obaidiya village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Nasser Mohammed Shanaita, 26, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Tammoun village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses. They withdrew from the village at approximately 06:00, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into nearly 500 meters into Shurrab farm in Beit Hanoun. They leveled areas of Palestinian agricultural land, which they had already razed.

    Sunday, 1 October 2006

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring Balata and ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camps. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They then raided and searched a number of houses. IOF withdrew at approximately 05:30, and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses, and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

    1. ‘Omar Ibrahim al-‘Awawda, 25; and
    2. Ahmed Khaled Tubaish, 23.

  • At approximately 12:30, IOF moved into Tubas village, southeast of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They withdrew later, and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 12:30, IOF moved nearly 2500 meters into al-Sayafa area in the north of Beit Lahia. They took positions in various sites in the area. They redeployed out of the area on Tuesday morning, 3 October 2006. No casualties or arrests were reported.

    Monday, 2 October 2006

  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into Tammoun village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses. They withdrew from the village later and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 10:30, IOF moved nearly 2000 meters into the east of Jabalya. They razed at least 20 donums of agricultural land.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF gunboats positioned opposite to Deir al-Balah seashore opened fire at a number of Palestinian fishermen who were fishing less than 1200 meters away from the beach. As a result, Hani Ibrahim al-Najjar, 27, from al-Shati refugee camp, was seriously wounded by a live bullet to the head, and his boat was severely damaged. Al-Najjar was evacuated to the hospital, but medical efforts to save his life failed.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF tanks that had moved into Abu Safiya area, southeast of Beit Hanoun opened fire at the industrial zone in the southeast of Beit Hanoun. As a result, a factory of textiles belonging to Nafez Sa’d Habboub was severely damaged. Fire broke out in machines and the store of raw materials and. Fire personnel were not able to extinguish fire for two houses, as there were inflammables inside the factory. Initial reports estimated the loss at US$ 120,000.

    Tuesday, 3 October 2006

  • At approximately 01:30, an IOF helicopter gunship fired two missiles at a 40-square-meter workshop belonging to Maher Farouq al-Jabri in al-Amal neighborhood in the west of Khan Yunis. The workshop was destroyed, and the wall of a room on the roof of a neighboring house belonging to the al-Bardwail family, in which 3 children were sleeping. Two of the children were wounded:

    1. Naji Khaled al-Bardawil, 15, wounded throughout the body and died at the hospital two hours later;
    2. Ahmed Khaled al-Bardawil, 16, sustained a fracture to the left hand and bruises throughout the body.

    The third brother, 17-year-old Khaled, was not hurt.

    In his testimony to PCHR, the victim’s father stated:

    “I live in an 85-square-meter house, which consists of one floor and a small room on the roof in a densely populated area. The house is adjacent to a workshop belonging to Maher al-Jabri. At approximately 01:38 on Tuesday, 3 October 2006, I woke up hearing a heavy explosion. My wife, I and three of our children were sleeping on the first floor, while 3 of my children were sleeping in the room on the roof. I did not what happened, but I got out of the house scared. I noticed that the room on the roof was burning. My son Jihad, 17, got out of the house shouting that a missile hit the workshop and that his two brothers were wounded. I called the neighbors, but no one was able to get closer to the room as it was burning and IOF aircrafts were still flying over the area. A few minutes later, ambulances and fire engines arrived at the area. The ambulances evacuated my wounded children to the hospital. One of them, Naji, died later, and the other one, Mohammed, sustained a fracture to the left leg and bruises throughout the body.”

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They then raided and searched a number of houses. Later, they withdrew from the town and the refugee camp, and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • Also at approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Rummana village, west of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They then raided and searched a number of houses. Later, they withdrew from the village, and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into al-‘Aqaba village, southeast of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They then raided and searched a number of houses. Later, they withdrew from the village, and no casualties or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 23:40, an IOF fighter jet dropped a bomb at a 200-square-meter, two-storey house belonging to Suleiman Ibrahim Abu ‘Anza in ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis. The house and 6 neighboring houses, in which 38 people (6 families) lived, and 60 beehives were destroyed. Additionally, nearby kindergarten was severely damaged. Abu ‘Anza told PCHR that his son Khaled, a member of Hamas, received a call on his mobile phone from a person who introduced himself as an Israeli intelligence officer. The officer ordered the evacuation of the house because it would be bombarded.

    Wednesday, 4 October 2006

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Samer Hassan al-Aqra’, 17, and arrested him.

  • At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring Balata refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians from Balata refugee camp:

    1. ‘Ammar Zaid Hassanain, 26; and
    2. Mohammed Suleiman Abu ‘Aamer, 18.

    A Palestinian Worker Killed inside Israel
    At approximately 08:40 on Wednesday, 4 October 2006, IOF Border Guard soldiers shot dead a Palestinian worker from Tarqoumia village, west of Hebron, after they had arrested him from a construction workshop in the Israeli town of Jaffa. A spokesman of the Israeli police claimed that a live bullet was unleashed by mistake from a soldier’s gun and killed the worker.

    According toe the victim’s colleagues, including his brother, IOF Border Guard soldiers raided a construction workshop in Jaffa. They were searching for Palestinian workers who do not have work permits. A number of workers were able to escape and others were able to hide. The soldiers captured Eyad Tawfiq Ahmed Abu Ra’iya, 29. They violently beat him and then shot him dead. In their testimony to PCHR, his colleagues stated:

    “We were hiding 60 meters away. We saw 9 soldiers violently beating Abu Ra’iya. They then took him into a refuge in the area. There, they violently bear him and he was screaming. Ten minutes later, we heard the sound of one live bullet and the screaming stopped. We got out of our shelter to see what happened. We discovered that the soldiers shot him dead with a live bullet to the chest.”

    2. Extra-Judicial Executions
    During the reported period, IOF committed 3 extra-judicial executions in Rafah, Beit Hanoun and Khan Yunis towns in the Gaza Strip. One of these attacks killed two members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Fatah movement, and wounded two civilian bystanders, including a child. Another attack wounded 3 targeted persons and two civilian bystanders in Beit Hanoun. The third attack killed a member of the Islamic Jihad, and a member of Fatah.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR:

  • At approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 30 September 2006, an IOF drone fired a missile at two activists of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Fatah, who were walking near the Eastern Cemetery in al-Salam neighborhood in the south of Rafah. One of the activists was killed instantly, and the other one died at the hospital later from a his wound by shrapnel from the missile. The two victims were identified as:

    1. Bassam Salama Ben Hamad, 30; and
    2. Hussam Fayez Ghayad, 22.

    In addition, two civilian bystanders, including a child, were wounded:

    1. Hamza ‘Essam Shaheen, 6, wounded by shrapnel to the right leg; and
    2. Ra’ed Salman ‘Edwan, 20, wounded by shrapnel to the back.

  • At approximately 20:15 on Tuesday, 3 October 2006, an IOF drone fired two missiles at a civilian car that was traveling from Gaza City to Beit Hanoun. Three members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Fatah movement, were traveling in the car. The first missile went astray and the passengers were able to jump out of the car. The second missile hit the car and another car traveling near it, wounding the three passengers and two civilian bystanders with shrapnel throughout their bodies:

    1. Ayman Mohammed al-Dar’awi, 27, from al-Shoajeya neighborhood in Gaza City;
    2. Ahmed Mohammed Abu al-Kas, 22, from al-Shoajeya neighborhood in Gaza City;
    3. Haitham Ziad Abu Hassanain, 20, from al-Shoajeya neighborhood in Gaza City;
    4. ‘Emad Habboub, 23, from Beit Lahia; and
    5. Mohammed Hussein Abu Shakel, 39, from Beit Lahia.

  • At approximately 23:40 on Wednesday, 4 October 2006, an IOF aircraft fired a missile at a civilian car, in which two persons were traveling, in al-Mnaara neighborhood in the southeast of Khan Yunis. The missile hit the car and killed the two passengers, who were later identified as:

    1. Yasser Yousef Mahdi al-Banna, 34, a member of the al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad; and
    2. ‘Omar Saleh Salem al-Zaqzouq, 28, a member of Abu al-Reesh Brigades, an armed wing of Fatah movement.

    Closure in East Jerusalem during the holy month of Ramadan (PCHR)


    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
    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:

  • 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. Thousands of Palestinian civilians have been stuck at the Egyptian side of the crossing, and hundreds of others have been deprived of their right to receive medical treatment abroad. During the reported period, the crossing point was reopened for 3 days. On 22, 23 and 24 September 2006, the crossing point was opened, and 4000 Palestinians were able to travel to Egypt and 5000 others were able to travel back to the Gaza Strip. On 4 October 2006, the crossing point was opened. It is expected to continue to be opened fire 3 days. The crossing point, which has been closed since 25 June 2006, was partially reopened on 18 and 19 July 2006 to allow thousands of Palestinians stuck at the Egyptian side to cross towards the Gaza Strip. As a result of the closure of the crossing point, 7 patients died at the Egyptian side of the crossing point. On 10 August 2006, the crossing point was opened at 10:00 and was re-closed at 12:45. Approximately 1596 Palestinians were able to travel to Egypt and other countries through the crossing point. On Friday, 11 August 2006, the crossing was opened at 10:00, but it was re-closed at 14:00. Approximately 2800 Palestinian were able to travel from the Gaza Strip to Egypt and other countries. On 25 August 2006, the crossing point was opened on both directions from 08:00 until 18:00. On that day, 3104 Palestinians were able to travel abroad and 3204 others were able to travel back to the Gaza Strip. On 26 August 2006, the crossing point was operated from 08:00 until 14:00. On that day, 2500 Palestinians were able to travel abroad, and 1070 others were able to come 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. Before this latest closure, IOF had prevented Palestinian workers from reaching their work places inside Israel through Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing since 12 March 2006. 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.
  • Al-Mentar (Karni) Commercial Crossing: IOF have closed the crossing, which is the main commercial crossing for the Gaza Strip. As a consequence, the economic situation inside the Gaza Strip has further deteriorated and many goods have been lacked in markets. During the reported period, IOF partially reopened the crossing. They allowed the importation of foodstuffs and medicines into the Gaza Strip, and the exportation of several goods from the Gaza Strip to Israel and the West Bank. About 250 trucks loaded with goods entered the Gaza Strip daily, whereas only 30 trucks were allowed to export goods from the Gaza Strip to Israel and the West Bank. IOF also partially reopened Sofa and Kerem Shalom crossings near Rafah, and allowed the entry of humanitarian aids provided by Arab countries into 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 30 September 2006, IOF gunboats opened fire at a fishing boat belonging to ‘Abdul Ra’ouf al-‘Aamoudi in Khan Yunis. The boat was severely damaged, but the fishermen who were on board were able to jump into water and swim towards the beach. On Sunday, 1 October 2006, IOF gunboats opened fire at a number of fishing boats in Khan Yunis. No casualties were reported, but a number of boats were damaged. On Monday, 2 October 2006, IOF killed a Palestinian fisherman (see above).

    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.

  • Ramallah: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians at various checkpoints around the town, especially Attara checkpoint, north of the town, and Qalandya checkpoint, south of the town. During the reported period, IOF positioned at ‘Attara checkpoint conducted prolonged checking for Palestinian civilians. On Saturday morning, 30 September 2006, IOF erected a number of checkpoints at the main intersections leading to Ramallah.
  • Hebron: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. During the reported period, IOF prevented Palestinian civilians from passing through some roads in the town allegedly to secure the movement of Israeli settlers celebrating Jewish occasions. Palestinian civilians were not able to reach the Ibrahimi Mosque. At approximately 17:00 on Friday, 30 September 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint at Jabal al-Sharif intersection in the southwest of Hebron, and another one at Sabta intersection, west of the town. They stopped, checked and interrogated Palestinian civilians. At approximately 16:00 on Sunday, 2 October 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint at al-Shiekh intersection in the east of the town, and another one in the center of the town. They stopped, checked and interrogated Palestinian civilians.

    On Saturday afternoon, 1 October 2006, IOF soldiers permanently positioned in the old town of Hebron violently beat Labeeb Majed al-Fakhouri, 23, and Aybak Majed al-Rujbi, 18. The two civilians sustained bruises throughout the body.

    At approximately 18:30 on the same day, IOF erected a checkpoint at al-Kassara intersection of Jouhar Mount neighborhood in the southeast of Hebron. They stopped, checked and interrogated Palestinian civilians. IOF soldiers fired at a number of Palestinian civilians for no apparent reason. As a result, Majed Ahmed Edris, 20, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the abdomen.

    On Tuesday evening, IOF soldiers positioned at al-Mashrou’ intersection to the northeast of al-Zahiriya village, south of Hebron, arrested Nidal Mohammed Abu Sharekh, 30, a member of the Palestinian Presidential Guard.

  • Nablus: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday morning, 28 September 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint on the road linking between “Yits’har” settlement and Nablus -Ramallah road. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Sunday morning, IOF soliders positioned at Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of Nablus, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. According to eyewitnesses, IOF prevented Palestinians aged under 45 from crossing the checkpoint towards Nablus. IOF also erected a number of checkpoints at the entrances of a number of villages around Nablus. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.
  • Tulkarm: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They have also continued to prevent Palestinians aged under 35 from crossing checkpoints around the town. On Thursday, 28 September 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint at Bala’a intersection on Tulkarm - Nablus road, east of Tulkarm. They prevented Palestinian civilians from crossing the checkpoint. They also held dozens of young men who resorted to alternative roads for several hours. On Friday, 29 September 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Leed village, east of Tulkarm, and prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians. They also held dozens of young men who resorted to alternative roads for several hours. On Saturday, 30 September 2006, IOF positioned at Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, prevented Palestinian civilian vehicles from crossing the checkpoint, and forced Palestinian civilians, including patients, to cross it on foot. They also conducted prolonged checking on these civilians. On Sunday, 1 October 2006, IOF closed Wad al-Teen checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, from 06:00 until 11:00. They then forced Palestinian civilians to cross the checkpoint on foot.
  • Al-Karama International Crossing Point: On Sunday noon, IOF positioned at al-Karama International Crossing Point on the Jordanian border arrested Yousef ‘Essam al-Shanti, 33, from Qalqilya, when he was on his way to the West Bank from Jordan.

    4. Construction of the Annexation Wall
    IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory. They have also continued to imposes restrictions on the movement of Palestinian farmers on both sides of the Wall.

  • During the reported period, IOF prevented Palestinian farmers from the villages of al-Zawia, Mas’ha and Rafat near Salfit from reaching their agricultural lands, which are planted with olives, behind the Wall. According to these farmers, IOF refused to issue permits for them to be able to reach their lands. IOF soldiers positioned at gates established along the Wall opposite to these villages did not allow farmers to cross the gates towards their agricultural lands. They also confiscated permits from some farmers. The farmers expressed their concerns that they may lose the current olive season.
  • During the reported period, IOF continued to prevent Palestinian farmers from the villages of Kufor Sour, al-Ras, Far’oun, Jebara and Kufor Jammal near Tulkarm from reaching their land to cultivate olives. The farmers expressed their concerns that they may lose the current olive season. IOF claim that these farmers do not own these lands and that the ownership documents they have are fake. IOF issue permits for less than 30% of farmers to reach their lands behind the Wall. IOF have also continued to close the iron gate on the Wall established opposite to Far’oun village. They have prevented Palestinian farmers from reaching their lands since the beginning of the olive season. It is worth noting that the Israeli High Court issued a decision in 2003 allowing Palestinian farmers to reach their agricultural land located behind the Wall, but IOF have not been committed to this decision. IOF started the construction of the Wall in villages located to the south of Tulkarm in 2003. The construction of the Wall in the area has isolated and seized at least 40000 donums of land, and has isolated Jebara village from Tulkarm.

    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.

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

    The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is an independent legal body based in Gaza City dedicated to protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law and upholding democratic principles in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It holds Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and is an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, the Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network. PCHR is a recipient of the 1996 French Republic Award for Human Rights.

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