Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Escalate Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
1. ‘Obaida Yahia Yassin, 20; and
2. Ibrahim Khalil Yassin, 22.
1. Do’aa’ ‘Adnan Haj Hussein, 20; and
2. Bahaa’ Ameen Swalha, 18.
1. Nader Mousa Zawahra, 44; and
2. Rami ‘Atiya Shawriya, 22.
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.
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.
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
Saturday, 30 September 2006
1. Mahmoud Ja’far Abu ‘Arqoub, 21; and
2. Muheeb Mohammed Abu Ras.
Sunday, 1 October 2006
1. ‘Omar Ibrahim al-‘Awawda, 25; and
2. Ahmed Khaled Tubaish, 23.
Monday, 2 October 2006
Tuesday, 3 October 2006
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.”
Wednesday, 4 October 2006
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.