|Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory|
|Wednesday, 03 December 2008 00:00|
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) amidst a Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza Strip Due to the Closure
· 3 Palestinians, including 2 children, were killed by IOF in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
· The two children were killed by an air raid, while the third victim was extra-judicially executed by an IOF undercover unit.
· 10 Palestinians and 3 international human rights defenders were wounded by IOF in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
· IOF conducted 45 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 2 into the Gaza Strip.
· IOF arrested 28 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank.
· IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT.
· The Gaza Strip is suffering a serious humanitarian crisis due to the IOF closure of the border crossings.
· IOF troops positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 3 Palestinian civilians.
· IOF have continued to take measures aiming at the Judaization of Jerusalem.
· IOF demolished 3 houses in Jerusalem.
· IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attacks Palestinian civilians and property.
· Israeli settlers continued brutal attacks against Palestinian civilians and property.
· Israeli settlers desecrated a mosque in Tormos'iya village north of Ramallah.
· Israeli settlers uprooted 50 olive trees in Ras Karkar village near Ramallah.
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (27 November – 3 December 2008):
Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed 3 Palestinians, including 2 children, in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and wounded 10 others, including 2 children, and 3 international human rights defenders.
In the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday evening, 2 December, IOF killed 2 Palestinian children and wounded 2 others seriously. An IOF aircraft fired a missile at a number of Palestinian children who were sitting in the streets in al-Shouka village, southeast of Rafah. an IOF spokesman admitted responsibility for the attack, but claimed that it targeted a number of persons who launched mortars at IOF and Israeli towns. According to eyewitnesses, the victims were civilians who were sitting in the streets.
On 28 November, four members of the Palestinian resistance were wounded during clashes with IOF troops that had moved into al-Farahin area in 'Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis.
In the West Bank, On Monday, 1 December, IOF extra-judicially killed a Palestinian from Balata refugee camp east of Nablus. He was shot dead by an IOF undercover unit, when he climbed into a vehicle belonging to the Palestinian Preventive Security Service (PSS), in order to be transported from his house to the PSS' headquarters. He was in the process of being granted amnesty by the IOF. He was hit by several bullets, and IOF troops later took him to Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus. Later, IOF contacted the Palestinian Red Crescent Society to send an ambulance to transport his body.
During the reporting period, 3 Palestinian civilians and 3 international human rights defenders were wounded when IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest at the construction of the Annexation Wall west of Ramallah.
Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 45 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. IOF arrested 28 Palestinian civilians, including a child. The number of Palestinian civilians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of 2008 stands at 2,261. IOF also transformed 4 houses in Hebron into military sites during the reporting period.
In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 2 incursions into Palestinian communities. On 28 November, IOF moved into al-Farahin area in 'Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis, and chased a number of members of the Palestinian resistance. On 30 November, IOF moved into the same area and leveled areas of Palestinian 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 continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The IOF siege of Gaza, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.
· 1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.
· The Egypt-brokered ‘Tahdiya’ or truce between Palestinian resistance groups and Israel began on 19 June; however, there have been no major changes regarding the movements of civilians and goods through the six Gaza Strip border crossings.
· Rafah International Crossing Point, the only border crossing from the Gaza Strip to the outside world via a country other than Israel, remains closed.
Impacts of Tightening the Siege Imposed on the Gaza Strip over the Past Four Weeks
· The Gaza Power plant
completely ceased operation due to the lack of energy fuel. Over the past three
weeks, IOF have allowed only
· The main concern of 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip is to obtain their basic needs of food, medicines, water and electricity supplies.
· The majority of the civilian population lack regular access to drinking water.
· Electricity is cut off for hundred of thousands of civilians for 8-12 hours daily, which has had a severe impact on all civilians, especially 500,000 school and university students who are currently sitting exams.
· The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) were forced to suspend it humanitarian aids program for at least 750,000 Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip for 5 days.
· Thousands of Palestinian civilians have been forced to wait in long queues to buy bread.
· At least 45 bakeries in the Gaza Strip (75%) have been closed due to the lack of electricity and cooking gas. The remaining 18 bakeries have been forced to scale down production.
· Rafah International Crossing Point has been opened for a few days for a number of patients who received medical treatment abroad and needed to return home to the Gaza Strip.
· IOF have continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for Palestinian civilians needing to travel to the West Bank and Israeli for medical treatment, trade or family visits.
· IOF have imposed additional restrictions on the access of international diplomats, journalists and humanitarian workers to the Gaza Strip. They have prevented representatives of international humanitarian organizations from entering the Gaza Strip.
· IOF have decreased the number of patients allowed to travel through Erez crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in the West Bank and Israel to an average of 17 patients daily, which marks a decrease by 15% in comparison with the first quarter of 2008.
· Health conditions in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated and all medical facilities have been impacted as some emergency medical services are dependent on electricity. At least 94 medicines are now completely out of stock.
· The lives of a number of new born babies are being endangered, and they depend on medical equipment, such as incubators, that are electrically operated.
· Fuel supplies allowed into the Gaza Strip through the Nahal Oz crossing have sharply decreased to below minimum requirements. Since the closure, the Gaza Strip has received only 19.6% of the daily amount of fuel required for the operation of the sole Gaza power plant, 4.1% of the daily requirement of benzene, 2.9% of the daily requirement of diesel, and 4.8% of the amount of cooking gas needed by the population.
· IOF have closed all commercial crossings to the Gaza Strip. During the reporting period, Al-Mentar (Karni) crossing was partially reopened for 3 days and Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing was partially reopened for 6 days, to allow the entry of limited amounts of humanitarian aid.
· Living conditions of the Palestinian civilian population have seriously deteriorated; poverty and unemployment levels are rapidly increasing.
· At least 900 Gazan prisoners in Israeli jails have been deprived for family visitation for more than 15 months.
IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.
· IOF have established checkpoints in and around Jerusalem, severely restricting Palestinian access to the city. Civilians are frequently prevented from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
· There are approximately permanent 630 roadblocks, manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank. In addition, there are some 60-80 ‘flying’ or temporary checkpoints erected across the West Bank by IOF every week.
· When complete, the illegal Annexation Wall will stretch for 724 kilometers around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population. 350 kilometers of the Wall has already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the Wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, further confiscating Palestinian land.
· At least 65% of the main roads that leads to 18 Palestinian communities in the West Bank are closed or fully controlled by IOF (47 out of 72 roads).
· There are around 500 kilometers of restricted roads across the West Bank. In addition, approximately one third of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, is inaccessible to Palestinians without a permit issued by the IOF. These permits are extremely difficult to obtain.
· IOF continue to harass, and assault demonstrators who hold peaceful protests against the construction of the Annexation Wall.
· Palestinian civilians continue to be harassed by IOF in Jerusalem, and across the West Bank, including being regularly stopped and searched in the streets by IOF.
· During the reporting period, IOF arrested 3 Palestinian civilians at various checkpoints in the West Bank.
Judaization of Jerusalem: IOF have escalated arbitrary measures against Palestinian civilians in East Jerusalem to force them to leave the city. During the reporting period, IOF demolished 3 houses in East Jerusalem.
Settlement Activities: IOF have continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers living in the OPT have, in violation of international humanitarian law, continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. During the reporting period, Israeli settlers living in "Kiryat Arba" settlement, and those who seized al-Rajabi building on 19 March 2006, launched a series of systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in Palestinian residential areas of Hebron. IOF provided protection for these settlers. A number of Palestinian civilians were injured during these attacks, and the settlers launched these attacks under the pretext of rejecting a ruling from the Israeli High Court that ordered their evacuation from the al-Rajabi building in Hebron. Israeli settlers also launched attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in villages located around Ramallah. They uprooted at least 50 olive trees and mounted attacks against a number of houses.
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (27 November – 3 December 2008)
The full report is available PDF format.