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Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (25 January 2001)

 Ref.,: 4/2001

Introduction

 

This
report covers human rights violations perpetrated by the Israeli occupation
forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
during the period of January 18-24, 2001. During this period, the Israeli occupation forces shot dead three
Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian woman died at an Israeli occupation force roadblock in
Al-Bireh after they denied her access to a hospital. Furthermore, a number of Palestinian
civilians, including a 55-year-old woman, an 8-year-old child, and an
11-year-old child, were wounded with live ammunition fired by the Israeli
occupation forces.

 

During
the same period, the Israeli occupation forces continued to fire artillery
shells, and heavy and medium bullets at Palestinian houses, wounding three
Palestinian civilians. This also
resulted in severe damage to properties, especially in Khan Younis, Rafah, and
Ramallah.

 

Furthermore,
the Israeli occupation forces razed more areas of Palestinian agricultural and
wooded land, and demolished more Palestinian houses and civilian facilities in
the Gaza Strip, especially in Khan Younis, the middle area and around Gaza
City.

 

Finally,
the Israeli occupation forces continued to reinforce their presence throughout
the occupied Palestinian territories and to impose a total siege on the West
Bank and the Gaza Strip. Also during the
past week, Israeli occupation forces reinforced with armored vehicles remained
in position at the entrances of Palestinian cities and on the main roads. Areas under the control of the Palestinian
National Authority remain completely isolated from one another and from the
rest of the occupied Palestinian territories. (For more information about the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and its
disastrous impacts, see Closure Update, a report by PCHR on the closure imposed
by the Israeli occupation forces on the Gaza Strip.)

 

1. Shooting at Palestinian
Civilians

 

Thursday, January 18, 2001

 

In
the morning, at approximately 6:00 local time, Israeli occupation soldiers
fired at Amena Mahmoud Mohammed Khalafallah, 55 years old, from Khan Yunis,
wounding her with a live bullet in the right arm. In her testimony to PCHR, Mrs. Khalafallah
said that she went out of her house to a cemetery in the southwest of the
refugee camp of Khan Yunis. When she
arrived the cemetery, she heard shooting by Israeli occupation forces
positioned in a military site in the vicinity of Neve Dekalim settlement, 200m
to the west of the cemetery. This
resulted in wounding her in the arm. Mrs. Khalafallah was evacuated to Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis. She added that shooting took place when there
were no clashes in the area.

 

Also
in the morning, at approximately 9:00 local time, Israeli occupation soldiers
fired at Ossama Sha’ban Mohammed Abdel-Dayem, 25 years old, from Beit Lahia,
wounding him with a medium caliber bullet in the right arm. In his testimony to PCHR, Abdel-Dayem said
that he was working in a greenhouse on his piece of land, 1500m to the east of
Dogit settlement in the north of Beit Lahia. He added that he heard sounds of two live bullets being shot from the
mentioned settlement, when there were no clashes in the area. One of them hit him in the arm. Abdel-Dayem was evacuated to Shifa’ hospital
in Gaza City.

 

Sunday, January 21, 2001

 

In
the afternoon, at approximately 15:30 local time, Israeli occupation soldiers
opened fire on Mohammed Sharif Mohammed Al-Sharif, 16 years old, from Sheikh
Radwan neighborhood in Gaza City. He was
killed him with a live bullet in the chest, during clashes between a number of
Palestinian children and the Israeli occupation forces in the east of
Gaza. According to eyewitnesses, about
100 Palestinian children had demonstrated since the morning, about 100m away
from a bypass road near Al-Mentar Crossing to the east of Gaza City. Settlers use the crossing, and Israeli
occupation forces were positioned there. At approximately 15:20 local time, two Israeli occupation force military
jeeps moved into within 30m away from demonstrating children, so the children
ran away. About seven minutes later,
four children moved forward and threw stones at the two military jeeps from a
distance of about 30m. Then, three
soldiers got out of jeeps and one of them pointed his silenced gun towards one
of those children, and fired. As a
result, the child Al-Sharif was critically wounded with a live bullet in the
chest. He died on the way to Shifa’
hospital in Gaza City.

 

Investigations
carried out by PCHR concluded that:

 1) Killing the child
Al-Sharif was willful and intentional, as a part of the record of crimes
committed by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian civilians.

 2) Opening fire by the
Israeli occupation soldiers on Palestinian children was not justified by the
clashes that took place in the area, which were limited. No threat was posed to the lives of those
soldiers.

 3) Israeli occupation
soldiers could have resorted to less lethal means to disperse demonstrating
children; however, they immediately opened fire in order to kill.

 4) The distance between the
victim and the murderer was about 30m, so that soldier could have fired at
extremities or at the lower part of the body, but he pointed his gun directly
at the chest of the child, intending to kill him.

 5) The movement of the two
Israeli occupation force jeeps up to a distance of 30m away from demonstrators
escalated the situation. Before that,
Palestinian children had been about 150m away from the Israeli occupation
forces so that they could not have been hit by stones thrown by the children.

 

Wednesday, January 24, 2001

 

In
the evening, at approximately 21:00 local time, the Israeli occupation forces
opened fire on three Palestinians in Rafah, killing two, and the third, a
15-year-old child, was not wounded and escaped from the area. PCHR fears that the two martyrs were killed
by the Israeli occupation forces after they were wounded with live ammunition
and then were arrested, or that their bodies were mutilated. The two martyrs are:

 1) Khalil Samir Mohammed
Al-Sindi, 22 years old, from Tal Al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah. He was hit with more than 20 live bullets in
the chest, the abdomen, and the extremities. Bruises were found on his body as a result of being beaten.

 2) Safwat E’ssam Qeshta, 17
years old, a student in the 11th grade, from Tal Al-Sultan
neighborhood in Rafah, was hit with several live bullets in the chest.

 

In
his testimony to PCHR, the child who survived the incident said that he and his
colleagues, Khalil and Safwat, went close to Slao settlement at approximately
21:30 local time, in order to destroy its greenhouses. When they were about 50m away from the
mentioned settlement, Israeli occupation soldiers positioned behind barbwires
surrounding the settlement opened fire on them. He also said that he escaped from the area and that he heard cries from
his colleagues. After he escaped, he
relayed what had happened. An ambulance
went to the area, but it could not get closer because of the dangerous
situation. Eyewitnesses said that
intensive shooting was heard at approximately 22:00 local time in the area
where the incident took place. On
Thursday morning, bodies of the martyrs were found in the area where the
incident took place, 50m away from Slao settlement in Rafah. One of the two bodies was transferred to
Al-Joneina hospital in Rafah and the other one was transferred to Nasser
hospital in Khan Yunis.

 

 

PCHR’s
Notes on the Incident:

 1) The Israeli occupation
forces opened fire on the three young men suddenly with the aim to kill them
from a distance of only 50m, and these forces did not resort to other means to
drive them away from the settlement.

 2) It is not certain that the
two martyrs were killed instantly, as bruises that were found on the body of
one of them raise suspicions that he might have been wounded and then arrested
before he was killed.

 3) None of the three young
men was carrying a weapon, nor did they posed any threat on the lives of the
Israeli occupation soldiers, so it was possible to arrest them instead of
killing them.

 

 

 2. A Palestinian woman dies
as a result of the siege imposed by the Israeli occupation forces

 

On
Tuesday, January 23, 2001, at approximately, at approximately 18:40 local time,
E’isha Naji Mohammed Nassar, 28 years old, mother of five children, from the
village of Al-Jania in Ramallah, died after the Israeli occupation forces
prevented an ambulance from transferring her to a hospital. The victim had undergone a Caesarian
operation on December 27, 2000, and came back to her village. On January 23, 2001, her health condition
deteriorated, and her family tried to transfer her to a hospital. Because of the current strict siege imposed
by the Israeli occupation forces, she was transferred by a private car to an
Israeli occupation force military roadblock near Doleb settlement, to the west
of Ramallah. There an ambulance from the
Palestinian Red Crescent Society waited for her arrival at the other side. However, the Israeli occupation forces
prohibited the passage of the woman and obstructed her access to the ambulance
for 20 minutes, although these forces were informed that she was in critical
condition. The woman died before
reaching the ambulance.

 

 3. Shelling of Residential
Neighborhoods

 

Friday, January 19, 2001

 

In the evening, at approximately
18:30 local time, Israeli occupation forces positioned in two military sites in
Nitzar Hazani and Qatis settlements fired heavy and medium bullets at the west
of the area of Al-Qarar in Khan Yunis. The mentioned military sites are 150-200m to the west of Al-Qarara. PCHR’s field officer reported that firing at
Palestinian houses and farms in the area sporadically lasted until 7:00 local
time on the following day, and that Palestinian civilians were terrified
throughout night. He added that Salem Abdel-Qader
Abu Shabab was wounded with a live bullet in the abdomen and was evacuated to
Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis. Damages
as a result of such fire were as follows:

 1) Bullets made holes 2-5cm in external and internal walls, and
destroyed windows of a 250-square-meter, three-story house, in which seven
families consisting of 38 people lived. The house is owned by Kamal Mohammed Hassan El-Awadhi.

 2) Bullets made holes 2cm in diameter in the façade of a
100-square-meter, one-story house, in which four people live, owned by Nidhal
Mohammed Abdullah Abu Bakra.

 3) Bullets made holes 2cm in diameter in the façade of a
500-square-meter, one-story house, in which 11 people live, owned by Mohammed
Suleiman Abu Meghasib. In addition, a
donkey owned by the family was wounded with live ammunition.

 4) Bullets made holes 2cm in diameter in the façade of a
200-square-meter, one-story house, in which six people live, owned by Majdi
Ibrahim Abu Meghasib.

 5) Bullets made holes 2cm in diameter in the façade of an
under-construction house, owned by Khaled Abdel-Karim Abu Khammash.

 6) Bullets made holes 2cm in diameter in walls of a
100-square-meter, one-room tin house, owned by Haneya Abdullah Mohammed Abu
Bakra. In her testimony to PCHR, Mrs.
Abu Bakra said that she was inside her house, when shooting started. Several bullets penetrated tin walls into her
room. She added that she was about to be
hit, but she lied down on the ground and was able to escape to her brother’s
house.

 

In
the evening, at approximately 19:00 local time, Israeli occupation forces
positioned near Slah El-Din Gate on the border in Rafah opened fire on
Palestinian houses adjacent to the border in Block “O” of Rafah refugee
camp. As a result, two children were
wounded with shrapnel rom live bullets while they were passing on a road 300m
away from Salah El-Din Gate. The two
were evacuated to Al-Joneina hospital in Rafah. They were:

 1) The child Mohammed Omar
Khalil Abu Shawish, 11 years old, a pupil in the fifth grade of elementary
school, wounded with shrapnel in the right leg that made a five-cm hole; and

 2) The child Tasnim Omar
Khalil Abu Shawish, 8 years old, a pupil in the third grade of elementary
school, wounded with shrapnel in the shoulder and the extremities.

 

Sunday, January 21, 2001

 

In the evening, at approximately 21:00 local time,
the Israeli occupation forces fired artillery shells and heavy and medium
bullets at Palestinian residential neighborhoods in the area of Al-Balaou’ at
the northern entrance of Al-Bireh. This
caused severe damage to houses and civilian facilities, including a building of
the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government.

 

Wednesday, January 24, 2001

 

In the evening, at approximately 20:30 local time,
the Israeli occupation forces fired artillery shells and heavy and medium
bullets at Palestinian houses and civilian facilities in the area of Jabal
Al-Tawil and Sateh Marahaba neighborhoods in Al-Bireh. As a result, houses and civilian facilities
were severely damaged, and a building of the Palestinian Ministry of Finance
was directly hit. Its walls and windows
were damaged.

 

 4. Razing of Agricultural
Land and Demolition of Houses

 

Thursday, January 18, 2001

 

In the evening, at approximately 6:00 local time,
the Israeli occupation forces demolished a 330-square-meter copper foundry used
in manufacturing domestic sewage piping, in the area of Al-Mentar to the east
of Gaza City. It was owned by Samir
Sae’id Frawana. They also demolished a
house for the factory’s laborers. The
owner of the factory said that his factory, with all its machines and raw
materials, was completely demolished. The Israeli occupation forces also demolished a 331-square-meter
building, about 1000m to the northeast of Al-Mentar (Karni) Outlet, to the east
of Gaza City, owned by Hamdi Ahmed Salem Al-Ghafir. 

 

Friday, January 19, 2001

 

From midnight until 4:00 local time, the Israeli
occupation forces razed areas of agricultural land to the northeast of Kfar
Darom settlement in the middle area of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli occupation forces razed:

 1) A 20-donum area of
agricultural land planted with olives and palms, and on a part of which ten
greenhouses planted with vegetables stood. It is owned by Ahmed Khalil Abu Samra. In addition, a water motor, two pesticide pumps and an irrigation
network were destroyed. 

 2) A six-donum area of
agricultural land, on which five greenhouses planted with vegetables stood, and
the remainder of which was planted with olives and palms, owned by Jaber Mohammed Abu Mosabbeh.

 3) A five-donum area of
agricultural land planted with olives, and on which three greenhouses planted
with vegetables stood, owned by Hisham Abu Samra. In addition, an irrigation network was
destroyed.

 

PCHR field officer in the middle area reported that
bulldozers of the Israeli occupation forces destroyed a water line, which
provided the area with drinking water. They also destroyed electricity towers, cutting electricity from a
number of houses.

 

In the afternoon, at approximately 18:00 local
time, an Israeli occupation force bulldozer and three tanks, crossed the border
between Israel and the Gaza Strip in the village of Khoza’a, to the east of
Khan Yunis. They started to raze areas
of agricultural land planted with wheat and olives, adjacent to the border in
Khoza’a. This action lasted until 21:00
local time, during which the Israeli occupation forces opened fire on
Palestinian farmers to terrify them and driving them away from the affected
areas. Because of the dangerous
situation there, farmers and PCHR’s staff could not reach the area on the same
day.

 

Saturday, January 20, 2001

 

The Israeli occupation forces razed more areas of
agricultural land in the village of Al-Fokhari, adjacent to the border, to the
east of Khan Yunis. They razed a
three-donum area planted with almonds, owned by Salem Abu Neisa.

 

Sunday, January 21, 2001

 

In the morning, the Israeli occupation forces
resumed razing areas of agricultural land in the village of Khoza’a adjacent to
the borderline. This action affected the
following areas:

 1) A ten-donum area of
agricultural land planted with wheat, owned by Fawaz Ibrahim Al-Najjar. 

 2) A 15-donum area of
agricultural land planted with wheat and barley, owned by Khalil Khalil Abu
Rouk.

 3) A 15-donum area of
agricultural land planted with wheat and barley, owned by Suleiman Abu Rouk and
brothers.

 4) A two-donum area of
agricultural land planted with olives, owned by Hussein Suleiman Abu Rouk.

 5) A 30-donum area of
agricultural land planted with olives, wheat, and barley, owned by Abdel-Rahman
Mousa Qudeih, Shehda Mahmoud Qudeih, Ayman Suleimabn Qudeih and Mohammed Rezeq
Qudeih.

 6) A bee farm, consisting of
200 hives, owned by a member of the Al-Zaqzouq family.

 

Thursday, January 18 – Monday,
January 22, 2001

 

The
Israeli occupation forces resumed razing areas of agricultural land in the
Al-Mawasi area in Deir El-Balah. Such
razing, which lasted up to January 22, 2001, extended to areas of agricultural
land in Al-Mawasi area in Al-Qarara in the north of Khan Yunis. The Israeli occupation forces razed:

 1) A seven-donum area of
agricultural land planted with vegetables, palms and guavas, owned by Salim
Abdel-Mou’ti El-Salqawi (Deir El-Balah).

 2) A two-donum area of
agricultural land planted with palms, guavas, and citrus, owned by Hamida
Abdel-Hamid Abdullah. In addition, a
water pump and an irrigation network were destroyed (Al-Qarara).

 3) A four-donum area of
agricultural land planted with palms, guavas, citrus, and mangos, owned by
Mohammed Abdel-Hamid El-A’badleh. In
addition, a water pump, a room of agricultural tools, and an irrigation network
were destroyed (Al-Qarara).

 4) A four-donum area of agricultural
land planted with palms, guavas, citrus and mangos owned by Sami Suleiman
El-A’badleh. In addition, a water pump
and an irrigation network were destroyed (Al-Qarara).

 5) A four-donum area of
agricultural land planted with palms, guavas, citrus and mangos owned by
Abdel-Lattif Abdel-Hamid El-A’badleh. In
addition, a water pump and an irrigation network were destroyed (Al-Qarara).

 6) A ten-donum area of
agricultural land planted with palms, guavas, citrus, figs, pomegranates and
mangos, owned by Mahmoud Suleiman El-A’badleh. In addition, an irrigation network was destroyed (Al-Qarara).

 7) A four-donum area of
agricultural land planted with vegetables, on a part pf which a greenhouse
planted with vegetables also stood, owned by Zuhair Mahmoud El-A’badleh. In addition, a water pump, a well and an
irrigation network were destroyed (Al-Qarara).

 8) A six-donum area of
agricultural land planted with guavas, palms, figs and mangos, owned by Akram
and Abdel-Hamid Humeid El-A’badleh. In
addition, a water pump, a well and an irrigation network were destroyed (Deir
El-Balah).

 9) An eight-donum area of
agricultural land planted with guavas, citrus and mangos owned by Abdel-Mone’m
and Abdel-A’zhim Humeid El-A’badleh. In
addition, a water pump, a storage room of agricultural tools, an agricultural
pool, and an irrigation network were destroyed (Deir El-Balah).

 10) A 17.5-donum area of
agricultural land planted with guavas, palms, and citrus, on a part of which a
greenhouse planted with vegetables stood, owned by sons of Mustafa Hafezh
El-A’badleh. In addition, an irrigation
network was destroyed (Al-Qarara).

 11) A 17.5-donum area of
agricultural land planted with vegetables, palms and citrus, owned by Suleiman
Khaled El-A’badleh. In addition, a water
pump and a well were destroyed (Al-Qarara).

 12) A 21-donum area of
agricultural land planted with guavas, palms and citrus, on a part of which six
greenhouses planted with vegetables stood, owned by Shamseya Radhwan
El-A’badleh. In addition, three wells,
two water pumps, an electricity generator, three pesticide pumps, and a
two-room tin houses were destroyed (Al-Qarara).

 13) A six-donum area of
agricultural land planted with guavas, on a part of which two greenhouses
planted with vegetables stood, owned by Ibrahim Mousa El-Shae’r. In addition, a water pump, a well, and a
storage room of agricultural tools were destroyed (Al-Qarara).

 14) A four-donum area of
agricultural land planted with guavas, owned by Ayyoub El-A’badleh (Deir
El-Balah).

 15) A two-donum area of
agricultural land planted with vegetables, owned by Ahmed El-A’badleh
(Al-Qarara).

 

****

 

PCHR
reiterates its call for the international community to immediately intervene to
stop the killings and criminal acts perpetrated by the Israeli occupation
forces against Palestinian civilians. PCHR calls in particular for:

 

1. Establishing without delay
an independent commission of inquiry, in accordance with UN Security Council
resolution 1322 (2000), to carry out a thorough and comprehensive investigation
into the abuses and killings perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces
against Palestinian civilians.

2. Convening a conference of
the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to ensure
Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Convention.

3. Immediately providing
international protection for Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian
territories in the face of the killings and criminal acts perpetrated by the
Israeli occupation forces and groups of Jewish settlers who move under the
protection of these forces.

4. Use by the EU of effective
political and economic measures with reference to Article 2 of the Euro-Israel
Association Agreement, which calls for the respect of human rights.

5. Providing humanitarian and
medical assistance for the Palestinian people whose living conditions are
increasingly deteriorating because of the continued total siege imposed by the
Israeli occupation forces on the entire occupied Palestinian territories.

 

 

 

For
more information on the Al-Aqsa Intifada, see:

www.pchrgaza.org

 

 

 

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