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Feb 23, 2008
Weekly Report: on Israeli Human Rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory - 14 - 20 February 2008

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

6 Palestinians, including a child, were killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip.

2 Palestinians died from previous injuries in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

13 Palestinians, including a woman and a journalist, were injured by IOF gunfire.

IOF conducted 23 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and another 2 incursions into the Gaza Strip.

IOF arrested 48 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.

IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT.

One patient died because IOF obstructed her access to medical treatment in the West Bank.

IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attacks Palestinian civilians and property.


Summary

Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (14 – 20 February 2008):

Shootings: During the reporting period, IOF killed 6 Palestinians, including a child, in the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinians also died from previous injuries in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In addition, IOF injured 13 Palestinians, including one woman and a journalist.

In the Gaza Strip, on 17 February, IOF killed 5 Palestinians, including 2 civilians, and injured 9 others, including a woman, during an incursion into al-Shouka village, southeast of Rafah. On the same day, a Palestinian resistance activist died from an injury he had sustained on 12 February during armed clashed with IOF troops who had invaded Wadi al-Salqa village in the central Gaza Strip. On 19 February, IOF shot dead a Palestinian child during an incursion into the same village, Wadi al-Salqa.

In the West Bank, on 14 February, a Palestinian civilian died from an injury sustained on 7 February during an incursion by IOF into Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. On the same day two Palestinian civilians were wounded in ‘Anabta village, east of Tulkarm, when IOF troops opened fire during an incursion into the village. A Palestinian journalist was also injured when IOF troops used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration protesting the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah.

Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 23 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and arrested 48 Palestinian civilians. To date the number of Palestinian civilians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of the year stands at 432.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 2 incursions into Palestinian communities. On 17 February, IOF moved into al-Shouka village, southeast of Rafah. They killed five Palestinians and arrested 70 others. The detainees were released after interrogation. On 19 February, IOF moved into Wadi al-Salqa village in the central Gaza Strip. During this incursion they killed a Palestinian child.

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

To date, IOF have closed all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than 18 months continuously. The total siege imposed by IOF on the Gaza Strip has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and has violated the economic and social rights of the Palestinian civilian population, particularly their rights to appropriate living conditions, health and education. It has also paralyzed most economic sectors. Furthermore, severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the Palestinian civilian population. The siege of the Gaza Strip has severely impacted the flow of food, medical supplies and other necessities, such as fuel, construction materials and raw materials for various economic sectors.

IOF have further tightened the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip since Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip, and the living and economic conditions of Palestinian civilians have further deteriorated. In September 2007, the Israeli government declared the Gaza Strip a “Hostile entity,” which implies imposing more restrictions and measures of collective punishment against the Palestinian civilian population. Since then, IOF have sharply decreased food and fuel supplies allowed to enter the Gaza Strip. IOF have continued to prevent the entry of raw materials into the Gaza Strip, and subsequently many factories have been forced to close. Regarding the movements of civilians, IOF permit an extremely limited number of Palestinian civilians to pass through Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing in order to travel to the West Bank. Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border is therefore the Gaza Strip's sole gateway to the outside world. However, IOF have closed Rafah International Crossing Point, although they do not directly control the Crossing. IN addition, they have prevented European observers working at Rafah International Crossing Point from reaching the Crossing in order to monitor it.

The closure of these border crossings deprives the entire Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip of their human rights to freedom of movement, education and health. IOF have also continued to impose severe restrictions on fishing in the Gaza Strip. Fishermen have been subjected to intensive harassment by IOF, which use helicopter gunships and gunboats to monitor and intimidate the fishermen. The Interim Arrangements singed in 1994/95 permit Palestinian fishermen to go fishing up to 20 nautical miles away from the Gaza seashore. However, IOF continue to violate the Interim Arrangements and prevent Gaza fishermen from working.


West Bank

IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have systematically been denied access to Jerusalem. IOF have established many checkpoints around and inside the city. Restrictions of the movement of Palestinian civilians often escalate on Fridays in order to prevent them from praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. IOF often violently assault Palestinian civilians who attempt to bypass checkpoints and enter the city. IOF have also tightened the siege imposed on Palestinian communities in 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 also erected more checkpoints on the main roads and intersections in the West Bank, further limiting the freedom of movement of civilians.

(Source: "Weekly Report: on Israeli Human Rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory", Muslimnews, 22 February 2008)



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