New reports from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, in Gaza, condemn violations of Palestinian rights in the Palestinian territories, as well as recent military escalation and the assassination on Sunday of a Hamas leader.

The procedures of the Israeli military are in direct violation of Palestinian rights, depriving the residents of their social, civil, economical and cultural rights, the center said. It appealed the international community to put pressure on Israel to stop these violations.

“Israel is surrounding more than 1,500,000 residents in the Gaza Strip, after dividing it into small ghettoes, surrounded by military checkpoints, settlements and military camps,” the center reported.

The PCHR also released the results of its investigation of the Israeli assassination of Said Siam, one of Hamas’ leaders, on Sunday.

“According to PCHR investigations and eyewitness reports, Sunday evening, July 17, an Israeli sniper positioned inside the military site located on the eastern edge of the settlement of Gani Tal, north-west of Khan Younis, fired one bullet at Sa’id Aissa Siam, a Hamas member, aged 32, from the al-Amal neighborhood in Khan Yunis.  At the time of the shooting he was standing close to the door of his house, 150 metres away from the Israeli watchtower.  The bullet hit him in the neck and exited from the other side, hitting the wall, and shrapnel wounded his 60-year-old father.  Siam was an activist with the Islamic movement Hamas and wanted by the Israeli military for his activities,”   the report said.

In a separate attack on Friday, July 15, an Israeli helicopter gunship fired a missile at a Volkswagen mini-bus in the Tel al Hawa area of Gaza City; four Palestinian were killed.

The four were identified as: Azzam Marwan Abu Ras, 24 years old; A’del Hannia, 28; Amjad Anwar Arafat, 26; and Saber abu A’asi, 25.

The PCHR condemned the policy of extra-judicial executions which is authorized at the very highest levels in Israel.

In its weekly report covering the period July 7-13, 2005, the Center reported that Israeli soldiers killed four Palestinians, including two children, in the West Bank., a fifth Palestinian was pronounced clinically dead.

On Thursday, July 7, Israeli occupation forces killed two Palestinians, including a child, during an invasion into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. 

On Friday, July 8, soldiers based near the ‘Separation Wall’ shot dead a Palestinian child in Beit Leqia village, southwest of Ramallah. 

On Saturday, July 9, a Palestinian child was injured by occupation forces in the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip.   

On Wednesday, July 13,  troops killed a member of the Palestinian National Security Force and injured another during a large-scale invasion of the West Bank city of Tulkarrm.

“The Israeli policy of invasions and assassinations is in clear breach of international humanitarian and human rights law and requires immediate intervention by the international community to ‘ensure respect’i n accordance with the legal obligation to do so,” the center reported.

The center also reported on military closures, dividing the Gaza into isolated areas, and closing the border and trade crossings, in addition to barring the residents aged 16-35 from leaving the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border Crossing.

The PCHR demanded that the Israeli government end its policies of collective punishment and lift the closure imposed over the Palestinian territories, especially in the Gaza Strip.

“The closure is barring 6,825 Palestinian workers, carrying the needed permits, from reaching their work in Israel or the industrial zone in Eretz,” the Center said. In addition, “thousands of residents in need for medical treatment in Israel and the West Bank are not able to travel.”

“PCHR condemns the total closure of the Gaza Strip, which has increased the daily suffering of Gaza residents and violates their civil, political, economic and social rights.  The PCHR urges the international community to pressure the IOF [Israeli occupation forces] to respect international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights instruments and to demand an immediate lifting of the total closure policy”.