According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) Weekly Report, in the week of the 27th of December 2007 to 2nd of January 2008, 18 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, 25 were wounded, and 35 were abducted by Israeli forces.Of those killed, five were extrajudicially assassinated in contravention of international law, and one was an elderly woman killed while returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Israeli forces destroyed 160 dunums of Palestinian agricultural land, raided a hospital, school and non-governmental organization, and have continued to impose a total siege and closure of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 30 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank during the reporting period, and abducted 35 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children.
In one such invasion, on Monday, December 31st, at approximately 00:00, Israeli forces moved into the Wadi Hasaka neighborhood in the north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Abdul Hamid Rajab Dandis. They heavily damaged the house and arrested the owner’s son, 10-year-old Sofian. They also summoned the owner’s other sons, Rajab, 21, and ‘Ali, 25, for interrogation. According to the family, at least 400 grams of gold, some money and a laptop were taken during the house raid.
On Thursday, December 27th, at approximately 22:00, an Israeli forces undercover unit moved into Bitounia town, west of Ramallah, traveling in a civilian car with an Israeli registration plate. The car stopped on the main road. Israeli forces troops soon opened fire at Mo’tassem Rafeeq Saleh al-Shareef, 27, a member of the Palestinian Presidential Guard, when he was traveling in his car towards home. He was seriously wounded. He was evacuated to the hospital, but he died from his wound. Israeli forces military vehicles moved into the area to secure the withdrawal of the undercover unit.
Also on Thursday December 27th, at approximately 08:30, an Israeli forces undercover unit moved into Jenin refugee camp in the north of the West Bank, traveling in a civilian car with a Palestinian registration plate. The car stopped near an UNRWA clinic and 2 gunmen got out of it. They pointed their guns at Samer ‘Ali al-Sa’di, 20, a member of Islamic Jihad, and kidnapped him.
On Friday December 28th, following an armed confrontation between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces troops, which left dead 2 Israeli forces soldiers and a militant in the northwest of Hebron, Israeli forces, reinforced by dozens of military vehicles and 2 helicopters imposed a tightened siege on Hebron and suburbs. At approximately 17:20, Israeli forces moved into the northwestern part of Hebron. They besieged the National Hospital in Be’r al-Mahjar area. Ten minutes later, they raided the hospital. They held all of its staff members in the yard and the cafeteria and searched throughout the hospital. They also interrogated a number of staff members about wounded people who could have been brought into the hospital. At approximately 20:10, Israeli forces left the hospital opening fire.
On Wednesday, January 2nd, at approximately 12:00, Israeli forces moved into Shwaika village, north of Tulkarem. They stopped near the Shwaika School on the main road and started to provoke the school children. Soon, a number of school children gathered and threw stones at Israeli forces' military vehicles. Immediately, Israeli forces troops fired at the children and wounded Hilal Muneer Ashqar, 15, with 2 gunshots to the right thigh.
Israeli forces 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 been denied access to Jerusalem. Israeli forces have established many checkpoints around and inside the city. Restrictions of the movement of Palestinian civilians often escalate on Fridays to prevent them from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli forces often violently beat Palestinian civilians who attempt to bypass checkpoints and enter the city.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On 29 December 2007, a Palestinian civilian was run over and killed by an Israeli settler driving on Palestinian land. He is the third Palestinian in 2007 to be killed by Israeli settlers ramming them with their cars .
On 30 December 2007, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian civilian vehicles on Hebron – Bethlehem road.
On January 1st, Israeli settlers attacked 3 members of the Public Committee against the Annexation Wall in Bil’in village, west of Ramallah. Two of the three had to be hospitalized due to the severity of their injuries.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
Israeli forces have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory. During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest to the construction of the Wall in Bil’in village, west of Ramallah.
Following the Friday Prayer on 28 December 2007, scores of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders demonstrated in Bil’in village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the Wall. Israeli forces troops had placed barbwire in the area to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the Wall. The demonstrators attempted to move forward. Immediately, Israeli forces troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators, and violently beat them. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, and 2 international human rights defenders sustained bruises.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed 17 Palestinians, including a woman.
On 27 December 2007, Israeli forces committed 2 extra-judicial executions, in which they killed 3 members of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) and one civilian, and wounded 6 civilian bystanders, including 2 children, in al-Boreij refugee camp and al-Mughraqa village in the central Gaza Strip.
On the same day, Israeli forces killed 3 members of the Palestinian resistance and wounded 5 others and a child during an incursion into ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis.
On 28 December 2007, 2 members of the Palestinian resistance were wounded by an Israeli forces air strike in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis.
On 30 December 2007, Israeli forces killed a member of the Palestinian resistance and wounded one civilian during an incursion into al-Shouka village, southeast of Rafah. On the same day, Israeli forces opened fire at a number of Palestinian pilgrims who were on their way back to the Gaza Strip through Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing. As a result, a woman was killed and her husband was wounded. 2 Palestinian pilgrims died in Egypt when they were on their way back to the Gaza Strip.
On 1 January 2008, Israeli forces killed a member of the Palestinian resistance and wounded 2 civilians al-Boreij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. On the same day, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, north of Beit Hanoun town.
On 2 January 2008, Israeli forces killed 6 members of the Palestinian resistance and wounded a 7th one and 4 civilians, including 2 women, during an incursion in the al-Shoja’eya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. Also on 2 January 2008, a member of the Palestinian resistance was wounded by an Israeli forces air strike in the central Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces conducted five invasions of the Gaza Strip during the reporting period. Troops razed 160 donums of agricultural land in ‘Abasan village near Khan Yunis.
Israeli forces have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world and a humanitarian crisis has emerged.
The PCHR expressed their utmost concern about the deterioration of the economic and social conditions resulted from the total siege imposed by Israeli occupation authorities on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially the Gaza Strip.
In addition, the PCHR is worried about further deterioration of the living conditions of the Palestinian civilian population if the recommendations of the security committee were implemented, as at least 60% of the Palestinian civilian population would be deprived of electricity supplies and many civilian facilities that provide vital services would stop providing services to the civilian population due to the lack of electricity supplies.