According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)'s Weekly Report, during the week of 7 – 13 February 2008, 10 Palestinians were killed and 40 were injured by the Israeli military. The ten killed included a school teacher and 3 brothers. Of those injured, most were civilians — 9 women and 8 children. In addition, Israeli forces abducted 82 Palestinian civilians.Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 31 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces abducted 77 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, including 9 children and a girl. In the West Bank, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded by the Israeli forces gunfire.
Thus, the number of Palestinian civilians abducted by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the beginning of 2008 has mounted to 384.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces waged a harsh campaign against money exchange shops in the West Bank. They abducted a number of money changers and confiscated at least 3 million NIS (approximately US$ 830,000).
Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank 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.
On Sunday morning, 10 February 2008, Israeli forces positioned at Qalandya crossing at the northern entrance of East Jerusalem held for at least 6 hours buses that were transporting dozens of Palestinian civilians who were on their way to visit their relatives in Israeli jails.
Israeli forces have also tightened the siege imposed on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Israeli forces positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. Israeli forces also erected more checkpoints on the main roads and intersections in the West Bank.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli Forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 11 February 2008, the Israeli “Border Guards” and police moved into Wad al-Jouz neighborhood near the old town in East Jerusalem. They demolished a 40-square-meter house belonging to Sa’di al-‘Arameen, without allowing its 7 residents to remove any of their belongings.
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 8 February 2008, scores of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders demonstrated in Bil'in village, west of Ramallah, to protest the construction of the Wall. Israeli forces had placed barbwires in the area to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the Wall. The demonstrators attempted to move forward. Immediately, Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators, and violently beat them. As a result, a demonstrator, 25-year-old Sari Khalil, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet. Dozens of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
Israeli forces killed 10 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip this week. Israeli forces also wounded 40 Palestinians, mostly civilians, in the Gaza Strip.
On 7 February 2008, Israeli forces killed 6 activists of the Palestinian resistance, including 2 brothers, and wounded 4 others in Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip. One of the wounded, who is a third brother to the two brother already killed, died from his wound later. On the same day, Israeli forces killed a school teacher and wounded 3 students in Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip. A missile fired hit the school when Israeli forces were pursuing activists of the Palestinian resistance. Also on 7 February 2008, Palestinian medical sources declared that an activist of the Palestinian resistance died from a wound he had sustained on the preceding day, when an Israeli forces aircraft fired a missile at him.
On 9 February 2008, Israeli forces extra-judicially executed an activist of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) in Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip. An Israeli forces aircraft fired 2 missiles at him when he was walking in the street.
On 10 February 2008, Israeli forces killed an activist of the Palestinian resistance and wounded another one during an incursion into al-Shojaeya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City.
Additionally, 33 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 5 children and 9 women, and were wounded by the Israeli forces gunfire in other attacks.
In the same context, Israeli forces continued to bombard civilian facilities in the Gaza Strip. On 10 February 2008, Israeli forces aircrafts fired 4 missiles at a refrigerator and a factory in Rafah. The refrigerator, the factory and a neighboring house were destroyed, and 10 other houses were damaged. On the same day, an Israeli forces fighter jet dropped a bomb on 2 workshops in al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. The two shops were destroyed and a number of houses were damaged.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted 5 incursions into Palestinian communities. On 7 February 2008, Israeli forces moved into the east of Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip. During this incursion, they killed 7 Palestinians and wounded 2 others (see above). On 10 February 2008, Israeli forces moved into al-Shaojaeya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. On 11 February 2008, Israeli forces moved into al-Shouka village, southeast of Rafah, and abducted 4 Palestinian farmers. On 12 February 2008, Israeli forces moved into the east of Gaza City. On the same day, Israeli forces moved into Wadi al-Salqa village. They razed at least 20 donums of agricultural land and abducted a Palestinian civilian. On 13 February 2008, Israeli forces moved into Erez industrial zone in the northern Gaza Strip. They leveled debris of building they had already destroyed.
Israeli forces have continued to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip for more than one year and a half. The total siege imposed by Israeli forces on the Gaza Strip has left disastrous impacts on the humanitarian situation and has violated the economic and social rights of the nearly 1.5 million Palestinian civilian population, particularly the rights to appropriate living conditions, health and education. It has also paralyzed most economic sectors.
Based on the number and severity of Israeli violations of international law and signed accords this week, the PCHR made several recommendations. They include a recommendation that the international community pressure Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupation forces, both on Palestinians and on international organizations which have been completely shut out of the Gaza Strip.
In addition, the PCHR recommends international civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and NGOs to participate in the process of exposing those accused of grave breaches of international law and to urge their governments to bring these people to justice.