According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)'s Weekly Report, during the week of 21 – 27 February 2008, 20 Palestinians were killed, and 28 were injured by the Israeli military.  Of those killed, 3 were children.  8 of the victims, including 3 children and an elderly man, were killed during a series of air strikes.  Of the injured, most are civilians.  In addition, an international observer was injured by Israeli gunfire.Israeli attacks in the West Bank:


Israeli forces conducted 36 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.  During those incursions, Israeli forces abducted 67 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.  4 Palestinian civilians were abducted by Israeli forces at various checkpoints in the West Bank. The number of Palestinian civilians abducted by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the beginning of 2008 stands at 499.


Israeli forces also transformed 4 houses into military sites. Additionally, Israeli forces seized the properties of the Islamic Charity and Islamic Youth Association in Hebron and ordered the closure of both associations.  In addition, Israeli forces demolished a house in East Jerusalem.


On 27 February, an Israeli forces undercover unit extra-judicially executed a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an armed wing of Fatah movement) and wounded four others and a worker in Nablus. The victim was included in an amnesty list issued by Israeli forces several months ago.



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 21 February, Israeli police abducted Ghada Mohammed al-Ja’bari, 17, from her house, which is located opposite to “Kiryat Arba” settlement, southeast of Hebron. The police claimed that she attacked Israeli settlers when she was passing in the street adjacent to a building seized by settlers.


On 22 February, Israeli troops positioned near al-Rujbi building, which has been seized by Israeli settlers for nearly one year, in al-Ras neighborhood in the southeast of Hebron, broke windows of a number of Palestinian civilian vehicles parking in the area, claiming that they endanger the movement of Israeli settlers in the area.



Israeli Annexation Wall:


In the context of the policy of land confiscation for the purpose of the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank, 21 and 22 February, Israeli forces handed a military order to a number of Palestinian farmer confiscating 900 donums of agricultural land in al-Zahiriya, Dura and Arab al-Ramadin villages, southwest of Hebron.


Six Palestinian civilians and an American human rights defender were injured when Israeli troops used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration protesting the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bil'in village, west of Ramallah, on 22 February.



Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:


This week, Israeli forces escalated air strikes against civilian targets in the Gaza Strip.


In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed 20 Palestinians, including 9 civilians, and wounded 16 others.


On 22 February, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian resistance activists and wounded a third, in al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. An Israeli forces aircraft fired 2 missiles at the activists.


On 23 February, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians who were having a picnic near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. Israeli forces fired a surface-to-surface-missile at the three civilians. On the same day, Israeli forces fired a surface-to-surface missile at a number of Palestinian resistance activists in the east of Gaza City. An activist and a passing by child were also injured.


On 24 February, Israeli forces killed Palestinian resistance activist during an incursion into al-Shouka village, southeast of Rafah.


On 25 February, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian resistance activists and wounded a fourth in 2 separate attacks in Gaza City and ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis.


On 26 February, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian during an incursion into al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis.


On 27 February, Israeli forces extra-judicially executed 5 members of the ‘Izziddin al -Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) and wounded a sixth in Khan Yunis. An Israeli forces aircraft fired a number of missiles at the vehicle in which the 6 activists were traveling. On the same day, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child in al-Boreij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. In addition, on the same day, a Palestinian civilian was wounded by Israeli forces gunfire in al-Shouka village, southeast of Rafah.


On 27 February, Israeli forces launched a series of air strikes against civilian targets in the Gaza Strip. The air-strikes destroyed 2 buildings of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior and 3 workshops. A number of houses were also damaged.   


Also on 27 February, Israeli forces killed 5 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, and wounded 9 others, including 6 children and a woman. One of the victims was a 7-month baby.


Concerning the movement of civilians, during the reporting period, Israeli forces permitted a 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 the sole outlet for the Gaza Strip to the outside world. Israeli forces have closed Rafah International Crossing Point, even though they do not directly control it. They have prevented European observers working at the crossing point form reaching it.  So the border remains sealed.





Recommendations to the International Community:


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 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.


In addition, the PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel.  PCHR further calls upon the EU states to prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the OPT.