According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)'s Weekly Report, during the week of 6 – 12 Mar. 2008, 9 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces. 4 of the victims were extra-judicially executed by Israeli forces in Bethlehem. 3 of the victims bled to death, and another Palestinian died from a previous wound. 17 Palestinians, including 7 children and a woman, were wounded by Israeli forces.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 47 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Israeli forces abducted 78 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children, during these incursions in the West Bank. One Palestinian civilian was abducted by Israeli forces at a checkpoint in the West Bank.
In one example of an incursion, on March 10th, Israeli forces invaded a village near Tulkarem, raided and searched a number of houses and abducted ‘Abdul Rahim Mohammed Daoud, 17, and Mohammed ‘Omar Sabbah, 16.
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 killed 5 Palestinians on 12 March 2008. They first killed an activist of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) in Saida village, north of Tulkarem. An Israeli undercover unit then extra-judicially executed 4 members of the Palestinian resistance in Bethlehem. During the reporting period, 14 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and a woman, were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the West Bank.
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 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 attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed 4 activists of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) in 2 separate attacks in the south and north on 6 March 2008. Three of the victims bled to death as ambulances were not able to attend them due to the presence of Israeli forces. On 10 March 2008, a Palestinian civilian died from a wound he had sustained on 1 March 2008, when Israeli airplanes bombarded a house in Gaza City. Additionally, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded by the Israeli forces gunfire in the Gaza Strip during the reporting period.
In one example, on Thursday March 6th, At approximately 06:00, Israeli forces gunboats positioned opposite to Rafah coast in the southern Gaza Strip fired 7 small rockets at the beach. The rockets fell near a fishing boat belonging to Ziad and Yousef Miqdad. The boat was heavily damaged. The Israeli forces gunboats fired the rockets while a number of Palestinian fishermen were fishing, so they escaped towards the beach.
At approximately 11:20, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile in Qlaibu area to the east of Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip. The victim, whose body was completely dismembered, was identified as Nader ‘Aadel Abu Dayer, 21, from Beit Lahia.
Israeli forces bulldozed at least 24 acres of agricultural land and demolished a house in the Gaza Strip.
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.
The number of Palestinian patients who have died due to the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip since June 2007 has mounted to 30.
Israeli settler attacks:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
During the reporting period, Israeli settlers attacked the car of a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. At approximately 09:00 on Friday, 7 March 2008, a number of Israeli settlers from “Yits’har” settlement, south of Nablus, threw stones at the car of Dr. Siham Thabet, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, when she was traveling from Tulkarm to Ramallah. The front and back windows of the car were broken and Dr. Thabet sustained bruises and cuts to the face. She was evacuated to a hospital in Nablus.
The construction of 1,150 housing units in East Jerusalem was approved this week by the Israeli government. On Sunday, 9 March 2008, the Israeli Ministry of Housing revealed that the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, approved the construction of 750 new housing units in “Givat Ze’ev” settlement, northwest of East Jerusalem. The Israeli daily Yediot Ahranot quoted on its web site on Monday, 10 March 2008, the Israeli Minister of Housing, Ze’ev Boim, as saying: “I exerted pressure on Olmert to approve the construction of 750 housing unit in ‘Pisgat Ze’ev’ neighborhood in the north of East Jerusalem, and 550 others in ‘Givat Ze’ev’ settlement.” Boim also started that he would demand approval for the construction of another 360 housing units in “Har Homa” (Abu Ghunaim) settlement in the south of Jerusalem, in addition to the already approved 307 housing units. He further added that dozens of housing unit would be constructed in Noiman neighborhood in “Ariel” settlement and in neighborhood #7 in “Ma’le Adomim” settlement. He also pointed out that projects to construct 52 housing units in “Elkanah” settlement and 80 ones in “Efrat” settlement would be presented to the Prime Minister.
Also on Sunday, 9 March 2008, the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem declared that it approved the construction of a new settlement neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The spokesman of the municipality stated that the project would include the construction of 400 houses on a hill located near Nabi Yaqoub neighborhood in the north of East Jerusalem. The project would need prior approval from the Local Council of Urban Planning.
At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 11 March 2008, Israeli forces moved into Arab al-Ramadin village, south of Hebron. They demolished two tents belonging to ‘Abdullah Sa’id al-Ramadin and his son ‘Aadel. At the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Izbat al-Tabib area to the east of Qalqilya. They demolished a 100-square-meter booth belonging to Harba Tayaiha. At approximately 08:30 also on Tuesday, Israeli forces demolished a store belonging to ‘Abdul Halim al-Ja’didi at the eastern entrance of Qalqilya. At approximately 09:00 also on Tuesday, Israeli forces moved into the Bedouin areas in al-Hafifiya area to the east of Tubas town. They demolished 4 houses and 4 animal farms belonging to Mohammed Fahmi Bani ‘Ouda, Mohammed ‘Ali Bani ‘Ouda, ‘Omar ‘Aaref Bani ‘Ouda and Mohammed ‘Ali Mefleh. As a result, 31 people have become homeless.
Soon after, Israeli forces moved into Beit Dajan area in the northern Jordan Valley. They demolished 4 houses belonging to Shihda Abu ‘Awad, Mohammed Abu ‘Awad; Jebril Sarai’a and Hassan Sarai’a. There, too, 31 people have become homeless.
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 7 March 2008, 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 troops had placed barbwires in the area to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the Wall. Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, a dozen demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Recommendations to the International Community:
Due to the number and severity of human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories by Israeli forces this week, the PCHR made a number of recommendations to the international community.
Among these was a reiteration that any political settlement not based on international human rights law and humanitarian law cannot lead to a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian question. Rather, such an arrangement can only lead to further suffering and instability in the region. Any peace agreement or process must be based on respect for international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.
Click on the link below to see the full report.