According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)'s Weekly Report, during the week of 13 – 19 Mar. 2008, 4 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces. 12 Palestinians, including 3 children, a woman and a mentally disabled person, were wounded by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, and 3 civilians, including 2 human rights defenders, were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank. PCHR Weekly Report: 4 Palestinians killed, 15 wounded by Israel Israeli attacks in the West Bank: Israeli forces conducted 44 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces abducted 53 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children. Israeli forces raided and searched a number of cultural centers. 3 Palestinian civilians were abducted by Israeli forces at military checkpoints in the West Bank. Thus, the number of Palestinian civilians abducted by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the beginning of 2008 has mounted to 695. During the reported period, Israeli forces also raided and searched a number of cultural centers. In an example of the dozens of invasions this week, on 14 March, Israeli forces moved into the northern part of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Omar ‘Abdul Qader Abu ‘Eisha, 48, and abducted him. At approximately 00:30, Israeli forces moved into Qalqilya. They opened fire indiscriminately. They raided and searched dozens of houses looking for allegedly wanted Palestinians. No arrests were reported. Also on 14 March 2008, a Palestinian civilian was wounded by Israeli forces during an incursion into Tubas town. On the same day, 2 human rights defenders were wounded when Israeli forces used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized in Bil’in village, west of Ramallah, in protest of the construction of the Annexation Wall. On Tuesday, 18 March, Israeli forces moved into al-Fara’a refugee camp, south of Tubas. They stormed and searched the Disabled Rehabilitation Center, Women’s Activities Center and Salah Khalf Center in the center of the camp, after blowing up their doors. Israeli troops confiscated a number of computer sets from the Disabled Rehabilitation Center. No arrests were reported. These are just a few examples of the 44 incursions made by the Israeli military into the West Bank this week. Israeli forces have continued to impose a tightened siege on the West Bank and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. On Tuesday evening, 18 March 2008, Israeli forces imposed a total closure on the Occupied Territories, which will continue until Sunday morning, 23 March 2008. 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, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that the Israeli government approved the construction of 2,200 housing unit in “Givat Hamatos” settlement neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The Israeli Committee of Planning and Construction preliminarily approved the plan, whose final approval is expected to take two years. “Givat Hamatos” settlement neighborhood was established in 1991 on the lands of the Palestinian Beit Safafa suburb. In addition, on 13 March 2008, Israeli settlers living in the center of Hebron attacked Cordoba Elementary School in al-Shuhada Street in the center of the town. They entered the garden of the school pointing their guns at the guards. They also demolished a wall and damaged a number of structures which are being built to expand the school. Israeli troops intervened later and violently beat a guard of the school who attempted to stop the settlers. 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. Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, a Belgian human rights defender and an Israeli were wounded by rubber coated metal bullets; the former with an injury to the head and the latter to the leg. Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip: During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 4 members of the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip. They also wounded 15 Palestinians, including 4 children, a woman and a mentally disabled person. In the Gaza Strip, on 15 March 2008, Israeli forces killed 3 activists of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) in Gaza City. Israeli forces fired a surface-to-surface missile at the three activists. A woman and a child were also wounded. On the same day, Israeli forces killed a fighter of the Palestinian resistance and wounded another one seriously in Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip. An Israeli aircraft fired a missile at the two fighters. On 18 March 2008, Israeli forces attempted to extra-judicially execute 3 activists of the al-Quds Brigades in Beit Lahia town. The three activists and 6 civilian bystanders, including 2 children and a mentally disabled person, were wounded. 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. Furthermore, severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the Palestinian civilian population. The siege imposed on the Gaza Strip has severely impacted the flow of food, medical supplies and other necessities such as fuel, construction materials and raw materials for various economic sectors. The closure of border crossings deprives the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip of their right to freedom of movement, education and health. Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on fishing in the Gaza Strip. Fishermen have been subjected to intensive monitoring by Israeli forces, which use helicopter gunships and gunboats to monitor the fishermen. The Oslo Accords allow Palestinian fishermen to go fishing up to 20 nautical miles away from the Gaza seashore. 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. One of the recommendations made by the PCHR is for international civil society, including human rights organizations, bar associations, unions and NGOs, to continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel's respect for human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to end its attacks on Palestinian civilians. The PCHR also called upon the international community to pressure Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government on access for international organizations to the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The PCHR reiterated in this week's report 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.