According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)'s Weekly Report, during the week of 27 March – 02 April 2008, 6 Palestinians were assassinated by Israeli military forces, and 1 was killed by an Israeli settler. 16 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, a farmer and a journalist, were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 41 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Israeli forces abducted 33 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and a girl, in the West Bank and 23 others. In addition, 8 Palestinian civilian were abducted by Israeli forces at military checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israeli forces wounded 10 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and a journalist, in the West Bank.
In some examples of the 41 incursions this week, on Friday morning, 28 March 2008, Israeli troops abducted ‘Alaa’ Shareef Shawahna, 30, from Seilat al-Harthiya village, west of Jenin, when he was farming his land, which is located near the Annexation Wall. On Sunday morning, 30 March 2008, Israeli troops positioned at ‘Attara checkpoint, north of Ramallah, abducted Mousa Fua’d ‘As’ous, 21, from Muthallath al-Shuhada village south of Jenin. On Monday noon, 31 March 2008, Israeli troops positioned at ‘Attara checkpoint, north of Ramallah, abducted Ahmed Sa’id Qaddoura, 18, from Kufor Qallil village southeast of Nablus.
On Sunday March 30th, hundreds of Palestinian civilians from villages located to the west of Ramallah organized a peaceful demonstration on the land day. The demonstration moved from Deir Qiddis village towards the Annexation Wall to the west of the village. Immediately, Israeli troops fired at the demonstrators. Mohammed Wajeeh, 45, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head, and dozens of other demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation. On 2 April 2008, a Palestinian child was wounded by Israeli troops in Jenin town.
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 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. During the reporting period, Israeli troops positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank abducted 8 Palestinian civilians.
Israeli Settlement Activity:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. A woman and an old man were injured by Israeli settlers.
A new plan to construct 1,900 new housing unit throughout the West Bank was proposed. In addition, a plan to construct 600 housing units in “Pisgat Ze’ev” settlement was approved.
Israeli settlers have also continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and property. On 31 March 2008, an Israeli settler shot dead a Palestinian civilian, when he got close to 2 Israeli settlers who were waiting at a bus stop near the entrance of “Shilu” settlement north of Ramallah. Israeli sources claimed that the victim attempted to attack one of the settlers using a knife.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
On 28 March 2008, 8 Palestinian civilians, including a journalist and 3 children, were wounded when Israeli forces used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized in Bil’in village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall. Additionally, 6 journalists suffered from inhalation of tear gas fired by Israeli forces.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
Israeli forces conducted 9 incursions into the Gaza Strip this week. In these attacks, Israeli forces killed 6 resistance fighters with the Palestinian resistance and wounded 5 others in 4 separate attacks in al-Qarara village in the south, Beit Lahia and Jabalya town in the north, and Deir al-Balah town in the center. Additionally, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian farmer in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis, on 29 March 2008.
In one example of the 9 invasions this week, on Friday March 28th, at approximately 03:00, an Israeli forces infantry unit moved nearly 1,000 meters into al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis. A number of members of the Palestinian resistance exchanged fire with Israeli troops. One of the fighters, 19-year-old Bilal ‘Abed Rabbu Mousa al-Astal, was killed, and 2 others were wounded.
At approximately 09:00, Israeli forces moved nearly 800 meters into Wadi al-Salqa village in the central Gaza Strip. They razed a 5-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and demolished an agricultural store belonging to Mohammed ‘Abdul Majeed Abu Mughassib.
In total, Israeli forces razed at least 160 donums of agricultural land and destroyed 200 beehives in the Gaza Strip this week.
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.
Recommendations to the International Community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli attacks this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these recommendations were for the immediate implementation of the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice, which considers the construction of the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank illegal.
The PCHR also recommended 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.
For the full text of the report, click the link below: