According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)'s Weekly Report, during the week of 03 – 09 April 2008, 8 Palestinians, including a child and a farmer, were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. 5 of the victims, including a child and his uncle, were killed in a series of attacks launched by Israeli forces against the east of Gaza City in less than 5 hours. In the West Bank, A Palestinian child was rammed to death by an Israeli settler vehicle. 25 Palestinians, including 5 children, were wounded by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 30 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces abducted 65 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and a girl, in the West Bank. 6 Palestinian civilian were abducted by Israeli forces at military checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israeli forces raided a number of charities and NGOs in Ramallah and al-Bireh. Israeli forces raided and searched a number of charities, mosques and shops in Qalqilia, and closed 4 charities.
On 3 April 2008, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian civilian in Hebron, claiming that he wanted to seize a gun from an Israeli soldier. On 9 April 2008, a Palestinian child was wounded in Beit Reema village, northwest of Ramallah, when Israeli forces fired at a number of children who threw stones at military vehicles. Two Palestinian children also sustained bruises and dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces used force to disperse peaceful demonstration organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in al-Ma’sara village, south of Bethlehem, and Bil'in village, west of Ramallah.
Israeli Settlement Activity:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On Monday evening, 7 April 2008, an Israeli settler driving a bus ran down a Palestinian child to the east of Nablus, killing the child. The child was on a donkey grazing animals crossing the bypass road to the east of Salam village. His donkey and 8 sheep were also killed. On 9 April 2008, 2 Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian vehicle near Nablus. As a result, 2 women were injured.
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 4 April 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 fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 4 April 2008, scores of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders demonstrated in al-Ma’sara village, south of Bethlehem. The demonstrators moved towards Palestinian land which Israeli forces intend to confiscate. Israeli troops placed barbwire near the land to prevent the demonstrators from moving forward. They also violently beat a number of demonstrators. As a result, 2 children sustained bruises throughout their bodies: Khattab ‘Ali, 6; and ‘Ali Abu Shaqra, 7.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 8 Palestinians, including a child and a farmer, and wounded 24 others, including 5 children, in the Gaza Strip.
In the Gaza Strip, on 9 April 2008, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilian and an activist of the Palestinian resistance in less than 5 hours in a series of attacks against the east of Gaza City, after fighters of the Palestinian resistance had killed 2 Israelis near Nahal Ouz crossing, east of Gaza City. Additionally, 11 Palestinians, including 2 children, were wounded. On 3 April 2008, 6 Palestinians, including 5 civilians, were wounded when Israeli forces moved into al-Sraij area in al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis. On 5 April 2008, 2 Palestinian children were wounded in al-Qarara village when they played with a shell left by Israeli forces. On the same day, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian farmer and wounded his nephew in Jabalya town. On 4 April 2008, a Palestinian child was wounded by Israeli forces in al-Boreij refugee camp. On 8 and 9 April 2008, Israeli forces killed 2 fighters from the Palestinian resistance and wounded 2 others during incursions into al-Qarara village and Jabalya town.
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 human rights violations this week, the PCHR made a number of recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation to the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure Israel's respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.
The PCHR also called upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel's respect of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.
For the text of the full report, click on the link below.