According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)'s Weekly Report, during the week of 10 – 16 April 2008, 29 Palestinians, including 10 children and a journalist, were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. 13 of the victims, including 8 children, 2 brothers and a journalist, were killed in an Israeli missile strike on Juhor al-Dik village in the central Gaza Strip. 2 of the victims were extra-judicially executed by Israeli forces.
In addition, 81 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 41 children, 3 women and a journalist, were wounded by Israeli forces in Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. 8 Palestinian civilians and an Israeli journalist were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 48 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank this week. During those incursions, Israeli forces abducted 52 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children. 5 Palestinian civilians were abducted by Israeli forces at military checkpoints in the West Bank.
In the West Bank, 8 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded by Israeli forces in Taffouh village, west of Hebron, and ‘Azzoun ‘Atama village, south of Qalqilya.
Additionally, an Israeli journalist was wounded when Israeli forces used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bil'in village, west of Ramallah.
Israeli forces confiscated machinery of a bakery and raided a mosque in Hebron.
Contrary to Israeli claims of easing restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians, Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank. 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.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
Israeli forces have continued this week to construct the Annexation Wall on illegally seized Palestinian land. In addition, Israeli forces attacked peaceful protests that were held at Wall construction sites.
Following the Friday Prayer on 11 April 2008, scores of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders demonstrated in Bil'in village, west of Ramallah, to protest the construction of the Wall. Israeli troops had placed barbwires in the area to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the Wall. The demonstrators attempted to move forward. Immediately, Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, an Israeli journalist was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh, and dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also on 11 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, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, sustained bruises throughout their bodies: Ahmed Mahmoud Taqatqa, 28; Mohammed Yousef Burjiya, 18. and Zaid ‘Eissa Zawahra, 10.
On Friday, April 11, Israeli forces attacked dozens of Palestinian civilians near ‘Azzoun ‘Atma gate, east of Qalqilya. Four civilians were wounded. The Israeli official radio claimed on its web site that 8 Palestinians were injured in a quarrel in ‘Azzoun ‘Atma village, and two of them were evacuated to an Israeli hospitals. Investigations conducted by PCHR refute such claims. In his testimony to PCHR, Ibrahim Mahmoud Ayoub, an eyewitness, stated that 4 buses were transporting dozens of school children, who were in a school trip, to ‘Azzoun ‘Atma village, which is isolated behind the Annexation Wall. When they arrived at the gate established on the Wall, Israeli troops prevented them from passing through. Families of the children gathered in the area in an attempt to convince Israeli troops to allow the child to travel back to the village. Israeli troops opened fire at the children and their families. As a result, 4 civilians were wounded.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli settlers have continued to attacks Palestinian civilians and property. On 12 April 2008, Israeli forces handed notifications to 3 Palestinians from Nazlat ‘Eissa village, north of Tulkarm, that their shops would be demolished, claiming that they were built without licenses and are located near the Annexation Wall. These shops provide sources of income for more than 20 families counting more than 100 individuals.
On 13 April 2008, dozens of Israeli settlers from “Gilad” settlement, east of Qalaqila, gathered near the road leading to the town and threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles. A number of vehicles were damaged. On 14 April 2008, dozens of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian civilian vehicles traveling on Nablus-Ramallah road, south of Nablus. The settlers gathered near Hawara checkpoint and threw stones at civilian vehicles. On the same day, at least 40 Israeli settlers from “Gilad” settlement, southwest of Nablus, uprooted at least 30 almond trees in Til village.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 29 Palestinians, including 10 children and a journalist, and wounded 81 others, including 41 children, 3 women and a journalist in the Gaza Strip.
On 11 April 2008, Israeli forces killed 2 activists of the Palestinian resistance in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis. On the same day, Israeli forces killed an activist of the Palestinian resistance and 6 civilians, including 2 children, and wounded 27 others, including 12 children, in al-Boreij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.
On 14 and 15 April 2008, Israeli forces extra-judicially executed 2 members of the Palestinian resistance and wounded a third one and 5 civilians bystanders, including a child, in the northern Gaza Strip.
On 15 April 2008, 4 activists of the Palestinian resistance were killed and 4 others were wounded during armed clashes with Israeli troops that moved into al-Shoja’eya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City.
On 16 April 2008, Israeli forces killed 13 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children and a journalist, and wounded 32 others, including 17 children, a journalist and a woman, during an incursion into Juhor al-Dik village in the central Gaza Strip. On the same day, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian farmer and wounded 2 others in the northern Gaza Strip. Additionally, 12 Palestinians, including a child and 2 women, were wounded by Israeli forces in separate attacks throughout the Gaza Strip.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted 6 incursions into Palestinian communities. During these incursions, Israeli forces razed at least 320 donums of agricultural land, destroyed 11 houses and damaged civilian properties, including a mosque.
Recommendations to the International Community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli violations this week, the PCHR made a number of recommendations to the international community. Among these recommendations were that the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention comply with their legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.
In addition, PCHR calls for the immediately 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. PCHR recommends 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.
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