According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)'s Weekly Report, during the week of 17 – 23 April 2008, 15 Palestinians were killed, and two children died of earlier wounds inflicted by Israeli military attacks. 3 of the victims were extra-judicially executed by Israeli forces. 36 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 4 children and a journalist, were wounded by Israeli forces.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinians and wounded 11 others, including 3 children and a journalist.
On 17 April 2008, Israeli forces extra-judicially executed 2 activists of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) in Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin.
On 18 April 2008, Israeli forces killed an activist of the Palestinian resistance in Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus.
Four Palestinian civilians, including a journalist and a child, were wounded when Israeli forces used force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bil’in village, west of Ramallah, and al-Ma’sara village, south of Bethlehem.
Additionally, 7 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli forces in separate attacks throughout the West Bank.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 39 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Israeli forces abducted 72 Palestinian civilians, including 13 children and a girl. In addition, 5 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 1,014.
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. Restrictions of the movement of Palestinian civilians often escalate on Fridays to prevent them from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque.
In Hebron, Israeli forces closed a number of roads and alleys and forced the owners of 4 shops to close them for 3 days. They also transformed roofs of a number of houses into military sites and erected a number of checkpoints on roads. On Sunday morning, 20 April 2008, Israeli forces ordered the closure of the Ibarhimi Mosque “to secure celebrations of Israeli settlers of the Jewish Passover.” The closure continued until Wednesday morning, 23 April 2008.
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 forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, a Palestinian journalist, ‘Ammar ‘Awadh, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh, and dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 18 April 2008, scores of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders demonstrated in al-Ma’sara village, south of Bethlehem. Israeli forces violently beat a number of demonstrators. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded, including a nine-year old child.
In Tulkarem, Israeli forces continued to prevent Palestinian farmers from reaching their agricultural lands, which are isolated by the Annexation Wall. On Sunday, 20 April 2008, Israeli forces erected a checkpoint near the entrance of Beit Leed village on Tulkarm-Nablus road. Israeli forces forced Palestinian civilian to cross the checkpoint on foot.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
During the reporting period, the Israeli Ministry of Housing invited bids for the construction of 100 housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank: 52 units in “Alakanah” settlement west of Salfit; and 48 units in “Ariel” settlement north of the town. The two settlements are part of settlement block, which Israeli forces plan to keep under their control in the context of a permanent agreement with Palestinians.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed 12 Palestinians and wounded 21 others, including a child.
On 19 April 2008, Israeli forces killed 6 Palestinians, including a civilian, and wounded 9 others, including 4 civilians, in separate attacks throughout the Gaza Strip.
On 20 April 2008, Israeli forces killed an activist of the Palestinian resistance and wounded 3 others in the east of Gaza City. On the same day, Israeli forces carried out an extra-judicial execution attempt in Rafah. The targeted person survived the attack, but a civilian was killed and 3 others were wounded.
On 21 April 2008, Israeli forces killed 4 activists of the Palestinian resistance in the northern Gaza Strip. On 22 April 2008, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded when Israeli aircrafts attempted to extra-judicially execute a number of activists of the Palestinian resistance in Khan Yunis.
On 19 and 20 April 2008, Palestinian medical sources declared that 2 Palestinian children died from wounded they had sustained on 16 April 2008, when Israeli forces moved into Juhor al-Dik village in the central Gaza Strip. During this incursion, Israeli forces killed 13 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children, and a journalist. The two children were wounded by shrapnel from the same tank shell that killed the journalist.
On 23 April 2008, Israeli forces fired a missile at a number of activists of the Palestinian resistance, but the missile went astray and hits a house, but no casualties were reported.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted 3 incursions into Palestinian communities. During these incursions, Israeli forces razed at least 33 donums of agricultural land and abducted 29 Palestinian civilians, 26 of whom were later released.
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 international community pressure Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupation forces on access for international organizations to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
PCHR reiterated 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.
For the full report, click on the link below: