In its weekly summary of Israeli attacks for the week of 26 June – 02 July 2008, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reports that Israeli forces killed two Palestinians. In addition, 8 Palestinians were wounded, including 2 children and a woman, 5 of whom were attacked in Ne’lin village near Ramallah. Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian children and wounded 7 civilians, also including 2 children. Israeli forces conducted 44 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested 42 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children.
On 26 June 2008, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian child in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. Israeli forces troops moved into the village and opened fire. The child was killed when he was near his house.
On 28 June 2008, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded when Israeli forces fired at the participants in the funeral procession of a child who had been killed by Israeli forces on the preceding day.
On 29 June 2008, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian child in Tubas. They set an ambush for a number of Palestinian children, who usually gather in the area to throw stones and Molotov Cocktails at the Israeli force's military vehicles. Israeli forces troops fired at the children. One of the children was killed.
On 1 July 2008, 5 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were wounded when Israeli soldiers used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized in protest of the construction of the Annexation Wall in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah.
Israeli Annexation Wall
Israeli forces have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory. During the reporting period, Israeli troops used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians as well as international and Israeli human rights defenders protesting the construction of the Wall in Bil’in and Ne’lin villages, west of Ramallah; al-Ma’sara village, south of Bethlehem; and Far’oun village, south of Tulkarm.
Following the Friday Prayer on 27 June 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. The demonstrators moved towards the Wall, but Israeli forces closed all gates designed for crossing the Wall. The demonstrators then set fire to tires in protest to the closure of gates. Immediately, Israeli forces troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, dozens of demonstrators, including 2 international human rights defenders, suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 20 June 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 were confiscated by Israeli forces. Israeli forces placed barbwire near the land to prevent the demonstrators from moving forward. They also fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters and violently beat a number of demonstrators. A number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
On Tuesday morning, 1 July 2008, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders gathered in the center of Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah. They moved towards the area where Israeli forces were razing land to construct a section of the Wall in the village. Immediately, Israeli forces troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, 5 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were wounded.
On Thursday, 26 June 2008, a Palestinian journalist was harassed by Israeli forces at the Jordanian border when he was traveling back to the Gaza Strip after having received an international award.
According to Mohammed ‘Omar al-Mughayar, 24, from Rafah, a reporter from Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, he arrived at al-Karama International Crossing Point (Allenby Bridge) on the Jordanian border, coming from the United Kingdom after he had received an international award for the best press story in the world, and gone on a tour of Europe. When he arrived at the Israeli side of the crossing point, he was asked to wait at the travelers hall. Soon after, a person, who was apparently an Israeli intelligence officer, came to him. He asked al-Mughayar to accompany him through a narrow corridor, and forced him to wait for nearly an hour and a half. Israeli forces then took him into interrogation rooms, where he was interrogated about the award and the reason for him to travel back to Gaza, where the situation is so bad. While al-Mughayar was answering questions quietly, another interrogator came and ordered him to take off his clothes. They checked his bag. During the interrogation, al-Mughayar fainted, and the interrogators violently beat him thinking that he was pretending. When he did not wake up, they called for a Palestinian ambulance, which evacuated him to Jericho Hospital, where he received medical care. He was then transported towards a vehicle of the Dutch Embassy, which was waiting at the crossing point to transport him to Gaza, as the Dutch Embassy coordinated his travel.
Recommendations to the International Community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli attacks this week, the PCHR made a number of recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that 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. 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.