In its weekly summary of Israeli attacks for the week of July 09 – 16, 2008, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reports that 3 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In addition, 13 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were wounded by the Israeli gunfire in the West Bank. 7 of these civilians were wounded during a peaceful demonstration organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in Ne’lin village west of Ramallah. Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank this week.
On July 9th, at approximately 06:00, an Israeli forces undercover unit moved into Kufor Dan village, west of Jenin, traveling in a civilian vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate. The vehicle intercepted a Palestinian civilian car that was leaving the village. Israeli forces opened fire at a Palestinian who attempted to flee from the intercepted vehicle. He was hit by several gunshots to the chest and the legs. Israeli forces then abducted him and the driver of the vehicle. Soon afterwards, Israeli military vehicles moved into the village to secure the withdrawal of the undercover unit from the village. The injured Palestinian was identified as Talal Sa’id Talal ‘Aabed, 33, who had been wanted by Israeli forces for 2 years for being a member of Abu ‘Ammar Brigades, affiliated to the Fateh movement. An hour later, Israeli forces informed Palestinian officials that Talal ‘Aabed had died of his injuries. His body was delivered to a Palestinian ambulance at approximately 04:00 the following morning.
On the same day, three Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were injured when Israeli forces moved into al-Far’a refugee camp, south of Jenin.
On 11 July, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian near “Yakir” settlement, northwest of Salfit. Israeli forces claimed an exchange of fire had taken place in the area, during which the Palestinian was killed.
On 16 July, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded when Israeli forces moved into al-Far’a refugee camp, south of Jenin.
This week, Israeli forces conducted 40 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces abducted 66 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and 2 women, in the West Bank. Israeli forces have continued to raid civil society institutions in Nablus for the 2nd consecutive week. Israeli forces raided the Municipality of Nablus, 2 medical centers, a television station, 2 NGOs and 5 mosques. The forces also confiscated 7 school buses.
Israeli forces at a military checkpoint near Jenin attempted to force 3 Palestinian women to take off their clothes.
Israeli forces have continued to severely restrict the movement of Palestinians around the West Bank. In one example, on Monday, 14 July, Israeli forces erected 2 checkpoints in the south of Hebron. They stopped and checked Palestinian civilians. at the same time, Israeli forces imposed a curfew in the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque, which continued until the following day. On the same day, Israeli forces closed a number of branch roads in al-Ras neighborhood in the southeast of Hebron with cement blocks, allegedly to ensure security for Israeli settlers living in a building they have seized since 19 March 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 peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest of the construction of the Wall in Bil’in and Ne’lin villages, west of Ramallah; and Deir al-Ghossoun village, north of Tulkarm. These demonstrations coincided with the 4th anniversary of the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice, which considers the construction of the Wall illegal.
At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 9 July, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in the west of Deir al-Ghossoun village, north of Tulkarm. They moved towards the Wall. Immediately, Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, a number of demonstrators, including two journalists, suffered from tear gas inhalation.
On 11 July, 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 at the closure of gates. Immediately, Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, dozens of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Two protests were held this week in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah. The first was on Friday July 11th, during which Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators, injuring five. Four demonstrators were abducted by Israeli forces. The second protest this week in Ne'lin was on Tuesday, 15 July, when dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders gathered to march to the area where Israeli forces were razing land to construct a section of the Wall in the village. Immediately, Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, 2 demonstrators were wounded.
Israeli settlement activity:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers living in the West Bank have, in violation of international humanitarian law, continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. During the reporting period, the Israeli district committee approved the construction of 920 housing units in Abu Ghniam Mountain (Har Homa), near Bethlehem. The Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem claimed that this project does not have political motivations or implications. Israeli forces also demolished a Palestinian house in al-‘Eissawiya village, east of Jerusalem, claiming that it had been built without a license. Israeli authorities have issued no licenses for Palestinians to construct on their own land since 1967.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
Israeli forces have continued to impose a total siege and have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
On 10 July, Israeli forces positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel killed a Palestinian civilian in the central Gaza Strip. This attack was the fifth Palestinian killed in Gaza since the Egypt-brokered truce between Palestinian resistance groups and Israel entered into force on June 19. In addition, four Palestinians have been injured since the truce started.
Israeli forces have continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The Israeli siege of Gaza, which has tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, and has violated the human, economic and social rights of the approximately 1.5 million Palestinian civilian population, particularly their rights to appropriate living conditions, health and education. The siege has also paralyzed the Gazan economy. In addition, the siege has severely impacted the flow of food, medical supplies and other necessities such as fuel, construction materials and raw materials for various economic sectors.
Israeli forces have continued to prevent the entry of raw materials into the Gaza Strip, and many factories have been forced to close. Severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the entire Palestinian civilian population.
Although the Egypt-brokered truce between Palestinian resistance groups and Israel entered into force on June 19, no major changes have been observed regarding the movement of persons and goods through the six Gaza Strip border crossings. The closure of these border crossings deprives the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip of their right to freedom of movement, education and health.
Recommendations to the International Community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights this week, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights made a number of recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the European Union activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel. PCHR called upon the EU states to prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
For the text of the full report, click on the link below.