In its weekly summary of Israeli attacks for the week of 07 – 13 August 2008, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reports that 18 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were injured by Israeli forces gunfire in the West Bank. 17 of these civilians were injured when Israeli forces used force against 3 peaceful demonstrations organized in protest at the construction of the Annexation Wall in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 26 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces abducted 33 Palestinian civilians, including 10 children. In addition, Israeli troops positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank abducted at least three Palestinian civilians.
In one example, on Thursday, 7 August, at approximately 00:00, an Israeli undercover unit moved into the center of Ramallah. Israeli troops raided a restaurant in the area and verified the identities of customers. They then abducted Salah Daraghma, 21. Daraghma is just one of 33 civilians who were abducted by Israeli forces during incursions this week.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces injured 18 Palestinian civilians, including three children, in the West Bank. Most of these civilians were injured when Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest at the construction of the Annexation Wall.
On 13 August, a Palestinian child was injured when Israeli forces moved into al-Duhaisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem and opened fire indiscriminately.
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. Israeli forces often assault Palestinian civilians who attempt to bypass checkpoints and enter the city.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
This week, Israeli forces have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory. During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against a peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest at the construction of the Wall in Bil’in and Ne’lin villages, west of Ramallah. As a result, 17 demonstrators were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets and dozens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Three demonstrations took place in the village of Ne’lin, west of Ramallah, on Thursday, August 7th, Friday August 8th and Monday August 11th. Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters during each of the demonstrations. A total of twenty-seven Palestinians were wounded during the three demonstrations.
Following the Friday Prayer on 8 August, scores of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders demonstrated in Bil’in village, west of Ramallah, in protest of the construction of the Wall. Israeli troops sprayed waste water treated with chemicals at the demonstrators. Dozens of demonstrators vomited. According to ‘Abdullah Abu Rahma, Coordinator of the Public Committee against the Annexation Wall and Settlement in Bil’in village, the demonstrators were sprinkled with a green liquid that has an unpleasant smell, which stuck to their clothes for several hours. The committee took samples of the liquid for lab analysis.
Israeli Settler attacks and settlement expansion:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank 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 Ministry of Interior approved the construction of 400 housing units in “Neve Ya’qoub” settlement neighborhood in the north of East Jerusalem. The Ministry also approved inviting tenders for the construction of 286 housing units in “Beitar Elite” settlement, west of Bethlehem, and 130 others on Abu Ghneim Mount (“Har Homa” settlement), south of East Jerusalem.
In the same context, the Israeli media reported that Israeli forces agreed with the settlement movement on the transfer of settlers living in “Migroun” settlement outpost, east of Ramallah, to another settlement, and that 40 housing units would be built for those settlers. Israeli forces also demolished two houses and a building in East Jerusalem, claiming that they were built without licenses.
During the reporting period, Israeli settlers launched three attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in the West Bank. As a result, a woman and a child were injured and a number of houses were damaged.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In a step that encourages Israeli troops to kill Palestinians, Israeli forces exempted Israeli forces the soldiers who killed Fadel Shana’a, a Reuters cameraman, in Juhor al-Dik in the central Gaza Strip on 16 April 2008. The Israeli military advocate-general, Avihai Mendelblit, claimed that an Israeli tank crew who killed Shana’a, and a number of other unarmed civilians, including children, acted properly and will not face any legal action.
Israeli forces have continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The Israeli forces 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.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli violations of international human rights law this week, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights made a number of recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the international community recognize the Gaza disengagement plan, which was implemented in 2005, for what it is – not an end to occupation but a compounding of the occupation and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: