According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights’ Weekly Report, during the week of 17 – 30 Sep. 2009, 9 Palestinians, including 4 civilians, were killed by Israeli forces.Two of these civilians were killed when Israeli forces attacked border tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip, a third one was willfully killed and a child was run down by an Israeli military vehicle.
14 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
This report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) coincides with the 9th anniversary of the al-Aqsa Intifada, which erupted following the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque (the Holy Sanctuary) in occupied Jerusalem. In the intervening nine years, Israeli Occupation Forces (Israeli forces) have perpetrated grave breaches of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, against Palestinian civilians.
According to PCHR’s documentation, 6,426 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces (4,497 in the Gaza Strip and 1,929 in the West Bank). This figure includes a total of 4,959 civilians (3,248 in the Gaza Strip and 1,711 in the West Bank). The civilian victims include 1,210 children (875 in the Gaza Strip and 335 in the West Bank). They also include 274 women (209 in the Gaza Strip and 65 in the West Bank).
In the 9th year of the Intifada, Israeli forces waged a full-scale offensive against the Gaza Strip, during which they killed hundreds of Palestinians and wounded thousands of others. They also destroyed thousands of houses and civilians facilities. In the nine months following the end of this offensive, Israeli forces have continued to prevent the entry of raw materials needed for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. PCHR believes that the international community, which pledged to contribute to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, has failed to take any serious actions to obligate Israel to comply with international law and to open Gaza’s border crossing and allow the free passage of materials needs for reconstruction.
In spite of attempts by the Israeli government to free itself of responsibility for war crimes perpetrated by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip and provide false statistics of victims, the report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, which was issued on 15 September 2009, confirms the findings and reports of many Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organizations, and strongly refutes Israeli claims that its military and political operations were conducted in accordance with international law. Investigations conducted by the Fact Finding Mission confirmed that Israel was responsible for the perpetration of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, war crimes, and serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The Fact Finding Mission also found sufficient evidence to indicate that crimes against humanity may have been committed.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 31 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 11 others, including a child and an old man.
On 22 September 2009, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian civilian while traveling in his car to the west of Bethlehem. They claimed that he did not obey orders to stop, but investigations conducted by PCHR refute this claim and indicate that Israeli forces willfully killed the victim.
On 25 September 2009, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when Israeli forces fired at dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders who demonstrated to protest settlement expansion in Iraq Bourin village, south of Nablus.
On 27 September 2009, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded when Israeli forces fired at dozens of Palestinian civilians who gathered in the al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem to prevent Israeli settlers from storming its yards.
On 30 September 2009, an Israeli military jeep chased and ran down a Palestinian school child in Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders to protest the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank. Two separate demonstrations were attacked, in the villages of Bil’in and Ne’lin. As a result, 7 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded.
On Wednesday, September 30th, at approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Bassel Mansour, member of the Public Committee against the Wall and Settlement in the village. They handed a notice to his wife summoning him for interrogation.
When complete, the illegal Annexation Wall will stretch for 724 kilometers around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population. 350 kilometers of the Wall has already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the Wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, further confiscating Palestinian land.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law and Israeli settlers living have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On 21 September 2009, Israeli settlers living in ‘Ramat Yishai’ settlement in Tal Rumaida neighborhood in the center of Hebron attacked Palestinian houses using stones and empty bottles in the presence of Israeli soldiers, who did no intervene to stop such attacks.
On 22 September 2009, Israeli settlers living in ‘Ma’oun’ settlement to the east of Yatta village, south of Hebron, demolished an agricultural facility belonging to Jadallah Reb’ei and Rebehi Rab’ei in al-Tawana village.
On 24 September 2009, at least 120 Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli forces, stormed al-Is’haqiya section in the Ibrahimi Mosque, and stayed in it for more than an hour and a half.
On 27 September 2009, a number of Israeli settlers living in ‘Kiryat Arba’ settlement, southeast of Hebron, attacked a number of Palestinian civilians and their cars while exiting al-Ras Mosque to the west of the aforementioned settlement. The settlers used stones and empty bottles in their attack. A number of cars were damaged, but no one was hurt.
On 28 September 2009, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Yits’har’ settlement to the south of Bourin village, south of Nablus, uprooted 150 olive trees belonging to Ahmed Mustafa Qadous and the heirs of ‘Abdul Qader ‘Omran in Khellat Swar area in the village.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed 7 Palestinians, including two civilians, and wounded two children and a fighter with the Palestinian resistance. Israeli forces conducted 3 limited incursions into Palestinian communities, during which they leveled areas of Palestinian land they had already razed. They also arrested 5 Palestinian fishermen for several hours.
On 20 September 2009, Israeli forces killed two members of the Palestinian resistance in Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip with Flechette shells.
On 25 September 2009, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile that killed 3 activists of the Palestinian resistance in the east of Gaza City.
On 29 September 2009, two Palestinian civilians were killed when Israeli fighter jets bombarded tunnels along the Egyptian border, south of Rafah.
On 28 September 2009, two Palestinian children were wounded when Israeli forces fired a number of artillery shells at al-Musaddar village in the central Gaza Strip.
On 29 September 2009, a fighter of the Palestinian resistance was wounded by shrapnel from an artillery shell fired by Israeli forces in al-Shouka village near Rafah.
Nine Palestinians also suffered from the effects of a lack of oxygen when a tunnel collapsed as Israeli forces attacked border tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations 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 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.
The PCHR reiterates 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 text of the report, click on the link below: