Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law escalated in the OPT during the reporting period (4 10 September 2008):
Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian in Nablus, and wounded 11 others and 2 human rights defenders.
On 10 September 2008, IOF troops shot dead a Palestinian civilian in Nablus and arrested 2 others, including one who was wounded. IOF troop fired at this civilian when he was on his way back home. He was wounded by 2 gunshots to the legs and was left bleeding for nearly an hour.
On 9 September 2008, 7 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded in Nelin village, west of Ramallah. IOF troops fired at these civilians as they were demonstrating against IOF attacks in the village. IOF troops had moved into the village and fired tear gas canisters at a female secondary school. Dozens of students suffered from tear gas inhalation.
During the reporting period, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and 2 human rights defenders, were wounded when IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in Nelin and Balein villages, west of Ramallah. IOF also used a liquid with a disgusting smell against the demonstrators.
Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 55 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF arrested 43 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children. The detainees included a member of a local council and 4 members of the board of a charity in Beit Kahel village near Hebron. Thus, the number of Palestinian civilians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of 2008 has mounted to 1,909.
Restrictions on Movement: IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
IOF have continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The IOF siege of Gaza, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.
1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.
The Egypt-brokered Tahdiya or truce between Palestinian resistance groups and Israel began on 19 June; however, there have been no major changes regarding the movements of civilians and goods through the six Gaza Strip border crossings.
Rafah International Crossing Point, the only border crossing from the Gaza Strip to the outside world via a country other than Israel, remains closed.
Health services continue to be severely affected by the siege, with healthcare facilities also registering a 25% drop in clients due to continuing chronic fuel shortages. Critically ill patients are still being denied permits to access vital health services in the West Bank, Israel and abroad. .
Water facilities, including access to clean drinking water, and the treatment of raw sewage continue to be severely disrupted by fuel shortages. 50-60 million litres of untreated and partially treated sewage are being dumped into the Gaza Strip Mediterranean Sea daily, posing a public health risk.
Hundreds of Gazan students are currently unable to resume their university studies abroad as they cannot exit the Gaza Strip. In addition, up to 1,200 school leavers are in the process of applying to study at foreign universities, and are dependent on being issued exit permits by the IOF.
There are at least 900 Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in jails in Israel who have been denied all visitation rights since 6 June 2007.
Continuing chronic shortages of construction materials, including cement, aggregate and iron, have led to the collapse of the Gaza construction industry. Thousands of construction workers have been laid off, and vital infrastructure projects have been forcibly suspended.
IOF have repeatedly closed border crossings of the Gaza Strip claiming that home-made rockets were launched at Israeli towns.
The Gaza Strip had been suffering from chronic shortages of fuel supplies, especially cooking gas, and electricity is cut off for long periods.
IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.
IOF have established checkpoints in and around Jerusalem, severely restricting Palestinian access to the city. Civilians are frequently prevented from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
There are approximately permanent 600 roadblocks, manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank. In addition, there are some 60-80 flying or temporary checkpoints erected across the West Bank by IOF every week.
When complete, the illegal Annexation Wall will stretch for 724 kilometres around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population. 350 kms of the Wall has already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the Wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, further confiscating Palestinian land.
There are around 500 kms of restricted roads across the West Bank. In addition, approximately one third of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, is inaccessible to Palestinians without a permit issued by the IOF. These permits are extremely difficult to obtain.
IOF continue to harass, and assault, demonstrators who hold peaceful protests against the construction of the Annexation Wall.
Palestinian civilians continue to be harassed by IOF in Jerusalem, and across the West Bank, including being regularly stopped and searched in the streets by IOF.
During the reporting period, a Palestinian woman gave birth to a dead baby as IOF troops positioned at a checkpoint near Nablus denied her passage towards a hospital in the city.
Annexation Wall: During the reporting period, IOF handed a military order to the local council of Jayous village, northwest of Qalqilya, seizing 472 donums and 100 square meters of land in Jayous and Falamia villages to change the route of the Annexation Wall in the west of the two villages. The Israeli High Court had decided to change the route of the wall in several towns and villages. In Jayous village, for example, IOF propose to change the western section of the wall, which would give back to the village 2,408 out of 8,600 donums of land isolated behind the wall. Thus, 49 out of 450 farmers would restore their lands. The change would also destroy 472 donums of land planted with vegetables and fruits and some areas of them include greenhouses.
Settlement Activities: IOF have continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 9 September 2008, IOF technical personnel resumed the establishment of an electricity network with a very high voltage on Palestinian land in Hebron to serve Israeli settlements in the area. The establishment of this network would deprive Palestinian civilians of making use of their lands in the area. On 5 September 2008, Israeli settlers who had seized a house belonging to the al-Rajabi family in the southeast of Hebron attacked Palestinian civilians and property in the area using stones and empty bottles. A number of houses were damaged.
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (4 10 September 2008)
The full report is available online at:
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