Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
18 24 Sep. 2008
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 continued in the OPT during the reporting period (18 24 September 2008):
Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian child, and wounded 15 civilians, including three children and a woman, in the West Bank. They also wounded a British journalist.
On 20 September, IOF killed a Palestinian child from Assira village, south of Nablus. They claimed that they shot a Palestinian who was about to set fire to a Molotov cocktail and throw it at IOF troops positioned near Yitzhar settlement. On the same day, IOF troop violently pushed a Palestinian woman in Abu Dis town near Jerusalem while raiding her house. The woman was killed.
On 22 September, IOF troops positioned at Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, opened fire indiscriminately when an unidentified girl sprayed a liquid at an IOF soldier at the checkpoint. As a result, three Palestinian civilians, including a woman, were wounded by shrapnel from IOF gunfire.
On 24 September, IOF wounded and arrested a Palestinian child in al-Duheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem.
During the reporting period, 11 Palestinian civilians, including two children, and a British journalist were wounded when IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest at 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 30 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF arrested 26 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a girl. The number of Palestinian civilians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of the year stands at 1,974.
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 approximately 10,000 Palestinian prisoners in jails in Israel, including at least 900 prisoners from Gaza 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 continues to suffer chronic shortages of fuel supplies, especially cooking gas, and electricity is cut off for lengthy periods of time.
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, IOF troops positioned at various checkpoints arrested four Palestinian civilians, including a child and a girl.
Settlement Activities: IOF have continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers living in the OPT have, in violation of international humanitarian law, have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 18 September, IOF issued 2 military orders confiscating 140 donumms of land in Bardala village in the northern Jordan Valley, and 22 donumms in Mnaizel area south of Hebron. During the reporting period, Israeli settlers launched five attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in Hebron, Ramallah and Nablus.
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (18 24 September 2008)
The full report is available online at:
*Office Hours are between 08:00 16:00 hours (05:00 GMT 13:00 GMT) Sun Thurs.