Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
13 – 19 Nov. 2008
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Serious Humanitarian Crisis Emerges in the Gaza Strip Due to the Closure of Its Border Crossings
On 17 November 2008, 2 members of the Palestinian resistance were wounded when IOF aircraft fired a missile at them in the west of Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, 4 Palestinian civilians were wounded by the IOF gunfire. On 6 November 2008, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when IOF troops fired at dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders, who demonstrated in protest to attempts by Israeli settlers to rebuild the evacuated “Homseh” settlement between Nablus and Jenin.
During the reporting period, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded when IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall west of Ramallah.
Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 30 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF arrested 44 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children. Thus, the number of Palestinian civilians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of 2008 has mounted to 2,184..
In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted a limited incursion into the east of Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip. IOF also launched a series of mock air raids against the Gaza Strip.
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. During the reporting period, IOF imposed a comprehensive closure on the OPT for the the Jewish Sukkot.
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 liters 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.
During the reporting period, IOF have continued to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip for more than two weeks.
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 630 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 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.
At least 65% of the main roads that leads to 18 Palestinian communities in the West Bank are closed or fully controlled by IOF (47 out of 72 roads).
There are around 500 kilometers 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 arrested 4 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, at various checkpoints in the West Bank.
Annexation Wall: During the reporting period, IOF issued a military order confiscating 22 donums of agricultural land planted with olives and vegetables belonging to Mohammed Khalil Abu Qbaita in the south of Yatta village, south of Hebron, for the purpose of the construction of a section of the Wall. The confiscated land includes a well and tents, where the owner and his family live.
Judaization of Jerusalem: IOF has recently escalated arbitrary measures against Palestinian civilians in East Jerusalem to force them to leave the city. For the purpose of reporting about violations of human rights perpetrated by IOF against Palestinian civilians in East Jerusalem, PCHR has decided to add a new section to the Weekly Report. In the past two weeks, IOF threatened to demolish more house in East Jerusalem. They also continued to expel Palestinian civilians from their houses in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, claiming that they were owned by Jews before 1948.
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. During the reporting period, dozens of Israeli settlers who had already seized al-Rajabi building in Hebron attacked Palestinian house located near the building and near “Kiryat Arba” settlement. The settlers has seized al-Rajabi building since 11 April 2008. On 18 November 2008, dozens of Israeli settlers from “Yits’har” settlement, south of Nablus, closed the bypass road located to the south of the city and threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles. On 19 November 2008, dozens of Israeli settlers closed the main road near Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, and threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles.
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (13 – 19 November 2008)
The full report is available online at: