Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
14 20 Aug.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 (14 20 August 2008):
Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF wounded 31 Palestinian civilians, including 10 children, and three international human rights defenders in the West Bank. Most of these civilians were injured when IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest at the construction of the Annexation Wall.
On 14 August, two Palestinian children were injured by IOF gunfire in al-Duheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. IOF troops moved into the camp and fired at a number of children who threw stones at IOF military vehicles.
On 20 August, two Palestinian children were injured when IOF moved into Tammoun village, southeast of Tubas, and opened fire indiscriminately.
During the reporting period, IOF used force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized in protest at the construction of the Annexation Wall in Balein and Nelin villages, west of Ramallah. As a result, seventeen Palestinian civilians were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets, whilst dozens of others suffered tear gas inhalation. IOF also sprayed a foul-smelling liquid at the demonstrators.
Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 40 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF arrested 37 Palestinian civilians, including ten children. Since the beginning of 2008, IOF have arrested 1,789 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. On 20 August, IOF raided the headquarters of three Palestinian radio stations in Hebron. They confiscated equipment and arrested two members of staff.
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.
Approximately 400 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 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 a checkpoint near Nablus arrested a Palestinian civilian.
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 14 August, IOF issued a military orders to seize a 1,500-suare-meter area of land in Tal al-Rumaida neighborhood in the center of Hebron in order to to establish a road for military purposes. On the same day, IOF razed a 6-donum area of agricultural land between Salem military post and Rummana village, west of Jenin. Also during the reporting period, Israeli settlers continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property in the West Bank. As a result of such attacks, one Palestinian civilian was injured.
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (14 20 August 2008)
The full report is available online at:
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