Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
29 Jan.- 04 feb. 2009
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the OPT and Continue to Impose a Total Siege on the Population of the Gaza Strip
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (29 January – 4 February 2009).
Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed two Palestinian civilian and wounded 44 others, including 22 children, a pregnant woman, and an international human rights defender in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In addition, two Palestinians died of wounds sustained during the IOF offensive on the Gaza Strip.
In the Gaza Strip, on 2 February 2009, IOF extra-judicially executed a Palestinian resistance activist and wounded two others. In addition, two children in the vicinity were also injured in the attack. An IOF drone fired a missile at the car in which the activists were traveling.
On 29 January 2009, an IOF drone fired a missile at a Hamas member who was riding a motorcycle near Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. He was injured in the attack, as were seventeen other civilian bystanders, including 11 school children and a pregnant woman.
During the reporting period, two Palestinians died of wounds sustained during the IOF offensive on the Gaza Strip.
IOF warplanes also launched a series of air strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip, including two sites of the 'Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas, as well as the border area between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, a police station and a workshop.
In the West Bank, on 2 February 2009, IOF shot dead a Palestinian civilian in Hebron, claiming that he fired at a military checkpoint.
On 29 January 2009, a man and a woman were wounded when IOF moved into Beit Ummar village and opened fire indiscriminately.
On 30 January 2009, IOF fired at a Palestinian peaceful demonstration in Hebron. As a result, nine Palestinian civilians, including 6 children, were wounded.
On 2 February 2009, a Palestinian child was wounded when IOF troops fired at Palestinian children who threw stones at military vehicles in Bal'ein village, west of Ramallah.
During the reporting period, 10 Palestinian civilians, including two children, and an international human rights defender, were wounded when IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest at the construction of the Annexation Wall west of Ramallah.
Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 28 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. IOF arrested 42 Palestinian civilians, including three children.
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 main concern of 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip is to obtain their basic needs of food, medicines, water and electricity supplies.
The majority of the civilian population lack access to safe drinking water.
Electricity is cut off for 100,000s of civilians from 8-12 hours daily.
The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has been repeatedly forced to suspend its humanitarian aid program for at least 750,000 Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip.
Rafah International Crossing Point has been opened for a few days for a number of patients who received medical treatment abroad and needed to return home to the Gaza Strip.
IOF have continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to Palestinian civilians wishing to travel to the West Bank and Israeli for medical treatment, trade or social visits.
IOF have imposed additional restrictions on access of international diplomats, journalists and humanitarian workers to the Gaza Strip. They have prevented representatives of international humanitarian organizations from entering the Gaza Strip.
Health conditions in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated and all medical facilities been severely affected, especially those which are electrically powered. There are chronic shortages of vital medicines.
The lives of newly born babies, whose development in incomplete, are at risk as they require constant monitoring by electrically operated medical equipment.
Living conditions of the Palestinian civilian population have seriously deteriorated; levels of poverty and unemployment continue to mount.
At least 900 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been deprived of family visits for more than 16 consecutive months.
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 one Palestinian civilian at a checkpoint in the West Bank.
Judaization of Jerusalem: IOF have escalated arbitrary measures against Palestinian civilians in East Jerusalem, in order to force them to leave the city. During the reporting period, IOF demolished four houses and a number of civilian facilities in Jerusalem. IOF also declared the completion of works on the infrastructure of a settlement project known as “E1”, and stated they would start to build Jewish settlement neighborhoods that can ensure geographical contiguity between the “Ma'ale Adomim” settlement bloc, east of Jerusalem and the areas of al-'Eissawiya, al-Za'im, Sheikh Jarrah and Jabal al-Tour
Settlement Activities: IOF have continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers living in the OPT have, in violation of international humanitarian law, continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 3 February, a number of Palestinian civilians from Sa'ir village, northeast of Hebron, were violently beaten by IOF and settlers, when these civilian attempted to confront IOF leveling of their land. IOF and Israeli settlers razed 50 donumms of agricultural land planted with olive trees in al-'Odaisiya area in the southwest of Sa'ir village. In addition, IOF confiscated three fuel tanks belonging to Taj Mohammed Karaja in Halhoul town, northeast of Hebron. They claimed the tanks are illegal. On 4 February, IOF continued to raze large areas of Mas'ha village behind the Annexation Wall, west of Qalqilya, near “Eit Ephraim”, “Sha'ri Tikva” and “Alkanah” settlements. According to local sources, the area of this land is estimated at 90 donumms.
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (29 January – 4 February 2009)
The full report is available online at:
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