Israel + 1 more

Weekly Report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 18 - 24 Oct 2007

Attachments

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

7 Palestinians, including 2 children, were killed by IOF.

- 3 of the victims, including a civilian, were extra-judicially executed by IOF.

A Palestinian worker was run down to death by an Israeli settler.

16 Palestinians, including 3 children, a woman and a journalist, were wounded by IOF.

IOF conducted 27 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 ones into the Gaza Strip.

- IOF arrested 37 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, in the West Bank and 4 others in the Gaza Strip.

- IOF razed at least 150 donums[1] of agricultural land Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip.

IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT.

- IOF have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world and a humanitarian crisis has emerged.

- A patient died due to the obstruction by IOF troops at Erez crossing of his access to an Israeli hospital.

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (18 - 24 October 2007):

Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed 5 Palestinians and wounded 31 others, including 8 children, a woman and a journalists, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF killed 5 Palestinians, including 2 children, and wounded 11 others, including a child and a woman.

Three Palestinians were killed and 7 others were wounded in 4 extra-judicial execution attempts carried out by IOF on 20, 21 and 23 October 2007. Two children were killed and 2 civilians, including a woman, were wounded when IOF fired a surface-to-surface missile at a launcher of home-made rockets in Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip. On 10 October 2007, 2 Palestinian were wounded during an incursion by IOF into al-Shouka village, east of Rafah.

In the West Bank, on 23 October 2007, 2 members of the Palestinian resistance were killed during an exchange of fire by IOF that besieged them. Additinally, 5 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and a journalist, were wounded when IOF used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest to the construction of the Wall in Bal'ein village, west of Ramallah.

Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 27 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, IOF arrested 37 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children. Thus, the number of Palestinians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of this year has mounted to 2,183.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 3 incursions into Palestinian communities. During those incursions, IOF troops transformed a number of houses into military sites, temporarily arrested 4 Palestinian civilians, wounded 2 civilians and razed 150 donums of agricultural land.

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.

Gaza Strip

IOF have imposed a strict siege on the Gaza Strip. They have closed its border crossings as a form of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians.

IOF have closed Rafah International Crossing Point, even though they do not directly control it. They have prevented European observers working at the crossing point form reaching it. IOF had already closed Rafah International Crossing Point following an armed attack against an IOF military post in Kerem Shalom area, southeast of Rafah, on 25 June 2006. The crossing point had been partially reopened for short, sporadic periods to allow few numbers of Palestinian to travel through it. The crossing point has been completely closed since Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip and the withdrawal of Palestinian security forces from the crossing point. There are approximately 6,000 Palestinians held at the Egyptian side of the border awaiting to return to their homes in the Gaza Strip. Most of them have run out of money and are living on assistance. In addition, 19 of them have died in Egypt. The bodies were returned to Gaza through the Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing. In addition, thousands of travelers were allowed to return to the Gaza Strip through al-Ojah crossing, 8 kilometers southeast of Rafah. From there, they were transported to Erez Checkpoint to enter the Gaza Strip. IOF have also closed commercial crossings, especially al-Mentar (Karni) crossing. IOF have continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have been prevented from traveling through this crossing.

West Bank

IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have been denied access to the city. IOF have established many checkpoints around and inside the city. Restrictions of the movement of Palestinian civilians often escalate on Fridays to prevent them from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque. IOF often violently beat Palestinian civilians who attempt to bypass checkpoints and enter the city. IOF have imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the city during the Eid al-Futr. IOF have also tightened the siege imposed on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. They have isolated Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. IOF also erected more checkpoints on the main roads and intersections in the West Bank.

Settlement Activities: Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 21 October 2007, an Israeli settler ran down a Palestinian worker to death. On 18 October 2007, Israeli settlers who have been seizing a Palestinian building in al-Ras neighborhood to the west of "Kiryat Arba" settlement, southeast of Hebron, since 19 March 2007, closed a dirt road used by Palestinian civilians near the building with stones. On 19 October 2007, IOF started to raze and level large areas of agricultural land in the north of Bourqin village, west of Salfit. The affected lands had been already confiscated by IOF to establish new factories for Burkan industrial zone. On 20 October 2007, Israeli settlers from "Shavi Shomron" settlement, northwest of Nablus, attacked a number of Palestinian farmers while they were cultivating olives in Deir Sharaf village near the aforementioned settlement. On 21 October 2007, a number of Israeli settlers from "Beitar" settlement, west of Bethlehem, attacked Ameen Ahmed Hamamra, 33, from the nearby Housan village. He sustained bruises and cuts in the upper part of the body.