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Weekly Report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 19 - 25 Apr 2007

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

- 9 Palestinians, including 2 children, were killed by IOF in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

- 4 of the victims were extra-judicially executed by IOF.

- 18 civilians were wounded by IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

- 13 of these civilians, including a journalist, 4 women and 4 international human rights defenders, were wounded when IOF used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration against the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bal'ein village near Ramallah.

- 2 children were wounded as a result of the explosion of a mysterious object of the remainders of IOF.

- IOF conducted 30 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

- IOF arrested 44 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children and a girl.

- IOF transformed a Palestinian house into a military site.

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

- IOF positioned at various checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank arrested 6 Palestinian civilians.

- IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank.

- IOF demolished a house in occupied Jerusalem.

- IOF demolished 7 houses to the south of Hebron, rendering 48 Palestinians homeless.

- Israeli settlers moved back to the evacuated "Homseh" settlement near Nablus.

- Israeli settlers have continued to occupy a house in Hebron for the 5th consecutive week.

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (19 - 25 April 2007):

Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed 9 Palestinians, including 2 children, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They also wounded 18 civilians, including: 2 children; a journalist; 4 women; and 4 international human rights activists.

In the West Bank, IOF killed 8 Palestinians, including 2 children. On 21 April 2007, IOF killed a Palestinian who stepped up to the roof of his house to look at IOF when they were besieging a number of houses in Kufor Dan village near Jenin. On the same day, an IOF undercover unit extra-judicially executed 3 Palestinians in Jenin. Also on the same day, IOF shot dead a Palestinian child as they besieged her family home to arrest her brother. On 22 April 2007, IOF killed two members of the Palestinian resistance in the old town of Nablus. On the same day, IOF shot dead a Palestinian child in Deir Abu Mash'al village, northwest of Ramallah.

During the reporting period, 14 Palestinian civilians were wounded by the IOF gunfire in the West Bank. Thirteen of those civilians, including a journalist, 4 women and 4 international human rights defenders, were wounded when IOF used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration against the construction of the Wall in Bal'ein village, west of Ramallah. Three journalists and an Irish Noble Prize winner also suffered from tear gas inhalation. In addition, 2 Palestinian children were wounded as a result of the explosion of a mysterious object of the remainders of IOF.

In the Gaza Strip, on 21 April 2007, IOF extra-judicially executed a Palestinian civilian to the east of Jabalya town. According to information available to PCHR, the victim was not involved in any resistance activity. During the reporting period, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel wounded 2 Palestinian civilians.

Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 30 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, IOF arrested 44 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children and a girl. Thus, the number of Palestinians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of this year has mounted to 1,007. IOF also transformed a house in Saffa village, northwest of Ramallah, into a military site.

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. On Sunday morning, 22 April 2007, IOF imposed a total closure on the OPT for the so-called independence day.

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 since 25 June 2006, even though they do not directly control it. During the reporting period, the crossing point was reopened only for one day. IOF have partially reopened commercial crossings, especially al-Mentar (Karni) crossing, but many goods and medical supplies have been lacked in markets in the Gaza Strip. The crossing was closed on 23 and 24 April 2007. IOF have also 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. IOF have allowed international workers to pass through the crossing. With this closure, only few Palestinian patients have been able to travel to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank. During the reporting period, IOF completely closed the crossing for 3 days. In addition, IOF have continued to prevent Palestinian fishermen from fishing for more than 10 months.

West Bank

IOF have tightened the siege imposed on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. They have isolated Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. Contrary to Israeli claims, 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. During the reporting period, IOF soldiers positioned at various checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank arrested at least 5 Palestinian civilians. IOF also detained 4 staff members of the Palestinian Customs Bureau, 2 journalists and a PCHR field worker near Hebron for several hours.

Settlement Activities: Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 19 April 2007, IOF demolished 7 houses in Mnaizal and Qwaiwis villages, south of Hebron, rendering 48 Palestinians homeless. On the same day, IOF razed 4.5 donums[1] of land in al-Twana village, south of Hebron. On 25 April 2007, IOF demolished a house in East Jerusalem, claiming that it was built without a license. On Tuesday morning, 24 April 2007, dozens of Israeli settlers from "Shavi Shomron" settlement, northwest of Nablus, marched towards a site of that was known in the past as "Homesh" settlement at Nablus - Jenin road and set up tents. On the same day, dozens of Israeli settlers, escorted by IOF, closed Ya'bad - Jenin road, south of Jenin, and prevented the passage of Palestinian civilians. The closure of the road continued for several hours. During the reporting period, Israeli settlers who had continued to occupy a house belonging to the al-Rujbi family in Wad al-Husain neighborhood near "Kiryat Arba" settlement, southeast of Hebron, for the fifth consecutive week, attacked Palestinian civilians using empty bottles and stones. IOF were present in the area, but did not intervene to stop those attacks.