OPT: SIS report - 140 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Beit Hanun from September 2000 to November 2006

News and Press Release
Originally published
GAZA, Palestine, January 16,2007 (IPC) - -According to a report by the Gaza-based Palestinian Authority-run State Information Service (SIS), the Israeli occupation army has killed 140 Palestinian residents in the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Hanoun, since the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000 to November2006.

The SIS's report said that the recent Israeli Autumn Clouds military onslaught alone has claimed lives of 78 Palestinians including 42 of Beit Hanoun.

In November8, 2006, the Israeli occupation army perpetrated a massacre against the civilian population of Beit Hanoun, killing 18 of the Al-Atamna family, including 7 children and other women, the report hinted.

Such a massacre was not the first of its type, as in March23, 2003, the Israeli army killed 6 Palestinians, in April22, 2006, 21 people were killed and 160 others wounded, in September28, 2004, 127 Palestinians were killed and more than 500 others injured.

As for the last Israeli army invasion into Beit Hanoun in November1, 2006, the Israeli army killed 16 Palestinian children, 13 women and two medical crews, the SIS figures revealed.

Dr. Ashraf Al-atamna, of Beit Hanoun, was quoted as saying " I woke up early on November8, 2006, then I heard a very loud explosion nearby, I rushed to my eldest brother's house, Dr. As'ad. This was right after the Israeli troops pulled out from the city in Novembe7, 2006".

Al-atamna went onto saying" when the Israeli shells landed I were surprised for I saw my brother's children and neighbors torn apart, as ambulance crews rushed to the scene".

Despite the Israeli withdrawal from Beit Hanoun, the Israeli tanks have been repositioned on outlays areas over there, particularly following a ceasefire agreement with the Palestinian side., the report confirmed.

The suffering of Beit Hanoun's residents has been steadily increasing; those, whose houses have been destroyed completely, can neither afford buying nor renting new ones, particularly amid the internationally-imposed economic embargo.

Mohammad Alkafarna, mayor of Beit Hanoun, told the SIS that the amount of financial losses, due to Israeli demolition of residents' homes, has reached US$2.5 millions.

Israeli occupation army attacks on Beit Hanoun have also affected other places such as mosques and religious schools, ministerial buildings and colleges.

For example, the Al-Nasser ancient mosque, which was built about 200 years ago, has been completely destroyed, Alkafarna pointed out.

Mayor Alkafarna also estimated the amount of damage to bridges and roads at US$3.5 millions, as the losses of electricity and water networks estimated at US$1.5 millions.

The Israeli army actions have also caused complete destruction of 1000 dunums of arable lands, 40 stores, with a total of US$ 250.000, the report concluded.