oPt

Weekly Report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 12 - 18 Apr 2007

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

- IOF extra-judicially executed a Palestinian activist in Jenin after having arrested him.

- IOF destroyed a Palestinian house in Qalqilya in the context of collective punishment.

- 6 Palestinian civilians (2 women, 3 children and a mentally disabled man) were wounded by IOF gunfire.

- IOF conducted 33 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

- IOF arrested 70 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children and a girl.

- IOF raided offices of a number of charities in Hebron and Tulkarm.

- IOF transformed 3 houses into military sites.

- 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 brick factory to the west of Ramallah.

- Israeli settlers took over a hill to the south of Hebron and set up tents on it.

- Israeli settlers have continued to occupy a house in Hebron for the 4th consecutive week.

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (12 - 18 April 2007):

Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian activist in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, and wounded 6 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday afternoon, 17 April 2007, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) extra-judicially executed a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an armed wing of Fatah movement) near Jenin town in the northern West Bank. IOF shot him dead after having arrested him.

During the reporting period, 5 Palestinian civilians (2 women and 3 children) were wounded by the IOF gunfire in the West Bank. IOF also destroyed a house in Qalqilya on 14 April 2007, in the context of the policy of collective punishment against families of Palestinian resistance activist. The owner of the house was arrested by IOF nearly two weeks ago for being a member of a Palestinian resistance group.

In the Gaza Strip, on 16 April 2007, IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip fired at mentally disabled Palestinian civilian in Beit Lahia town for no apparent reason. He was wounded by a gunshot to the right knee.

Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 33 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, IOF arrested 70 Palestinian civilians, including 14 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 963. During the reporting period, raided and searched offices of a number of charities and civil society organizations in the West Bank. They confiscated a number of documents and computer sets. IOF also transformed 3 Palestinian houses near Jenin into military sites.

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 since 25 June 2006, even though they do not directly control it. During the reporting period, the crossing point was reopened on 12, 16 and 17 April 2007, and hundreds of Palestinians were able to travel through it. 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 completely closed on 13 April 007. 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. 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 6 Palestinian civilians. IOF also prevented a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council from traveling to Jordan to receive medical treatment.

Settlement Activities: Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 14 April 2007, Israeli settlers from "Ma'oun" settlement to the east of Yatta village, south of Hebron, took over a 16-donum- area of land to the south of the aforementioned settlement. They set up tents on the land chased and terrified dozens of Palestinian farmers and shepherds. On 16 April 2007, IOF soldiers positioned to the southwest of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, opened fire at a number of Palestinian children during clashes between the children and Israeli settlers from "Kermi Tsour" settlement, supported by IOF. As a result of the clashes, two children were sustained fractures. On 17 April 2007, an Israeli settler fired at a number of Palestinian children who were cultivating almonds in Taqqou' village, south of Bethlehem. One of the children was seriously wounded by a gunshot to the head. 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 fourth consecutive week, attacked Palestinian civilians using empty bottles and stones. IOF were present in the area, but did not intervene to stop those attacks. On 18 April 2007, IOF demolished a brick factory in Shaqba village, west of Ramallah, claiming that it was built without a license.