oPt

Weekly Report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 09 - 15 Aug 2007

Attachments

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

8 Palestinians including 3 Civilians killed: 7 by IOF and 1 by Armed Guards of a Religious School in Jerusalem.

- An elderly woman and a person with mental health problems killed.

- Palestinian from Israel killed by Israeli guards in Jerusalem.

- 31 Palestinian civilians were wounded by IOF gunfire in the OPT.

- 8 of the Injured, including 4 children and a French human rights defender, were wounded in the weekly Bal'in Demonstration.

- 24 injured during an IOF incursion into New Abasan in the southern Gaza Strip.

IOF conducted 32 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

- IOF arrested 61 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and 1 in the Gaza Strip.

- IOF raze 60 Dunums of agricultural land in the Gaza Strip.

- IOF bombard the closed Gaza Airport with artillery and heavy machine guns.

- IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT, and continues to isolate the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

- Severe humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip due to the closure.

- IOF positioned at various checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank arrested 2 Palestinian civilians.

Israeli settlement activity and attacks by Israeli settlers continue:

- IOF military order closes 8 Palestinian shops in Hebron's old city.

Summary

IOF escalated violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (9 - 15 August 2007):

Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed 7 Palestinians including 3 civilians. In addition, the armed guard of a Jewish religious school in Jerusalem shot dead a Palestinian attacker after surrendering. 24 Palestinians were injured during an IOF incursion in New Abasan to the east of Khan Yunis, while 8 demonstrators were injured in the weekly demonstration against the Wall in Bal'in.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF using excessive force killed a mentally ill Palestinian, on 9 August, about 200 meters away from Kissofim military outpost southeast of Deir El-Balah. And on 14 August, IOF killed 6 Palestinians during an incursion into the town of New Abasan to the east of Khan Yunis. Two victims were civilians, including a 70-year old woman who went out of the house to see her injured son. 24 Palestinians, mostly resistance activists, were injured during the incursion.

It is noted that since 1 June 2007 till the end of this report's period, IOF have killed 74 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including 47 unarmed civilians. Among the civilians were 9 children and 1 women.

In the West Bank, an armed guard of the Eteret Kehonim religious school in Jerusalem killed a Palestinian attacker after he surrendered on 10 August. The Palestinian stole a guard's gun and fired at them before fleeing. A guard chased him; and the Palestinian threw down the gun and raised his hand in surrender. The guard shot and killed him. In addition, IOF injured 8 demonstrators including a Frenchman and 4 children in the weekly demonstration against the Wall in the village of Bal'in near Ramallah. IOF used excessive force including tear gas and rubber-coated bullets to disperse the peaceful demonstration.

Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 32 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. During those incursions, IOF arrested 62 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children. And in the Gaza Strip, IOF razed 60 dunums of agricultural land in the town of New Abasan. 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. At least 6,000. Palestinians stuck in Egypt were allowed in the Gaza Strip through El-Ojah - Erez route. According to PCHR's documentation, 19 Palestinians of those who are stuck in Egypt have died due to the deterioration in their health conditions.

IOF have also closed commercial crossings, especially al-Mentar (Karni) crossing. During the reporting period, IOF reopened the crossing for some hours to allow the entry of some goods into the Gaza Strip. If this closure continues, a humanitarian crisis is likely to emerge in the Gaza Strip. IOF have also continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip are prevented from traveling through this crossing. They prevented traders and patients from passing through. IOF allow very few patients to travel through the crossing, but following coordination through the ICRC. During the reporting period, IOF reopened Kerem Shalom crossing, southeast of Rafah, and Sofa crossing, northeast of the town. During the reporting period, Nahal Ouz crossing, east of Gaza City, which is deigned for the entry of fuels into the Gaza Strip, witnessed active movement.

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 promises by the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to ease restrictions on movement in 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. During the reporting period, IOF soldiers positioned at various checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank arrested at least 2 Palestinian civilians. In addition, IOF closed checkpoints surrounding Nablus several times during the week, especially during rush hour traffic.

Settlement Activities: Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. During the reporting period, the IOF Hebron Military Commander issued an order sealing the shops of 8 Palestinians near the Beit Romano settlement enclave in Hebron's old city.