oPt

Weekly Report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 03 - 09 Apr 2008

Attachments

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

- 8 Palestinians, including a child and a farmer, were killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip.

- 5 of the victims, including a child and his uncle, were killed in a series of attacks launched by IOF against the east of Gaza City in less than 5 hours.

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

- 25 Palestinian, including 5 children, were wounded by IOF in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

- IOF conducted 30 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 7 ones into the Gaza Strip.

- IOF arrested 65 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and a girl, in the West Bank and 10 others, including 3 children, in the Gaza Strip.

- IOF razed at least 125 donums(1) of agricultural land.

- IOF damaged a number of civilian facilities in the northeast of Gaza City.

- IOF raided a number of charities and NGOs in Ramallah and al-Bireh.

- IOF raided and searched a number of charities, mosques and shops in Qalqilya, and closed 4 charities.

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

- The fuel crisis in the Gaza Strip has escalated.

- 6 Palestinian civilian were arrested by IOF at military checkpoints in the West Bank.

- IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attacks Palestinian civilians and property.

- 2 Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian family near Nablus.

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law seriously escalated in the OPT, especially in the Gaza Strip, during the reporting period (3 - 9 April 2008):

Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed 8 Palestinians, including a child and a farmer, and wounded 24 others, including 5 children, in the Gaza Strip. They also wounded 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, on 9 April 2008, IOF killed 4 Palestinian civilian and an activist of the Palestinian resistance in less than 5 hours in a series of attacks against the east of Gaza City, after activists of the Palestinian resistance had killed 2 Israelis near Nahal Ouz crossing, east of Gaza City. Additionally, 11 Palestinians, including 2 children, were wounded. On 3 April 2008, 6 Palestinians, including 5 civilians, were wounded when IOF moved into al-Sraij area in al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis. On 5 April 2008, 2 Palestinian children were wounded in al-Qarara village when they played with a shell left by IOF. On the same day, IOF killed a Palestinian farmer and wounded his nephew in Jabalya town. On 4 April 2008, a Palestinian child was wounded by IOF in al-Boreij refugee camp. On 8 and 9 April 2008, IOF killed 2 activists of the Palestinian resistance and wounded 2 others during incursions into al-Qarara village and Jabalya town.

In the West Bank, on 3 April 2008, IOF wounded a Palestinian civilian in Hebron, claiming that he wanted to seize a gun from an IOF soldier. On 9 April 2008, a Palestinian child was wounded in Beit Reema village, northwest of Ramallah, when IOF fired at a number of children who threw stones at military vehicles. Two Palestinian children also sustained bruises and dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation when IOF used force to disperse peaceful demonstration organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in al-Ma'sara village, south of Bethlehem, and Bal'ein village, west of Ramallah.

Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 30 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. IOF arrested 65 Palestinian civilians. Thus, the number of Palestinian civilians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of 2008 has mounted to 875.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 7 limited incursions into Palestinian communities. During these incursions, IOF arrested 10, including 3 children, razed at least 125 donums of agricultural land and destroyed some civilian facilities.

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 continued to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip for more than one year and a half. The total siege imposed by IOF on the Gaza Strip has left disastrous impacts on the humanitarian situation and has violated the economic and social rights of the nearly 1.5 million Palestinian civilian population, particularly the rights to appropriate living conditions, health and education. It has also paralyzed most economic sectors. Furthermore, severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the Palestinian civilian population. The siege imposed on the Gaza Strip has severely impacted the flow of food, medical supplies and other necessities such as fuel, construction materials and raw materials for various economic sectors. IOF have further tightened the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip since Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip, and the living and economic conditions of Palestinian civilians have further deteriorated. In September 2007, the Israeli government declared the Gaza Strip as 'a hostile entity,' which implies imposing more restrictions and measures of collective punishment against the Palestinian civilian population. Since then, IOF have sharply decreased food and fuel supplies allowed into the Gaza Strip. IOF have continued to prevent the entry of raw materials into the Gaza Strip, and subsequently many factories have stopped their industrial activities. Concerning the movement of persons, IOF allow a few Palestinian civilians to pass through Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to travel to the West Bank. Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border is the sole outlet for the Gaza Strip to the outside world. 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.

The closure of border crossings deprives the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip of their right to freedom of movement, education and health. IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on fishing in the Gaza Strip. Fishermen have been subjected to intensive monitoring by IOF, which use helicopter gunships and gunboats to monitor the fishermen. The Oslo Accords allow Palestinian fishermen to go fishing up to 20 nautical miles away from the Gaza seashore.

West Bank

Contrary to Israeli claims of easing restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians, IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have been denied access to Jerusalem. 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 also tightened the siege imposed on Palestinian communities 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 troops positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 6 Palestinian civilians.

Settlement Activities: IOF have continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On Monday evening, 7 April 2008, an Israeli settler driving a bus ran down to death a Palestinian child to the east of Nablus. The child was on a donkey grazing animals crossing the bypass road to the east of Salam village. An Israeli bus coming from the east ran him down to death. His donkey and 8 sheep were also killed. On 9 April 2008, 2 Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian vehicle near Nablus. As a result, 2 women were injured.