Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied PalestinianTerritory (OPT)
- 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the GazaStrip.
- IOF conducted 32 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
- IOF arrested 80 Palestinian civilians, including a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council; 74 of these civilians were arrested in Nablus.
- IOF arrested a Palestinian civilian whose daughter filmed an Israeli soldier shooting a Palestinian civilian in Ne'lin village, west of Ramallah.
- IOF raided a charity and a kindergarten in Jericho.
- IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT and have isolated the GazaStrip from the outside world.
- IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attacks Palestinian civilians and property.
- Israeli settlers launched 5 attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in Hebronand Qalqilya.
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (17 - 23 July 2008):
Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF wounded 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bankand the Gaza Strip.
On 17 July 2008, IOF wounded 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, during an incursion into Nablusand neighboring refugee camps. On 23 July, IOF wounded a Palestinian civilian in Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip, while he was collecting metals almost 300 meters away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
During the reporting period, dozens of Palestinian civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation when IOF used force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bal'ein and Ne'lin villages, west of Ramallah. In the same context, a footage filmed by a young Palestinian girl in Ne'lin village, west of Ramallah, on 7 July, which appeared on the screen of several television channels, showed an Israeli soldier firing a rubber-coated metal bullet, at extremely short range, at a Palestinian detainee who was cuffed and blindfolded.
Incursions: Since the Egypt-brokered truce between Palestinian resistance groups and Israelentered into force in the Gaza Strip on 19 June 2008, IOF have escalated attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in the West Bank. This escalation led the Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salam Fayad, to suspend the security plan being implemented by the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank. Dr. Fayad stated in a press conference in Ramallah on Tuesday, 22 July 2008, that 'The Palestinian National Authority may suspend the security plan it is implementing in Palestinian town due to the escalation of Israeli attacks.'
During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 32 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF arrested 80 Palestinian civilians, including a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. In Nablusalone, IOF arrested 74 Palestinian civilians. IOF also arrested the father of a young girl who filmed an Israeli soldier firing at Palestinian civilian in Ne;lin village, west of Ramallah, on 7 July. The number of Palestinian civilians who have been arrested by IOF in the West Banksince the beginning of this year now stands at 1,628. For the second consecutive week, IOF have continued their campaign against Palestinian civil institutions. During the reporting period, IOF raided and searched a charity and a kindergarten in Jericho. They confiscated computers and documents.
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.
IOF have continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The IOF siege of Gaza, which has tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, and has violated the human, economic and social rights of the approximately 1.5 million Palestinian civilian population, particularly their rights to appropriate living conditions, health and education. The siege has also paralyzed the Gazan economy. In addition, the siege 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 continued to prevent the entry of raw materials into the Gaza Strip, and many factories have been forced to close. Severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the entire Palestinian civilian population. Regarding civilian movements, IOF permit very few Palestinian civilians to pass through Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in order to travel to the West Bank or Israel. Rafah International Crossing Point in the southern Gaza Strip is the sole outlet for the Gaza Strip to the outside world via a country other than Israel. IOF have closed Rafah International Crossing Point, even though they do not directly control it, and have also obstructed European observers working at the Crossing Point from reaching it. Although the Egypt-brokered truce between Palestinian resistance groups and Israelentered into force on June 19, no major changes have been observed regarding the movement of persons and goods through the six Gaza Strip border crossings. The closure of these border crossings deprives the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip of their right to freedom of movement, education and health.
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 assault 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 Bankhave 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.
Settlement Activities: IOF have continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers living in the OPT have, in violation of international humanitarian law, continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. During the reporting period, Israeli settlers launched five attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in Hebronand Qalqilya. IOF were present during those attacks and did not intervene to stop them' they were complicit in supporting the settlers.