oPt

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory 30 Oct - 05 Nov 2008

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

- IOF killed 7 members of the Palestinian resistance in the GazaStrip.

- 21 Palestinians, including a woman, and an international human rights defender were wounded by the IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the GazaStrip.

- IOF conducted 33 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and two others into the GazaStrip.

- IOF arrested 21 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, in the West Bank and 4 women in the GazaStrip.

- IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT and have isolated the GazaStrip from the outside world.

- IOF arrested 2 Palestinian civilians at al-Karama International Crossing Point on the Jordanian border.

- IOF closed all commercial crossings and Erez crossing in the GazaStrip.

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

- IOF demolished 3 houses and a wedding hall in East Jerusalem.

- 3 Palestinian journalists were injured in Hebron.

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law escalated in the OPT during the reporting period (30 October - 5 November 2008):

Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed 7 Palestinians and wounded 8 others in the Gaza Strip. They also wounded 13 Palestinian civilians and an international human rights defender in the West Bank.

On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, 4 and 5 November 2008, IOF killed 6 members of the 'Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas), and wounded 5 others in the southern and central Gaza Strip. All victims were hit by missiles fired by IOF aircrafts during Israeli incursions into some areas in the Gaza Strip. IOF also arrested a wounded woman. On Wednesday evening, IOF killed using missiles a member of al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) and wounded 2 civilian bystanders.

In the West Bank, 13 Palestinian civilians and an international human rights defender were wounded by the IOF gunfire.

On 31 October 2008, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded when IOF moved into Dura village, southwest of Hebron, and fired at civilians who threw stones at military vehicles.

On 3 November 2008, 6 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, when IOF moved into al-Far'a refugee camp, south of Tubas, and fired at civilians who threw stones at military vehicles.

During the reporting period, 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and an international human rights defender were wounded when IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall west of Ramallah.

Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 33 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF arrested 21 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children. Thus, the number of Palestinian civilians arrested by IOF in the West Banksince the beginning of 2008 has mounted to 2,111.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 2 incursions into Palestinian communities on 4 November 2008. In the morning, IOF moved into al-Hamra area in Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Stri, and leveled areas of land they had already razed. In the evening, IOF moved into the east of Deir al-Balah town in the central Gaza Strip. They killed a member of the Palestinian resistance and wounded 3 others and a woman. They also destroyed a house, razed areas of agricultural land and arrested 4 women, including one who was wounded.

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. During the reporting period, IOF imposed a comprehensive closure on the OPT for the the Jewish Sukkot.

Gaza Strip

IOF have continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The IOF siege of Gaza, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.

The Egypt-brokered 'Tahdiya' or truce between Palestinian resistance groups and Israelbegan on 19 June; however, there have been no major changes regarding the movements of civilians and goods through the six Gaza Strip border crossings.

Rafah International Crossing Point, the only border crossing from the Gaza Strip to the outside world via a country other than Israel, remains closed.

Health services continue to be severely affected by the siege, with healthcare facilities also registering a 25% drop in clients due to continuing chronic fuel shortages. Critically ill patients are still being denied permits to access vital health services in the West Bank, Israeland abroad. .

Water facilities, including access to clean drinking water, and the treatment of raw sewage continue to be severely disrupted by fuel shortages. 50-60 million liters of untreated and partially treated sewage are being dumped into the Gaza Strip Mediterranean Sea daily, posing a public health risk.

Hundreds of Gazan students are currently unable to resume their university studies abroad as they cannot exit the Gaza Strip. In addition, up to 1,200 school leavers are in the process of applying to study at foreign universities, and are dependent on being issued exit permits by the IOF.

There are at least 900 Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in jails in Israelwho have been denied all visitation rights since 6 June 2007.

Continuing chronic shortages of construction materials, including cement, aggregate and iron, have led to the collapse of the Gazaconstruction industry. Thousands of construction workers have been laid off, and vital infrastructure projects have been forcibly suspended.

IOF have repeatedly closed border crossings of the Gaza Strip claiming that home-made rockets were launched at Israeli towns.

During the reporting period, IOF decided to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip.

West Bank

IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.

IOF have established checkpoints in and around Jerusalem, severely restricting Palestinian access to the city. Civilians are frequently prevented from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

There are approximately permanent 630 roadblocks, manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank. In addition, there are some 60-80 'flying' or temporary checkpoints erected across the West Bankby IOF every week.

When complete, the illegal Annexation Wall will stretch for 724 kilometers around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population. 350 kilometers of the Wall has already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the Wall has been constructed inside the West Bankitself, further confiscating Palestinian land.

At least 65% of the main roads that leads to 18 Palestinian communities in the West Bankare closed or fully controlled by IOF (47 out of 72 roads).

There are around 500 kilometers of restricted roads across the West Bank. In addition, approximately one third of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, is inaccessible to Palestinians without a permit issued by the IOF. These permits are extremely difficult to obtain.

IOF continue to harass, and assault demonstrators who hold peaceful protests against the construction of the Annexation Wall.

Palestinian civilians continue to be harassed by IOF in Jerusalem, and across the West Bank, including being regularly stopped and searched in the streets by IOF.

During the reporting period, IOF arrested 2 Palestinian civilians at al-Karama International Crossing Point on the Jordanian border.

Annexation Wall: During the reporting period, IOF started to raze areas of land in al-'Amra natural reserve, which has been isolated by the Wall, southwest of Jenin. According to eyewitnesses, IOF razed areas of land in the vicinity of a residential compound where 27 Palestinians (5 families) live, for the purpose of establishing a fence surrounding and isolating the compound. IOF informed the families that they would establish a fence around their houses. Al-'Amra is the largest natural reserve in the West Bankand has been isolated by the Wall. Control over it was supposed to be transferred to the Palestinian National Authority, but Israelmaintained its control over it. In addition, IOF continued to prevented Palestinian farmers from reaching their lands that have been isolated by the Wall to cultivate olives although they have permits issued by IOF to reach their lands.

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 Wednesday, 5 November 2008, IOF demolished 3 houses and a wedding hall in East Jerusalem. On Friday evening, 31 October 2008, Israeli settlers from "Kiryat Arab" and "Kharsina" settlements, southeast of Hebron, attacked Palestinian houses located near "Kharsina" settlement with stones and empty bottles. They then attacked journalists who were covering the attack. Three journalists were injured. A house was also damaged.