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Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories 09 - 15 Jun 2005

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Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Impose a Total Siege on the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) for the celebration of a Jewish Holiday but Continue Incursions

  • A Palestinian civilian died after the IOF positioned at an iron gate on the Annexation Wall obstructed his evacuation to a hospital; a number of Palestinian civilians were injured by IOF

  • IOF conducted 19 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 incursions into the Gaza Strip.

  • Houses were raided and 19 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were arrested by IOF.

  • IOF have impose a total siege on the OPT for a Jewish holiday; IOF have imposed more restrictions on movement in East Jerusalem; IOF have continued to close a number of roads and border crossings in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the current Intifada and IOF arrested nine Palestinian civilians at military checkpoints, including one in the Gaza Strip.

  • IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall in the West Bank; IOF attacked Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists who demonstrated in protest to the construction of the Wall, and arrested three solidarity activists. Palestinian civilians living behind the Wall continue to be denied access to medical assistance.

  • Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property in the West Bank

Summary

Israeli violations of international law continued in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) during the reporting period (09 - 15 June 2005):

Injury to Palestinian Civilians: Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) fired at Palestinian civilians in their houses during incursions into Palestinian communities. During the reported period, four Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded. A Palestinian civilian was wounded and arrested by an undercover unit of IOF in Tulkarm. Another civilian was wounded by the Israeli gunfire in Saida village, north of Tulkarm. A 14-year-old child was wounded by the Israeli gunfire in Ethna village, west of Hebron. Another child was wounded by the Israeli gunfire in Dura village, south of Hebron.

Incursions: IOF conducted 22 military incursions into Palestinian areas (19 in the West Bank and three in the Gaza Strip). During these incursions, IOF raided houses and arrested 21 Palestinian civilians (19 in the West Bank and 2 in the Gaza Strip). IOF transformed a house in Yatta village, south of Hebron into a military site. They also raided, searched and damaged a school in Beit Jala town near Bethlehem.

Restrictions on Movement: IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT, including Jerusalem. On Sunday morning, 12 June 2005, IOF imposed a comprehensive closure on the OPT for celebrations of a Jewish holiday effective until 14 June 2005. In the Gaza Strip, IOF have continued to completely or partially close some roads and border crossings of the Gaza Strip, and impose severe restrictions on the internal movement of Palestinian civilians. In the West Bank, IOF imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They prevented Palestinian civilians who are under 45 from reaching al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for the Friday Prayer. IOF positioned at checkpoints arrested nine Palestinian civilians, including one person at a checkpoint in the Gaza Strip.

Annexation Wall: This week, Israeli media sources reported an official decision by Israel to start construction of a section of the Wall around "Gush Etzion" settlement block in Bethlehem. The Israeli daily Maariv reported on Tuesday, 14 June 2005, that the construction of this section of the Wall, whose length will be 60 kilometers, will begin in two weeks. It would annex "Gush Etzion" settlement block to Israel. In addition, IOF used force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli solidarity activists in protest to the construction of the Wall. A number of demonstrators were injured or arrested. During the reported period, IOF continued severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians living behind the Wall. A Palestinian civilian from Jibara village, which is located behind the Wall, died after the IOF obstructed his evacuation to the hospital.

Illegal Settler Activities: Israeli settlers in breach of international humanitarian law continue to reside in the OPT and have launched a series of attacks against Palestinian civilians and property, especially in Hebron. They set fire to a shop and attacked a number of houses with stones and bottles in Hebron. They also uprooted 400 trees in Bethlehem. The settlers attacked a family in Salem village, south of Nablus, with stones. In the Gaza Strip, the settlers attacked a clinic in al-Mawasi area in Khan Yunis.

Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (09 -- 15 June 2005)

1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property

Thursday, 09 June 2005

At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into ‘Arraba village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested seven Palestinians:

1. Tawfiq Sadiq Lahlouh, 24;

2. Rami ‘Eissa ‘Aridi, 24;

3. Mustafa Shehada Shaibani, 20;

4. Tariq Joma’a Mughayar, 22;

5. Mohammed Nayef Abu Salah, 27;

6. Bilal Midhat ‘Abdul Hadi, 37; and

7. Samer Yahia ‘Izziddin, 26.

Also at approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Baqa al-Shaqiya village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinians:

1. Hatem ‘Aziz Nasrallah, 25; and

2. Muhannad Fu’ad Nasrallah, 24.

  • Also at approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Saida village, north of Tulkarm, and imposed a curfew. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Sharif ‘Ajaj, 29, and arrested him.

  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into ‘Attil village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested ‘Abdullah Marwan Abu Khalil, 18.

  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into al-Lahham quarter in the Israeli-controlled al-Mawasi area in Khan Yunis. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Yasser Mohammed Abu Mukhaimer, 19.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF held nine members of the Palestinian National Security Force in Bab al-Zawia area in the center of Hebron. IOF severely beat them and held them until 12:00 following contacts between the Palestinian side and IOF.

  • In the evening, an undercover unit of IOF moved into Tulkarm. Members of the Unit fired at a Palestinian civilian and injured and arrested Tariq Salee, al-Tanib.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 19:00, dozens of Palestinian civilians were in Tal al-Rabi’ Park in the south of Tulkarm celebrating a wedding. A young man stood at the entrance of the park and fired in the air celebrating the wedding. The attendants were surprised when IOF gunfire was directed at a number of young men who were near the entrance of the park. Tariq Saleem al-Tanib, 18, was wounded by a live bullet to the leg. Immediately, more reinforcements of IOF were brought to the area. A few minutes later, a Palestinian ambulance arrived at the area and evacuated al-Tanib. IOF forced the ambulance to travel towards al-Kafriyat checkpoint, south of the town. There, IOF moved al-Tanib to an Israeli ambulance, which evacuated him to an Israeli hospital under IOF escort.

Friday, 10 June 2005

  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron. They patrolled in the street and fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians. A Palestinian child, 14-year-old Hanaa’ Mohammed Abu Juhaisha, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the chest.

Saturday, 11 June 2005
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Deir al-Ghosoun village, north of Tulkarm. They raided a house belonging to the family of Najeh Hassan Abu Zaitoun, 26, and arrested him.

  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into ‘Attil village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jihad Fathallah al-Sa’di, 55, and arrested him and his daughter, 16-year-old Hadeel. IOF interrogated them about al-Sa’di’s son, Lu’ai, who is allegedly wanted by IOF. The man and his daughter were released 10 hours later.

  • At approximately 06:30, IOF moved into al-Harayiq and Wadi al-Hariya neighborhoods in the south of Hebron. They patrolled in the streets and raided and searched a number of houses. Later, IOF erected a number of checkpoints at the entrances to the two neighborhoods. They stopped and checked Palestinian civilians. No arrests were reported.

  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Rauqa’a area in Yatta village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and transformed one of them into a military site. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 12 June 2005
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into the villages of Bala'a and ‘Anabta, east of Tulkarm. They patrolled in the streets. No arrests were reported.

  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Saida village, north of Tulkarm, and patrolled in the streets. A number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF and immediately the IOF fired at the children. Ahmed Wahid Hamad, 18, was seriously wounded by a live bullet that penetrated both thighs. According to eyewitnesses, the village was completely quiet when IOF moved into it and that Hamad was standing near his house and did not participate in throwing stones when he was wounded.

Monday, 13 June 2005
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They opened fire at houses and patrolled in the streets. IOF withdrew a few hours later and no arrests were reported.

  • At approximately 20:00, IOF moved into al-Khader village, west of Bethlehem. They patrolled in the streets and erected a number of checkpoints. They stopped and checked Palestinian civilians. At approximately 09:00, IOF imposed a curfew on the village.

  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into Beit Jala town, west of Bethlehem. They patrolled in the streets and erected a number of checkpoints. At approximately 23:00, IOF raided and searched Taleeta School and a number of houses in the Housing Project. They damaged the doors of the school.

Tuesday, 14 June 2005
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Abu Katila and Abu al-Da’jan neighborhoods in the west of Hebron. They patrolled in the streets and raided and searched a number of flats of students of the Polytechnic University. IOF withdrew from the area at approximately 04:00. No arrests were reported.

  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched ‘Aaref Yousef Qazzaz’s house and arrested his son, 17-year-old ‘Ammar.

  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into al-’Eisawiya village, east of Jerusalem. They patrolled in the streets and took position near the mosque of the village. They checked Palestinian civilians who had left the mosque following the Dawn Prayer and arrested three of them:

    1. Jamal Darwish, 40;

    2. Nidal ‘Olayan, 30; and

    3. Najib Nasriddin, 20.

  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They opened fire at houses and patrolled in the streets. A number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF. Immediately, IOF fired at the children, wounding 16-year-old Tha’er Mohammed Nassar with four rubber-coated metal bullets to the back and the feet.

Wednesday, 15 June 2005
  • At approximately 13:30, IOF moved into al-Qarara village, northwest of Khan Yunis. They closed the road leading to the al-Matahen flour company, where 40 Palestinians work, with sand barriers and totally surrounded the company (IOF have closed the northern entrance of the company, which is located near a settler road, since the begging of the current Intifada).

  • At approximately 23:00, an infantry unit of IOF moved nearly 300 meters into al-Mughraqa village, south of Gaza City. Israeli soldiers raided two houses belonging to Ra'fat Suleiman Shahin, 43, and his brother Mohammed, 33. They forced the 14 residents out and searched the two houses using the two owners as human shields. The IOF arrested Mohammed Shahin.

2. Continued Siege on the OPT

IOF have continued to impose tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem. On Sunday morning, 12 June 2005, IOF imposed a comprehensive closure on the OPT for celebrations of a Jewish holiday. The closure remained in effect throughout Monday, 13 June 2005.

Gaza Strip

IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

  • Internal Movement: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians through al-Matahen and Abu Houli checkpoints on Salah al-Din Street (the main road between the north and south of the Gaza Strip), even though they have increased the hours of opening the two checkpoints. They often close the two checkpoints and hold and check Palestinian civilians in between. On Friday morning, 10 June 2005, IOF closed the two checkpoints for several hours. At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 11 June 2005, IOF closed the two checkpoints for three hours.

    IOF have also continued to close a number of roads inside the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the current Intifada, such as the western Rafah -- Khan Yunis road in the southern Gaza Strip, Abu al-'Ajeen road between the villages of al-Qarara and Wadi al-Salqa in the central Gaza Strip and Salah al-Din Street at "Netzarim" and "Kfar Darom" junctions in the central Gaza Strip. Furthermore, IOF have continued to prohibit Palestinian civilians from using "Kissufim", "Morag" and al-Mentar roads in the southern and central Gaza Strip, which have been devoted for the movement of IOF and settlers. IOF have continued to close Gaza International Airport for the fourth consecutive year.

  • Enclaves: IOF have continued to impose a strict siege on Palestinian communities located near Israeli military posts and settlements:

  • Al-Mawasi: approximately 5,800 Palestinians live in al-Mawasi situated within the Israeli "Gush Katif" settlement bloc in the southern Gaza Strip. Restrictions imposed on the movement of residents include: (1) Male Palestinians aged 16-35 have been prohibited from crossing al-Tuffah checkpoint at the entrance to the area; (2) IOF allow the entry of foodstuffs into the area on Saturdays and Sundays, and allow the entry of other goods on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On other days, they allow the transportation of agricultural products out of the area. IOF and settlers in the area have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property; (3) Education continues to be drastically affected: 1430 schoolchildren study at one school in the area, which lacks electricity and water. The school also lacks teachers of a number of subjects, such as mathematics, physics and chemistry. Only one teacher from outside the area is allowed to teach at this school and he is sometimes prevented from entering the area. As a result of such conditions, the school was forced to cancel science classes and students who wish to study science have to go to Khan Yunis; and (4) IOF troops frequently close al-Tuffah checkpoint at the entrance to the area:

    - On Thursday noon, 09 June 2005, IOF positioned at al-Tuffah checkpoint at the entrance of al-Mawasi area in Khan Yunis arrested 'Omar Shihda al-Brdawil, 22, from Khan Yunis refugee camps when he was selling cold drinks in the area.

    - At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 14 June 2005, IOF positioned at al-Tuffah checkpoint held and interrogated 'Eissa Sa'id al-Astal, 30, a trader who was following up the transportation of his agricultural products. He was released seven hours later.

  • Al-Sayafa: approximately 180 Palestinians civilians live in al-Sayafa, an area located between "Dogit" and "Elli Sinai" settlements in the northern Gaza Strip. Restrictions imposed on the movement of residents include: (1) Palestinian civilians under the age of 30 are prohibited from moving out and into the area without prior coordination; (2) A limited number of farmers are allowed to enter the area but only following prior coordination. Farmers face extreme difficulties in marketing their products or bringing agricultural equipment into the area. ; (3) University students have been forced to live outside the area due to the prohibition imposed on the movement of those who are under 30; (4) the area lacks paved roads, which makes transportation extremely difficult, so residents of the area have to move on foot; (5) IOF open the iron gate at the entrance of the area between 07:00 to 09:00 and 14:00 to 17:00 only; (6) The area lacks basic services, such as electricity, as IOF have prevented establishing an electricity network in the area; and (7) Medical patients have to walk or use animal cart as ambulances are not allowed to enter the area without lengthy prior coordination.

  • Al-Ma’ni: IOF have continued to impose a strict siege on al-Ma'ni area near "Kfar Darom" settlement in the central Gaza Strip where approximately 140 Palestinians reside. The area has lacked water and telephone networks for three years after IOF destroyed this infrastructure. According to residents of the area, they obtain water from a well in the area or bring it from Deir al-Balah.

External movement:
  • Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing: On Sunday and Monday, 12 and 13 June 2005, IOF closed the crossing. When, the crossing is open, IOF have imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian workers and patients. IOF have allowed only approximately 5,000 Palestinian workers out of 25,000 workers who used to hold work permits before the current Intifada, to continue to enter Israel. These workers are subject to prolonged checking and humiliation by the IOF when the crossing is open. Some of workers are subjected to interrogation by Israeli Security Services while many other workers are arbitrarily prevented from entering Israel under the guise of ‘security’ concerns. Compounded these strict security procedures which often result in workers being denied entry is the rule that if workers do not go to their workplaces in Israel for more than one then there permit is cancelled. The limited number of traders who are allowed to enter Israel are subject to the same measures.

  • With regard to patients, IOF allow less than ten patients daily to enter Israel to receive medical treatment. Palestinian patients aged 25-40 are prohibited outright from entering Israel; 46 women have been prevented by IOF from entering Israel this month alone. Patients have to walk a very long distance between the checking points which cause stresses on their already ill health. Further, Palestinian ambulances are prevented from entering Israel, so patients travel to Israeli hospitals in private cars. Many patients have been prevented from entering Israel for security claims.

  • Al-Mentar (Karni) commercial crossing: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on commercial transactions at al-Mentar (Karni) commercial crossing, east of Gaza City. This is despite the IOF declaration that they have eased such restrictions. During the reporting period they allowed only 30-35 trucks to enter Israel and 270 to enter the Gaza Strip from Israel. These restrictions have caused goods to perish and large losses to Palestinian traders. IOF also closed this crossing on Sunday and Monday, 12 and 13 June 2005.

  • Sofa crossing: IOF have also continued to prevent Palestinian workers from entering Israel through Sofa crossing, northeast of Rafah. This crossing has been closed for people for more than one year and only raw construction materials are allowed to be enter. IOF closed the crossing on Sunday and Monday, 12 and 13 June 2005.

  • Even though Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border is open, IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on travel. The crossing point is opened from 09:00 to 17:00 everyday. The official policy of the IOF restricting the movement of all Palestinians between the ages of 16-35 has officially been lifted but in reality the IOF continue to arbitrarily refuse movement for many Palestinians within this age group. IOF have not allowed patients who have metal objects in their bodies from traveling through the crossing.

The West Bank
  • IOF have continued to impose a strict siege on Palestinian communities in the West Bank Territory. They have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians and imposed curfews on a number of Palestinian communities.

  • Jerusalem: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Friday, 10 June 2005, thousands of Palestinian civilians were not able to reach al-Aqsa Mosque for the Friday Prayer, as IOF prevented residents of the city aged under 45 and all Palestinian civilians who do not have Jerusalemite identity cards from reaching the Mosque. IOF were extensively deployed near al-Aqsa Mosque and in the vicinity of the old town and a helicopter flew over the area for several hours. IOF also used an aerostat on which a camera was stabled to observe the area.

  • Hebron: Contrary to Israeli claims, IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday, 09 June 2005, IOF erected a number of checkpoints in the streets of Hebron. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles and held a number of Palestinian civilians for a long time. In the meantime, IOF placed a number of observation cameras along the road that links "Kiryat Arba" settlement with the Ibrahimi Mosque to enhance their control over the street, which is devoted for the movement of settlers only. On Friday, 10 June 2005, hundreds of Palestinian civilians were not able to reach the Ibrahimi Mosque for the Friday Prayer, due to the severe restrictions imposed by IOF on the roads leading to it. Once again, the IOF were extensively deployed in the area and they stopped and checked Palestinian civilians and held some of them for a long time.

  • Bethlehem: At approximately 09:00 on Friday, 10 June 2005, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of Taqqou' village, south of Bethlehem, and another one on the road leading to villages located to the west of the town. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles and held a number of young men for several hours. At approximately 12:30 on Saturday, 11 June 2005, IOF closed the permanent checkpoint erected the western entrance of Beit Jala. They prevented Palestinian civilians, including even medical crews, from crossing the checkpoint. This closure continued until 15:00. At approximately 19:00 on Friday, 10 June 2005, IOF positioned at Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, arrested four Palestinians:

    1. Mohammed Ibrahim Jahshan, 24;

    2. Tha'er Ibrahim Jahshan, 23;

    3. Samer Saleh Jahshan, 23; and

    4. Hamdi 'Abdul Qader al-Atrash, 24, all from Halhoul town to the north of Hebron.

    At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 13 June 2005, IOF positioned at a military checkpoint near "Gush Etzion" settlement, south of Bethlehem, arrested Muneer Mustafa Abu Sharar, 22, from Dura village southwest of Hebron.

  • Nablus: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in and around the city including particular restrictions on movement of Palestinians under the age of 35. On Saturday, 11 June 2005, IOF closed Za'tara checkpoint, south of Nablus. They prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians between the north and south of the West Bank. IOF closed the checkpoint again on Monday, 13 June 2005. At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 11 June 2005, IOF erected a checkpoint near "Yitshar" settlement, south of Nablus. This checkpoint was erected between Za'tara and Hawara checkpoints, although the distance between these two checkpoints is less than six kilometers. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles but no arrests were reported. On Sunday morning, 12 June 2005, IOF erected a checkpoint near "Shavi Shomron" settlement, northwest of Nablus. They held at least 200 Palestinian civilian vehicles. They forced Palestinian civilians to get out of their vehicles and checked them. At noon, IOF closed 'Awarta commercial crossing, through which goods are transported to and from Nablus. This closure continued until Tuesday morning, 14 June 2005.

  • Jenin: At approximately 06:30 on Thursday, 09 June 2005, IOF erected a checkpoint at the northwestern entrance of Tubas village, southeast of Jenin. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles but no arrests were reported. At approximately 07:00 on Saturday, 11 June 2005, IOF erected a checkpoint at the northwestern entrance of Tammoun village, southeast of Jenin. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles but again no arrests were reported. Also on Sunday morning, IOF erected a checkpoint in Ras al-'Aqaba area in the north of Tubas village. They checked identity cards of Palestinian civilians. At the same time, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Fara'a refugee camp to the south. They prevented Palestinian civilian vehicles from traveling towards al-Hamra checkpoint in the central Jordan Valley. In the evening, IOF closed the entrance of Kufor Ra'ei village, southwest of Jenin. This closure remained effective on the following day. Palestinian civilians were forced to use alternative dirt roads. On Sunday noon, 12 June 2005, IOF erected a checkpoint at Beer al-Basha crossroads on Jenin -- Nablus road, south of Jenin. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.

  • Tulkarm: At approximately 07:00 on Saturday, 11 June 2005, IOF closed al-Kafriyat checkpoint, south of Tulkarm. This closure continued until 15:00. On Sunday, 12 June 2005, IOF erected a checkpoint in Shwaika area in the east of Tulkram. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles. They insulted young men and forced them to walk a long distance to get back their identity cards. On Monday morning, 13 June 2005, IOF erected a checkpoint on the dirt road that links Bala'a village with 'Anabta village. They also erected a checkpoint at Qiffin crossroads, north of Tulkarm and prevented Palestinian civilian vehicles from traveling towards Jenin for several hours.

  • Qalqilya: On Friday morning, 10 June 2005, IOF erected a checkpoint near 'Azzoun Bridge on the road leading to Tulkarm. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles and prevented them from reaching al-Kafriyat checkpoint. On Saturday, 11 June 2005, IOF erected a checkpoint on the road that links Kufor Thuluth village with villages located to the south of Qalqilya. They prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Sunday morning, 12 June 2005, IOF erected a checkpoint to the east of Qalqilya. They obstructed the movement of Palestinian civilians until the evening. They held a bus, in which at least 50 Palestinian civilians were traveling towards Qalqilya, for three hours. On Monday noon, 13 June 2005, IOF positioned at a checkpoint to the east of Qalqilya, arrested Mus'ab al-Titi, 19, from Baqat al-Harab village east of Qalqilya.

3. Construction of the Annexation Wall

IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank territory.

  • This week Israeli media sources reported on an Israeli official decision to start the construction of a section of the Wall around "Gush Etzion" settlement block in Bethlehem. The Israeli daily Maariv reported on Tuesday, 14 June 2005, that the construction of this section of the Wall, whose length would be 60 kilometers, would begin in two weeks. It would effectively annex "Gush Etzion" settlement block to Israel.

  • On Friday morning, 10 June 2005, IOF erected a number of checkpoints on the roads leading to Arab al-Ramadin village, southwest of Hebron, to prevent Palestinian civilians and dozens of international and Israeli solidarity activists from entering the village to organize a peaceful demonstration in protest to the construction of the Wall. They also declared the village a closed military zone.

  • At the same time, IOF erected a checkpoint at the entrance to Marda village, south of Tulkarm. They prevented dozens of international and Israeli solidarity activists from entering the village to express their solidarity with Palestinian farmers whose agricultural land was being razed by IOF to construct a section of the Wall around "Ariel" settlement.

  • On Friday noon, 10 June 2005, hundreds of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli solidarity activists organized a peaceful demonstration in protest to the construction of the Wall in Marda village, south of Nablus. IOF fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators. A number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, and Khaled al-Shawish, 26, sustained bruises after he was beaten by IOF. In addition, IOF arrested two international solidarity activists and one activist from Israeli.

  • At the same time, hundreds of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli solidarity activists organized a peaceful demonstration in protest to the construction of the Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. IOF again fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators. A number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.

  • On Saturday, 11 June 2005, Ahmed Mas'oud Marzouq 'Othman, 56, from Habbara village, south of Tulkarm, died due to the obstruction of his evacuation to the hospital by the IOF. The village is located to the west of the Wall and movement to and from the village is limited to an iron gate established in the Wall.

    In his testimony to PCHR, the victim's brother, Sadiq Mas'oud Marzouq 'Othman, 51, said:

    "At approximately 22:30 on Saturday, 11 June 2005, my brother felt acute pains in the chest. Immediately, I called for an ambulance of Palestine Red Crescent Society in Tulkarm. His son, our nephews and I transported him in a civilian car towards Tulkarm. Five minutes later we arrived at the iron gate established by IOF on the Wall at the entrance of the village. The driver turned the lights on to point to IOF to open the gate but they did not respond. My nephew opened the door of the car. Immediately, an Israeli soldier came. I told him that we were transporting a patient who was in a serious condition but he insisted to check our identity cards, so my nephew shouted on him. The soldier insisted to search the car so I told him that he would be responsible deterioration in the health condition of my brother. Nearly 15 minutes later, we were allowed to cross the gate. An ambulance was waiting for us at Far'oun crossroads, south of Tulkarm. The medical crew moved my bother to the ambulance and transported him to Tulkarm Hospital, but my brother died upon his arrival at the hospital. In normal time, traveling between our village and Tulkarm took five-eight minutes."

  • On Sunday morning, 12 June 2005, Israeli soldiers positioned at an iron gate on the Wall opposite to 'Azzoun 'Atma village, south of Qalqilya, prevented a medical crew of Palestine Red Crescent Society from entering the village. Palestinians living outside the village are not allowed to enter it without special permits issued by IOF.

4. Settlement Activities and Attacks by Settlers against Palestinian Civilians and Property

Israeli settlers (living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law) have continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and property:

  • At approximately 00:00 on Thursday, 09 June 2005, a number of Israeli settlers attacked the clinic of al-Mawasi area in Khan Yunis. They broke its doors and damaged its contents. They left it one hour later. Only a physician and a pharmacist work in the only clinic which serves more than 5000 people living in the area. It receives 30-50 patients everyday and serious cases are transferred to hospitals in Khan Yunis.

  • At approximately 00:30 on Thursday, 09 June 2005, a number of Israeli settlers from "Avraham Avino" settlement post in the old town of Hebron set fire to a shop owned by Mohye al-Din 'Ali Saber. IOF prevented residents of the area and Palestinian fire engines from extinguishing fire. Fire broke out in the shop for three hours.

  • On Thursday morning, 09 June 2005, Israeli settlers seized a fishing boat owned by 'Abed Saleh al-Lahham at Khan Yunis seashore. They took the boat to "Gush Qatif" settlement bloc. This incident was the second of its kind in less than 20 days as settlers seized another boat owned by Saleh Ma'youf al-Wadidi. IOF have prevented Palestinian fishermen from fishing opposite to Khan Yunis seashore since the beginning of the current Intifada.

  • On Friday morning, 10 June 2005, a number of Israeli settlers from "Allon Shavot" settlement, south of Bethlehem, attacked areas of Palestinian agricultural land. According to local sources, the settlers cut at least 400 trees.

  • On Sunday morning, 12 June 2005, Israeli settlers living in "Kiryat Arba" settlement, southeast of Hebron, attacked a number of Palestinian houses in Wad al-Nasara and Wad al-Husain areas using stones and bottles. Seven houses were damaged and the residents terrified.

  • At approximately 19:00 on Monday, 13 June 2005, a number of Israeli settlers who were celebrating a Jewish festival attacked Palestinian houses and civilian property in several areas in Hebron. They used stones and bottles in their attacks and used racist words against Arabs. A well-known extremist settler was among the attackers. He pointed his gun at Palestinian civilians and threatened to shoot them.

  • At approximately 10:30 on Wednesday, 15 June 2005, two Israeli settlers from "Gid'on" settlement near Salem village, east of Nablus, attacked Bassem 'Aadel Eshtayeh, 40, his wife and his four children, when they were bringing water on a donkey to their agricultural land in the southeast of their village. The two settlers threw stones at the family and chased them. Members of the family were able to escape towards their village but not before they sustained bruises. They received medical care in the village but the father was then transferred to a hospital in Nablus.

Recommendations to the International Community

1. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure Israel's respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR believes the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.

2. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel's respect of the Convention in the OPT and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.

3. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to comply with its legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.

4. PCHR recommends international civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and NGOs to participate in the process of searching for Israeli those accused of grave breaches of international law and to urge their governments to bring these people to justice.

5. PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel. PCHR further calls upon the EU states to prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the OPT.

6. PCHR calls upon the member States of the EU, and all other states, to adopt a voting pattern at the UN bodies, particularly the General Assembly, Security Council and Commission on Human Rights which is keeping with international law.

7. PCHR demands that the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion be immediately implemented by the international community.

8. PCHR calls on the international community to recognize the proposed Gaza disengagement plan for what it is - not an end to occupation but compounding the occupation and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

9. In recognition of ICRC as the guardian of the Fourth Geneva Convention, PCHR calls upon the ICRC to increase its staff and activities in the OPT, including for facilitating family visitations to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

10. PCHR appreciates the efforts of international civil society, including human rights organizations, bar associations, unions and NGOs, and urges them to continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel's respect for human rights in the OPT and to end its attacks on Palestinian civilians.

11. In light of the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupying forces on access for international organizations to the OPT, PCHR calls upon European countries to deal the same way with Israeli citizens.

12. PCHR reiterates that any political settlement not based on international human rights law and humanitarian law cannot lead to a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian question. Rather, such an arrangement can only lead to further suffering and instability in the region. Any peace agreement or process must be based on respect for international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.

Public Document

For further information please visit our website (http://www.pchrgaza.org) or contact PCHR’s office in Gaza City, Gaza Strip by email (pchr@pchrgaza.org) or telephone (+972 (0)8 2824776 -- 2825893).