oPt + 1 more

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories 29 Dec 2005 - 04 Jan 2006


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

  • 5 Palestinians were killed by IOF.

  • Two of the victims were extra-judicially executed by IOF.

  • 29 Palestinian civilians, including 19 children, were wounded by IOF.

  • IOF conducted 25 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

  • Houses were raided and 30 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children and a girl, were arrested by IOF.

  • 7 houses and a shop were transformed by IOF into military sites.

  • IOF shelled a civilian facility in Khan Yunis.

  • IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; border crossings of the Gaza Strip were partially reopened; IOF imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians and election candidates in the West Bank; and IOF arrested 4 Palestinian civilians at checkpoints in the West Bank.

  • IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall in the West Bank; IOF razed areas of Palestinian land near "Shavi Shomron" settlement, northwest of Nablus; and IOF uprooted 400 olive trees in Sikka village near Hebron.

  • Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property in the OPT; Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian civilians and property in Hebron; dozens of settlers moved back to the evacuated "Sanour" settlement in the north of the West Bank; and IOF demolished a house in Beit Hanina village near Jerusalem.

Summary

Israeli violations of international law continued in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) during the reporting period (29 December 2005 -- 4 January 2006):

Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 5 Palestinians, including 4 in the Gaza Strip. On 31 December 2005, IOF shelled the northern Gaza Strip and killed two Palestinian civilians, who were at least 2 kilometers away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. On 1 January 2006, IOF extra-judicially executed a member of the Islamic Jihad and a taxi driver. Another member of the Islamic Jihad and 3 civilian bystanders were injured. On 4 January 2006, IOF shot dead a Palestinian in Dura village near Hebron. In addition, 29 Palestinian civilians, including 19 children, were wounded by the IOF gunfire. IOF aircrafts also shelled a civilian facility in Bani Suhaila village near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Incursions: IOF conducted 25 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, IOF raided houses and arrested 30 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children and a girl. IOF also transformed 5 houses into military sites. IOF used undercover units and trained dogs during these incursions.

Restrictions on Movement: IOF have continued to impose a comprehensive siege on the OPT, in violation of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of Palestinian civilians.

IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the Gaza Strip, transforming it into a big prison. Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border, the sole outlet for the Gaza Strip to the outside world, has been partially reopened. The crossing point is operated for 8 hours a day only. The Kerem Shalom border commercial crossing has not bee operated so far. IOF have closed Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for Palestinian workers and traders since 16 December 2005. IOF have also continued to impose severe restrictions at commercial border crossings in the Gaza Strip. In addition, IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on fishing by chasing and firing at Palestinian fishing boats.

IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF tightened the siege imposed on occupied Jerusalem and isolated it from the rest of the West Bank. IOF also erected more checkpoints at the entrances to Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During the reported period, IOF positioned at various checkpoints arrested 4 Palestinian civilians, including 'Abeer Qubti, the spokeswoman of the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel (Mossawa). As the campaigns for the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections started, IOF have imposed severe restrictions on the movement of candidates and staff members of the Central Election Commission. During the reported period, IOF prevented the transportation of election materials from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip.

Annexation Wall: IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank territory. During the reported period, IOF continued to raze areas of Palestinian land in Beit Jala. They also razed areas of agricultural land and uprooted at least 400 olive trees in Sikka village, southwest of Hebron. Land leveling in the two areas aims at constructing new sections of the Wall. In addition, IOF razed areas of Palestinian land to establish a fence around "Shavi Shomron" settlement, northwest of Nablus. IOF also used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists in protest to the construction of the Wall in Beit Jala. IOF arrested a candidate for the Palestinian parliamentary elections during this demonstration. Further, IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians on both sides of the Wall.

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. During the reported period, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian civilians and property in Hebron. On 3 January 2006, IOF demolished a house in Beit Hanina village, north of Jerusalem. During the reported period, dozens of Israeli settlers moved back to the evacuated "Sanour" settlement, south of Jenin.

Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (29 December 2005 -- 4 January 2006)

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

Thursday, 29 December 2005

At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Taqqou' village, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Hassan Muhaisen al-Badan, 40, and arrested him. .

At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Shawawra village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of 'Ali Mohammed al-Dar'awi, 27, and arrested him.

At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. They opened fire at houses. Two Palestinian civilians were wounded:

1. Khalil Rasmi al-'Eissa, 22, seriously wounded by a live bullet to the abdomen; and

2. Salah al-Jermi, 25, wounded by a live bullet to the hand.

At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Bourqin village, west of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets and erected a number of checkpoints. They withdrew from the village a few hours later and no arrests were reported.

Friday, 30 December 2005

At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Reehiya village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Fares 'Eissa al-Tubasi. They held the family in one room and transformed the house into a military site.

At approximately 01:45, IOF moved into Dura al-Qare' village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.

At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into 'Attil village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched dozens of houses and arrested 9 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children:

1. 'Alaa' Nemer 'Ammous, 23;

2. Wajdi Nemer 'Ammous, 25;

3. Na'im Khairi Abu Hasna, 24;

4. Mohammed Khairi Abu Hasna, 25;

5. Sameer Sabri Abu al-Haija, 18;

6. Ma'awia 'Abdul Latif al-Shalabi, 17;

7. 'Abdullah Mohammed Abu Shams, 18;

8. Sa'id Hussein Abu Khazna, 17; and

9. Mohammed Helmi Ruziya, 16.

Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Da'erat al-Sair area in the north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to 'Abdul Mo'ez al-Qawasmi. They held the family in one room and transformed the house into a military site.

At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They patrolled the streets and opened fire indiscriminately. They raided and searched some houses and transformed a number of them into military sites. Then, they raided the headquarters of the Palestinian General Intelligence and forced the staff out.

At approximately 10:00, following the funeral procession of 'Alaa' 'Abdul Latif al-Sa'di, who was killed by IOF on 29 December 2005, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. Immediately, IOF fired at these civilians wounding 5, including 4 children:

1. Saber Ahmed Jaradat, 18, wounded by shrapnel to the left shoulder;

2. Eyad Sameer Abu Jamhour, 14, wounded by shrapnel to the back and the right thigh;

3. Nidal Hassan Jameel, 17, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the thigh;

4. Mahmoud Talal 'Abdullah, 29, wounded by a live bullet to the right foot; and

5. 'Abdul Qader Naji al-Wahesh, 15, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the chest.

Saturday, 31 December 2005

At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Yatta village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Ziad Hassan Khalaila, 20, and arrested him.

At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into 'Attil village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 4 Palestinian civilians:

1. 'Abdullah Jamal Abu Shames, 18;

2. Malek Anas Shukri, 19;

3. Mo'men Mahmoud Damaira, 20; and

4. Muhsen 'Aamer Muhsen, 18.

Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Amjad Hussein Zaidan, 23, and arrested him.

At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Deir al-Ghosoun village, north of Tulkarm. They raided a house belonging to 'Omar Saleh Zaidan. They forced the family out and searched the house. Then, they arrested the owner's son, 19-year-old Liwaa'.

At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They opened fire indiscriminately. Dozens of Palestinian civilians, mostly children, gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. Immediately, IOF fired at these civilians wounding 9, including 8 children:

1. Anwar Jameel Abu 'Eita, 11, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the left foot;

2. Ahmed Joma'a Nasri, 10, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the back;

3. Amjad Nasser Matahen, 17, wounded by shrapnel to the head;

4. Mohammed Hussein Bali, 11, wounded by a live bullet to the mouth;

5. Fathi Fawzi Abu Daqqa, 22, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the left thigh;

6. Manal Akram al-Sabe', 7, wounded by shrapnel to the left foot;

7. Mohammed Mahmoud Abu Tabeekh, 9, wounded by shrapnel to the head;

8. Manahel Jamal Ghawawda, 13, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the left foot; and

9. 'Ameed 'Omar Marar, 17, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right hand.

At approximately 22:30, IOF positioned at the northern border of the Gaza Strip, northwest of Beit Lahia, fired 3 tanks shells at agricultural areas located 2 kilometers to the south. Three Palestinian civilians were in the area. They were not hurt. Soon, an IOF aircraft that flew over the area launched a missile at the three civilians. IOF thought the three civilians were members of the Palestinian resistance. Two civilians were instantly killed:

1. Mo'taz Ahmed 'Abdul Raziq al-Musallami, 20; and

2. Hamza Jihad Hamdouna, 21.

The third civilian, 20-year-old Ahmed Muneer Mohammed Hamdouna, was seriously wounded by shrapnel.

This attack came in context of IOF's response to launching rockets at Israeli towns. The three victims are civilians and were outside the "buffer zone" declared by IOF in the northern Gaza Strip.

Sunday, 1 January 2006

At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into 'Anza village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of 'Alaa' Mohammed Barahma, 22, and arrested him.

At approximately 20:00, IOF moved into al-Khader village, southwest of Bethlehem. They patrolled in the streets. A number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. IOF chased these children and arrested two of them: Bilal Jamal a-Nashash, 14; and Ghaith Hassan al-Nashash, 10. The two children were released at night.

At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Bardala village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched houses and confiscated the identity cards of 20 Palestinian civilians who are not registered residents of the village. IOF informed these civilians that they could obtain their identity cards in any place behind Tayaseer checkpoint to the west of the village.

Monday, 2 January 2006

At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-'Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

1. Ahmed Mahmoud al-Jawabra, 21; and

2. Ahmed 'Eissa Khairan, 17.

At approximately 02:25, an IOF aircraft launched a missile at a subordinate building of the Municipality of Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Yunis. The missile hit the meeting hall on the second floor of the building and severely damaged. A computer center on the first floor and the sports hall were also severely damaged. The Municipality asserted that the building belongs to it rather than to any political faction as IOF claimed.

At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Wad Rahhal village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to 'Ali Mohammed al-Masri. No arrests were reported.

At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Ramallah. They patrolled in the streets and erected a number of checkpoints. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 3 January 2006

At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring Balata refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian children:

1. 'Omar Fathi 'Arafat, 17;

2. Mahmoud Mohammed Sarhan, 17; and

3. Khalil Hikmat al-'Aassi, 17.

At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camps. They opened fire indiscriminately. They raided and searched a number of houses and transformed 5 of them into military sites.

At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Bethlehem through its northern entrance. They patrolled the streets. No arrests were reported.

At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into the villages of Dura and Kharsa, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 4 Palestinian civilians:

1. Einas Mohammed Tubaish, 22;

2. Shadi Fayez al-Nammoura, 38;

3. Mashour Musallam Abu Sundos, 23; and

4. Ahmed 'Eissa Hantash, 23.

At approximately 12:30, dozens of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles, which had moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. Immediately, IOF fired at the children wounding 8:

1. Hassan Asa'ad al-Zaghal, 9, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the left leg;

2. Jamal 'Emad 'Awad, 13, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head;

3. Mujahed Ahmed Mahajna, 15, wounded by shrapnel to the left hand and leg;

4. Aseed Fathi Raja, 16, wounded by shrapnel to the limbs;

5. Ro'a Hatem Abu 'Ali, 7, wounded by shrapnel to the head;

6. Muhannad Hussam al-Sa'di, 15, wounded by shrapnel to the hand and the abdomen;

7. Murad Tahseen 'Aarda, 11, wounded by shrapnel; to the hand and the abdomen; and

8. 'Abdul Qader Naji Wahesh, 15, wounded by shrapnel to the left hand.

Wednesday, 4 January 2006

At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Tarma village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mustafa Ibrahim Salem Awlad Mohammed, 38, allegedly wanted by IOF, to arrest him. He was not at home. IOF moved towards his shop in a neighboring building. They blew up the shop's door and started searching for Awlad Mohammed. When IOF saw him, they shot him dead with several live bullets to the head.

At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched dozens of houses and arrested 5 Palestinian civilians:

1. Bajes Khalil Nakhla, 40;

2. Jihad Mahmoud Ziad, 33;

3. Mohammed Mahmoud Ziad, 25;

4. 'Othman Kamel Nakhla, 25; and

5. 'Abdul Halim Mohammed Ghannam, 30.

2. Extra-Judicial Execution

On Monday evening, 2 January 2006, IOF extra-judicially executed a member of the al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, and a taxi driver. Another member of the al-Quds Brigades was critically injured. Three civilian bystanders were also injured.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 21:15 on Monday, 2 January 2006, an IOF aircraft launched a missile at a taxi that was traveling on the Sea road near the Municipality of Jabalya. Two members of the al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, were traveling in the car. The missile hit the front of the car and killed the driver and one of the two militants:

1. Akram Hassan Quddas, 45, the driver; and

2. Sa'id 'Abdul Fattah Abu al-Jedian, 38.

The other militant, 30-year-old 'Omar 'Obaid, was critically injured. In addition, 3 civilian bystanders were injured:

1. 'Aa'ed Mahmoud Lubbad, 20, injured by shrapnel to the face and the neck;

2. As'ad Hassan 'Abdul 'Azizi, 40, injured by shrapnel to the face; and

3. Ra'ed Khalil Harb, 32, suffered from shock.

3. 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.

Gaza Strip

Even though IOF were redeployed around the Gaza Strip, they have maintained the occupation of the Gaza Strip by controlling all outlets and crossings.

Rafah International Crossing Point: Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border is the sole outlet for the Gaza Strip to the outside world. Working hours at the crossing have increased to 8 hours a day after it had previously been working for 5 hours daily since it was reopened 3 weeks ago. The declared reason for the short work day was that the European monitoring team was not ready. It is noted that, contrary to media reports, the commercial crossing in Rafah has not been opened. The commercial crossing still requires some technical preparations alongside those being conducted at the Kerem Shalom crossing to the southeast of Rafah, which is designated for imports under joint Israeli-Palestinian control. For more information on the border crossings agreement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, please refer to previous PCHR's reports. During the reported period, a Palestinian was prevented from traveling to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage as IOF claimed that he is a member of the Palestinian resistance.

The agreement on border crossings allows IOF to monitor the border crossings, which are the main artery to the economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian civilian population. The absence of actual Israeli military presence inside the Gaza Strip does not mean that the Israeli military occupation has come to an end. The field conditions in the Gaza Strip prove that IOF have continued to control movement to and from the Gaza Strip. This agreement reinforces the IOF control over, and occupation of the Gaza Strip, which has not come to an end with the implementation of the Disengagement Plan.

Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing: It is the only crossing point for Gaza Strip workers, patients, traders or ordinary citizens into Israel and to the West Bank. The crossing has been closed for workers and traders for the third consecutive week. It is noted that the crossing has been closed repeatedly for varying durations since the implementation of the disengagement plan. These closures have compounded the problems of poverty and unemployment in the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of workers are prevented from earning a living in order to support themselves and their families when the crossing is closed. In addition, Palestinians are deprived of social and economic connection with the West Bank.

Al-Mentar (Karni) Commercial Crossing: Since the evacuation of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, IOF have repeatedly closed the crossing. According to field information, 40-50 trucks transport exported goods from the Gaza Strip and 250 trucks transport goods imported from Israel and the West Bank. The capacity of the crossing before the current Intifada was 800 trucks daily, including 150 that transported exported goods from the Gaza Strip. Since the beginning of the Intifada, IOF have repeatedly closed the crossing in order to economically pressure Palestinian civilians.

Sofa crossing: IOF also control Sofa crossing, northeast of Rafah, which is designated for the transportation of construction raw materials. They close the crossing from time to time for no apparent reason.

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. Approximately 35,000 people in and around Gaza's coastal communities rely on the fishing industry, including 2500 fishermen, 2500 support staff and their families.

Since the Fishermen have been allowed back into the sea, they have been subjected to intensive monitoring by the Israeli military. The military have used helicopter gunships and gunboats to monitor the fishermen. On a number of occasions the Israeli military opened fire against the civilian fishermen in order to enforce the 9 nautical mile limit imposed on them. The Oslo Accords make provision for Gaza's sea to be fished to 20 nautical miles.

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: On the eve of the new year, IOF imposed more restrictions on access to East Jerusalem. According to eyewitnesses, IOF positioned at various checkpoints around the city conducted humiliating searches on Palestinian civilian vehicles. In the meantime, IOF have continued to prevent Palestinian civilians, who have valid permits, from entering the city. As a result of these restrictions on movement, Palestinian civilians who have Palestinian identity cards were not able to reach the city in order to celebrate the new year, or cross it in order to get to Bethlehem. Residents of the Gaza Strip have not been able to reach Jerusalem for various celebrations for several years.

On Monday evening, IOF positioned at the Container checkpoint at the entrance of al-Sawahra al-Sharqiya village, east of Jerusalem, arrested Ahmed Mohammed 'Ebayat, 21, from Bethlehem.

Ramallah: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in Ramallah for the fourth consecutive week. IOF re-established their presence on the 'Attara Bridge checkpoint at the northern entrance of Bir Zeit village. They imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians through the checkpoint. On Monday morning, 2 January 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint in al-Khan area, east of Jerusalem, which links the Jordan Valley, Ramallah and the villages of Jerusalem with the southern Gaza Strip. IOF stopped Palestinian civilian vehicles for long hours. On Tuesday morning, 3 January 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint in 'Oyoun al-Haramiya area, north of Ramallah. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian civilian vehicles. Palestinian employees were not able to reach their work places on time.

Nablus: IOF have continued to impose strict closure measures in Nablus. PCHR's fieldworker in Nablus reported that since the announcement of the continued closure imposed on the OPT, IOF have been restricting the movement of civilians at stationary and temporary checkpoints around the city and on main roads. IOF positioned at Za'tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, have continued to prevent Palestinian civilians living in Tulkarm and Jenin to cross the checkpoint. On Thursday morning, 29 December 2005, IOF imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Nablus district. They prevented Palestinian civilians from leaving the city through Hawara checkpoint, south of the city, and Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of the city, for no apparent reason. On Friday morning, 30 December 2005, IOF closed a checkpoint near Qarawat Bani Hassan village, southwest of Nablus, with cement blocks. IOF opened this checkpoint following an agreement with the Palestinian National Authority concerning crossings and checkpoints. On Monday noon, 2 January 2006, IOF erected a number of checkpoints between Hawara and Za'tara checkpoints, south of Nablus. On Tuesday morning, 3 January 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint on a bypass road linking "Shavi Shmoron" settlement with "Qidoumim" settlement, west of Nablus. They conducted prolonged searches of Palestinian civilian vehicles. They also checked Palestinian civilians and verified their identity cards. Also on Tuesday morning, IOF closed Za'tara checkpoint, south of Nablus. They allowed only teachers and physicians to cross the checkpoint.

On Saturday afternoon, 31 December 2005, IOF positioned at Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of Nablus, arrested 'Abeer Qubti, the spokeswoman of the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel (Mossawa). PCHR's field worker in Nablus reported that dozens of Israeli peace activists and Arab citizens in Israel arrived at the checkpoint to demonstrate against the policy of closure in the West Bank. IOF attacked the demonstrators. Qubti attempted to drive IOF away from the demonstrators. IOF arrested and interrogated her. She was released later.

Tulkarm: IOF have continued to impose a strict closure on Tulkarm, treating it as a closed military zone, for the third consecutive week. On Thursday morning, 29 December 2005, IOF reinforced their presence at various checkpoints around the town. They prohibited the movement to and from the town. At approximately 10:00, following a bombing at Far'oun checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, IOF imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians and isolated the town from the rest of the West Bank. On Friday morning, 30 December 2005, IOF erected more checkpoints on the main roads leading the town and prevented Palestinian civilians from traveling to and from the town. On Sunday, 1 January 2006, IOF imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians through al-Jaroushiya checkpoint, north of Tulkarm. They conducted humiliating searches on Palestinian civilians. They also chased a number of civilians to prevent them from crossing the checkpoint. At approximately 06:00 on Monday, 2 January 2006, IOF closed Bala'a -- Ektaba road, east of Tulkarm, with sand barriers. Thus, all roads leading to and from the city became closed. Also on Monday morning, IOF erected a checkpoint at Ramin intersection, east of Tulkarm. They stopped and verified the identity cards of dozens of Palestinian civilians and forced them to cross the checkpoint on foot. They also detained a number of civilians for nearly 6 hours. Also on Monday, IOF positioned at a checkpoint on al-Kafriyat -- Tulkarm road prevented Palestinian civilians from crossing the checkpoints. According to eyewitnesses, IOF prevented an ambulance that was transporting two babies to a hospital in Tulkarm from crossing the checkpoint. They also prevented another ambulance that was transporting Aamena Mohammed Jamous, from Kufor Zeibad village, to a hospital in Tulkram in order to undergo surgery from crossing the checkpoint. The ambulance was forced to travel on an alternative dirt road, which is dozens of kilometers longer.

At approximately 14:30 on Saturday, 31 December 2005, Israeli soldiers violently beat Wajeeh Hussein Zaidan, 24, from Deir al-Ghosoun village, north of Tulkarm. According to Zaidan, he was on his way back home, when Israeli soldiers positioned at the entrance of the village prevented him from entering the village. He debated with the soldiers. Immediately, two Israeli soldiers violently beat him. He sustained bruises throughout the body. He was evacuated to a hospital in Tulkarm.

At approximately 11:00 on Sunday, 1 January 2006, IOF positioned at 'Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, arrested Ashraf Saqer 'Omar, 27, a taxi driver from Bala'a village.

Jenin: Following a bombing that occurred at Far'oun checkpoint, south of Tulkarm on Thursday morning, 29 December 2005, and the bomber was identified as a resident of Jenin, IOF imposed more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in Jenin. On Thursday noon, IOF closed Tayaseer checkpoint, southeast of Jenin. They prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the Jordan Valley. In the afternoon, IOF closed the southern entrance of Jenin. According to eyewitnesses, IOF erected 4 checkpoints on the Jenin -- Nablus road. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. On Saturday evening, 31 December 2005, IOF prevented Palestinian trucks loaded with vegetables from crossing Tayaseer checkpoint, southeast of Jenin, towards Jenin and Nablus.

Qalqilya: On Thursday noon, 29 December 2005, IOF imposed a total closure on Qalqilya. They closed its southern and eastern entrances and prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the town. On Saturday morning, 31 December 2005, IOF erected two checkpoints at the southern and eastern entrances of Qalqilya. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. IOF also erected a checkpoint on the road leading to al-Mudawar village, south of Qalqilya. On Monday, 2 January 2006, IOF erected a checkpoint on Kour -- Hijja road and prevented Palestinian civilians from traveling towards Nablus. They erected another checkpoint on al-Kafriyat -- Qaqlilya road and prevented Palestinian civilians from traveling to the town.

Hebron: On Thursday morning, 29 December 2005, IOF positioned at a checkpoint near Beeli village, southwest of Hebron, arrested Ayoub 'Abdul Qader Abu 'Awad, 30, from al-Fawar refugee camp south of Hebron.

At approximately 21:00 on Monday, 2 January 2006, IOF positioned in a military post at the entrance of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, stopped Rasem Yousef Shuraitah, 21, from the neighboring al-'Arroub refugee camp. They violently beat him. He sustained bruises throughout the body.

Restrictions on the Movement of Candidates for Parliamentary Elections and Election Staff

At approximately 06:30 on Monday, 2 January 2006, IOF held 23 of officials of polling centers in Tulkarm at a checkpoint erected near Bala'a village, east of Tulkarm, for 6 hours. These officials were on their way to Ramallah to attend a training course organized by the Central Election Commission in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections. A number of these officials arrived in Ramallah at approximately 20:30.

On Monday evening, 2 January 2006, IOF arrested Mitri George Nasrawi, a candidate for the parliamentary elections, and his brother Morris. The two brothers were preparing for the election campaign. IOF detained the two brothers in a detention center in Jerusalem until 05:00 on the following day.

On Tuesday morning, 3 January 2006, IOF positioned at Tayaseer checkpoint prevented staff members of the Palestinian Central Election Commission from entering the northern Jordan Valley. These staff members were on their way to the area to conduct awareness raising activities related to elections.

Also on Tuesday morning, IOF positioned at al-Jaroushiya checkpoint, north of Tulkarm, prevented Nada Twair, a candidate for the elections, from passing through the checkpoint towards Deir al-Ghousoun village.

Also on Tuesday morning, sources of al-Badeel electoral list declared that IOF prevented the transportation of election campaigning materials from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip. IOF positioned at al-Mentar crossing, east of Gaza City, held the trucks that were transporting these materials for 12 hours and then forced them to travel back to the West Bank.

On Tuesday noon, IOF that were patrolling in the old town of Hebron arrested Dr. Mustafa al-Barghouthi, Head of Independent Palestine list, when he was campaigning for his list. Dr. al-Barghouthi was taken to a detention center where he was interrogated. IOF released him 4 hours later.

At approximately 15:00 on Tuesday, IOF intercepted a number of candidates of the Fatah movement and independent candidates for the parliamentary elections in Bab al-'Amoud area in Jerusalem. These candidates were preparing to start their election campaigns. IOF beat these candidates. Two of these candidates sustained injuries and bruises: Hatem 'Abdul Qader; and Dr, Talal Abu 'Afifa. They also arrested 4 candidates: Ahmed Ghunaim; Demitri Deliali; Majed 'Alloush; and Hamdi al-Raji.

4. Construction of the Annexation Wall

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

On Thursday morning, 29 December 2005, IOF started to raze areas of Palestinian land to the east of "Sahvi Shomron" settlement, northwest of Nablus, to establish a wall around the settlement. Palestinian civilians living in the villages of Sabastia, al-Naqoura and Deir Sharaf, on whose land the settlement stands, expressed their utmost concern that the establishment of the wall may isolate their land. Recently, IOF issued dozens of military orders confiscating areas of Palestinian land. It is worth noting that "Shavi Shomron" settlement was established in 1978 replacing what used to be a post of the Jordanian Army prior to 1967.

On Friday, 30 December 2005, IOF closed Kherbat Jebara gate, south of Tulkarm. They prohibited the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from Kherbat Jebara village.

On Saturday morning, 31 December 2005, IOF closed an iron gate in the wall, which leads to the villages of Ras Teera, Magharat al-Daba'a and Wad al-Rasha, southeast of Qalqilya. IOF prevented Palestinian civilians living in these villages from traveling to Qalqilya, where the first term exams at school had started.

Also on Saturday morning, 31 December 2005, IOF closed the iron gate leading to 'Azzoun 'Atma village, south of Qalqilya. They prohibited movement to and from the village. As a result, hundreds of school children from the neighboring Beit Ameen village were not able to reach their schools in 'Azzoun 'Atma village to attend the first term exams.

On Sunday morning, 1 January 2006, IOF resumed land leveling in Beit Jala town in the southern West Bank, to construct a new section of the Wall. According to local sources, by the end of this operation, at least 350 dunums of agricultural land belonging to the families of Mukarkar, Khulailiya, Ghanem and al-'Aaraj would have been razed. It is worth noting that IOF stopped its works in the area following a temporary injunction issued by the Israeli High Court on 8 April 2005. However, the court cancelled this injunction and IOF resumed construction works in the area.

At approximately 16:00 on Sunday, 1 January 2006, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists organized a peaceful demonstration in Beit Jala in protest to the construction of the Wall in the area. IOF attacked the demonstrators and violently beat a number of them. As a result, 15 demonstrators sustained bruises. IOF also arrested Sami Bishara 'Awad, a candidate for the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections, which will be held on 25 January 2006. 'Awad was released later.

On Monday morning, 2 January 2006, IOF started to raze areas of agricultural land in Sikka village, southwest of Hebron, for the purpose of the construction of the Wall. According to local sources, at least 400 olive trees were uprooted. According to eyewitnesses, IOF transported the uprooted trees in trucks out of the area.

5. 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:

On Thursday evening, 29 December 2005, dozens of Israeli settlers from "Kiryat Arba" settlement, east of Hebron, attacked a number of Palestinian houses in al-Qasaba quarter in the old town of Hebron. According to eyewitnesses, the settlers threw stones and empty bottles at houses. IOF did not intervene to stop this attack.

Also on Thursday evening, 29 December 2005, a number of Israeli settlers threw stones and empty bottles at a number of Palestinian houses in Wad al-Nasara neighborhood near "Kiryat Arba" settlement. IOF did not intervene to stop this attack.

On Monday evening, 2 January 2006, dozens of Israeli settlers broke into the already evacuated "Sanour" settlement, south of Jenin. The settlers mounted a building buried in sand, which used to be a synagogue and opened fire into the air. Later, IOF arrived at the area and evacuated the settlers.

On Tuesday morning, 3 January 2006, dozens of Israeli settlers from "Abraham Avino" settlement in the old town of Hebron attacked Palestinian civilians and property in the area. According to eyewitnesses, the settlers attacked passing civilians and shops. They also broke into shops, which has been closed by IOF, and robbed some goods. As a result of these attacks, a number of houses and shops were damaged.

Also on Tuesday morning, IOF, accompanied by officials of the "Municipality of Jerusalem" and a bulldozer, moved into Beit Hanina village, north of Jerusalem. They demolished a 400-square-meter, 4-storey, under-construction house belonging to Tariq Abu Khalaf.

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 to 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 exposing 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 a compounding of 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 the facilitation of family visits 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 with Israeli citizens in a similar manner.

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

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