Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories 06 - 19 Feb 2003

Report
from Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Published on 19 Feb 2003


The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations
Affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists - Geneva
Member of the International Federation for Human Rights - Paris
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network
The International Community Remains Silent While Israeli Human Rights Violations Continue in the OPTs

In the past two weeks:

  • 32 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 6 children, killed by Israeli forces

  • 6 other Palestinians killed in a mysterious explosion apparently planned by the Israeli occupying forces

  • 11 of the victims were killed in an Israeli incursions into al-Tuffah neighborhood in Gaza City

  • Large areas of Palestinian agricultural land in the Gaza Strip were razed

  • Israeli occupying forces continued to use Palestinian civilians as human shields in military operations

  • The Israeli retaliatory campaign continues against families of wanted Palestinians and those who allegedly have carried out armed attacks against Israeli targets

  • A number of Palestinians were arrested

  • The severe siege of the OPT continued

Introduction

In the past two weeks, Israeli occupying forces have escalated their illegal military actions against Palestinian civilians and property, using various kinds of weapons. They invaded Palestinian areas and destroyed private and public property, while they have maintained full control over many Palestinian areas in the West Bank for several weeks. The Israeli military perpetrated more illegal actions and human rights violations against Palestinian civilians, including willful killings, shelling of and incursions into Palestinian areas, house demolitions, and agricultural land leveling. In the past two weeks, 6-19 February 2003, 32 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 6 children and a woman, were killed by Israeli forces, and 6 others were killed in a mysterious explosion which the Israeli army is suspected of being involved in.

In another illegal military action, on 18 February 2003, Israeli occupying forces killed 11 Palestinians, including two brothers and their cousin whose bodies were removed from the ruins of a house. In addition, 5 civilian facilities were destroyed and raided and a school was damaged, when Israeli forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles and helicopters and covered by intense shelling, invaded areas of Gaza City. 15 Palestinians, including a physician, were injured by Israeli shelling.

Israeli forces shelled and moved into Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip. They shelled these areas, demolished dozens of Palestinian houses and razed large areas of agricultural land. In Rafah, Israeli forces demolished 36 houses near the Egyptian border, south of the town. They also razed approximately 200 donums of Palestinian agricultural land in Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

According to PCHR's documentation, in January and February 2003, in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military have demolished more than 200 Palestinian houses totally or partially, destroyed approximately 125 industrial workshops and razed more than 1000 donums of agricultural land, which marks an unprecedented escalation by Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians and property.

In cases of apparent willful killings, in the past two weeks, Israeli army has killed 8 Palestinians, mostly civilians. In addition, 8 Palestinians, not including the victims in al-Tuffah neighborhood in Gaza city, were killed by the Israeli shelling against Palestinian residential areas. A woman died from a heart attack in Khan Yunis when she escaped from her house that was subjected to Israeli shelling.

In a continuation of the policy of assassination officially adopted by the Israeli political and military establishments, in the period covered by this report, Israeli forces committed two extra-judicial assassinations, which left dead two Palestinians. A Palestinian from 'Ein Beit al-Maa'p, west of Nablus, was assassinated by Israeli forces on 10 February 2002, and another Palestinian from al-Boreij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip was assassinated by Israeli forces on 17 February 2003. In addition, 6 Palestinians were killed in a mysterious explosion Israeli occupying forces are suspected to be involved in.

In violation of international and humanitarian law which prohibits collective punishment, Israeli forces took retaliatory measures against families of Palestinians who have carried out attacks against Israeli targets in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and those wanted by Israeli forces. In this context, they destroyed 9 Palestinian houses, including 3 in Nablus and Qalqilya in the West Bank and 4 in Beit Lahia and Rafah in the Gaza Strip. They also destroyed two houses, which were under construction, in Beit Lahia.

In violation of recognized humanitarian and moral standards, on 10 February 2003, Israeli soldiers at al-Tuffah checkpoint - the entrance of al-Mawasi area west of Khan Yunis - forced a Palestinian woman, Fatema Mohammed Ahmed al-Najjar, to drink a poisonous liquid, while she was trying to cross the checkpoint to go to her house in al-Mawasi area in Rafah. As a result, she suffered from pains and infections in the throat and lungs.

Israeli occupying forces have maintained a total siege on the OPT. They have isolated Palestinian communities from one another. They have partitioned the Gaza Strip into three separated zones and restricted the movement of people and goods. They have also maintained curfews on some areas in the West Bank. The Israeli decision to prevent Palestinians aged 16-35 from traveling has remained in effect.

The Shelling of and Encroachment into Palestinian Areas

Thursday, 6 February 2003

At approximately 13:40, Israeli occupying forces positioned in the vicinity of Salah al-Din Gate on the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at adjacent Palestinian houses. A Palestinian civilian, 'Awadh Yousef Barbakh, 70, was wounded by a live bullet in the left leg while he was inside his house.

Friday, 7 February 2003

At approximately 08:30, Israeli occupying forces, accompanied by a military bulldozer, moved approximately 200m into Palestinian areas north of "Kfar Darom" settlement, southeast of Deir al-Balah. The bulldozer demolished a 70-meter-long fence surrounding a site of the Palestinian Military Intelligence, a 50-meter-long fence surrounding the house of Mahmoud Radhi al-'Adini and a 9-square-meter, tin-made room owned by 'Aziza Hussein Abu 'Oweili.

At approximately 09:00, 4 tanks and two military bulldozers of Israeli occupying forces moved approximately 1000m into al-Qubtaniya area in the east of the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. They stayed until 16:00, and razed the following areas of Palestinian agricultural land:

1. They razed a 10-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and citrus and destroyed an irrigation network owned by Mousa Tawfiq 'Abdul Hadi Hamad.

2. They razed a 15-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and citrus and destroyed an irrigation network owned by 'Abdul Rahman Tawfiq 'Abdul Hadi.

3. They razed a 30-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and citrus and destroyed an irrigation network owned by Shihda Mustafa Isma'il Hamad and brothers.

4. They razed a 17-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and citrus and destroyed an irrigation network owned by Mohammed 'Ouda Shabat and brothers.

At approximately 12:10, Israeli forces in a military location, known as "al-Nourai," west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Amal neighborhood. A Palestinian child, 'Ali Walid al-Shanna, 15, was wounded by a live bullet in the left arm.

At approximately 15:40, Israeli occupying forces in military locations between "Neve Dekalim" and "Gadid" settlements, west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Nimsawi and Baten al-Smin neighborhoods. Two civilians, a woman and a child, were wounded:

1. Nidaa' Tala'at Mohammed Bureika, 9, wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen; and

2. Nour Mohammed Abu Sitta, 26, wounded by shrapnel in the head.

In the afternoon, Israeli occupying forces indiscriminately shelled Palestinian houses in Khan Yunis, killing a Palestinian child. In his testimony to PCHR, the victim's father said:

"At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 7 February 2003, my son, Mustafa Ibrahim Abu 'Edwan, 10, went out of our house in Bani Suhaila village. He was walking to a bookshop in the center of Khan Yunis to buy some stationery. A few minutes later, I heard gunfire coming from "Neve Dekalim" settlement, approximately 3km west of our village. Five minutes later, I heard one of my neighbors saying that there was a child on the ground near Bani Suahila clinic, approximately 100m away from my house. He told me to call an ambulance. While I was calling for an ambulance, a child came and told me that the child on the ground was my son Mustafa. I hurried out to check what had happened. I saw a civilian car evacuating my child. I got into the car which traveled towards Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. My child was in complete trance. He was bleeding from the head. I first thought that he was injured in a car accident. When we arrived at Nasser Hospital, doctors told me that my child had died from his wound. According to doctors, my child was shot by a heavy caliber bullet in the head."

At approximately 23:00, medical sources at Shifa' Hospital in Gaza City declared that Majed Mohammed Hassan al-Salibi, 34, from Khan Yunis, succumbed to a wound he sustained last month. According to PCHR's investigation, al-Salibi and two other Palestinian civilians were wounded, when Israeli forces shelled and encroached into Khan Yunis refugee camp on Monday and Tuesday, 6 and 7 January 2003. Al-Salibi was critically wounded by a live bullet in the head. He was evacuated to Shifa' Hospital in Gaza city where he stayed until he was pronounced dead.

Saturday, 8 February 2003

Around midnight, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including 3 bulldozers, and covered by intense shelling, moved approximately 100m into Khan Yunis refugee camp. The bulldozers demolished 7 Palestinian houses totally and 3 others partially. Palestinian civilians rushed into streets to escape their houses. A Palestinian woman, Su'ad Mahmoud Hussein Hamed, 65, died from a heart attack during the escape. Also during the incursion, that continued until 05:00, Shaker 'Abdul Qader Siam, 74, was wounded by a live bullet in the right arm, while he was on his way to the mosque.

Following are details of the houses that were demolished by Israeli occupying forces:

1. They totally demolished a 120-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two people lived, owned by Aamena Mohammed Suleiman Abu Zayed.

2. They totally demolished a 180-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 3 families counting 30 people lived, owned by Noufal Ibrahim Mohammed Abu 'Awadh.

3. They totally demolished a 140-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 14 people lived, owned by 'Abdul Rahman Hussein Abu Zubaida.

4. They totally demolished a 120-square-meter, 2-storey house, in which two families counting 12 people lived, owned by Salem 'Abdul Karim Salem Abu 'Obaida.

5. They totally demolished a 180-square-meter house, in which 5 people lived, owned by Jaber Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Zarqa.

6. They totally demolished an 80-square-meter, asbestos and tin-roofed house, in which 4 people lived, owned by Fawzi Jaber Abu Zarqa.

7. They totally demolished a tin-roofed house, in which one person lived, owned by Kawthar 'Ali Salama Abu Zarqa.

8. They partially demolished a 400-square-meter, asbestos and tin-roofed house, in which 4 families counting 26 people live, owned by Zaki 'Ali Salama Abu Zarqa.

9. They partially demolished a 350-square-meter, 2-storey uninhabited owned by Khaled Mohammed 'Ali Abu Louz.

10. They partially demolished a 120-square-meter, 2-storey house, in which 2 families counting 19 people live, owned by 'Adnan and Salem 'Ali Salem Abu 'Obaida.

At approximately 08:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with two tanks and a bulldozer, moved approximately 1km into al-Birka area in the south of Deir al-Balah. Until stayed until 09:30 and razed the following areas of Palestinian agricultural land:

1. They razed a 1.5-donum area of agricultural land planted with vegetables and destroyed an irrigation network owned by Sami 'Atiya Mohammed al-Fallit.

2. They razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with wheat owned by D'iab Khalil Rihan al-Fallit.

3. They razed a 1-donum area of agricultural land planted with wheat owned by Saber Hamid al-Fallit.

4. They razed a 1-dronum area of agricultural land planted with parleys owned by Mohsen Ahmed al-'Aklouk and Mohammed al-Na'ouq.

5. They razed a 1-donum area of agricultural land planted with parleys owned by Mustafa Salim Abu Salim.

6. They destroyed a 10-meter-long fence surrounding a tract of land owned by Saber Ahmed al-Fallit.

7. They destroyed a 50-meter-long water pipeline owned by Sabri 'Abdul Hadi al-'Aklouk.

8. They razed a 20-meter-long barbwire fence owned by Naji 'Abdul Karim.

At approximately 10:00, an Israeli military bulldozer moved approximately 200m west of Rafah Terminal, south of Rafah. It razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with vegetables owned by Silmi Zaidan Ibrahim Abu Shallouf.

At approximately 14:00, Israeli forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, moved approximately 200m into al-Salam neighborhood adjacent to the Egyptian border, south of Rafah. They demolished 3 Palestinian houses over their contents:

1. A 130-square-meter house, in which 10 people lived, owned by Nihad Mohammed Mustafa Abu al-So'ud;

2. A 120-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 5 people lived, owned by Isma'il Husni Mousa Abu al-So'ud; and

3. A 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 4 people lived, owned by Khalil Ahmed Khalil Salah.

Also at approximately 14:00, 4 Israeli heavy military vehicles moved approximately 200m into Block O in Rafah refugee camp. An Israeli military bulldozer demolished 3 Palestinian houses:

1. A 130-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 5 people lived, owned by 'Awni D'ib Hussein al-Mallahi;

2. A 120-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 10 people lived, owned by Mohammed Mahmoud Daoud; and

3. A 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 2 families counting 18 people lived, owned by 'Aatef Mahmoud Daoud.

At approximately 19:20, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with two tanks and a bulldozer, moved approximately 400m into al-Ja'farawi area in the southeast of Deir al-Balah. They razed these areas of Palestinian agricultural land:

1. They razed a 5-donum area of agricultural land planted with vegetables and destroyed an irrigation network owned by Mohammed Suleiman al-Fallit.

2. They razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with vegetables and destroyed an irrigation network owned by Sami Salim Abu Thawaya.

3. They razed a 4-donum area of agricultural land planted with vegetables and wheat and destroyed an irrigation network owned by Hani Ibrahim al-Fallit.

4. They razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with wheat owned by Sami Mohammed 'Ali al-Fallit.

5. They razed a 1-donum area of agricultural land planted with vegetables and destroyed an irrigation network owned by Maher al-Sayed al-Fallit.

6. They razed a 500-square-meter area of agricultural land planted with palms and olives owned by Yousef Mahmoud Shahin.

7. They razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with vegetables and destroyed an irrigation network owned by Khaled Mohammed al-Fallit.

8. They uprooted 7 olive trees and destroyed an irrigation network owned by Suleiman Sha'ban al-Fallit.

9. They uprooted 6 palm trees and 5 olive trees and destroyed a 5-meter-long fence owned by 'Emad Salem al-Fallit.

At approximately 21:00, Israeli occupying forces in military locations in the vicinity of "Neve Dekalim" settlement, west of Khan Yunis, shelled Palestinian houses in Khan Yunis refugee camp. Three Palestinian civilians were wounded:

1. Hisham 'Abdul Qader Siam, 38, wounded by shrapnel in the face;

2. Yousef Mahmoud al-'Oweini, 23, wounded by shrapnel in the abdomen; and

3. Wa'el Mahmoud al-'Oweini, 32, wounded by shrapnel in the right hand.

Sunday, 9 February 2003

At approximately 11:15, Israeli occupying forces at the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Yunis, shelled Palestinian houses and farms in al-Farahin area in the 'Abasan village. An artillery shell exploded in the room of a 120-square-meter house owned by 'Abdullah Mahmoud Abu Daqqa. The room was burnt, but no casualties were reported.

At approximately 18:00, Israeli occupying forces moved approximately 200m into Block O in Rafah refugee camp. They demolished 8 Palestinian houses:

1. A 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two people lived, owned by Hussein 'Abdullah 'Abdul Qader al-Mughayar;

2. A 200-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 5 families counting 25 people lived, owned by Hassan 'Abdullah 'Abdul Qader al-Mughayar;

3. A 120-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 4 people lived, owned by Samir Hassan 'Abdullah al-Mughayar;

4. A 200-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 4 families counting 26 people lived, owned by 'Abdul Mo'ti Zaki 'Owaida.

5. A 170-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 3 people lived, owned by Jalal Sa'id 'Abdul Hadi 'Owaida;

6. A 120-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 3 people lived, owned by 'Aatef Ahmed Sa'id 'Owaida;

7. A 140-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two families counting 13 people lived, owned by Faiza Hamza Isma'il Noufal; and

8. A 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two families counting 7 people lived, owned by Jihad Mohammed Baraka.

At approximately 20:00, Israeli tanks positioned west of Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in the west of Rafah opened fire at Palestinian houses in the neighborhood. A Palestinian child, Mohammed Khaled 'Awaja, 13, was wounded by a live bullet in the left shoulder.

At approximately 20:15, Israeli forces positioned at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian houses in Block O in Rafah refugee camp. Two Palestinian civilians were wounded:

1. Ra'ed Na'im Fusaifes, 19, wounded by shrapnel in the feet; and

2. Mohammed 'Eid al-Akhras, 16, wounded by shrapnel throughout the body.

Tuesday, 11 February 2003

At approximately 02:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including a military bulldozer, moved approximately 100m into al-Salam neighborhood adjacent to the Egyptian border, south of Rafah. The bulldozer demolished a 200-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 3 families, counting 20 people, lived, and a 1300-square-meter cow farm owned by Hassan Mahmoud Mohammed al-Khawaja. PCHR's field worker in Rafah reported that the house and farm had already been evacuated because of the constant danger the area is subjected to.

At approximately 14:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including a military bulldozer, moved approximately 100m into Block L in Rafah refugee camp, adjacent to the Egyptian border. The bulldozer demolished a 120-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 15 people lived, owned by Majed Mohammed Ahmed al-Agha and rented by Rezeq 'Abdul 'Aziz al-'Absi.

At approximately 17:00, Israeli forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, moved into Qalqilya. They surrounded the house of 'Abdullah Ibrahim Yassin in Abu 'Obaida Street, claiming that they were searching for wanted Palestinians. Israeli forces opened fire at houses and the market. The market was crowded with people on the first day of the Islamic feast. A Palestinian child, Husni Majdi al-Ghoul, 8, was killed by several live bullets in the chest, while he was playing with his friends near his family's house. In addition, 6 civilians were wounded:

1. Fathi Hussein Jibara, 50, seriously wounded by shrapnel in the pelvis;

2. Mousa Abu Sha'ar, 24, wounded by shrapnel in the jaw and the right hand;

3. 'Orwa 'Omar Suleiman, 19, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg;

4. Mohammed 'Abdul Rahman Hassayen, 28, wounded by shrapnel in the left leg;

5. Ahmed Adib Silmi, 15, wounded by shrapnel in the right foot; and

6. Mohammed Tarabiya, 23, wounded by shrapnel in the right shoulder.

Wednesday, 12 February 2003

Early in the morning, Israeli occupying forces killed two Palestinians with fletchette shells and live bullets, claiming that the two attempted to infiltrate the settlements in the northern Gaza Strip.

According to PCHR's investigation, at approximately 01:00, Israeli occupying forces in military locations in the vicinity of "Elli Sinai" settlement, north of Beit Lahia, shelled Palestinian areas south of the settlement with fletchette shells and live bullets of various calibers. Approximately two hours later, Israeli forces informed the Palestinian side that there were two bodies of Palestinians who attempted to infiltrate the settlement. An ambulance of the Palestine Red Crescent Society was allowed into the area to evacuate the bodies. A paramedic told PCHR's field worker in the northern Gaza Strip that the medical personnel found the bodies approximately 1500m south of the aforementioned settlement, and that the two did not have any kind of weapons or sharp tools. The two bodies were evacuated to Shifa' Hospital in Gaza City. At approximately 13:00, they were identified as:

1. Wajdi Mohammed Ibrahim Salman, 17, from Jabalya refugee camp, hit by several live bullets and shrapnel from fletchette shells throughout the body; and

2. 'Abdul Rahman Mohammed Rabi' Hamdiya, 20, from Jabalya, hit by several live bullets and shrapnel from fletchette shells throughout the body.

No organisation declared that the two were members of their organisation. It is not clear why the two were present in that area.

At approximately 13:00, Israeli occupying forces surrounded the house of Kamel al-Khatib, 28, in al-Sikka Street near 'Ein Beit al-Maa' northwest of Nablus to arrest him. A number of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers who responded by opening fire. At approximately 14:30, two Palestinian men, Mohammed Sa'id So'ud, 23, and Mohammed Hassan Mahmoud Sha'lan, 23, both from the refugee camp, arrived at the area. So'ud fired at Israeli forces from a pistol. Israeli soldiers fired back, wounding him with two live bullets in the right hand and side. Sha'lan then took the pistol and fired at the Israeli soldiers, who returned fire wounding him as well with a live bullet that entered the left shoulder and settled in the chest. The two were evacuated to hospital and underwent surgeries, but efforts to save Sha'lan's life failed and he succumbed to his wound at approximately 18:30.

At approximately 17:30, medical sources at Rafidya Hospital in Nablus declared that 'Aaref 'Omar 'Aref Bisharat, 13, from Tammoun village, east of Jenin, succumbed to a wound he sustained earlier this month. According to information available to PCHR, at approximately 04:00 on Wednesday, 5 February 2003, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with 7 tanks and covered by intense gunfire, moved into Tammoun village. Two Palestinian civilians, including Bisharat, were wounded by the Israeli gunfire. Bisharat was critically wounded by a live bullet in the head. He received medical care in Rafidya Hospital until he was pronounced dead.

At approximately 18:30, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including a military bulldozer, moved approximately 200m into Block J in Rafah refugee camp, adjacent to the Egyptian border. They demolished two Palestinian houses:

1. A 300-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 4 families counting 22 people lived, owned by Mohammed Mohammed Hamed Barhoum; and

2. A 200-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 8 people lived, owned by 'Ata Nemer Mohammed Barhoum.

Thursday, 13 February 2003

At approximately 02:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles and a helicopter, moved approximately 1km into Khuza'a village, east of Khan Yunis. They raided the house of 'Othman Ibrahim Abu Rouk. They searched the house using dogs. Then, they went to the second floor of the house, where the owner's son, Ahmed, 28, a policeman, lives with his wife and two children. Israeli soldiers beat, handcuffed and arrested him. Upon their withdrawal, Israeli forces left a statement signed by the Israeli military command in the Gaza Strip, which stated that the Israeli army carried out a military operation to arrest what it called "terrorist" Ahmed Abu Rouk, who was involved in "terrorist activities."

At approximately 21:00, a number of quakes occurred near Salah al-Din Gate on the Egyptian border, south of Rafah. The quakes came from explosives planted by Israeli forces, which claimed to be searching for underground tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. A tunnel collapsed over two Palestinians:

1. Ziad 'Abed Salam al-Sha'er, 20; and

2. Mohammed Hamad Hamdan Qeshta, 21, both from Rafah.

The tunnel was located approximately 300m east of Salah al-Din gate in an area where the families of al-Sha'er and Qeshta live. After the explosions, communication with the two Palestinians who were holding mobile phones were disrupted.

At approximately 23:30, families of the two Palestinians went to a Palestinian police station in Rafah to inform about the incident. The Palestinian police contacted the Palestinian liaison department, which in turn contacted their Israeli counterparty to conduct a search for the two, but Israeli forces rejected this demand. At approximately 13:00 on Saturday, 15 February 2003, Israeli forces allowed the search for the two Palestinians. Two bulldozer of the Municipality of Rafah and 5 members of the families started to search at the border, under the observation of Israeli forces. The search continued until 18:30, but the two Palestinians were not found.

At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 16 February 2003, the search was resumed until 19:00, when the bodies of the two Palestinians were found. The two bodies were moved to the Rafah Terminal. Israeli forces kept the bodies until 01:00 on Monday, 17 February 2003.

Friday, 14 February 2003

At approximately 12:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with 3 tanks and a military bulldozer, moved approximately 100m into al-Mughraqa area, south of Gaza City. They demolished two Palestinian houses and razed areas of agricultural land:

1. They totally demolished a 150-square-meter house, which was under construction, owned by 'Aayed 'Ouda Hussein al-'Aaidi.

2. They partially demolished a 200-square-meter uninhabited house and razed a 500-square-meter area of agricultural land planted with olives owned by Ahmed 'Abdul Karim 'Abed Rabbu al-'Aaidi.

3. They razed a 1-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives owned by 'Abed Rabbu 'Abdul Karim al-'Aaidi.

4. They razed a 600-square-meter area of agricultural land planted with olives owned by Mastour Ahmed al-'Aaidi.

At approximately 15:00, 5 Israeli heavy military vehicles moved approximately 200m into Block O in Rafah refugee camp, adjacent to the Egyptian border. They opened fire at Palestinian houses, wounding three Palestinian civilians:

1. Mohammed Fathi al-Bis, 21, wounded by a live bullet in the right knee;

2. Bahaa' 'Ouda Abu Jazar, 11, wounded by shrapnel in the back; and

3. Baker Zuhair al-Houbi, 24, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg, while he was in al-Shaboura area, approximately 1000m north of the border.

In the meanwhile, Israeli military bulldozers demolished 14 Palestinian houses in the area:

1. A 100-square-meter house, in which two families counting 10 people lived, owned by Ahmed Mohammed Sa'id Abu Taha;

2. A 120-square-meter house, in which 5 people lived, owned by Mithqal Ibrahim Suleiman Abu Taha;

3. A 200-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 2 families counting 15 people lived, owned by Hani Mohammed Suleiman Abu Taha;

4. A 150-square-meter house, in which two families counting 8 people lived, owned by 'Ali Sa'id 'Abdullah Jouda;

5. A 150-square-meter house, in which two families counting 15 people lived, owned by Ahmed Sa'id 'Abdullah Jouda;

6. A 200-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two families counting 16 people lived, owned by Shukri Hassan Salem Jouda;

7. A 150-square-meter house, in which two families counting 8 people lived, owned by Mohammed 'Ali Mahmoud al-Atrash;

8. A 120-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two families counting 9 people lived, owned by 'Ali Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Atrash;

9. A 150-square-meter house, in which 5 people lived, owned by Fawzia Ahmed Abu Jazar;

10. A 140-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two families counting 9 people lived, owned by Mustafa Isma'il Ahmed Shaqfa;

11. A 200-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which one person lived, owned by Zainab Mustafa al-Qassas;

12. A 200-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 3 people lives, owned by Munir Fathi Mohammed al-Qassas;

13. A 400-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 4 families counting 39 people lived, owned by Walid Ahmed Zayed 'Abdul 'Aal; and

14. A 220-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two families counting 14 people lived, owned by Mohammed Salem Zayed 'Abdul 'Aal.

Saturday, 15 February 2003

At approximately 15:00, Israeli tanks moved approximately 200m into Block O in Rafah refugee camp. They opened fire at Palestinian houses in the area wounding 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child:

1. 'Abdullah Mohammed Abu Saleh, 12, wounded by a heavy caliber live bullet in the thighs, which caused an acute hemorrhage;

2. Hammouda Husni Abu Taha, 23, wounded by shrapnel in the head and the right leg; and

3. Mohammed Kamal Abu Taha, 24, wounded by shrapnel in the back and the left leg.

At approximately 23:00, 4 Israeli heavy military vehicles moved approximately 200m into Block O in Rafah refugee camp, adjacent to the Egyptian borders. Israeli military bulldozers demolished 4 Palestinian houses:

1. A 140-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 6 people lived, owned by Ziad 'Abdul Karim Mahmoud Abu Taha;

2. A 190-square-meter house, in which two families counting 14 people lived, owned by Mohammed Hamza Isma'il Noufal;

3. A 120-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two people lived, owned by Ahmed Fayez Mohammed Abu Taha; and

4. A 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two families counting 8 people lived, owned by Mahmoud Hamza Hussein Abu Lebda.

Sunday, 16 February 2003

At approximately 12:30, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with armored personnel carriers, surrounded al-Anwar commercial compound in Sufian Street in the center of Nablus, which includes the office of Tayseer Khaled. Khaled is a member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Israeli army came to arrest him. An Israeli officer called on Khaled through a loudspeaker to leave his office and surrender. A number of Palestinian boys and young men gathered near the building and threw stones at the Israeli forces. Immediately, Israeli soldiers opened fire, killing 3 passing Palestinian civilians and wounding 18 others. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli soldiers on armored personnel carriers shot dead Ayman Kamal Abu Zant, 17, from Nablus, with a live bullet in the head at approximately 13:30, while he was passing by the area. At approximately 14:00, Israeli soldiers shot dead Mohammed-Samer 'Abdul Hamid D'ib al-Takrouri, 35, from Nablus, with a live bullet in the head, while he was traveling in his car. In addition, Firas Adib Hussein Mabrouka, 22, was critically wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen. He was evacuated to hospital, but all efforts made to save his life failed and he succumbed to his wound at approximately 17:00. At approximately 15:30, Israeli soldiers got into the building and arrested Khaled, 62, and his aide Mohammed Saleh Mansour, 40. They also arrested two other Palestinians, Ziad al-'Akka, 25, and Mohammed Ghazi Mousa Fadha, 42. Khaled was the second member of the Executive Committee of PLO to be arrested by Israeli occupying forces. 'Abdul Rahim Mallouh, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was arrested last year.

At approximately 12:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including a military bulldozer, moved into Palestinian agricultural areas located south of "Elli Sinai" settlement in the northern Gaza Strip. They stayed until 16:30 and demolished 3 buildings and razed areas of agricultural land:

1. They demolished a 140-square-meter building that served as a summer resort, and razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with carrots owned by Talal 'Aayesh al-Nounu.

2. They demolished a 150-square-meter, 2-storey building that included a house and well, and razed a 1-donum area of agricultural land planted with strawberries owned by Ibrahim al-Masallami.

3. They demolished a 120-square-meter building that included a well owned by Shafiq Kuhail.

4. They razed a 30-donum area of agricultural land planted with fruits and destroyed a well owned by 'Atiya, D'ib and Ahmed 'Obaid.

5. They razed a 5-donum area of agricultural land, on which greenhouses planted with vegetables stood, owned by Mohammed Mahmoud al-Mughayar.

6. They razed a 6-donum area of agricultural land, on which greenhouses planted with vegetables stood, owned by Hassan Ahmed 'Abdul Halim Shahin.

7. They razed a 1-donum area of agricultural land, on which a greenhouse planted with vegetables stood, and destroyed a well owned by Ahmed al-Bura'ei.

At approximately 23:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with 8 heavy military vehicles, moved from "Dogit" settlement in the northern Gaza Strip, crossed the coastal road and took position near al-Waha (Oasis) resort. Approximately an hour later, about 30 other Israeli heavy military vehicles moved to the south on the coastal road. They took position near al-Twam square. Israeli combat helicopters that were flying over the area and the heavy military vehicles opened fire at Palestinian agricultural areas and at a site of the Palestinian National Security Force in al-Twam area in Jabaliya. The military vehicles moved further to the south towards al-Nasser Street in order to demolish the house of a Palestinian allegedly wanted by the Israeli forces. As a result of the Israeli shelling, two Palestinian security men were killed:

1. Khalil 'Abdul Wahed al-Bakri, 25, a policeman, shot by an explosive live bullet in the chest; and

2. Mohammed Sa'id Khader, 27, a member of the Palestinian National Security Force, shot by several live bullets in the chest, the abdomen and the pelvis while he was in a site near al-Twam square.

In addition, 9 Palestinians were wounded:

1. Majed 'Omar al-Majdalawi, 29, seriously wounded by several live bullets in the chest, the shoulder and the limbs;

2. Mohammed 'Ata Abu Shinnar, 30, wounded by several live bullets throughout the body;

3. Sami Ahmed al-Asmar, 27, wounded by a live bullet in the chest;

4. 'Emad al-Din Abu Nada, 27, wounded by a live bullet in the shoulder;

5. Yasser Marwan Salama, 26, wounded by a live bullet in the left leg;

6. Mohammed Asa'ad Hammouda, 16, wounded by a live bullet in the left hand;

7. 'Ezziddin Nasser Shahin, 12, wounded by shrapnel in the left hand;

8. Dhiaa' Mohammed Shahin, 55, wounded by shrapnel in the left hand; and

9. Khaled Eyad Shahin, 12, wounded by shrapnel in the head.

Monday, 17 February 2003

At approximately 10:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including two bulldozers, moved into Palestinian areas located south of "Elli Sinai" settlement in the northern Gaza Strip. They stayed until after 16:00, and the bulldozers razed areas of agricultural land and demolished a number of civilian facilities:

1. They razed a 20-donum area of agricultural land planted with apples and citrus and demolished a 140-square-meter summer resort owned by Mahmoud Darwish Mustafa Hamdouna.

2. They demolished a 120-square-meter building and destroyed a well owned by Kamel Harazallah.

3. They destroyed 4 greenhouses owned by Maisara al-Bura'ei.

4. They demolished a 24-square-meter area of agricultural land planted with citrus and vegetables and destroyed a well owned by heirs of Khamis Darwish Mustafa Hamdouna.

5. They demolished a 26-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus and apples and two greenhouses owned by Mahmoud Darwish Mustafa Hamdouna.

6. They razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with watermelons owned by 'Ali Suleiman Subeh.

At approximately 16:00, Israeli tanks at the Egyptian border shelled Block O in Rafah refugee camp. An 86-square-meter flat, in which 6 people lived, owned by Na'el Mohammed Salim al-Bis, was totally burnt by the Israeli shelling. The flat is part of a 350-square-meter building, in which 50 people live. Neighbors and firemen were able to control fire and prevent it from spreading to other flats.

At approximately 19:00, Israeli soldiers on tanks positioned at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian houses and roads in Block O in Rafah refugee camp. A Palestinian civilian, Bilal Kamal Abu Taha, 16, was wounded by two live bullets in the arms.

Tuesday, 18 February 2003

At approximately 03:45, an Israeli undercover unit, reinforced with a number of heavy military vehicles, infiltrated Yatta village, south of Hebron. They surrounded the house of Mohammed Suleiman Badawi Mur, 28, in Um al-Sader area in the south of the village. When Mur noticed the presence of the Israeli forces, he attempted to flee from the house, but Israeli soldiers opened fire at him. He was wounded by a live bullet in the left leg, but he walked towards the garden of a neighboring house owned by Hassan Mahmoud al-Haddar. He fell there bleeding. Israeli soldiers moved towards him and shot him dead without resorting to less lethal means. He was unarmed and did not pose any threat to their lives. Mur was shot by several live bullets throughout the body.

At night, Israeli occupying forces killed 11 Palestinians, including two brothers and their cousin whose bodies were removed from the ruins of a house. In addition, 5 civilian facilities were destroyed and raided and a school was damaged, when the Israeli forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles and helicopters and covered by intense shelling, invaded areas of Gaza City. 15 Palestinians, including a physician, were injured by Israeli shelling.

According to PCHR's investigation and eyewitnesses' testimonies, at approximately 22:00, a number of Israeli heavy military vehicles, supported by helicopters and covered by intense shelling, moved from Nahal 'Ouz crossing, east of Gaza City, towards al-Shojaeya neighborhood in the east of the city. They took position in Baghdad Street. Approximately an hour later, an Israeli helicopter launched a missile at a car of the Palestinian General Intelligence near al-Je'el fuel station on the main road, approximately 2km away from the area of clashes. Three persons, who were traveling in the car, were killed. The three security men were chasing a suspicious car when the helicopter launched a missile at their car.

At approximately 00:30 on Wednesday, 19 February 2003, Israeli heavy military vehicles moved from the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, east of Jabaliya, towards Salah al-Din Street. Then, they moved into al-Tuffah neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. They surrounded a 220-square-meter, 3-storey house in a densely populated area, in which 2 families, numbering 17 people live. The house is owned by Mohammed Mohye al-Din al-Qattaa'. Israeli forces raided a neighboring house, owned by Nahedh al-Hilu, and forced its residents out. They also used al-Hilu as a human shield. They ordered him to knock on the door of al-Qattaa's house and tell its residents to get out as the house would be demolished. Israeli forces moved the residents of the two houses to a tract of agricultural land located approximately 50m away, and planted explosives in a turnery workshop on the first floor of al-Qattaa's house. At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces withdrew from the area surrounding the house. Residents of the area thought that Israeli forces had completely withdrawn, so they moved towards their homes. Four men from the two families moved towards al-Qattaa's house to check what had happened. Immediately, Israeli forces destroyed the workshop by remote control, approximately 20 minutes after their withdrawal. Three of the men, including two brothers, were killed and the fourth sustained burns throughout the body. The house and the workshop were both destroyed. Al-Hilu's house was partially destroyed and a number of neighboring houses were damaged.

During their incursion into the neighborhood, Israeli forces destroyed a turnery workshop, a factory of plastic tools and a washing facility. A number of neighboring houses and workshops were damaged.

Israeli forces also raided the Dar al-Arqam private school. They destroyed parts of the fence and doors of classrooms, laboratories and administration rooms. They also confiscated some equipment.

As a result of Israeli indiscriminate shelling, 5 Palestinian civilians were killed and 15 others, including a physician, Ra'ed Marwan al-Safadi, who was providing medical aid for the wounded, were injured. According to eyewitnesses, medical personnel were not able to reach the area until 05:00.

Those killed by Israeli forces during this invasion were:

1. 'Ali Abu al-Khair, 25, from the al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City, a member of the Palestinian General Intelligence;

2. Eyad 'Aabed, 27, from al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City, a member of the Palestinian General Intelligence;

3. 'Abdul Rahim Abu al-Naja, 28, from Rafah, a member of the Palestinian General Intelligence;

4. Tamer Darwish al-Qattaa', 23, from al-Tuffah neighborhood, killed by the destruction of a workshop;

5. 'Alaa' Nahedh al-Hilu, 20, from al-Tuffah neighborhood, killed by the destruction of a workshop;

6. Sa'id Nahedh al-Hilu, 19, from al-Tuffah neighborhood, killed by the destruction of a workshop;

7. 'Aamer Hammouda al-Daya, 23, from al-Shojaeya neighborhood, shot by several live bullets in the head;

8. 'Abdul Rahman Fawzi al-Qassas, 25, from al-Shojaeya neighborhood, shot by several live bullets in the head and the chest;

9. 'Abdul Karim Sha'ban Bakroun, 23, from al-Shojaeya neighborhood, shot by several heavy caliber bullets in the head and the chest;

10. Munther Marwan al-Safadi, 25, from al-Tuffah neighborhood, shot by a live bullet in the chest; and

11. Mohammed Salim Abu Sahloul, 28, from al-Shojaeya neighborhood, hit by shrapnel and several live bullets throughout the body.

Wednesday, 19 February 2003

At approximately 01:30, Israeli occupying forces moved into the center of Nablus. Then, they moved into the old town. They opened fire at houses and seized two schools in Ras al-'Ein neighborhood near the old town and transformed them into military locations. Israeli soldiers intensively deployed the areas. This Israeli military operation left dead two Palestinian civilians.

In an apparent willful killing, Israeli soldiers shot dead Nasser Mustafa So'ud Abu Safiya, 32, while he was on his way to his work in the old town of Nablus. He died before the eyes of his father.

According to information available to PCHR, at approximately 06:00, while Abu Safiya and his 70-year-old father were on their way to their work in al-Yassamina area in the old town, an Israeli infantry unit stopped them. Israeli soldiers checked their identity cards and beat the father. Then, Israeli soldiers ordered the son to leave the area without his father. When he was approximately 40m away, Israeli soldiers opened fire at him, wounding him with 3 live bullets. He died before the eyes of his father few minutes later. His body was evacuated to Rafidya Hospital. According to medical sources, the victim was shot by 3 live bullets, one in the left thigh that caused an internal hemorrhage, one in the artery of the left leg and the third in the right ankle.

At approximately 12:30, an Israeli sniper fired at 15-year-old Mohammed Rabih al-Saber, killing him with a live bullet in the right shoulder, while he was on the roof of the Abu Zant apartment building in the Ras al-'Ein neighborhood. His body was evacuated to hospital. According to medical sources, the child was shot from a close distance by a live bullet in the right shoulder, which penetrated the chest and settled in the right thigh. I addition, 7 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded by the Israeli gunfire.

At approximately 10:30, Israeli occupying forces in military locations at the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian agricultural areas in 'Abasan village. A Palestinian civilian, Ahmed Hammad al-Daghma, 20, mentally disturbed, was wounded by a live bullet in the pelvis, while he was approximately 500m away from the border.

At approximately 11:30, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including two military bulldozers, moved north of "Kfar Darom" settlement in the southeast of Deir al-Balah. The bulldozers demolished a 440-square-meter, 3-storey house, in which 2 families, counting 10 people lived, owned by Ahmed Khalil Abu Samra. The house was located approximately 20m away from "Kfar Darom" settlement. PCHR's field worker in the central Gaza Strip reported that Israeli forces had warned Abu Samra on 28 Jnauary 2003 to evacuate his house as it would be demolished. He rejected this order before the Israeli Supreme Court, which ordered a temporarily stop to the demolition. However, later, the Israeli attorney general approved the demolition. Two days before the demolition, Abu Samra was told by Israeli forces to evacuate the house.

Extra-Judicial Assassinations

In a continuation of the policy of assassination officially adopted by the Israeli political and military establishments, in the period covered by this report, Israeli occupying forces committed two extra-judicial assassinations, which left dead two Palestinians.

At approximately 01:30, Israeli occupying forces surrounded the house of 'Ali Qassem Mohammed Mabrouk, 58, in 'Ein Beit al-Maa' refugee camp, west of Nablus. They forced the 69 residents of the house and two other houses owned by Mabrouk's brothers out. Israeli soldiers broke into the house and searched it. They asked Mabrouk about his son 'Emad, 25, allegedly wanted by Israeli forces for his activities in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Then, Israeli soldiers mounted onto the roof of the 3-storey house and apparently found the son hiding there. According to what his father saw on his son's body and what a medical report of Rafidya Hospital in Nablus mentioned, he was stabbed with sharp tools and was shot by several live bullets throughout the body. An Israeli military spokesman claimed that Israeli forces killed an activist of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine as he attempted to escape when they wanted to arrest him. Mabrouk was married and the father of two children. He worked in a sweet shop in Nablus.

A medical report issued by Rafidya Hospital in Nablus mentioned that upon checking, there were injuries in the face, the left ear, the chest, the abdomen and the limbs. There were also fractures in the skull, the lower jaw, the right hand, the left forearm, the nose, the right thigh and the left leg. There were shrapnel in the head, the chest, the abdomen, the pelvis and the right thigh.

On Monday morning, 17 February 2003, Israeli occupying forces assassinated Riadh Hussein Abu Zaid, 33, from al-Boreij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, who allegedly was wanted by these forces for being a member of the Hamas movement.

According to PCHR's investigation and eyewitnesses' testimonies, at approximately 10:30, while Abu Zaid was traveling from al-Boreij to Gaza City on the coastal road, accompanied by an unidentified person, an Israeli undercover unit in a truck erected a sudden check point at the crossroads between "Netzarim" settlement and the coastal road. As soon as Abu Zaid arrived, Israeli soldiers opened fire at his car, killing him. Soon, a number of Israeli military jeeps came to the area. Israeli forces took Abu Zaid's body and arrested the other person who accompanied him. Then, they withdrew to the "Netzarim" settlement.

Approximately two hours later, the Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot reported on its Arabi web site, that according to Israeli security sources, a special military unit fired at Riadh Abu Zaid, a prominent activist of Hamads movement in the Gaza Strip. It added that Israeli soldiers tried to arrest Abu Zaid in al-Boreij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, but he attempted to escape, so the soldiers fired at him. Israeli sources asserted that Abu Zaid was critically wounded, but he died later after he had been evacuated to an Israeli hospital. The same newspaper quoted the Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz as saying: "After the explosion of the tank in the weekend, I said that we would act in our full capacity. It is time to act not talk."

Shooting at Palestinian Civilians

Thursday, 6 February 2003

In an apparent willful killing, in the evening, Israeli occupying forces shot dead a 25-year-old Palestinian civilian while he was on his way back home from his work. According to information available to PCHR, at approximately 17:00, while 'Abdul Baqi Mohammed 'Abdul Baqi Musallam, 25, from Talfit village, southeast of Nablus, was on his way back home from his work in Israel, using an agricultural road in Kherbat Jibara area, south of Tulkarm, Israeli occupying forces shot him dead with a live bullet in the heart. A few minutes later, an ambulance of the Palestine Red Crescent Society passed by the area. Israeli soldiers stopped the ambulance and ordered its staff to evacuate the victim's body. At approximately 18:00, the body was brought to Dr. Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarm. According to medical sources, Musallam was shot by a live bullet in the heart. An Israeli military spokesman claimed that Israeli forces that were on-duty in the area noticed a Palestinian man in the area. The spokesman added that they thought he looked suspicious, so Israeli soldiers ordered him to stop, but he did not obey the order, and consequently they shot him dead. The spokesman did not indicate whether Israeli forces had found any weapons on the man. The medical personnel who evacuated the body to hospital stated that they did not see any weapons near the body.

Sunday, 9 February 2003

At approximately 11:00, after 3 Palestinian gunmen had blown up the car they traveled in near an Israeli military location near al-Matahen junction, north of Khan Yunis, Israeli occupying forces at al-Matahen checkpoint on Salah al-Dain Street opened fire at Palestinian civilians and cars waiting at the checkpoint. Two Palestinian civilians were wounded:

1. Mahmoud Hassan Abu Houli, 18, wounded by shrapnel in the head; and

2. Hamad Ahmed al-Sha'er, 35, wounded by a live bullet in the back.

Monday, 17 February 2003

At approximately 11:00, Israeli occupying forces at a military checkpoint at the entrance of Habla village in Qalqilya fired without any prior warning at a number of Palestinian civilians who were walking on an agricultural road towards Qalqilya. A Palestinian civilian, Eyad 'Abdul Karim Abu Hamed, 24, from Qaliqlya, was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen. According to eyewitnesses, Abu Hamed was wounded when he was on a horse cart. The horse was also killed by a live bullet.

Collective Punishment Measures against Families of Wanted Palestinians and Those Who have Carried out Armed Attacks against Israeli Targets

In violation of international humanitarian law, which prohibits collective punishment, Israeli forces took retaliatory measures against families of Palestinians who have carried out attacks against Israeli targets in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and those wanted by Israeli forces.

At approximately 03:00 on Friday, 7 February 2003, Israeli occupying forces moved into Beit Fourik village, east of Nablus. They surrounded the house of Mohammed Mahmoud Mohammed Hanani, 55. They forced the 7 residents of the 110-square-meter house out and destroyed it. Hanani is the father of 'Anan Hanani, 20, who carried out an armed attack against an Israeli military location on al-Tour Mount in Nablus on 6 February 2003.

At the same time, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with armored military vehicles, moved into Til village, southwest of Nablus. They surrounded the house of 'Abdul Rahim Mohammed Hamad. They forced the 6 residents of the 250-square-meter, 2-storey house out and destroyed it. Hamad is the father of Ahmed Hamad who carried out an armed attack against Israeli occupying forces in the Jordan Valley last year.

At approximately 23:30 on Thursday, 13 February 2003, two tanks and a number of military jeeps of Israeli occupying forces moved into the western area of Tulkarm. They surrounded the Hammouda building in al-Haddadin Street. Israeli soldiers opened fire at the building and called through loudspeakers on Mahmoud 'Awadh Kulaibi, 21, from Shweika area in Tulkarm, and Fu'ad Sawalha, 25, from 'Assira village, north of Nbalus, to leave the building and surrender. Approximately an hour later, the two Palestinians surrendered and Israeli soldiers arrested them. Soon, Israeli soldiers broke into the building and searched it. At approximately 03:00 on Friday, 14 February 2003, Israeli soldiers planted explosives in the flat where the two Palestinians had shelter and destroyed it. Other flats and a neighboring building, owned by 'Adul Latif Zidan, were damaged. Israeli forces claimed that Kulaibi was wanted for his activities in the Islamic Jihad. They had attempted to arrest him at his house in Shweika area more than once, but had failed.

At approximately 01:00 on Friday, 14 February 2003, Israeli occupying forces moved into the Saniria village, east of Jenin. They surrounded the house of 'Othman Ibrahim Asa'ad Younis, 28. They forced the 7 residents of the 125-square-meter house out and destroyed it. Israeli forces claimed that Younis was wanted for being a leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of the Fatah movement. Upon their withdrawal, Israeli forces warned the family that Younis would be liquidated if he did not surrender.

At approximately 09:00 on Saturday, 15 February 2003, after Palestinian gunmen had destroyed an Israeli tank, approximately 700m south of "Dogit" settlement in the northern Gaza Strip, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including military bulldozers, moved into adjacent Palestinian areas. Two hours later, Israeli soldiers raided a 207-square-meter house, in which 11 people lived, owned by Sa'id Mohammed Salem al-Da'our, approximately 150m away from the place of the explosion. They forced the family out and demolished it. They also demolished two 250-square-meter houses, that were under construction, owned by Mohammed and Sa'id Mohammed al-Da'our. In addition, they razed two greenhouses planted with vegetables and demolished a 2000-square-meter cow farm owned by Sa'id Mohammed al-Da'our.

At approximately 23:00 on Sunday, 16 February 2003, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with 8 heavy military vehicles, moved from "Dogit" settlement in the northern Gaza Strip, crossed the coastal road and took position near al-Waha (Oasis) resort. Approximately an hour later, about 30 other Israeli heavy military vehicles moved to the south on the coastal road. They took position near al-Twam square. Israeli combat helicopters that were flying over the area and the heavy military vehicles opened fire at Palestinian agricultural areas and at a site of the Palestinian National Security Force in al-Twam area in Jablaya. The military vehicles moved further to the south towards al-Nasser Street. At approximately 01:00 on Monday, 17 February 2003, Israeli forces surrounded the house of Naji Ahmed Salim al-Ghandour, whose son Ahmed is allegedly wanted by the Israeli forces for his activities in the Hamas Movement. They forced the 38 residents of the 125-square-meter, 5-storey house out. Israeli soldiers held them approximately 200m away from the house. Then, they used on of the owner's sons, Ghazi, as a human shield while searching the house. They planted explosives in the house and destroyed it.

At approximately 01:40 on Wednesday, 19 February 2003, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, moved into Jama'in village, south of Nablus. They surrounded the house of Nayef Salim Hamdan Hussein. They forced the 7 residents of the 120-square-meter house out and destroyed it. Two of the owner's sons have been detained by the Israeli occupying forces for 7 month and a third son was shot by Israeli forces in clashes in November 2000.

Six Palestinians Killed in a Mysterious Explosion That Could have been Planned by Israeli Occupying Forces

On Sunday afternoon, 16 March 2003, 6 Palestinians, members of the Hamas movement, were killed and a seventh was seriously injured in a mysterious explosion, Israeli occupying forces are suspected to be involved in planning the explosion, which occurred in a house in al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza city.

According to PCHR's investigation, at approximately 15:30, a heavy explosion occurred in the house of Faraj Shaldan, which is uninhabited, in al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the south of Gaza city. Immediately, members of the Hamas movement closed off the area and denied entry of the media and journalists, including PCHR's field worker in Gaza city. Four Palestinians were immediately killed and 3 others were injured, two of whom died at hospital. Those killed were:

1. Eyad Faraj Shaldan, 23, from al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City;

2. Akram Fahmi Nassar, 32, from al-Shaojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City;

3. Mohammed Isma'il Silmi, 24, from al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City;

4. Mufid 'Awadh al-Bal, 21, al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City;

5. Nidhal Fathi Farahat, 32, al-Shojaeya neighborhood in Gaza City; and

6. Ayman Ibrahim Yousef Mahanna, 30, from al-Karama housing project in Gaza City.

Salama Khaled Hammad, 31, from Beit Lahia, was seriously wounded by shrapnel throughout the body. After the explosion, the Hamas movement issued a statement saying that some members of the 'Ezziddin al-Qassam Brigade, the military wing of the movement, were killed in an assassination planned by the Israeli intelligence, while they were preparing a small aircraft that flies by remote control, which they had obtained in a complicated process on Sunday, 16 February 2003.

The Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot reported on its Arabic web site that sources in the Israeli military's southern command expressed their happiness for the death of Nidhal Farahat, whom they described as a prominent wanted Palestinian. Farahat is brother of Mohammed Farahat who carried out an armed attack against the "Etsmona" settlement in the southern Gaza Strip last year, which left dead 6 Israelis. The newspaper added that Israeli security sources described Farahat as a pioneer in launching al-Qassam rockets in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Soldiers Force a Palestinian Woman to Drink a Poisonous Liquid

Israeli soldiers at al-Tuffah checkpoint - the entrance of al-Mawasi area west of Khan Yunis - forced a Palestinian woman, Fatema Mohammed Ahmed al-Najjar, to drink a poisonous liquid, while she was trying to cross the checkpoint to go to her house in al-Mawasi area in Rafah. As a result, she suffered from pains and infections in the throat and lungs.

In her affidavit to PCHR, the woman said:

"At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 10 February 2003, the day before the Islamic feast, I went out of al-Mawasi area in Rafah through Tal al-Sultan checkpoint, west of the town, to go shopping and to visit my son. Two hours later, I went to al-Tuffah checkpoint, west of Khan Yunis refugee camp, to get home. I and dozens of people waited there until 16:00, when we went towards an Israeli military observation tower. Israeli female soldiers told us that the entry of foodstuffs was prevented, so I got rid of all foodstuffs and kept a bottle of a liquid used in maintaining boats, which my son bought for his father who is a fisherman. When I entered the checking room, two Israeli female soldiers checked me and my belongings. One of them asked me about the bottle and I told her about it and its use. I also told her that the material was known and we had bought it more than once. However, the soldiers thought the bottle was suspicious. I told her that I would throw it or turn it back, but she refused. She ordered me to drink the liquid and I told her that the material was poisonous and that I was fasting. She insisted and I again refused to drink the liquid. The two soldiers held me and pointed their guns to my head. One of them forced me to drink some of it. The liquid caused pain and a sharp feeling to my mouth, stomach and throat. Then, they took me out of the room. Some Palestinian workers took me in a civilian car to Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, where doctors cleaned my stomach. I received medical care at the hospital for two days. Then, I was moved to the European Gaza Hospital to continue medical treatment."

PCHR calls:

1. Upon the international community to provide immediate and independent international protection for the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

2. Upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to reconvene to take effective measures to protect Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in accordance with their obligations under article 1 and article 146, to ensure the respect of the Convention.

3. Upon the international community to investigate and prosecute those believed to have committed war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories before international courts.

4. Upon the ICRC to enhance its presence, expand its activities, and intensify its field operations throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

5. Upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israeli Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights.

6. Upon the international community to provide humanitarian and medical assistance for the Palestinian people, whose living conditions are continuing to deteriorate as a result of the continued siege imposed by Israeli occupation forces on the entire Occupied Palestinian Territories.