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Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
19-25 June 2008
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
· 3 Palestinians killed by IOF in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
· 2 of the victims were extra-judicially executed by IOF in Nablus.
· 18 Palestinians, including 5 children and 2 old men, were wounded by the IOF gunfire; 12 of them were wounded in Ne’lin village near Ramallah.
· IOF conducted 36 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
· IOF demolished 2 uninhabited houses and partially demolished 3 inhabited houses, in Qalqilya.
· IOF arrested 48 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children, in the West Bank.
· IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT and have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
· IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attacks Palestinian civilians and property.
· An elderly Palestinian man was run down by an Israeli settler.
· Israeli settlers burned large areas of agricultural land in Bourin village, south of Nablus.
· Five Palestinian shepherds were injured by Israeli settlers in 2 separate attacks in Yatta village, south of Hebron.
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (19 – 25 June 2008):
Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed 3 Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and wounded 18 others, including 5 children and 2 old men.
In the West Bank, IOF killed 2 Palestinians and wounded 13 others, including 5 children.
On 24 June 2008, IOF extra-judicially executed 2 Palestinians in Nablus; a prominent activist of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) and a university student. This attack came after the Egypt-brokered truce between Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip and Israel entered into force on 19 June 2008, which indicates that IOF may escalate attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank.
On the same day, 12 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded when IOF used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah. A Palestinian child was also wounded in similar circumstance in Far’oun village, south of Tulkarm.
In the Gaza Strip, on 19 June, IOF killed an activist of the Palestinian resistance and wounded 3 others in Gaza Valley village, nearly 500 meters away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. An IOF aircraft fired a missile at those activists just one hour before the truce entered into force.
On 23 June, IOF troops positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northwest of Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip fired at a number of Palestinian children who attempted to get close to the border. A number of Palestinian farmers were working on their lands nearly 400 meters away from the border.
On 24 June, an elderly Palestinian civilian was wounded by the IOF gunfire in similar circumstance in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis.
Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 36 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, the widest of which was into Qalqilya. During these incursions, IOF arrested 48 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children. To date, 1,382 Palestinian civilians have been arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of 2008. IOF also demolished 2 uninhabited houses and partially demolished 3 houses, in Qalqilya.
Restrictions on Movement: IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
IOF have continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The IOF siege of Gaza, which has tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, and has violated the human, economic and social rights of the approximately 1.5 million Palestinian civilian population, particularly their rights to appropriate living conditions, health and education. The siege has also paralyzed the Gazan economy. In addition, the siege has severely impacted the flow of food, medical supplies and other necessities such as fuel, construction materials and raw materials for various economic sectors. IOF have continued to prevent the entry of raw materials into the Gaza Strip, and many factories have been forced to close. Severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the entire Palestinian civilian population. Regarding civilian movements, IOF permit very few Palestinian civilians to pass through Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in order to travel to the West Bank or Israel. Rafah International Crossing Point in the southern Gaza Strip is the sole outlet for the Gaza Strip to the outside world via a country other than Israel. IOF have closed Rafah International Crossing Point, even though they do not directly control it. They have prevented European observers working at the crossing point from reaching it.
Even though the Egypt-brokered truce between Palestinian resistance groups and Israel entered into force, no major change has been noticed with regard to the movement of persons and goods through the Gaza Strip border crossings, excluding an approximate 20% increase in the amounts of foods and humanitarian aids allowed into the Gaza Strip during the reporting period.
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. Fishermen have been subjected to intensive monitoring and harassment by IOF, which use helicopter gunships and gunboats severely restrict their access to coastal waters.
Contrary to Israeli claims of easing restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians, IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have been denied access to Jerusalem. IOF have established many checkpoints around and inside the city. Restrictions of the movement of Palestinian civilians often escalate on Fridays to prevent them from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque. IOF sometimes assault Palestinian civilians who attempt to bypass checkpoints and enter the city. IOF have also tightened the siege imposed on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians and have continued to erect checkpoints on the main roads and intersections in the West Bank.
Settlement Activities: IOF have continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers living in the OPT have, in violation of international humanitarian law, continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 19 June, Israeli settlers burnt large areas of Palestinian agricultural land in Bourin village, south of Nablus. On the same day, an Israeli settler ran down an elderly Palestinian civilian near Qalqilya. He was seriously injured. On 20 June, Israeli settlers attacked a number of Palestinian farmers and shepherds in Yatta village, south of Hebron. Two shepherds were injured. On 24 June, Israeli settlers attacked 3 Palestinian shepherds in Yatta village south of Hebron and injured them.
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