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Press Release Armed settlers open fire on students in Hawara: A student from the village of Saqba is killed

 Ref: 205/2000

Date: December 18, 2000 Time: GMT 14:00 Palestine Time 16:00

 This morning, at approximately 7:30, a number of armed settlers opened fire on the Palestinian secondary school of Hawara in Nablus Governate, wounding two students, one of whom was seriously wounded.  PCHR learned that the wounded were:

1)                     Mohammed Ahmed Hazil, 14 years old, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen; and

2)                     Ahmed Yousef Oudeh, 17 years old, wounded by a live bullet in the right foot.

 The Israeli occupation forces so far have kept the body of martyr Mohammed Hemeida Ali Shalash, 18 years old, from the village of Shaqba in Ramallah.  Shalash was shot dead by these forces yesterday afternoon.  The martyr was a student at A’aboud secondary school.  PCHR learned that violent clashes broke out in the village of A’aboud yesterday afternoon.  The Israeli occupation forces opened fire on Palestinian demonstrators near a settlement road adjacent to the village, killing Shalash.

 PCHR also learned that the child Ali Jamil Khalil, 12 years old, from the village of Silat Al-Zhaher in Jenin, is still under treatment in the intensive care unit at Jenin hospital.  Israeli occupation forces shot Khalil with a live bullet in the abdomen.  Yesterday morning, the Israeli occupation forces broke into the village of Silat Al-Zhaher, and burst into its secondary school, expelling students from the school.  Then, these forces climbed on the roof of the school and shot at nearby houses.  As a result, the child Khalil was wounded while he was on the roof of his family’s house.

 Shelling of Residential Neighborhoods in Khan Yunis, Rafah, Beit Lahia and Gaza

 Last night, at approximately 23:30 local time, the Israeli occupation forces fired artillery shells and heavy and medium bullets at houses in Khan Yunis.  The shelling took place sporadically for one hour.   The shelling from a military post of the Israeli occupation forces in the vicinity of Gani Tal settlement in the northwest of Khan Yunis, targeted Palestinian houses, 200-700 meters to the southeast of the military post of the Israeli occupation forces.  The shelling caused the following damage:

1)                     The 160-square-meter house of Abdel-Karim Ahmed El-Shanab (under construction) was hit by two artillery shells which made holes in walls and pillars. 2)                     The 160-square-meter house of Mohammed Hashem El-Majaydeh (under construction) was hit by heavy and medium bullets that made holes 3-4 centimeters in diameter in walls. 3)                     The house of Mahmoud Ahmed El-Dawahidi, a 160-square-meter, two-story house, in which 14 people, was hit with heavy and medium bullets that penetrated walls, making holes 3-4 centimeters in diameter.  The family left the house two weeks ago when their house was shelled then. 4)                     The house of Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz Kellab, a 170-square-meter, two-story house, in which 12 people live, was hit with heavy and medium bullets that penetrated walls, making holes 3-4 centimeters in diameter.  In Rafah, last night at midnight local time, 13 tanks of the Israeli occupation forces were deployed along the borderline.  They stretched from the area of Tal Zourob to Rafah Border Crossing.  These tanks fired artillery shells and heavy and medium bullets at Palestinian houses adjacent to the borderline near Salah El-Din Gate.  The shelling lasted until 1:00 local time, terrifying Palestinian civilians, women, children and the elderly.  These civilians were forced to leave their houses.  PCHR’s field officer in Rafah reported that a Palestinian civilian was wounded with shrapnel in the face, another two suffered broken feet when they fell while escaping and a 17-year-old girl suffered from nervous shock.  They were all evacuated to Al-Joneina hospital in Rafah.  The shelling caused the following damage: 1)                     The house of Mohammed Salameh Eshtiwi Qeshta, a 150-square-meter, two-story house, in which two people live, was hit by three artillery shells that made large holes in external walls.  Two of these shells penetrated walls of the first floor, causing severe damage to furniture. 2)                     The house of Saha’ban Ahmed Radwan, a 200-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 12 people live, was hit by heavy and medium bullets that made holes in the roof and destroyed a water storage tank and a television aerial.  Walls of the house also cracked because of the movement of the tanks of the Israeli occupation forces in the area. 3)                     The house of Nabil Ibrahim Mattar, a 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which eight people live, was hit by an artillery shell and heavy and medium bullets that made holes in the roof and destroyed a water storage tank and part of the furniture. 4)                     The house of Abdel-Fattah Hussein El-Babli, a 250-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 27 people live, was hit by heavy and medium bullets that made holes in water storage tanks and the roof. 5)                     The house of Saleh Hussein El-Babli, a 160-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which 12 people live, was hit by heavy and medium bullets that made holes in water storage tanks and the roof.  Yesterday evening, at approximately 20:40 local time, the Israeli occupation forces fired artillery shells and heavy and medium bullets at Palestinian houses and civilian facilities as well as Palestinian security posts in the west of Beit Lahia .  Sources of shelling were gunboats and a military post of the Israeli occupation forces in the vicinity of Dogit settlement to the northwest of Beit Lahia.  The shelling caused the following damage: 1)                     A 180-square-meter, two-story building used as a summer resort, owned by Zohair Ahel, 600 meters away from the military post of the Israeli occupation forces, was hit by heavy and medium bullets that made holes in walls and broke a number of windows and doors. 2)                     An 80-square-meter, two-story building used as a summer resort, owned by Jamal E’id El-Haloul, was hit by heavy and medium bullets that made holes in walls and broke windows. 3)                     A 90-square-meter, two-story building, owned by Mohammed Salman Yunis, the second floor of which was used as a summer resort and the ground floor as a storage room for agricultural equipment, was hit by heavy and medium bullets that made holes in external walls. 4)                     Some posts of the Palestinian National Security Forces to the east and south of Dogit settlement were hit along with a building of these forces at the seashore. 5)                     An under-construction seawater desalination station was hit by several bullets that penetrated external walls.  Al-Mentar (Karni) Outlet, just to the east of Gaza City, was hit by seven shells at approximately 21:00 local time.

 More Sweeping and Demolition

 Last night, at approximately 23:00 local time, in Deir El-Balah, the Israeli occupation forces demolished a 400-square-meter, three-story house, in which 12 people live, owned by Fawzi Khalil Abu Samra.  The house was to the northeast of Kfar Darom settlement.  Last night, at approximately midnight local time, the Israeli occupation forces swept more areas of agricultural land on the road between Al-Shuhada (Netzarim) junction and Al-Mentar (Karni) Outlet, to the east of Gaza City.  Residents of the area said that similar sweepings took place yesterday and the day before yesterday.  The new sweeping lasted until 5:00 local time this morning and included areas of agricultural land on the western side of the mentioned road.  The sweeping included: 1)                     A five-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives, owned by Moe’in Mustafa Younis Dalloul. 2)                     A five-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and fruits, owned by Ahmed Hussein Khoweiter. 3)                     A three-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives, owned by the Sukkar family. 4)                     A seven-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives, owned by Hamed Hussein Hamed A’ashour. 5)                     A five-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives, owned by Sami Hassan El-Borno. 6)                     A well owned by the Shoheiber family.  The well was also shelled last night before it was completely leveled.   ***  PCHR reiterates its call for the international community to immediately intervene to stop the killings and criminal acts perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian civilians. PCHR calls in particular for:  1.      Establishing without delay an independent commission of inquiry, in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1322 (2000), to carry out a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the abuses and killings perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian civilians. 2.      Convening a conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Convention. 3.      Immediately providing international protection for Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories in the face of the killings and criminal acts perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces and groups of Jewish settlers who move under the protection of these forces. 4.      Use by the EU of effective political and economic measures with reference to Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which calls for the respect of human rights. 5.      Providing humanitarian and medical assistance for the Palestinian people whose living conditions are increasingly deteriorating because of the continued total siege imposed by the Israeli occupation forces on the entire occupied Palestinian territories. 6.      Use by the international community and relevant bodies, including ICRC, of necessary measures to ensure the access of medical supplies and equipment and other humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians. The Israeli occupation forces have continued to deny entry of this material through Rafah Border Crossing (into the Gaza Strip).    

“End”