Print

 

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

 

· A
Palestinian civilian died from a previous wound in the Gaza Strip.

 

· 4
Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded by IOF.

 

· IOF
conducted 22 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

 

· IOF
arrested 37 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children.

 

· IOF
have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF have isolated the Gaza
Strip from the outside world and IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the
West Bank arrested 3 Palestinian civilians.

 

· IOF
have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank; IOF razed
areas of Palestinian land in Um Salamouna village, south of Bethlehem, and 4
demonstrators protesting the construction of the Wall in Bal’ein village, west
of Ramallah, sustained bruises when IOF soldiers beat them.

 

· IOF
have continued settlement activities in the West Bank; the Israeli government
approved the construction of 30 housing units in “Mashkhit” settlement to
resettle 30 Israeli families from the evacuated “Gush Qatif” settlement bloc.



Summary

 

Israeli violations of international law and
humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (21 – 27 December
2006):

 

Killing: On
Thursday morning, 21 December 2006, Hamdan Mahmoud Barhoum, 24, from al-Mawasai
area in Khan Yunis, died from a wound he had sustained on 13 December 2006.
According to PCHR’s documentation, Barhoum was seriously wounded by shrapnel
from live bullets throughout the body, when IOF gunboats positioned opposite to
Rafah seashore opened fire at a fishing boat on which Barhoum and two other
fishermen were sailing. The three fishermen were wounded, but Barhoum was in a
serious condition.

 

During the reporting period, a Palestinian farmer was
wounded by the IOF gunfire in the northern Gaza Strip.  

 

In the West Bank, 3 Palestinian civilians, including
two children, were wounded in Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin, on 25
December 2006, when IOF soldiers who besieged a house in the village fired at
civilians who threw stones at military vehicles.

 

Incursions:
During the reporting period, IOF
conducted at least 22 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the
West Bank, during which they raided houses and arrested 37 Palestinian
civilians, including 6 children. IOF also raided offices of the Islamic
Association in Beit Sahour town and a medical center in Beit ‘Awa village,
southwest of Hebron, claiming that they were looking for wanted Palestinians.  

 

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. 

 

Gaza Strip

 

IOF have
imposed a strict siege on the Gaza Strip. They have closed its border crossings
as a form of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians.

 

IOF have closed Rafah
International Crossing Point since 25 June 2006, even though they do not
directly control it. During the reporting period, the crossing point was not
opened.

IOF have partially reopened commercial crossings, especially al-Mentar (Karni)
crossing, but many goods and medical supplies have been lacked in markets in
the Gaza Strip. IOF have also continued to close Erez crossing in the northern
Gaza Strip.
Hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have been prevented from traveling through
this crossing.  IOF have allowed international workers to pass through the
crossing.  With this closure, only few Palestinian patients have been able
to travel to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank. 
In
addition, IOF have continued to prevent Palestinian fishermen from fishing for nearly
6 months.

 

West Bank

 

IOF have tightened the siege imposed on Palestinian
communities in the West Bank. They have isolated Jerusalem from the rest
of the West Bank. IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank have
continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian
civilians. Contrary to promises vowed by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud
Olmert, to Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, during their summit in
Jerusalem on 23 December 2006 to ease the movement of Palestinian civilians,
Israeli media sources reported that the Israeli Defense Minister, Amir Perets,
rejected a plan to dismantle 27 checkpoints in the West Bank. During the reporting
period, IOF soldiers positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank
arrested 3 Palestinian civilians.

 

Annexation Wall: IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside the West
Bank. On 26 December 2006, IOF started to raze areas of Palestinian land
in Um Salamouna village, south of Bethlehem, to construct a section of the
Wall. It is worth noting that on 3 September 2006, IOF issued a military order
seizing 152 donums[1]
of land in Um Salmouna village to be used for “military purposes to establish a
fence and a number of secure roads.” During the reporting period, IOF used
force against Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli solidarity
activists who demonstrated in protest to the construction of the Wall in
Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. Four demonstrators sustained bruises.

 

Illegal
Settler Activities:
On 26 December
2006, IOF started to place barbwires along a settler road that passes through
Jenata village, southeast of Bethlehem. According to local sources, IOF closed
the areas located near the road and started to place barbwires along it. During
the reporting period, Israeli media sources reported the Israeli Defense
Ministry approved the resettlement of Israeli families evacuated from the “Gush
Qatif” settlement bloc in the Gaza Strip in 2005 in a deserted
settlement in the northern Jordan Valley on the Palestinian side of the
Annexation Wall. According to those sources, the ministry approved the
construction of 30 housing unit in the settlement, which is known as
“Mashkhit”, and 30 Israeli families evacuated from the “Gush Qatif” settlement
bloc would be settled in those units. Furthermore, the Israeli Attorney-General
declared that he would initiate a criminal investigation into the construction
of settlements on private Palestinian land. This declaration came in response
to a demand by the Israeli Peace Now to conduct a criminal investigation into
the robbery private Palestinian land to build settlement. According to Peace
Now, private Palestinian land accounts for 40% of
land used for Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

 

The
outcome of crimes committed by IOF since 25 June 2006:

 

o 484
Palestinians, 307 of whom are civilians, including 92 children and 30 women,
have been killed by IOF. In the Gaza Strip alone, 405 Palestinians, 243 of whom
are civilians, including 84 children, 28 women and 4 paramedics, haven been
killed by IOF.

o At
least 1632 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 347 children, 110 women.
In the Gaza Strip alone, 1276 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 345
children, 104 women, 4 paramedics and 7 journalist, have been wounded by the
IOF gunfire.

o At
least 328 air-to-surface missiles and hundreds of artillery shells have been
fired at Palestinian civilian and military targets in the Gaza Strip.

o Buildings
of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
the Ministry of National economy, the office of the Palestinian Prime Minister
and a number of educational institutions have been destroyed. 

o The
electricity generation plant, providing 45% of the electricity of the Gaza
Strip, was destroyed, and electricity networks and transmitters have been
repeatedly attacked.

o 6
bridges linking Gaza City with the central Gaza Strip and a number of roads
have been destroyed. 

o Hundreds
of donums of agricultural land and dozens of houses have been destroyed. 

o Hundreds
of Palestinian civilians, including 10 ministers and 31 members of the Palestinian
Legislative Council (PLC), including the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Secretary,
have been arrested. Minster of Prisoners’ Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister
of Labor and Second Deputy Speaker of the PLC were released.

o The
Palestinian governmental compound in Nablus has been destroyed.

o Many
families in Rafah, Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia have been forced to leave their
houses.

o IOF
intelligence has warned some Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by phone
to evacuate their houses, which would be attacked.

o 73
houses belonging to activists of Palestinian factions have been destroyed by
IOF warplanes.

o IOF
have imposed a strict siege on the OPT, and have isolated the Gaza Strip from
the outside world.

 



Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (21 – 27 December
2006)Download the full report here.



[1] 1 donum is
equal to 1000
square meters
.