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· 14 Palestinians, including 11 civilians,
killed by Israeli occupation forces;

 

· indiscriminate shelling of residential areas; child
and teacher killed in Rafah and Khan Yunis;

 

· Israeli occupation forces encroach into Rafah, Khan
Yunis, and Jenin;

 

· three Palestinian civilians and a security officer
die in willful killings by Israeli forces;

 

· two Palestinian bleed to death after being wounded by
Israeli forces;

 

· more land leveling and house demolition;

 

· dozens of Palestinians arrested;

 

· continued attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinian
civilians;

 

· medical personnel and facilities attacked by Israeli
occupation forces; and

 

· a continued total siege on the OPT.

 

 

Introduction

 

This
report covers human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupation forces
in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in the period 21-27 March
2002. According to PCHR’s documentation,
14 Palestinians, including 11 civilians, were killed and dozens were wounded by
Israeli occupation forces during this period. 

 

This week, Israeli forces
invaded areas under the control of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in
the Gaza Strip under the cover of intensive shelling. They demolished moved into Rafah refugee camp
in the southern Gaza strip three times this week, killing a 5-year-old child
and two young men, and wounding a number of civilians. 

 

In four incidents of
willful killing, Israeli occupation forces shot dead three Palestinian
civilians and a member of the Palestinian National Security Forces in the West
Bank and the Gaza Strip.

 

In violation of
international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention of
1949, Israeli occupation forces attacked Palestinian medical personnel and
denied their access to the wounded. They
also shelled a hospital in Bethlehem. 

 

Israeli forces tightened the siege
imposed on the OPT. Israeli forces
separated Palestinian areas, transforming them into Bantustans. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupation forces
open the main north-south roads only between 09:00 and 17:00 every day.

 

This week, Israeli
occupation forces razed more areas of Palestinian agricultural land in al-Satar
al-Gharbi area in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza strip.

 

 

 

 

 

Shelling of an Encroachment into
Palestinian National Authority Controlled Areas

 

Thursday, 21 March 2002

 

At approximately 02:00, an
Israeli military force comprised of approximately 200 soldiers airdropped from
helicopters, reinforced with five tanks and a bulldozer, raided al-Yamoun and
Seilat al-Harthia villages in the West Bank. They arrested 20 Palestinians in the two villages.

 

At approximately 16:00, a
number of Israeli heavy military vehicles took position at the Egyptian border
opposite to al-Brazil neighborhood in the south of Rafah, near the border
between the Gaza strip and Egypt. Then,
some of those vehicles moved several meters into the neighborhood under the
cover of intensive shelling that targeted Palestinian houses. The incursion continued until 20:00, during
which nine Palestinian civilians were wounded:

 1. Riham Hussam
Mustafa Abu Taha, 5, clinically dead after she was shot in the head and she was
officially pronounced dead on the following day, Saturday, Friday, 22 March;

 2. Hamad Hamad
Abu Jazar, 16, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen;

 3. Ra’ed Mahmoud
al-Mughari, 24, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen;

 4. Mahmoud
Khaled al-Sha’er, 15, wounded by a live bullet in the left foot;

 5. Ahmed
Mohammed Abu Taha, 15, wounded by a live bullet in the left arm;

 6. Ahmed ‘Aatef
al-Satari, 12, wounded by a live bullet in the right arm;

 7. Ashraf ‘Omar
Daoud, 23, wounded by a live bullet in the buttocks;

 8. Baker Ibrahim
al-Batikhi, 23, wounded by shrapnel in the left arm; and

 9. Zeinab Salem
al-Sedoudi, 50, wounded by shrapnel in the left foot. 

 

PCHR’s field worker in
Rafah reported that Israeli occupying forces fired an artillery shell at an
ambulance of Palestine Red Crescent Society while it was evacuating the
wounded. The ambulance was severely
damaged, but no casualties were reported among its crew.

 

Regarding the circumstances
of the killing of the child Abu Taha, an eyewitness stated the following to
PCHR:

 

“At approximately 16:00, I
was at al-Rawda Street in al-Brazil neighborhood adjacent to the Egyptian
border. I saw a number of Israeli tanks
and bulldozers positioned at the border near al-Nour mosque and heard sounds of
sporadic shooting. Ten minutes later, I
saw an Israeli tank moving several meters into the aforementioned street, which
was full of people of various ages. The
tank opened fire intensively and indiscriminately at the street. Many people, including myself, took shelter
on branch roads. Soon, I saw a child
falling down. I pulled him into a branch
road. Then I saw two other children on
the ground in front of Abu Baker mosque. I rushed towards them, despite the intense shooting. When I was approximately 20m away from them,
a young man, resident of the area, moved forward and carried a child, whose age
is less than five and who was bleeding from the head. I checked the other child and discovered that
he was not hurt. I ran after the young
man who evacuated the little child. We
stopped a civilian car and took her to Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital through
branch roads to avoid Israeli forces. The child was bleeding from her left eye and was in complete
trance. Medical sources asserted that
the child was clinically dead. When her
family came to the hospital I knew that her name is Riham Abu Taha aged 5. She was transferred to Nasser Hospital in
Khan Yunis where she died on the following day.”

 

According to medical
sources at Nasser Hospital, a heavy caliber bullet entered the child’s eye and
exited her head.

 

Friday, 22 March 2002

 

In the morning, Israeli
occupation forces raided Mohammed ‘Ali al-Muhtasseb hospital in Hebron, and
severely beat its medical director. 

 

At approximately 15:00,
Israeli occupation forces positioned at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah,
opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Brazil neighborhood adjacent to the
border. Three Palestinian civilians were
wounded:

 1. Eyad Sha’ban
al-Mughari, 30, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen;

 2. Ayman
Mohammed Hassan, 30, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen; and

 3. Mohammed
Jamal Baraka, 16, wounded by shrapnel in the head.

 

Israeli occupation forces
very often shell the area indiscriminately and for no apparent reason, causing
large numbers of casualties among Palestinian civilians. 

 

Saturday, 23 March 2002

 

Israeli occupation forces
killed Nabil Khamis ‘Abdel-‘Azziz ‘Abdel-Ghafour, 39, from al-Qarara village,
north of Khan Yunis, claiming that he violated the daily curfew imposed on the
area from 18:00 to 07:00. 

 

According to PCHR’s
investigation, at approximately 01:00, Israeli occupation forces moved into Abu
al-‘Ajin area in al-Qarara under the cover of intensive shooting at Palestinian
houses. Then, they raided and searched
some houses. According to a resident of
the area, Mousa Sweilem Abu Haddaf, Israeli occupation forces raided searched
his house. Then, they ordered him to get
out of his house and knock on the doors of his neighbor’s house. When he emerged from the house, he saw a
person on the ground who was bleeding. He could not identify him. At
approximately 04:00, Israeli occupation forces withdrew from the area. According to Abu Haddaf, he called the
Palestinian liaison forces informing them that there was a body of a
Palestinian man in the area. Then, an
ambulance came and evacuated the body to Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, where
it was identified as that of Abdel Ghafour. According to medical sources, the body was hit by several live bullets
in the head and chest from close range. According to the victim’s family, he went out of his house at
approximately 23:30 on Friday, 22 March. He was in a bad psychological state. Israeli occupation forces did not comment on the incident. 

 

At approximately 01:00, a
number of Israeli heavy military vehicles moved approximately 100m into Salah
al-Din Street in Block J area, adjacent to the Egyptian border south of
Rafah. They opened fire at Palestinian
houses. Some Palestinian young men and
civilians confronted the invading forces. A gunman, Mohammed ‘Ali Ahmed ‘Othman, 22, was killed by a heavy caliber
bullet in the chest. In addition, a
number of houses were severely damaged.

 

At approximately 16:45,
Israeli occupation forces in military locations surrounding “Neve Dekalim”
settlement, west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Nimsawi
neighborhood. Subhi Hassan ‘Atteya Abu
Namous, 35, a teacher, was killed by a live bullet in the left eye while at
home. The victim was also wounded ten
months ago by shrapnel from live bullets in the left eye. In addition, ‘Atta Khalil Abu ‘Eita, 23, was
wounded by a live bullet in the right hand, and apartment buildings of al-Farra
Company were damaged. 

 

At approximately 17:00,
Israeli occupation forces positioned at the Egyptian border south of Rafah, for
no apparent reason, opened fire at the adjacent al-Brazil neighborhood. Ashraf Mohammed Abu Harb, 15, was wounded by
a live bullet in the left leg while he was near his family’s house. At the same time, Israeli occupation forces
positioned in a military location near Salah al-Din Gate at the Egyptian border
opened fire on Palestinian houses in Block O area in Rafah refugee camp. Akram Hassan Joudeh, 14, was wounded by a
live bullet in the left arm. 

 

Monday, 25 March 2002

 

At approximately 01:00, a
number of Israeli heavy military vehicles moved into al-Salam neighborhood
adjacent to the Egyptian border, south of Rafah. Some Palestinian gunmen confronted the
invading Israeli forces, which opened fire indiscriminately. A gunman, Samer Mohammed ‘Abdel-Jawad, 22, a
member of the Palestinian resistance, was killed. Three Palestinian civilians were also
wounded:

 1. Islam ‘Aamer
Abu Ne’ma, 8, wounded by shrapnel in the head;

 2. Yahia Mahmoud
al-Mallahi, 19, wounded by a live bullet in the left thigh; and

 3. Mohammed
Daoud ‘Eissa, 19, wounded by a live bullet in the left foot.

 

PCHR’s field worker in
Rafah reported that the incursion continued lasted until 16:00, during which
Palestinian houses were shelled, the electricity and water networks of the
neighborhood were damaged, and 20 fuel tanks of a fuel station owned by Yousef
Hamed Bahloul were destroyed. Israeli
occupation forces also seized two houses owned by Nassar Mohammed al-Sha’er and
Tawfiq Hashem al-‘Ashi, detained their residents in one room and mounted the
roofs, before they withdrew from the area. 

 

At approximately 09:00,
Israeli heavy military vehicles moved approximately 500m into al-Satar
al-Gharbi area in the northwest of Khan Yunis. They fired an artillery shell at a fuel station owned by Fadi Hammad Abu
‘Oweili. They also razed approximately
30 donums of Palestinian agricultural land:

 1. They razed a
10-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and corns and destroyed
an irrigation network owned by Mohammed Ramadan Fares.

 2. They razed a
6-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and destroyed an
irrigation network owned by ‘Abdullah Hafezh Fares.

 3. They razed a
12-donum area of agricultural land planted with vegetables and destroyed an
irrigation network owned by Na’im Hassan al-Agha.

 4. They razed a
500-square-meter area of agricultural land planted with olives and destroyed an
irrigation network owned by Fathi ‘Abdel-Ra’ouf Harazallah.

 

At approximately 10:20,
Israeli occupation forces in military location at the center of Hebron shelled
Palestinian houses in the city for more than 90 minutes. Three Palestinian civilians were wounded:

 1. ‘Alla’
Mustafa Qabaja, 21, wounded by shrapnel in the face;

 2. ‘Eziddin
‘Ezzat al-Zaru, 28, wounded by shrapnel in the left leg; and

 3. Taha Ahmed
Abu Gheith, 62, wounded by a live bullet in the left knee.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

 

At approximately 01:00,
Israeli heavy military vehicles, supported by a helicopter, moved into Wadi
al-Haryea neighborhood, under full control of the Palestinian National
Authority. They raided a Palestinian
house and arrested Munjed Rubin Maraqa, 27. 

 

At approximately 03:00, a
number of Israeli heavy military vehicles moved approximately 200m into
al-Brazil neighborhood adjacent to the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, under
the cover of intense shelling. Amin
Ahmed ‘Asfour, 22, was critically wounded by a live bullet that entered the
back and exited the neck, while he was confronting the invading forces. Electricity was cut from Rafah after an
electricity transmitter was destroyed. Israeli forces also seized two Palestinian houses and fired from them at
every moving object. They withdrew from
the area at approximately 03:30. 

 

Shooting at Palestinian Civilians

 

Thursday, 21 March 2002

 

In an apparent willful killing, in
the afternoon, Israeli occupation forces shot dead Ayman Mohammed Rashid
Khawalda, 23, from ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp in Nablus, and resident of
Zawata village, west of the city. According to investigations carried out by LAW – the Palestinian Society
for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment – Khawalda, a shepherd,
moved in the morning as usual towards a pastoral area near Zawata village,
which is crossed by a settler road. He
was accompanied by a boy from Zawata village. When the boy went to bring food from his village, Israeli occupation
forces came to the area and arrested Khawalda. On Friday morning, Khawalda’s body was discovered in the area. His family had informed the Palestinian
liaison forces about the disappearance of their son, but Israeli occupation
forces denied his arrest. According to
LAW’s field worker who saw the body at hospital, the victim was severely beaten
and was hit by several live bullets in the head, the neck and the abdomen. According to medical sources, the victim
received 15 live bullets mostly in the back and the abdomen, which were fired
at him from a very close distance.

 

Friday, 22 March 2002

 

At approximately 15:00, Israeli
occupation forces raided Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. When they got close to the consolation house
of Amjad al-‘Allami, who was killed on 18 March, they opened fire on it. Nidhal Ibrahim Hamdi al-‘Allami, 20, was
critically wounded by an explosive live bullet in the head. He was pronounced dead on the following day.

 

Saturday, 23 March 2002

 

At approximately 08:00, Israeli
occupation forces at Deir Ebzi’ military roadblock, west of Ramallah, fired at
Palestinian cars that were trying to travel on a nearby branch road. Ra’ed Mohammed Khalil, 34, was wounded by a
live bullet in the left foot. 

 

At approximately 16:00, Israeli
occupation forces raided ‘Aaboud village, west of Ramallah and for no apparent
reason, they opened fire at Palestinian civilians in the village. Khairiddin Hassan Mustafa, 15, was wounded by
a live bullet in the right side, while he was on his way back home from his
work. In addition, they arrested ‘Omar
Samih al-Barghouthi, 26, from his shop, and Kamza ‘Atta Mezher, 16, mentally
handicapped.

Sunday, 24 March 2002

 

In apparent willful killing, at
approximately 08:00, Israeli occupation forces opened fire at a roadblock of
the Palestinian National Security Forces at the entrance to Deir al-Sudan
village, northwest of Ramallah. A member
of the roadblock, Mohammed ‘Ali Abu Shehada, 26, from al-Boreij refugee camp in
the Gaza Strip, was wounded by a live bullet in the foot. Israeli soldiers arrested him and shot him
dead from a very close distance. 

 

In another willful killing, Israeli
occupation forces shot dead Nash’at Mustafa Abu ‘Aassi, 21, from al-Zaytoun
neighborhood in Gaza, who was suffering from psychological disturbances, while
he was walking near a settler road between al-Mentar crossing and al-Shuhada’
junction. According to an eyewitness, at
approximately 11:30, the victim was walking near the road. He called him to move back, but he did not
do. Then, an Israeli military jeep
arrived at the area and fired at the young men. Additional Israeli military vehicles came and besieged the area. The young man was left bleeding to
death. Israeli forces allowed the entry
of a Palestinian ambulance into the area only at approximately 15:15. According to medical sources, Abu ‘Aassi
received two live bullets in the back and the right arm.

 

Also at approximately 11:30, Israeli
occupation forces in the vicinity of “Dogit” settlement, fired at Bilal Fathi
al-Majdalawi, 26, from Beit Lahia, who suffers from psychological disturbances,
while he was walking in al-Sayafa area, wounding him with three live bullets in
the buttocks and the right knee. Then,
they arrested him. He was transferred to
the Palestinian liaison forces on the following morning. 

 

At approximately 13:30, Israeli
occupation forces in military locations in the vicinity of “Neve Dekalim”
settlement, west of Khan Yunis, fired at a number of Palestinian children who
threw stones after the funeral procession of Subhi Abu Namous, who was killed
on the previous day. Two children were
wounded:

 1. Jamal Sabri Zo’rob,
13, wounded by a live bullet in the right thigh; and

 2. Mohammed Sufian
al-Qassas, 15, wounded by shrapnel from a live bullet in the right hand.

 

At approximately 13:45, a number of
Palestinian children threw stones towards Israeli occupation forces at the
eastern border of the Gaza Strip, east of Jabalya refugee camp. Mahmoud Munther Rayan, 15, was wounded by two
live bullets in the abdomen and the right leg. 

 

At approximately 14:00, Israeli
occupation forces in military locations in the vicinity of “Elli Sinai” and
“Dogit” settlements, north of Beit Lahia, opened fire at two Palestinian young
men in al-Sayafa area. According to
PCHR’s investigation, the two young men attempted to escape, but Israeli forces
shot them dead. Then, Israeli forces
came towards them. Then, they brought
dogs to check the bodies. Two hours
later, they allowed the access of a Palestinian ambulance tow the bodies. The two young men were identified as ‘Eissa
Wasfi al-Nathar, 20, and Naji Ahmed al-‘Ajrami, 21, both from Jablaya. They received several live bullets throughout
the body. Israeli occupation forces
claimed that the victims were carrying hand grenades, but according to field
information the two were not members of any political parties or military
organizations. 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, 25 March 2002

 

At approximately 09:30, Israeli
occupation forces at al-Matahen roadblock, north of Khan Yunis, fired live
ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets at Palestinian civilians who were
waiting to cross the roadblock towards Gaza City. Three civilians were wounded:

 1. Mohammed ‘Ali Abu
Mousa, 19, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet in the face;

 2. Ahmed Ibrahim
Khalafallah, 19, wounded by shrapnel from a live bullet in the left arm; and

 3. ‘Abdel-Jabbar ‘Ali
al-Farajani, 37, wounded by shrapnel from a live bullet in the face. 

 

This roadblock is closed daily
between 17:00 and 09:00.

 

At approximately 13:00, Mahmoud
Mohammed Abu Yassin, 13, from Jabalya refugee camp, was pronounced dead, from a
previous wound in the abdomen he sustained by Israeli occupation forces on 12
March.

 

Tuesday, 26 March 2002

 

In an excessive use of force,
Israeli occupation forces fired at a civilian car which was traveling from
Bethlehem to occupied Jerusalem. Two
Palestinian young men were killed:

 1. Shadi Ibrahim Shaker
Hamamra, 26, from Husan village, west of Bethlehem; and

 2. Khaled Yousef Mousa,
19, from al-Khader village near Bethlehem.

 

Israeli occupation forces claimed
that the two young men were going to carry out a suicide bombing in
Jerusalem. However, television photos
showed that they did not carry any explosives. 

 

At approximately 16:00, Israeli
occupation forces in the vicinity of “Gani Tal”
settlement, west of Khan Yunis, fired at a number of Palestinian children who
were playing on the space between al-Amal neighborhood and the mentioned
settlement. Hamed Fahmi Abu Shanab, 15,
was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the back.

 

Arrests

 

This week, Israeli occupation forces arrested a number of
Palestinians. The arrests took place in
the following circumstances:

 1. At
international border crossings, under the control of Israeli occupation forces.

 2. At Israeli
military roadblocks on main and branch roads at the entrances to Palestinian
cities and villages.

 3. In
Palestinian towns and villages, often during house raids.

 4. During
incursions into Palestinian controlled areas
.

 

The following are
significant arrests that took place this week
:

 

No.

Name

Age

Place of
Residence

Date of
Arrest

Manner of
Arrest

1.  

Mohammed
Ahmed Dagher

22

Al-Mazra’a
Al-Sharqia, Ramallah

21 March

Arrested at
his house

2.  

Amjad
‘Abdel-Qader Zeben

23

Al-Mazra’a
Al-Sharqia, Ramallah

21 March

Arrested at
his house

3.  

Eyad Khaled
Zeben

21

Al-Mazra’a
Al-Sharqia, Ramallah

21 March

Arrested at
his house

4.  

Ashraf
Mohammed Abu al-Rub

21

Qabatya,
Jenin

21 March

Arrested at
an Israeli military roadblock south of Jenin

5.  

Rami Ibrahim
Lahlouh

18

‘Arrabeh,
Jenin

25 March

Arrested at
an Israeli military roadblock south of Nablus

 

 

******

 

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 in order
to take effective measures to protect Palestinian civilians in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories, in accordance with their obligations under Article 1,
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
observations 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.