A new massacre committed by the Israeli occupation forces:

Israeli occupation troops kill in cold blood four Palestinian civilians in Rafah;

Israeli occupation forces shell Ramallah and Al-Bireh with combat helicopters;

A child from Khan Yunis dies from a previous injury;

More land swept and more houses demolished

 

Ref: 177/2000

Date: November 22, 2000

Time: GMT 20:00

Palestine Time 22:00

 

Note: This evening, at about 19:00, the Israeli occupation forces commenced a new aggression against Palestinian civilians in which the combat helicopters of these forces shelled Ramallah and Al-Bireh. The shelling is still taking place.

 

This morning, the Israeli occupation forces committed a new crime, in which four Palestinian civilians were killed near the road leading to Morag settlement, when the Israeli occupation forces opened fire from heavy machine guns on two Palestinian civilian cars travelling from Rafah to Khan Yunis. Also this morning, a 15-year-old child died from his wound from a live bullet in the head on November 20, 2000 shot by the Israeli occupation forces. In the past 24 hours, the Israeli occupation forces carried out wide-ranging demolition of houses and sweeping of agricultural land. They expelled seven families (50 people) and demolished their houses. In addition, these forces swept more areas of agricultural land.

 

  1. Shooting at Palestinian Civilians

In a crime of willful killing committed by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian civilians, these forces carried out a new massacre when they opened fire from their heavy machine guns on two Palestinian civilian cars in Rafah, killing four Palestinian civilians inside one of the two cars. This new aggression took place at about 10:10 local time on the Rafah-Khan Yunis western road near the junction leading to Morag settlement in the northeast of Rafah. According to eyewitnesses, the targeted cars were traveling on the above-mentioned road when Israeli occupation troops in two tanks opened fire from their heavy machine guns on the two cars from a distance of about 40 meters with the aim to kill all the Palestinian civilian passengers inside.

An eyewitness said that he was on his tract of land near the place of the incident. He stated that a tank of the Israeli occupation forces was stationed on the northern side of a settlement road newly paved by these forces on the land of Dhuheir family, which connects Salah El-Din Street with Morag settlement in the east. Two other tanks of the Israeli occupation forces were stationed on the southern side of the above-mentioned road. The three tanks were only a few meters away from Salah El-Din Street. The eyewitness added:

“I saw a troop carrier coming from the newly paved settlement road that suddenly crossed Salah El-Din Street before a black car (it was known later that the car was a Honda Civic) and a white Mercedes, travelling from Rafah to Khan Yunis. When the black car came near the tanks, Israeli occupation troops in two of the three tanks started to shoot intensively at it from a distance of some meters only. I lay down on the ground and started to observe what was going on. The shooting lasted continuously for almost four minutes. When the shooting stopped, three jeeps of the Israeli occupation forces came from the above-mentioned road, on which the tanks were stationed. Israeli occupation troops get out of the jeeps and pulled out the bodies from the car and put them in a jeep, and then they traveled towards Morag settlement.”

Another eyewitness said that “the Israeli occupation troops in the jeeps also shot at the victims. The driver of the Mercedes car got out of the car, raising his hands (to show he was unarmed). The Israeli occupation forces arrested him.” He was later identified as Nahedh Foujo.

At about 13:00 local times, the bodies of the four martyrs killed in cold blood by the Israeli occupation forces were brought to Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis. The four martyrs are:

  1. Jamal Abdel-Qader Hassan Abdel-Razeq, 30 years old, from Rafah, who received several heavy and medium bullets throughout the body;
  2. A’wni Ismail Dhuheir, 38 years old, from Rafah, who received several heavy and medium bullets throughout the body;
  3. Nae’l Shehdeh El-Leddawi, 25 years old, from Rafah, who received several heavy and medium bullets throughout the body; and
  4. Sami Nasser Abu Laban, 27 years old, from Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza City, who received several heavy and medium bullets throughout the body.

 

PCHR has learned the martyr Abu Laban worked in a bakery and that El-Leddawi was his colleague. The two were on their way to make a purchase at Fares fuel station at the entrance of Khan Yunis. The martyr Abdel-Razeq was a director in the Palestinian Ministry of Industry and Trade. He was a prisoner in the jails of the Israeli occupation forces and was released in September 1999. The martyr Dhuheir was a trader of real estate.

PCHR condemns this crime which is added to the series of crimes and assassinations committed by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian civilians. The statement of the spokesman of the Israeli occupation forces this afternoon proves this. He said that they observed the black car and intentionally shot at it. This crime confirms once again the immediate need for providing international protection for Palestinian civilians to put an end to the crimes being committed by the Israeli occupation forces.

This afternoon, the child Ibrahim Hassan Al-Moqannan, 15 years old, from Khan Yunis died from a wound caused by a live bullet in the head on November 20, 2000. The child was then evacuated to the intensive care unit in Shifa’ hospital in Gaza City until the moment when he died.

In Khan Yunis, the Israeli occupation forces shot at Palestinian civilians who had demonstrated near Al-Tuffah roadblock between the city and Al-Mawasi (agricultural) area. As a result, a Palestinian civilian was wounded with a live bullet.

In the area to the southwest of Al-Shuhada’ (Netzarim) junction on Salah El-Din Street (the main road between the north and south of the Gaza Strip), the Israeli occupation forces shot at Palestinian demonstrators, wounding one with a live bullet.

At the junction of Sielet El-Zhaher in Jenin, this morning, a Jewish settler opened fire on Palestinian citizens, wounding three with live ammunition. Eyewitnesses said that the incident happened at about 10:00 local time this morning, when there were no clashes. The settler got out of his car and suddenly opened fire from his machine gun at defenseless Palestinian civilians. Among the wounded was Ma’moun Jamil Qatmoush, 22 years old, who was seriously wounded with a live bullet in the abdomen.

2. Sweeping of Agricultural Land and Settlement Expansion

Yesterday, at 20:00 local time, the Israeli occupation forces started to sweep large areas of agricultural land and to demolish houses in the town of Al-Qarara, to the east of the junction leading to Gush Qatif settlement block (Al-Matahe Junction) on Salah El-Din Street (the main road between the north and south of the Gaza Strip). PCHR’s field officer in the area reported that the sweeping and demolition lasted until 1:00 local time this morning, in which six houses were demolished after families were evacuated. The demolished houses are:

  1. a two-story house established on 200 square meters of land owned by A’ashour Ibrahim Mousa A’abdin, in which 15 people used to live;
  2. a 250-square-meter house owned by Salem Mousa A’abdin, in which 12 people used to live;
  3. a 160-square-meter house owned by A’dnan Nayef A’abdin, in which six people used to live;
  4. a 200-square-meter house owned by Nayef Salem A’abdin, in which eight people used to live;
  5. a 150-square-meter house owned by Ahmed Ibrahim El-Qedra, in which five people used to live; and
  6. a 150-square-meter house owned by Mahmoud Ibrahim El-Qedreh.

The houses were bulldozed without their owners being able to get their furniture out. In his testimony to PCHR, Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim El-Qedreh, an owner of one of the demolished houses, stated that yesterday, at about 22:10 (local time), while he was with his family in their house, he heard a sound of a bulldozer near the house. He added that a tear gas canister was suddenly thrown into the house, forcing him and his family to leave the house. When he got out of the house, El-Qedreh saw three bulldozers and large troops of the Israeli occupation forces. These forces immediately started to bulldoze the house.

In addition, the Israeli occupation forces swept the following:

  1. A one-donum area of domestic birds (5,000 hens) owned by Salem Mahmoud Abu Houli.
  2. A two-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives, owned by Salem Mahmoud Abu Houli. In addition, two rooms were demolished.
  3. A two-donum plant nursery owned by Suleiman Al-E’deini.
  4. A one-donum area of land on which there were two rooms and a well, owned by Ja’far Hamdan El-Qedreh.
  5. A 1.5-donum area of agricultural land planted with palms, owned by A’wni Hamdan Al-Agha.
  6. A one-donum area of agricultural land planted with palms, owned by Mustafa Taher Al-Agha.
  7. A one-donum area of agricultural land planted with palms, owned by Qassem Yousef Al-Agha.

Yesterday evening, the Israeli occupation forces demolished the house of Sami Eissa Mohammed Jarboua’, in which seven people live. The 20-square-meter house is near the borderline to the west of Rafah Border Crossing.

Also yesterday evening, the Israeli occupation forces swept areas of agricultural land to the east of Kfar Darom settlement. PCHR’s field officer in the area reported that the sweeping included:

  1. A two-donum area of agricultural land on which two greenhouses planted with vegetables were established, owned by Fawzi Abu Riha. In addition, a water pump was destroyed.
  2. A seven-donum area of agricultural land on which seven greenhouses planted with vegetables were established, owned by Mohammed Abu Bashir. In addition, a water pump was destroyed.
  3. A seven-donum area of agricultural land on which seven greenhouses planted with vegetables were established, owned by sons of Abdel-A’zziz Abu Bashir. In addition, a water pump was destroyed.
  4. A water pump owned by Abdel-Hamid Abu Rihan was destroyed.
  5. A room and a water pump inside it, owned by Kamel Abu Rihan, were demolished.

Since this morning, the Israeli occupation forces have been sweeping areas of agricultural land on both sides of Salah El-Din Street (the main road between the north and south of the Gaza Strip), between the junction leading to Gush Qatif settlement block (Al-Matahen Junction) and the junction leading to Kissufim Crossing on the borderline. More than 20 Jewish settlers were seen assisting in sweeping and uprooting huge trees on both sides of the mentioned road. It has not been clear so far how much land has been swept as the affected area has been closed by the Israeli occupation forces.

In addition, Naji Atteya Abu Nosseir stated that his house, located to the east of Kfar Darom settlement, was attacked by a group of Jewish settlers. Those settlers burned a significant part of the house.

4. Continued Reinforcements and Blocking of Roads

The Israeli occupation forces have continued to reinforce their presence throughout the occupied Palestinian territories. In the Gaza Strip, tanks and armored vehicles of the Israeli occupation forces are still stationed on Salah El-Din Street (the main road between the north and south of the Gaza Strip). The mentioned road and its branch and agricultural roads have been closed by the Israeli occupation forces. This has divided the Gaza Strip into isolated areas. Internal restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians inside the Gaza Strip can be detailed in the following:

  1. A heavy presence of Israeli occupation troops reinforced with tanks and armored vehicles at the junction leading to the east to Morag settlement in Rafah, on Salah El-Din Street.
  2. A heavy presence of Israeli occupation troops reinforced with tanks and armored vehicles at the junction leading to Gush Qatif settlement block and the settlements to the west of Rafah (known as Oraybeh road). The Israeli occupation forces re-closed the area.
  3. A heavy presence of Israeli occupation troops reinforced with tanks and armored vehicles on the part of Salah El-Din Street between the junction leading to Gush Qatif settlement block in the west (Al-Matahen junction) and the junction leading to Kissufim Crossing on the eastern borderline. The road has been completely closed since November 19, 2000.
  4. A heavy presence of Israeli occupation troops reinforced with tanks and armored vehicles near Kfar Darom settlement on Salah El-Din Street, to the southeast of Deir El-Balah. The Israeli occupation forces opened it from midday of November 18, 2000 until midday of the following day.
  5. A heavy presence of Israeli occupation troops reinforced with tanks and armored vehicles on the road branching from Salah El-Din Street, near the northern side of Kfar Darom settlement which goes to the east and then to the south around the mentioned settlement. Palestinian civilians usually resort to this road in the case of closing of Salah El-Din Street, but the Israeli occupation forces have closed this road since November 19, 2000.
  6. A heavy presence of Israeli occupation troops reinforced with tanks and armored vehicles at the junction on Salah El-Din Street leading to Netzarim settlement (Al-Shuhada’ Junction). The Israeli occupation forces have continued to close the road leading to the mentioned settlement and the coastal road parallel to Salah El-Din Street, prohibiting the movement of Palestinian civilians on the two roads. The Israeli occupation forces have also continued to close the road branching from the above junction going to the east and then to the north towards Gaza City, at its northern end (Al-Mentar road).
  7. The Israeli occupation forces have continued to close the coastal road between Gaza and Rafah opposite to Gush Qatif settlement block, prohibiting the movement of Palestinian civilians on the road.
  8. The Israeli occupation forces have continued to close the road between Khan Yunis city and its Al-Mawasi (agricultural) area – under the control of these forces – since November 20, 2000. These forces closed the mentioned road with cement blocks.
  9. The Israeli occupation forces have continued to close the road between Rafah city and its Al-Mawasi (agricultural) area at these forces’ roadblock known as “Tal El-Sultan roadblock,” to the west of the city.
  10. The Israeli occupation forces have continued to close all roads branching from Salah El-Din Street, through which Palestinian farmers go their agricultural land in Rafah near Rafah Border Crossing.

The Israeli occupation forces have continued to impose a sea siege on the southern area of the Gaza Strip since November 10, 2000, preventing Palestinian fishermen from going out to sea. The Israeli occupation forces have kept up their actions of collective punishment by continuing to impose a total siege on the occupied Palestinian territories and by closing Gaza International Airport and Rafah Border Crossing.

***

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 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”