Press Release

 

More clashes and more agricultural land in the Gaza Strip is swept

 

Ref: 145/2000

Date: October 25, 2000

Time: 16:00GMT

18:00Palestine Time

 

Clashes erupted this afternoon between Palestinian demonstrators and the Israeli occupation forces in different areas of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli occupation forces responded to demonstrations by firing live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters. These forces also continued to reinforce their presence in the Gaza Strip. They swept more agricultural and wooded land, and closed some internal roads restraining the movement of Palestinian civilians between the Palestinian cities and villages.

This afternoon, the area of Erez witnessed clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and the Israeli occupation forces. Israeli occupation forces fired at demonstrators with live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters. PCHR’s field officer in the area reported that two Palestinians were wounded by live bullets and dozens were hurt due to inhaling tear gas.

In Khan Yunis, clashes erupted this afternoon between Palestinian demonstrators and the Israeli occupation forces near an Israeli military post to the west of the refugee camp of Khan Yunis, and near Al-Tuffah roadblock on the road leading to Al-Mawasi (agricultural) area. The Israeli occupation forces responded by firing rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters. PCHR’s field officer in Khan Yunis reported that seven Palestinian civilians were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets and others were hurt when inhaling tear gas.

In the vicinity of Kfar Darom settlement near Deir El-Balah, clashes erupted this afternoon between Palestinian demonstrators and the Israeli occupation forces. PCHR’s field officer in the area reported that three Palestinians were wounded by live bullets fired by the Israeli occupation forces.

In Rafah, clashes erupted this afternoon between Palestinian demonstrators and the Israeli occupation forces. PCHR’s field officer reported that clashes were still ongoing, but no injuries were reported. Early this morning, the Israeli occupation forces’ tanks and bulldozers invaded the crossroads of Salah El-Din street (the main road between the north and south of the Gaza Strip) and the road leading to Morag settlement to the northeast of Rafah. The Israeli occupation forces closed branch roads in the area, and their bulldozers swept a 26-donum area of agricultural land on both sides of the road leading to the mentioned settlement. The land is owned by Mohammed Mosallam Dheir and Hamed A’ashor Dheir. The sweeping of the land also resulted in the destruction of irrigation networks, a water pump and a pool. Electricity poles were destroyed and electricity was cut off.

This morning, the Israeli occupation forces prevented seven people from the Gaza Strip ill with cancer from traveling to the Israeli Asota hospital for treatment. PCHR learned that these people have been undergoing chemical treatment twice a week for quite some time. The Israeli occupation forces used to issue permits for them valid for two months. In light of the current closure that the Israeli occupation forces have imposed since the beginning of this month, all permits have been canceled, and the Israeli occupation forces issue 5-day permits instead. Despite having valid permits, the Israeli occupation forces detained the cancer patients for four hours at Erez crossing before ordering them to return to their homes. This abusive action threatens the life of these people. PCHR finds no justification for such an action as it is a form of collective punishment used by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian civilians indiscriminately.

 

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According to a report published by PCHR today on the sweeping of land throughout the Gaza Strip by the Israeli occupation forces, these forces have swept 807 donums in Rafah, Khan Yunis, the vicinity of Netzarim settlement and the northern area of the Gaza Strip.

PCHR closely observes the actions of the Israeli occupation forces. These actions seem to aim at creating new facts on the ground. The Israeli occupation forces have annexed some of the land to existing settlements and have used the remainder to establish new military posts and fortify existing ones. They also pave roads for the use of Jewish settlers and their accompanying occupying forces. PCHR asserts that these illegal actions are very serious and transpire at the same time that the Israeli occupation forces are perpetrating criminal acts against Palestinian civilians throughout the occupied Palestinian territories.

PCHR reiterates its call to the international community and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to end their silence and immediately intervene to stop the continued massacres perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces as well as the attacks on Palestinian land and property. Providing international protection for Palestinian civilians is the only way to ensure their security and safety.