PRESS RELEASE

New Settlement Escalation in Gaza Strip

Ref: 82/2000

Date: 25th June, 2000

 

PCHR is following settlement activities carried out by settlers in Gaza Strip under the backing and support of Israeli occupation forces with deep concern. Settlers and Israeli forces aim to control more Palestinian land and deny the right of Palestinians to access their land located alongside the settlements. PCHR field workers documented the following activities during the last few weeks.

  1. On 20 June 2000, Israeli occupation soldiers built a sand hill to serve as a barrier along the eastern border of the Israeli military installation built at the entrance of Mawasi Rafah in order to monitor the movements of Palestinians into the area.
  2. On 21 June 2000 at 9:00 a.m., Israeli soldiers of the Netzarim settlement, located in the center of Gaza Strip, prohibited Palestinians from using the road connecting Saleh Eldien Street (the main street) to the coastal road. Only after intensive negotiation between the Palestinian and Israeli officials was the road reopened again at 11:00 a.m.
  3. On 21 June 2000, a number of Qatif settlers under the backing of Israeli occupation soldiers closed a road used by Palestinian farmers to travel to their land.
  4. Again, on 21 June 2000, a group of settlers used a bulldozer to destroy 400 meters of a road used by Palestinians located in El Qarara Mawasi. The road was actually paved by the Agricultural Relief Committee to facilitate Palestinian farmers to travel to their farms.
  5. Settlers have continued their intensive campaign to build new green houses on Tal Ginan land located in front of Nifeh Dukalem in Khan Yunis Mawasi, and on the land located in front of the Qatif settlements in El Qarara Mawasi. Worth noting is that these lands were only confiscated in 1998 and 1999. The settlers have already built approximately 200 green houses in this month alone.
  6. Since mid-June, settlers have begun building three new buildings in the Tal Qatif settlements along the coastal road between Dier El-Baleh and Khan Yunis. In April, settlers built three other buildings.

 

PCHR condemns the Israeli settlement activities carried out by settlers under the backing of Israeli occupation soldiers. Such activities are grave violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention and were explicitly prohibited by the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreements. PCHR calls on all High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their responsibilities against the grave violations of the Convention by Israel and to take the necessary legal measures to protect the Palestinian citizens.