Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF)
Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Continue to Impose a Total Closure on
the Gaza Strip

 

· 9 Palestinians, including 4 civilians, were killed by IOF. 

 

· Two of these civilians were killed when IOF attacked border
tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip, a third one was willfully killed and a
child was run down by an Israeli military jeep/

 

· 14 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded
by IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

 

· IOF used excessive force against Palestinian civilians in
the al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

 

· IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized to
protest the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank.

 

· IOF conducted 31 incursions into Palestinian communities in
the West Bank and 3 ones into the Gaza Strip.

 

· IOF arrested 45 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children,
in the West Bank, and 5 fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

 

· Israeli naval troops continued to attack Palestinian fishers
and boats in the Gaza Strip.

 

· IOF have continued to impose a total closure on the OPT and
have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

 

· IOF troops positioned at military checkpoints and border
crossings in the West Bank arrested 8 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children.

 

· IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank
and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and
property.

 

· Israeli settlers demolished an agricultural facility in
Hebron and uprooted 120 olive trees in Nablus.

 

 

 

Summary

 

This report
on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
coincides with the 9th anniversary of the al-Aqsa Intifada, which
erupted following the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s provocative
visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque (the Holy Sanctuary) in occupied
Jerusalem.  In the intervening nine years, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF)
have perpetrated grave breaches of international humanitarian law, including
war crimes, against Palestinian civilians. They have continued to killed innocent civilians, destroy and confiscate
civilian property and agricultural land from the purposes of settlement
expansion and the construction of the Annexation Wall, arrest Palestinian
civilians and establish military checkpoint, in violation of international human
rights and humanitarian law. Additionally, IOF have continued to impose a
tightened closure on the OPT, especially the Gaza Strip. Economic, social and cultural rights of the
Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated. The international community has remained
silent and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949
have failed to meet their obligations to ensure respect for the Convention in
the OPT and provide protection for Palestinian civilians.  The
international silence has served to encourage the Israeli government and its
occupation forces to perpetrate more war crimes with impunity against
Palestinian civilians. 

 

According to PCHR’s documentation, 6,426 Palestinians have
been killed by IOF (4,497 in the Gaza Strip and 1,929 in the West Bank). This figure includes a total of 4,959
civilians (3,248 in the Gaza Strip and 1,711 in the West Bank). The civilian victims include 1,210 children
(875 in the Gaza Strip and 335 in the West Bank). They also include 274 women (209 in the Gaza
Strip and 65 in the West Bank).

 

In the 9th year of the Intifada, IOF waged a
full-scale offensive against the Gaza Strip, during which they killed hundreds
of Palestinians and wounded thousands of others. They also destroyed thousands of houses and
civilians facilities. In the nine months
following the end of this offensive, IOF have continued to prevent the entry of
raw materials needed for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. PCHR believes that the international
community, which pledged to contribute to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip,
has failed to take any serious actions to obligate Israel to comply with
international law and to open Gaza’s border crossing and allow the free passage
of materials needs for reconstruction.

 

In spite of attempts by the Israeli government to free
itself of responsibility for war crimes perpetrated by IOF in the Gaza Strip
and provide false statistics of victims, the report of the United Nations
Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, headed by Justice Richard Goldstone,
which was issued on 15 September 2009, confirms the findings and reports of
many Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organizations, and
strongly refutes Israeli claims that its military and political operations were
conducted in accordance with international law. Investigations conducted by the
Fact Finding Mission confirmed that Israel was responsible for the perpetration
of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, war crimes, and serious violations
of international human rights and humanitarian law. The Fact Finding Mission also found sufficient
evidence to indicate that crimes against humanity may have been committed. In particular, the Mission noted that,
“While the Israeli Government has sought to portray its operations as
essentially a response to rocket attacks in the exercise of its right to self
defence, the Mission considers the plan to have been directed, at least in
part, at a different target: the people of Gaza as a whole.”

 

Israeli violations of international
law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (17 –
30 September 2009):

 

Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF
killed 9 Palestinians and wounded 14 others in the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip. Nine Palestinians also suffered
from suffocation when a tunnel collapsed as IOF attacked border tunnels in the
southern Gaza Strip.  

In the Gaza Strip, IOF killed 7
Palestinians, including two civilians, and wounded two children and an activist
of the Palestinian resistance.

 

On 20 September 2009, IOF killed two
members of the Palestinian resistance in Jabalya town in the northern Gaza
Strip with Flechette shells.

 

On 25 September 2009, an Israeli
aircraft fired a missile that killed 3 activists of the Palestinian resistance
in the east of Gaza City.

 

On 29 September 2009, two
Palestinian civilians were killed when Israeli fighter jets bombarded tunnels
along the Egyptian border, south of Rafah.

 

On 28 September 2009, two
Palestinian children were wounded when IOF fired a number of artillery shells
at al-Musaddar village in the central Gaza Strip.

 

On 29 September 2009, an activist of
the Palestinian resistance was wounded by shrapnel from an artillery shell
fired by IOF in al-Shouka village near Rafah.

 

In the West Bank, IOF killed two
Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 11 others, including a
child and an old man.

 

On 22 September 2009, IOF shot dead
a Palestinian civilian while traveling in his car to the west of
Bethlehem. They claimed that he did not
obey orders to stop, but investigations conducted by PCHR refute this claim and
indicate that IOF willfully killed the victim.

 

On 30 September 2009, an Israeli
military jeep chased and ran down a Palestinian school child in Ya’bad village,
southwest of Jenin.

 

On 25 September 2009, a Palestinian
civilian was wounded when IOF fired at dozens of Palestinian civilians and
international and Israeli human rights defenders who demonstrated to protest
settlement expansion in Iraq Bourin village, south of Nablus.

 

On 27 September 2009, 3 Palestinian
civilians were wounded when IOF fired at dozens of Palestinian civilians who gathered
in the al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem to prevent Israeli settlers from
storming its yards.

 

IOF also used force against peaceful
demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli
human rights defenders to protest the construction of the Annexation Wall in
the West Bank. As a result, 7
Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded.  

 

Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF
conducted at least 31 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West
Bank.  IOF arrested 45 Palestinian
civilians, including 6 children.  

 

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 3 limited
incursions into Palestinian communities, during which they leveled areas of
Palestinian land they had already razed.  They also arrested 5 Palestinian fishers for
several hours.   

 

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 continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza
Strip for more than two years. The illegal IOF closure of the Gaza Strip, which
has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the
humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

 

· 1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights,
including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living
conditions, work, health and education.

 

· The main concern of
1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip is to obtain their basic needs of
food, medicines, water and electricity supplies.

 

· IOF have continued to
prevent the entry of raw construction materials into the Gaza Strip for more
than two years.

 

· IOF have not allowed
fuel supplies into the Gaza Strip, excluding limited amounts of cooking gas,
since 10 December 2008.

 

· The Rafah
International Crossing Point has been opened for a few days for a number of
patients who received medical treatment abroad and needed to return home to the
Gaza Strip.

 

· IOF have continued to
close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to Palestinian civilians wishing to travel to
the West Bank and Israeli for medical treatment, trade or social visits.

 

· Poverty and
unemployment rates stand at approximately 80% and 60% respectively in the Gaza
Strip.

 

· IOF have continued to
prevent the entry of spare parts form water networks and sewage systems. Losses
incurred to this sector are estimated at US$ 6 million.

 

· IOF have imposed
additional access restrictions on international diplomats, journalists and
humanitarian workers seeking to enter the Gaza Strip. They have prevented
representatives of several international humanitarian organizations from
entering the Gaza Strip.

 

· Living conditions of
the Palestinian civilian population have seriously deteriorated; levels of
poverty and unemployment have sharply mounted.

 

· At least 900
Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been deprived for family visitation
for more than two years. 

 

· IOF have continued to
attack Palestinian fishers along the Gaza Strip coast.

 

 

 

 

West Bank

 

IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the
movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied
East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the
Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.

 

· IOF have established checkpoints in and around Jerusalem,
severely restricting Palestinian access to the city. Civilians are frequently
prevented from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

 

· There are approximately permanent 630 roadblocks, and manned
and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank. In addition, there are some
60-80 ‘flying’ or temporary checkpoints erected across the West Bank by IOF
every week.

 

· When complete, the illegal Annexation Wall will stretch for
724 kilometers around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population.
350 kilometers of the Wall has already been constructed. Approximately 99% of
the Wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, further confiscating
Palestinian land.

 

· At least 65% of the main roads that leads to 18 Palestinian
communities in the West Bank are closed or fully controlled by IOF (47 out of
72 roads).

 

· There are around 500 kilometers of restricted roads across
the West Bank. In addition, approximately one third of the West Bank, including
occupied East Jerusalem, is inaccessible to Palestinians without a permit
issued by the IOF. These permits are extremely difficult to obtain.

 

· IOF continue to harass, and assault demonstrators who hold
peaceful protests against the construction of the Annexation Wall.

 

· Palestinian civilians continue to be harassed by IOF in
Jerusalem, and across the West Bank, including being regularly stopped and
searched in the streets by IOF.

 

Settlement Activities: IOF have continued settlement
activities in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law and Israeli
settlers living have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and
property.  On 21 September 2009, Israeli settlers living
in "Ramat Yishai" settlement in Tal Rumaida neighborhood in the
center of Hebron attacked Palestinian houses using stones and empty bottles in
the presence of Israeli soldiers, who did no intervene to stop such
attacks. On 22 September 2009, Israeli
settlers living in "Ma’oun" settlement to the east of Yatta village,
south of Hebron, demolished an agricultural facility belonging to Jadallah Reb’ei and Rebehi
Rab’ei in al-Tawana village. On 24
September 2009, at least 120 Israeli settlers, escorted by IOF, stormed
al-Is’haqiya section in the Ibrahimi Mosque, and stayed in it for more than an
hour and a half. On 27 September 2009, a
number of Israeli settlers living in "Kiryat Arba" settlement,
southeast of Hebron, attacked a number of Palestinian civilians and their cars
while exiting al-Ras Mosque to the west of the aforementioned settlement. The
settlers used stones and empty bottles in their attack. A number of cars were damaged, but no one was
hurt. On 28 September 2009, a number of Israeli settlers from
"Yits’har" settlement to the south of Bourin village, south of
Nablus, uprooted 150 olive trees belonging to Ahmed Mustafa Qadous and the
heirs of ‘Abdul Qader ‘Omran in Khellat Swar area in the village.

 

 

 

Israeli Violations
Documented during the Reporting Period (17 – 30 September 2009)

 

The full report is available PDF format.