Continued Israeli Violations in the OPT

 

 

 

· 15 Palestinians, mostly
civilians, including two women and six children killed by Israeli occupation
forces

 

 

· An Israeli incursion into
Tulkarm and a number of mosques raided

 

 

· A series of Israeli incursions
into Rafah; a child and a woman killed

 

 

· Continuous Israeli military
siege on the Church of the Nativity; two Palestinians killed

 

 

· In an apparent willful killing,
a woman and her two children killed by Israeli occupation forces

 

 

· Large areas of Palestinian
agricultural land razed in Deir al-Balah

 

 

· A strict siege on the OPT and
many Palestinians arrested

 

 

Introduction

 

 

This report covers human rights
violations perpetrated by Israeli occupation forces in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories (OPT) in the period 2-8 May 2002.  According to PCHR’s
documentation and field observation, Israeli occupation forces continued their
encroachment into Palestinian areas, killing a number of Palestinians and
destroying public and private property. This week, 15 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including two women and
six children, were killed by Israeli occupation forces. Israeli forces also demolished a number of
Palestinian houses and razed areas of Palestinian agricultural land.

 

After the Israeli army had redeployed
around Palestinian cities in the West Bank, and after the Israeli government
succeeded in canceling the UN fact-finding mission formed by the UN Secretary
General Kofi Anan to investigate Israeli human rights violations in Jenin
refugee camp last month, Israeli occupation forces followed a new policy of
limited incursions into Palestinian areas. This week, Israeli occupation forces moved into Tulkarm more than once
and remained in the town for several hours before they withdrew. Israeli forces also moved into Nablus on
Friday, 3 May, killed two Palestinians and destroyed a commercial
compound. 

 

On Thursday morning, 2 May, Israeli
occupation forces lift the siege that was imposed on the compound of the
Palestinian president in Ramallah. Lifting the siege came following an agreement under which four
Palestinians accused of killing the former Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam
Ze’evi, and two other detainees, including Ahmed Sa’adat, Secretary General of
the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), were moved from the
compound to be jailed in a Palestinian prison in Jericho under US and British
escort. 

 

Israeli occupation forces have
maintained a strict siege on the Church of the Nativity. This week Palestinian-Israeli negotiations
were held to lift the siege. The two
sides reached an agreement, under which 13 Palestinians blocked in the church
would be deported to Italy and 26 would be transferred to the Gaza Strip. This agreement constitutes a dangerous
precedent in dealing with Palestinian resistance men. The agreement faced obstacles as the Italian
government refused to receive the deportees. This week, Israeli forces shot dead two of the Palestinians blocked
inside the church.

 

In
the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupation forces shelled and invaded Palestinian
areas, especially in Rafah, killing two Palestinian civilians, and wounding
more than ten. They also demolished a
number of Palestinian houses and civilian facilities. Israeli forces also razed large areas of
agricultural land in Deir al-Balah.

 

In an
apparent willful killing, Israeli occupation forces shot dead a Palestinian
woman and her two children in Qabatya village in Jenin. Israeli forces claimed that they opened fire
after they heard an explosion, which they later admitted came from a technical
failure in an Israeli tank. 

 

Israeli
occupation forces have maintained the total siege imposed on the OPT in a
collective punishment for the Palestinian people.  Israeli forces have
separated Palestinian areas, transforming them into cantons and imposed a
curfew on several Palestinian areas in the West Bank.  In the Gaza Strip,
Israeli occupation forces have divided the strip into three isolated zones for
several weeks.  They have denied access of students to their schools and
universities, and employees to their work places, depriving them of their
economic, social and cultural rights. This week, Israeli forces at military roadblocks checked and fired at
Palestinian civilians. They shot dead a
Palestinian and arrested more than 30. Since Thursday, 2 May, Israeli occupation forces have blocked all roads
leading to al-Sayafa area in the northern Gaza Strip and denied access of
Palestinian farmers to their farms.

 

 

 

Shelling
of and Encroachment into Palestinian Areas

 

 

Thursday, 2 May 2002

 

At
approximately 02:30, Israeli occupation forces, supported by helicopters, moved
into Tulkarm. They reached ‘Ezbat
al-Jarad area, where they raided houses and arrested three Palestinians. They withdrew from the area at approximately
06:00.

 

At
approximately 17:00, five Israeli heavy military vehicles moved from the
Egyptian border, south of Rafah, moved into al-Salam neighborhood adjacent to
the border. They shelled Palestinian
houses in the area, killing 48-year-old Sabha Anwar Ghanem with two live
bullets in the chest, and wounding her daughter, Imtithal Yousef Ghanem, 17,
with shrapnel in the right arm, while both were inside their house. In addition, four other Palestinian civilians
were wounded:

 1. Sami Mohammed ‘Abdul ‘Aal, 16, wounded by shrapnel in the right arm;

 2. Fathia Mohammed Salah, 40, wounded by a live bullet in the right
shoulder;

 3. Hassan ‘Abdullah al-Satari, 12, wounded by shrapnel in the head; and

 4. Rania Fathi ‘Abdul ‘Aal, 18, wounded by shrapnel in the buttocks. 

 

Friday, 3 May 2002

 

At
approximately 03:30, Israeli occupation forces, reinforced by heavy military
vehicles, moved into Nablus from the west, east and south. They reached the centre of the city and
shelled Palestinian houses. A member of
the Palestinian National Security Force, ‘Abdul Karim ‘Abdul Qader al-‘Arja,
22, from Rafah, was killed. A number of
Palestinian security men and gunmen confronted the invading Israeli
forces. A gunman, ‘Ali Mansour
al-Hudheiri, 26, from Tulkarm, was killed. Al-Hudheiri was a student at an-Najah National University and brother of
‘Aamer al-Hudheiri who was assassinated by Israeli forces on 5 August 2001.

 

At
the same time, dozens of Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers
encroached into Tulkarm and imposed a curfew on the town. They opened fire at Palestinian houses,
damaging some of them, but no casualties were reported. 

 

At
approximately 10:00, Israeli occupation forces, accompanied by a bulldozer,
moved approximately 100m into Palestinian agricultural land, north of “Kfar
Darom” settlement in the east of Deir al-Balah. They razed a total of 25 donums of Palestinian agricultural land:

 

 1.A 3-donum area of agricultural
land planted with palms, olives and citrus owned by Mahmoud Khalil Abu Samra
was razed.

 2.A 4-donum area of agricultural
land planted with palms and olives owned by Hussam Mohammed Abu Samra was
razed.

 3.A 2-donum area of agricultural
land planted with palms and olives owned by Kamel Radwan Abu Sha’ban was razed.

 4.A 2-donum area of agricultural
land planted with palms, olives and citrus owned by Mohammed Radwan Abu Sha’ban
was razed.

 5.A 6-donum area of agricultural
land planted with palms and olives owned by Mohammed Ahmed Abu Samra was razed.

 6.A 4-donum area of agricultural
land planted with palms and olives owned by Salwa Khalil Abu Samra was razed.

 7.A 4-donum area of agricultural
land planted with palms and olives and demolished its fence owned by Zhafer
al-Shawa was razed.

 

In
the evening, medical sources at Ramallah Hospital announced that ‘Aassi Mousa
Fares Qassem, 37, from Ramallah, a member of the Palestinian National Security
Force and a bodyguard of Sakher Habash, member of the Central Committee of
Fatah Movement, succumbed to a wound he received on 30 March 2002, during the
Israeli recent offensive on Ramallah. On
that day, Israeli occupation forces surrounded the seven-story al-Natsha
commercial compound in the centre of Ramallah, which includes offices of media
institutions, NGOs, private institutions and political parties. They shelled the compound wounding 10
Palestinians. Ambulances were denied
access to the compound. Then, Israeli
occupation forces broke into the compound and arrested 30 Palestinians,
including the wounded. Qassem was one of
the wounded who were arrested. According
to other Palestinians who were arrested, Israeli soldiers forced Qassem to take
his clothes off and left him for hours under rain. They then took him to the Israeli military
location “Ofar”. He remained in custody
for 23 days without having been offered medical treatment. Upon his release, he was evacuated in trance
to Ramallah Hospital. All efforts made
to save his life failed. 

 

 

Saturday, 4 May 2002

 

At approximately 09:45, Israeli occupation forces,
reinforced with tanks and military jeeps, moved approximately 800m into
al-Qarara village, north of Khan Yunis, from the east and north. They blocked dozens of Palestinian cars that
were on their way to Gaza between an Israeli military roadblock and a roadblock
of the Palestinian National Security Force. They opened fire discriminatory and checked Palestinians who were
traveling in those cars. A member of the
Palestinian National Security Force, Ramzi Badi’ ‘Eid, 24, from Rafah, was
killed by a live bullet in the head, and a Palestinian civilian, Fayez Jawdat
‘Abdullah al-Farra, 38, was wounded by a live bullet that entered the left
thigh and settled in the right thigh. The incursion and blockade of cars continued until the afternoon.

 

At approximately 12:00, Israeli occupation forces
moved approximately 500m south of al-Shuhada’ junction, south of Gaza. They shelled Palestinian houses in
al-Mughraqa area, south of the junction. Wa’el Helmi Jindia, 32, was wounded by a live bullet in the right foot,
while he was near his house. The
incursion continued up to 14:30.

 

At approximately 14:00, Israeli occupation forces at
the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, shelled Block O in Rafah refugee
camp. A Palestinian child, Mohammed
Hamed al-Qadhi, 15, was wounded by shrapnel in the abdomen and the right thigh.

 

At approximately 17:00, Israeli tanks at the Egyptian
border, south of Rafah, shelled al-Brazil neighborhood. Three Palestinian civilians were wounded:

 

1. Mohammed
Nayef al-‘Arja, 13, wounded by shrapnel in the left thigh;

2. ‘Ali
‘Abdullah Subhi, 50, wounded by shrapnel in the right arm; and

3. Mazen Hamed
Abu Jazar, 24, wounded by shrapnel in the chest. 

 

At approximately 24:00, Israeli occupation forces in
the vicinity of “Kfar Darom” settlement, east of Deir al-Balah, fired
fletechete shells (shells that contains dart-like objects) at Palestinian
houses, 100m northeast of the settlement. Three shells fell near a 200-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in
which 18 persons live, owned by Kamel Mahmoud Hussein al-Louh. The house was severely damaged. Then, Israeli soldiers raided and searched
the house. According to PCHR’s
documentation, more than 10 Palestinians were killed by this kind of
shells. 

 

 

Sunday, 5 May 2002

 

In an apparent willful killing, Israeli occupation
forces killed a Palestinian woman and her two children in Qabatya village in
the Jenin district. According to
investigation carried out by the Palestinian Society for the Protection of
Human Rights and the Environment (LAW), at approximately 11:00, Fatema Ibrahim Turkman
Zakarna, 30, and her two children Bassel and ‘Abir Mohammed Yousef Zakarna, 4
and 3 respectively, were on a tract of land owned by the family, approximately
3500m east of Qabatya village, cultivating grape leaves. Meanwhile, a tanks and an armored personnel
carrier of Israeli occupation forces was passing on a bypass road coming from
the north towards an Israeli military location known as “Bezeq.” Israeli occupation forces opened fire on the
mother and her children. ‘Abir was
wounded by a heavy caliber bullet that cut her right leg. The mother rushed towards her daughter and
hugged her, but Israeli soldiers continued shooting. The mother and her son Bassel were wounded by
two heavy caliber bullets that hit them in the back. Palestinian ambulances were allowed access to
the area only three hours later, when the three were already dead. After the killings, Israeli forces moved
towards the area and detained the woman’s husband and forced him to take off
his clothes. They also checked and
detained the woman’s sister, Helwa, 55, and another woman, Refa’ Hassan Abu
al-Rub, 58, and her two daughters. The
detention lasted for approximately four hours, during which the husband was
detained, almost nude with the other three women. 

 

Israeli occupation forces first claimed that an
explosion occurred in the area, but later, they admitted that the woman and her
two children were killed by mistake and regretted the killings. The Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot said
on its Arabic web site that investigation into the incident carried out by
Israeli occupation forces concluded that the explosion Israeli soldiers heard,
after which they fire at the woman and her two children, occurred due to a
technical failure in the tank. 

 

At approximately 13:00, Israeli occupation forces
razed areas of Palestinian agricultural land north of the road leading to the
“Gush Qatif” settlement block, south of Dir al-Balah:

 

1. They razed a 20-donum area of agricultural land
planted with guavas owned by Mohammed ‘Abdul Rahman al-Bashiti.

2. They razed a 20-donum area of agricultural land
planted with guavas owned by ‘Abdul Qader Nazhir Abu Houli.

 

At approximately 15:00, Israeli occupation forces at
the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, shelled al-Brazil neighborhood and Block J
in Rafah refugee camp. Two Palestinian
children were wounded:

 

1. Mohammed
Rebhi al-Sayed, 16, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg; and

2. Mohammed
Khaled ‘Aashour, 11, wounded by shrapnel in the face. 

 

At approximately 23:00, medical sources at the
European Hospital in Khan Yunis announced that 55-year-old Hassan Hussein Abu
Jazar, from Rafah, succumbed to a wound she received on Wednesday, 1 May, when
Israeli occupation forces shelled and encroached into Rafah refugee camp. 

 

In the evening, an Israeli tank positioned near UNRWA
schools on Tulkarm-Nablus road fired artillery shells and live bullets at a
number of Palestinian children who were near their houses in Tulkarm refugee
camp. A Palestinian child, Tamer Khaled
Abu Sirreya, 8, was killed by a live bullet in the chest, and two other
children were wounded:

 

1. ‘Adnan Sari
Mohammed Hussein, 16, wounded by shrapnel in the back; and

2. Shadi Khaled
Tayeh ‘Anbar, 13, wounded by shrapnel in the eyes. 

 

Tuesday, 7 May 2002

 

At approximately 01:00, nine heavy Israeli military
vehicles moved approximately 100m into al-Sha’er neighborhood, adjacent to the
Egyptian border south of Rafah. They
immediately opened fire at Palestinian houses. Residents of these houses rushed out searching for more secure
places. A Palestinian civilian, Jamal
Sami Salem al-Sha’er, 17, was wounded by a live bullet in the neck while trying
to mount the roof of his neighbor’s house. Soon, his brother Salem, 15, moved towards him to offer him help, but
Israeli forces also fired at him wounding him with a live bullet in the
back. The two brothers bled for more
than an hour as ambulances were not able to reach them due to intense Israeli
gunfire. The two brothers were then
evacuated to hospital, but one, Jamal, was dead and the other one was in serious
condition. During the incursion that
continued until 07:30, Israeli occupation forces partially demolished three
houses and a factory:

 

1. They
demolished a bedroom, a bathroom and a pillar of a 200-square-meter house, in
which 12 persons live, owned by Sami Salem Mallahi al-Sha’er, father of the
aforementioned victims.

2. They
demolished three rooms of a 200-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which
two families comprised of 12 persons live, owned by Fatema Isma’il Ibrahim
‘Aabdin.

3. They
demolished external walls of a 160-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in
which 15 persons live, owned by Fu’ad Mansour Mohammed al-Sha’er. 

4. They
demolished the walls and roof of a 400-square meter mosaic factory owned by
Salah al-Din Mahmoud Jom’a.

 

In addition, five other
houses were damaged

 

At approximately 03:00, Israeli occupation forces
invaded and conquered Tulkarm and its two refugee camps. They imposed a curfew and shelled Palestinian
houses. They raided and searched some
houses. They also destroyed doors of
five mosques and impured its sacredness. In addition, they broke into the headquarters of the Palestinian civil
defense and arrested Nasha’t al-Irani, a member of the civil defense, and took
him to the house of Hussam al-Sweis, head of the civil defense in the town, and
arrested him as well. 

 

At approximately 04:00, Israeli occupation forces in
the vicinity of “Gani Tal”, northwest of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian
houses in al-Amal, al-Arayshia and al-Rabwat al-Gharbia neighborhoods in the
west and north of the town. A Palestinian
woman, ‘Abla ‘Abdul Qader al-Masharawi, 27, was seriously wounded by a live
bullet in the neck.

 

At approximately 22:30, Israeli occupation forces in
the vicinity of “Neve Dekalim” settlement, west of Khan Yunis, shelled
Palestinian houses in Khan Yunis refugee camp. An artillery shell hit the house of Mahmoud Hamattu Huneidiq and wounded
his son Akram, 16, mentally handicapped, with shrapnel in the ears and
hands. In addition, water tanks of some
other houses were damaged.

 

 

Wednesday, 8 May 2002

 

At approximately 16:30, Israeli occupation forces at
al-Tuffah checkpoint, west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in
Khan Yunis refugee camp. Mohammed
Ibrahim Abu ‘Awadh, 16, was wounded by shrapnel from a live bullet in the head.

 

At approximately 21:00, Israeli occupation forces in
the vicinity of “Neve Dekalim” settlement, west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at
al-Nemsawi neighborhood in the southwest of the city. A Palestinian civilian, ‘Abdul Rahman ‘Abdul
‘Aati al-Jabri, 53, was wounded by a live bullet in the right shoulder while he
was on his way back home. 

 

 

Israeli Military Siege on the Church
of the Nativity

 

At
approximately 12:00 on Thursday, 2 May, a sniper of Israeli occupation forces
positioned on building surrounding the Church of the Nativity fired at
21-year-old Ahmed Mohammed Abu ‘Aabed, a member of the Palestinian Military
Intelligence from Khan Yunis, who had been blocked inside the church for five
weeks, killing him with two live bullets in the chest and abdomen. 

  

On Saturday morning, 4 May, a sniper from Israeli
occupation forces fired at 40-year-old Khalaf Ahmed al-Najajra, from Nahalin
village, who had been blocked inside the Church of the Nativity, killing him
with a live bullet in the chest. The
number of Palestinians killed in the Church by Israeli occupation forces has
now increased to eight.

 

 

Shooting at
Palestinian Civilians

 

Thursday, 2 May 2002

 

At approximately 09:45, Israeli occupation forces in
a military location at al-Matahen junction, north of Khan Yunis, fired at
Palestinian civilians who were waiting to cross an Israeli military roadblock
towards Gaza. Marwan ‘Ali Rabi’
al-Burdeini, 47, from Gaza, was wounded by a live bullet in the left shoulder
and shrapnel from a live bullet in the forehead. Israeli occupation forces have repeatedly
fired at Palestinian civilians who wait for several hours daily at Israeli
military roadblocks to travel inside the Gaza Strip. 

 

 

Sunday, 5 May 2002

 

At approximately 05:45, Israeli occupation forces in
a military location west of “Dogit” settlement, north of Beit Lahia, fired at a
Palestinian fishing boat at Beit Lahia seashore, approximately 100m away. Two Palestinian fishermen were wounded:

 

1. Hamdan ‘Omar
al-Sultan, 32, from Beit Lahia, wounded by a medium caliber bullet in the right
thigh; and

2. Lu’ai Jom’a
Zayed, 18, from Beit Lahia, wounded by a medium caliber bullet in the right
thigh.

 

At approximately 06:45, Israeli soldiers driving a
tank on a settler road between al-Shuhada’ junction and al-Mentar crossing
opened fire at al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the east of Gaza. Khaled Mohammed ‘Abed ‘Omar, 8, was wounded
by a live bullet in the right thigh while on his way to school. 

 

Tuesday, 7 May 2002

 

In an apparent willful killing in the evening,
Israeli occupation forces shot dead 17-year-old Majdi Mohammed Fayez Barham,
from al-‘Araqa village in Jenin. According to an investigation carried out by LAW, at approximately
21:00, while Barham was on his way back home from his work at a fuel station in
Wadi Burqin, west of Jenin, through al-Hashimia road, Israeli soldiers in a
military jeep shot him dead with a live bullet in the head. 

 

 

A
Child Dies from a Previous Wound in an Explosion

 

On
Friday evening, 3 May, medical sources at Beit Jala Hospital announced that
12-year-old Nidal Khaled Isma’il, from Artas village in Bethlehem, succumbed to
a wound he received as a result of an explosion of a mysterious object believed
to be of the remainders of Israeli occupation forces that occurred on
Wednesday, 1 May. His bother ‘Abed, 10,
was then killed, and his other brother Nour, 14, was wounded by shrapnel in the
feet.

A
mysterious object believed to be of the remainders of Israeli occupation
forces, exploded near a Palestinian police station, while the three children
were playing on Artas-Bethlehem road. Israeli forces do not use this road as it is narrow and does not allow
passage of heavy military vehicles. Therefore, it’s unlikely that the object was planted by Palestinian
resistance men. 

 

 

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: 

 

On
Thursday evening, 2 May, Israeli occupation forces moved into ‘Anza village in
Jenin. They arrested four Palestinians:

 

1. Saleh ‘Awad ‘Obeid, 30;

2. Didqi Qassem ‘Ammour, 27;

3. Rami Suleiman Khader, 20; and

4. Na’el Ahmed ‘Obeid, 20.

 

This
week, Israeli occupation forces at a military roadblock at al-Matahen junction,
north of Khan Yunis, separating the north of the Gaza Strip from its south,
arrested a number of Palestinians. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces blocked Palestinian cars
traveling from Khan Yunis to Gaza at the aforementioned roadblock or between
the aforementioned roadblock and another military roadblock at Abu Houli
junction, southeast of Deir al-Balah. They checked Palestinians traveling in those cars, arrested a number of
them and in some cases destroyed cars. Following are significant arrests that took place this week at Israeli
military roadblocks in the Gaza Strip:

 

At
approximately 12:00 on Saturday, 4 May, Israeli occupation forces arrested
Mahdi Hussein Sabbah, 33, Ra’ed al-‘Aamudi, 24, and Khalid al-Aamudi, 16, all
from Khan Yunis refugee camp.

 

At
approximately 15:30 on Sunday, 5 May, Israeli occupation forces arrested some
30 Palestinians, including:

 

1. Tayseer ‘Abdul Sami’ al-Karraz,
24;

2. Ibrahim Jaber Matar, 26;

3. ‘Aatef Hamed Abu ‘Aamer, 39;

4. Eihab ‘Abdul Fattah al-Jabali,
26;

5. Raja’ Hassan Shaqqura, 22; 

6. Ghasan Ayish Hmied Sha’ath. 33;

7. Khalid Abdel latif Aqiylan Abu
Shamalah, 54; and

8. Yousif Ahmed Husien Abu Jwia’d,
30.

 

At
approximately 16:00 on Wednesday, 7 May, Israeli occupation forces arrested
five Palestinians resident of Rafah, including:

 

1. Na’im Jihad Na’im Musran, 22;

2. ‘Alla’ Samir Ibrahim ‘Aabed,
19;

3. Bashir Hmied Hmadan Qishtaa,
23; and

4. Husein
Fahmi Ibrahim Abu Sharikh, 23.

 

In
addition, the Israeli occupation forces destroyed the car in which the
mentioned Palestinians traveled. 

 

 

*****

 

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.