Israeli Forces escalate war crimes in the
OPT

 


 

5 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces

 

Israeli forces conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas

· 15
houses were destroyed in al-Mughraqa village and Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip

· Areas
of agricultural land were razed in the northern Gaza Strip

· Indiscriminate
shelling of Palestinian residential areas continued

· A
number of Palestinian civilians were arrested

· Israeli
forces continue to use Palestinian civilians as human shields in military
operations 

 

Continued siege on Palestinian communities in the
West Bank; the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip was temporarily partially
lifted

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

After the Palestinian and Israeli sides had concluded a security deal at
the beginning of the week, Israeli occupying forces redeployed in the northern
Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, ending a 2-month military siege. They also redeployed on the main roads
linking the north and south of the Gaza Strip, and eased the closure of border
crossings. Although local and
international media reported these moves as if they were tangible achievements towards
peace, the situation on the ground remains largely unchanged; Israeli occupying
forces have continued to perpetrate widespread human rights violations against
Palestinian civilians, including collective punishment, shelling of and
incursions into Palestinian areas, house demolitions and agricultural land
leveling and campaigns of arrest.
  This week, 26 June
– 2 July 2003, 5 Palestinians
were killed and 10 were wounded by Israeli occupying
forces
.

 

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupying forces conducted
5 incursions into Palestinian areas. On
27 June 2003, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with military vehicles and
helicopters, invaded al-Mughraqa village, south of Gaza city. They destroyed 3 houses belonging to families
of wanted Palestinians. Four
Palestinians were killed in armed clashes with Israeli forces. On 26 June 2003, Israeli occupying forces
moved into the northern Gaza Strip towns of Beit Hanoun and Jabalya; during the
operations they destroyed 4 industrial establishments and 2 houses, and razed
about 47 donums[1]
of agricultural land. 

 

In an apparent willful killing, on 1 July 2003,
Israeli occupying forces shot dead a Palestinian civilian near a military
checkpoint, south of Tulkram. An Israeli
military spokesman claimed that the victim had fired at Israeli soldiers, but
eyewitnesses denied this claim.

 

Israeli occupying forces have maintained a total
siege on the West Bank.
  They have
continued to isolate Palestinian communities from one another. This week, Israeli occupying forces slightly
eased the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the current
Intifada. However, they continued to restrict
travel through Rafah Terminal and the prohibition on the travel of Palestinians
between the ages of 16 and 35 remained in effect. They maintained the siege imposed on
al-Mawasi area since the beginning of the current Intifada. At the time of writing, Israeli occupying
forces have closed al-Matahen and Abu Houli military checkpoints on Salah
al-Din Street (the main road between the north and south of the Gaza Strip),
partitioning the strip into 3 isolated zones. The road had been opened on 30 June 2003 after the Palestinian-Israeli
security agreement.

 

 

Shelling of, and Encroachment into, Palestinian Areas

 

Thursday, 26 June 2003

 

At midnight, an infantry unit of the Israeli
occupying forces moved approximately 300m into al-Qarara village, northwest of
Khan Yunis. Israeli soldiers raided the
house of Yousef Hamdi ‘Abdul Qader al-Astal. They held the six residents of the house in one room and used the owner
as a human shield while they were searching the house. Then, they set up a military post on the roof
where they remained until 04:00 when they withdrew from the area. 

 

At the same time, another infantry unit of Israeli
occupying forces moved approximately 500m into Boba’ area in the east of Deir
al-Balah. Israeli soldiers raided the
house of Mohammed Ahmed al-Louhl. They
held the six residents of the house in one room and used the owner as a human
shield while searching the house. Then,
they mounted the roof and used it as a military post until 04:00 when they
withdrew from the area. As they left the
house, they arrested Yousef Ahmed al-Louh, 25, the owner’s brother. Israeli soldiers raided the house of ‘Aabed
‘Ouda al-Zore’ei and arrested his son, Anwar, 25.  They also raided the house of Suleiman Abu
‘Amra and arrested his son, Mohammed, 18. 

 

At approximately 09:00, Israeli occupying forces
positioned in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun where they were
enforcing the military siege on the area, demolished a number of industrial
facilities and houses and razed areas of agricultural land near the industrial
zone, south of the town:

 

1. They
demolished a 18000-square-meter slab factory owned by Jamil ‘Ali Hassan Abu
Ghalyoun in which 42 workers used to work. 

2. They
demolished a 600-square-meter, iron-roofed laundry and some machines owned by
Sha’ban Isma’il ‘Abdul Qader Lubbad.

3. They
demolished a 1500-square-meter store for construction materials owned by Jihad
Taha Saleh Abu Zour. 

4. They
demolished a 350-square-meter house and razed a 7-donum area of agricultural
land planted with citrus owned by Maher ‘Abdul Rahman Saleh al-‘Amassi. 

5. They
demolished an asbestos-roofed house owned by Salman Mo’attaq Abu ‘Atiq, in
which 12 people lived.

6. They
demolished a 600-square-meter, iron-roofed bird farm owned by Akram Mustafa
Mahmoud al-Tatari.

7. They
razed a 6-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus owned by Mustafa
Mahmoud al-Tatari. 

8. They
razed a 2.5-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus and a
16-square-meter store owned by Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Zayed. 

 

At approximately 11:00, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including 2 bulldozers, moved
approximately 2500m into Palestinian areas in the east of the northern Gaza
Strip town of Jabalya. They razed areas
of Palestinian agricultural land and demolished a bird farm:

 

1. They
razed a 12-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus and destroyed an
irrigation network owned by Sha’ban Mohammed Yousef Nabhan. 

2. They
razed a 24-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus and destroyed an
irrigation network owned by ‘Abbas Jamil Kilani.

3. They
razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus and destroyed an
irrigation network owned by Safwat ‘Abdul Majid Abu Ramadan. 

4. They
demolished a 500-square-meter, iron-roofed bird farm owned by Khader Hassan
Rabah Abu ‘Ajwa.

 

At approximately 18:00, Israeli occupying forces
positioned in Salah al-Din Street, west of Beit Hanoun, opened fire for no
apparent reason at Palestinian houses in the town. Two Palestinian children were wounded as they
stood near their homes:

 

1. Nirmin
Subhi al-Masri, 13, wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen; and

2. Mohammed
Subhi al-Masri, 14, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg. 

 

At approximately 20:30, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced with heavy military vehicles, moved into the Balata refugee camp,
east of Nablus. They opened fire, wounding
two Palestinian children:

 

1. ‘Abdul
‘Aziz Yousef Barham, 16, wounded by a live bullet in the mouth; and

2. Khaled
‘Abdul Salam Mohammed Salah, 10, wounded by a live bullet in the right
hand. 

 

Friday, 27 June 2003

 

Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with about 25
military vehicles and 2 helicopters, invaded al-Mughraqa village, south of Gaza
city. They destroyed 3 houses belonging
to families of Palestinians allegedly wanted by Israel. Four residents of the houses exchanged fire
with Israeli forces. Three were killed
and a fourth was wounded and arrested. Another Palestinian was also killed by Israeli forces during the
clashes. Israeli forces also shelled nearby
homes and farm land. Israeli helicopter
gunships fired missiles at an uninhabited house that belonged to a leader of the
Hamas movement, partially destroying it. 

 

According to PCHR’s investigation, at approximately
04:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with 25 tanks and military
vehicles, 2 bulldozers and 2 helicopters, moved approximately 1500m into
al-Mughraqa village near “Netzarim” settlement, south of Gaza city. They indiscriminately shelled the village. Israeli soldiers surrounded the houses of Zaki
Mohammed al-Sa’idi and his son Mohammed. The son of the former, Zakaria Zaki al-Sa’idi, 22, who was apparently
wanted by Israeli forces, was able to get out of the house and hide nearby. Israeli soldiers raided the two houses and used
two of their residents as human shields while they searched the properties. An exchange of fire erupted between Israeli
forces and the wanted son. He was shot
dead. Then, Israeli soldiers forced the
16 residents of the two houses out. They
planted explosives in the two houses and then destroyed them. 7 neighboring houses were also partially
destroyed in the explosions. Israeli
soldiers arrested Zaki Mohammed al-Sa’idi, 55, and his two sons, Akram, 21, and
Suhaib, 18. The father was released
later. 

 

Approximately 500m from that area, Israeli soldiers
raided the house of Tayseer Mohammed Abu ‘Otaiwi and set up a military
post. Other Israeli soldiers raided an uninhabited
house owned by ‘Adnan Mahmoud al-Ghoul, a leader of the military wing of the Hamas
movement, and the house of ‘Omran ‘Omar al-Ghoul, who was allegedly wanted by
Israeli occupation authorities. ‘Omran,
his brother Mahmoud, 19, and their relative, Mohammed ‘Adnan al-Ghoul, 17, were
able to get out of the house and took shelter nearby. They exchanged gunfire with Israeli
forces. ‘Omran and Mohammed were shot
and killed. Mahmoud was wounded and
arrested by Israeli soldiers. Then,
Israeli soldiers forced the ten residents of ‘Omran’s house out and Israeli
military bulldozers demolished it. An
Israeli helicopter gunship launched 3 missiles at the house of ‘Adnan Mahmoud
al-Ghoul. The house was severely
damaged. ‘Adnan al-Ghoul was subjected
to an assassination attempt on 22 August 2001, in which his son, Bilal, was
killed. 

 

During the incursion, a number of Palestinian fighters
clashed with Israeli forces. One fighter,
Mohammed Faraj Abu ‘Ataya, 26, was killed. Ambulances were not able to reach the area during the Israeli incursion,
which continued until 07:30, due to Israeli gunfire. As they withdrew from the area, Israeli
forces also destroyed an 8-meter-long fence of a workshop owned by Younis
Mohammed al-Mamlouk. They also destroyed
a 200-meter-long fence surrounding a tract of land owned by ‘Obaid Jaber Abu
Hujair. 

 

Following are details of the houses that were
destroyed by Israeli occupying forces during the incursion into al-Mughraqa
village:

 

1. They
totally destroyed a 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Zaki
Mohammed al-Sa’idi, in which 11 people lived. 

2. They
totally destroyed a 150-square-meter house owned by Mohammed Zaki al-Sa’idid,
in which 5 people lived.

3. They
totally destroyed a 200-square-meterhouse owned by ‘Omran ‘Omar al-Ghoul, in
which 10 people lived. 

4. They
partially destroyed a 150-square-meter uninhabited house owned by ‘Adnan
Mahmoud al-Ghoul. 

5. They
partially destroyed a 500-square-meter, asbestos-roofed uninhabited house owned
by Nayef Sa’id al-Shayoukh. 

6. They
partially destroyed a 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by ‘Aatef
Joma’a Abu Zhaher, in which 9 people live. 

7. They
partially destroyed a 500-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Mahmoud
Ahmed Abu Zahaher, in which 8 people live. 

8. They
partially destroyed a 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Khamis
Joma’a Abu Zhaher, in which 8 people live. 

9. They
partially destroyed a 250-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Mohammed
Joma’a Abu Zhaher, in which 10 people live. 

10. They partially destroyed a
200-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by ‘Atwa Salem Abu Howaish, in
which 10 people live. 

11. They partially destroyed a
350-square-meter, iron-roofed uninhabited house owned by Falah Salah al-Ghamri. 

12. They partially destroyed a
150-square-meter house owned by ‘Abdul Qader ‘Abdul Latif Zahra, in which 10
people (2 families) live. 

At approximately 23:00, Israeli occupying forces in
military locations in the vicinity of “Tal Qatif” settlement, northwest of Deir
al-Balah, fired 3 flare bombs over al-Birka area in the south of the town. Two flare bombs fell onto 2 Palestinian
houses, damaging them:

 

1. A
300-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Samir ‘Aamer Abu Sa’ad, in
which 12 people live; and

2. A
350-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by ‘Abdul Ra’ouf Mohammed ‘Awad,
in which 14 people live. 

 

The third bomb fell into the street. 

 

Saturday, 28 June 2003

 

At approximately 17:00, Israeli occupying forces in
military locations positioned in the vicinity of “Neve Dekalim” settlement,
west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Khan Yunis refugee camp and the nearby al-Nimsawi
neighborhood. Three Palestinians
civilians, including a man and his wife, were wounded:

1. Jamal
Tawfiq Mahmoud al-Sheikh Salama, 41, wounded by shrapnel in the chest and the
left shoulder;

2. Fathiya
Sa’id al-Sheikh Salama, 41, wounded by shrapnel in the left side; and

3. Adham
Mohammed Abu Mor, 17, wounded by shrapnel in the right side. 

 

Sunday, 29 June 2003

 

At approximately 00:45, Israeli occupying forces in
military locations at the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Yunis,
opened fire at Palestinian houses and farms in ‘Abasan village. Two Palestinian civilians were wounded:

1. Hussam
Zuhair ‘Awadh Abu Latifa, 17, wounded by 2 live bullets in the abdomen and the
left arm; and

2. Isma’il
Mustafa Mohammed ‘Aashour, 14, wounded by shrapnel in the left arm.

 

Shooting at Palestinian Civilians

 

Thursday, 26 June 2003

 

At approximately 15:00, Israeli occupying forces
positioned at the entrance of Tubas village, southeast of Jenin, opened fire at
a number of Palestinian children who were threwing stones at the soldiers.
‘Ammar Ghaleb Sawafta, 14, was wounded by a live bullet in the right hand. 

 

Saturday, 28 June 2003

 

At approximately 04:00, Israeli occupying forces in a military location
near al-Matahen checkpoint, north of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian
civilians and cars near the checkpoint, as they were waiting to cross. Samir Yousef Abu Jazar, 28, from Rafah, was
wounded by a live bullet in the leg. 

 

Tuesday, 1 July 2003

 

In an apparent willful killing, Israeli soldiers at a military
checkpoint south of Tulkarm shot dead a Palestinian civilian who was attempting
to cross the checkpoint. According to
information available to PCHR, at approximately 07:00, Nemer Taher Mousa
Jayousi, 19, from Tulkarm, was on his way from Tulkarm to his work in
al-Kafriyat area, south of the town. When he crossed an Israeli military checkpoint there, 2 Israeli soldiers
moved towards him. One of the soldiers
fired 3 live bullets at him without prior warning, killing him. Israeli forces kept his body for 2
hours. Later, the body was taken to a
hospital in Tulkarm. According to
medical sources, the victim was shot in the back and the neck. An Israeli military spokesman claimed that
Jayousi had opened fire at Israeli soldiers, but eyewitnesses denied this
claim. 

 

At approximately 17:00, Israeli soldiers in a military location known as
"al-Nouria," located between "Gani Tal" and "Neve
Dekalim" settlement, west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at a number of
Palestinian children who were playing football in a nearby yard. Two Palestinian civilians, including a child,
were wounded:

 

1. Yousef
Faraj Mohammed Abu Jazar, 8, wounded by a live bullet in the right knee; and

2. Ashraf
‘Aamer Abu Mousa, 32, wounded by a live bullet in the head. 

 

At approximately 18:30, Israeli soldiers in a
military location located near a military checkpoint between Deir al-Balah and
Khan Yunis, known as "Aloni," fired 3 live bullets at a group of 6
Palestinian children who were walking approximately 700m away. One of the children, Mohammed Khalil
al-Lahham, 15, was wounded by a live bullet in the left foot. 

 

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 take immediate effective measures to
protect Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in
accordance with their obligations under article 1 and article 146, to ensure
respect for the Convention
.

3. Upon the international community to
investigate and prosecute before international courts those believed to have
committed, or ordered to be committed, war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories.

4. Upon the ICRC to enhance its presence,
expand its activities, and intensify its field operations 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.

 

“END”

 

 

 

 

Public
Document

**************************************

For more
information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 –
2825893

PCHR, 29 Omer
El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. E-mail:pchr@pchrgaza.org,  Webpage http://www.pchrgaza.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] 1 donum equals
1000 square meters.