The
International Community Remains Silent While Israeli Human Rights Violations in
the OPT Continue

 

  • 23 Palestinians,
    mostly civilians, including 4 children a woman and an old man, killed by
    Israeli forces

 

  • Israeli
    forces conducted a series of incursions
    into
    Palestinian areas, accompanied by indiscriminate shelling

 

  • Israeli
    forces continued to use Palestinian civilians as human shields

 

  • The
    Israeli retaliatory campaign continues against families of wanted
    Palestinians and those who allegedly have carried out armed attacks
    against Israeli targets 

 

  • A
    number of Palestinians have been detained

 

  • The
    severe siege of the OPT has continued

 

Introduction

 

This week, Israeli occupying forces have perpetrated
more illegal military actions against Palestinian civilians and civilian
property in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, killing 23 Palestinians,
mostly civilians, including 4 children, a woman and an old man. In addition,
dozens were injured and private and public civilian property was destroyed. 

 

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted a series
of large encroachments into Palestinian areas, using heavy military vehicles
and combat helicopters. They killed a
number of Palestinians and destroyed a number of houses and civilian
facilities. On Thursday, 6 March 2003,
Israeli occupying forces invaded Jabalya and its refugee camp. They killed 12 Palestinians and destroyed a
number of houses, civilian facilities, streets and electricity, water and
telephone supplies. Investigations
conducted by PCHR refute claims by Israeli officials that a number of the
victims were killed as a result of the explosion of a bomb that was being
prepared by Palestinians. These
investigations have proved that the victims were killed by an Israeli tank
shell, and PCHR is now investigating the possibility that the shell was a
flechette shell.[1] 

 

On the following four days, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Palestinian areas in the northern Gaza Strip. They closed some of the main roads in the
area. They also fired at Palestinian
boys who threw stones at the forces. A
Palestinian civilian was killed and more than 40 others were wounded by the
Israeli gunfire. Dozens of houses, 3
educational institutions and 7 civilian facilities were severely damaged. Israeli forces also razed large areas of
Palestinian agricultural land, damaged roads and destroyed electricity and
water supplies in the area. 

 

As a continuation of the Israeli state-affirmed
policy of extra-judicial assassination of Palestinian activists, Israeli forces
killed a senior Hamas leader and 3 of his guards on Saturday, 8 March
2003.  Four Israeli combat helicopters flew over Gaza city and launched 4
missiles at a civilian car, in which 5 Palestinian civilians were traveling, in
a densely populated area in the city.

 

Israeli occupying forces also shelled Palestinian
residential areas and fired at Palestinian civilians, killing 6 in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip, including a child and a woman. Israeli forces shelled a house, where one of
these victims had taken shelter, killing him. In addition, an old Palestinian man died from a previous injury he
sustained by Israeli forces, and a Palestinian shepherd was killed in a
mysterious explosion. 

In violation of international humanitarian law, which prohibits collective
punishment, Israeli forces took retaliatory measures against families of
Palestinians who have carried out attacks against Israeli targets in the
Occupied Palestinian Territories and those wanted by Israeli forces.  In
this context, they destroyed 12 Palestinian houses in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip, including two in Jablaya.

 

Israeli occupying forces have maintained a total siege on the OPTThey have isolated Palestinian communities from one
another

They have partitioned the Gaza Strip
into three
separated zones and restricted the movement of people
and goods

They have also maintained curfews on
some areas in the West Bank
.

 

 

 The
Shelling of and Encroachment into Palestinian Areas

 

Israeli offensive on Jabalya

 

In a major onslaught against the Gaza Strip, on
Thursday 6 March 2003, Israeli occupying forces killed 11 Palestinians, mostly
civilians, including two children and an old man, when they invaded the
northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya and its refugee camp.  Six of the
victims, including a fireman, were killed by one tank shell, while they were
trying to put out fire that had broken out in a house.  In addition, about
75 Palestinians, including two journalists, were injured; more than 10 of them seriously. 
Israeli forces also destroyed 8 houses totally and 3 others partially. 
Only one of these houses was the target of the Israeli destruction; namely the
house of ‘Abdul Karim Ziada, the father of Suhail Ziada who was killed while
carrying out an armed attack east of Gaza city on 5 May 2002.  Israeli
forces also destroyed 4 civilian facilities totally and 7 others
partially.  These developments took place when Israeli forces, reinforced
with heavy military vehicles and helicopters and covered by intense shelling,
encroached into Jabalya and its refugee camp, and moved towards Ziada’s house,
as part of the retaliatory campaign launched by these forces against houses of
Palestinians, who have carried out attacks against Israeli targets, and those
wanted by these forces. 

 

According to PCHR’s investigation and eyewitness reports,
at approximately 00:00, Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with dozens of
heavy military vehicles and combat helicopters and covered by intense shelling,
moved from the Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, approximately
4km to the south on Salah al-Din Street, towards the edges of Jabalya. 
Then, they moved approximately 1km into al-Quds Street inside the town. 
On their way, Israeli heavy military vehicles destroyed a number of Palestinian
shops, stores and civilian facilities and demolished walls of 3 houses of the
families of Sha’ban, Mansour and ‘Eid.  Then, they moved northward towards
Jablaya refugee camp.  They surrounded the 250-square-meter, 3-storey house
of ‘Abdul Karim Mahmoud Ziada, the father of Suhail Ziada who carried out an
armed attack against Israeli forces east of Jablaya last year.  They
forced its 12 residents out together with 9 residents of a neighboring
200-square-meter house, owned by Fawzan Mahmoud Ziada.  They handcuffed
the men of the second house and held all other residents of the two houses in
one room. Then, they searched the two houses and planted explosives
inside.  At approximately 03:30, they destroyed the two houses and
arrested ‘Abdul Karim Ziada and Mohammed and Hassan ‘Abdul Rahman Khalil. 
   

 

Israeli combat helicopters launched 6 missiles at the
road linking between Jabalya and its refugee camp at an early stage of the
incursion

A missile fell near the house of
Mohammed Shihda al-Bayari
, 54, a muezzinAl-Bayari was killed by shrapnel throughout the body,
and 5 other Palestinian civilians were injured
Another missile hit the house of a 170-square-meter, 2-storey house,
destroying its first floor. The house was owned by Mohammed Abu ‘Obaid, the
father of Karam Abu ‘Obaid who carried out an armed attack against
"Dogit" settlement in the northern Gaza Strip.  The other
missiles hit streets injuring a number of Palestinian civilians. 

 

During the incursion, Israeli heavy military vehicles
and combat helicopters opened fire at Palestinian houses, severely damaging
dozens of them and a number of civilian facilities
According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces willfully shot dead Muhsen ‘Awadh
Abu ‘Ouda, 30, a Palestinian policeman, with a live bullet in the head, while
he was on his way back home. ‘Ouda bled to death.

 

Also as a result of the Israeli indiscriminate
gunfire and shelling, two Palestinian civilians: ‘Abdul Rahman Mahmoud Mohammed
Miqdad, 21
, was killed by a live bullet in the chest, and Na’el Mahmoud Abu Seedu, 30, was killed by
several live bullets in the chest and the abdomen. 

 

At approximately 05:30, Israeli occupying forces
fired several artillery shells at a 450-square-meter, 4-storey house, in which
6 families counting 21 people live, owned by Ahmed Mohammed Faraj Saleh
The shells hit stores located under the house,
burning them

Firemen were not able to reach the house
until 06:45

A number of Palestinian civilian
gathered to help firemen extinguish the fire. Immediately
, an
Israeli tank fired a shell at them, although firemen and fire engines were
clearly marked.  PCHR is investigating the possibility that the shell was
a flechette shell as Palestinian medical sources indicate that, that could be
the case. Five Palestinian civilians, including a fireman a two children, were
killed:

 

1. Bahaa’
Khalil Abu Wrda, 18
;

2. Hamza
Jibril Qarmout, 17
;

3. Naji
Isma’il Abu Jalila, 24, a fireman
;

4. Tha’er
Jaber Rihan, 14
;

5. Hamdi
‘Othman ‘Aabed ‘Obaid, 23; and

 

Maher Ahmed al-Najjar, 14, was killed by a live
bullet in the head as Israeli continued to fire at the Palestinian civilians in
the area
.  

 

A number of gunmen confronted the Israeli
invasion. Israeli combat helicopters
fired at them, killing 21-year-old Eihab Ahmed Nabhan, 21, with several live
bullets in the abdomen and the left shoulder
. 

 

Approximately 75 Palestinians
were injured

This number includes two journalists:
Ahmed Jadallah and Shams ‘Oudetallah Shana’a, from Reuters, and 4
medical personnel: ‘Awad Ahmed Abu Marasa, a paramedic; Yusri ‘Aayesh al-Masri,
an ambulance driver; Jihad ‘Abdul Karim Abu ‘Ataya, director of Jabalya
ambulance station; and Mohammed Shihda al-Muqayad, a paramedic. 
Ambulances faced difficulties in reaching the affected areas.  Three ambulances,
including an UNRWA ambulance, were damaged. 

 

During this incursion also, approximately 12
Palestinian houses were damaged by the Israeli shelling and gunfire
Following are details of the houses that were
destroyed or rendered inhabitable
:

 

1. A
3-storey house with a number of stores owned by Ahmed Mohammed Faraj Saleh,
which was hit by a number of tank shells;

2. A
3-storey house owned ‘Abdul Karim Mohammed Ziada, which was destroyed by
explosives
;

3. A
house owned by Fawzan Mahmoud Ziada, which was destroyed by explosives
;

4. A
2-storey house owned by Mohammed Mustafa by ‘Obaid, which was hit by shells
;

5. A
house owned by Ahmed Saqer, which was severely damaged by shells falling near
it
;

6. A
house owned by ‘Abdullah Dahlan
, which was
damaged by shells falling near it
;

7. A
house owned by ‘Eid al-Sha’er
, which was
damaged by shells falling near it; and

8. The
house of Harbi al-Najjar, which was hit by a number of shells and live bullets
while its residents were inside
.   

 

Israeli heavy military vehicles widely destroyed the
infrastructure of the town and destroyed approximately 11 civilian facilities

 

Thursday, 6 March 2003

 

At approximately 02:30, 8 Israeli military jeeps
moved into Bethlehem. They surrounded
the house of Ussama Mohammed Ahmed al-‘Asa’as, 30, in Wadi Ma’ali area in the
south of the town. A fire exchange broke
out between Israeli forces and a number of Palestinian gunmen, including
al-‘Asa’as, who was shot dead by 5 live bullets in the head, the neck, and the
left hand, side and thigh. 

 

At approximately 05:30, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Siris village, southeast of Jenin, to destroy the house of ‘Ersan
Hafez Amin al-Kilani, 57. During the
destruction of the house, a number of Palestinian civilians gathered in the
area and threw stones at the Israeli forces. Israeli soldiers immediately fired at the stone throwers, wounding 4,
including two children:

 

1. Barham
Nawaf Barham, 27, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg
;

2. Mahmoud
Nazzal Mahmoud Samara, 18, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the back
;

3. Sayaf
‘Awni Hafez ‘Awad, 13, wounded by a live bullet in the right ear; and

4. Mohammed
Nasim Yousef Salama, 8, wounded by a live bullet in the left hand
. 

 

At approximately 12:00, medical sources at Shifa’
Hospital in Gaza city declared that al-Mansi
Abed
Rabbu Salem al-Mabhouh, 84, succumbed to an injury he sustained by Israeli
occupying forces last month. According
to PCHR’s investigation, al-Mabhouh, who used to work as a guard, was wounded
by a live bullet in the left side fired by Israeli occupying forces that had
encroached into al-Shojaeya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. Two Palestinian nurses working in al-Wafa’
Hospital in the area were also killed by the Israeli gunfire while working inside
the hospital. 

 

At approximately 15:45, Israeli occupying forces at
the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at
Palestinian houses and agricultural areas in al-Qarara village, north of the
town. A Palestinian farmer, Suleiman
Hammad Abu Zhaher, 65, was wounded by a live bullet in the left arm, while
farming his land, approximately 700m west of the border. 

 

At approximately 16:30, after a number of Palestinian
gunmen fired at Israeli military vehicles positioned in al-Mawares area in
Jaba’ village, south of Hebron, Israeli soldiers indiscriminately opened fire
at the area. A Palestinian woman,
Khairia Mahmoud Ahmed Fashafsha, 48, was killed by a medium caliber bullet in
the head. According to eyewitnesses, she
was feeding her sheep in an animal farm owned by the family, approximately 700m
away from her house. The farm is located
approximately 600m away from the house. The family didn’t know that she had been shot before approximately
19:00. 

 

At approximately 21:20, about 27 Israeli heavy
military vehicles moved from "Nissanit" settlement, north of Beit
Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, through the street of al-Nada and al-Karama
apartment buildings, which leads to Beit Lahia main road and the entrances of
Jabalya refugee camp and the Tal al-Za’tar area. The Israeli military vehicles, covered by
intense shelling, moved towards the edges of Beit Lahia and closed the road
linking al-Nada apartment buildings, al-‘Awda apartment buildings, al-Karama
apartment buildings, Beit Hanounn and the Bedouin Village on one side and Beit
Lahia and Jabalya refugee camp on the other side. Approximately an hour later, these vehicles
moved into Beit Hanoun Street between Salah al-Din Street and al-‘Awda
apartment buildings. They took position
on a hill near the directorate of education of the northern Gaza Strip. This Israeli incursion into the area
continued until Monday, 10 March 2003, during which Israeli forces fired at
Palestinian civilians, wounding more than 40, mostly children, and severely
damaging a number of Palestinian houses. Israeli forces also destroyed a number of civilian facilities, the main
road between Jablaya and al-Nada apartment buildings, sewage facilities and
electricity and water supplies, and razed large areas of agricultural
land. They also detained more than 20
Palestinian families in the area, denying them movement outside. Following are details of the destruction
caused by the Israeli military:

 

1. They
demolished the fence of the Ahmed al-Shuqairi secondary school and damaged its
buildings
. 

2. They
demolished the fence of the Beit Hanoun UNRWA elementary school and damaged its
windows
. 

3. They
demolished walls, broke doors and damaged the building and its contents of the
directorate of education of the northern Gaza Strip
.

4. They
razed a 4-donum area of agricultural land planted with apples and olives, and
destroyed an irrigation network owned
by Hisham, Mohammed,
Khaled, Rajab and ‘Arafat Ahmed Rajab Fahman
.

5. They
razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and potatoes
owned by ‘Ata ‘Ali Hassan al-Bahri
.

6. They
razed a 1-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives owned by Sha’ban
‘Ali Hassan al-Bahri
.

7. They
razed a 3-donum area of agricultural land, on which 3 greenhouses planted with
muskmelons, and destroyed a water pump, an agricultural pool and an animal
farm, owned by Haroun Hassan ‘Ali al-Riati. 

8. They
razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and grapes, on
which a 300-square-meter bird farm and a 100-square-meter duck farm stood,
owned by Haron Hassan Ali Al-Riata.

9. They
razed a 7-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus and olives, and
destroyed an irrigation network owned by ‘Ali D’ib ‘Ali al-Barrawi
. 

10. They
razed a 3-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus owned by Joma’a
Ibrahim Abu Shamallakh
.

11. They
razed a 6.5-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus owned by Leila,
Sumaya and Ghada ‘Abdul Raziq Qulaibo
.

12. They
razed a 65-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus, and destroyed
an irrigation network owned by Nabil, Na’el, Nasser, Nada, Najwa and Nazel
Suleiman ‘Abdul Raziq Qulaibo.

13. They
razed a 150-square-meter area of agricultural land planted with citrus, and
destroyed an irrigation network owned by heirs of Hidar ‘Abdul Raziq ‘Ali
Qulaibo, heirs of Suleiman ‘Abdul Raziq ‘Ali Qulaibo, heirs of Daoud ‘Abdul
Raziq ‘Ali Qulaibo, heirs of Sahbaa’ ‘Abdul Raziq ‘Ali Qulaibo, Ishaq ‘Abdul
Raziq ‘Ali Qulaibo and heirs of ‘Abdul Raziq ‘Ali Qulaibo. 

14. They
razed a 70-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus owned by Yousef
‘Abdul Nabi Abu ‘Obaid
.

15. They
destroyed 150 beehives owned by Hassan Yousef ‘Abdul Hadi Ahmed
.

16. They
destroyed 150 beehives owned by Rajab Yousef ‘Abdul Hadi Ahmed
. 

17. They
destroyed 150 beehives owned by Ramadan Yousef ‘Abdul Hadi Ahmed
. 

18. They
destroyed 150 beehives owned by Yousef ‘Abdul Hadi Ahmed
. 

19. They
destroyed 150 beehives owned by Sha’ban ‘Eid Ramadan
.

20. They
destroyed a 20-square-meter rabbit farm owned by Sa’id Hassan Yousef Ahmed
. 

21. They
demolished walls and destroyed the gate of a 750-square-meter factory of
flagstones owned by Mohammed Ibrahim Hussein Mansour
.

22. They
demolished walls and destroyed the gate and parts of marble of a
500-square-meter factory of marble owned by Nafez Subhi Khamis Sorour
. 

23. They
demolished walls, destroyed the gate and damaged contents of a 200-square-meter
workshop of repairing electrical sets
. 

24. They
damaged a 150-square-meter shop of paints owned by Mohammed Tariq and Ibrahim
Sha’ban
.

25. They
damaged a pharmacy owned by Mohammed ‘Abdul Hadi ‘Abdul Rahman Shihab
.

26. They
destroyed a shop of furniture owned by Mohammed ‘Abdul ‘Aziz
. 

27. They
destroyed a barbershop owned by Nayef Faraj Saleh
.

28. They
destroyed the office of lawyer Nasser Ahmed ‘Abdullah Kahder
.

29. They
severely damaged a shop of sweets owned by ‘Abdul Fattah Ibrahim ‘Ali Hussein
. 

30. They
destroyed a workshop of repairing television sets owned by Majed Hassan ‘Obaid
. 

 

 

 

Friday, 7 March 2003

 

At approximately 00:30, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced with heavy military vehicles, moved into Qabatya village, east of
Jenin. They surrounded the house Fakhri
‘Abdullah Mustafa Nazzal. They called
on residents of the house to surrender. When residents of the house got out, Israeli forces called on Mohammed
Nasri Abu al-Rub, 25, and Helmi Yousef ‘Abdul Rahim Zazzal, 40, to surrender
and threatened to destroy the house over them. At approximately 03:00, the two surrendered and the Israeli forces
detained them. Later, Israeli forces
claimed that they had detained Mohammed Abu al-Rub, the leader of al-Quds Brigade,
the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, in Jenin. 

 

Saturday, 8 March 2003

 

At noon, medical sources at Shifa’ Hospital in Gaza
city declared that Mahmoud Hassan al-Zainati, 35, from Jabalya refugee camp,
succumbed to an injury he sustained during the Israeli offensive on Jabalya and
its refugee camp on Thursday, 6 March 2003. Al-Zainati was injured by shrapnel from a shell in the chest and
limbs. 

 

At approximately 15:30, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including bulldozers, moved
approximately 400m into the Boba
area, west of
"Kfar Darom" settlement, southeast of Deir al-Balah. The bulldozers demolished a Palestinian house
and a fence and razed an area of agricultural land
:

 

1. They
demolished a 130-square-meter, 2-storey house, which was evacuated due to
regular Israeli shelling, owned by Hussein Mohammed Hamdan al-Louh
. 

2. They
demolished a 250-meter-long fence owned by ‘Abdul Halim ‘Ali Fatayer
. 

3. They
razed a 500-square-meter area of agricultural land owned by Maher Suleiman Abu
Salim
. 

 

Sunday, 9 March 2003

 

At approximately 16:00, Israeli occupying forces
positioned in the vicinity of "Kfar Darom" settlement, southeast of
Deir al-Balah, opened fire at Palestinian houses north of the settlement. A Palestinian child, Suleiman Salem Suleiman
Sa’id, 17, from the Wadi al-Salqa village, east of Deir al-Balah, was wounded
by a live bullet in the chest. PCHR’s
field worker in the central Gaza Strip reported that Sa’id was wounded while he
was on his way back home from school, approximately 1000m north of the
settlement. 

 

At approximately 17:00, Israeli soldiers in military
locations in the vicinity of "Neve Dekalim" settlement, west of Khan
Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Nimsawi neighborhood and Khan
Yunis refugee camp. A Palestinian child,
Ahmed Eyad Ahmed al-Agha, 8, was injured by shrapnel from a live bullet in the
chest, while he was in the center of Khan Yunis, approximately 1500m away from
the source of fire. 

 

At approximately 19:00, Israeli occupying forces at
the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, shelled Block J in Rafah refugee camp,
adjacent to the border. An artillery
shell fell in an alley in the area, approximately 300m away from the border. Three Palestinian women from the same family
were injured by shrapnel:

 

1. Abla Mohammed Jaber, 38, seriously injured by shrapnel in the left leg.
The leg was later amputated
;

2. Rula
Mustafa Jaber, 7, injured by shrapnel in the left foot; and

3. Fathiya
Mohammed Jaber, 46, injured by shrapnel in the right forearm
. 

 

At approximately 19:30, Israeli occupying forces in a
military location at the entrance of al-Mawasi area in the west of Rafah opened
fire at Palestinian houses in the Tal al-Saultan neighborhood. A Palestinian civilian, Naji ‘Ali Abu ‘Armana,
34, was wounded by a live bullet in the right leg. 

 

Monday, 10 March 2003

 

In the evening, Israeli occupying forces shelled a
house in al-Rujbi neighborhood in Hebron, and demolished it over a Palestinian
who had taken shelter inside, even though the army knew he was there. They did not resort to less lethal means
. 

 

According to information available to PCHR, at
approximately 20:30 (after an armed attack carried out by Palestinian gunmen
against Israeli occupying forces on Road 160 linking the "Kiryat
‘Arba’" settlement and the Ibrahimi Mosque in the south of Hebron) Israeli
forces surrounded the house of Nazmi Farid al-Rujbi, 55, in al-Rujbi
neighborhood, south of the aforementioned settlement, claiming that one of
those who carried out the armed attack had hid inside. They shelled the house, without making any
attempt to detain him. Fire broke out in
the house, which was totally destroyed. At approximately 07:00 on the following day, an Israeli military
bulldozer razed the ruins of the house. The body of Hafez Farid al-Rujbi, 24, the owner’s brother, was found in
the ruins. Israeli forces mutilated the
body, before the bulldozer buried it under the rubble. The 150-square-meter, 3-storey house was
uninhabited as its residents left it nearly a month ago after it had been
partially demolished. Later, the Israeli
daily Yediot Aharanot reported on its Arabic web site that units of
"battalion 50 of the Nahal and the Laveih brigades" were surrounding
the house, which they had identify as the source of fire. They fired anti-tank missiles at the house,
while a heavy armored D9 bulldozer was on its way to the house to demolish
it. This strongly indicates that the
Israeli forces were aware that there were people inside the house when they
carried out the demolition.

 

At approximately 23:00, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including a bulldozer, moved from
"Kissufim" settler road and al-Matahen crossroads approximately 2km
into al-Qarara village, north of Khan Yunis.  Covered by intense gunfire, they seized
control over the main and branch roads in the village. Then, the bulldozer razed a 2.5-donum area of
agricultural land planted with olives in the Abu Lihya area in the center of
the village, owned by ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Sa’id Salim al-Saqqa. Israeli soldiers also raided an
80-square-meter, tin-made rural house, which served as a store. They planted explosives in the house and
destroyed it. As a result of this
destruction, a 120-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two people
lives, owned by Zaki Khamis Mousa al-Saqqa, was severely damaged. A number of neighboring houses were also
damaged. According to al-Saqqa, Israeli
forces did not ask him and his neighbors to evacuate the houses before the
destruction. Before their withdrawal
from the area at approximately 02:00 on the following day, Israeli forces for
no apparent reason damaged roads and telephone and electricity supplies. 

 

Later, the Israeli radio quoted Israeli military
sources claiming that Israeli forces demolished a building in Khan Yunis, which
Palestinians used to manufacture explosives. The sources also claimed that the Israeli forces had
found
bombs and explosives, which they made inactive
. 

 

Tuesday, 11 March 2003

 

At approximately 02:00, around 50 Israeli soldiers
entered the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. They raided and searched 3 Palestinian
houses, and arrested 3 of their residents
:

 

1. Ata Yousef Mohammed Qassem, 28, a taxi driver;

2. Tamer
Mahmoud ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Zwaidi, 28; and

3. Awadh Hussein Ahmed al-Kafarna, 43. 

 

At approximately 08:00, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced with heavy military vehicles, including 3 bulldozers, moved
approximately 200m into al-Mughraqa village, south of Gaza city. The bulldozers demolished 5 empty Palestinian
houses,
whose residents had evacuated at the beginning of the Intifada due to Israeli
shelling, and razed areas of agricultural land
:

 

1. They
demolished a 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Nahidh Mijalli
Yousef al-Wehaidi
.

2. They
demolished a 150-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Majdi Mijalli
al-Wehaidi
.

3. They
demolished a 400-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Yousef Mijalli
al-Wehaidi
.

4. They
demolished a 160-square-meter house owned by Hamdi Mahmoud al-Tura’ei
.  

5. They
demolished a 120-square-meter house, which was partially demolished on 14
February 2003, owned by ‘Aayed ‘Ouda al-‘Aaidi
. 

6. They
razed a 1.5-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives, palms and
fruits, and demolished a 16-square-meter bird farm and a 70-square-meter car
park owned by ‘Aadel ‘Atwa al-Tallaa’.

7. They
destroyed a well, demolished a 24-square-meter room and uprooted 10 olive trees
owned by ‘Adnan Kamal al-Nabih
.

8. They
destroyed a well owned by Bahjat Abu Sha’ban and brothers
.

9. They
uprooted 5 olive trees owned by ‘Adnan ‘Ouda al-‘Aaidi
. 

 

At approximately 11:00, an Israeli tank positioned in
the vicinity of "Neve Dekalim" settlement, west of Khan Yunis, fired
3 shells at al-Nimsawi neighborhood to the east. The shells hit an apartment building and
caused sever damaged to 3 flats
:

 

1. A
112-square-meter flat, in which 7 people lived, owned by Hikmi Salam Khalil
al-Roumi
;

2. A
112-square-meter flat, in which 7 people lived, owned by Hassan ‘Abdul Rahman
Hassan Hussein; and

3. A
112-square-meter flat, in which 5 people lived, owned by ‘Omar Saleh ‘Abdul
‘Aziz Hijju
. 

 

Then, Israeli forces opened fire at the area, even
though there was no clashes in the area
. 

 

At approximately 15:00, 5 Israeli heavy military
vehicles, including a bulldozer, moved approximately 200m into al-Salam
neighborhood in the south of Rafah, adjacent to the Egyptian border. They demolished 3 Palestinian houses
:

 

1. A
120-squar-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two families counting 11
people lived, owned by ‘Eyada Abu ‘Arar
;

2. A
100-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house, in which two people lived, owned by
Mohammed Sabri Isma’il Abu ‘Arar; and

3. A
130-square-meter, under-construction house owned by Mahmoud Isma’il Abu ‘Arar
. 

 

At approximately 19:45, Israeli occupying forces in a
military location at the entrance of al-Mawasi area in the west of Rafah opened
fire at the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood. A Palestinian civilian, Salah Ibrahim Abu al-‘Einain, 33, was seriously
wounded by a live bullet in the left leg, while he was inside his house,
approximately 400m away from the source of fire. Approximately 10 minutes later, an ambulance
arrived at the area to evacuate him to hospital, but Israeli forces opened fire
at the area again. A paramedic, Mahmoud
Ibrahim al-Qerem, 45, from Khan Yunis, was injured in the left hand by shrapnel
from live bullets that hit a wall near the ambulance. Abu al-‘Einain was evacuated to hospital by
walking from house to house to avoid the Israeli gunfire. 

 

Wednesday, 12 March 2003

 

At approximately 04:00, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced with heavy military vehicles, moved into Saida village, northeast of
Tulkarm. They opened fire at Palestinian
houses and imposed a curfew on the village. Then, they ordered residents of the village aged 15-50 to get out of
houses and gather in a secondary school. Israeli forces raided dozens of houses. Israeli heavy military vehicles hit a number of houses damaging their
facades. At approximately 08:00, an
exchange of fire broke out between a number of Palestinian gunmen and Israeli
forces. A gunman, Rami Taleb Sa’id
Ashqar, 21, was killed. Israeli forces
kept his body for several hours, before they allowed it to be taken away by an
ambulance. According to medical sources,
Ashqar was shot dead by 8 live bullets from a shot distance; one in the left
eye, two in the head, 4 in the right side of the torso, and one in the
chest. 

 

Extra-Judicial Assassination

 

As part of the Israeli state-affirmed policy of
extra-judicial assassination of Palestinian activists, Israeli occupying forces
killed a senior Hamas leader and 3 of his guards on Saturday 8 March
2003.  Four Israeli combat helicopters flew over Gaza City and launched 4
missiles at a civilian car, in which 5 Palestinians were traveling, in a densely
populated area in the city.

 

According to PCHR’s investigation, at approximately
08:15 on Saturday morning, 4 Israeli helicopter gunships launched 4 missiles at
a civilian car, a white Mitsubishi, in which 5 persons were traveling
southwards
on Palestine Street, which links the Sheikh Radwan
neighborhood and the center of Gaza City.  The missiles hit the car
directly, destroying it.  Four of its occupants were killed
:

 

1. Ibrahim
Ahmed Khaled al-Maqadma, 55, from al-Boreij refugee camp, a senior member of
Hamas movement;

2. Khaled Hassan Joma’a,
30, from Jabalya;

3. Abdul Rahman Zuhair ‘Abdul Rahman al-‘Aamoudi, 29, from al-Shati refugee
camp; and

4. Alaa’ ‘Ouda al-Shukri, 30, al-Shukri, 30, from alTuffah
neighborhood in Gaza City

 

The fifth person in the car, Riad Mohammed al-Dada,
30, from al-Tuffah neighborhood in Gaza
City, was critically
injured.  Two bystanders were also injured.  A number of nearby
houses
and a civilian car that was traveling behind the targeted car were severely
damaged

 

An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that the
decision to assassinate al-Maqadma was taken in advance by Israeli officials,
claiming that al-Maqadma
had planned military attacks carried out by the Hamas
movement against Israeli targets.

 

Since the beginning of 2003, Israeli occupying forces
have carried out 5 similar assassinations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
showing total disregard for international law and for the lives of Palestinian
civilians. 12 Palestinians were killed in these attacks, 9 of whom were
targeted.  Since the beginning of the current Intifada 208 Palestinians
have been killed in assassination attacks carried out by the Israeli occupying
forces.  81 of those killed were non-targeted bystanders.

 

Shooting at
Palestinian Civilians

 

Thursday, 6 March 2003

 

At approximately 19:00, a number of Palestinian youth
and children gathered in the Ras al-‘Ein neighborhood in Nablus and threw
stones at Israeli soldiers who were patrolling in the area. Immediately, Israeli soldiers opened
fire. A Palestinian civilian,
"Mohammed Rabah" Sa’id Hawash, 16, was wounded by a live bullet in
the chest fired at him by Israeli soldiers from a distance of 5m. His brother and friend carried him away from
the area of clashes. An ambulance evacuated him to hospital, but he succumbed
to his wound 10 minutes later.

 

Friday, 7 March 2003

 

At approximately 06:00, Israeli occupying forces,
that had encroached into the Tal al-Za’tar area, north of Jabalya, opened fire
at Palestinians in the area. A member of
the Palestinian National Security Force, Majdi al-Swairki, 22, was wounded by a
live bullet in the pelvis, while he was near a security site in the area. Soon, clashes between a number of Palestinian
civilians, who threw stones, and Israeli forces erupted. The clashes continued until the evening,
during which 22 civilians, including 15 children, were wounded. 

 

Saturday, 8 March 2003

 

At approximately 13:30, Israeli occupying forces,
that, like the previous day, had encroached into the Tal al-Za’tar area, north
of Jabalya, opened fire at a number of Palestinian civilians who threw stones
at the
forces. A
Palestinian civilian, Mufid Sa’id al-Dha’eifi, 35, who passed by the area, was
shot dead by a live bullet in the head. In addition, 15 other civilians, mostly children, were wounded
:

 

1. Jamal
Joma’a al-Sawarka, 19, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen
;

2. Alaa’ al-Dawahel, 19, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen;

3. Mohammed
Abu Ghaben, 15, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg
;

4. Mohammed
al-Najjar, 17, wounded by a live bullet in the neck
;

5. Abdul Rahman Matar, 13, wounded by a live bullet in the head;

6. Baker
‘Abbas, 15, wounded by a live bullet in the left thigh
;

7. Mohammed
‘Awni ‘Aamer, 14, wounded by a live bullet in the left leg
;

8. Mohammed
al-Aswad, 16, wounded by a live bullet in the pelvis
;

9. Mohammed
‘Ali al-Madhoun, 17, wounded by a live bullet in the left thigh
;

10. Shaher
‘Oliyan Abu Shammala, 17, wounded by a live bullet in the hand
;

11. Mohammed
‘Ezziddin Abu Jalhoum, 11, wounded by a live bullet in the foot
;

12. Alaa’ Yusri Abu ‘Arabiya, 17, wounded by a live bullet in the left foot;

13. Adnan ‘Abdullah Abu Esbaitan, 16, wounded by a live bullet in the left
foot
;

14. Adham
Badwan, 22, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg; and

15. Zuhair
‘Abdul Rahman ‘Oliyan, 35, an engineer form Rafah working in a construction
project in the area, wounded by a live bullet in the side
. 

 

Sunday, 9 March 2003

 

All morning, Israeli occupying forces that had
encroached into the Tal al-Za’tar area north of Jabalya, had been firing at a
number of Palestinian children who threw stones at them. Eight of the children and 3 other civilians
were wounded:

 

1. Nihad
Khalil Zhaher, 14, from Jabalya refugee camp, wounded by a live bullet in the
head
;

2. Abdul Rahman Isma’il Hammad, 16, from Jabalya refugee camp, wounded by a
live bullet in the right leg
;

3. Hassan
‘Abdullah Hassouna, 15, from Jabalya refugee camp, wounded by a live bullet in
the right forearm
;

4. Nasser
al-Farran, 17, from Jabalya refugee camp, wounded by a live bullet in the right
forearm
;

5. Mohammed
Hassan al-Shirafi, 17, from Jabalya, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the
head
;

6. Othman Riadh Khilla, from Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza city,
wounded by a live bullet in the right foot
;

7. Hassan
Ahmed al-Nukhailat, 16, from Jabalya, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet
in the head
;

8. Tayseer
‘Olwan, 19, from Jabalya, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the chest
;

9. Abdul Majid al-Mabhouh, 16, from Jabalya, wounded by a live bullet in
the feet
;

10. Mo’ammar
Mohammed Mandour, 27, from Jabalya, wounded by a live bullet in the right leg;
and

11. Jihad
Abu ‘Ouda, 21, from Beit Hanoun, wounded by two live bullets in the right leg
and arm
. 

Collective Punishment Measures against Families of Wanted Palestinians
and Those Who have Carried out Armed Attacks against Israeli Targets

 

In violation of international humanitarian law, which prohibits
collective punishment, Israeli forces took retaliatory measures against
families of Palestinians who have carried out attacks against Israeli targets
in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and those wanted by Israeli forces.

 

At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, 6 March 2003,
Israeli occupying forces moved into Qalqilya. They surrounded the house of Ibrahim ‘Abdul Rahman Dahmas, who had been
detained by Israeli forces. They called
through loudspeakers on the 14 residents of the 120-square-meter, 2-storey
house to get out. Then, they planted
explosives in the house, and destroyed it at approximately 04:00. 

 

At approximately 05:30 on the same day, Israeli
occupying forces moved into Siris village, southeast of Jenin, to destroy the
house of ‘Ersan
Hafez Amin al-Kilani, 57. During the destruction, Israeli soldiers
fired at villagers who gathered in the area, wounding 4 of them. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli soldiers
knocked in
the door and forced the 7 residents of the
120-square-meter house out. They gave
the family 10 minutes to evacuate their belongings, but before the end of this
period, they planted explosives in the house and destroyed it at approximately
07:00. One of the owner’s sons has been
detained by Israeli forces since 27 March 2001 for his resistance activities,
and the other son was killed in clashes with Israeli forces in Nablus on 30
September 2000. Two neighboring houses
were damaged. 

 

At approximately 01:20 on Sunday, 9 March 2003,
Israeli occupying forces moved into Qabatya village, east of Jenin. They surrounded the house of Mohammed Nasri
Abu al-Rub in al-Damouni. They forced
the 12 residents of the 200-square-meter, 2-storey house out and planted
explosives inside. At approximately
03:30, they destroyed it. Abu al-Rub was
arrested by Israeli forces on Friday morning, 7 March 2002. 

 

At approximately 05:00 on the same day, Israeli
occupying forces destroyed a 300-square-meter, 2-storey house
, in which 5 people lived, which belongs to the family
of Sufian "Mohammed Majed" Mousa Ehriaz, 21, who was killed while
carrying out an armed attack against Israeli forces, in al-Sha’aba neighborhood
in Hebron. A number of neighboring
houses were damaged. Israeli forces
arrested Ehraiz’s bother, Nader, 26, on Saturday, 8 March 2003.

 

At approximately 06:00 on the same day, Israeli
occupying forces destroyed a 240-square-meter, 5-storey house, in which 7
people lived, which belongs to the family of Mahmoud ‘Emran Salim al-Qawasmi,
20, from Hebron, who carried out a suicide bombing in Haifa. Two flats over and under the house were
severely damaged. On the day of the
bombing in Haifa on 5 March 2003, Israeli forces arrested al-Qawasmi’s father,
52, and his two brothers, Shadi, 26, and Ahmed, 24. 

 

At approximately 07:00 on the same day, Israeli
occupying forces destroyed a 300-square-meter, 2-storey house, in which 5
people lived, belonging to the family of Hazem Fawzi ‘Abdul Sami’ al-Qawasmi,
18, who carried out an armed attack against an Israeli settlement on Thursday,
6 March 2003. Two neighboring houses
were damaged. 

 

At approximately 05:30 on Monday, 10 March 2003,
Israeli occupying forces destroyed a house, in which 9 people lived, belonging
to the family of Muhsen Mohammed ‘Omar al-Qawasmi, 20, who carried out an armed
attack against an Israeli settlement on Thursday, 6 March 2003. Two neighboring houses were damaged. Israeli forces arrested al-Qawasmi’s brothers,
Muhannad, 27, and Mazen, 24 on Saturday, 8 March 2003.

 

At approximately 01:20 on Tuesday, 11 March 2003,
Israeli occupying forces, reinforced with heavy military vehicles, moved into
Seilat al-Harthiya village, west of Jenin
.  They
surrounded the house of Ghaleb Hassan Jardat. They forced out the 9 residents of the 150-square-meter, 2-storey house,
and residents of neighboring houses. At
approximately 04:45, they destroyed the house. Israeli forces claimed that the house was destroyed because the owner’s
son is wanted by them for his resistance activities. 

 

At the same time, Israeli occupying forces surrounded
a 150-square-meter, 2-storey house in Ras al-Joura neighborhood in Hebron,
owned by Mohammed Saleh al-Qawasmi, and destroyed it. Israeli forces also raided another house
owned by al-Qawasmi and arrested him. 

 

After they had demolished the house of Nazmi Farid
al-Rujbi in Hebron on Monday, 10 March 2003, an Israeli military bulldozer
started demolishing a 350-square-meter, 2-storey house owned by Tawfiq Subhi
Abu Hamdiya, without prior warning, while the 15 people living in the house
were still inside. Residents of the
house asked the neighbors for help. The
neighbors intervened and asked Israeli forces to suspend the demolition until
the family got out. At approximately
10:00, Israeli forces planted explosives in the house and destroyed it. 

 

 

A Palestinian Killed by a Mysterious Explosion

 

On Sunday evening, 9 March 2003, Ribhi Mahmoud ‘Abdul
Raziq ‘Obaid, 48, from Far’oun village, south of Tulkarm, was killed as a
result of a mysterious explosion, while he was grazing his sheep
. 

 

According to information available to PCHR, at
approximately 16:30, while ‘Obaid and two other Palestinians were grazing their
sheep on a land located in the north of Far’oun village, they noticed 4 sacks
of various colors with Hebrew words written on them. They went and opened a sack. It was full of a white material similar to
sugar. They moved back, but ‘Obaid
wanted to drive into the sacks. Immediately, a heavy explosion occurred and ‘Obaid was killed. Later, the Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot
reported on its Arabic web site that Israeli military sources estimated that
"the Palestinian who was killed in Far’oun village, south of Tulkram, was
on his way to Israel with a bomb." However, eyewitnesses refuted this claim. 

 

********

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

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] See details on page 5
of this report and PCHR’s press release on 6 March 2003 on www.pchrgaza.org.