Israeli Forces Continue to
Perpetrate Crimes in the OPTs

 

· 22
Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 5 child and a mentally handicapped
man, were killed by Israeli forces

· 13
of the victims were killed during a major Israeli military incursion into the
northern Gaza Strip

· The
leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and 2 of his bodyguards were extra-judicially
assassinated by Israeli forces

· Israeli
forces conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip

· 40
houses were destroyed by Israeli forces in Rafah refugee camp

· 2
houses were destroyed and 50 donums[1]
of agricultural land were razed in the Gaza Strip

· Houses
were raided and dozens of Palestinians were arrested

· Continued
use of Palestinian civilians as human shields in Israeli military operations in
the OPTs

· Israeli
forces continued to shell Palestinian residential area injuring a number of
Palestinian civilians

· Construction
of the “Annexation Wall” in the West Bank has continued and more areas of
Palestinian land were seized

· Israeli
settlers continued their attacks on Palestinian civilians and properties

· 3
Palestinian houses were destroyed by Israeli forces as part of the continuing
campaign of retaliation against the families of Palestinians accused of
involvement in attacks against Israeli targets

· Israeli
occupying forces have continued to impose a total siege on the OPTs:
Palestinians from the Gaza Strip whose ages range between 16 and 35 were denied
travel; and a Palestinian civilian died at an Israeli military checkpoint

 

 

 

Introduction

 

This week, Israeli occupying forces have escalated
violations of human rights against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories (OPTs).  Human rights violations perpetrated by
Israeli occupying forces included willful and extra-judicial killings, incursions
into Palestinian areas, indiscriminate shelling and house demolitions. Israeli occupying forces have also continued
construction of the “Annexation Wall” inside the West Bank and have continued
to impose a tight siege on the OPTs.  This week, 22 Palestinians, mostly civilians,
including the leader of Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, 5 children and a
mentally handicapped man, were killed by Israeli occupying forces.

 

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupying forces conducted
11 military incursions into Palestinian areas. The largest incursion took place on 20 April 2004 and targeted the
northern Gaza Strip, during which Israeli forces killed 13 Palestinians,
including 4 children, and injured about 100 others, including at least 50
children. They also destroyed a number
of civilian facilities in the area. 

 

On 15 and 16 April 2004, Israeli forces moved into
Rafah, and destroyed 40 houses, killed one Palestinian and injured 24
others. Israeli forces also razed about
50 donums of Palestinian agricultural land throughout the Gaza Strip. 

 

On Saturday evening, 17 April 2004, Israeli occupying
forces assassinated Dr. ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al-Rantissi, 57, leader of the Islamic
Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Gaza Strip.  The attack also killed two
of Dr. al-Rantissi’s bodyguards, and wounded four civilian bystanders. 
This illegal and belligerent act is implemented within the context of Israeli
authorities’ threats to assassinate Hamas leaders, which have been articulated
by Israeli political and military officials for the past two years.  In
addition, a Palestinian civilian died from an injury he sustained during the
assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin on 22 March 2004. 

 

On 17 April 2004, Israeli forces killed a mentally handicapped
Palestinian near an Israeli settlement south of Gaza city. 

 

In the West Bank, Israeli occupying forces conducted
a series of military incursions into Palestinian areas and fired at Palestinian
demonstrations. Three Palestinian
civilians, including a child were killed, and dozens of others were wounded or
arrested. 

 

In an unprecedented operation, Israeli occupying
forces moved into Silwad village, north of Ramallah, the home village of Khaled
Mash’al, Head of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement
(Hamas). They raided and searched dozens
of houses. They arrested at least 70
Palestinians, including a number of relatives of Khaled Mash’al and Ibrahim
Mar’ei Hamed, who is allegedly wanted for being the leader of the military wing
of Hamas movement in the West Bank. Mar’ei’s five brothers and 9 of their sons were among those who were
arrested. Israeli forces also destroyed
3 houses in Bethlehem and Tulkarm as a means of punishment. 

 

Israeli occupying forces have continued construction
of the "Annexation Wall" inside the West Bank, especially in
Jerusalem district. This week, Israeli
occupying forces confiscated areas of Palestinian land in al-Walaja village and
Beit Jala in Bethlehem district for the purpose of the construction of the wall
between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Israeli
forces used force against Palestinian civilians who organized peaceful protests
against the construction of the wall. 

 

This week, Israeli occupying forces have
continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPTs and imposed severe
restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the
West Bank, including Jerusalem. 

 

In the Gaza Strip, following the
assassination of Dr. ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al-Rantissi on Saturday evening, 17 April 2004,
Israeli occupying forces tightened the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, and closed
all border crossings into the Gaza Strip, except for Rafah Terminal.  They
also imposed restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians at all
entrances to Palestinian areas located near Israeli settlements and prevented
Palestinian civilians from moving freely.  In the context of the Israeli policies of
collective punishment, Israeli occupying forces, which have control over
Rafah Terminal, informed the Palestinian liaison about a new decision, according
to which Palestinians whose ages range between 16 and 35 would be prohibited
from traveling through Rafah Terminal on the Egyptian border as of 16 April
2004.  In the West Bank, on Sunday, 18 April 2004, Israeli forces declared
Nablus a closed military zone and prohibited movement of Palestinian
civilian. A Palestinian civilian died
while he was waiting an Israeli military checkpoint near Nablus. 

 

 

Shelling of, and Encroachment into Palestinian Areas
and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property

 

Thursday, 15 April 2004

 

At approximately 02:00, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Jenin. They raided and
searched a house belonging to the family of Shadi Mazen Abu Hatab, 25, and
arrested him. 

 

At approximately 02:30, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Nablus. They raided and
searched a house belonging to the family of Ghassan Yousef Mar’ei, 22, and
arrested him. 

 

At approximately 03:00, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Bethlehem. They raided and
searched a house belonging to the family of Rami Ahmed al-‘Adam, 24, and
arrested him. 

 

At approximately 03:30, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Taqqou’ village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Murad ‘Aayesh
al-Badan, 23, and arrested him. 

 

At the same time, Israeli occupying forces moved into
al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested D’iaa’ Jaber
‘Ali al-Titi, 23. 

At approximately 04:00, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Wa’el Tawfiq
Hanani, 26, and arrested him. 

 

At approximately 05:00, Israeli occupying forces
moved approximately 100 meters into Palestinian agricultural areas located to
the north of “Kfar Darom” settlement, southeast of Deir al-Balah. They demolished a site of the Palestinian
National Security Force, and razed a 1.5-donum area of agricultural land planted
with olives and fruits owned by Sa’id Mohammed al-Qurainawi.

 

At approximately 06:00, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced with heavy military vehicles, moved approximately 200 meters into
al-Salam neighborhood in the south of Rafah, adjacent to the Egyptian
border. They demolished 5 Palestinian
houses:

 

1. A
155-square-meter house owned by Salah Mahmoud al-Sha’er, in which 6 people
lived;

2. A
120-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Mohammed Mahmoud al-Sha’er, in
which 17 people (2 families) lived;

3. A
100-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by Riad Hamdan al-Sha’er, in
which 5 people lived;

4. A
150-square-meter house owned by Saleh Mohammed ‘Othman al-‘Ajrami, in which 15
people lived; and

5. A 100-square-meter,
asbestos-roofed ‘Abdul Fattah Ya’qoub al-Natour, in which 8 people lived. 

 

Israeli occupying forces claimed as usual that they
were searching for tunnels used for smuggling weapons. However, it appears that they seek to expand
the buffer zone established along the border.

 

In the meantime, Israeli occupying forces maintained
their incursion into Block J in Rafah refugee camp, which began on Wednesday,
14 April 2004. At approximately 07:00,
an Israeli helicopter gunship launched a missile at a number of Palestinian
civilians, injuring 24, including 11 children. Four of the injured were in serious condition. During this 20-hour incursion, Israeli occupying
forces destroyed 24 Palestinian houses completely and 9 others partially. As a consequence, 67 families (approximately
370 people) have become homeless. In the
evening, a number of members of the Palestinian resistance clashed with Israeli
forces. One member of the resistance,
‘Ali Mohammed Barhoum, 19, was killed by a live bullet to the neck. As a result of the Israeli discriminate
shelling, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were injured, and offices
of the Islamic Society, an emergency medical point and a number of houses were
damaged. 

 

Note: PCHR has lists of the Palestinians who were
wounded and the houses that were destroyed. 

 

Also in the morning, Israeli soldiers wounded and
arrested two Palestinians from Kufor al-Dik village near in the north of the
West Bank. 

According to investigations, at approximately 07:00,
Yousef ‘Abdul Wahab ‘Omar al-Dik, 36, and Ahmed ‘Abdul Karim Hussein al-Dik, 35,
were on their way to their agricultural land in the north of the village, and were
surprised by the presence of Israeli occupying forces in the area. Immediately, Israeli soldiers fired at the
two Palestinians. The first man was
wounded by a live bullet in the leg, and the latter attempted to escape, but
Israeli soldiers fired at him. He was
wounded, but the nature of his wound was not clear. Israeli soldiers then arrested the two
Palestinians. Later, their families were
informed that they were evacuated to an Israeli hospital. 

 

At approximately 13:35, Israeli soldiers in a
military jeep positioned near “Neve Dekalim” settlement, west of Khan Yunis,
opened fire at Ahmed Jamil Tawfiq Shubair, 22, when he tried to move away a
number of children who were playing near the aforementioned settlement. He was wounded by a live bullet in the right
leg. 

 

At approximately 16:40, Israeli occupying forces
positioned in military posts in the vicinity of “Neve Dekalim” settlement, west
of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Nimsawi neighborhood to
the northeast. A member of the
Palestinian National Security Force, Yousef Fu’ad Khater, 33, was wounded by a
live bullet in the right thigh, while he was patrolling in the area. 

 

At approximately 18:00, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Nablus and neighboring refugee camps. They opened fire at Palestinian houses and
markets. As a result, 6 Palestinian
civilians were wounded:

 

1. Mohammed
Mustafa al-Noubani, 15, wounded by a live bullet in the right shoulder;

2. Naheda
Kahder ‘Omar al-Bahash, 51, wounded by 3 live bullets in the left hand and leg
and the right thigh;

3. ‘Emad
Khaled Salim Walwil, 27, wounded by shrapnel in the chest;

4. ‘Ali
Fu’ad Khaled al-Baz, 21, wounded by shrapnel in the face and the legs;

5. Salah
Hussam Sa’id al-Hawa, 22, wounded by a tear gas canister to the chest; and

6. Mohammed
Rebhi Rida al-‘Ouna, 22, wounded by shrapnel in the left hand. 

 

Friday, 16 April 2004

 

At approximately 04:00, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Sanour village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 4 Palestinians:

 

1. Ziad
Sadiq Gharbiya, 40;

2. Shehada
Mahmoud Habaiba, 37;

3. Mo’tassem
‘Abdullah Habaiba, 22; and

4. Karem
Mohammed Jawad, 18. 

 

At approximately 10:00, Israeli soldiers on a tank
positioned at al-Salam square in the south of Tulkarm fired at a Palestinian
civilian who was traveling in his car in the area. He was seriously wounded by a live bullet
that entered the back and the hit his kidneys and intestines. According to investigations conducted by
PCHR, ‘Ali Mahmoud Mahmoud ‘Ali ‘Abboudi, 39, from Far’oun village, south of
Tulkarm, was traveling in his car from his village towards Tulkarm refugee
camp. When he arrived at al-Salam square,
he was surprised by the presence of an Israeli tank in the area. Israeli soldiers ordered him through megaphones
to get out of the car, an order which he complied with. Israeli soldiers then
ordered him to get into the car and leave. When he was approximately 150 meters away from the tank, an Israeli
soldier fired a live bullet at him and hit him in the back. A taxi that passed by the area evacuated him
to a hospital in Tulkram. According to
medical sources, he was in serious condition. 

 

After the Friday Prayer, hundreds of Palestinian
civilians demonstrated in the center of Ramallah in protest against the
construction of the “Annexation Wall” inside the West Bank. Dozens of the demonstrators moved towards
Bitounia village, west of Ramallah. When
they arrived at al-Doura area, west of the village, Israeli soldiers fired
dozens of tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. At approximately 14:30, Israeli soldiers
fired live ammunition at the demonstrators. A Palestinian child, Hussein Mahmoud Hussein ‘Olayan, 17, was seriously
wounded by a live bullet in the head. He
was immediately evacuated to Ramallah Hospital, where he was pronounced dead
one hour later. In addition, 2 other
civilians were wounded:

 

1. Sharif
Ahmed Suleiman, 54, wounded by a live bullet in the right shoulder; and

2. Tha’er
‘Abdullah Na’san, 24, wounded by a live bullet in the right hand. 

 

At approximately 13:30, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced by heavy military vehicles, moved approximately 800 meters into
al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis. They razed 25 donums of Palestinian agricultural land:

 

1. They
razed an 8-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and almonds
owned by Salman ‘Obaid Abu Mandil. 

2. They
razed a 9-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and peppers and
destroyed an irrigation network owned by ‘Eid Mahmoud Mansour Abu Samra. 

3. They
razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and vegetables
and destroyed an irrigation network and a barbwire fence owned by Ahmed ‘Abdul
Malek Ghunaim. 

4. They
razed a 6-donum area of agricultural land planted with wheat owned by Mohammed
‘Atwa al-‘Eimawi. 

 

At approximately 15:00, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced by heavy military vehicles, moved approximately 300 meters into
Palestinian agricultural areas to the west of “Kfar Darom” settlement,
southeast of Deir al-Balah. They razed 8
donums of Palestinian agricultural land:

 

1. They
razed a 3-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and palms and
destroyed an irrigation network owned by Nader As’ad Bashir.

2. They
razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and palms and
destroyed an irrigation network and a 100-meter-long fence owned by N’ema Ahmed
Bashir.

3. They
razed a 1-donum area of agricultural land planted with olives and palms and destroyed
a 70-meter-long fence owned by Hammad Mohammed Bashir. 

4. They
razed a 500-square-meter area of agricultural land planted with olives, palms
and guavas owned by ‘Essam Saber Abu Samra. 

5. They
razed a 1.5-donum area of agricultural land, on which a greenhouse planted with
tomatoes stood, owned by ‘Awad ‘Adli Abu Samra. 

 

Saturday, 17 April 2004

 

At approximately 01:30, Israeli occupying forces
moved into al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses
and arrested 5 Palestinians, including 3 brothers:

 

1. Shadi
Mousa al-Sheikh, 24;

2. Nasser
Mousa al-Sheikh, 38;

3. Mohammed
Mousa al-Sheikh, 42;

4. Mu’ammar
Mohammed al-‘Arouj, 19; and

5. Ra’ed
Mohammed Hammoud, 21. 

 

At approximately 02:30, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Dura village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of Palestinian houses and arrested 2
Palestinians:

 

1. Majed
Mohammed al-Sha’rawi, 26; and

2. Tayseer
al-Sous, 30. 

 

At approximately 07:00, Israeli occupying forces,
accompanied by 2 military bulldozers, moved approximately 200 meters into the
north of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. During this 4-hour incursion, they razed
areas of Palestinian agricultural land and destroyed some civilian facilities:

 

1. They
razed a 4-donum area of agricultural land planted with guavas and destroyed a
420-square-meter bird farm and 2 agricultural rooms owned by Mohammed Hassan
Abu Sidu. 

2. They
razed a 2-donum area of agricultural land planted with citrus owned by the
heirs of Salim Mohammed Abu Ramadan. 

 

Also in the morning, Israeli occupying forces moved into
Tulkarm. They took position in the area
located between al-Salam square and Tulkarm refugee camp. They opened fire at passing Palestinian
civilians, wounding 3:

 

1. Ghaleb
‘Awad ‘Abdul Fattah Abu Tammam, 45, hit by 2 live bullets to the legs;

2. Khaled
Mahmoud Ragheb Hassan, 24, hit by shrapnel to the legs; and

3. Munjed
Rashed Jayousi, 30, hit by shrapnel to the face. 

 

In the afternoon, an undercover unit of Israeli
occupying forces opened fire at Nizar Rasmi Qaffisha, 24, from Hebron,
seriously wounding him. Soon after,
Israeli soldiers beat and arrested him. 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at
approximately 13:45, Qaffisha was near the entrance of Cairo-Amman Bank in the
center of Hebron.  A civilian car with Israeli
registration stopped near him. A number
of armed persons who were wearing civilian clothes got out of the car and
opened fire at Qaffisha. He was hit by
several live bullets to the chest and the shoulder. He attempted to escape, and ran for about 200
meters, but Israeli soldiers who arrived at the area to reinforce the
undercover unit captured him. Israeli
soldiers severely beat him even though he was injured and bleeding, and he lost
consciousness as a result. Soon after, Israeli
soldiers handcuffed and arrested him. 

 

In the afternoon, Israeli soldiers in an armored
personnel carrier positioned at al-Salam square in the south of Tulkarm fired
at civilian car seriously wounding a Palestinian child. 

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at
approximately 15:00, Ja’far Mohammed al-Tibi was traveling in his car with his
wife and three daughters from the east to the south of Tulkarm. After they passed by al-Salam square and were
approximately 40 meters away from it, Israeli soldiers fired at the car, and a bullet
penetrated the back window of the car. Shrapnel from the bullet hit his daughter, Batoul, 5, in the lung, the
spinal column and the face. She was
evacuated to a hospital in Tulkarm, from which she was transferred to an
Israeli hospital as she was in a serious condition.

 

At approximately 21:45, Israeli soldiers positioned
in military posts and tanks to the west of Khan Yunis shelled Palestinian
houses in Khan Yunis refugee camp. An
artillery shell hit an electricity tower near Mohammed Salem Abu Mustafa’s
house, approximately 200 meters away from the source of fire. Shrapnel from the shell penetrated the
asbestos roof of the house and hit the owner’s daughter Iman, 9, in the
head. About 15 minutes later, an Israeli
tank fired an artillery shell at the area. The shell hit a wall of Sa’di Isma’il Budair’s house. Shrapnel from the shell injured 6 Palestinian
civilians, including a man, his child and an old man:

 

1. Sari
Ne’mat al-Bardawil, 9, seriously injured by shrapnel in the head;

2. Ne’mat
Isma’il al-Bardawil, 37, injured by shrapnel in the head, the right arm and the
left shoulder;

3. Sa’di
Ibrahim Budair, 40, seriously injured by shrapnel in the head and the back;

4. Khalil
Ibrahim al-Buzom, 62, 62, injured by shrapnel in the feet;

5. Mo’ein
Mahmoud ‘Aashour, 40, injured by shrapnel in the head and the limbs; and

6. Bassam
Mohammed Eftaiha, 40, injured by shrapnel in the head and the shoulder. 

 

In a case of apparent willful killing, Israeli
occupying forces killed a mentally handicapped Palestinian civilian, when he
was near “Netzarim” settlement, south of Gaza City. 

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at
approximately 22:00, Israeli soldiers positioned in the vicinity of “Netzarim”
settlement, south of Gaza City, opened fire at a person who was to the north of
the north of the settlement and instantly killed him. Israeli military sources
later claimed that Israeli forces killed an armed Palestinian who was
attempting to enter the aforementioned settlement. On the following morning, 18 April 2004,
Israeli forced searched the area and discovered that the victim was
unarmed. At approximately 13:30, Israeli
forces delivered the victim’s body to the Palestinian side. The body was transferred to Shifa Hospital in
Gaza City. According to medical sources,
the victim was hit by live bullets and shrapnel throughout the body. As the victim was not identified, the body
was shown on Palestine Television. At
approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 20 April 2004, the victim was identified as
Ejmai’an ‘Ali Suleiman Abu Shaqqura, 34, from al-Zawaida village in the central
Gaza Strip. According to his family, he
was mentally handicapped and he had been left the house 10 days earlier. The family knew about his death from his
relatives who saw his body on Palestinian Television. 

 

At approximately 22:30, Israeli occupying forces
positioned in a military post inside “Kfar Darom” settlement, southeast of Deir
al-Balah, opened fire at neighboring Palestinian houses. A Palestinian civilian, Tamer ‘Obaid Abu ‘Obaid,
20, was wounded by a live bullet in the left knee, when he was with his friends
approximately 1500 meters away from the source of fire.  

 

Sunday, 17 April  2004

 

At approximately 01:00, Israeli occupying forces moved
approximately 300 meters into Abu Haddaf area in Wadi al-Salqa village, east of
Deir al-Balah. Covered by intense
Israeli shelling, they raided Mohammed Musallam Abu Haddaf’s house. They forced the 22 residents of the house out
and searched the house. At approximately
07:00, they withdrew from the area, arresting 3 of the owner’s sons: ‘Azmi, 35;
Jamal, 33; and Suleiman, 32. The first
two sons were released later, while the third son remained in custody. According to the family, walls of the house were
severely damaged by the Israeli shelling. 

 

At approximately 02:20, Israeli occupying forces
positioned in a military post in Tal Zo’rob area in the southwest of Rafah
opened fire at Palestinian houses in Zo’rob neighborhood to the north. A Palestinian woman, Bassema Hamed Hijazi,
28, was injured by shrapnel in the left thigh while she was inside her
house. 

 

At approximately 03:00, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Rummana village, west of Jenin. They imposed a curfew on the village, but lifted it in the
afternoon. 

 

At approximately 04:00, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Seilat al-Zaher village, south of Jenin, and imposed a curfew. They raided and searched a number of houses,
but no arrests were reported. 

 

Also in the morning, Israeli occupying forces moved
into Tulkarm. They took position in the
area located between al-Salam square in the south of the town and Tulkarm
refugee camp in the east of the town. They
fired at passing Palestinian civilians, wounding 16-year-old Muhannad Shukri
al-Hamshari with a live bullet in the right thigh. 

 

At approximately 08:00, Israeli occupying forces
positioned in military posts in the west of Rafah opened fire at Palestinian
houses in Tal al-Sultan neighborhood to the east. Two Palestinian civilians were injured:

 

  1. Khamis ‘Ali Mansour, 22, injured by shrapnel in
    the left thigh; and
  2. Ibrahim Jamal al-Gun, 20, injured by shrapnel in
    the right thigh. 

 

At approximately 09:00, dozens of Palestinian schoolchildren
organized a demonstration in Burqa village, northwest of Nablus. A number of Israeli military jeeps were
positioned inside the village. The
children threw stones at the jeeps. Immediately,
Israeli soldiers fired at the children, wounding 13-year-old Samer Mohammed
Daghlas with a rubber-coated metal bullet in the head. Israeli forces then imposed a curfew on the
village and closed its schools. 

 

At approximately 10:30, Israeli occupying forces
positioned in military posts around “Kfar Darom” settlement, southeast of Deir
al-Balah, opened fire at Palestinian houses to the west. A Palestinian woman, Salwa Nasser Abu Khamis,
30, was wounded by a live bullet in the head, while she was on the roof of her
house, approximately 500 meters away from the source of fire. 

 

At approximately 11:00, a number of Palestinian schoolchildren
in Deir Abu Mash’al village, north of Ramallah, organized a demonstration. They moved towards the entrance of the
village and threw stones at a neighboring Israeli military observation tower. Israeli soldiers fired at the children,
seriously wounding 13-year-old Islam Hashem Rezeq Zahran with a rubber-coated
metal bullet in the head. 

 

At approximately 11:30, a number of Palestinian schoolchildren
organized a demonstration in ‘Aaboud village, northwest of Ramallah. They moved towards the entrance of the
village. Israeli forces patrolling the
area fired at the children, wounding 10-year-old Ussama Bassam Mohammed with a
rubber-coated metal bullet in the head.    

 

At approximately 12:00, a number of Palestinian
children gathered at the entrance of Silwad village, east of Ramallah. They threw stones at Israeli military
vehicles that were traveling on the main road near the village. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal
bullets at the children. Mohammed Jamal
‘Abbas Hamed, 15, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet in the right
side. 

 

At the same time, a number of Palestinian civilians
demonstrated at the western entrance of Qalandya refugee camp, south of
Ramallah. They threw stones at Israeli
soldiers positioned at a military checkpoint to the south of the camp. Immediately, Israeli soldiers fired the
demonstrators. ‘Abdullah Rushdi Zayed,
20, was wounded by 2 rubber-coated metal bullets in the legs. 

 

At approximately 14:00, Israeli soldiers positioned
at Bab al-Zawia square in the center of Hebron fired live ammunition and
rubber-coated metal bullets at a number of Palestinian civilians who
participated in a demonstration organized in protest against the assassination
of Dr. ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al-Rantissi.  A child
and woman were wounded:

 

1. Ahmed
Nafez Jaradat, 14, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet in the head; and

2. Halima
Ya’qoub Nasser al-Din, 50, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet in the left
foot. 

At the same time, hundreds of Palestinian civilians
organized a demonstration at the northern entrance of Bethlehem. When the demonstrators moved towards Bilal
Ben Rabah mosque, Israeli soldiers fired at them. As a result, Sharif Abu Sarhan, 17, was
wounded by a live bullet in the right leg. 

 

In an excessive use of force, in the evening, Israeli
occupying forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Biddu village, northwest of
Jerusalem, when they opened fire at a number of Palestinian civilians and
international and Israeli peace activists who demonstrated in protest against
the construction of the “Annexation Wall” on the lands of the village. In addition, 8 civilians were wounded. 

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, in the
evening, hundreds of Palestinian civilians and a number of international and
Israeli peace activists demonstrated in Biddu village, northwest of
Jerusalem. When they arrived close to
the vicinity of construction site, Israeli soldiers opened fire at them. D’iaa’ ‘Abdul Karim Ibrahim Abu ‘Eid, 22, was
seriously wounded by a live bullet in the chest. He was evacuated to a hospital in occupied
Jerusalem, but medical efforts made to save his life failed and he was
pronounced dead at 21:00. 

 

Monday, 19 April 2004

 

At approximately 01:30, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Dura village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 2 Palestinians:

 

1. Nidal
Mithqal ‘Abdul Qader ‘Amru, 22; and

2. Majed
Mahmoud Fadel al-Sha’rawi, 38. 

 

At the same time, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced by heavy military vehicles, including 3 bulldozers, moved
approximately 150 meters into Palestinian areas located to the north of “Kfar
Darom” settlement, southeast of Deir al-Balah. Without prior warning, they demolished a 400-square-meter, 2-storey
house owned by Mahmoud ‘Ouda Ahmed Abu Samra, in which 31 people (4 families)
lived. They also demolished 2 storage
facilities that stood on a 150-square-meter area owned by the ‘Akkila fuel
company. 

 

At approximately 03:00, Israeli occupying forces
moved into al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses
and arrested 2 Palestinians:

 

1. Ahmed
Salem Jawabra, 20; and

2. Shadi
Ahmed Jawabra, 18. 

 

At approximately 08:15, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Seilat al-Zaher village, south of Jenin. They surrounded 3 schools in the
village. They forced teachers and
students out and informed them that the schools would be closed for two days. 

 

At approximately 04:00, Israeli occupying forces
moved into al-Duhaisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses
and arrested 4 Palestinians:

 

1. Nader
Ma’rouf al-Atrash, 23;

2. Rami
Kamel Musleh, 26;

3. Mo’tassem
Sa’oud ‘Eid, 20; and

4. Mohammed
Jalal Sanad, 24. 

 

In an excessive use of force, in the evening, Israeli
occupying forces killed a Palestinian civilian in al-Fawar refugee camp, south
of Hebron. Israeli forces moved into the
camp and surrounded a house. They fired
at Palestinian civilians who threw stones at them. 

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at
approximately 19:00, Israeli occupying forces moved into al-Fawar refugee camp,
south of Hebron. They opened fire at
Palestinian houses and imposed a curfew. Then, they surrounded Ahmed ‘Abdul Qader Abu ‘Awad’s house in the center
of the camp, claiming that wanted Palestinians were hiding inside. Israeli forces forced the 30 residents of the
house out. A number of Palestinian
civilians gathered and threw stones at the Israeli forces. Immediately, Israeli soldiers opened fire at
these civilians. Mujahed ‘Abdul Qader
Ahmed Abu ‘Awad, 19, was wounded by several live bullets in the upper part of
the body. Israeli soldiers prevented
civilians from reaching him to offer him help. Consequently he bled to death. Israeli soldiers took his body in a military jeep to an unknown
destination. In addition, Ahmed ‘Abed
Rabbu Shawabka, 18, was wounded by a live bullet in the right leg. 

 

At approximately 23:10, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced by heavy military vehicles, moved approximately 400 meters into
‘Oraiba area in the northwest of Rafah. They surrounded two houses belonging to ‘Atiya and Ahmed Khalil Abu
Humaida. They forced the 22 residents of
the two houses out and searched the residents. Then they used ‘Atiya as human shield while searching the two
houses. At approximately 01:00 the
following day, an Israeli military bulldozer started to destroy 4 greenhouses
owned by the two families. However, they
stopped the destruction as the families asked Israeli forces to allow them to
dismantle the greenhouses. Israeli
forces gave them 4 days to dismantle the greenhouses, and then they withdrew
from the area. 

 

Tuesday, 20 April 2004

 

At approximately 00:50, Israeli occupying forces
raided and searched offices of the Islamic Charitable Society and an annexed
school in Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They confiscated a number of computer sets and files. 

 

At approximately 01:00, Israeli occupying forces,
reinforced by heavy military vehicles, including a bulldozer, moved
approximately 300 meters in Wadi al-Salqa village, southeast of Deir
al-Balah. They surrounded a
200-square-meter house owned by ‘Azmi Mohammed Musallam Abu Haddaf. They forced its 11 residents out without
allowing them to vacate any of their belongings, and demolished the house. 

At approximately 01:30, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Taqqou’ village, southeast of Deir al-Balah. They raided and searched a number of houses
and arrested 2 Palestinians:

 

1. ‘Abed
Khaled Khalil al-Sabbah, 21; and

2. Sharif
‘Ali Ibrahim ‘Atwa, 24. 

 

At approximately 02:00, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Nablus. They raided and
searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinians:

 

1. Ibrahim
‘Awad Abu al-Laban, 31;

2. ‘Omar
Ghaleb Mansour, 20; and

3. Nabil
Khalil ‘Akkoub, 23. 

 

At approximately 02:15, Israeli occupying forces
moved into Kufor Dan village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched Radi al-Disouqi’s houses and arrested his two
sons: Yahia, 34; and Hamza, 31. 

 

At approximately 02:45, Israeli occupying forces
moved into al-Zawia village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched Farid Qaddoura’s house and arrested his son
Talal, 17. 

 

In an unprecedented operation, at approximately
03:00, Israeli occupying forces moved into Silwad village, north of Ramallah,
the home village of Khaled Mash’al, Head of the Political Bureau of the Islamic
Resistance Movement (Hamas). They
imposed a curfew on the village. They
raided and searched dozens of houses. They arrested at least 70 Palestinians, including a number of relatives
of Khaled Mash’al and Ibrahim Mar’ei Hamed, who is wanted for being the alleged
leader of the military wing of the Hamas movement in the West Bank. Mar’ei’s five brothers and 9 of their sons
were among those who were arrested. 

 

At approximately 04:00, Israeli occupying forces
moved into al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Hussein ‘Olayan’s
house and arrested his son Ibrahim, 20. 

 

In a serious escalation of attacks against
Palestinian civilians and their property, Israeli occupying forces killed 4
Palestinians, including 2 children, and injured about 24 others.  A number
of children were included in this figure, one of whom has since been pronounced
clinically dead. This major incursion was focused on the al-Nada housing project. 
The al-Nada project is located between the towns of Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun
in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at
approximately 09:30, 3 Israeli tanks and 2 military bulldozers moved from
“Nissanit” settlement, north of Beit Lahia.  The tanks were positioned on
a hill, approximately 150 meters to the northwest of the al-Nada housing
project in the northern Gaza Strip, while bulldozers leveled areas of
land.  In the meantime, Israeli occupying forces completely closed Erez
crossing and imposed restrictions on the movement of international staff and
diplomats.  At approximately 12:00, a number of Palestinian children and
young men gathered in the area and threw stones at Israeli military
vehicles.  In an excessive and disproportionate use of force, Israeli
soldiers in the tanks fired live bullets and artillery shells at the stone
throwers.  Until 20:30, 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children,
were killed:

 

1. Mo’tassem
Rafiq Mohammed Nusair, 18, from Beit Hanoun, hit by a live bullet to the head;

2. Khaldoun
Ziad Hassan Abu Jarad, 17, from Beit Lahia, hit by a live bullet to the head;

3. Ibrahim
basher Rayan, 19, from Tal al-Za’tar, hit by a live bullet to the head; and

4. Mohammed
Ibrahim ‘Ata al-Tanani, 17, hit by a live bullet to the chest. 

 

In addition, 24 civilians, including 21 children,
were wounded.  One of the children was pronounced clinically dead. 

 

Note: PCHR has also compiled a list of those who were
wounded. 

 

Wednesday, 21 April 2004

 

At approximately 02:45, Israeli occupying forces
moved into ‘Aanin village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 2 Palestinians:

 

1. Mohammed
Tawfiq Mansour, 23; and

2. Kamal Fathi Mansour, 18. 

 

At
approximately 03:00, about 30 Israeli heavy military vehicles, supported by
helicopters, moved from Erez crossing and “Nissanit” settlement into Beit
Lahia.  They razed areas of Palestinian agricultural land and destroyed
the fence of a building of the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs, which was
still under construction.  At approximately 05:45, an Israeli helicopter
launched a missile at a number of members of the Palestinian resistance who
were near the offices of the Ministry of Education in the area.  Five
members of the resistance and a member of the Palestinian Security Forces were
wounded. 

 

Throughout
the day, Israeli helicopter gunships fired at members of the Palestinian resistance
and at civilians. Seven resistance men
and 2 children were killed:

 

1. Suhail
‘Abdul Karim al-Heresh, 25, hit by a live bullet to the neck;

2. Mohammed
‘Abdul Muttaleb al-‘Ajjouri, 18, hit by a live bullet to the chest;

3. Ra’fat
Abu Hassira, 28, hit by a live bullet to the head;

4. Mohammed
Khader al-Rantissi, 18, hit by a live bullet to the head;

5. Radwan
Samara Hamttu, 16, hit by a live bullet to the heart;

6. Yousef
Taleb al-Da’our, 13, hit by a live bullet to the back;

7. Ziad
Ahmed Hassan Abu Hamada, 28, hit by a live bullet to the chest;

8. ‘Omar
Ahmed ‘Ali, 21, hit by a live bullet to the head; and

9. Ayoub
Mohammed Karsou’, 18, hit by a live bullet to the chest. 

 

In addition, at least 50
civilians, including 25 children and 2 medical personnel, were wounded. Israeli forces also fired at a Palestinian
ambulance, but no casualties were reported. 

 

During this incursion, Israeli
forces shelled Palestinian houses, severely damaging a number of them. The civilian infrastructure of the area was
also severely damaged.  

 

At approximately 12:00,
Israeli occupying forces moved into Beit Sahour town, east of Bethlehem. They arrested Sami Taha Saleh, 24, from
al-Khader village. 

 

Extra-Judicial
Assassination

 

On Saturday evening, 17 April 2004, Israeli occupying
forces assassinated Dr. ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al-Rantissi, 57, leader of the Islamic
Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Gaza Strip.  The attack also killed two
of Dr. al-Rantissi’s bodyguards, and wounded four civilian bystanders. 
This illegal and belligerent act is implemented within the context of threats made
by the Israeli military and political leadership to assassinate Hamas leaders.
 This assassination came less than one month after the assassination of
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, leader and founder of Hamas, who was assassinated by
Israeli occupying forces on 22 March 2004. 

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately
20:35 on Saturday, 17 April 2004, an Israeli helicopter gunship launched a
missile at a civilian car, a white Subaru, traveling on al-Lababidi Street,
approximately 150 meters away from al-Jalaa’ crossroads in the center of Gaza
City, a densely populated area.  Dr. al-Rantissi and two of his bodyguards
were traveling in the car when the missile struck the car.  The two
bodyguards were instantly killed:

 

1. Akram Mansi Nassar, 36; and

2. Ahmed ‘Abdullah al-Ghurra, 38, both
from al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City.

 

Dr. al-Rantissi died shortly from sustaining serious
injuries after he was evacuated to the hospital.  Four civilian
bystanders, including a child, were injured:

 

1. Ibrahim Mohammed Qassem, 14;

2. Mohammed Mahmoud al-Balbissi, 45;

3. Mohammed Mahmoud ‘Abdul Raziq, 33; and

4. Tarazan Salah Dughmosh, 38. 

 

Dr. al-Rantissi had survived an assassination attempt
carried out by Israeli occupying forces on 10 June 2004.  That attack left
2 Palestinian civilians dead and injured 30 others, including a number of
children and Dr. al-Rantissi’s son.

 

 

 

 

A Palestinian
Civilian Dies from an Injury He Sustained during the Assassination of Sheikh
Ahmed Yassin

 

On Thursday morning, 15
April 2004, medical sources at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City declared that
Mustafa Munib Sarsour, 63, from al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City, died from
an injury he sustained last month. 

 

According to PCHR’s
documentation, Sarsour was seriously injured during the assassination of Sheikh
Ahmed Yassin, on 22 March 2004. The
attack left 7 Palestinian civilians dead in addition to Sheikh Yassin. In addition, 17 civilians, including Sarsour,
were injured. He received medical
treatment at Shifa Hospital. As he was
in a serious condition, he was transferred to an Egyptian hospital, where he
received medical treatment until the time of his death. 

 

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

 

In violation of
international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention Relative to
the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949, article 33 of which
prohibits punishing any protected person for “an offence he or she has not
personally committed,” Israeli forces took retaliatory measures against
the families
of Palestinians Israel alleges have ordered, facilitated, or carried out
attacks against Israeli targets. 

 

At approximately 00:30 on
Thursday, 15 April 2004, Israeli occupying forces moved into Bethlehem and Beit
Jala. They surrounded a
150-square-meter, 2-storey house in the al-Salizian neighborhood in the center
of Bethlehem belonging to the family of Mohammed Shaker ‘Allan Ma’alla, who has
been detained by the Israeli forces. They called the 7 residents of the house out and planted explosives
inside the first floor. At approximately
04:00, they destroyed the house. 

 

At the same time, Israeli
forces surrounded a 65-square house rented by the family of Mohammed Isma’il
Battat and owned by Mary Ghattas. They
forced its 4 residents and residents of neighboring houses out. Then, they planted explosives inside the
house and destroyed it. 

 

At approximately 01:00 on
the same day, Israeli occupying forces moved into Shwaika area in the north of
Tulkarm. They surrounded a 350-square-meter,
3-storey house owned belonging to Mahmoud Kulaibi, who has been detained by
Israeli forces. They forced the 11
people (3 families) living in the house to get out. Then, they planted explosives inside the
second floor, and at approximately 04:30, they destroyed it. As a result, the storage facilities under the
house and on the third floor were damaged. 

 

 

 

Continued Siege on the
OPT

 

This week, Israeli occupying forces have
continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPTs and imposed severe restrictions
on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank,
including Jerusalem. 

 

Gaza Strip

 

Following the assassination of Dr. ‘Abdul ‘Aziz
al-Rantissi on Saturday evening, 17 April 2004, Israeli occupying forces
tightened the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.  They closed all border
crossings into the Gaza Strip, except for Rafah Terminal.  They also
imposed restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians at all entrances
to Palestinian areas located near Israeli settlements and prevented Palestinian
civilians from moving freely.  Such restrictions on freedom of movement
are in contravention of international human rights law, to which Israel is a
state party, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights.

 

Israeli occupying forces positioned at the Abu Houli
and al-Matahen checkpoints on Salah al-Din Street, the main road between the
north and south of the Gaza Strip, continued to obstruct movement of
Palestinian civilians.  The two checkpoints, which are open for a maximum
of a few hours each day, have become notorious for acts of humiliation and
harassment by Israeli soldiers.

  

At approximately 10:00 on Thursday morning, 8 April 2004,
Israeli forces closed the two checkpoints.  They held dozens of
Palestinian vehicles in between and searched passengers.  They arrested
Yousef Sa’id Suleiman Abu Sulaisel, 22, a university student from Wadi al-Salqa
village. 

 

On Monday, 19 April 2004, Israeli forces closed the
two checkpoints, claiming that they wanted to maintain the road. They reopened them from 18:00 to 21:00. The two checkpoints remained closed until
Tuesday noon, 20 April 2004. 

 

After a Palestinian had carried out an attack at the
entrance to Erez industrial zone in the northern Gaza Strip, Israeli forces
closed the zone. Since 22 March 2004,
Israeli occupying forces have continued to close Erez crossing at the northern
entrance to the Gaza Strip, denying access of thousands of Palestinian workers
to their work places in Israel. 

 

In violation of the right
of health, for two weeks, Israeli occupying forces have denied access of
Palestinian patients from the Gaza Strip to hospitals in Israel and the West
Bank to receive medical care. They have
also denied access for medicine into the Gaza Strip. 

 

In the context of the
policies of collective punishment, Israeli occupying forces, which have
control over Rafah Terminal, informed the Palestinian liaison about a new
decision, according to which Palestinians,  between the ages of 16 and 35, would be
prohibited from traveling through Rafah Terminal on the Egyptian border as of
16 April 2004.  Rafah Terminal has been the only outlet for citizens of the
Gaza Strip to the outside world since 14 February 2001, when Israeli occupying
forces destroyed Gaza International Airport. 

 

As a result, the siege
imposed on Palestinian Authority-controlled areas is tightened further. 
The decision affects both genders, and the segment affected by the decision
constitutes about 13% of the population of the Gaza Strip according to numbers
provided by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.  Consequently,
dozens of patients will be deprived from receiving medical treatment abroad, as
local hospitals lack the necessary capacity to treat certain diseases, such as
cancer.  In addition, hundreds of university students who study abroad
will be unable to attend their universities.

 

Israeli occupying forces
had taken a similar decision in 2003.  The decision had remained effective
from 8 January to 3 March 2004.  One week later, following the
cancellation of the decision, Israeli occupying forces imposed new conditions,
which included that the number of Palestinian travelers through Rafah must not
exceed 40 per day and each will be subject to questioning by the Israeli
intelligence.  The 2003 decision excluded female Palestinians from those
measures. 

 

On Sunday, 18 April 2004,
Israeli forces prohibited Palestinian traders from traveling through Rafah
Terminal. 

 

Israeli occupying forces
have continued to impose a strict siege on al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza
Strip.  They have continued to close Tal al-Sultan checkpoint at the
entrance to the area in Rafah and impose restrictions on movement of
Palestinian civilians through al-Tuffah checkpoint at the entrance to the area
in Khan Yunis. On Sunday morning, 18
April 2004, Israeli forces closed al-Tuffah checkpoint. 

 

They have also continued to impose a tightened siege
on al-Sayafa area in the northern Gaza Strip.   On Saturday evening,
17 April 2004, Israeli forces closed the iron gate at the entrance to the area
and denied access of Palestinian civilians, including 15 children, to their
homes. On Monday morning, 19 April 2004,
Israeli forces allowed 7 children to go back home. In the same context, Israeli occupying forces
have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian
civilians living in al-Ma’ni area near “Kfar Darom” settlement in the central
Gaza Strip. 

 

The West Bank

 

Israeli occupying forces have continued to impose a
strict siege on Palestinian communities. They have also imposed severe restrictions on the movement of
Palestinian civilians.  They have blocked
a number of roads using cement blocks, sand barriers and trenches, and imposed
curfews on a number of villages.  

 

 

 

 

 

Jerusalem

 

Israeli occupying forces have imposed more
restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Friday, 16 April 2004, Israeli forces
prohibited Palestinians under the age of 45 from praying at al-Aqsa Mosque. 

 

Nablus

 

Israeli occupying forces imposed more restrictions on
the movement of Palestinian civilians. They erected more checkpoints around the city. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces reinforced
their presence around the city and erected temporary checkpoints. On Saturday morning, 17 April 2004, lawyer
Ahmed ‘Abdul Rahim Nemer, 46, from Qoussin village, west of Nablus, died at
Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of the city. According to eyewitnesses, after he had waited at the checkpoint for 45
minutes, he went to talk to Israeli soldiers in protest against their
measures. While he was debating with
Israeli soldiers, he fainted. Medical
personnel of an ambulance that was waiting at the checkpoint tried to offer him
first aid, but he died. According to
medical sources, he died from a heart attack. On Sunday morning, 18 April 2004, following the assassination of Dr.
‘Abdul ‘Aziz al-Rantissi, Israeli forces closed all entrances to the city and
denied access for Palestinian civilians from neighboring villages into the
city. 

 

Hebron

 

On Sunday morning, 18 April 2004, following the
assassination of Dr. ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al-Rantissi, Israeli forces imposed more
restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They closed all entrances of the town. On Tuesday evening, 19 April 2004, Israeli
forces imposed a curfew on al-Fawar refugee camp and al-Fahes, the industrial
zone, Jabal Jouhar, al-Qadi, Abu Sunaina and al-Sahla neighborhoods. 

 

At approximately 10:00, Israeli soldiers positioned
at a military checkpoint at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp arrested
Zakaria Isma’il Saleh, 20, from Yatta village, south of Hebron.

 

Tulkarm

 

This week, Israeli forces imposed more restrictions
on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They erected more checkpoints around the town. They stopped and searched Palestinian
civilians’ vehicles. They also closed
the roads leading to the villages of Shoufa, Kufor al-Kabad and Ramin with sand
barriers. 

 

At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 19 April 2004,
Israeli forces arrested Mohammed Mahmoud Daoud, 28, from Beit Leed village, at
a temporary checkpoint they had erected near ‘Ennab village, east of Tulkarm.

 

 

 

Jenin

 

This week, Israeli forces imposed more restrictions
on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They erected more checkpoints around the town. They stopped and searched Palestinian
civilian vehicles. 

 

On Thursday morning, 15 April 2004, Israeli forces
erected a temporary checkpoint at the entrance to Jaba’ village and arrested
Ma’moun Mahmoud Abu Diak, 21, from Seilat al-Zaher village. 

 

Israeli Settlement Activities and Attacks by Settlers
against Palestinian Civilians and Property

 

Israeli settlers who live in the OPTs in violation of
international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians
and their properties. 

 

At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 16 April 2004, a
number of Israeli settlers beat Murad Yusri Edris, 14, from Hebron. As a result, he sustained bruises and
fractures in the right shoulders and forearm. According to his family, the
settlers attacked him while he was on his way back home in Jaber area in the
southeast of Hebron after the Friday Prayer. 

 

At approximately 09:50 on Sunday, 18 April 2004, a
number of Israeli settlers, accompanied by a bulldozer, razed more areas of Palestinian
agricultural land in Wad al-Ghrous area opposite to “Kiryat Arba” settlement,
east of Hebron. They razed a 5-donum
area of agricultural land planted with almonds and grapes owned by Khalid
Mohammed Jwailes. They razed this area
to establish a road to link between the aforementioned settlement and an
Israeli military post to the west. The
settlers attacked Palestinian civilians who attempted to stop these
actions. Soon, clashes erupted between
the two sides. Following these clashes,
Israeli forces arrested 3 Palestinians:

 

1. Ayman
Sha’lan al-Ja’bari, 18;

2. Khaled
Salem Jwailes, 19; and

3. Mohammed
Khaled Jwailes, 30. 

 

On Wednesday morning, 21 April 2004, 150-200 Israeli
settlers moved from “Yitshar” settlement, south of Nablus, attacked the southern
part of Bourin village. According to
eyewitnesses, the settlers set up two tents at a settler road between the
settlement and the village and threw stones at Palestinian houses and cars,
damaging a number of them. 

 

*****

Recommendations
to the International Community

 

1. PCHR
calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to
fulfill their legal and moral obligations under article 1 of the Convention to
ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. PCHR believes the conspiracy of silence
practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as a
state above law and continue to violate international human rights and
humanitarian law.

2. PCHR
calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to
convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel’s respect of the
Convention in the OPTs and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian
civilians.

3. PCHR
calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to
comply with its legal obligations detailed in article 146 of the Convention to
search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war
crimes.

4. PCHR
recommends international civil society organizations, including human rights
organizations, bar associations and non-governmental organizations to
participate in the process of searching for Israeli war criminals and to urge
their governments to bring these war criminals to justice.

5. PCHR
calls upon the European Union to activate article 2 of the Euro-Israel
Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as
a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel. PCHR further calls upon the EU states to
prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the OPTs.

6. PCHR
calls upon European governments to change their positions towards the
Palestinian cause at UN bodies, particularly the General Assembly, Security
Council and Commission on Human Rights. 

7. PCHR
welcomes the UN General Assembly resolution, which referred the issue of the
Separation Wall inside the OPTs to International Court of Justice to give a
consultative opinion. There is no doubt
that the wall is illegal, which obligates the international community to take
steps that amount to the level of the expected decision by the court.

8. In
recognition of ICRC as the guardian of the Fourth Geneva Convention, PCHR calls
upon the ICRC to increase its staff and activities in the OPTs, including for
facilitating family visitations to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

9. PCHR
appreciates the efforts of international civil society, including human rights
organizations, bar associations, Trade Unions, and other Non-governmental
organizations and urges them to continue their role in pressuring their
governments to secure Israel’s respect for human rights in the OPTs and to end
its attacks on Palestinian civilians.

10. In light of the severe restrictions
imposed by the Israeli government and its occupying forces on access of
international solidarity groups to the OPTs, PCHR calls upon European countries
to take a similar approach to issuing Israeli citizens with visas. 

11. PCHR reiterates that any political
settlement not based on international human rights law and humanitarian law
cannot lead to a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian question.
Rather, such an arrangement can only lead to further suffering and instability
in the region. Any peace agreement or process must be based on respect for
international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.

“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 is
equal to 1000 square meters.