PCHR Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
• Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Escalate Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
• 26 Palestinians were killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip and 1 Palestinian was killed in the West Bank.
• 8 of the victims were civilians, including 2 brothers, a child and an elderly man.
• 17 of the victims were killed during an Israeli incursion into the east of Gaza City.
• 7 of the victims were extra-judicially executed by IOF.
• 51 Palestinians, including 3 elderly men, a woman and 2 brothers, were wounded by the IOF gunfire.
• IOF conducted 22 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 3 into the Gaza Strip.
• IOF razed 30 donums of agricultural land in the Gaza Strip.
• IOF arrested 50 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children.
• IOF transformed 5 houses in Nablus and Qabatya into military sites.
• IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT.
• IOF have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world and the humanitarian crisis is worsening.
• IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attacks Palestinian civilians and property.
• IOF started to built a new settlement neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
• IOF razed 40 donums of agricultural land in Hebron.
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law escalated in the OPT during the reporting period (10 – 16 January 2008):
Shootings: During the reporting period, IOF killed 27 Palestinians, including a child, 2 brothers and an elderly man, and wounded 51 others.
In the Gaza Strip, IOF killed 26 Palestinians, and wounded 44 others.
On 15 January, IOF killed 17 Palestinians, including 5 civilians, and wounded 30 others, including a woman, during an incursion into the east of Gaza City, which lasted for 4 hours. On 13 January, IOF extra-judicially executed 2 Palestinians and wounded a third. On the same day, IOF shelled a site of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas), killing 2 members at the site and wounding a third. On 16 January, 3 Palestinian civilians (a man, his child and his brother) were killed when an IOF aircraft fired a missile at their car. On the same day, IOF extra-judicially executed 2 Palestinians in the central Gaza Strip.
In addition, IOF wounded 6 members of the Palestinian resistance in the northern Gaza Strip on 15 and 16 January. On 15 January, a Palestinian farmer was wounded by the IOF gunfire in al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis. On 16 January, an elderly man was wounded in Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip, when an IOF aircraft fired a missile at a tract of agricultural land.
In the West Bank, IOF killed a Palestinian and wounded 6 others.
On 11 January, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when IOF used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. On 16 January, IOF extra-judicially executed the leader of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) in the West Bank. Another 2 Palestinians were wounded and arrested in the same attack. Also on 16 January, 4 Palestinian children were wounded when IOF used force to disperse a demonstration organized in Hebron in protest at Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip.
Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 22 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. IOF arrested 50 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children. Since the beginning of 2008, IOF have arrested 147 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. During the reporting period, IOF troops also transformed 5 houses into military sites.
In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 3 incursions into Palestinian communities. During these incursions, IOF demolished razed 30 donums of agricultural land. They also destroyed the remains of shops and factories in Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip.
Restrictions on Movement: IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
PCHR is following the deterioration of economic and social conditions resulting from the total siege imposed by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on the Occupied Palestinian Territory with the utmost concern, especially as regards the Gaza Strip. PCHR is extremely concerned that living standards of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza will further deteriorate if the recommendations of the Israeli Security Committee continue to be implemented, as this will result in at least 60% of the Palestinian civilian population being deprived of electricity supplies. In addition, many facilities that provide vital civilian services will be curtailed, due to lack of electricity.
To date, IOF have closed all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for almost 18 months continuously. The total siege imposed by IOF on the Gaza Strip has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and has violated the economic and social rights of the Palestinian civilian population, particularly their rights to appropriate living conditions, health and education. It has also paralyzed most economic sectors. Furthermore, severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the Palestinian civilian population. The siege of the Gaza Strip has severely impacted the flow of food, medical supplies and other necessities, such as fuel, construction materials and raw materials for various economic sectors. After the Hamas’ takeover of Gaza in June 2007, IOF further tightened the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, and the living and economic conditions of Palestinian civilians in Gaza have subsequently deteriorated. On 19 September 2007, the Israeli government declared the Gaza Strip “A hostile entity” and measures of collective punishment against the civilian population of Gaza escalated from this point. Since September 2007, the Israeli Government have severely limited the goods exported to the Gaza Strip to just nine basic materials. Consequently, local markets have run out of many goods, causing sharp increases in prices, which in some cases have amounted to 500%.
IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have systematically been denied access to Jerusalem. IOF have established many checkpoints in and around the city. Restrictions of the movement of Palestinian civilians often escalate on Fridays to prevent them from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque. IOF often assault and beat Palestinian civilians who attempt to bypass checkpoints and enter the city. IOF have also tightened the siege imposed on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. IOF have also erected more checkpoints on the main roads and intersections in the West Bank.
Settlement Activities: IOF have continued settlement activities, and Israeli settlers living in the OPT have, in violation of international humanitarian law, continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. During the reporting period, IOF started construction of a settlement that would include 66 housing units for Israeli settlers in the Ras al-‘Aamoud neighborhood in East Jerusalem. According to the Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, the project obtained its license from the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem. On 15 January, IOF They razed at least 40 donums of agricultural land planted with olive and almond trees, and destroyed 6 wells and a number of fences and roads in Beit Oula village near Hebron. On 12 January, dozens of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian civilians and property in Hebron. Twelve Palestinian civilians were wounded, and IOF troops arrested 4 of them.
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (10 – 16 January 2008)
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