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Palestine | International

Israeli Troops Continue Attacks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
by PCHR
Friday Nov 12th, 2004 9:30 PM
Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
* 7Palestinians, 6 of whom were civilians, including a child, were killed by Israeli troops
* 4of the victims were extra-judicially killed by Israeli troops in Jenin
* Israeli troops conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
* 6houses were destroyed and at least 50donums[1] of agricultural land were razed in Rafah
* At least 70 donums of agricultural land were razed in Deir al-Balah and Khan Yunis
* 3houses were destroyed in the West Bank in the context of retaliatory measures against families of Palestinian activists
* Houses were raided and dozens of Palestinian civilians were arrested
* Continued shelling of residential areas and civilian facilities and a number of Palestinian civilians were injured
* Construction of the “Annexation wall” in the West Bank has continued
* Israeli troops have continued to impose a total siege on the OPTs; Rafah International Crossing was partially reopened and a number of Palestinian civilians were arrested at military checkpoints

Introduction

Israeli occupying Forces (IOF) have launched more attacks against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). This week, 7 Palestinians, 6 of whom were civilians, including a child, were killed by Israeli troops. In addition, a number of Palestinian civilians were injured by the Israeli gunfire. Human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupying troops included willful and extra-judicial killings, incursions into Palestinian areas, indiscriminate shelling, land leveling and total closure imposed on Palestinian communities.

This week, Israeli troops conducted 4 incursions into Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip. On 4 and 8 November2004 , Israeli troops moved into Rafah. They destroyed 6 houses, leaving 26 Palestinian civilians homeless, and razed at least 50 donums of agricultural land. on 9 November2004 , Israeli troops moved into Deir al-Balah and razed at least 20 donums of agricultural land. On 10 November2004 , Israeli troops moved into Khuza'a village, east of Khan Yunis, and razed at least 50 donums of agricultural land. This week, Israeli troops continued to fire at Palestinian residential areas, especially in Rafah and Khan Yunis. A number of Palestinian civilians were injured, including a patient who was receiving medical treatment at the hospital.

In the West Bank, 7 Palestinians, including a child, were killed by Israeli troops. Four of the victims were extra-judicially killed by an undercover unit of Israeli troops in Jenin on 7 November2004 . A child was killed also in Jenin on 6 November 2004, when Israeli troops fired at a number of Palestinian children who threw stones at those troops. A sixth Palestinian was killed in 'Allar village near Tulkram on 7 November 2004 as he exchanged fire with Israeli troops. The seventh Palestinian was killed when Israeli troops opened fire at markets and shops in Nablus on 9 November2004 . This week, Israeli troops moved into various areas throughout the West Bank, injured a number of Palestinian civilians, and arrested dozens of others. They also destroyed 3 houses in the context of retaliatory measures against families of Palestinian activists. In addition, Israeli settlers continued to attack Palestinian civilians.

IOF have continued to construct the annexation wall inside the West Bank territory. This week, Israeli troops continued to raze areas of agricultural land in Deir al-'Asal village, southwest of Hebron. On Friday, 5 November2004 , Israeli troops handed new maps that show the new route of the wall to Palestinian farmers in Beit Sourik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem. According to local sources, the new maps are not different from those Israeli troops had handed to farmers in April2004 , against which they appealed to the Israeli High Court, which issued a decision ordering Israeli troops to change the route of the wall around Jerusalem, including inside Beit Sourik village. Also on Friday, 5 November2004 , Israeli occupation authorities issued a military order prohibiting Palestinian civilians from construction on both sides of the wall near Tulkarm.

IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and have imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops positioned at military checkpoints imposed more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. Israeli troops have also continued to close most border crossings of the Gaza Strip. These measures have negative impacts on the Palestinian economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights. On 8November2004 , they partially reopened Rafah Tinternational Crossing Point on the Egyptian border.

In the West Bank, Israeli troops have continued to impose a strict siege on Palestinian communities. They have also imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians and arrested some of them while crossing military checkpoints. This week, Israeli troops issued a military order, according to which Palestinian university students would be allowed to enter Nablus only on Saturdays and would be allowed to leave the city only on Wednesdays.



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

Thursday, 4 November 2004

At approximately03 :00, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the west of Rafah opened fire at Palestinian houses in 'Oraiba area in the northwest of the town. a Palestinian ciuvilian, Wajdi 'Ouda L-Tarabin,35 , was wounded by a live bullet in the right hand when he was inside his house.

At approximately08 :30, Israeli troops positioned in a military post near the coastal road, south of Gaza City, opened fire at Palestinian civilian vehicles that were traveling on the road. Two Palestinian civilians (a man and his wife were injured):

1. Ramzi Ibrahim Subeh,25 , injured by shrapnel from a live bullet in the right hand; and

2. Shireen Fayez Subeh,17 , injured by shrapnel from a live bullet in the jaw.

At approximately22 :30, Israeli troops, reinforced by heavy military vehicles and a helicopter, moved nearly 200 meters into Block K in Rafah refugee camp, adjacent to the Egyptian border. Under the cover of indiscriminate shelling, they demolished 4 houses belonging to the Barhoum family, rendering 16 people homeless. A5 th house was severely damaged by the Israeli shelling. In addition, a Palestinian civilian, Tayseer Isma'il al-'Aajez, 30, was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the right thigh. Israeli troops withdrew from the area at approximately05 : 00on the following day, but they came back to the area in the evening.

In the hours of the day, Israeli troops moved into Nablus and the neighboring Marda village; and the villages of al-Tabaqa and Kharsa near Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 8 Palestinians, including 2 children and 2 brothers.



Friday, 5 November 2004

At approximately00 :45, Israeli troops positioned in military posts at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Brazil neighborhood. A Palestinian civilian, Akram Ahmed Baroud,19 , was wounded by a live bullet in the left leg, when he was inside his house.

At approximately08 :20, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the vicinity of "Netzarim" settlement, south of Gaza City, opened fire at Palestinian houses in the neighboring al-Mughraqa village. A Palestinian child,11 -year-old Yousef 'Aayesh Shallouf, was wounded by a live bullet in the chest.

At approximately22 :30, Israeli troops positioned in military posts at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Brazil neighborhood. A Palestinian child,13 -year-old 'Abdul Majid Marzouq, was wounded by a live bullet in the left leg.

In the hours of the day, Israeli troops moved into Nablus and the neighboring 'Askar refugee camp; Beit Reema village near Ramallah; and al-Khader village near Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 10 Palestinians, including a child and 3 brothers.



Saturday, 6 November 2004

At approximately12 :00, dozens of Palestinian schoolchildren gathered in al-Zahraa' neighborhood in the northwest of Jenin. They threw stones at Israeli troops that had been conducting a series of military activities in the town since 28 October 2004. immediately, Israeli troops fired the children, killing14 -year-old 'Alaa' Hisham Samara with a live bullet in the head. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli troops shot the child from a distance of less than 70 meters.

At approximately16 :00, Israeli troops positioned in military posts along the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian residential areas in the town. a Palestinian civilian, Ahmed 'Ali al-Muzayan,25 , was wounded by a live bullet in the left leg when he was near his house in al-Juniana neighborhood, nearly 1000 meters away from the border.

At approximately20 :00, Israeli troops positioned in military posts 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 number of live bullets hit the building of Nasser Hospital, nearly 700 meters away from the aforementioned settlement. A Palestinian civilian, Munther Ma'moun al-Batash,26 , who was receiving medical treatment following a car accident, was injured by shrapnel from a live bullet in the head.

In the hours of the day, Israeli troops moved into Jericho; Bir Zeit village near Ramallah; Ethna and Yatta villages and al-'Arroub refugee camp near Hebron; and Jenin town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 15 Palestinians.



Sunday, 7 November 2004

In the early morning, Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian in 'Allar village, north of Tulkarm. The victim clashed with those troops thinking that they came to arrest him.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately00 :00, as Ameen Fawzi 'Abdul Rahim Hamdan,19 , from 'Allar village north of Tulkarm, was on a farm belonging to his family between his village and Bala'a village, he was surprised by 2 Israeli military jeeps arriving at the area. Apparently, he thought that Israeli troops came to arrest him, so he clashed with them. Israeli troops shot him dead with several live bullets. At approximately02 :30, the victim's body was transferred to the hospital. According to medical sources, the victim was hit by 9 live bullets to the neck, the shoulders, the left hand, the chest and the back.

At approximately04 :20, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the west of Rafah opened fire at Palestinian houses in Tal al-Sultan neighborhood. A Palestinian civilian, Ahmed Mohammed al-Ghoul,20 , was wounded by a live bullet in the right hand when he was inside his house.

At approximately09 :30, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the vicinity of "Netser Hazani" settlement, northwest of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Qarara village and al-Satar al-Gharbi area. A Palestinian girl, Shaimaa' Ayoub al-'Abadla,22 , was wounded by a live bullet in the left leg, when she was inside her house.

At approximately09 :40, Israeli troops positioned in military posts along the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at al-Brazil neighborhood. A Palestinian civilian, 'Emad Mohammed al-Ghoul,25 , was wounded by a live bullet in the left hand.

Also at approximately 09:40, Israeli troops positioned in military posts along the Egyptian border opened fire at Block J in Rafah refugee camp. A Palestinian civilian, Ahmed Mohammed 'Afana,18 , was wounded by a live bullet in the left leg.



Monday, 8 November 2004

At approximately03 :00, Israeli troops, reinforced by heavy military vehicles, moved nearly 200 meters into 'Oraiba area in the northwest of Rafah. They raided Joma'a Musallam al-Hashash's house and arrested his son, 'Abdullah,17 . Then, they called through megaphones on residents of the area to get out of their houses. At least 70 people were held in bad conditions until12 :00. During this incursion, Israeli troops demolished 2 houses and razed 46 donums of agricultural land.

At approximately17 :00, Israeli troops moved into Nablus. They fired at markets and shops. Two Palestinian civilians were wounded:

1. Hussam 'Ali Hussein 'Awada,22 , wounded by a live bullet in the back; and

2. 'Allam Mohammed 'Arboudi,24 , wounded by shrapnel in the face.

In the hours of the day, Israeli troops moved into Nablus and neighboring refugee camps; al-Jalazoun refugee camp near Ramallah; the villages of Ethna and Halhloul near Hebron; and al-Yamoun village near Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 12 Palestinians, including a girl.



Tuesday, 9 November 2004

At approximately10 :00, a number of Palestinian children gathered in the center of Jenin and threw stones at Israeli troops that were patrolling in the streets. Immediately, Israeli troops fired at the children, wounding14 -year-old Samer Subhi Jibara with several rubber-coated metal bullets in the legs.

At approximately13 :30, Israeli troops moved nearly 200 meters into al-Birka area in the southwest of Deir al-Balah. They razed 20 donums of agricultural land planted with guavas and citrus and destroyed an irrigation network owned by 'Abed Rabbu Mustafa Abu Mo'ailiq.

At approximately16 :45, 6 Israeli military jeeps moved into Nablus. They took position near al-Suhadaa' Square and at the entrances to the old town. Israeli troops opened fire at markets and shops. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded, one of whom died later:

1. Qadri Fayez 'Abdullah 'Aashour,24 , seriously wounded by several live bullets in the neck, the abdomen and the left thigh and arm, and was pronounced dead at night;

2. Ja'far Mohammed 'Abed al-'Abboud,19 , seriously wounded by a live bullet in the abdomen; and

3. Lu'ai Ahmed Mahmoud Barakat,19 , wounded by several rubber-coated metal bullets in the abdomen and the chest.



Wednesday, 10 November 2004

At approximately03 :15, Israeli troops, reinforced by heavy military vehicles, moved nearly 500 meters into Khuza'a village, east of Khan Yunis. Under the cover of indiscriminate shelling, they started to raze areas of Palestinian agricultural land. By13 :00, they had razed at least 50 donums of agricultural land belonging to the families of Qudaih and Abu Rujaila.



Extra-Judicial Killings

In a continuation of the policy of extra-judicial assassination officially adopted by the Israeli political and military establishments, on Sunday, 7 November2004 , an undercover unit of Israeli occupying troops committed an extra-judicial killing in Jenin, which left 4 Palestinians dead. Three of the victims were members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah movement. Israeli military sources claimed that an undercover unit of Israeli troops shot dead 4 armed Palestinians in Jenin after having chased their car. During the chase, the same sources further claimed, the Palestinians traveling in the car fired the unit. However, investigations conducted by PCHR indicate that Israeli troops forced the 4 Palestinians to get out of the car and shot them dead from a very close distance.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately17 : 45on the aforementioned day, an undercover unit of Israeli occupying troops, disguised in Palestinian civilian clothes and traveling in a civilian car that had a Palestinian registration plate, moved into Jenin. The car stopped neat Jarrar fuel station at the southern entrance of the town. Then, a civilian jeep that had a Palestinian registration plate arrived at the area to buy fuel. Immediately, members of the Israeli undercover unit got out of the car and surrounded the jeep. They forced all those who were in the jeep to get out and shot them dead. Soon, at least 20 Israeli military jeeps arrived at the area and closed it. At approximately18 :45, the bodies of the victims to the hospital. According to medical sources, each one of the victims was hit by 5 live bullets in the head and the neck. They were identified as:

1. Ahmed Mohammed Fadel Masharqa,27 ;

2. Amin Jamal Abu al-Kamel,23 ;

3. Fadi Khader Eghbariya,24 ; and

4. Mohammed Mahmoud Salah al-Din Fahmi,22 .

It is worth noting that Israeli troops had demolished houses belonging to families of the first two victims and arrested a number of their relatives in the early morning (see below).



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 of1949 , 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 approximately02 : 30on Sunday, 8 November2004 , Israeli troops moved into Tal'at al-Khubbaz area in the south of Jenin refugee camp. They surrounded a120 -square-meter, 2-storey house owned by Mohammed Fadel Masharqa. They forced the 15 residents of the house ( 3families) out and planted explosives inside the house. At approximately04 :00, Israeli troops destroyed the house. The owner's son, 'Aamer,17 , was killed while carrying out a bombing in Tel Aviv on Monday, 1 November2004 .

Also at approximately02 : 30 on the same day, Israeli troops moved into al-Hadaf area in the west of Jenin refugee camp. They surrounded a110 -square-meter,2 -storey house owned by Jamal Abu al-Kamel. They forced the 10 residents of the house ( 2 families) out and planted explosives inside the house. This house had been recently reconstructed by the UAE as it had been destroyed during the Israeli offensive on Jenin refugee camp in April2002 .

At approximately02 : 30on Tuesday, 9 November2004 , Israeli troops moved into Iraq al-Tayeh village, east of Nablus. They surrounded a150 -square-meter,3 -storey house owned by 'Azmi Sidqi Jouda. They forced the 11 residents of the house ( 2families) out and planted explosives inside the house. At approximately04 :00, they destroyed the house. The owner's son, Wajdi, has been detained by Israeli occupation authorities.



Continued Construction of the "Annexation Wall"

Israeli troops have continued to construct the annexation wall inside the West Bank territory, especially in the southwest of Hebron.

This week, Israeli military bulldozers continued to raze areas of Palestinian land in Deir al-'Asal village, southwest of Hebron, although the Israeli High Court issued a temporary injunction stopping land leveling in the village for the purpose of the construction of the wall.

In a step that reveals Israeli annexationist plans, in violation of international humanitarian law, on Friday morning, 5 November2004 , Israeli troops moved al-Samiriya checkpoint from the northern Jordan Valley to the north of Bardala village, thus transferring it from the Green Line into the occupied West Bank.

On Friday, 5 November2004 , Israeli troops handed new maps that show the new route of the wall to Palestinian farmers in Beit Sourik village, northwest of Occupied East Jerusalem. According to local sources, the new maps are not different from those Israeli troops had handed to farmers on 14 April2004 , against which they appealed to the Israeli High Court as the plans would confiscate thousands of Palestinian agricultural land. On 30 June2004 , the court issued a decision ordering Israeli troops to change the route of the wall around Jerusalem, including inside Beit Sourik village. However, Israeli troops have continued to make efforts to avoid compliance to this decision.

On Friday, 5 November2004 , Israeli occupation authorities issued a military order prohibiting Palestinian civilians from construction on both sides of the wall. Palestinian farmers were surprised by the order stuck on the iron gates on the wall in Tulkarm. The order prevents any kind of construction in an area 300meters to the east of the truce line of1948 , and 100 meters to the west of the line. The order, which was declared this week, was originally issued on 5 September2004 .



Continued Siege on the OPT

This week, Israeli troops 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 Jerusalem.



Gaza Strip

This week, Israeli troops have continued to impose tightened siege on the Gaza Strip. They have imposed severe restrictions on internal movement. They have also continued to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip either partially or completely. These measures violate the Palestinian economic, social and cultural rights.

Israeli troops positioned at al-Matahen and Abu Houli checkpoints on Salah al-Din Street (the main road between the north and south of the Gaza Strip) imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Saturday morning, 6November2004 , Israeli troops closed the two checkpoints and held and searched a number of Palestinian vehicles in between. On Sunday morning and evening, 7 November2004 , Israeli troops closed the two checkpoints and held and searched dozens of Palestinian vehicles in between. They arrested 'Abdul Ra'ouf Qe'dan,28 , and Mohammed Zorob, both from Rafah.

Israeli troops have continued to impose a strict siege on al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip. They have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the area. Israeli troops frequently close al-Tuffah checkpoint at the entrance to the area. They have also continued to prevent female Palestinians whose ages are between 16 and25 , and male ones whose ages are between 16 and 30 from crossing al-Tuffah checkpoint when it is open, without prior coordination.

Israeli troops have also continued to impose a tightened siege on al-Sayafa area in the northern Gaza Strip. They have also imposed severe restrictions of the movement of Palestinian farmers. In the same context, Israeli troops 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.

Israeli troops have continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip for the3 rd consecutive month. Although Israeli troops partially reopened al-Mentar (Karni) commercial crossing to the east of Gaza City, they have imposed severe restrictions on the flow of goods through the two crossing. As result, the Palestinian market has lacked several basic goods. Israeli troops partially opened Sofa crossing, northeast of Rafah, and allowed the entry of construction raw materials, but the crossing has remained closed in the face of Palestinian workers for the3 rd consecutive month.

On Monday, 8 November2004 , Israeli troops reopened Rafah Terminal on the Egyptian border for arriving travelers after it had been closed since Sunday, 31 October2004 . During this period of closure, at least 3000 Palestinian civilians were held at the Egyptian side of the crossing under very bad conditions. This latest closure was the fourth in less than 4 months. Israeli troops often impose severe restrictions on traveling through the terminal. The number of Palestinians allowed to travel through the terminal daily is very limited. As a result, many patients who are badly in need for special medical treatment abroad have not been able to travel. Israeli troops have continued to prevent Palestinians whose ages are between 16 and 35 from traveling through the terminal since 18 April2004 , although they allowed a limited number of this segment to travel, but following prolonged coordination procedures.



The West Bank

Israeli troops have continued to impose a strict siege on Palestinian communities. They have also imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.



Jerusalem

On Friday, 10 November 2004, Israeli troops reinforced their presence around East Jerusalem. According eyewitnesses, Israeli troops imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians at the entrances of the city and near the old town and the al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli troops have continued to prohibit access of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the occupied East Jerusalem to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque, which is the third holiest site for Muslims. For the8 th consecutive week, Israeli troops have continued to close al-Kahn al-Ahmar road linking between the north and south of the West Bank. According to eyewitnesses, Palestinian civilians were forced to resort to dirt roads.



Ramallah

Israeli troops imposed more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday, 4 November2004 , Israeli troops closed the northern entrance of Ramallah. They stopped and searched dozens of Palestinian vehicles. On Sunday morning, 7 November2004 , Israeli troops erected a number of temporary checkpoints to the north and northwest of Ramallah. They stopped and checked hundreds of Palestinian civilians. Qalandya checkpoint, south of the town, and declared it a closed military zone. They prevented Palestinian civilians from traveling to Jerusalem. Palestinian civilians were forced to resort to alternative dirt roads.



Hebron



Israeli troops imposed more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civiloians. On Saturday morning, 6November2004 , Israeli troops closed the Ibrahim mosque in the face of Muslims, but they allowed Israeli settlers to enter the mosque. On Sunday, 7November2004 , Israeli troops also imposed restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians inside the town. They reinforced their presence inside the town and stopped and checked dozens of Palestinian civilians in various areas in the town.



Bethlehem

On Saturday morning, 6 November2004 , Israeli troops closed the northwestern entrance of al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, and imposed a curfew on parts of the village. Palestinian civilians were forced to resort to alternative agricultural roads, but Israeli troops chased them and forced them to travel back to their homes.



Nablus

Israeli troops imposed more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Saturday and Sunday, 6 and 7 November2004 , Israeli troops positioned at military checkpoints around the city prevented students of an-Najah National University from going to the university. On Saturday morning, 6 November 2004, Israeli troops closed Til road, southwest of the city, and denied movement of Palestinian civilians.





Jenin

Israeli troops have continued to impose a tightened siege on the town for the15 th consecutive day. They have closed all of the main roads leading to the town and a number of alternative roads. They have also continued to regularly move into the town.



Tulkarm

This week, Israeli troops imposed more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They erected a number of checkpoints around the town, and stopped and checked Palestinian civilians.



Qalqilya

This week, Israeli troops imposed more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They erected a number of checkpoints around the town, and stopped and checked Palestinian civilians. They also held a number of young men for several hours.



Arrests at Military Checkpoints and Border Crossings

On Saturday, 6 November 2004, Israeli troops positioned at Za'tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested 2 Palestinians:



1. Ra'ed Humaidan 'Ouda,25 ; and

2. 'Abdullah Mahmoud 'Ouda,26 , both from Hawara village.



Settlement Activities and Settlers' Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Properties

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

On Friday evening, 5 November2004 , a number of Israeli settlers from "Elsaifer" settlement, south of Hebron, kidnapped 2 Palestinian children who were grazing animals in Janba area near the aforementioned settlement. According to eyewitnesses, the settlers kidnapped Sufian Na'im Hamamda,14 , and Yousef Jabarin,14 , and held them for 12 hours.

On Saturday, 6 November 2004, many Israeli settlers launched a series of attacks against Palestinian civilians and their properties in Hebron, especially in the old town and in the southern parts of the town. They threw stones at Palestinian houses located near settlement centers inside the town, broke windows and doors of a number of cars and threw stones at schoolgirls.

On Tuesday morning, 9 November2004 , a number of Israeli settlers from "Ma'ale Shomron", east of Qalqilya, uprooted dozens of olive trees in the neighboring Kufor Thuluth village. They also prevented Palestinian farmers from reaching their land. The settlers launched this under the protection of Israeli troops.



*****



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 solidarity groups 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 its Advisoryt 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, unions and solidarity groups, 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 deal the same way with Israeli citizens.

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.

http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/W_report/English/2004/11-11-2004.htm