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Protests & Sad Statistics At New Year's Start

Protests And Sad Statistics At New Year's Start

During the past week, the week of the Jewish New Year 'Rosh Hashana'

-- Palestinians (many schoolchildren) and Israelis demonstrated in A-Ram, on Monday, against the Wall barring their way to school.

-- An ad appeared in Ha'aretz, signed by 500, demanding the release of Tali Fahima (administrative detention without trial); more on http://oznik.com/news/040907.html

-- The 5 refusniks: Haggai Matar, Matan Kaminer, Shimri Zameret, Adam Maor and Noam Bahat were released from prison on Sep. 15th, and immediately got a "call up order" for an interview on September 19th.

-- NGOs meeting at UN calls for embargo of Israel - at least that is what we read in http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/478466.html

-- Yoko Ono gives peace prize to Mordechai Vanunu http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/478559.html

-- Madonna and Angela - see for yourself at http://it.news.yahoo.com/040915/38/2xu49.html

--The Committee Against Torture continued to protest interrogation conditions - for details ask them

-- A lot of Palestinian suffering, as army intensifies its campaign of destruction and executing

[ The TOI-Staff did still not send all of the 4500 'The Other Israel's. The work had to be done this time without Adam Keller, who is until the end of the month on a speaking tour in the US (he also spoke in the above-mentioned UN NGOs meeting). Furthermore, a Palestinian friend of TOI who obtained after years of unemployment a permit to look for work in Israel could not come to join the "envelope cricle" - Hebron being hermetically closed during the whole period of Holy Days. So - this time not the usual series of links to articles. 'The Hijacked Agenda' editorial overview of the new TOI, can now be read at http://otherisrael.home.igc.org/ed.html ]

Weekly Report PCHR - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights http://www.pchrgaza.org

The following PCHR report which specifies in detail another week of on-the-ground occupation reality including an appeal to the international community, was brought to our attention by New Profile activist Dorothy Naor. To the sad statistics she ads a few words and some significant Israeli press links - the other side of the same.

---------forwarded message follows-------- From: Dorothy Naor Date: September 19

Dear All,

As if the statistics below are not bad enough not only for a weekly report but for a monthly one, or even a yearly one, you can add several more to them: 2 exterminated about an hour ago (around 10:00 PM Israel time), while several others who were shot earlier in the day, one of whom was killed three others wounded http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/479019.html

Hebrew: http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/479017.html

You can also add that Sharon today okeyed the IOF’s shooting into civilian neighborhoods http://www.maarivinternational.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleID=11069 Please make these facts known.

Dorothy =================================

PCHR Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

http://www.pchrgaza.org

Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories No. 36/2004 09 - 15 September 2004

IOF Continue Attacks in the oPt

http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/W_report/English/2004/16-09-2004.htm

24 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 6 children, were killed by Israeli troops 7 of the victims were extra-judicially executed by Israeli troops Israeli forces conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip 43 houses were destroyed and dozens of donums[1] of agricultural land were razed in the northern Gaza Strip 3 houses were destroyed in Rafah and 7 houses were destroyed and 20 donums of agricultural land were razed in al-Mughraqa village 2 houses were destroyed the West Bank in the context of retaliatory measures against families of Palestinian activists Construction of the “Annexation wall” in the West Bank has continued Israeli troops have continued to impose a total siege on the oPt and Israeli troops arrested a number of Palestinian civilians while crossing military checkpoints

Introduction Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have perpetrated more human rights violations against Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt). This week was the bloodiest week in the last two months, as 24 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 6 children, were killed and dozens of other civilians were injured by Israeli troops. Human rights violations perpetrated by IOF included willful and extra-judicial executions, incursions into Palestinian areas, indiscriminate shelling, house demolitions and land raising. Israeli troops have also continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. In addition, they have continued to construct the annexation wall inside the West Bank, in violation of international humanitarian law and international Human Rights law.

In the Gaza Strip, 10 Palestinians, 8 of whom were civilians, including 3 children, were killed by Israeli troops. Eight of the victims were killed during an Israeli offensive on the northern Gaza Strip from 9 to 11 September 2004. The other two victims died from previous injuries they had sustained by Israeli troops in Gaza City and Rafah. During their offensive on the northern Gaza Strip, Israeli troops destroyed 43 houses and razed at least 90 donums of agricultural land. They also largely destroyed the civilian infrastructure of the area. On 14 and 15 September 2004, Israeli troops conducted 5 military incursions into Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip. During these incursions, Israeli troops destroyed 10 houses, leaving 259 Palestinian civilians (71 families) homeless, and razed 20 donums of agricultural land.

In the West Bank, this week, Israeli troops killed 14 Palestinians, 8 of whom were civilians, including 3 children. One of the children was run down by an Israeli military jeep on 9 September 2004. Seven of the victims, including a child, were killed in two extra-judicial executions committed by Israeli troops in Jenin on 13 and 15 September 2004. On 15 September 2004, Israeli troops killed 5 Palestinians, after having surrounded them in a garden in Nablus. A child was also killed as Israeli troops continued to fire at the area after the operation had ended. In addition, Israeli troops arrested dozens of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank. Israeli troops also destroyed 2 houses in the context of retaliatory measures against families of Palestinian activists.

Israeli occupation troops have continued to construct the annexation wall inside the West Bank territory. This week, this construction took place mainly in East Jerusalem and Hebron. This week, Israeli troops continued to raze areas of Palestinian land to construct sections of the wall in Hebron.

IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the oPts and have imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem. On 9 September 2004, Israeli troops imposed a total closure on the oPts. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops have continued to close Erez crossing for the third consecutive week, and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. 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. Israeli troops also imposed a curfew on a number of Palestinian communities.

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Encroachment into and the Shelling of Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property Israeli Offensive on the Northern Gaza Strip

Israeli troops continued their offensive on the northern Gaza Strip (see the previous report). At approximately 02.00, Israeli troops moved towards Jabalya refugee camp. They took up positions at al-Sikka Street to the east of the camp. An Israeli helicopter gunship fired a missile at a numbers of members of the Palestinian resistance, seriously wounding 5 of them. At approximately 03.00, Israeli helicopter gunships fired another missile at the densely populated camp, wounding 7 civilians. At approximately 07.00, a number of members of the Palestinian resistance clashed with Israeli troops. One member of the resistance, Mohammed 'Ali al-Haj 'Ali, 24, was killed by a live bullet in the abdomen. At approximately 10.00, Israeli troops opened fire at two unarmed young men, who were trying to cross the main road. One of the young men, Sami Sharif Thabet, 18, was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the chest. Another civilian, Maher Mohammed Saleh, 42, from Jabalya refugee camp, transported the young man to the hospital in his car, however, Israeli troops fired at his car. Saleh was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the chest as well. He was able to drive the car until he reached some civilians who evacuated him and the young man, who was dead, to the hospital.

At approximately 12.00, Israeli troops began to shell and indiscriminately shoot into camp. As a result, 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed. 1. Munir Anwar al-Daqas, 10, hit by a live bullet to the chest; and 2. Mohammed Yousef 'Ezziddin, 22, hit by a live bullet to the chest. In addition, 24 civilians, mostly children, were injured, the condition of 3 of them was described by medical sources as serious. At approximately 14.00, Israeli troops fired at Mahmoud Mohammed Darabeih, 29, when he was near his house in al-Sikka Street. He was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the chest. He died on the way to the hospital. PCHR's field worker in the northern Gaza Strip reported that the car that transported the victim to the hospital was fired at by Israeli troops, but no casualties were reported. Earlier, Israeli troops had fired at Maher Saleh, 45, when he was traveling in his car. He was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the chest. As a result of the Israeli indiscriminate shelling, 30 other civilians were injured in the east of Jabalya refugee camp and Beit Lahia town.

In the hours of the day, Israeli troops destroyed 12 houses in Tal al-Za'tar area and the east of Jabalya refugee camp, and damaged 128 others. They also razed at least 90 donums of agricultural land, and destroyed 2 brick factories, a maintenance workshop, an agricultural store and 3 wells. In addition, Israeli troops seized 8 houses and transformed them into military posts. Israeli troops also fired at ambulances that tried to evacuate the wounded to hospitals. At approximately 06.40 on Friday, 10 September 2004, Israeli troops positioned at al-Sikka Street fired an artillery shell at a number of members of the Palestinian resistance who clashed with those troops. One member of the resistance, 'Abdul 'Aziz 'Abdul Latif al-Ashqar, was seriously wounded by shrapnel in the head, the chest and the limbs. He died one hour following his evacuation to the hospital.

At approximately 15.30 on the same day, Israeli troops fired at Saleh Tayseer Abu Hazzaa', 17, from Gaza City, who was in a visit to his relatives at al-Sikka Street. He was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the chest. He died on the way to the hospital.

Later on at approximately 17.00, Israeli troops fired an artillery shell at 16-year-old 'Abdullah Hisham 'Aashour Nasser when he was near Jabalya district court to the west of al-Sikka Street. He was instantly killed as his head was cut from his body.

Also on Friday, Israeli troops destroyed 3 houses and damaged dozens of others in Tal al-Za'tar area and the east of Jabalya refugee camp. Thus, the number of houses destroyed by Israeli troops during their offensive on the northern Gaza Strip had increased to 15, in addition to 28 houses that had been partially destroyed. As a result, 125 Palestinian civilians (22 families) have become homeless.

On Saturday morning, 11 September 2004, Israeli troops withdrew from the northern Gaza Strip.

Thursday, 9 September 2004 In the afternoon, Israeli troops killed a Palestinian child in al-Ama'ari refugee camp in Ramallah, when an Israeli military jeep ran him down and moved over his body twice. Israeli troops admitted the attack and claimed that "a Palestinian moved close to a military jeep that moved towards him, so he was seriously injured as the jeep hit him." Israeli troops further claimed that they would initiate an investigation into the incident.

According to preliminary investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 13.30, as hundreds of Palestinian civilians were participating in the funeral procession of a Palestinian who was extra-judicially executed by Israeli troops on the preceding day, 4 Israeli military jeeps moved into al-Bireh. Two of the jeeps moved into al-Ama'ari refugee camp as the mourners began to go back homes. At approximately 14.00, a number of children and young men gathered and threw stones at the Israeli military jeeps, which were patrolling provocatively in the streets of the camp. One of the children, Mohammed 'Abdullah Jad al-Haq, 17, threw a stone at the front jeep. Immediately, the other jeep moved towards him and ran him down. It also moved forward and backward on his body. When the Israeli military jeeps withdrew from the area, a number of civilians tried to offer the child first medical aid, but he was dead. Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel showed scenes of this attack, clearly proving that it was deliberate.

In the hours of the day, Israeli troops moved into the villages of al-Duha, Beit Ta'mar and Housan and the refugee camps of 'Aaida and al-'Azza near Bethlehem; the villages of Tubas and al-Zababda near Jenin; 'Azzoun village near Qalqilya; and Qalandya refugee camp near Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 15 Palestinians.

At approximately 21.20, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the vicinity of "Neve Dekalim" settlement, west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in Khan Yunis refugee camp. A woman and a child were injured when they were inside their homes. 1. Maha Sabri 'Eita, 16, injured by shrapnel in the right eye; and 2. Warda Ibrahim al-Jurof, 59, injured by shrapnel in the right thigh.

At approximately 22.00, Israeli troops moved into Rafidya neighborhood in the west of Nablus. They opened fire at houses. A number of Palestinian children and young men gathered and threw stones at those troops. Immediately, Israeli troops fired at the stone throwers, wounding 21-year-old Mohammed Ahmed Hassouna with a rubber-coated metal bullet in the left leg.

Friday, 10 September 2004 At approximately 02.00, Israeli troops raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mos'ab Isma'il al-Hashlamoun, 22, in Khellat Safour in the south of Hebron, and arrested him. Also at approximately 02.00, 5 Israeli military jeeps surrounded Mohammed al-Rowaished's house in 'Eissi neighborhood in the west of Hebron. Israeli troops blew up its door and forced the family. Then, they searched the house, opening fire at its furniture. Some furniture burnt, and one of the owner's sons, 9-year-old Amjad, who is mentally handicapped, was injured in the left hand. Israeli troops also arrested two of al-Rowaished's sons, Samer and Hany, who are university students.

Saturday, 11 September 2004 At approximately 08.00, 10 Israeli military jeeps moved into Tulkarm through its western entrance. They took positions at the northern entrance to Tulkarm refugee camp. Israeli troops opened fire at Palestinian houses. A Palestinian civilian, 21-year-old Mohammed 'Abdul Qader Nasrallah, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet in the chest. In the hours of the day, Israeli troops moved into al-Duha village near Bethlehem; Silwad village near Ramallah; Hebron; and Ektaba village near Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 8 Palestinians, including a child and 3 brothers.

Sunday, 12 September 2004 In the evening, medical sources in a hospital in Cairo declared that Daoud 'Abdullah Abu Jazar, 19, from Rafah refugee camp, died from a wound he sustained by Israeli troops last year. According to PCHR's documentation, Abu Jazar was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the head during an Israeli military incursion into Block O in Rafah refugee camp on 18 November 2003. As he was in a critical condition he was transferred from Palestinian hospitals in the Gaza Strip to Nasser Medical Academy in Cairo, where he had received medical attention until the time of his death.

Monday, 13 September 2004 In the early morning, medical sources at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City declared that Rawad Ibrahim al-Sowairki, 26, from al-Shojaeya neighborhood in thhe city, died from a wound he had sustained last week, when Israeli helicopters and tanks shelled a training center of Hamas movement in al-Tuffah neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. This attack left 14 Palestinians dead and injured 12 others. Al-Sowairki had received medical attention in the intensive care unit at Shifa Hospital as he was injured by shrapnel throughout the body. Thus, the number of Palestinians killed as a result of this attack has increased to 15.

At approximately 07.00, Israeli troops moved into Ramallah. They surrounded the campus of the Education College. They raided the student hostel. They interrogated a number of students and summoned 6 of them to the Israeli intelligence, each in his area of residence. This raid had been the fourth of its kind since April 2002.

At approximately 07.15, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the vicinity of "Netzarim" settlement, south of Gaza City, fired a shell at Palestinian agricultural areas located to the north of the aforementioned settlement. A Palestinian woman, Suhaila 'Ali Quza'at, 45, was injured by shrapnel in the right hand, while she was farming her land.

At approximately 08.45, Israeli troops positioned on tanks an in military posts along the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at residential areas in the town. A Palestinian child, 15-year-old Ahmed Walid Sheikh al-'Eid, was injured by shrapnel in the chest and the right arm, when he was near his house in al-Shaboura refugee camp, nearly 1200 meters away from the border.

In the hours of the day, Israeli troops moved into Nablus and the neighboring Kufol Qallil village; al-Zahiriya village near Hebron; and al-'Azza and al-Duhaisha refugee camps near Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 10 Palestinians, including 2 children who were brothers.

Tuesday, 14 September 2004 At approximately 01.00, Israeli troops, reinforced by heavy military vehicles and helicopters, moved nearly 200 meters into Block J in Rafah refugee camp, adjacent to the Egyptian border. Under the cover of indiscriminate shelling, they destroyed a 2-storey house belonging to the Shouman family and a 4-storey apartment building belonging to the Mar'ei family. As a result, 53 Palestinians civilians (11 families) have become homeless.

At approximately 03.00, an infantry unit of Israeli troops moved nearly 300 meters into al-Qarara village, north of Khan Yunis. The Israeli troops surrounded Jawad Adeeb Abu 'Obaid's house and called on its 18 residents to get out. They checked the male residents. Then, they used the house's owner as a human shield while searching the house. At approximately 06.00, Israeli troops arrested the owner and his four sons. They took them to an Israeli military post at the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, where they interrogated them. All of the detainees were released later, excluding Sufian Jawad Abu 'Eid, 21. Israeli troops also ordered the owner to vacate his house. In the hours of the day, Israeli troops moved into 'Arraba village, south of Jenin; Nablus and the neighboring villages of Beit Fourik, Beit Dajan and Tallouza; al-Duhaisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 12 Palestinians.

At approximately 22.00, Israeli troops, reinforced by heavy military vehicles, moved nearly 500 meters into al-Mughraqa village near "Netzarim" settlement, south of Gaza City. Under the cover of indiscriminate shelling, they surrounded 2 houses belonging to the families of Yassin and Hajji. They held residents of each house in one room and transformed the two houses into military sites. Israeli troops also used one member of the hajji family as a human shield while searching the family's house and the neighboring building of the municipality. During this incursion, which continued until Wednesday morning, 15 September 2004, Israeli troops destroyed 7 houses, leaving 34 Palestinian civilians (9 families) homeless. They also razed at least 20 donums of agricultural land.

Wednesday, 15 September 2004 At approximately 03.00, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the vicinity of "Neve Dekalim" settlement, west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in Khan Yunis refugee camp. A Palestinian child, 15-year-old Ansam 'Abdul Rahim Abu Shammala, was injured by shrapnel in the left arm, while she was inside her house. At approximately 04.00, Israeli troops, reinforced by military vehicles, 2 bulldozers and a helicopter gunship, moved into the west of Nablus. They surrounded a number of houses at al-Razi Street, a branch road of an-Najah National University Street. Some Israeli troops were positioned atop of Dr. Jamal al-'Aaloul's house and other troops surrounded a garden of a church in the area. A number of Palestinian gunmen, who were hiding in the garden, clashed with the Israeli troops. Immediately, Israeli troops fired shells and live bullets at the gunmen. The Israeli shelling and gunfire continued until 08.00. At approximately 08.50, Israeli troops resumed firing at the area. A Palestinian child, 11-year-old Maram Mufeed 'Abdul 'Aziz al-Nahla, was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the face. She died shortly after having been evacuated to Rafidya Hospital. Although Israeli troops allowed an ambulance to evacuate the child to the hospital, they did not allow other ambulances to enter the area until 11.30. When ambulances were allowed to enter the area, they transferred the bodies of 5 Palestinians to Rafidya Hospital. The victims were identified as. 1. Mulhem 'Afif Ibrahim Abu Jamila, 26, hit by several live bullets in the head; 2. 'Abdul Halim Sa'eej 'Abdul Halim Salem, 21, hit by several live bullets in the head; 3. Hani Ahmed Fathi al-'Aqqad, 24, hit by several live bullets in the head; 4. Nader Ibrahim Rida al-Aswad, 27, hit by several live bullets in the head; and 5. Mohammed Rebhi Sa'id Mar'ei, 20, hit by several live bullets in the head.

Later, dozens of Palestinian children and young men gathered in the center of Nablus and threw stones at Israeli military vehicles in the area. Immediately, Israeli troops fired at the stone throwers, wounding at least 20 Palestinian civilians, including a number of bystanders. The condition of two of the wounded, including a child, was described as serious. 1. 'Essam Nihad Abu Hajla, 12, wounded by a live bullet in the head; and 2. Hassan 'Ali Hassan Khalbous, 28, wounded by a live bullet in the head.

At approximately 04.00, Israeli troops, reinforced by heavy military vehicles, moved nearly 400 meters into al-Rumailat area near Rafah terminal on the Egyptian border. Under the cover of indiscriminate shelling, they surrounded a 120-square-meter, asbestos-roofed house owned by 'Abdul Salam Salim al-Rumailat, and forced its residents out. Then, Israeli troops planted explosives inside the house and destroyed it. They claimed that a tunnel was found under the house.

In the hours of the day, Israeli troops moved into the villages of al-Duha and al-Khader near Bethlehem; Jenin and the neighboring al-Fara'a village; and Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 6 Palestinians. At approximately 15.00, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the vicinity of "Neve Dekalim" settlement, west of Khan Yunis, shelled Palestinian houses in Khan Yunis refugee camp and al-Nimsawi neighborhood. Five Palestinian civilians (3 children and 2 women) were injured. 1. Mohammed Radwan Enshasi, 15, injured by shrapnel in the left foot; 2. Mohammed Fayez al-Akhras, 14, injured by shrapnel in the chest; 3. Bilal 'Abdul Rahman al-Akhras, 15, injured by shrapnel in the right foot; 4. Nahla Ahmed 'Abdul Nabi, 35, injured by shrapnel in the right foot; and 5. Ghalia Hassan Abu Hilal, 55, injured by shrapnel in the right thigh.

Extra-Judicial Execution In a continuation of the policy of extra-judicial execution officially adopted by the Israeli political and military establishments, this week, Israeli troops committed 2 extra-judicial executions. On Monday evening, 13 September 2004, Israeli troops committed an extra-judicial execution, which killed 3 Palestinians in Jenin. The victims were members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of Fatah movement, and were killed when an Israeli helicopter gunship attacked their car. On Wednesday, 15 September 2004, an undercover unit of Israeli troops extra-judicially executed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in Jenin.

According to PCHR's preliminary investigations, at approximately 17.15 on Monday, 13 September 2004, an Israeli helicopter gunship fired a missile at a civilian car, a grey Mazda, that was traveling near the Municipality of Jenin. The missile struck the car and destroyed it. Immediately, medical personnel hurried to the place of the attack and removed the bodies of 3 Palestinians from the car. The bodies were transferred to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin. The victims were identified as. 1. Mahmoud Asa'ad Abu Khalifa, 29; 2. Yamen Jamil Abu al-Haija, 23; and 3. Amjad Husni Mahmoud Abu al-Haija, 30.

Later, Israeli troops claimed that Abu Khalifa had been engaged in several attacks on them throughout the West Bank. The three victims had survived an assassination attempt by Israeli troops in August 2004. A Palestinian child was injured in the August attack when a missile hit her family home.

At approximately 12.30 on Wednesday, 15 September 2004, as 4 Palestinian civilians were traveling in a civilian car in the industrial zone in the northeast of Jenin, 2 civilian cars, with Palestinian registrations, stopped nearly 50 meters away from the car. A number of armed persons, who are members of an undercover unit of Israeli troops, got out of the two car and opened fire at the first car. The four civilians were instantly killed. They were identified as. 1. Ma'ath Mohammed Fayez Qutait, 26, from Sirees village southeast of Jenin, hit by several live bullets to the chest; 2. Ibrahim 'Ata 'Abdul Rahim Abu Salha, from Sirees village southeast of Jenin, hit by several live bullets to the chest; 3. Fawaz Fakhri Fawaz Zakarna, 17, from Qabatya village southeast of Jenin, hit by several live bullets to the chest; and 4. Fadi Fakhri Fawaz Zakarna, 28, from Qabatya village southeast of Jenin, hit by several live bullets to the chest.

Israeli troops stated that Fadi Zkarna was wanted.

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 04.00 on Wednesday, 15 September 2004, Israeli troops moved al-Zaher neighborhood in Qalqilya. They surrounded a 120-square-meter, 3-storey house belonging to the family of Yousef Taleb 'Ali Eghbari, who exploded himself on the preceding day near an Israeli military checkpoint at the entrance to Habla village, south of Qalqilya. Israeli troops forced the 5 residents of the house out and destroyed the house.

At approximately 09.30 on Wednesday, 15 September 2004, after they had killed 5 Palestinian gunmen at al-Razi Street in the west of Nablus, Israeli troops demolished a 100-square-meter deserted house belonging to the Zaid al-Keelani family, claiming that the gunmen hid inside it.

Continued Siege on the oPt This week, Israeli occupying forces 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 Israeli occupying forces have continued to impose a tightened siege on the Gaza Strip for the 18th consecutive week. This week, they divided the Gaza Strip into 3 separate zones.

Until Saturday morning, 11 September 2004, Israeli troops had continued to close Abu Houli and al-Matahen checkpoints to the north of Khan Yunis. At approximately 17.15 on Friday, 10 September 2004, Israeli troops fired at Palestinian civilians who were waiting at al-Matahen checkpoint. One civilian, Ibrahim Jama'an Abu Dahrouj, 21, from Gaza Valley village, was injured by shrapnel in the chest.

On Sunday morning, 12 September 2004, and Monday afternoon, 13 September 2004, Israeli troops closed the two checkpoints and held and searched a number of Palestinian civilian vehicles in between. They arrested Mohammed Abu Shabab, 27, from Khan Yunis. Israeli troops often close the two checkpoints for long hours.

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. They have also continued to prevent female Palestinians whose ages are between 16 and 25, and male ones whose ages are between 16 and 30 from crossing the checkpoint without prior coordination.

Israeli troops have also continued to impose a tightened siege on al-Sayafa area in the northern Gaza Strip. The have denied entry of domestic gas to the area. They have also imposed severe restrictions of the movement of Palestinian farmers. Israeli troops allow only 5 persons to get out of the area everyday to bring foodstuffs. On Sunday, 12 September 2004, Israeli troops reopened the entrance to the area after it had been closed on Friday, 3 September 2004. However, Israeli troops allow schoolchildren to come back to the area only at 17.00. 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 the third consecutive week. A very limited number of patients have been allowed to travel through the crossing. Even though Israeli occupying forces partially reopened al-Mentar (Karni) commercial crossing to the east of Gaza City, and Sofa crossing, northeast of Rafah, they have imposed severe restrictions on the flow of goods through the two crossing.

Israeli troops have continued to impose severe restrictions on travel through Rafah International Crossing Point, which has been the only outlet for the Gaza Strip to the outside world since 14 February 2001, when IOF destroyed the runway of Gaza International Airport. The number of Palestinians allowed to travel through the terminal daily is very limited. As a result, many patients who are badly in need of 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 16 April 2004.

The West Bank IOF have continued to impose a strict siege on Palestinian communities. They have also imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.

Jerusalem Israeli troops imposed more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians, while they have continued to construct new sections of the annexation wall to the north of East Jerusalem. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli troops erected a number of temporary checkpoints on roads leading to the city. On Thursday evening, 9 September 2004, Israeli troops erected 4 military checkpoints to the northwest of Jerusalem, and checked dozens of Palestinian civilians.

Hebron Since Tuesday, 31 August 2004, Israeli troops have continued to impose a tightened siege on Hebron. They have isolated the town from its surroundings. They chased Palestinian civilians who attempted to travel to and from the town. Israeli troops also imposed restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians inside the town. On Thursday, 9 September 2004, Israeli troops stopped and checked dozens of Palestinian civilians in various areas in the town. They also held at least 40 civilians, including schoolchildren and women, and took them to settlements inside the town. Israeli troops interrogated these civilians and beat some of them. They also severely beat Ishaq Mohammed al-Qawasmi, 45, and Rashid 'Abdul Halim Houshia, 32. The two sustained bruises throughout the body. At approximately 10.00 on Sunday, 12 September 2004, Israeli troops positioned at a military checkpoint at the northern entrance of al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron, severely beat Isma'il Mohammed al-Najjar, 25. He sustained serious bruises throughout the body.

Bethlehem On Sunday morning, 12 September 2004, Israeli troops positioned at the Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, severely beat Sameeh 'Abdul Karim al-Fawaghra, 23, from Wad Rahhal south of Bethlehem, while he was on his way to his work. He sustained bruises throughout the body. Also on Sunday morning, Israeli troops positioned at checkpoint at the northern entrance of al-Khader village, southwest of Bethlehem, severely beat Mahanna Mousa Khalawi, 24. He sustained bruises.

Nablus Israeli troops imposed more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Saturday morning, 11 September 2004, Israeli troops positioned at Beit 'Eiba checkpoint, west of Nablus, stopped and checked Palestinian civilians traveling to the city. Israeli troops positioned at Hawara and Za'tara checkpoints, south of the city, and Beit Fourik checkpoint, east of the city, took similar measures against Palestinian civilians. On Thursday, 9 September 2004, Israeli troops positioned at Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, prevented hundreds of Palestinians civilians, including patients, from traveling to and from the city. On Saturday, 11 September 2004, Israeli troops positioned at Beit Eiba military checkpoint, west of Nablus, held Leena Budair, 24, a medic with the Palestine Red Crescent Society from Far'oun village south of Tulkarm, for several hours.

Jenin Israeli troops closed most of the main roads that link Jenin with other communities. They erected a number of military checkpoints around the town and imposed more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Saturday evening, 11 September 2004, Israeli troops imposed a total siege on the Jordan Valley and closed the two iron gates at its entrances. On Sunday, 12 September 2004, Israeli troops erected a number of temporary military checkpoints in the central Jordan Valley. In the evening, Israeli troops erected a checkpoint between the villages of Tubas an 'Aqqaba, southeast of Jenin. They stopped dozens of students who were traveling back to al-Zababda village and held 5 girls and 3 young men for not having their identity cards. When a clerk brought the identity cards, Israeli troops positioned at the checkpoint fired 5 live bullets at him, but he was not hurt. Two hours later, a representative of ICRC intervened to release the 8 students.

Tulkarm Since Sunday, 12 September 2004, Israeli troops have imposed more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. They closed all roads leading to the town with sand barriers, prohibiting movement of Palestinian civilians.

Curfews On Friday evening, 10 September 2004, Israeli troops imposed a curfew on Kharabtha al-Musbah village, southwest of Ramallah. On Saturday, 11 September 2004, Israeli troops imposed a curfew on Qoussin village, southwest of Nablus, and 'Assira village, north of the city.

Arrests at Military Checkpoints At noon Thursday, 9 September 2004, Israeli troops positioned at Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Hanan Yousef Hanani, 25, from Beit Fourik village, east of the city, while she was traveling from Nablus back to her village. On Friday, 10 September 2004, Israeli troops positioned at al-Karama Terminal on the Jordanian border arrested Ahmed 'Ali al-Salahat, 28, from Abu Enjaim village, south of Bethlehem, while he was traveling back to the West Bank from Jordan. On Tuesday, 14 September 2004, Israeli troops erected a spontaneous checkpoint near al-Tabaqa village, south of Hebron. They arrested Ashraf Mustafa Shahin, 22, and Ra'ed Badawi Abu Za'nouna, 23.

Continued Construction of the Annexation Wall Israeli troops have continued to construct the annexation wall inside the West Bank territory, especially in East Jerusalem and Hebron.

This week, Israeli troops continued to construct a section of the wall at Ramallah – Jerusalem Street, north of East Jerusalem. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli troops erected 5-meter-high cement blocks between Qalandya checkpoint, south of Ramallah, and Dahiat al-Barid area, north of east of Jerusalem. They erected some cement blocks in middle of the main road, cutting the road that links between Dahiat al-Barid area and a number of schools, thus forcing schoolchildren to go to their schools through Qalandya checkpoint, north of East Jerusalem.

In Hebron, Israeli troops continued to raze areas of Palestinian agricultural land in Sikka village, southwest of the town, for the purpose of the construction of the wall. They uprooted hundreds of olive trees belonging to the families of al-Swaiti and al-Huraibat. The first stage of the construction of the wall in Hebron district is expected to extend of a 5-kilometer-long strip. According to military orders issued by Israeli occupation authorities, the annexation wall in Hebron is expected to extend to a distance of 29 kilometers.

Israeli troops also imposed more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians isolated behind the wall. On Thursday, 9 September 2004, Israeli troops adopted new procedures at the iron gate at the entrance to Deir Ballout village, southwest of Nablus. According to the new procedures, the gate would be opened from 07.00 to 09.00 and from 15.30 to 18.00, after it had been opened from 10.00 to 16.00 daily. This gate is one of the most important outlets that link between the north and south of the West Bank.

Settlement Activities and Settlers' Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Properties Israeli troops have pursued settlement activities in the oPt and settlers who live in the oPt in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and their properties.

On Thursday morning, 9 September 2004, Israeli troops, accompanied by an officer of the planning department of the Israeli Civil Administration, started to raze areas of Palestinian land in Bani N'aim village, east of Hebron, near "Bnei Hefer" settlement. They razed 5 donums of agricultural land and uprooted at least 100 olive trees owned by Mohammed Ahmed Manasra.

On Friday morning, 10 September 2004, Israeli troops razed areas of agricultural land near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the south of Hebron, near "Avraham Avinu" settlement inside the town. This process apparently aims at linking the aforementioned settlement with al-Shuhada Street, which leads to 3 other settlements.

*****

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 calls on the international community to immediately “ensure respect” for the Convention.

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 oPt 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 NGOs 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 oPt. PCHR also requests the application of the EU Guidelines on Arms Sales and requests that EU Missions and Embassies in Israel and the oPts press the Israeli government to apply and implement in full the recently agreed EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders.

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 requests that the international community follow the advisory opinion of the ICJ when it called on the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention, through the UNGA and UNSC, to take effective measures to stop the construction of the annexation wall in the West Bank.

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 oPt, 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 NGOs, and urges them to continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel's respect for human rights in the oPt 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 for human rights defenders to the oPt, 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.

“END”

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/ ***
TOI-Billboard archive link: http://archives.zinester.com/93796

TOI-Billboard is the 'ezine' of the independent THE OTHER ISRAEL bi-monthly peace newsletter, existing since 1983, and published by its editors Adam Keller & Beate Zilversmidt.

Selected articles The Other Israel latest printed issue on site: http://otherisrael.home.igc.org/

One time free sample via: otherisr@actcom.co.il, US addresses via: aicipp@igc.org

Visit also the archive of issues since 1994 - and scanned earlier ones of the first ten years (still under construction)http://israelipalestinianpeace.org

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