Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Continue to Impose a Total Siege on the Gaza Strip
- A resistance activist and a child were killed in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
- The activist was extra-judicially executed by IOF and the child was killed when an unidentified object left by IOF exploded.
- A Palestinian civilian died of injuries sustained during the latest IOF offensive on the Gaza Strip.
- Nine Palestinians, including 5 children and a journalist, were injured by IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
- IOF aircrafts bombarded targets in the Gaza Strip.
- Intensive IAF air strikes continued on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, forcing local civilians to evacuate the area.
- IOF conducted 31 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
- IOF arrested 31 Palestinian civilians, including four children.
- Three houses were transformed by IOF into military sites.
- IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT and have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
- IOF troops positioned at military checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 4 Palestinian civilians, including one child.
- IOF continue measures aimed at creating a demographic Jewish majority in east Jerusalem.
- IOF demolished two houses in Silwan and Sour Baher villages near Jerusalem.
- IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
- IOF started to establish an electricity network for Israeli settlements in Hebron.
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (26 February – 04 March 2009):
Shooting: During the reporting period, an activist of the Palestinian resistance was extra-judicially executed by IOF in the Gaza Strip, and a child was killed when an unidentified object left by IOF in the West Bank exploded. A Palestinian civilian also died of injuries sustained during the latest IOF offensive on the Gaza Strip. Additionally, IOF injured nine Palestinians, mostly civilians, including five children, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
In the Gaza Strip, on 04 March, IOF extra-judicially executed a military activist of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad), injured a second activist and two civilian bystanders in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.
On 27 February, medical sources at al-Zaytoun Hospital in Egypt confirmed that Nihad Mohammed Abu Kmail, 29, from al-Mughraqa village south of Gaza City, died of injuries he had sustained on 13 January 2009. According to PCHR documentation, the victim had been traveling in a truck on the coastal road leading to Gaza City when IOF troops positioned to the south of Gaza City fired at the truck. As a result, Abu Kmail was wounded by a gunshot to the head.
On 26 February, three Palestinian civilians, including two children, were injured when IOF aircrafts launched a series of air strikes on the Egyptian border, south of Rafah. These air strikes have become a routine activity for IOF aircrafts, allegedly to destroyed tunnels along the border.
In the West Bank, on 26 February, a Palestinian child was killed and two of his friends were injured by the explosion of a suspicious objects left by IOF in the Yarza area to the east of Tayaseer village, east of Tubas, where IOF routinely conduct military training using live ammunition.
On 4 March, a Palestinian child was seriously injured by a gunshot to the head when IOF moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, and fired at a number of children who demonstrated against them.
During the reporting period, dozens of Palestinian civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation when IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest at the construction of the Annexation Wall.
Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 31 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. IOF arrested 31 Palestinian civilians, including four children. IOF also transformed three houses into military sites.
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.
1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.
The majority of the civilian population lack continual access to safe drinking water.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians continue to endue power cuts, which affects their daily quality of life.
The Rafah International Crossing Point has been opened for a few days for a limited number of patients who received medical treatment abroad and subsequently needed to return home to the Gaza Strip.
IOF have continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to Palestinian civilians wishing to travel to the West Bank and Israel for medical treatment, trade or social visits.
IOF have imposed additional restrictions on access of international diplomats, journalists and humanitarian workers to the Gaza Strip. They have also prevented representatives of international humanitarian organizations from entering the Gaza Strip in order to assess the humanitarian situation.
The lives of premature babies continue to be at risk as they depend on medical equipment, such as incubators, that requires constant electricity.
Standards of living across Gaza have seriously deteriorated, whilst poverty and unemployment levels have sharply increased.
At least 900 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails continue to be deprived of all family visits. The visits were first suspended sixteen months ago, in June 2007.
IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.
IOF have established checkpoints in and around Jerusalem, severely restricting Palestinian access to the city. Civilians are frequently prevented from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
There are approximately permanent 630 roadblocks, manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank. In addition, there are some 60-80 ‘flying’ or temporary checkpoints erected across the West Bank by IOF every week.
When complete, the illegal Annexation Wall will stretch for 724 kilometers around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population. 350 kilometers of the Wall has already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the Wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, further confiscating Palestinian land.
At least 65% of the main roads that leads to 18 Palestinian communities in the West Bank are closed or fully controlled by IOF (47 out of 72 roads).
There are around 500 kilometers of restricted roads across the West Bank. In addition, approximately one third of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, is inaccessible to Palestinians without a permit issued by the IOF. These permits are extremely difficult to obtain.
IOF continue to harass, and assault demonstrators who hold peaceful protests against the construction of the Annexation Wall.
Palestinian civilians continue to be harassed by IOF in Jerusalem, and across the West Bank, including being regularly stopped and searched in the streets by IOF.
During the reporting period, IOF troops positioned at military checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 4 Palestinian civilians, including two children.
Annexation Wall: During the reporting period, IOF made changes to the route of the Annexation Wall in Ras Teera and Wadi al-Rasha village, south of Qalqilya. The changes were made in accordance with an Israeli High Court ruling to change the route of the wall as opposed to dismantling it, according to the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice in The Hague on 09 July 2004.
Residents of seven Palestinian communities submitted a petition to the Israeli High Court back in 2004 demanding the route of the Wall, which had annexed at least 6,000 donumms of land and isolated three villages, (Ras Teera; ‘Izbat al-Dab’a; and Wadi al-Rasha) be changed. According to local sources, the Wall has isolated at least 60% of the total area of Ras Teera village, 200 donumms of land in ‘Izbat al-Dab’a village, and at least 90% of the area of Wadi al-Rasha village. According to Israeli plans, the length of this section of the Wall would be at least 3 kilometers, and would level or isolate at least 2,500 donumms of land, 70% of which are planted with olive trees.
Creating a Demographic Jewish majority in east Jerusalem: IOF have continued to take arbitrary measures against Palestinian civilians living in East Jerusalem, aimed a forcing them to leave the city. During the reporting period, IOF demolished two houses in Silwan and Sour Baher villages near Jerusalem, rendering 21 people homeless. IOF also imposed severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinian civilians inside Jerusalem and those traveling to and from the city.
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. On 02 March, IOF started to establish a new high-voltage electricity network in Halhoul town, north of Hebron, to supply Israeli settlements to the north and south of Hebron. The establishing of this network would damage large areas of Palestinian land and could also endanger Palestinian civilians living in its vicinity.
Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (26 February – 04 March 2009)
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