LAW Weekly Roundup 8-14 February 2001
More deaths, more bombing: Israel increases attacks on Palestinian civilians
*During the second week of February the grave Israeli violations against Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories continued, as did the attacks on Palestinian property with different weapons of destruction ranging from bullets to LAU missiles and poisonous materials.
*Over the past week, Israeli forces killed six Palestinians and caused the death of a foetus. 277 Palestinians were wounded, including 45 shot with live ammunition and 53 hit by rubber coated steel bullets. Thirty-five Palestinians received various degrees of burns and shrapnel injuries, and some suffered severe shock. 133 people inhaled a new type of nerve gas and 11 were beaten by Israeli soldiers.
*First: Violating the right to life and security of person 1. Deaths ·15 year-old Ahmad Abu Holly from Al Hikir in Deir Al Balah. According to LAW’s information, at 3pm on Friday 9 February, Ahmad was heading to the home of his uncle when Israeli soldiers stationed at Abu Holly Street, off Saladin Street, opened fire from a distance of 700 metres, hitting the Palestinian boy in the stomach. Ahmad’s uncle took him directly to hospital in Gaza, where he was pronounced dead at 5pm. ·22 year-old Ziyad Abu Sawi from Artas near Bethlehem died on Monday 12 February after receiving a bullet in the heart when Israeli soldiers opened fire at a minibus at Al Khader junction. Two other Palestinian labourers from Bethlehem were wounded in the attack: Mohammed Al Barmeel, 47, was admitted to Al Makasid Hospital in a critical condition after being shot in the neck, and Haidar Ayish, 18, was wounded by shrapnel in the head. According to LAW’s information, at 6:45am a minibus belonging to the Arkub company was taking Palestinian labourers to Israeli construction sites. Israeli soldiers stationed at Al Khader junction stopped it and opened fire at close range, killing Abu Sawi and wounding the other two. The incident sparked protests in the area, during which Sami Barakat, 17, was shot in the pelvis, and Ahmad Al Barbari, 20, was shot in the left thigh. ·35 year-old Atif Al Nabulsi, a resident of east Jerusalem from Ramallah, died on Monday 12 February after Israeli soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian car at Rafat junction, west of Ramallah. Two other Palestinians were wounded in the incident: Yihya Abu Saif, 16, from Um Al Sharayit in Ramallah was shot in the abdomen and his internal organs damaged, and Hamdi Arafat, 27, from Al Bireh, was hit by shrapnel in the left shoulder. According to LAW documentation, they were travelling along a bypass road south-west of Ramallah when Israeli soldiers stationed at Rafat junction opened fire randomly at close range on vehicles in the road without any provocation or warning. The area was quiet at the time. Eyewitness Jawad Deif Allah, 52, from Rafat, stated to LAW that Al Nabulsi’s car was shot at and it hit a nearby barricade. The soldiers continued shooting at him at a distance of one and a half metres. The eyewitness telephoned the Red Crescent Society and Ramallah hospital, whose paramedics arrived five minutes later, but the soldiers prevented them from reaching Al Nabulsi and rescuing him immediately. After 15 minutes the paramedics were able to put him in the ambulance but the soldiers delayed them for another 15 minutes before taking them to the Israeli outpost at Ofer near Beitunya. Al Nabulsi’ s body was handed to his family later that evening and he was buried at 9:30 pm. ·Israeli forces assassinated 50 year-old Massoud Ayyad, a Force 17 Presidential Guard, in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday 13 February 2001. LAW received information stating that at 9.45am, Massoud was driving a white Hyundai car within Area A, on Saladin Street between Gaza and Khan Younis. An Israeli helicopter gunship hovering overhead fired three LAU missiles at his car, killing him instantly. Six passers-by were wounded in the attack: Salem Al Batsh (45) received shrapnel injuries in the back, Sameer Shaheen ( 42) in the right thigh, Ahmad Tulan (15) in several parts of his body and Suhaila Al Hasanyi (50) in the limbs. Mohammad Al Batsh (23) and Gandhi Al Batran (32) are suffering severe stress disorder. According to the medical report from Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital, Ayyad suffered shrapnel injuries in the head and his face was burnt. His right fingers came off in the blast, many bones in his body were broken, and his internal organs were severely damaged. LAW has also been informed that Ayyad’s son Nasser, a Force 17 lieutenant, was arrested in an ambush by Israeli forces on 29 January 2001 near Netsarim junction. His whereabouts are still unknown. LAW Society has so far documented nine cases of extra-judicial execution since the outbreak of the current crisis in September 2000.*Israel’s assassination policy constitutes wilful killing, which is a grave breach of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, which stipulates in Article 32 that: “The High Contracting Parties specifically agree that each of them is prohibited from taking any measure of such a character as to cause the physical suffering or extermination of protected persons in their hands. This prohibition applies not only to murder, torture, corporal punishment, mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a protected person but also to any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or by military agents.” *Moreover, it is also a breach of Article 75 of Protocol 1, Protocols Additional to the IV Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, especially Paragraph 2, which states, “The following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever, whether committed by civilian or by military agents: a. Violence to the life, health, or physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular: i. Murder; ii. Torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental; iii. Corporal punishment; and iv. Mutilation” and Paragraph 3 Article 85 of the same Protocol, which stipulates, “In addition to the grave breaches defined in Article 11, the following acts shall be regarded as grave breaches of this Protocol, when committed wilfully, in violation of the relevant provisions of this Protocol, and causing death or serious injury to body or health: a.Making the civilian population or individual civilians the object of attack.” ·Israeli soldiers at Netsarim junction shot and killed 14 year-old Bilal Ramadan from Al Braij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on 13 February. ·On 14 February, Israeli soldiers stationed near Rameen, Tulkarem, shot and killed 24 year-old Ayid Abu Harb, a lieutenant in the Palestinian naval police from Nur Shams refugee camp in the Tulkarem district, was reportedly killed while driving on the road between Nablus and Tulkarem near a barricade at the entrance of the village of Rameen. He was hit by two exploding bullets in the back and heart. 2.Injuries The following Palestinians protesters were wounded on Friday 9 February near Al Mintar (Karni) border crossing when Israeli soldiers opened fire at them: § Sabir Baker, 18, from Al Shati’e refugee camp, shot in the right leg; § Ala Labad, 12, from Al Ghafri, shot in the right leg; § Tamir Al Batiti, 16, from Al Shaghaf, shot in the head; § Mohammad Rab’a, 14, from Al Shati’e refugee camp, shot in the left shoulder; § Hasan Makat, 21, from Al Tufah, shot in the left leg; § Husni Haboush, 15, from Al Rimal, shot in the left leg; § Mohammad Aliwa, 18, from Al Zaytun, shot in the right thigh; § Ramzi Hasuna, 16, from Al Shati’e refugee camp, shot in the left thigh; § Mohammad Halas, 13, from Gaza, shot in the head. *In a separate incident, Israeli soldiers wounded Hazim Abu Kara’a, 18, from Al Mizra’a Al Gharbiyi in Ramallah district, in the right shoulder and Ibrahim Al Madhun, 21, from Al Ama’ari refugee camp, in the left knee. The following were also wounded in protests in the West Bank: § Mahmoud Rumani, 14, from Al Ama’ari refugee camp, shot in the left foot; § French journalist, Laurent van Dursuk, 36; § Mohammad Al Tamimi, 40, from Deir Nitham, west of Ramallah, shot in the left arm; § Zeid Al Tamimi, 23, Deir Nitham, shot in the back; § Tarik Nasar, 14, Deir Nitham, shot in the left thigh; § Diab Al Tamimi, 27, Deir Nitham, hit by shrapnel in the face; § Abdul Karim Al Tamimi, 43, Deir Nitham, hit by shrapnel in the head; § Mohammad Masoud, 21, from Qalqilya, shot in the head; § Mohammad Abu Atatya, a member of the National Security Forces and originally from Gaza, was shot in the left leg near Ain Areek, west of Ramallah; § A settler shot Tarik Ibrahim, 26, from Turmus Aya. *In Gaza on February 10, Israeli soldiers near Al Mintar shot 12 year-old Mohammad Al Batsh from Al Shajaiyi in the mouth and 15 year-old Mohammad Al Haluli in the neck. In addition, on February 11, Israeli soldiers wounded Rami Masoud, 18, from Al Shati’e refugee camp and Sabir Al Ashkar, 18, in the same place. Also near Al Mintar, on 14 February, Ramadan Al Dahduh, 19, from Al Zaytun, was shot in the back and is now in critical condition; and Yasir Siyam, 16, from Al Zaytun was shot in the stomach. *On February 14 near Netsarim junction, Mahmoud Al Shorbaji, 14, from Al Nsirat refugee camp, was shot in the left knee. Fifteen other people in Hebron were wounded on the same day by rubber coated steel bullets and severe teargas inhalation. Second: Bombing and shelling *Israeli soldiers stationed near Khan Younis bombed the western quarters of the city on February 8, hitting Al Namsawi area and wounding 16 year-old Hisham Hnaidik and 23 year-old Salem Abu Ikir. The bombing destroyed the 5th and 6th floors of Al Far building. For three days running the Israeli army bombed residential areas in Palestinian towns, especially Al Bireh. They bombed the Jinan and Satah Marhaba areas, the offices of Al Hayat Al Jadida newspaper, the headquarters of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and the Ministry of Local Governance. *According to LAW's documentation, at 10pm on 8 February 2001 Israeli soldiers stationed at Pisagot (a settlement built on Jabal Al Taweel east of Al Bireh) began bombing the Jinan and Satah Marhaba areas. The bombing went on until 3am the next day, causing the following damage: ·The home of 50 year-old Abdul Salam Al Adasi and his family of fifteen (including three children) was burnt down. ·The home of 28 year-old Mustafa Abdul Kadir and his family of six (including four children). The furniture, entrance, windows and electricity and water system were all destroyed. ·The home of 32 year-old Salah Daragmi and his family of five (including three children) was bombed, destroying the balcony, windows and doors and severely damaging the walls. ·The Al Wahidi building, which contains 15 separate apartments, was hit and the walls, roof and sewage system partially destroyed ·The offices of Al Hayat Al Jadida newspaper were also targeted, destroying three windows, two doors and a printing press. In the editorial suite, six windows, three PCs, a stone pillar, the newspaper sign and the lights were destroyed. ·The Palestinian Red Crescent headquarters and emergency room was also bombed, burning part of the top floor and destroying the furniture and equipment contained within. The PRC minibus, used for transporting the handicapped, was also destroyed, as were three water tanks and the telephone system. *Israeli forces had already bombed the same places on Wednesday 7 February. On 9 February, they bombed residential areas in Al Balo'a, northern Al Bireh, severely damaging the Ministry of Local Governance building, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and the Fateh High Command offices. *According to LAW's documentation of the incident, Israeli forces used more than 15 artillery shells as well as machineguns in their attacks on the Ministry of Local Governance and Fateh offices. The 5th floor of the Ministry of Local Governance building was burnt down, its eastern façade partially destroyed and the water and electricity systems destroyed completely. The repairs have been estimated by the city engineer as more costly than rebuilding the building in its entirety. This was the 15th time that Israeli forces have bombed the Ministry of Local Governance building since 29 September 2000. *On 9 February, Israeli forces stationed at the Ramat Yashai enclave in Hebron bombed Bab Al Zawyi, Al Shalala Street, and Al Sheikh quarter in downtown Hebron. Two bombs exploded in Bab Al Zawyi, wounding: 1. Hazim Siyaj, 15, hit by shrapnel in the neck; 2. Majd Al Basit, 16, wounded by a shrapnel in the right shoulder; 3. Rafeek Taha, 20, hit by a shrapnel in the left leg; 4. Imad Al Said, 13, hit by a shrapnel in the right leg; 5. Abdul rahman Al Shwaiki, 13, hit by a shrapnel in the left knee; On the same day, Israeli forces in Gosh Kateef, bombed Abu Holly quarter in Deir Al Balah, Gaza, wounding Hadeel Abu Khusa in the right arm and Awad Al Salkawi, 25, in the head as well as damaging two of Al Tawash’s houses. Al Amal market in Al Amal quarter in Khan Yunis was bombed on the same day. The attack wounded Fakhri Abdul Hadi, 23, and destroyed the marketplace. On Saturday, February 10, Israeli forces bombed National Security Forces’ posts in Beit Lahia in Gaza. They also bombed Rafah and wounded Majda Hussein, 42, in the chest. On February 11, Israeli forces bombed Al Aza and Ayda refuge camps and Al Khader north of Bethlehem. Eleven houses and two vehicles including an ambulance were damaged in the blast, which started at 7:35 pm and ended at midnight. LAW was informed that the following were wounded: 1. Said Al Aza, 41, hit by shrapnel in the shoulder; 2. Hana Asmari, 42, hit by shrapnel in the back; 3. Samar Al Masa’eed, hit by shrapnel in the left leg; 4. Ibrahim da’dara, 50, hit by shrapnel in the different places of the body; 5. Toni Al Zu’bi, 23, hit by shrapnel in the head; 6. Mustafa Abu Ghalyun, 35, hit by shrapnel in the head; 7. Grace Al Bandak, 23, hit by shrapnel in the leg; 8. Munthir Katamish; 9. Fat’he Abdul Rahman; 10. Jabir Al Amour; 11. Naseem Hamida (nos. 8-11 wounded by shrapnel in the back, legs and arms). *The houses of Yasser Al Mashayikh and Mousa Al Masa’id in Ayda were destroyed by the bombing. Yusif Sbaih’s house in Al Khader was hit and partially destroyed. On 12 February, Israeli forces bombed Al Masyun in Ramallah hitting and damaging the house of Sadir Sadik. In the afternoon of the same day, Israeli forces bombed Khan Younis with artillery shells and nerve gas bombs from Neve Dakaleem and Gani Tal. The attack wounded seventy Palestinians; thirty with shrapnel and forty with nerve gas inhalation, 16 of whom were admitted to Intensive Care at Al Shifa and Nasser hospitals. The acting manager of Nasser hospital in Khan Younis stated that the people who suffered nerve gas inhalation showed symptoms of convulsion, breathing difficulties and nausea. The forty people who suffered nerve gas inhalation included 15 children and three women. In the evening of Tuesday February 13, Israeli forces bombed Khan Younis again. This time 38 Palestinians were wounded with live ammunition and 33 suffered nerve gas inhalation. The total wounded was 123, including three in critical condition. The frequent and intense bombing of Khan Younis has forced dozens of families to flee. The bombing of Khan Younis wounded Jihan Kanan, 25, in the stomach, causing her to miscarry her 4 month-old foetus. LAW information revealed that Mrs Kanan was wounded on the way back to Al Amal quarter at 5pm accompanied by her husband and one year-old son. The bombing also wounded five Red Crescent paramedics: Jihad Abu Ataya, 44, Jihad Saleem, 33, Khader Fayad, 40, and another two. Two Ministry of Health ambulance drivers were also wounded: Fayiz Nabhan, 52, and Ibrahim Abu Sita, 48. Reuters photographer Ahmad Jad Allah was also wounded in the bombing. Anwar Klub’s house in Rafah was damaged by Israeli bombing on 13 February. The attack also wounded Marwa Ith’hair, 19, in the chest, and damaged the city’s electricity generators. In Bethlehem, Israeli forces stationed at Gilo settlement bombed Ush Al Ghurab, Al Irak neighbourhood, Al Sahil, and the area around Mar Nicholas Cathedarl in Beit Sahour, as well as the Orthodox quarter in Beit Jala. The bombing burned Fat’he Al Hanash’s house and Al Paradise hotel. Third: Inhumane and degrading treatment On 14 February, Israeli forces broke into the home of 73 year-old Yusif Jafar in Al Sawahri Al Sharkiy, Jerusalem. The soldiers searched the house for two hours (1-3am); when they left the family noticed that a gold bracelet had disappeared. In a separate incident, Rabah Alkam, 26, a truck driver from Rafat, told LAW, “On Sunday 11 February at 8.30 pm, I was travelling home with my cousin when Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint between Um Al Sharayit and Rafat stopped me and told me to go back. I said that I was from Rafat. When they had checked this, one of them led me behind an army jeep and beat me up badly. The other soldiers joined him, kicking me until I almost passed out. The beating was painful, especially as I had a road accident three months ago, which left me with a problem in a neck muscle and a slight fracture in my spine. When they stopped beating me my cousin took me to hospital in Ramallah, where I stayed for a little while since I was in a bad state.’ Fourth: Siege and curfews On 13 and 14 February, Israeli authorities closed Gaza international airport and the international border crossings linking the occupied territories with the rest of the world. The curfew of the occupied part of Hebron continues; 40,000 Palestinians have been held under curfew for the second consecutive week, including 12,000 students unable to go to school. The Israeli policy of siege and collective punishment has deprived Palestinians from travelling from one place to another, and Muslim pilgrims from travelling to Mecca. LAW Society reiterates the following: 1. Israeli forces are committing increased crimes against Palestinian civilians and using the Israeli war arsenal against unarmed Palestinian civilians. 2. They continue to bomb and shell Palestinian residential areas. 3. They continue to use collective punishment against Palestinians and deprive them of their basic human rights. 4. Israeli forces use settlements as bases from which to bomb Palestinian areas LAW demands: 1. The Israeli government to immediately stop its crimes and collective punishment against Palestinians. 2. An international investigation committee to be set up, working according to UN Resolution 1322. 3. The Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention to ensure Israel’s compliance with the Convention. 4. Placing Palestinians under international protection. 5. The international community to put an end to these crimes and the Israeli occupation.
LAW – The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving human rights through legal advocacy. LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Fédération Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Member of the Euro- Mediterranean Human Rights Network