Man and woman die at Israeli checkpoints

LAW refutes Israeli claims of lightening the siege

Despite Israeli claims that the intensive arbitrary siege imposed on the Palestinian Territories has been lightened, the Israeli authorities are in fact maintaining and even intensifying their siege of Palestinian towns, villages and refugee camps in the occupied territories. The new Israeli government, headed by Ariel Sharon, has claimed since 12 March 2001 that the siege on Hebron, Bethlehem, Tulkarem and Qalqilya has been lightened. LAW’s researchers have been monitoring the situation in various West Bank districts over the past two days and confirm that the Israeli army has not implemented this declaration and has moreover blocked off more roads used by Palestinians. Over the past three days, the Israeli army has blocked the following roads with huge concrete blocks, barricades and new military checkpoints: * A narrow bypass road opposite the Bet Il settlement that links Al Jalazone refugee camp with the main street leading to north-west Ramallah. This road has been used by Palestinians since the Ramallah-Nablus road was blocked. * A ditch 500m long and 1m deep has been dug in order to completely block the road linking Deir Abu D’eef village to Al Jilmeh near Jani. * An unpaved track passing through Palestinian farms near the Hebron-Jerusalem road in Halhul has been bulldozed and barricaded. * Barricades have been placed on the Shufa-Tulkarem road. * The Beit Sahour- Sur Baher and Abu Ghneim mountain road that leads to northeast Bethlehem has been sealed with concrete blocks and barricades. * The Nablus-Tulkarem and Jenin road near Deir Sharaf village has been re-blocked since Palestinians opened it again. * The road between Beit Fureek and Nablus that Palestinians had previously reopened has been re-barricaded. * A bypass road between Burin and bypass road #60 at Al Huwara that Palestinians had previously reopened has also been re-barricaded. The Israeli army has kept the military checkpoints around Ramallah and Al Bireh, especially the two positioned at the Qalandia intersection and on the Ramallah-Birzeit road. Israeli soldiers stationed at the checkpoints are hindering people’s movement and delaying them for long hours, as well as chasing those trying to cross the checkpoints on foot. In the two days since the new Israeli government’s declaration, a man and a woman have died as a result of being unable to cross military checkpoints for medical treatment. At 6 am on Tuesday 13 March 2001, 39 year-old farmer and father of five Na’ eem Bani Jame’ from Aqraba in Nablus died after being prevented from crossing the military checkpoint at Huwara intersection (south Nablus) to reach hospital after a heart attack. According to information gathered by LAW, at 4:35 am on 13 March, Na’eem’s brothers Hassan and Ahmad attempted to take him to hospital in a private car driven by their cousin Muhammad. They reached the Israeli checkpoint at 4:50 am and asked the soldiers to let them pass. The soldiers refused, and to make matters worse they detained the men at the checkpoint. After 20 minutes, they again asked to be allowed to go, but the soldiers made them open the car doors for inspection. Another 20 minutes later, they were allowed to leave but not to cross the checkpoint, so they tried an alternate route along a long and unpaved track. They finally reached the hospital at around 6 am, but Bani Jame’ was dead on arrival. Under normal circumstances, the road from Aqraba village to Nablus takes only 15 minutes. On Wednesday 14 March 2001, 48 year-old Amira Abu Seif from Faqu’a village in Jenin died after being held at Al Jalma checkpoint (east Jenin) for around 3 and a half hours as her parents tried to get her to Jenin government hospital due to an upsurge in her blood sugar level (Amira Abu Seif was a diabetic). According to a sworn affidavit to LAW from Abu Seif’s son, 27 year-old Muhammad Saleh Abu Seif, Amira’s family tried to take her to Jenin hospital in a private car. They reached the Israeli checkpoint at 4:30, but were not allowed to pass it until 8:00, after an Israeli military doctor had checked her and confirmed that her condition was dangerous. However, the soldiers still refused to allow their car through, forcing her family members to carry her for 50m to the Palestinian ambulance stationed on the other side of the checkpoint. At 8:15, she was announced dead by doctors at Jenin hospital, due to a sudden increase in blood pressure and her diabetes. Early in the morning of 15 March 2001, Israeli soldiers placed three new military checkpoints on the road between Arrabeh and Jenin. The curfew in the occupied part of Hebron (H2) continued for almost six days, from Saturday to Thursday. In addition, the central market place has been blocked off and encircled with barbed wire by Israeli military order, meaning deprivation for hundreds of Palestinian families whose only means of income is the vegetable market. It is worth mentioning that the vegetable market was closed upon the recent request of settlers living in the middle of Hebron. LAW Society reiterates the following: 1. The 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. LAW demands: 1. The Israeli Government to immediately stop the use of excessive and indiscriminate force and collective punishments against Palestinian civilians. 2. The establishment of an international investigation committee based on United Nations Security Council resolutions 1322 of Oct 7, 2000, to investigate the violations of international humanitarian law committed by the Israeli forces inside the occupied Palestinian territories. 3. The international community must hold a conference for the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention in order to take practical measures to ensure Israel's adherence to the convention. 4. The international community must pressurize Israel to immediately to immediately put an end to the occupation of the Palestinian territories and effectively support the implementation of the Palestinian right to self-determination. 5. Placing Palestinian people under international protection.

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.



Rapporti di LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights

Palestinian dies in Military Intelligence custody in Nablus