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PCHR: Weekly report: 2 Palestinians killed, 13 injured including 7 children

PCHR Weekly report: 2 Palestinians killed, 13 injured including 7 children

by Saed Bannoura, March 22

The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR), based in Gaza, published its weekly report on the Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories in the period between March 15th and March 21st, 2007.

Soldiers attacking a resident, on crutches, in Bil’in

The PCHR reported that Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinian civilians, including one child, in the occupied West Bank. Soldiers shot and injured 13 civilians, including seven children, during the reported period.

On Wednesday, March 21st, soldiers shot and killed two Palestinians, including one child. The first casualty was a resistance fighter who was shot and killed as the army invaded the Al Askar refugee camp, near Nablus city in the northern part of the West Bank.

The fighter was identified as Fadi Akram Abu Keshk, 24. He was killed by a bullet to the heart as he and other resistance fighters were resisting an Israeli military invasion into the refugee camp.

In the village of Aboud, near Ramallah city, in the northern part of the West Bank, soldiers shot and killed one Palestinian child when they fired rounds of live ammunition at youths hurling stones at them as they invaded the village.

The child was identified as Mohammad Ibrahim Salayma, aged 17.

The PCHR alos reported that soldiers continued using excessive force against nonviolent protesters in Bil’in village, near the West Bank city of Ramallah during the weekly protest against the Annexation Wall; eight nonviolent protesters were injured.

The weekly protests are organized and carried out by Israeli, International and Palestinian peace activists.

Four Palestinian civilians were shot and injured by military gunfire at Israeli military roadblocks in the occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian child was wounded by Israeli army gunfire directed at civilians scavenging for metals in the abandoned industrial zone in the north of the Gaza Strip.

During the reporting period, soldiers carried out 31 military invasions of Palestinian communities in the occupied territories. During these invasions, soldiers kidnapped 63 civilians, including 6 children. One civilian was taken prisoner at a military roadblock.

The number of Palestinians abducted by the Israeli army in the West Bank since the beginning of this year has mounted to 806, the PCHR reported.

During the invasions, soldiers carry out searches that systematically involve the destruction of property and the ransacking of houses. In addition, police dogs are occasionally used. The residents of the targeted houses are also systematically abused, the PCHR added.

Four civilians were injured at two Israeli roadblocks; two were injured on March 18 at Beit Eiba checkpoint when soldiers fired sound bombs at civilians attempting to pass. Two residents were injured on March 19th at a checkpoint near Tarqoumia village, west of Hebron.

In the Gaza Strip, four civilians, including two fishermen were kidnapped by the Israeli forces. The Israeli army has continued to prevent fishermen from fishing for more than nine months. During the reporting period, soldiers abducted 50 fishermen but released all except two several hours later.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian territories remained under the strict siege imposed by the Israeli forces. The Gaza Strip, suffocating under the strict siege, continued to suffer shortages of fuels, basic goods and medical supplies.

The comprehensive siege imposed on the Gaza Strip remained in place, and more restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank were imposed.

Border crossings in the Gaza Strip remained closed, which is considered another form of collective punishment against the Palestinian civilians.

The Rafah border crossing, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, was fully closed by Israeli authorities on June 25th 2006, despite the fact that Israel doesn’t directly control it. The crossing point was reopened on the 15th, 19th, and 21st of March 2007, and hundreds of Palestinians were able to travel through it. It was also supposed to be open on 20th of March 2007, but the army prevented EU observers from reaching the crossing point.

Al Mintar (Carni) Commercial Crossing was partially opened but many goods and medical supplies remained unavailable in the Gaza Strip.

The Erez Crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel remained closed; hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were barred from crossing, even those who needed medical treatment in Israel or the West Bank.

With this closure, very few Palestinian patients have been able to travel to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank.

In the Jerusalem area, Israeli troops demolished three Palestinian houses in Sour Baher village.

Settlers, illegally living in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, continued their attacks against the Palestinian civilians and their properties.

Israeli Authorities imposed new restrictions at the Erez Crossing when it was opened on February 16th; under new procedures, Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have to obtain permits from the Army “Civil Administration Office”, as was the case before.

However, Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have to hand their identity cards the Israeli Ministry of Interior to get travel documents. In the past, they had to hand identity cards to the Israeli army at Erez crossing. This affects 800-1000 women from East Jerusalem married to men in the Gaza Strip, the PCHR reported.

During the reporting period, Israeli settlers continued their violations of international law by resuming their systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property.

Settlers of the illegal Havat Ma’on outpost, east of Yatta village near Hebron, razed 10 Dunams of agricultural land. Settlers of Keryat Arba’ settlement southeast of Hebron, prevented Muslim worshipers from accessing Al Ras Mosque for several hours, while some fifty settlers occupied a residential building in Al Ras.