Friday, August 10, 2007

Last week in Palestine

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights released its weekly report from the dates 2nd of August until the 8th. And I gotta tell ya, it is quite a hefty list.

" Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

5 Palestinians, including a child, were killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
2 of the victims were extra-judicially executed by IOF.
One of the victims was shot dead by IOF near a military checkpoint in the West Bank.
21 Palestinians, including a child, and an international human rights defender were wounded by IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
IOF conducted 29 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
IOF arrested 49 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank.
IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT.
An old woman died at an IOF military checkpoint in the West Bank as IOF troops obstructed her evacuation to the hospital.
IOF have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world and a humanitarian crisis has emerged.
Some Palestinians have been stuck at the Egyptian side of Rafah International Crossing Point, and the number of deaths among them has mounted to 19.
IOF arrested 2 Palestinian civilians at Erez checkpoint in the northern Gaza Strip when they were on their way back to the Gaza Strip from Egypt.
IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested a Palestinian woman and a wound man.
IOF have continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property in the West Bank.
Israeli settlers launched a series of attacks on Palestinian civilians and property in Hebron."

The report has to be read in its entirety to fully grasp at the gravity of the situation. It obliterates the myth that Hamas has total autonomy of the Gaza Strip. So does
impugnity ring a bell to anyone?

"The Gaza Strip, IOF carried out an extra-judicial execution attempt in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. The attack killed 2 Palestinian civilians and wounded 12 others, including a child, and 3 members of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad). The attack essentially targeted the three members of the al-Quds Brigades. On Wednesday, 8 August 2007, IOF shot dead a member of the Executive Force of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior and wounded a civilian, who were organizing the movement of Palestinian civilians coming back to the Gaza Strip from Egypt through Erez crossing."

Doesn't a sovereign nation aspire to control its own borders? Not this so-called state impending.

"IOF have continued to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip for nearly one year. The total siege imposed by IOF on the Gaza Strip has left disastrous impacts on the humanitarian situation and has violated the economic and social rights of the Palestinian civilian population, particularly the rights to appropriate living conditions, health and education. It has also paralyzed most economic sectors. Furthermore, severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the Palestinian civilian population. As a consequence of the total siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, at least 73% of the families in the Gaza Strip live below the poverty line, and unemployment has been estimated at 55%. In addition, the living conditions in the Gaza Strip have further deteriorated with the non-payment of salaries for the public sector for nearly a year as international donors have frozen aids provided to Palestinians, and Israeli authorities have suspended the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian National Authority since March 2006. Moreover, the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip has severely impacted the flow of food, medical supplies and other necessities such as fuel, construction materials and raw materials for various economic sectors...

The closure of border crossings deprives the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip of their right to freedom of movement, education and health. IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on fishing in the Gaza Strip. Following the attack on IOF on 25 June 2006, IOF prevented fishing. Approximately 35,000 people in and around Gaza’s coastal communities rely on the fishing industry, including 2,500 fishermen, 2,500 support staff and their families. Fishermen have been subjected to intensive monitoring by IOF, which use helicopter gunships and gunboats to monitor the fishermen. The Oslo Accords allow Palestinian fishermen to go fishing up to 20 nautical miles away from the Gaza seashore."

They don't even have control of the airspace and the sea. What's a Gazan to do?

The Abbastan West Bank didn't fare much better.

"In the west Bank, On Thursday morning, 2 August 2007, IOF troops positioned at ‘Attara Bridge checkpoint, north of Ramallah, fired at Palestinian child, wounding him. The child died from his wound on the following day morning. On the same day evening, IOF shot dead a Palestinian when he attempted to escape from a house in Nablus as they came to arrest him. The victim was a member of the al-Quds Brigades. On 2 August 2007, IOF wounded a Palestinian civilian when they attempted to arrest him at Beit Eiba checkpoint, west of Nablus. On 3 August 2007, 3 Palestinian civilians and a Danish human rights defender were wounded when IOF used force against a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders against the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. On 6 August 2007, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when IOF fired at a number of Palestinian children who threw stones at military vehicles in ‘Ein Beit al-Maa’ refugee camp, west of Nablus...

During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 29 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, IOF arrested 49 Palestinian civilians, including a child. Thus, the number of Palestinians arrested by IOF in the West Bank since the beginning of this year has mounted to 1,702."

29 military incursions? Let's remind ourselves that this was during the period of seven days. That's an average of just over four incursions a day: we can tell what
incursions look like. Palestinians can expect more effective draconian measures and the world community can just sit on the couch not even knowing about the atrocities being inflicted daily.

The irony is this is meant to be a quiet time for the West Bank thanks to Fatah being a compliant little Arab. Israel reneging on their word? Nah. That never happens.

Business as usual in the occupied territories.

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