HRR 2006

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Human Rights Report No. 234

Summary: Cars stopped by the army at Azzawiya checkpoint for at least two hours

Date of incident: 2nd January, 2006

Time: 6:30 pm

Place: Azzawiya checkpoint

Witness/es: Drivers at Azzawiya, IWPS

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident :

Reports of the Azzawiya checkpoint being slow to stopped all day. At approximately 6:30pm there was a long line of traffic. Drivers said they had been waiting for as long as two hours.

There was a hummer and three IDF at the checkpoint. They had the traffic stopped 15-20 meters from the opening of the tunnel and were shining a spot light at the cars and speaking through a bullhorn. Each person was told to get out of the car and lift their shirts, then they were allowed to drive forward where the IDF would look through some of the cars before they could go through. Traffic was only being held going in one direction.

IWPS approached the army asking why people were being held so long and were told they could not answer at the moment. After waiting approximately 45 minutes, the line of cars was almost gone.

Report written by:  Grace

Date report written on: 03-01-06

Human Rights Report No. 234 A

Summary: Soldiers with dogs entered 4 homes arrested a man, damaged property and seriously injured an old woman after being bitten by military dogs.

Date of incident: 13th January 2006

Time: 2 am

Place: Kafr Ad Dik (Salfit District)

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

Home of the uncle of the detained person: At approximately 2 o’clock in the night, soldiers arrived with dogs and ordered the 13 people to leave the house without proper attire for the cold and wet weather. They remained outside the home until 6 am. The soldiers told a family member “if they found anything, the house would be destroyed.” They shot bullets and sound bombs into the home, including at furniture, appliances and clothing. On the roof, soldiers threw tear gas into the chicken coop, killing poultry. A 15-year-old boy resisted removal from the home and was kicked as a result.            (Photo: New school uniform ruined by bullets)

Home of the father of the detained person: At approximately half past 2 in the night, soldiers entered the home and asked where the son was hiding, ordering the 15 people in the home to leave the house.  Soldiers entered the home with dogs and ransacked the house, shooting bullets and sound bombs.  The wife of the detained found 1,000 Jordanian dinars missing from her closet after they left.  Soldiers kicked the father and made the family stay outdoors for 4 hours.

Home of the grandfather of the detained person: At 3 o’clock in the night, soldiers ordered him, 82, to leave the house.  He told them his wife was still inside but they entered with dogs.  The woman, 78, was bitten while sleeping by the dogs and was treated by soldiers and brought to a Nablus hospital. Soldiers ransacked the home and shot bullets at furniture and walls.

Photo: Women’s bed and clothing after being bitten by military dogs

Home of another uncle of the detained person: At approximately half past 3 am, soldiers entered the home and shot bullets indoors, including at a drum of olive oil, spilling it into the room. Bullets damaged windows, walls and furniture.  Downstairs, soldiers threw sound bombs and shot bullets into the animal pens, damaging the structure and causing goats to escape. Walls of neighboring homes were also damaged from bullet shots and cracked from close-range sound bombs.

Photo: A bullet hole in a drum of olive oil

Report written by: Amy and Vera

Photos taken by: Grace.

Edited by: Marisol

Date report written on: 16.01.06

Human Rights Report No. 235

Summary: Army arrested one man and damaged property in a house of the village.

Date of incident: 19th January, 2006

Time: between 3 and 5 pm

Place: Kafr ad Dik (Salfit District)

Witnesses: Families of the village

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

Living room ransacked

According to witnesses, an unmarked car and about 20 military jeeps arrived in the village of Kafr ad Dik at approximately 3 pm on Tuesday 19th of January. A military bulldozer and a jeep closed the two main access roads so that people could reach the village only by foot. They directly went to Aimel’s home, ransacking the living room and taking two bags. Witnesses said that the army was looking for him but that he was not there and soldiers hit two members of the family. Soldiers left the house and, without giving any explanations, beat and arrested Jihad, 35 years old. At 4:30 pm the army and the bulldozer blocking one of entrances of Kafr ad Dik left the village while the other road was still closed at least until 5:30 pm.

Report written by: Grace and Vera

Photo by: Vera

Edited by: Marlous

Date report written on: 19th January 2006

Human Rights Report No. 236

Summary: Israeli army enters Deir Istiya and arrests one resident

Date of incident: January 31, 2006

Place: Deir Istiya, Salfit district

Witness/es: IWPS volunteers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident

At approximately 2 a.m. on January 31, 2006, 3 jeeps and about 30 soldiers entered the village of Deir Istiya.  Two soldiers with dark face paint knocked on the door of the home of a resident, demanding to enter the house to inspect the premises.  They asked the brother of the detainee to stand outdoors.  The rest of the family was made to stay in one corner of the home while the army searched the house.  Afterwards, according to the detainee’s brother, an army detective or secret service agent said he was taking the detainee, 30, a teacher and member of the village government, outside to ask a few questions, and drove away with the detainee in the vehicle at 2:30 a.m.  There has been no information about the detainee’s location.

Human Rights Report No. 237

Summary: Israeli army enters Hares during the night and arrests two minors

Date of incident: February 8, 2006

Time: 2:00-2:20 am

Place: Hares, Salfit district

Witness/es: Family members, IWPS volunteers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident

At approximately 2:00 am on February 8 2006, Israeli army entered the village of Hares. Within the next twenty minutes, soldiers with faces painted black invaded two houses.

In the first house they ordered all people to go and stand outside, asking the father for his ID card. Without giving an explanation they then detained Mahmoud Jawdat Daud, 15 years old, and took him away without his shoes or jacket.

In the second house soldiers threw a sound bomb at the door, after which they kicked at the door and shouted at the family to open it. They commanded all family members (father, mother and seven children – including a baby) to stand outside. They then detained Osama Ayad Ahmad Souf, 15 years old, without giving an explanation and took him away.

Both boys were immediately driven out of the village. At the time of writing their whereabouts were unknown.

Report by: Vera and Clara

Edited by: Marisol and Marlous

Date report written on: February 8, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 238

Summary: Israeli police arrest Palestinian man for possession of a stolen car

Date of incident: February 19, 2006

Time: 11:00 am-3:00 pm

Place: Hares, Salfit district

Witness/es: Family members, IWPS volunteers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident

On Sunday, February 19, 2006, two Israeli police officers from the Ariel settlement police station were at the entrance of the village of Hares at around 11 a.m.

They began inspecting the IDs of residents on the road and of those who were riding in vehicles.

Later, they went into the village, stopping by a residence near the entrance. Soon, soldiers in three jeeps arrived and six young soldiers joined the police.

At around noontime, the police asked the owner of a car parked outside the house to come out. The owner, a man in his early 20s, was told that his car matches the description of a car reported to have been stolen.

Then, the police told the family, the passers-by as well as the IWPS volunteers to move away from the car because a bomb squad was on the way to inspect the car for explosives.

When the bomb squad failed to find any explosive in the car, the police and the soldiers moved the vehicle towards the village entrance, removing its Palestinian plate numbers. They also  took the youth with them in the police car, supposedly for further interrogation. The youth was brought to the police station in the Ariel settlement and his car was towed away.

At the police station, the youth was questioned, finger- and palm-printed and taken to prison. The young man denied the accusation, saying that the car they were looking for was supposed to have been stolen last week but his car had been with him for a month and a half. The police officers who arrested him told his family that a bail bond of 1,500 NIS must be posted for his temporary release from jail.

His family cannot afford to post bail nor hire the services of a lawyer. The youth continues to be in jail at the Ariel police station.

Report by: Lina

Edited by: Afrose and Marlous

Date report written on: February 19, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 239

Summary: Army invades Balata Refugee Camp, occupies houses, injures at least 100 persons, including medical relief workers, denies access to ambulances and medical teams, kills six adults and two children.

Date and Time of incident: 1:30 am of February 19th till 4 a.m. February 23th, 2006.

Place: Balata Refugee Camp (Nablus District)

Witness/es: IWPS and Palestinian Medical Relief workers.

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

Sunday 19th of February

At approximately 1:30 a.m. of the 19th of February, the Israeli army started an operation named “Northern Glory.” The IDF invaded Balata with helicopters and drones as well as about 50 army vehicles, including four armored personnel carriers (APCs) and two bulldozers, starting to block of the camp with its 30 000 residents from its surrounding and from Nablus City. The UNRWA schools of the camp were turned into a military base and a number of civilian houses were occupied.

In the early morning, the army surrounded the house of the Hamami family in search of Ahmad Abu Ras, 28, and arrested him and another person. In an act of collective punishment they then destroyed the house.

The army declared a curfew on the refugee camp the following morning and enforced it for 64 hours, until leaving Balata in the evening of the 21st of February. An unknown number of houses were occupied and used as sniper position, while holding the families inside and restricting them to one room. In some areas of the camp house to house searches were conducted, causing property damages to varying degrees. (In the photo: a hammer in the Market Street during the curfew)

Children and youth inside the camp and in its surrounding started resisting the invasion by throwing stones, bottles with paint etc. on the armored army vehicles and building barricades. The army responded with excessive use of rubber coated steal bullets and live ammunition, resulting in about 35 injuries, most of them youth, on the first day of the invasion. IWPS volunteers also witnessed soldiers in a Jeep with the number 611 338 inciting youth by cursing their parents and threatening the youth to make them martyrs.

Around 2 p.m. Mohammed Ahmad Natur and Ibrahim Ahmad Sheikh Issa, both 17 years old, were killed by a sniper shooting from an occupied house while being on the roof of one of their houses, watching the confrontation. One boy was hit by a live bullet in his neck, the other in the chest. The brother of one of the boys was shot in the thigh when he tried to come to their help. The army later clamed they were planting bombs. However, while the army tried to block the fatally injured boys from being carried to the ambulance, no attempts were made to enter the house and no bomb squad were brought to either the house or the streets around it.

Monday 20th of February

The operation continued throughout Monday and Tuesday, the 20th and 21st of February, with the army using tear gas, sound bombs, rubber bullets – often shot with a device that spray shoots several bullets at once – and live ammunition against youth throwing stones, resulting in more injuries.

Between 2.30 a.m. and 4 a.m. on the 20th of February the army searched the house of the Kitawi family, looking for their wanted son. The whole family, including children, were forced on the street, while the army destroyed much of the family belongings. Food and clothing were thrown on the floor and furniture damaged, a fridge, TV, electronic equipment smashed. Sound bombs were exploded inside the house. The father of the family reports being cursed by soldiers and threatened that his wanted son would be killed unless he turned himself in. He also reports that 4500 Shekel and 550 Dinar were stolen from the house.

In the same night the army also entered the old city of Nablus and killed Islamic Jihad militant Ahmad Mohammad Nayef Abu Sharkh, 29.

Around 17.00 p.m., when the situation had quieted down, international and medical volunteers sitting outside a field clinic in the Balata Market Street witnessed two shots being fired from an occupied house on the house across the street. A 22 year old man, who was standing at the window of his room, was hit in the chest and seriously injured. Army jeeps drove up to the house, but did not interfere as the injured youth and his heavily pregnant sister, who went into labor due to the shock, were evacuated by ambulances. Shortly afterwards the soldiers forced the rest of the family, including two small children and two babies, into the street, while searching the house and shooting live ammunition inside. They later threatened the ambulances on the scene and the family with shooting and throwing tear gas to make them leave the area. An explosion was set in front of the house.

Late Tuesday afternoon the army pulled out of the camp, injuring more youth in the process. Many people had taken to the streets thinking the army had left, when some jeeps came back to evacuate an occupied house.

Wednesday 22nd of February

On Wednesday 22nd, the army conducted an arrest operation in Kufr Kalil, a village on the outskirts of Balata Refugee Camp, lasting from the early afternoon till after midnight. The Amer family house, where four fighters from the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades were hiding, was surrounded and the two resident families, about 22 persons including children, were called to leave the house and kept under the trees in the area. Four surrounding houses, each home to 2-3 families with many children and babies, were occupied by the army and the families were kept inside, forbidden to turn on the light or to use their phones to contact family members outside the house. The operation ended with the arrest of the four fighters.

Thursday 23rd of February

Thursday around 3 a.m. the refugee camp was re-invaded and army bulldozers again blocked most of the entrances.

Thursday morning Ibrahim Saideh, 19, was killed in ad-Dahiyyeh, a neighborhood overlooking Balata Refugee Camp. The youth was hit by two live bullets in the abdomen and back, damaging his liver, intestines and one of the main veins.

At 1.30 p.m. on Thursday, Naim Abu Saris, 29, was killed by a live bullet in the heart, shot by a sniper from an occupied house, while being on the roof of his house. The army claimed he was armed, but eye witnesses deny this. No confrontations were going on in the area of his house at that time.

During the morning an area close to the Balata Camp cemetery was sealed off and house to house searches were conducted. The Israeli Army surrounded the house of Mohammad Amar Abu Hamis, 32, where he and two other fighters of the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, Hammoudeh Ishtawi, 32, and Hassan Hajaj, 21, where hiding. Around 11.45 a.m. the army set of an explosion in the house, without prior warning to the civilians in the area, which caused a fire. The smoke also affected the families in neighboring houses, two of whom had to be evacuated with the help of medical volunteers. The army forbid the medical team from checking on the residents of other affected houses and prevented the Palestinian firemen who arrived to the area shortly afterwards from approaching the house, attempting instead to put out the fire with water brought in cooking pots and buckets by women from the neighboring houses.

At 12.30 more explosions were set of. Reportedly, there was an exchange of fire between the army and the surrounded militants, resulting in the injury of two Israeli soldiers.

At about 2 p.m., after a quiet period, an explosion followed by live fire hit a group of medical workers, international volunteers and journalists who where observing the events around the house from the end of the narrow alleyway next to the cemetery. Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (PMRC) ambulance driver Jareer Candola was hit by shrapnel in the hand and the leg, cutting nerves and veins under the knee. Ihab Mansour, a medical volunteer with the Scientific Medical Society, was hit by either shrapnel or a live bullet in the head and lost consciousness. Another PMRC volunteer was lightly injured by shrapnel in the chest and two IWPS volunteers from Holland and the United States also suffered light injuries by shrapnel, one in the shoulder and the thigh, the other in her arm. The army blocked the rescue efforts, causing a delay of at least 30 minutes. The ambulance transporting Ihab Mansour was then stopped again on its way to the hospital and Mansour was arrested from the ambulance. At the time of writing he is reported to be under arrest in critical condition in Beilinson Hospital inside Israel. .

At around 3.30 p.m. the army evacuated the area and the camp after dragging the bodies of the three militants out to confirm their death. As the army left, residents and medical teams rushed to the scene to recover the bodies, which were all severely mutilated by the explosions.

Throughout the invasion at least 12 persons were arrested, two of them from ambulances.

Number of injuries during the invasion

Dr. Samir Abu Zaroor from Rafidia hospital gives the following data on the injuries throughout the invasion. These numbers are not complete; due to the large number of casualties some cases were transferred directly to other hospitals in Nablus.

About 100 people were injured during the invasion. Their ages range from 12 to 63, though the majority of casualties were young boys and men between 15 and 25.

Injuries included:

  • 14 cases of severe bruises and fractures caused by jeeps driving into people
  • 28 cases of injuries by beating
  • 4 cases of injuries caused when people fell while running away from the army
  • 37 injuries caused by plastic coated steel bullets (so called rubber bullets)
  • 21 cases of live bullets

Severe cases included:

  • a 17 year old boy shot with a live bullet at short range into his left shoulder, breaking his shoulder and damaging a main artery, which caused heavy bleeding;
  • a youth, who suffered multiple fractures in his thigh by a live bullet and will be permanently disabled;
  • a man, 26 year old, hit by live bullets in the throat and the head, who was transferred to Ihloff Hospital in Tel Aviv in critical condition;
  • a 63 year old taxi driver, who was injured by bullet fragments in his left shoulder and a live bullet in his head;
  • a youth who was transferred to Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem who was shot in the throat.

Restrictions on medical access

Apart from the injuries directly inflicted by the Israeli army, the several day long siege and curfew of the camp and its population of about 30 000 people created a more general humanitarian crisis. Families were running out of bread and milk for the children and some patients out of medicine. Women in labor, sick children and chronically ill people, suffering from Asthma, Diabetes, high blood pressure or needing dialysis, were all cut of from the normal medical infrastructure, the army often preventing or delaying their access to medical treatment. In addition, severe restrictions were imposed on the movement of ambulances and medical volunteers. Ambulances, medical teams and the UN clinic in the camp were attacked several times. The most severe case, resulting in the injury of two medical workers on Thursday 23rd, is described above. Following are other cases of preventing or delaying access to medical care and attacks on medical workers that where witnessed by IWPS volunteers or reported to them by Palestinian medical workers. More cases may have occurred.

Sunday 19th of February

  • At around 11.30 two injured, Mahmoud Rajeh and Saleh Abu Alfa were arrested out of Ambulances on their way to the hospital. A PMRC ambulance was later called to Huwara Military base to pick up Rajeh, while Abu Alfa was arrested and transferred to Beilinson hospital inside Israel.
  • At around 12.30 two jeeps cornered an ambulance carrying an injured person and a women with labor complications. The jeeps pushed the ambulance from the front and the back, fired a shot in its direction and forced it to stand between the jeeps for about half an hour, while youth were throwing stones at them.
  • At around 1:00 pm two ambulances were held stopped by several jeeps outside Balata camp. According to the ambulance team they were detained for about 40 minutes and a young man with a bullet wound in the shoulder was beaten inside one of the ambulances. The soldiers forced the ambulance personnel to undress his wound to prove he is injured, making the wound start bleeding again. The ambulance was held  until the family, with the help of the ambulance team and the IWPS volunteers, brought his ID card. After his ID was checked, the ambulance continued its way, only to be stopped again by the next jeep on the road.
  • At around 1:30 pm two boys, aged between 11 and 14 years, were injured in their legs with live ammunition. One had a flesh wound, while the other had his femur crushed by the bullet. The soldiers did not allow the ambulance to reach the injured, who had to be carried about two kilometers out of the camp by medical volunteers using a stretcher and a mattress. (In the photo: the two boys outside and inside the camp).
  • Around 6 p.m. a boy hit by a plastic coated bullet in the head also had to be carried out of the camp to reach the ambulance.

Monday 20th of February

  • at approximately  7:15 am, a military jeep shot in the direction of the ambulance from a distance of about 200m preventing it from approaching the area close to the main entrance of the camp.
  • at approximately 11:15 the army attempted to close the UN medical clinic by shooting warning shots and percussion grenades. They also prevented patients from entering the clinic.
  • at approximately 11.35 a team of medical and international volunteers was shot at with tear gas.
  • at approximately 15:40 Israeli soldiers denied entry to a medical team attempting to deliver food and medicine into the camp. The Israeli soldiers also threatened to shoot them.

Tuesday 21st of February

  • around 1 p.m. soldiers in a Jeep with the number 611 323 shot teargas at an ambulance delivering medical supplies and pointed their guns at a team of medical and international volunteers accompanying patients including a small child to the UN clinic.

Report written by: Clara and Vera

Edited by: Grace

Date report written on: 28th of February 2006

Human Rights Report No. 240

Summary: Army invades Jericho, storms PA prison; kills a prison guard and an inmate; injures 50 people, arrests imprisoned PFLP leader Ahmad Saadat and six others inmates and obstructs access to medical aid

Date of incident: 14.03.2006

Time: from 9:30 until 22:30

Place: IWPS volunteer, PMRC medics

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident :

At about 9:20 in the morning of the 14 march 2006, the British monitoring group left the PA prison in Jericho, where PFLP leader Ahmad Saadat and other prisoners wanted by Israel where held according to an Israeli-Palestinian agreement. Only minutes later the Israeli army moved in and surrounded the prison compound. At this point about 300 prisoners guard, security forces and civilian workers were inside the compound. Most of them followed the call to come out to the building and, upon their surrender were forced to strip to their underwear and then blindfolded and handcuff. The army further infringed on their rights by exposing them to the media in this humiliating situation.

About 30 people, including the 6 wanted inmates, stayed inside the compound, refusing to turn themselves in. The Israeli army then proceeded to shell the compound with heavy artillery from tanks and helicopters. In addition, Caterpillar built DC9 bulldozer, and other heavy construction machinery was brought in and the army started demolishing the compound from difference sides.

Two persons, a prison guard and an inmate serving time for criminal charges, were killed and more than 20 persons were injured in the process. All small buildings, office containers and cars in the prison compound were completely destroyed and all outer walls of the main prison building were heavily damaged.

At about 17:30 hours, two activists of ISM attempted to break the siege of the compound, to deliver medical supplies to the injured people inside. They were overwhelmed and detained by the army before entering the compound, but released about 45 minutes later.

According to witnesses at around 18:30 hours, the army demolished one wall of the room where the remaining prisoners and guards were holding out, thus forcing them to surrender.

At around 21:00 hours, the army started to repeatedly attack a group of journalists, medics and people from the neighborhood with sound bombs. A young man was hit by a sound bomb in the arm and according to the PMRC medics on the scene suffered a fracture. The army surrounded the building of the Palestinian intelligence, next to the prison compound, with about 50 men and 10 women inside. They partly demolished a wall of the computer room, causing extensive damage to the electrical equipment, as well as an adjacent room.  They drove with a tank through the front entrance and shot tear gas, sound bombs and live rounds inside the building. The 60 unarmed persons inside made no attempt to resist and were kept inside the building throughout the operation.

In a large area around the compound, Palestinian youth protesting the invasion by throwing rocks, burning fires and building barricades. The army used live bullets, plastic coated steal bullets, tear gas and sound bombs against them. 26 injured persons between the age of 10 to 36 were delivered to the New Jericho Hospital, whilst others were treated on the spot. According to the hospital, 8 of the injured were hit by fragment of live bullets, 3 of them seriously – one in the spine, one in the pelvis and one suffering an open femur fracture. The area of the hospital was sealed off throughout the operation. The ambulance carrying the youth injured in the spine was returned by the Israeli army on its way to the hospital. The drivers then attempted to bring the serious injured to Ramallah, but was stopped at the checkpoint outside Jericho. After waiting for 2 hours they decided to try again to reach Jericho hospital, taking a long detour on dirt roads.13 of the injured were able to arrive to the hospital only after the army left Jericho at around 22:30 hours.

While the majority of the approximately 300 people detained in the compound were released in then following hours, PFLP leader and elected Palestinian Legislative Council member Ahmad Saadat and Fuad Shubaki were arrested and brought out of Jericho for interrogation.

Background

In spring 2002, during the Israeli operation “Defensive Shield” the Presidential compound was besieged for 34 days. The siege ended with the US-brooked deal to transfer 6 persons wanted by Israel and already under arrest by the PA to Jericho prison under the guard of American and British monitors. PFLP members Ahed Ulmeh, Majdi Rimawi, Bassel Assamer and Hamdi Quran were accused of having carried out the assassination of right-wing Israeli Tourism Minister, Rehavam Ze’evi, in 2001 in retaliation for the target assassination on PFLP leader Abu Ali Mustafa by a missile fired from a helicopter. They were sentenced in a short trial not satisfying international standards of fair trial by a Palestinian military court at the end of the siege. PFLP leader Ahmad Saadat is being accused of having ordered Ze’evi assassination. Fuad Shubaki was accused of being responsible for a failed attempt to smuggle arms in to the Occupied Territories. Both were held without any legal proceeding being taken against them. In 2002 the Palestinian High Court ordered the PA to release Ahmad Saadat but the PA refused to follow the decision in order to keep the international agreement about his arrest.

Report written by: Clara

Edited by: Alys and Vera

Date report written on: 15 march 2006

Human Rights Report No. 241

Summary: Israeli army demolishes agricultural structures in Deir Ballut. Three men arrested.

Date of incident: March 15, 2006

Time: 6:00 – 6:30 am

Place: Deir Ballut, Salfit district

Witness/es: Owners and village council members, IWPS volunteers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident

On 13 March 2006 at approximately 8:30 am the Israeli army issued a 24-hour demolition order for six agricultural structures (tents, shacks and animal pens) located at least 0.5 kilometer on the east side of the Wall at Deir Ballut.

On 15 March 2006 between 6:00 and 6:30 am the army arrived with bulldozers. At 8:00 am they began to destroy the agricultural structures. Approximately 20 people from three families were dependent on the income generated from the animals.

Three men (aged 23, 24 and around 50) were arrested. The DCO announced they would be released the next day, but by late afternoon they had not arrived yet to Deir Ballut.

The army declared all of the Deir Ballut area close to the east side of the Wall a closed military zone. Although people are still permitted to go to this land during the day, they are now forbidden to stay the night or put up tents or other structures.

The family had previously received a demolition order, but had assumed it invalid after the Wall was re-routed during a court case and their structures would no longer be on the west side of the Wall.

Two months ago Israelis, most likely settlers, began using the land immediately next to the shacks and animal pens as a rubbish dump. More demolition orders are threatening Deir Ballut and the neighboring village of Rafat.

Report by: Alys and Clara

Edited by: Marlous

Human Rights Report No. 242

Summary: The West Bank, particularly the Salfeet region, had been experiencing major road closures since mid-April. More temporary checkpoints hold up travelers in the Salfit district for many hours during most days.

Date of incidents: 3, 4, 5, 6 May 2006 and still ongoing

Time: see description of incidents.

Place: Qarawa Bani Hassan, Mash’a, Deir Istya (Salfit district)

Witness/es: IWPS volunteers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

On May 3 2006 seven international human rights observers from different organisations went to the gate at Qarawat Bani Hassan, near the village of Biddya and close to the hilltop settlement of Qiryat Netafim.

Between 3:15 pm and 5:15 pm, they witnessed the following incident. A group of around six soldiers and two border police men held up more than thirty men, women and children at the two sides of a temporary checkpoint. They reported to have been kept waiting for several hours. Four men were detained by the roadside. People with residency in the regions of Nablus, Tulkarm and Jenin were not allowed to pass through the checkpoint either way. Several people from Hares, Deir Istya and Salfit were not allowed to pass either, although it is the only way to their homes from Biddya.

A woman from Deir Istya was not allowed to pass while her children were waiting for her at home alone. A car with crates containing hundreds of chicks was not allowed to pass through the gate. The chicks had to be transferred over to another truck, which was not allowed to leave for at least half an hour. The chicks were clearly dehydrated.

After the international observers arrived, the soldiers started to check the IDs of people who had been waiting for hours. They allowed the majority to pass. After the international observers made calls to various human rights organisations and the Humanitarian Office of the Israeli military, the soldiers let some people who they did not allow through previously, to pass the checkpoint.

On Thursday, May 4 2006 at 5 pm on Highway 505 between Biddya and Mas’ha, an IDF jeep with four soldiers created a temporary checkpoint and stopped the vehicles from passing through. About 50 vehicles were lined up en route to Mas’ha and around 10 vehicles on the way to Biddya. Some passengers reported to have been waiting for passage for at least three hours.

After the volunteers arrived, the soldier checking the ID cards promptly started to work faster and allowed vehicles on the way to Mas’ha to pass. The vehicles coming from the Mas’ha side were still not allowed to pass.

The volunteers made calls to the Humanitarian Office of the IDF within hearing distance of the soldiers, and within minutes the soldier stopped checking documents and let all vehicles pass. At the same time two soldiers packed the removable spikes into the jeep and the jeep drove away in the direction of Mas’ha.

On the morning of 5 May 2006 an Israeli army jeep with three soldiers created a temporary checkpoint on the main thoroughfare between Hares and Deir Istiya. Two soldiers armed with M16 rifles stopped vehicles traveling toward Deir Istiya while a third armed soldier observed from a nearby hilltop. Approximately ten trucks, vans and cars were waiting in line as soldiers checked the ID cards of drivers and passengers. Vehicles arrived as others passed through the checkpoint. Soldiers examined the cargo area of trucks and some cars. Each driver waited between 10-15 minutes before being allowed to pass. Half an hour after the arrival of the volunteers, the soldiers dismantled the checkpoint.

On May 6 2006, between 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm, five women from IWPS observed the following incidents at a temporary checkpoint at the Qarawa Bani Hasan gate. A group of six soldiers were holding up more than twenty men, women and children. People with residency in the regions of Nablus, Tulkarem and Jenin were not allowed to pass. People with residency in Az-Zawyiyya were not allowed to pass either, although it lies in the region of Salfit and the Qarawa gate is the only exit from the enclave this village is in. A doctor from Tulkarem wanting to attend to an accident in his workplace Biddya was held up at the checkpoint for more than half an hour. A truck with pallets of marble coming from the west and a truck with bales of sawdust coming from the east were not allowed to pass through the gate, and had to exchange their loads with a crane across and above the heads of  waiting people.

After the international observers had been at the gate for five minutes the soldiers were replaced by a new group of soldiers. They started to check the IDs of the waiting  people and let the majority of them pass. The Humanitarian Office of the Israeli military was not willing to contact the soldiers about people who were not being let through. About 45 minutes later, three border police officers arrived and they went to the Biddya side of the roadblocks, saying that they were on the look out for cars which had not taken renewed their registration nor  taken the mandatory exhaust quality tests.

Report written by:  Lulu, Andjelka, Marlous

Edited by: Ilana and Lina

Date report written on: 9 May 2006

Human Rights Report No. 243

Summary: Military incursions into and occupation of residences in a village on a nightly basis

Date of incident: ongoing, since April 22

Time: every night, between 1 and 4 a.m.

Place: Kfer Ain

Witness/es: Villagers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident :

There are ongoing nightly military incursions into a village for the past twenty days since  late April, according to several villagers.

About twenty to thirty soldiers on foot have been coming to the village of Kfer Ain in the Salfit District between 1 and 4 a.m., thereby sowing terror among its inhabitants.

Villagers say that as soon as they come to the village, they would occupy a house or two and then  would  search the house, oftentimes scattering personal and household belongings and destroying cabinets and appliances. As this report is written about 25 houses had been occupied and searched, including a house where a woman was alone with her children.

According to the villagers, the soldiers told them that they were on the look out for two wanted men who they think the villagers had kept hidden from them. On other nights, they would say they had come to search for weapons.

The nocturnal presence of the Israeli Army Occupation Forces had caused unwarranted sleeplessness and widespread fear, especially among schoolchildren and high school students who are now preparing for the year-end school examinations.

Report written by: Lina and Hadeel

Date report written on: 18 May 2006

Human Rights Report No. 244

Summary: Arrest and detention of a 17-year-old youth for a period of five days without charges; and the arrest and detention of two youths for four hours.

Date of incident: Wednesday, 17 May 2006 to Sunday, 21 May 2006

Time: 10 a.m.

Place: Jamma’in / Marda, Salfit District

Witness/es:

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of the incident:

On Wednesday, 17 May 2006, shortly after 10 a.m., three 17-year-old students from the village of Marda, who were on their way back home from school in Jamma’in, were stopped by soldiers of the Israeli Army. The youths were shouted at, pushed about and later forced into an army jeep.

The boys were taken to the police station in the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel where they were separated from each other and questioned by a policeman and a soldier. In the course of the interrogation, which lasted for about one and a half hours, each of the boys was intimidated by psychological pressure and threats of physical harm to admit to allegations of stone-throwing. All three boys denied the allegations.

After the interrogation, two of the teenagers were released and they reached their homes in Marda at about 2 p.m. that afternoon.

Meanwhile, the third youth was kept under police custody as it was alleged that a settler had identified him as the stone-thrower. By noon, he was allowed to call his family and inform them of his detention.

With no further explanation he was made to wait in the entrance hall of the Ariel Police Station until around 8 p.m. when he was taken to the military camp prison in the settlement of Qedumim.

He was placed in a cell with four other young Palestinians for five days. During his detention, he was neither allowed to make phone calls nor asked any further questions or given any explanations.

At about 4 p.m. on Sunday, 21 May 2006, a soldier took him from the cell and another gave him back his belongings. A third soldier blindfolded him and led him outside. When the blindfold was taken away, he realized that he was released outside the Qedumim gate.

During his 5-day detention, no charges were filed against the boy and the army did not inform the boy’s parents of his whereabouts and did not allow them to visit him, contrary to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Report written by:  Andjelka and Lina

Date report written on: 21 May 2006

Human Rights Report No. 245

Summary: Israeli Occupation Army demolishes a residential house and several agricultural structures between the villages of Funduq and Hajja in Qalqilya district

Date of incident: May 24, 2005

Time: between 7.45 a.m. and 8.20 a.m.

Place: Funduq, Qalqilya

Witness/es: Villagers, IWPS

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident :

At  about 7:45 a.m. on May 24 2006,  the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) came to the village of Funduq, Qalqilya district, with several military vehicles and three bulldozers with giant drills.

Within minutes, the army demolished the houses and agricultural structures between the villages of Funduq and Hajja. The area is considered part of Area C under the Oslo accords.

The demolished structures included a family house that was under construction and was planned to be a family residence.  Its owner had already spent about 6000 Jordanian dinars on the house. He stopped building after receiving a demolition order and fulfilled all the requirements to get a permit for the house, but he was told there is no way to “legalize” it and his appeal against the demolition order was subsequently rejected by the court.

Other structures which were demolished were an agricultural barrack under construction, a work shop for stone cutting and the walls outlining a farm.

The owner of the barrack had taken out the machinery inside the barrack and dismantled most of the structure after he received the demolition order. Only the metal skeleton of the barrack was demolished by the IOF.

All structures were on privately-owned land, and the owners said that they tried in vain to get permits to build on their own land. But the Israeli authorities blocked the expansion of the villages in the area, thus preventing people from earning a living or building houses to ease the crowded living conditions inside the village.

These demolitions are part of a larger campaign of house demolitions in the villages of Funduq, Hajja and Jinsafut.

Earlier, on February 22 this year, a house under construction that was planned to contain agricultural facilities as well as several family apartments was demolished. The owner, who had invested about 200 000 NIS on the house, received a demolition order in April 2005 and was in contact with lawyers and the Israeli Military Administration. He was in the process of filing a petition against the demolition order, but was preempted by the demolition. Some agricultural structures and barracks were also demolished on the same day.

Another 30 houses, including up to 20-year-old houses inhabited by families with children, houses that are still under construction, agricultural barracks and structures, a well, a gas station and work shops, are currently under threat of demolition in Funduq, Hajja and Jinsafut.

Report written by: Clara, Hadeel

Edited by: Lina

Date report written on: 31  May 2006

Human Rights Report No. 246

Summary: Illegal arrest and  detention of three men and a boy in Haris by the Israeli police and soldiers, excessive destruction of property

Date of incident: Sunday, 28 May 2006

Time: From 2 p.m. to 3.25 p.m.

Place: Haris

Witness/es: IWPS volunteers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

The Israeli border police and soldiers from the Israeli Occupation Army arrested three men and a boy (16) from the village of Haris on Sunday , 28 May 2006 between 2.00 and 3.25 p.m.

The three men are members of the same family.

According to eyewitness accounts, at around 2 p.m. ten police officers in plain clothes and wearing bullet-proofed vests stormed an egg store in Haris. They fired at the store’s lock to open it and also threw canisters of tear gas into the room. The policemen broke the chairs and electric fan as well as scattered the eggs which were placed on trays around the room. Several trays of eggs were also thrown out on the street, breaking hundreds of eggs.

One man was forced into the police jeep and taken to the entrance of the village, where three cars with undercover Israeli policemen were waiting. They told his uncle, a taxi driver who was sitting in his car and waiting for customers, to get out of the car. They then took his ID card and chained his legs and made him sit on a boulder by the side of the street.

At 2.50 p.m. the man in the police jeep with handcuffs on his wrists was transferred from the police jeep into a civilian car. At this point, also the boy, who was waiting for his ID card, was told to get into the car. A policeman drove the car down the bypass road to the highway towards Ariel.

At about the same time as the transfer of the first man to the car was happening, a jeep of the Israeli Occupation Army arrived. One of the policemen returned the taxi driver’s ID card, the shackles on his feet were unchained and he was put into the police jeep. Inside, he was handcuffed.

Then, the army and police jeeps drove up the main road into the village and stopped in front of the egg store. Three soldiers stopped all the traffic while two policemen took out the taxi driver from the police car and brought him inside the store. One of the policemen began filming the front façade of the store, including the men sitting outside the store.

Inside, the policemen threw eggs on the walls and scattered more eggs and egg trays. After having broken more eggs, the policemen took a fourth man from the store and put him also into the police jeep. Both of the jeeps, followed by the three cars with the undercover policemen, drove out of the village towards the south, in the direction of Ariel.

Their family members could not say why the four men were arrested. They were given no reasons for the arrests. The police did not have any search or arrest warrant.

The police officers refused to give any information to the IWPS volunteers.

However, a family member told an IWPS volunteer that for several weeks now, they have been buying eggs from small poultry farms inside the West Bank instead of getting them from Israeli traders.

After IWPS volunteers phoned repeatedly the Ariel police station to ask what happened to the four men, they got the information that three, including the boy, had been released. Of the three, two had put up bail of 2,500 shekels. The fourth man continues to be detained at the police station.

The men who were released revealed that they were detained on suspicion of having smuggled eggs into Israel. Damage to property and supply of eggs destroyed by the police and soldiers was pegged at 60,000 shekels.

Report written by: Andjelka and Lina

Edited by: Ilana

Date report written on: 28 May 2006

Human Rights Report No. 247

Summary: The Israeli Occupation Army (IOF) demolishes two houses in Brukin, Salfit District; 70 under threat of demolition

Date of incident: Tuesday, 30 May 2006

Time: From 6.30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Place: Brukin, Salfit

Witness/es: Villagers, IWPS volunteers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

On Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at approximately 6.30 a.m., soldiers of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on board 25 military vehicles and two bulldozers entered the village of Brukin in Salfit District. The village is designated as “Area C” under The Oslo Accords and is on the route of the Apartheid Wall.

Fifteen hummers and a bulldozer went to Buk’an, the northwestern part of the village. The bulldozer demolished a house. According to the villagers, five other houses in the same neighborhood are under threat of demolition. The soldiers closed the neighborhood in order to prevent other residents from coming near the demolished house.

The house was under construction for a family of ten. The neighbors told the IWPS volunteers that the owner lived with his family in Jordan. Neither of his brothers was in the village when the demolition took place.

The mayor of Brukin informed IWPS that in Buk’an 70 houses have received demolition orders. Consequently, as many as 700 people could become homeless.

Simultaneously, another demolition occurred in the northern part of the Brukin. The Israeli Occupation Army razed a newly-completed 130-square-meter home valued at approximately 150,000 NIS that was to house a 26-year-old unemployed man and his wife after their marriage this summer.

According to the owner’s relatives, in February 2006 Israeli soldiers claimed that they had left a demolition order under a stone in front of the house.  However, none of the 50 family members who live in four homes nearby saw the order. Despite this, the family hired a lawyer in an attempt to appeal the demolition order.

Their court case was preempted by this morning’s demolition. At 6.30 a.m. 10 hummers and a bulldozer came to the house and the soldiers told everybody in the four neighboring homes to stay inside or they would be shot. No further explanations were given and all the paths to the neighborhood were blocked.

Report written by: Andjelka

Photos by: Lulu (see www.iwps.info)

Edited by: Lulu,Lina

Date report written on: 30 May 2006

Human Rights Report No. 248

Summary: Eight men taken in the early morning from the village of Silwad, near Ramallah.

Date of incident: June 11, 2006

Time: 2:30 a.m.

Place: Silwad, near Ramallah

Witnesses: Family members of detainees

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

At 2:30 am on June 11th, 2006, a Silwad resident and his family were sleeping in their home. They were woken by the sound of breaking glass. Large stones were being thrown at the windows and doors by the Israeli Occupation Forces, who then set off one sound bomb.

The military yelled for the resident and his family to come out of the house, and threatened to place an explosive in the house if they did not comply. When the family came outside, the resident’s mother reports that she saw many snipers lying on the ground, aimed and ready to shoot. There were reportedly nine military jeeps with five soldiers in each. The military asked the women of the family (including three- and four-year-old girls) to sit down on the ground, while the men, the 22-year-old resident and a 14-year-old, were asked to lift their clothing, to ensure that they were not hiding weapons under their clothing. A few soldiers took the resident to the road, while others went through the house. The soldiers ran through the home, tearing pictures off the walls and ripping clothing out of drawers. They put holes in large barrels of milk, causing it to spill all over the floor.

The family stayed outside for a total of 90 minutes. The resident’s mother reports that the soldiers were threatening the family with violence, but that the commander of the unit restrained them. She was not allowed to say goodbye to her son. She cried out for him, and when he heard her he tried to move towards her, but was assaulted by a soldier. The resident’s mother was thrown to the ground by another soldier. A few soldiers stayed in the house until they were informed that the soldiers had taken the resident to his destination. The soldiers took firewood from the house. Later, the resident was able to sneak a mobile phone from another prisoner to call his family. He is reportedly in the prison at Ofar settlement. He is the sole source of income for his family of six.

Seven other men were taken from Silwad that night. In one instance, the uncle of the arrested man opened his front door to see what was happening, and was taken by the IOF as a result. In another case, one man who was supposed to be married after two days was not found in his house. The IOF then went to the home of his sister, and removed her from the house, leaving her young children alone inside.

Report written by:  Afrose

Edited by: Jo

Date report written on: June 16, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 249

Summary: Jewish Pilgrims Arrive at Midnight in Kifl Haris as Army Imposes Curfew

Date of incident: Thursday, June 15 – Friday, June 16, 2006

Time: from 10 a.m. on Thursday to 5 a.m. on Friday

Place: Kifl Haris, Salfit

Witnesses: Villagers, IWPS

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

At around 10 a.m. on June 15th , 2006, 17 IOF and Police jeeps and one military bulldozer arrived at the entrance of Kifl Haris, Salfit District. The military set up a tent there, and took control of the road into and out of the village in preparation for the visit that night of religious Jews to the three Holy Sites in Kifl Haris (tombs of the prophets Kalib Benyivna, Yosha Ben Nun, and Chanun/Jonah).

The village did not have any official notification of the upcoming pilgrimage.

According to the Mayor of Kifl Haris, smaller groups of Israeli settlers make night visits to the tombs at least twice a week. Usually a larger group of Jewish pilgrims visit the tombs once a year, but this was already the third time this year that a group of up to 1000 pilgrims came into the village.

A curfew on the village was declared around 11 p.m. The pilgrims started to arrive shortly after midnight. According to eyewitnesses around 700 pilgrims came in large Israeli coaches to the main village square, from where they walked the path to the tombs and prayed, making noise all night long.

The street lights in the village were turned off at midnight, and a large spotlight was shone on the square, while a couple of smaller ones were shone along the pilgrims’ path. The generators and spotlights had been transported into the village in military vehicles.

At least 50 IOF military, who had moved from the entrance of the village to the main village square shortly before sunset, were deployed not only along the pilgrims’ path but also on the roofs of at least eight houses in the village. They did not present any warrants to enter the houses. When the mayor spoke to the officer in charge, he was only told, “this is a necessary measure in order to prevent terrorist attacks”. A woman whose house had been occupied said she was afraid, especially as her husband was very ill.

Another woman told the IWPS volunteer: “The settlers scare me more than the soldiers”. She had been in the doorway of her home with her husband and daughter when they heard a pilgrim asking a soldier, “Why are the Arabs outside?”  Subsequently, the family decided to go into the house.

The pilgrims left the village at around 5 a.m. on June 16th. The IOF left soon after.

Report written by:  Andjelka

Edited by: Jo

Date report written on: June 16, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 250

Summary: Israeli army arrests two Palestinian men in night-time raid in Salfit village, in first of week of incursions

Dates of incidents: Wednesday, June 21; Thursday, June 22; Friday, June 23; Tuesday, June 27

Times: early morning and evening

Place: Kafr ‘Ein, Salfit

Witnesses: Residents of raided houses;  villagers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you may require.

Description of Incident:

Army incursions have occurred almost nightly for the past week in the village of Kafr ‘Ein in the Salfit region; the first, on June 21, 2006, resulting in five house raids and the arrest and continuing detention of two Palestinian men. Three subsequent raids in the early morning or evening hours caused disruption and damage to homes, and the temporary confinement of an elderly woman with a heart condition.

Witnesses reported that on June 21, soldiers first entered the village on foot after midnight, then later in 14 jeeps and three trucks. Numbers of soldiers were estimated at between 150 and 200. IDF Special Force soldiers with blackened faces were also employed.

Three of the five houses were raided simultaneously, witnesses said. Soldiers used loudspeakers and sound bombs, and threw stones at gates and windows to force residents from their homes. The two men arrested were a 20-year-old and a 34-year-old. The younger man had a brother, aged 22, who had been arrested several days earlier at Atara checkpoint. Family members say none of the detained men have been allowed contact with family or with lawyers.

Witnesses said subsequent raids took place on June 22 after 5:30 a.m., on June 23 after 7 p.m., and on June 27 after 1:30 a.m.

On June 27, witnesses said, about 10 soldiers entered two houses, and the searches lasted about an hour. The house belonging to the parents of one of the men arrested on June 21 was ransacked and items damaged, including in the bedroom of the arrested man’s mother. Soldiers were said to have stomped on homemade olive-oil soap, breaking glasses, ashtrays and dishes, overturning a washing machine and mattresses, and ransacking closets.

The elderly mother was reportedly locked in her bedroom later, and started to scream, “I’m going to die.” Eventually someone unlocked the door and let her out, only to have soldiers shout at her to get back in. Later that day the woman showed IWPS members a scar down her chest from recent open-heart surgery, and began to cry.

Report written by: Beth

Edited by: Jo

Date report written on: June 28, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 251

Summary: Village of Marda Closed by Army

Date of incident: June 28, 2006

Time: Before 5 a.m.; still closed at 11 p.m.

Place: Marda, Salfit.

Witnesses: Marda residents, IWPS

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

On June 28, 2006, the access road to the village of Marda was closed by the Israeli army in the early morning hours.

Marda is surrounded on three sides by the separation wall, and has only one access road, which leads to the Trans-Samaria Highway. The Israeli Defence Forces have installed a gate across this access road. When it is shut, there is no vehicular access to or from Marda.

When IWPS team members arrived about 9:30 a.m. in response to a call from a village resident, this gate was closed, and was guarded by four soldiers with a jeep. Three soldiers were at the gate and another was on the hillside with a rifle. An IWPS member called the IDF Humanitarian Office, which informed her that the gate would be closed for “a few hours.”

Over half a dozen cars were lined up on the Marda side of the gate, their occupants waiting to drive to work. The villagers had found the gate locked by 5 or 6 a.m. this morning. When questioned, the soldiers implied that the gate had been locked before they arrived on shift at 5a.m. The soldiers told the local residents and IWPS that settlers from Ari’el, the settlement overlooking Marda, had reported seeing boys putting stones on the road, and then running back to Marda land. The soldiers refused to open the gate to let the Marda residents drive to work, telling them that they could only leave on foot.

After a while, the IWPS team members left the gate with the resident who had called them. When they returned, around 11:45a.m., the gate was still locked. A Marda woman was to be married to a man from Deir Istya that afternoon, and her father was talking with the soldiers. They refused to let her or anyone through. After some time and negotiating, the soldiers agreed that five cars would be able to pass that afternoon to attend the wedding. The IWPS team members then left Marda. When they spoke to the resident again at 5:40 p.m., he told them that the wedding party had not been allowed to pass. It was only after IWPS and an Israeli human rights activist had made calls to the military authorities that two cars of the wedding party were allowed through.

At 11p.m., the gate was still closed, and the soldiers were not able to say when free access to the village would resume.

Collective punishment is in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 33.

Report written by:  Jo

Edited by: Marisa and Beth

Date report written on: June 27, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 252

Human Rights Summary: Two men arrested in Kafr ‘Ein, houses searched and property damaged.

Date of incident: July 3, 2006

Time: 4 a.m. until 9 a.m.

Place: Kafr ‘Ein

Witnesses: Kafr ‘Ein residents, IWPS

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

Since late April there have been continuing nightly military incursions in Kafr ‘Ein (see HR Report 243) followed recently by the arrest of two young men (see HR Report 250).  The incursions continue.

At 4 a.m. on Monday, July 03, 2006 approximately 30 Israeli army jeeps surrounded the village of Kafr ‘Ein. The army immediately issued a curfew to villagers, warning them not to leave their houses and that anyone seen outside would be shot.

The army visited a number of homes, sometimes violently entering and ordering everyone to leave. Residents were forced to wait outside for two to three hours as the army went through their homes.

The soldiers arrested two men, both 22 years old and cousins. They were blindfolded and handcuffed. It is unknown where they were taken. Neither was known to be on the wanted list.

One of the arrested was not at his house when the army came for him, as he was sleeping at his sister’s house. When soldiers arrived at the house they threw a rock through the window of the door to enter. They ordered the entire family outside, but refused to allow chairs to be brought out for the elderly to sit on. The family members then stood for over two hours. When the army learned that the man was not there, they brought the man’s father to his daughter’s home to arrest the man. They then brought the arrested man back to his house and asked his brother to identify him. Two months ago the army came at night and questioned the arrested man, and about two years ago the army beat him when he attempted to pass through a checkpoint.

Twelve people were at the other arrested man’s house when the soldiers arrived, including eight children. All were made to wait outside from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. as the army searched the house. The soldiers refused to allow a mother to change the soiled clothes of her baby. They also used a machine to detect items under the floors or in the cupboards.

The army went to the home of another man on their wanted list, and when they found no one at home they destroyed the door of the house and threw rocks into the house in their attempts to enter.

At another home, soldiers forced the residents –one man, two children and two women, one of whom was elderly – out of their house for more than two hours. Inside the house, soldiers threw everything out of the closets, ripped wood panels framing window blinds from the wall, slashed through furniture and destroyed a computer. They threw the contents of the couple’s wedding album over the floor and left with two pictures, one of the man of the house and one of his 15-year-old brother. No arrests were made.

An elderly deaf man who did not hear the curfew warnings left his home to go to the mosque to pray, and was detained for one hour before being released.

Report written by:  Alissa

Edited by: Marisa and Beth

Date report written on: July 3, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 253

Summary: One young man arrested in Deir Istya

Date of incident: July 3, 2006

Time: 2 a.m.

Place: Deir Istya

Witnesses: Arrested man’s family, IWPS

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

At 2 a.m. on Monday, July 03, 2006 approximately 40 Israeli soldiers surrounded the house of a young man in the village of Deir Istya. Soldiers arrived first on foot, followed by approximately six army vehicles.

The army knocked at the door and didn’t allow the children to dress before ordering the whole family outdoors (the household consisted of eleven members, five of them children, the youngest two months and the oldest nine years). The soldiers asked the father for the names of all household members and took the ID of his youngest son, a man of 18 years. They also brought to the family’s courtyard the father’s brother’s family, who lives next door.

Once the family was outside, the soldiers entered the house and searched in the arrested man’s room. Elsewhere in the house, soldiers reportedly destroyed about 50 plates, glasses and cups, emptied the refrigerator and freezer, leaving frozen food outside, and mixed up sugar with salt and rice and tea with coffee. The search took around 45 minutes.

The young man asked to say goodbye to his family before being taken away, which the soldiers agreed to and brought him back inside.

The young man had been in prison for a year and a half when he was 14 years old. An older brother has been under administrative detention for eighteen months, without charge.

Report written by: Marisa

Edited by: Beth and Alissa

Date report written on: July 4, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 254

Human Rights Summary: Israeli Army Closes Down Northern West Bank

Date of incident: July 5, 2006

Time: Around 7:30 a.m. to around 12:30 p.m.

Place: Northern West Bank

Witnesses: Local residents, IWPS.

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

About 20 Palestinian men were handcuffed and detained, and many made to strip down to their underwear, for more than two hours at a flying checkpoint near the roadblock at Brukin while Israeli soldiers threatened to blow up a taxi cab they thought might contain a bomb. The explosion did not materialize, however.

Checkpoints across the northern West Bank were closed this morning, as was confirmed to IWPS by members of Israeli human rights group Machsom Watch.

The checkpoints were subsequently reopened. A soldier told an IWPS member at Huwara checkpoint, where people were being allowed through by around 11 a.m., that someone wearing a bomb belt had been apprehended in the West Bank.

Villages in the Salfit area were closed down by the Israeli army throughout the morning. Residents of the Salfit villages of Marda, Deir Istya and Azzawiya reported to IWPS that they were not allowed to leave their villages. Soldiers told them that all villages in the Zatara-Biddya-Brukin-Jein Safout area were sealed, and would remain so until the person with the bomb belt was apprehended. Outside the village of Hares, traffic was backed up along Highway 505 for over an hour by mid-morning, and Hares residents (excepting foreigners) were not allowed in or out. Three flying checkpoints were set up at the entrance of the town and outside it, and a helicopter was flying overhead.

The Humanitarian Office of the Israeli army confirmed the closures in the northern part of the West Bank (which includes Nablus and Tulkarem), stating that they were due to security measures. They also confirmed that soldiers were not allowing humanitarian cases through.

Report written by: Jo and Beth

Edited by: Marisa

Date report written on: July 5, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 255

Summary: Two farmers were prevented from working on their land by Israeli army

Date of incident: July 4, 2006

Time: 7:30 a.m.

Place: Deir Istiya

Witnesses: Deir Istiya farmers, IWPS

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with any relevant information you might need.

Description of Incident:

On Tuesday, July 4th, two farmers from Deir Istiya were prevented from working on their land by the Israeli army.

A farmer irrigating his olive trees was ordered off his property by four soldiers in an army jeep, who told him he was not allowed to be there. The soldiers insisted he leave immediately and waited until he left. This was the first time that soldiers had ordered him off his land. Two winters ago settlers from nearby Ravava uprooted some of his trees, which he had planted about 15 years ago. The olive harvest is coming up in October and this is an important time for caring for the trees and ploughing the land.

On the same day a goat herder, while grazing his goats on common Deir Istiya land, was also ordered off by the Israeli army.

Report written by: Alissa

Edited by: Beth

Date report written on: July 5, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 256

Summary: Israeli army apprehends, beats a Palestinian youth for rock-throwing in Salfit village

Date of incident: Friday, July 22, 2006

Time: evening

Place: Haris, Salfit region

Witnesses: Villagers; arrested boy’s family; IWPS team members

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you may require.

Description of Incident:

A 15-year-old boy was apprehended by the Israeli army on the main street of Haris, Salfit region, shortly after 8 p.m. on Friday, July 22, 2006, for allegedly throwing stones at army jeeps which had entered the town. Jeeps had also come through the town earlier that day.

The father of the boy said an army officer had reportedly seen the boy throwing stones  at jeeps with other boys, and told him to stop. The other boys ran away, and the officer apprehended the 15-year-old.

Soldiers then drove the jeep out of Hares. The father reported his son was beaten inside the jeep, on the back, arms, legs and face.

Minutes after leaving Hares, the jeep returned with the boy in the back. During discussion between soldiers and the boy’s father and other family members, soldiers in a second jeep told an IWPS member that the boy would be taken to a police station, and that they wished they could have apprehended more boys. However, the youth was released immediately afterwards.

In a separate incident around the same time, soldiers entered a café, also on Haris’s main street, tossing tables and chairs outside and breaking glasses. The café owner said that youth had been throwing stones at the jeeps, but that they had not been outside his café at the time.

Report written by: Beth

Edited by: Marisa

Date report written: July 22, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 257

Summary: One armed settler entered a Palestinian house in the early morning in Salfit region.

Date of incident: Saturday, July 23, 2006

Time: 7:00 am.

Place: Haris, Salfit region

Witnesses: Villagers, IWPS team members

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you may require.

Description of Incident:

At around 7:00 am this morning three young settlers reportedly arrived in Haris from the nearby Revava settlement. When they found a villager sitting inside his car, one settler, armed with a gun, ordered him to leave his car and proceed to his house, the man’s wife said.  The wife was in the house with the couple’s seven children. . Some of the man’s brothers live near the house, and made their way to it when they noticed the disturbance. The two other settlers fled .

Once in the house the homeowner tried to get hold of the settler’s gun, aided by his family. Several bullets were fired, resulting in three large bullet holes in the wall beside the bathroom, and some other minor destruction occurred during the struggle.

Family members said they subdued the settler, offered him some water and called the Israeli police and army, who took the settler and the homeowner to the police station. The family said they were not informed of the location.

The family reported that the settler threatened to come back and kill them all. IWPS volunteers were told that this was the first time a settler had entered a house in Haris.

Report written by: Marisa

Edited by: Beth

Date report written: July 23, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 258

Summary: Soldiers enter village of Marda at night, throw sound bombs, demand identification.

Date of incident: Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Time: 10:00 p.m.

Place: Marda, Salfit region

Witnesses: Villagers, IWPS team members

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

At around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, witnesses say three jeeps entered the village of Marda. Soldiers reportedly threw sound bombs, frightening villagers, and asked youths in the street for their IDs. The youths were then told to leave the street.

The soldiers reportedly remained in Marda for 15 to 20 minutes, then parked their jeeps on the road outside of the village for several more hours.

Report written by:  Claire

Edited by: Beth

Date report written on: July 26, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 259

Summary: Hundreds of people held up for hours due to checkpoint closures

Date of incident: 5th August 2006

Time: 9.45pm

Place: Witness/es: Carolyn, Jill, Joy, Marisa and Palestinians

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident :

IWPS witnesses were on their way home from a village near Salfeet town when their driver informed them that they would have to get out of the taxi at Zatarra checkpoint, as he would not be able to return through the checkpoint due to a closure. At the same time IWPS received a phone call saying that Huwarra checkpoint, leading into Nablus had also been closed for four hours and that hundreds of people were waiting there to enter or leave Nablus. IWPS rang an Israeli supporter who then rang District Coordinating Officer, the Humanitarian Office of the Israeli Army and a member of the Knesset. The Israeli supporter rang back to say that there were closures due to a suspected suicide bomber from Nablus.

IWPS got out of the taxi near the Zatarra checkpoint and noted that both civilian police and soldiers were guarding the checkpoint. The witnesses from IWPS were able to pass through the checkpoint which was open in the direction of Hares, and spoke to several people who had said that they had been there for three to four hours. One mini van contained twenty children on their way home from a wedding party.

A short distance from the checkpoint, IWPS was shouted at by a soldier who said that people were not to get out of their cars to talk to us. He then approached a Palestinian driver who had tried to talk to him and was overheard saying in Hebrew, ‘if you do not get back in your car I will bash your face in’. He repeated this when the driver tried to answer him back.

IWPS stayed for about half an hour making phone calls and handed out information cards, but were informed by their Israeli supporter that it was unlikely anything could be done due to the reports of the suspected suicide bomber.

Report written by:  Carolyn

Edited by: Marisa

Date report written on: 5th August, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 260

Summary: Extra-judicial targeted killing in Jenin leaves two dead and a home demolished.

Date of incident: 9th August, 2006

Time: About 10am

Place: Jenin Camp

Witnesses: Jill, Marisa, Carolyn

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

Upon arrival in Jenin camp for a solidarity tour which is held every year, 3 volunteers from IWPS were shown a house that had been bombed earlier that morning in an extra-judicial assassination. The house was rented by a man who was not living there. But two fighters who were being sought by the IDF had taken refuge in the house and were killed when an IDF helicopter bombed the house from the sky.

On the way to Jenin that morning, IWPS encountered two flying checkpoints on the main road, which later seemed to be related to the incursion that had taken place that morning in the camp.

Report written by:  Carolyn

Edited by: Jill and Marisa

Date report written on: 9th August, 2006, updated on the 14th of August.

Human Rights Report No. 261

Summary: Fourteen injured in Bil’in demonstration.

Date of incident: 11th August, 2006

Time: About 1 pm.

Place: Bil’in village.

Witnesses: IWPS, demonstrators.

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident :

Last Friday, 11th of August, IWPS attended the weekly demonstration in Bil’in against the construction of the wall and the annexing of Bil’in farm land to a settlement .

Since the beginning of the war with Lebanon, demonstrations in Bil’in have been very quiet and with no incidents at all. But last Friday, as soon as the demonstrators entered the road leading to the wall, they found the army and the border police waiting for them. Without any provocation on the side of the demonstrators or the villagers, the soldiers began to shoot the demonstrators with rubber bullets, tear gas and sound bombs.

Fourteen people, Palestinians, Israelis and internationals, were injured, one of them sustained critical injuries to his head and neck when he was shot at close range with rubber bullets. Soldiers didn’t allow the rest of the demonstrators to tend him despite the fact that he was bleeding, and only when it was realized that he was really badly wounded, was he taken by the soldiers in an army ambulance. While the evacuation of the injured took place, some stones were thrown by locals. Demonstrators were caught between the stones and the soldiers.

Immediately afterwards, the army began again to shoot sound bombs and tear gas and to beat people up. Until late in the afternoon sound bombs were still heard in the village.

The demonstration was one of the biggest held in Bil’in since many people joined this time, coming from the Queeruption conference in Tel-Aviv 2006.

Later we read that a Danish activist was butted in the head by a soldier’s rifle and she was in hospital.

Report written by:  Marisa

Edited by: Jill and Carolyn.

Date report written on: 14th August, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 262

Summary: 19-year-old man shot in taxi near Huwwara checkpoint

Date of incident: 12th August 2006

Time: 8:30 pm

Place: Huwwara checkpoint

Witnesses: Palestinians at checkpoint

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident :

Today IWPS visited a family in Haris whose son had been shot after he passed through Huwwara checkpoint, after leaving Nablus. Salem, the son, is 19 years old and has permission to travel to and from Nablus. He works at Barqan Industrial Complex. He had been in Nablus after work on Saturday, August 12 to pick up some items for his family.

After leaving Nablus, he passed through Huwwara checkpoint on foot without any difficulty. He then got in a taxi about 50 metres from the checkpoint. His father reports that after waiting many hours in the hot sun at the checkpoint, some people got very angry and the soldiers starting running at the crowd and firing into the air.

A former member of IWPS happened to be leaving Nablus that evening and rang the IWPS house to report the disturbance at Huwwara and the soldiers shooting. Salem was sitting in a taxi some metres from the checkpoint when a stray bullet came through the rear of the vehicle and hit him in the back. He was taken to Rafidia hospital in Nablus where he stayed for four days. The bullet is lodged less than a centimetre from his spine, and doctors say they cannot remove the bullet as they do not have the capacity to do so without causing permanent damage to his spinal chord.

Salem is now home. He is able to walk very slowly but is in some pain. The family would like him to be able to get an operation overseas to remove the bullet.

Report written by:  Carolyn

Edited by:  Jill and Beth

Date report written on: 16th August, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 263

Summary: Israeli army conducts more night-time raids in Salfit village; ransacks ten houses, makes six arrests in a week of incursions

Dates of arrests: Saturday, August 12; Monday, August 14; Saturday, August 19

Times: early morning and evening

Place: Kafr ‘Ein, Salfit

Witnesses: Residents of raided houses and families of arrested men; villagers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved. We will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you may require.

Description of Incident:

The village of Kafr ‘Ein, in the Salfit district of the West Bank, has experienced another week of late-night army incursions and arrests, with one family reporting raids on their home for four nights. Soldiers have reportedly entered the village first on foot and then followed by jeeps, and in one instance were said to have forced a young man and his two small children, none of them dressed, to lead them to the home of his in-laws.

In all, six young men were arrested in and near Kafr ‘Ein and at least ten houses were raided, causing disruption and damage.

The first in the recent series of arrests occurred on Saturday, August 12 at around 2 a.m., after soldiers reportedly scaled the wall surrounding a family home and pounded on the door. A 17-year-old was arrested and taken to Ofer prison in the West Bank, where his two brothers are also being held.

Two days later, on August 14 at around 8 p.m., the army stopped a service taxi en route from Ramallah to Kafr ‘Ein, and arrested the three young men inside: the son of the owner of the vehicle, age 23, another 23-year-old and a 19-year-old.  The son of the vehicle’s owner had a private, not a public driver’s licence. He and the 19-year-old were taken to Ofer prison, and the third young man to the Al-Maskobiya detention centre in West Jerusalem.

The service taxi was taken by the army to a military base between Abboud and Deir Netham, and has not been returned to the owner. The taxi is the owner’s livelihood, and the family is now without an income.

The fifth arrest took place on Saturday, August 19. At around 1:45 a.m. about 20 soldiers started pounding on the door of a family home, demanding that it be opened and smashing the glass. Three adults and five children and youth were inside. According to the mother of the family, the army ordered the young outside, taking her 17-year-old son and bodily throwing him out of the house. She said soldiers then hit him and poured water on his head and body, before handcuffing him and returning him to sit inside in the dark.

Soldiers then reportedly proceeded to ransack every room of the house, emptying cupboards, tossing items on the floor and breaking household objects. Even the family’s goats were let out by the soldiers, ran onto the roof of the house. The army was said to have left at around 3:30 a.m., taking the 17-year-old son with them. The family does not know his whereabouts, and his mother expressed concern that he will miss school, which begins in September.

The army made a second arrest that morning, entering another house at around 2:30 a.m.. Soldiers approached it in a similar manner, knocking violently on the door, ringing the doorbell and shouting for the residents to come out. Family members, including four adults and five children and youth, were not permitted to dress first.

Soldiers had been led to the house after going to the home of the family’s young adult daughter, who lived nearby with her husband and two small children, a boy aged four, and a girl of one and a half years. The soldiers allegedly forced not only the daughter’s husband, but her two youngsters as well, in their underwear and nightclothes, to accompany them to the daughter’s family home. The toddler was said to have caught cold, undressed in the night air, and her brother was coughing.

The family was told to turn all the lights on in their house, then sit outside on the ground. Soldiers took the 17-year-old son, dressed only in his underwear, to their jeep, then returned to search the house. This house was also ransacked, with personal and household belongings scattered on the floor. The family does not know the whereabouts of the son.

Another villager, who said she had had the army visit her home for four or five nights, described the raid on her house on that same morning, August 19. There, soldiers likewise surrounded the house, pounded on doors and demanded they be opened, and ransacked the house, damaging items including a bed. The woman was asked about one of her sons, but said she did not know his whereabouts. Another of her sons is in prison, and her home has been raided several times previously (see Human Rights Report #250). The woman’s husband is elderly and ill, but soldiers nevertheless forced him out of bed and outside. He and another son were given papers ordering them to appear at Ofer prison’s security centre for questioning.

This past week has seen the most army incursions and arrests in and near Kafr ‘Ein since early July, although one resident said the army has been coming into the village at night for the past three weeks. Kafr ‘Ein experienced repeated incursions and raids earlier in the summer (see Human Rights Reports #250 and #252). One resident reported that 35 Kafr ‘Ein residents are currently in Israeli prisons, of a village population of about 1,500.

Report written by: Beth

Edited by: Josie

Report written on: August 19 and 20, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 264

Summary: Nine injured in Bil’in Demonstration, IDF use rubber bullets against demonstrators.

Date of incident: 25/08/06
Time: 1-3pm

Place: Bil’in
Witnesses: demonstration participants including Bil’in residents; ISM and IWPS members

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

This Friday, August 27th in Bil’in the IDF used rubber bullets, batons and sound grenades against participants in the weekly demonstration, injuring nine.

The demonstration, attended by 80-100 people, had moved from the mosque in Bil’in to within 150m of the separation fence when the soldiers began firing sound grenades into the demonstration. Demonstrators continued to move forward and were met by soldiers, at which point the soldiers began pushing the demonstration back and beating demonstrators with their batons. Two people, one Israeli and one international, were beaten such that they could not walk away unassisted. Five other people suffered injuries from beating, including one American who hit on the head by a baton, and a Palestinian who was beaten in the genitals.

As the soldiers pushed people back towards the village the demonstration began to disperse, at which point soldiers began, without provocation, to fire rubber bullets at retreating demonstrators. A Palestinian man was shot in the hip and thigh, another man was hit in the back, a Danish woman in the calf, and an American woman suffered hand injuries.

As demonstrators retreated, soldiers continued to fire at them. Two people already injured were hit again by rubber bullets – an American woman in the hip and lower back, and a Palestinian man in the back.

Three men, two Palestinian and one Spanish, were arrested, but all were released following the demonstration

Report written by: Josie
Edited by: Beth
Date report written on: 27/08/06

A video of the demontration, including the shooting of the Israeli activists is available under http://content.mishtara.org/bilin-11-8-06.wmv

Human Rights Report No. 265

Summary: Israel places barrier on another road on Deir Istiya lands

Date of incident: August 29, 2006

Time: early morning

Place: Deir Istiya, Salfit

Witnesses: Local farmers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you may require.

Description of Incident:

On the morning of August 29, 2006, Israeli authorities installed another barrier on a side road leading from Deir Istiya lands to a neighbouring village, Zeita. Local residents, in particular farmers, fear the barrier will be expanded to close the road off completely, hindering farmers from reaching their land.

When IWPS members first saw the barrier, it consisted of two poles, one on each side of the road, with a piece of dirty rope connecting them, and two large concrete blocks. At present the road is passable.

One Deir Istiya farmer, who has 1,000 olive trees and a well on land that can be reached from this road, was reportedly threatened by a guard from a neighbouring Israeli settlement recently when he tried to draw water from his well.

Another landowner believes the motivation for the road barriers is to make it more difficult for farmers to access their land, and to “provoke and make problems.” If the barriers become fixed, farmers may have to ask permission of their neighbours to cross their land if they can’t reach their own in any other manner due to the barriers.

This is the second side road on which a barrier has been placed in recent months; another barrier, also consisting of two large concrete blocks and a pole barrier which could be locked, was placed on a nearby road in the spring, not long after installations for a hydro-electrical project  began in March.

The hydro project, which in Deir Istiya comprises electrical towers and wires, is reportedly a joint project of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and under the management of a French company. One landowner reported that, although the company had said it would reach an equitable solution for himself and other farmers, trees were still damaged, and this landowner discovered that land he owned near Revava settlement had not been registered in his name.

Report written by: Beth

Report edited by: Josie

Report written on: August 29, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 266

Summary: Army and police raid homes in Salfit village in early morning, assault several, make three arrests

Date of incident: September 5, 2006

Time: approximately 2:30 to 3:20 a.m.

Place: Haris, Salfit

Witnesses: Haris residents; IWPS members

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident :

Approximately nine jeeps entered the Salfit village of Haris at around 2:30 a.m. on September 5, 2006, raiding at least five houses and making three arrests.

IWPS members responding to a telephone call from a Haris resident were prevented by soldiers and a police vehicle from passing along the road towards the affected houses. One of the soldiers stated that the area was a ‘military area’. After approximately 30 minutes a man was brought out from his house nearby and taken away in a vehicle.

As they left the scene, one of the soldiers told IWPS members, “I warn you, you could get shot by accident.”

The arrested man’s wife reported that police arrived at her house at around 2:30 a.m., knocked violently on the door, and ordered it opened. They spoke in Hebrew to her husband, and she did not understand what they were saying. Police then entered the house, with their guns drawn, where the couple had been sleeping with their two daughters, ages three and two. They searched and ransacked the house, remaining approximately 45 minutes before leaving with the husband, age 30, and taking his identification. They also took a satellite television receiver. The family understood that the man may have been taken to the police station at nearby Ari’el settlement. The woman told IWPS members that her husband had no political affiliations, and that they were told he was accused of stealing from a settlement.

Around the same time, soldiers entered at least four other homes. At one house, five soldiers reportedly pounded on the door at around 3 a.m., spoke in English, and entered with guns drawn. A family of seven was at home. Soldiers asked the father and an adult son why they had been on the roof of their house, looking at the soldiers, to which they responded they had been checking on the disturbance. The soldiers stayed five to ten minutes, searching all the rooms – including under beds, in the refrigerator and the stove, and in a son’s bag – before leaving. The father of the family is a cousin of the aforementioned arrested man.

Before this six soldiers had also entered the house next door, where six family members – a father (also a cousin of the aforementioned arrestee), his young adult daughter and her four small children –  were inside. The house was reportedly searched for 30 to 45 minutes, mattresses were pulled off beds, and a cot in which a baby was sleeping was pulled out. The children were awoken and frightened. The young woman was questioned as to the whereabouts of her husband, who was not at home.

Four soldiers approached another house, where a man from the household was sleeping outside. Failing to wake him, they reportedly knocked loudly on the door, and when the man’s son was alerted by his nephew, they entered asking “Where are the weapons?” They searched the house, in which much of the extended family lives, preventing family members from moving around while they did so. They ransacked the house and garden, emptying a rubbish bin onto the kitchen floor and pulling clothes, mattresses and other items from cupboards onto the floor. They reportedly assaulted several family members, including a woman who is nine months pregnant, hitting them with their hands and their batons when they asked what was going on. The 30-year-old husband of this woman was arrested. Soldiers found and removed a picture of this man carrying a gun.

Another house was entered at about the same time. Approximately 20-25 soldiers surrounded the house and seven entered. A couple and three of their sons were at home. After the house was searched by soldiers, one of the sons, aged 26, was arrested. The soldiers also confiscated a computer belonging to the arrested man’s brother.

All three arrested men are members of the same extended family.

Report written by:  Beth and Josie

Edited by: Nagwa and Beth

Date report written on: September 5, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 267

Summary: Young Palestinian man beaten by settler and soldiers at Zatara checkpoint

Date of incident: 07/09/2006

Time: 10am

Place: Za’atara checkpoint

Witnesses: Victim

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident :

A young Palestinian man from Salfit area reported to IWPS that he was beaten by a settler and Israeli soldiers at Za’atara checkpoint. According to his statement, he was passing the checkpoint. around 10am on Thursday 7th September 2006, on his way to work. Whilst he was waiting for transportation at the checkpoint, he decided to wait in the bus shelter to take cover from the sun. On his arrival this shelter was vacant. Soon after, a male Israeli settler arrived. On seeing the young Palestinian man the settler demanded that he leave the shelter immediately. He tried to ignore the settler and his repeated demand. The settler then approached the man and forcibly kicked him on the leg causing him pain. The Palestinian man went to react to this but restrained himself.

Directly after this incident the settler left the bus shelter. The Palestinian man assumes, the settler must have approached the soldiers monitoring the checkpoint area, as two of the soldiers then situated themselves behind the bus shelter, without the Palestinian noticing it. The settler re-entered the bus shelter and once again kicked him on the leg. The young Palestinian man reacted to this by grabbing the settler by the hand. At this point the soldiers revealed themselves and grabbed his clothing at the back of the neck.

They took him to an enclosed area at the check point where they removed his I.D. and beat him by kicking him to the leg area. The soldiers did not make any attempt to communicate with him and he was detained in this area for one and a half hours. This area was not sheltered. During this period no one made any attempt to explain what was going to happen and no drinking water was provided. After this period two soldiers approached him. They returned his I.D. and asserted that he must not show aggression to the settler community, and again kicked him to the leg area.  He was then released.

Report written by: Holly

Edited by: Clara

Date report written on: 08.09.2006

Human Rights Report No. 268

Summary: Soldiers enter As-Sawiyya village and beat resident

Date of incident: 08.09.2006
Time: around 11:00 p.m.
Place: As-Sawiyya
Witnesses: family members

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident:

A 34 year old resident of As-Sawiyya village in Nablus district reported to IWPS, that he was beaten up by soldiers of the Israeli army. According to his statement he and his wife were at home on the 8th of September 2006, around 11:00in the evening, when they heard sounds outside. The man looked out of the window and saw about 9 Israeli soldiers in his garden, very close to the house, and inquired what they were doing there. The soldiers ordered him to shut up and move away from the window. The resident refused, saying this was his home. The soldiers then ordered him to come out of the house and threatened him. When he came out they cursed him and several soldiers started beating him up, using their rifles hitting him in the back and the face. When he fell to the ground, they also kicked him the groins, the legs and into his face, breaking his nose. When his mother and brothers came out of the neighbouring house to try to help him, the soldiers threatened to shoot them and threw a sound grenade at his mother. The incident lasted about 15 minutes.

Report written by: Clara
Edited by: Nagwa
Date report written on: 09.09.2006

Human Rights Report No. 269

Summary: Army incursion to Marda village in Salfit

Date of incident: September 13, 2006

Time: approximately 11:00 p.m. to 12:40 a.m.

Place: Marda, Salfit

Witnesses: Marda residents; IWPS members

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need.

Description of Incident :

According to residents, three jeeps and an armoured truck of the Israeli army entered the Salfit village of Marda at around 11:00 p.m. on September 13, 2006. Soldiers yelled at shop owners in the main street to close their doors.

The army vehicles then stayed in the centre of the village while some soldiers walked around the village on foot. They did not search houses or make arrests. Soldiers tried to prevent IWPS team members arriving on the scene from approaching them, and refused to give information on what they were doing there.

Immediately before the army left the village around 12.40 a.m., IWPS team members witnessed soldiers laughing while they threw several sound bombs at nearby houses and fired a flare. Residents later described the terrorizing effect the exploding sound bombs had on children in the area.

Report written by:  Nagwa and Clara

Edited by: Beth

Date report written on: September 13, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 270

Summary: Army incursion to Marda village in Salfit

Date of incident: September 21, 2006

Time: approximately 8:50 p.m. to midnight

Place: Marda, Salfit

Witnesses: Marda residents; IWPS members

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need.

Description of Incident :

According to Marda residents, four Israeli army jeeps entered the village at approximately 8:50 pm on September 21st, 2006. Soldiers then opened fire towards some youth who were in the main street. A man who was standing outside his house reported that soldiers told him to go into his house, and when he refused they forced him inside, pushing him back. The man stated that when he resisted one soldier held his gun pointed into the man’s chest.

The jeeps left the village at around 10.10pm. No arrest attempts were made.

As IWPS members were leaving the village at around 11pm one jeep arrived at the gate of the village, and drove in towards the village. After passing the IWPS members the jeep turned around and returned to the gate, where three soldiers got out. After asking the IWPS members how long they planned to remain at the gate, the jeep drove off. IWPS members remained at the gate for around one hour, during which time the jeep returned twice, but each time drove away without stopping.

Residents reported that the army has entered the village at night numerous times during the last month, and that on the 20th of September soldiers entered and threw sound grenades outside many people’s houses.

Report written by:  Nagwa and Josie

Edited by: Clara

Date report written on: September 22, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 271

Summary: Israeli Army invades Marda village at night, forces people out of their homes

Date of incident: 28.09.2006

Time: Between 10p.m. and 1.15 a.m.

Place: Marda village, Salfit District

Witnesses: Local residents and IWPS volunteers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident :

Around 10:30p.m. on Thursday the 28th September 2006 the Israeli army entered the villages of Marda with at least seven armoured vehicles, including jeeps, hummers and a truck. IWPS volunteers present in the village witnessed as soldiers got out of the vehicles and spread in several groups all over the villages, throwing numerous sound bombs and shooting flares in the process. The soldiers started to randomly beat doors, ordering residents to open and come out of the house. According to residents, in some cases the whole family had to come out to the street, in others they forced only male adults and youth to line up in front of the house while guns were pointed at them. No targeted arrest attempts were reported, though many residents had their ID cards checked. IWPS volunteers witnessed in several cases that soldiers lectured and threatened parents to prevent the youth of the villages from throwing stones. In one case soldiers forced a youth out of a house and threatened to arrest him, because they had heard someone speaking in a loud voice inside, which the soldiers seemed to perceive as an act of defiance. Local sources reported that about 30 houses were forced open until the soldiers left at around 00.15 a.m. A man later reported that he had been slapped around by soldiers and a youth reported he had been punched in his nose.

Human rights activists that called the Israeli DCO to inquire about the situation in Marda were told that the army invaded the village, because children had thrown stones.

Randomly throwing sound bombs at houses and forcing a large number of residents out of their homes at gun point at night time as a reaction to the alleged stone throwing by some children constitutes a Collective Punishment, which is illegal under International Law, as stated by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as Article 50 of the Hague Convention.

Report written by: Clara

Edited by: Nagwa and Holly

Date report written on: 29.09.2006

Human Rights Report No. 272

Summary: Israeli Army curse at inhabitant of Hares and fire a live bullet into the air.

Date of incident: 16. 10.2006.

Time: Between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Place: Hares village, Salfit District.

Witnesses: Local residents and IWPS volunteers.

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need to begin action.

Description of Incident :

At around 12 p.m. on the 16th of October, an army hummer stopped at the entrance of Hares. One of Hares’ residents was sitting inside his car, writing in his notepad, when the soldiers stopped and approached him. They asked him what he was writing as well as  taking his ID and his car keys. They then started to search his car. He was ordered out the car and told to lift his trouser leg up and his t-shirt. One of the soldiers cursed him, which the man then responded to. The soldier started to punch him and the man pushed him back. The soldiers then forcefully tried to arrest him but the man resisted and asked them to call the police instead. When IWPS volunteers arrived to the scene, the man began to walk away from the soldiers, towards to village. Two soldiers walked after him and eventually the commander of the unit fired a live bullet into the air. He kneeled down to fire another bullet, aiming at the man from a distance of 30 metres. An IWPS volunteer then intervened and pointed to the fact that the street was full of children and people. That interruption made him stand up again. The soldiers went back to their hummer and drove to the nearby military tower where they stood for about 30 minutes before they came back to the village entrance. IWPS volunteers phoned Hamoked and explained the situation. When the four soldiers in the hummer came back, they checked the IDs of the man’s father and of another man who was waiting at the scene. After around another 30 minutes, a police jeep arrived. The police took the soldier’s version of the story and listened to what the man had to say. His ID was eventually returned and he was persuaded to come with them to Ariel police station in order to be heard. The man agreed with that and was taken away at 2 p.m. At the police station he waited for two and a half hour to give his testimony. At 5 p.m. he was informed by the police officer that the soldier had accused him for having bitten and broken his finger and that he therefore had to pay 1000 shekels. The man responded that he didn’t have this sum of money. He was then brought to the police chief who informed him that they would waive the fine because of Ramadan. The man then had to sign conditions in Hebrew, which he couldn’t understand the contents of, and at 6 p.m. he was released.

Report written by: Lina and Nagwa

Edited by: Holly

Date report written on: 18.10.2006

Human Rights Report No. 273

Summary: Families in Bruqin village are subjected to a series of settler attacks

Date of incident: October 19-22, 2006

Times: various

Place: Bruqin, Salfit district

Witnesses: Inhabitants of the attacked houses and other residents of Bruqin

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might require.

Description of Incident:

Between Thursday, October 19 and Sunday, October 22, 2006, four houses belonging to an extended family in the village of Bruqin were attacked four times by settlers. Residents of the attacked houses and other villagers from Bruqin gave the following account of the incidents:

At around 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, about 30 settlers, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, descended from the settler road above the village and started throwing stones at the four houses nearest to the road, breaking several windows. When the owner of the first house opened the door to investigate, they dragged him out of the house and beat him on the head and all over his body. Settlers then entered the house, smashing things inside and frightening the family.

The settlers then proceeded to attack the neighbouring houses. The inhabitants of the second house were not present at the time of the attack. Settlers broke in, damaging the front door as well as two doors inside the house. They also ransacked the house and threw clothes and other family belongings on to the floor

In the third house, a 46-year-old woman and her eight children, between three and 14 years of age, were present. Settlers violently banged on the door, and when the mother opened it she was hit hard on the head with a gun. A week later she is still suffering from headaches as a result of the attack. The settlers then forced the whole family outside, yelling at them in Hebrew. When the mother pleaded with them, saying that she was alone with her children, settlers told her that they did not “discriminate” between men and women. They threatened to come back to the house and punish the family each time there was a problem in the area (another settler had reportedly been shot and injured earlier, locals claim by a fellow settler), and demanded that the families watch the settler road close to their houses and prevent any incidents against settlers. Otherwise, they said, the settlers would hold the local people responsible and demolish the four houses.

In the fourth house, settlers severely beat up a mentally disabled 70-year-old man. His wife was shocked by the attack and continues to suffer from anxiety.

The settlers ended their attacks at around 12:30 a.m. The Israeli soldiers accompanying them stayed passive throughout the incidents and did nothing to stop the attacks.

The following morning, on Friday, October 20 around 11 a.m., about 20 settler cars stopped on the settler road above the same houses. Approximately one hundred settlers got out of their cars, yelling and shooting live bullets into the air. This time, the Israeli soldiers arriving with the settlers prevented them from approaching the houses. After about half an hour, the settlers headed toward the mosque. Villagers gathered in a mosque for Friday prayers were afraid of being attacked, and left to continue their prayers in another mosque. Israeli soldiers then prevented the settlers from reaching that mosque. The settlers returned to the four houses attacked the previous day and yelled threats at the inhabitants until about 1 p.m. The army remained in the area after they left.

Settlers returned that night at about 1 a.m., yelling, throwing stones at the houses, and banging the door and climbing onto the roof of one house. They left about 20 minutes later. Residents said they did not know how many settlers came and if they were accompanied by soldiers, as they were too afraid to look out the windows or open the doors.

At around 10 p.m. on Sunday, October 22, about 100 Israeli settlers attacked the first of the four houses again, throwing stones, destroying a window, yelling and banging at the door. They then beat the owner of the house, pointed a gun at his head and forced him to undress. They also ransacked a storage place outside the house, contaminating a large stock of olive oil, flour and sugar, as well as livestock fodder, by mixing everything together. Israeli soldiers in two jeeps were present but did not intervene.

Neighbours hearing the attack called the Israeli District Coordination Office. About an hour after the attacks started, 20 army jeeps arrived. Thirty to 40 men from the village tried to come to the help of the families under attack, with approximately 100 more in waiting further from the houses. The army’s commanding officer said he would bring the settlers under control if the village men retreated. The settlers left at about midnight and the army remained outside the houses. In response to complaints from the owner of the first house, the commanding officer reportedly said that the Israeli army was not able to prevent settler attacks on the four houses.

About five years ago a new settler road was built less then 30 meters from the four houses, and on land belonging to the homeowners. Since the road was built, the families have frequently been the targets of settler attacks, including the killing and theft of livestock. They also have been repeatedly prevented by the Israeli army from harvesting their olives on the other side of the road.

In addition to the settler attacks, Bruqin residents have reported their cars destroyed by the army, and told IWPS that in the previous week the army had damaged or destroyed four cars in Bruqin.

Report written by: Clara

Edited by: Beth

Date report written on: October 28, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 274

Summary: Army invades Kafr ad Dik village  and searches nine houses

Date of incident: October 25, 2006

Time: 4 a.m. – 6 a.m.

Place: Kafr ad Dik, Salfit district

Witnesses: Inhabitants of the raided houses and other residents of Kafr ad Dik

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need.

Description of Incident:

Around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, October 25, 2006, a large number of Israeli soldiers invaded the village of Kafr ad Dik and simultaneously searched nine houses belonging to the same extended family in an attempt to arrest a male member of the family. Relatives stated that the man has been wanted for five years.

According to reports of the house’s residents, the soldiers arrived at the home of the wanted man’s father and started to throw sound bombs at it. Soldiers then forced the whole family out of the house, without giving them a chance to dress. The father stated that the army threatened to shoot anyone they found inside the house. The 24 members of the family, between four months and 57 years of age, had to stand almost two hours in the rain, while the soldiers first shot at doors and windows and then searched inside the house, overturning and damaging furniture, throwing belongings onto the floor and damaging interior doors. At the same time, other soldiers yelled at the family members outside and demanded they reveal the whereabouts of the wanted man. The brother of the wanted man reported that soldiers tied his hands together and blindfolded him. The soldiers ordered the father to sign a document written in Hebrew, but he refused.

Around 30 soldiers also surrounded a second house belonging to the sister of the wanted man. The soldiers reportedly banged violently on the door, then threw a sound bomb inside after the sister opened the door. They then forced the whole family, including 10 children, one a three-month-old baby, out of the house without giving them time to dress. The sister of the wanted man stated that a soldier slapped her in the face, while she was holding her baby, when she said she didn’t know where her brother was. Three of her sons, ages 13, 14 and 16 years, were also beaten in order to extract information on the whereabouts of their uncle. The soldiers threatened the family with demolishing their house if the wanted man returned to it. The family also reported that the soldiers destroyed some toy guns and confiscated other toy guns and a knife.

Elsewhere in the village, soldiers searched seven houses belonging to the grandfather and uncles of the wanted man. The soldiers threw sound bombs and banged on doors, then forced the  families out of their houses, again without allowing them to dress. The approximately 50 family members, including several children and a one-week-old baby, were forced to stand in the rain. When they eventually complained, the soldiers allowed the women and children to stand under a balcony.

The sick 80-year-old grandmother of the wanted man was not able to get up out of bed, and her son pleaded with the soldiers to be allowed to accompany the soldiers when they searched her bedroom so that she would not panic, but the soldiers refused. Later the soldiers allowed the family members to stay in one room of one of the houses. They reported that the soldiers were shouting at them and didn’t allow them to speak with each other.

The soldiers left the village at around 6 a.m. without having found the wanted man. The family reported that their houses have been invaded many times before in search of their wanted relative, and that the man’s father had been arrested three time in order to pressure his son to turn himself in.

In addition, three residents of the village reported that the army truck damaged three cars when leaving the village.

Report written by: Nagwa and Lina

Edited by: Clara and Beth

Date report written on: October 28, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 275

Summary: Army aggression in Marda, one arrest made.

Date of incident: 7th November 2006

Time: 3a.m. – 5a.m.

Place: Marda, Salfit district

Witnesses: Palestinian residents.

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need.

Description of Incident:

The following information was gathered through interviews with residents of Marda who witnessed the incident.

The Israeli army entered the village of Marda at 3 a.m. They approached a family home and began throwing large stones and sound bombs, causing damage to the walls and door as well as smashing a window. The soldiers then demanded that the family come outside. At the time of the attack the only family members inside the house were two young children aged 1 and 3 years old and their mother.

When the woman opened the door she saw that around 30 soldiers had surrounded her house. The woman reported that she and both her children were physically dragged outside and pushed on to the floor. During this the children were clearly distressed, and the soldiers seemed to be deliberately frightened the children by pointing their guns at them. As the family waited outside, the mother requested that her young children be allowed to go with their grandmother, but the army would not allow this.

The family were then dragged down the street to another house which soldiers had already surrounded. At this point the soldiers ordered the family to sit down on the ground. No explanation was given as to why the soldiers did this, and there is no family connection between the two homes. A family member called the father who was staying overnight in a nearby village where he had been harvesting olives, and told him the situation. He immediately returned to Marda but the soldiers at the entrance of the village refused to let him enter.

As the mother and her two children waited on the ground outside in the cold, soldiers refused to let them move and denied a request for one of the children to go to the bathroom. Soldiers then entered the surrounded house and arrested a young man. They then began to move out of the village. Whilst departing they threw more sound bombs.

The family involved in this incident were visibly traumatised and had not slept when interviewed by IWPS staff. This incident lasted for a total of two hours.

Report written by: Holly

Edited by: Josie

Date report written on: November 9th, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 276

Summary: Army invades and occupies house in Rafidya, Nablus.

Date of incident: 15th November 2006

Time: 7 a.m. – 9 a.m.

Place: Rafidya, Nablus district.

Witnesses: Palestinian residents.

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need.

Description of incident:

The following information was gathered through interviews with residents of the Jamal Mansour building in Rafidya.

The families in the Jamal Mansour building in Rafidya area of Nablus were awakened at 7 am on the 15th of November by soldiers walking around in their apartments. The army had entered the building by breaking into the families’ homes without giving any warning. In the apartment of Abu Shaker’s family, fifteen soldiers forced all the women to stay in one room and all the men in another. They went around each room and opened cupboards and the refrigerator. They beat the 19-year old son whilst he was asleep, and he thought afterwards that they probably assumed that he was his 25-year old brother. Whilst some soldiers were searching the apartments, others went up to the roof and also surrounded the entrance to the building. On the ground floor, an old woman was asleep and when she woke up to the scene of soldiers in her room, she fainted. The soldiers went around in her apartment, stole food and ate all her homebaked cakes from the Eid celebrations.

The army left at 9 a.m in four jeeps and one big army hummer; the residents of the area still unaware of their purpuse.

Report written by: Lina

Edited by: Lulu and Holly

Date report written on: November 15th

Human Rights Report No. 277

Summary: Army enters Deir Istiya, threatens male resident

Date of incident: 18th november 2006

Time: 01.30hrs- 02.00hrs

Place: Deir Istiya village, Salfeet

Witnesses: Palestinian residents.

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need.

Description of incident:

IWPS was informed that on thursday 16th november, at 18.30hours soldiers entered the mosque in Deir Istiya. They smelt the hands of the young men, looking to detect gasoline. The soldiers stayed for approximately 20 minutes, during which no one was allowed out of the mosque, or to approach it from the outside.

At 01.30 hours on saturday 18th november a resident of Deir Istiya was awoken by a neighbour shouting that the army wanted to speak to him. The man came out of his house and saw three army jeeps. Two soldiers entered his gate, whom he presumed to be the commander and a translator.

The soldier spoke to him in a threatening manner, saying he could bring bulldozers to destroy houses, could shoot children in the village or destroy olive groves if he wanted to.

The soldier informed the man that he should tell the boys in the village not to throw stones, and that he should also make this announcement at the mosque. The man replied that he was in neither a position nor had the authority to do that.

After 30 minutes the soldiers left.

IWPS was informed that the army then went to the house of another man, making the same threats and demands.

IWPS was informed that the army then went to a third man’s house, which they searched.

The first resident had been told by other people in the village that the army threw sound bombs and fired 9 live bullets in another part of the village before coming to his house.

Residents of the village informed IWPS that the army has entered Deir Istiya every night for the past week.

Report written by: Alys

Edited by: Nagwa

Date report written on: 21st November 2006

Human Rights Report No. 278

Summary: Flying checkpoint and incursion into Haris, Salfit

Date of incident: 18h november 2006

Time: 5 – 6 p.m. and 8:30 – 9 p.m.

Place: Haris, Salfit

Witnesses: Palestinian residents and IWPS members.

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need.

Description of Incident:

At 5 p.m. on Saturday, 18th November, an IDF jeep stopped at the entrance of Haris and proceeded to shine the vechilces spotlight into.   a taxi van driver who pulled up to the entrance to await a paying customer. The army pointed the spotlight at the taxi driver and ordered him to cross the street and approach their vehicle. He complied. The soldiers instructed him to unzip his coat. They inspected him and demanded his identification card. According to the driver, a soldier ordered him to shut up or he would be shot.

The soldiers took the I.D. cards of the passengers and questioned the driver and his two male companion in another Palestinian vehicle.  A second IDF Hummer arrived and two more soldiers emerged to further question the men.

IWPS was telephoned and two more team members walked to the entrance. The original IWPS woman moved close to the Palestinian taxi van driver to prevent escalation of abuse. At this point a larger, third IDF Hummer arrived with two more soldiers, enabling the second IDF jeep to depart.

Shortly before the arrival of additional IWPS members, the soldiers returned I.D. cards to the four men. Five minutes later the two vehicles entered the village and drove down the main street, during this time, the back door of the jeep remained open visibly showing a soldier with his gun pointed ready to fire. The vechicles then drove in different directions, driving around the narrow villlage roads. The soldiers did not stop their vechicles

exiting from the rear of the village.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. the IDF entered the village again. Soldiers exploded a sound bomb in from of the mosque.

To our knowledge, no arrests were made in Hares that evening.

Report written by: Lulu

Edited by: Holly

Date report written: 21 November 2006

Human Rights Report No. 279

Summary: 3 houses & 2 agricultural structures Demolished.

Date of incident: November 22nd 2006

Time: 5.30am – 2 pm

Place: Al Funduq, Hajja

Witnesses: Palestinian residents, IWPS volunteers, ISM volunteers, International journalists, Local journalists.

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need.

Description of incident:

At 6.40am on 22nd November 2006, IWPS received a telephone call from residents of Al Funduq regarding a housing demolition. IWPS volunteers went immediately to the scene, upon arrival the first house had been completely demolished.

Two bulldozers were beginning to destroy a second house. Approximately 30 soldiers were present. The house was not yet inhabited, though the construction was nearly complete. During this demolition 4 Palestinian men attempted to protect their property by climbing into the house. Immediately the soldiers rushed towards them, and grabbed them. Four soldiers aggressively held one man by placing him in a head lock. The Palestinian men were dragged away from the house, two of them were then handcuffed. The demolition was completed by 8.00am, at which point the handcuffs were cut from the men.

The soldiers escorted the bulldozers to the next site for demolition, an agricultural structure. The army stated the reason for this demolition was that they did not have permission to build. The family tried to salvage some items from inside however, the army did not allow them to finish this.

The army and bulldozers then set off to the nearby village of Hajja, where a further two demolitions took place. The first was a large agricultural structure and the second a nearly completed house.  Family members were clearly distressed and angry. They had papers with their lawyer, and were requesting time for these papers to arrive. After half an hour the army refused to allow them more time and began the demolition.

The demolition took two hours. Before and during the demolition the army threw sound bombs to disperse people. They were observed throwing sound bombs and shooting rubber bullets in the direction of on looking families, including women and children. During the demolition soldiers fired at least one rubber bullet into a small group of boys, aged between 12-14 years old. The boys had not acted in any aggressive manner.

The army and bulldozers then proceeded to the site of the fifth demolition. Three human rights workers joined the family of approximately 10-15 people on the roof. The family was extremely distressed. They were wailing, crying, and two young men were lying shaking on the roof. Two medics arrived and treated the men and an elderly woman for what appeared to be an extreme emotional response to their traumatic situation. After around 30 minutes, and whilst the medics were still treating 4 people, the soldiers entered the building and forcibly removed everyone, including the people being treated.

Once everyone was out of the house the soldiers threw sound bombs and fired rubber bullets to disperse people. This included rubber bullets being fired into groups of bystanders, positioned at least 150 metres from the site. Seven people were injured from rubber bullets, including injuries to the head and chest.

Report written by: Alys

Edited by: Holly, Kirsty

Date report written on: 23rd November 2006

Human Rights Report No. 280

Summary: Army incursion into Qira, 3 families interrogated

Date of incident: 26 November 2006

Time: 1.30 am – 3.30 am

Place: Qira, Salfit Region

Witnesses: Palestinian residents

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need.

Description of incident:

The following information was gathered through interviews with residents of Qira that were affected by the event.  The Israeli army entered the village of Qira at 1.30 am on the 26th of November.  The event lasted approximately two hours.  The Israeli army threw sound bombs into the village, awakening most of the villagers. Some of these sound bombs caused damage to the houses in the village.  The Israeli army invaded three homes and interrogated the three families.  Prior to letting off sound bombs and invading the three houses, Israeli army soldiers had walked through Qira.

Family #1: At 1.30 am the Israeli army approached a house towards the east end of the village.  A window on the ground floor of this house was smashed by one of the sound bombs that were thrown at the house.  The sound bombs awoke the sleeping family, who woke up to a spotlight being shone on their house.  The soldiers demanded that the family come out from their home immediately.  The soldiers questioned the family, in particular the eldest son.  The soldiers asked the eldest son for his personal details.  They then questioned the eldest son about his car and demanded to see the vehicles documentation.  The documentation was provided to the soldiers and they then proceeded to search the car.  Four soldiers were present at this incident, plus one army jeep and a military ambulance.

Family #2: At around the same time, 1.30 am the Israeli army approached another house near the west entrance of the village and disrupted a family of seven adults and three children under six.  The soldiers threw stones and sound bombs at the house.  Damage was caused to the roof of the veranda and one of the front windows was smashed.  A teenage girl sleeping in the front room woke with glass on her face.  The army told the family that they had one minute to evacuate the house, otherwise, the house would be destroyed.  The eldest son is vision impaired and did not want to leave the house, however he was forced to at the army’s demands.  The family evacuated the house; however the army believed that there were still more family members inside.  The mother suggested the army search the house if they not believe that the entire family is out.

Whilst outside, the men of the family were asked to lift the tops of their clothes in order for the soldiers to see their abdomen.  One of the soldiers hit the youngest son, who was then taken out to the road and questioned about the car parked on the street.  The young man said that he did not know who the car belonged to.  The soldier stated that they would destroy the car.  The young man told the soldiers that it did not matter to him and that perhaps the car belonged to the neighbours.  The soldiers then shouted at the family to get back into the house.  The army then went to the neighbours house, across the street.

Family #3: At 1.50 am the Israeli soldiers arrived at the neighbouring house.  The army threw a sound bomb directly at this house causing damage to three sacks of olives.  They then entered the veranda of this house through a shut but unlocked door.  One of the soldiers smashed the window of the living room with his rifle.  The soldiers shouted, demanding that the family of five open the door and come out of the house.  The family came out of the house.  The soldiers took each of the family members Haweeya (identification cards).  The soldiers then began to ask the family questions in Hebrew.  The eldest son stated that he did not understand Hebrew.  One of the soldiers then began to be physically rough with the Palestinian male, grabbing him by the arm.  The soldier then spoke to him in Arabic and asked him about the car parked outside their house.  The Palestinian male stated that the car did not belong to him.  The soldier did not believe him.  The Palestinian male insisted that he did not know anything about the car and suggested that it could belong to the neighbours.  During the questioning, some of the soldiers entered the house and went upstairs.  The soldiers left after 20 – 30 minutes of questioning.

The army then returned to the house of family #2.  The army stated that the neighbour had informed them that the car belonged to family #2.  One of the soldiers used his hands to hit the youngest son on his chest.  While leaving this house, the army stated that they would come back again.

The army then went to the village olive press.  The soldiers asked the owner to switch off the machines.  The soldiers asked for all the workers to present their identification cards to them.

Report written by: Kirsty

Edited by: Fatima

Date report written on: 29 November 2006

Human Rights Report No. 281

Summary: Army incursion into Hares, one man shot in the leg

Date of incident: 2nd December 2006

Time: 19.00 hrs

Place: Hares, Salfit Region

Witnesses: Palestinian residents, IWPS volunteers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need.

Description of incident:

At approximately 7pm on the 2nd of December 2006 two Israeli army jeeps drove through the village of Hares, questioning Palestinian men and firing rubber bullets. A 27 year old local shopkeeper, who was attempting to close the metal doors of his shop, was hit in the knee by a rubber bullet.

A Palestinian man who witnessed the incident carried the wounded man into a car and attempted to drive him to the nearest clinic, in the neighbouring village of Kifl Haris.  Unfortunately there was no doctor present so they had to go to the nearest hospital in the village of Biddya. On the road between Kifl Hares and Hares they were stopped by a flying checkpoint.

The wounded man sought to explain to the Israeli soldiers that they had shot him in the leg and he desperately needed to get to hospital to receive medical attention.  The army would not let him pass and demanded that he get out of the car. The wounded Palestinian man said he could not do this and the soldier told him to shut up. These discussions lasted for approximately half an hour.

Two IWPS volunteers arrived at the scene. With the assistance of Physicians from Human Rights and the work of the IWPS volunteers, the soldiers eventually allowed the wounded Palestinian man to pass.

He received medical attention for his injuries, which included internal bleeding and bruising, at Biddya Hospital. He is in a satisfactory condition, but feels pain when he walks.

Report written by: Kirsty

Edited by: Alys

Date report written on: 6th of December, 2006

Human Rights Report No. 282

Summary: IOF soldiers shoot one man dead in Kufr ad Dik

Date of incident: 14th December 2006

Time: 11.00 hrs

Place: Kafr ad Dik

Witnesses: Palestinian workers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved – we will do our best to furnish you with all the relevant information you might need.

Description of incident:

The following incident involves the killing of a young Palestinian father by I.O.F. soldiers. The Israeli army invaded the village of Kafr ad Dik at approximately 11:00 am on Thursday 14th December.

According to several eye-witnesses approximately 7 members of the Israeli army entered a historical building which the 27 year old, father of 4 children, was helping to restore. On entering the property the army immediately began to randomly open fire. After this they shouted to a construction worker that they were looking for a group of children who they claimed had been throwing stones at them. The army was informed that there were no children on the premises.

As a result of hearing the gunfire, the 27 year old man came out of the upstairs room he had been working in and stood at the top of the staircase. Without warning several soldiers opened fire at him. The young father was hit a total of  4 times with live amunition, killing him instantly.

The man then plummeted to the ground from the top of the staircase area. The father of the deceased man told the soldiers that they had killed his son. The soldiers claimed they would provide him with medical help, however his body was only carried outside, without providing any medical assistance.  The deceased man was a father of 4 children, the eldest son is 6 years old and the youngest is 7 months. His wife is currently pregnant with their fifth child.

According to the residents of Kufr ad Dik , the army have been invading the village on a regular basis, with soldiers opening fire with live ammunition.

Report written by: Mariam J
Edited by: Holly and Nagwa
Date report written on: 16 December 2006

Olive Harvest Reports 2006

OH 1/2006
In the village of Az-Zawiyya soldiers prevented farmers from accessing their land. The next day international volunteers from IWPS joined the farmers in their attempt to pass. After two hours, everybody were let through.

The 10th of October 2006 farmers from the village Az-Zawiyya in the Salfit district were stopped by soldiers on their way to their lands nearby and in the Elqana settlement. Today, in the early morning of the 11th of October, volunteers from the International Women’s Peace Service (IWPS) joined the families in their attempt to pass. Four soldiers approached the farmers and their families, a group of around 30 people, and said that they wouldn’t let them continue to their land unless they had permits. The international volunteers provided the soldiers with the verdict from the High Court of Justice in Israel that clearly states: “the right to free access to land is not dependent upon the possession of a permit”. However, the soldiers kept repeating the need for permits. The international volunteers then phoned an officer in the DCO in the Salfit district. He confirmed that every Palestinian has the right to access his or her land. When the soldier in charge at the spot refused to speak with him through the volunteer’s phone, the officer in the DCO assured that he would come in person and make clear that everybody should get through to their trees. Thirty minutes later, he phoned back and managed to talk to the soldier in charge. The soldier said he wouldn’t change his mind about letting the people pass through unless his commander ordered him to do so. The officer in DCO then phoned the commander that was in charge of the unit and this gave results. The soldiers continued to check everybody’s ID but eventually all the families were let through, regardless of permits. 
OH 2/2006

Summary: Three families harassed on their land by soldiers in Deir Istiya.

Date: Sunday October 22nd

This occurrence affected 10 people, including 4 children, from three separate families. The families had decided to pick together in order to harvest their land faster. Their land is situated about one kilometre from Revava settlement. On 2 previous occasions soldiers had approached the children whilst they harvested and told them that they were not allowed to be there. When adults from the group approached the soldiers, they quickly left.

At around 9a.m. on the 22nd October the farmers were harvesting the last of their trees when the same soldiers arrived once again. They told the farmers that as they had now finished harvesting, they should leave and not return to their land. The farmers attempted to explain to the soldiers that this land belonged to them but to no avail. The soldiers also told the farmers to inform other families (who have not yet started picking) that they should also stay away. This incident has scared the other farmers who are about to start harvesting their land. Others incidents which the farmers reported was the almost daily occurrence of settlers walking through the land. Although they did not approach the farmers they were visibly armed.

OH 3/2006

Olive Harvest – Not a place for children
“The kids have to stay home”, she says regretfully and closes the door in front of her two year old daughter. It’s early morning, the sun is playful and the goats eager to get out. She and her husband take the rocky path to the olive groves where they quickly take up yesterday’s picking. The goats munch grass and leafs without any visible signs of worry but her attention is divided between the movements of her hands, the olives and the fact some hundered metres away: Revava settlement. If you didn’t know anything about Palestine you could just take it for another village, where the designer had choosen white as the colour theme and red roofs as the main protection. There is more to it, though. So much more that this olive grove beside the settlement is no longer regarded a place for children to participate and play. So much more that cars that slow down on the road below means an instant threat. Three days ago Israeli soldiers drove up on the road below their land. They whistled to her husband to come down to them.
“You have to leave”, the soldier said.
“Why”, asked her husband.
“Why, why, why – don’t always ask why. Leave! You are too close to the settlement.”
So they left.

Revava settlement is the story of how 1200 dunums of land were squeezed out of the hands of Palestinian farmers in Deir Istiya and Hares and how wheatfields and olive groves turned into roads and houses for a few. The owner of the land we’re picking today was in Kuwait 1991 when Revava was established. He grew up in this village. He used to harvest his wheat where the settlement is today. When he came back from abroad he found that his family had lost 160 dunums of land; a big part of their livelyhood and their history. Of the court sessions came nothing.
“What can we do?” he says, more as a confirmation than a question, of the fact that Revava is still expanding and confiscating more land.

This day passes without incidents. Olive after olive falls to the floor. Not a face is shown of the less than 900 people that inhabit Revava. But suddenly a man with a gun appears under a tree, he is the guard of the settlement. He doesn’t say much. We focus on our picking and he leaves. When the sun falls she starts to get worried. The children have ended up in the groves anyway and it’s minutes to dark.
“We have to hurry”, she says. “What if the nearby soldiers get nervous and start to shoot at us?”

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