HRR 2007

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Human Rights Report No. 283

Summary: IOF invades village of Kufr ‘Ein in the early hours of the morning

Date of incident:Saturday 30 Dec 2006

Time:around 2:30am
Place: Kufr’Ein

Witness/es: Villagers of Kufr ‘Ein

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

Description of Incident:

At about 2.30am in the morning, villagers of Kufr ‘Ein, who stay near to the mosque were awakened by sound bombs and the sound of live shots being fired into the air. At this moment there was no electricity in the village. Israeli Occupation Force soldiers were walking through the village. The army then shouted instructions in Arabic, through a loudspeaker, “Stop or you will be shot”.

According to one eyewitness, they heard hard knocks on his front door at 3.30 in the morning.  Before he could even respond the Israeli army said they give him and his family two minutes to come out of the house, and if he did not they would demolish his home.  They asked him for wanted persons and threatened to damage his house if he does not tell them where they are. The man told the soldiers that they can do whatever they wanted because there is no wanted person in his house, only his family.  The Israeli commander hit him hard with his hand and the man fell to the ground.  This man is about 50 years old with a heart condition. The soldiers asked the same question and he gave the same answer and he was hit again and he fell to the ground again.  At this stage the wife intervened and asked the soldiers why they hit her husband as the person they wanted is in their jails.  The soldier told her to shut up and that they would hit her like her husband if she did not to sit down far from the house.  The soldiers continued to search their house for another two hours while the whole family stood outside.  There were about 100 soldiers at the time in the village and they searched 7 to 8 houses in the same manner.

The villagers who were awakened and forced outside, saw the soldiers surround an unused house.  They had found a young man (21years) who apparently was a wanted person by the Israeli army for more than three years.   He was forced out and was instructed to take off his clothes on this very cold morning, was hit with guns and kicked until about 14 to 15 jeeps arrived.   He was then put in a jeep and taken away.  Later on when the army had left some of his bloodstained clothes were found on the spot where he was assaulted.  With reinforcements the army proceeded to invade more houses on the pretext of searching for more people till 6.30am, when a woman shouted at them that this was the morning of the Eid-ul-Adha.  The commander shouted back that they would leave when the Eid started.  The army left the village just after 6:30am

Up to now no-one knows where the arrested young man has been taken.  The Red Crescent and The Prisoner’s Club has been contacted to look for him.

Report written by: Makoma

Edited by: Fatima G
Date report written on: 5 january 2007

Human Rights Report No. 284

Summary: Israeli army arrests a Palestinian man

Date of incident:Friday Jan 12, 2007

Time:around 10.15 am
Place: Kufr’Ein

Witness/es: Villagers of Kufr ‘Ein

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

Description of Incident:

At about 10.15 am the Israeli Occupation Forces invaded the village of Kufr‘Ein  again, with dogs and jeeps.

According to one eyewitness, soldiers entered the village in about twelve jeeps, forced their way into one home and destroyed a lot of furniture and belongings of the family.  They arrested a farmer whose brother was also arrested during an army raid in June, 2006, and is still in prison. The arrested man’s family has had no contact with him as yet

This village has reported several prior incursions.

Refer also to IWPS Human Rights Reports 250 (June 28 2006) and 283 (January 5 2007).

Report written by: Gemma

Edited by: Fatima G
Date report written on:  January 14, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 285

Summary: Israeli army searches house in Hares village

Date of incident:Tuesday Jan 16, 2007

Time:Around 10.00 pm
Place: Hares

Witness/es: Villagers of Hares

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

Description of Incident:

At about 10.00 pm the Israeli Occupation Forces entered the village of Hares in jeeps.

According to eyewitnesses, the Occupation Forces entered the village in five jeeps. Soldiers banged on the door of a house near the entrance of the village. Three fully armed soldiers then forced their way into the house and began searching the upstairs rooms. They offered no explanation and instructed family members not to speak while they searched the house. After searching for about ten minutes, the soldiers left.

The mother reported that the young children of the family witnessed the search and were trembling with fear while the soldiers were in the house.

Report written by: Gemma

Edited by: Fatima G
Date report written on:  January 18, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 286

Summary: Young female student arrested at BeitIba checkpoint, west of Nablus

Date of incident:14 Jan 2007

Time:1pm

Place: BeitEba check point

Witness/es: A Family member and others.

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

Description of Incident:

At 1pm on Sunday the 14th of January a young female student (20years old) from An-Najah University was detained at BeitIba Checkpoint,  west of Nablus.  She was on her way to her home in the village of Qira. She was detained for 3 hours and then arrested and taken away to Qedumim by the Israeli security police. She was then taken to Huwarra prison.  She is now at a women’s prison called Telmond,  which is in Israel, and charged for security and criminal reasons.

The family has a lawyer working on the case. An Israeli organisation that deals with Palestinian female political prisoners is also working on this case.  It is not yet clear what exactly she is being charged with. .Israeli activists have been helping the family locate and get into contact with the arrested young woman.

Yesterday (Thursday, the 18th of January) the two lawyers got to see her and have reported that she is fine and that she requests that clothes and money be sent to her.  Her family have not been able to contact her or see her since she has been detained and arrested to be able to send her any clothes; she is still in the clothes that she was arrested in on Sunday.  The Red Cross will only be allowed to visit her in 14 days time to take clothes to her.

She has a hearing that will take place on the 4th of February in Salem.

Report written by: Fatima G

Date report written on: 19 January 2007

Human Rights Report No. 287

Summary: Israeli soldiers blocked the entrance to the village of Deir Istiya for two hours

Date of incident:Wed 24 January 2007

Time:around 7pm
Place: Deir Istiya
Witness/es: Villagers of Deir Istiya

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

Description of Incident:

At around 7 pm villagers from Deir Istiya tried to return home after work. They were prevented from entering their village from the north end by Wadi Kana road by three military jeeps and around six armed soldiers. The villagers were told that they were not allowed to enter their village and go home because some boys in the village had thrown a petrol bomb at an Israeli bus. Villagers were forced to stand in the cold for two hours until around 9 pm. Two of the villagers were medical professionals and protested to the soldiers that they needed to return to their patients and clinics. Still the soldiers refused to let them pass.

Two IWPS volunteers arrived on the scene around 8.40 pm. They spoke with the soldiers and asked why the villagers were not allowed to go home. The soldiers refused to communicate with the IWPS volunteers. The soldiers eventually allowed the villagers to enter Deir Istiya around 9 pm but maintained a presence in the area throughout the night.

Report written by: Sara B

Edited by: Gemma

Date report written on: 25 January 2007

Human Rights Report No. 288

Summary: Undercover agents assassinate a 28 year-old Palestinian man

Date of incident: Sat, January 27, 2007

Time:Around 8:30 pm

Place: Rummana village, northwest of Jenin

Witness/es: Victim’s wife and villagers

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

Description of Incident:

At around 8.30 pm the victim, with his wife and one month old daughter, were returning home after visiting relatives nearby.  Due to the lack of electricity in the village for the past four months, the area was very dark, therefore the victim and his wife did not notice anyone outside. As they approached their house three men in civilian clothing, who were hiding outside, confronted the victim and demanded to see his ID. After checking his ID they shot him once in the chest. When he fell they shot him twice in the head. The men  then snatched the baby from the victim’s wife and placed her beside her dead father’s body.  They took off his wife’s veil and grabbed her by the hair to drag her away from the body. The victim’s wife picked up her daughter from the ground before they could pull her away. One of the men took the baby and placed her on a rock nearby and told the victim”s wife that she if she cried out she and her baby would also be killed.

According to other eyewitnessess, Israeli soldiers, who are often in the olive groves nearby, used their headlights from two or three nearby jeeps to help the assassins escape. The victim’s family as well as villagers are afraid for their lives.

Report written by: Gemma

Edited by: Anna

Date report written on: January 30, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 289

Summary: Night incursion disrupts mourning in Marda

Date of incident:January 31, 2007

Time:Around 8 pm
Place:Village of Marda, north of Salfit

Witness/es: Residents and IWPS

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

Description of Incident:

At around 8pm, four Israeli military jeeps drove into the village of Marda and stopped in front of the DiwanAlaHoofash, a shared community building.  As a village resident had passed away that morning, approximately 40 men from Marda were inside the building observing the first day of the three-day traditional mourning period.  Village residents noted soldiers used sound bombs and shot live ammunition into the air in the town center.  Two more jeeps arrived a few minutes later and about 7 soldiers entered the building for about 10 minutes and demanded everyone leave the building.  The men refused to allow the soldiers to enter the room due to the nature of the gathering.  The soldiers left and stood outside the front entrance for another 10 minutes before driving out of the village.  The mourners then left the building two hours early, reportedly due to interruption by the incursion.

Report written by: Amy

Edited by: Anna

Date report written on: February 2, 2007

Human Rights Report No.290

Summary: IOF soldiers lock residents in shop, threaten and beat boy and young man

Date of incident:February 12, 2007

Time:5.30 pm – 6.00 pm

Place: Village of Marda, north of Salfit

Witness/es: Residents

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

Description of Incident:

After praying at the mosque, a 25-year-old man returned to his shop with 4 other village residents, including an elderly man and a 7-year old boy.  Eight IOF soldiers, reportedly arrived by foot from the Ariel settlement adjacent to Marda, entered the shop and demanded that he close the doors with everyone inside.  Having left his identity card at his house, the man requested that he be allowed to return home but the soldiers refused.  Within a time span of 10-15 minutes, four to five soldiers pushed him to the ground and proceded to kick him in the legs and used their guns to beat him.  One soldier reportedly slapped the 7-year old boy in the face and pushed him. The soldiers also took the beaten man’s prayer beads and threatened the elderly man by saying, “we want to do the same thing to everyone in this village.”

Report written by: Amy

Edited by: Gemma

Date report written on: February 15, 2007

Human Rights Report No.291

Summary: IOF soldiers enter Marda at night, throw sound and gas bombs, threaten two men with destroying ID cards

Date of incident: February 14, 2007

Time:6:30 pm – 9.00 pm

Place:Village of Marda, north of Salfit
Witness/es: Residents and IWPS

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

Description of Incident:

At 6.30 pm, IOF jeeps stopped in front of the mosque. At 7.00 pm, IOF soldiers approached two young men and took their identification cards.  It was reported that the IOF soldiers cursed at the men and threatened to destroy their identification cards unless they brought “ the boys who threw stones at the jeeps.”  The soldiers then threw numerous tear gas and sound bombs in the center of the village.

At 8.00 pm, when IWPS volunteers arrived in the center of the village, there were three jeeps, one military police vehicle, and approximately 10 soldiers present, restricting residents from walking or driving past them.  At 9.00 pm, villagers reported that the soldiers threw the two identification cards in front of a shop and drove out of the village.  Residents noted that IOF soldiers made frequent visits to the village in the past week during the evening hours.

Report written by: Amy

Edited by: Gemma

Date report written on: February 15, 2007

Human Rights Report No.292

Summary: Israeli soldiers detain medical volunteers delivering medicine, aid during curfew

Date of incident:February 28, 2007

Time:
Place: Nablus

Witness/es: IWPS

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

Description of Incident:

Yesterday at midnight, Israeli jeeps and soldiers re-invaded Nablus’ old city and re-imposed curfew on its residents.  Throughout today, the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC) emergency medical volunteers and IWPS accompaniers delivered medicine, food and supplies to families unable to leave homes due to curfew.

At 1:00pm, three medics and two IWPS volunteers were stopped by four soldiers in a jeep and were asked to give their identification cards.  Soldiers held their identification for about one hour before releasing medics.

At about 2:30pm, five soldiers interrupted a medical delivery by seven medics (including a doctor and nurse) and internationals by detaining the group for over ten minutes.

In another instance that afternoon, a group of 7 medics, including one doctor and volunteers attempted to reach a heart-condition patient in his home and were stopped by four soldiers.  More soldiers arrived, detaining a total of 17 medics plus volunteers for over half an hour.  The doctor was released after 40 minutes.

As of 5:30pm, UPMRC workers reported they had assisted approximately 60 people and there were 30 ambulance cases.  Numerous houses are still occupied by soldiers, with the residents trapped inside.

Report written by: Amy

Date report written on: February 28, 2007

Human Rights Report No.293

Summary: Israeli army harasses villagers on a daily basis for over one week

Date of incident:February 11-17, 2007

Time:
Place: Marda
Witness/es: Reported by residents

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

Description of Incident:

For over a week, the Israeli army has continued to harrass residents of Marda, including nighttime invasions, throwing sound and gas bombs, beating adults and children, preventing movement, and threatening people.

11 February: Jeeps entered village at night and threw sound bombs.

12 February: Jeeps entered village at night and threw sound bombs.

13 February: Soldiers locked people inside shop, beat man, slapped boy and threatened elderly man (HR Report 290)

14 February: Jeeps entered village at night. Soldiers held identity cards of two men, threatened them. (HR Report 291)

15 February: Jeeps entered village at night, hit two boys aged 18 and 19 with rubber bullets.

16 February: Jeeps entered village at night (around 6pm) and threw sound and gas bombs in center of village.

17 February: Soldiers entered village at about 12 noon, after prayer time.  One jeep stopped in front of shop in the center of the village. Two brothers, aged 23 and 25, were inside shop.  The soldiers demanded to know who had thrown bottles of lime at the army jeep. The soldiers slapped one man and held a gun to his head. Another brother, aged 31, entered and the soldiers pushed them all against a wall, cursed at them and demanded that they wash their jeep.  In addition, a few hours in the day, the jeeps stopped in front of the primary school and reportedly prevented students from passing in the road.  Jeep #610956 was present.

Report written by: Amy

Edited by: Gemma

Date report written on: February 23, 2007

Human Rights Report No.294

Summary: Soldiers harass young woman at checkpoint and hold identity card

Date of incident:February 15, 2007

Time:
Place: Huwara checkpoint

Witness/es: Reported by young woman

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

Description of Incident:

At 3:30pm, an 18-year-old woman from Marda village was crossing the Huwara checkpoint. After asking where she was from, a soldier took her identity card away to the computer. Reportedly, another two soldiers approached her and two other women standing in line and made harrassing comments of a sexual nature.  The soldiers told the women to follow them to a building adjacent to the checkpoint.  For 45 minutes, the Palestinian women sat in the room while a male and female soldier kissed, demanding that the women watch.  Soon there was a commotion outside at the checkpoint, and the soldiers left and let women leave. The young woman who reported this incident had not received her identity card back (reportedly the soldier who had taken her identity card had left the premises) and was told to return in two days.  After this time, she returned and the soldiers at the checkpoint could not find it and told her to leave.

Report written by: Amy

Edited by: Gemma

Date report written on: February 23, 2007

Human Rights Report No.295

Summary: Soldiers use man as human shield

Date of incident:February 25, 2007

Time:
Place: Nablus

Witness/es: Four UPMRC workers, two internationals

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

Description of Incident:

At 5:30pm, eight Israeli soldiers walked through the old city of Nablus with one Palestinian man.  As the report is written, the old city is currently in the state of an invasion by the Israeli army and under curfew.  The Palestinian man, a father of five, vegetable seller, and resident of the old city in Nablus, reported quietly as he walked by four Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committee (UPMRC) workers that he was currently being used as a human shield for the soldiers.

International humanitarian law prohibits the use of civilians as human shields by keeping them next to soldiers or military facilities as a manner of protecting themselves from attack, or by forcing civilians to carry out military operations.

Report written by: Amy

Date report written on: February 25, 2007

Human Rights Report No.296

Summary: Nablus’ Old City under siege by IOF: Turkish bath invaded, human shield updates, hospital restriction, man in coma from tear gas

Date of incident:February 25-26, 2007

Time:
Place: Nablus

Witness/es: Residents, IWPS

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

Description of Incident:At 1:00am on February 25, the Israeli military entered Nablus as a part of “Operation Hot Winter,” occupying houses, searching and damaging homes and buildings, throwing tear gas and sound bombs, restricting movement, blocking roads and hospitals, and using human shields.

Four incidents reported below:

1.Invasion of Turkish Bath
2.Human Shield Update
3.Hospital Blockade & Restriction
4.Man in Coma From Tear Gas

1. Invasion ofTurkish Bath, February 25
Israeli forces broke into the Turkish Bath in the Old City of Nablus at 11:00pm and used it as a military base for two days. The soldiers broke the door to the entrance of the baths and searched through everything. Soldiers left one room of the baths in ruins, with broken tiles, open lockers, soap, towels, and sheets thrown on the ground, and light fixtures ripped out of the wall. The stained glass on the ceiling was damaged, the water pipes were taken apart, the wooden ceiling was ripped apart, and the mirror was cracked.

The Turkish bath is 400 years old and holds great economic and cultural significance for the people of Nablus.  Many people use the baths everyday and several families depend on it economically.

2. Human Shield Update, February 25 and 26

On February 25, at 3 am in the Old City of Nablus, Israeli soldiers invaded the home of a local vegetable vendor from the Yasmin quarter.  The soldiers took him out of his home to accompany them while walking around the Old City.  The soldiers forced him walk in front of them as a human shield.

On February 26, soldiers returned to the same man’s house and interrogated him about his children. The soldiers ordered the man to help negotiate their way the location where another local man was recently killed.  They took him to another building and interrogated him about two families. The soldiers exploded a bomb in the wall next to him, separating two rooms.  Soldiers also used the same man’s home as a base and consumed his food.

3. Hospital Blockade and Restriction, February 25 and 26
On February 25 at 3:30am, Israeli forces invaded Al-Watani Hospital in Nablus. The director arrived at 7am and met the army commander and more than 10 soldiers with their jeeps parked inside the hospital area. The director stated to the army that their presence was illegal according to international law.  Soldiers remained at the hospital for two days, checking IDs of all patients, doctors, visitors, and staff in addition to searching every car, handbag, and package. The hospital services remained open, but many patients and staff were afraid to go near the building.

On February 26, soldiers threw tear gas near the hospital, which entered the building.

4. Man in Coma From Tear Gas, February 26
A 47-year-old tailor and father of seven is in critical condition at the Nablus Hospital after going into cardiac arrest. The man inhaled tear gas in his home, which thrown by Israeli soldiers after a confrontation with Palestinian youth.  According to a family member, the man told his wife he could not breathe and the family immediately called for medical help. Israeli soldiers prevented an ambulance from reaching the man for one hour.  At the same time, IOF forces were detaining twenty-five UPMRC emergency medical volunteers so they could not respond to the call.  By the time the man reached the hospital, his condition was severe.  According to his doctor, he has no chance of recovery.

Report written by: Nova

Report edited by: Anna and Amy

Date report written on: February 27, 2007

Update on HR Report 296

On Sunday March 5, 2007, Ghareb Abdel GhaniSelhab passed away after doctors pulled the plug on his life machine, since he had no chance of recovery from a heart attack provoked by tear gas. He was the second fatality of Israel’s invasion of Nablus last week, also unarmed. He was 47 years old and the father of seven.

Human Rights Report No.297

Summary: Israeli soldiers detain medical volunteers delivering medicine, aid during curfew

Date of incident:February 28, 2007

Time:
Place: Nablus
Witness/es: IWPS

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

Description of Incident:

Yesterday at midnight, Israeli jeeps and soldiers re-invaded Nablus’ old city and re-imposed curfew on its residents.  Throughout today, the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC) emergency medical volunteers and IWPS accompaniers delivered medicine, food and supplies to families unable to leave homes due to curfew.

At 1:00pm, three medics and two IWPS volunteers were stopped by four soldiers in a jeep and were asked to give their identification cards.  Soldiers held their identification for about one hour before releasing medics.

At about 2:30pm, five soldiers interrupted a medical delivery by seven medics (including a doctor and nurse) and internationals by detaining the group for over ten minutes.

In another instance that afternoon, a group of 7 medics, including one doctor and volunteers attempted to reach a heart-condition patient in his home and were stopped by four soldiers.  More soldiers arrived, detaining a total of 17 medics plus volunteers for over half an hour.  The doctor was released after 40 minutes.

As of 5:30pm, UPMRC workers reported they had assisted approximately 60 people and there were 30 ambulance cases.  Numerous houses are still occupied by soldiers, with the residents trapped inside.

Report written by: Amy

Date report written on: February 28, 2007

Human Rights Report No.298

Summary: Israeli soldiers invade an apartment building in the early morning hours and kept male residents handcuffed for 6 hours.

Date of incident:March 01, 2007

Time:
Place: Nablus

Witness/es: Residents

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

Description of Incident:

At approximately 4:00 am today, Israeli Occupation Forces invaded a seven-storey building in southwest Nablus. Eyewitnesses report that they were awakened by loud speakers and sound bombs.

One resident, who is a 50 year old dentist in Nablus, informed IWPS volunteers that several soldiers forced their way into the building and ordered the residents into the basement of a nearby building. 30 men were put in one room and about 35 women and children in another room. Three soldiers handcuffed all the men and told them not to speak or ask any questions.  Their mobile phones were also taken away. The dentist asked to see his young children but the soldiers refused. Both men and women were kept in the basement from 4:15 am to 10:15 am when the soldiers allowed them to leave. The men were handcuffed and seated for all of 6 hours. During this time the rest of the soldiers searched the building.

At about 10:30 am, after the soldiers left, IWPS volunteers and other internationals toured the building and found that the soldiers broke down doors on each floor and ransacked apartments in the building, leaving residents’ belongings scattered on the floor. Windows on 6 of the 7 floors were shattered and broken glass was strewn on the floors and stairs. A light fixture on the ceiling of the sixth floor was broken and the doors of the elevator, on one floor, were damaged to the extent that the elevator shaft was clearly visible.

Some families as well as university students reside in the building.

Report written by: Gemma

Date of report : March 01, 2007

Human Rights Report No.299

Summary: 15 year-old Nablus Resident Shot with Rubber Bullet while Trying to Buy Bread

Date of incident:February 28, 2007

Time:
Place: Nablus
Witness/es: Victim

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

Description of Incident:

On February 28, 2007, a 15-year-old boy from the Amud neighborhood in the Nablus Old City went out to buy bread for his family. According to the boy, just before he reached the shop he saw soldiers aiming for him and he froze. One soldier shot him in the wrist with a rubber bullet.

The Red Crescent Society wanted to take him to the nearest hospitals, but ambulances were being delayed by closure from the Israeli military.  Instead the medical team took him to a clinic and bandaged his arm, unable to even x-ray the injury. The boy says he has no idea why the soldier aimed at him, and fears his wrist is fractured or even broken.

Report written by: Anna

Edited by: Nova

Date of report: March 01, 2007

Human Rights Report No.300

Summary: 20 Year Old Emergency Medical Committee Volunteer Shot and Father Killed on Roof of Home.

Date of incident:February 28, 2007

Time:
Place: Nablus

Witness/es: family member

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

Description of Incident:

On February 26, 2007 at approximately 12:00 p.m., the father of a 20-year-old Emergency Medical Committee Volunteer went up to the roof of their home to check on the water source, which was not functioning properly. The son heard that a neighborhood boy was being pursued by the Army, and saw soldiers through one of the windows in his house. He ran up to the roof to warn his father that soldiers were present, and as he was delivering the message he was shot in his right arm, shattering his elbow. With help from his 12-year-old brother who was with him, he started downstairs to call for medical help, and then heard more shooting. When he ran back up the stairs he found his father shot twice (according to medical volunteers in the head and the neck). They were both unarmed.

The injured son, a medical volunteer, tried to give his father CPR, and immediately called for an ambulance, stressing how dangerous the injury was. Shortly thereafter, soldiers entered his home. One soldier announced that he had shot them both, and demanded who the third person on the roof had been. He was surprised to see it was the 12-year-old brother and not one of the wanted men. Meanwhile, the boys’ father was rapidly losing blood. Eventually, the family was allowed to carry him to a waiting ambulance, but soldiers prevented it from moving for more than one and a half hours by parking jeeps on either side. The injured son was taken into one of the jeeps, given basic first aid, and held for an hour and a half before being taken in the jeep to a nearby village named Jit.  There he was met by a Palestinian ambulance that brought him to the hospital. He says the soldier who shot him followed them all the way from Nablus to Jit.

The boy’s father died and doctors say the son will need several operations to repair his elbow. They recommend he get them in Jordan, where there are better facilities.

Report written by: Anna

Edited by: Nova

Date of report: March 02, 2007

Human Rights Report No.301

Summary: Israeli soldiers entered village several times; threw sound bombs near house; threw gas bombs in front of two schools

Date of incident:March 05, 2007

Time:
Place: Haris

Witness/es: Residents

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

Description of Incident:

At approximately 5:00 am today, residents of the village of Haris were awakened by loud explosions. According to one villager, Israeli Occupation Forces in one jeep drove through the village and threw sound bombs at the side of a house. After about one hour the soldiers left the village.

Another villager reported that the soldiers returned around 7.00 am, drove through the village, then left. They returned around 10.00 am and threw gas bombs in front of the schools, forcing students and teachers to evacuate. The schools were closed for the rest of the day. The same villager reported that two students fainted after inhaling the gas.

The soldiers again returned to the village around 7.45 pm. Villagers heard about 3 gunshots. No one was injured. After driving through the village for about 15 minutes, the soldiers left.

Report written by: Gemma

Edited by: Nova

Date of report: March 05, 2007

Human Rights Report No.302

Summary: Israeli soldiers entered home in village of Marda, intimidated and abused 14 year old boy.

Date of incident:March 05, 2007

Time:
Place: Marda 
Witness/es:
Family in Residence

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

Description of Incident:

At 3:00 p.m. on 5 March 2007, ten soldiers from the Israeli Occupation Forces forced their way into a family home in the village of Marda.  According to the family, soldiers arrived in two jeeps and demanded entry into the home, breaking a window and kicking the door open in the process.  The soldiers targeted the 14 year old son, shook him, intimidated him with threats, and hit him.  The family reports that the boy and other family members incurred no physical injuries.  The soldiers searched the entire house, throwing clothes on the floor.  The family suspects that their son was targeted because of last week’s arrests of 8 boys from Marda.  The soldiers remained in the home for approximately one hour.

This is the second time that the family has been targeted by the IOF. Recently another son, 21 years of age, was arrested and held by the Israeli forces for one week.

Report written by: Nova

Edited by: Gemma

Date of report: March 05, 2007

Human Rights Report No.303

Summary: Israeli soldiers beat and threaten 3 young Palestinian men

Date of incident:February 25, 2007

Time:
Place: Deir Istiya
Witness/es: Witness/es: Victims

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

Description of Incident:

1) An 18 year old Palestinian man reported that at around 5.45 pm on February 25, 2007, while on his way to buy tea in the nearby shop, Israeli Occupation Forces in 5 jeeps stopped him near the post office in Deir Istiya. Four soldiers forced him inside a jeep and told him to take them to home of another boy in the village who is 16 years old. He told them he did not know where the boy’s house is. They asked him again and he repeated that he did not know. The soldiers then began to beat him. They hit him several times with their fists and their guns. They also kicked him.

According to the 18 year old, some other soldiers arrested another young man and brought him to the first jeep. The soldiers then drove the two young men to the house of their 16 year old friend. As the soldiers approached the home they used the 18 year old as a human shield by making him walk in front of the soldiers. The 16 year old was not at home. The soldiers then drove the other two young men, in separate jeeps, to the western part of the village.  One by one, each man was taken into one jeep to be questioned. The soldiers told the 18 year old that he had thrown bottles at their jeeps. He denied it and told them that he is in his final year in school and was home studying. The soldiers then brought the other young man to be questioned. The 18 year old was forced to keep his head down on the ground so he could not see what was happening.

2) The 16 year old reported that around 6.30 pm on February 25, 2007, about 30 soldiers in 5 jeeps went to his parents’ shop where he worked. Four soldiers went into the shop and took him aside.  The soldiers turned to the men in the shop and blamed them for allowing boys to throw stones at their jeeps.  They took the 16 year old outside to stand near the jeeps. The soldiers forced him into one jeep and drove him to the western part of the village. During this time all four soldiers hit him several times with their fists and their guns. They also kicked him. The soldiers accused him of throwing stones at them and of not telling them the names of all the boys who threw stones. The 16 year old now feels pain in his legs.

After one and a half hours, the soldiers drove the three young men in separate jeeps back to the center of the village and threatened them by saying that if there were any more incidents in the village they would be held responsible.

Report written by: Gemma

Edited by: Nova

Date of report: March 06, 2007

Human Rights Report No.304

Summary: Israeli soldiers arrest 8 young men, invade and search homes.

Date of incident:February 27, 2007

Time:
Place: Marda
Witness/es: Families and Victims

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

Description of Incident:

On February 27th, 2007, 8 young men were arrested by Israeli Occupation Forces from the village of Marda for allegations of throwing stones on the main road.

At 2:55 am, one family of 6 awoke to soldiers pounding on their door.  Nine soldiers demanded entrance into the house and broke the glass above the door.  The father of the house asked who was at the door; there was no answer.  The soldiers then went to the other side of the house to the alternate entrance.  Seven minutes of silence followed.  Then soldiers put their machine guns through the windows and kicked the door demanding to be let in the house.  The father opened the door asking them why they are at his home.  He was forced outside with the entire family, including two sleeping babies.  Soldiers checked everyone’s ID, searched the entire house, and demanded their 18 year old son who was sleeping away at his sister’s house.  The father told the soldiers that his son was sleeping at another house in the village. Two soldiers then forced him to walk slowly in front of them for 400 meters with machine guns in his back to go find his son.  As they walked, the soldiers threatened him saying, ‘‘If your son tries to escape or if he is not at the house, it will be trouble for your family.’’  When they arrived at the house, the soldiers found his son and took him in custody.

On the same night at 3:00am, about seven soldiers arrived at the home of a second family.  They rang the house bell and made the whole family of 10 go outside the house, including infants.  They checked everyone’s identification cards and kept two of the sons, aged 19 and 20, and arrested them.

Five other houses were targeted on the same night.  Each family awoke to pounding at the door, was subjected to their houses invaded and searched, and their sons were arrested and taken away in military jeeps.  Eight young men were taken from the village.

SOLDIERS  HAVE  CONTINUED  TO  INVADE  MARDA  ALMOST  NIGHTLY  FOR  MORE  THAN  ONE  MONTH.

Report written by: Nova

Edited by: Gemma

Date of report: March 08, 2007

Human Rights Report No.305

Summary: Soldiers break into family’s home through wall, use young men as human shields, search the house, and detain family members and neighbours between 11 and 22 hours total.

Date of incident:February 26 & 28, 2007

Time:
Place: Nablus Old City
Witness/es:family and neighbors

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

Description of Incident:

On Monday, February 26, 2007 at 10 am, soldiers entered a family’s courtyard by breaking a hole in their wall from outside. They demanded that the family leave, but agreed to let the family stay inside a room instead. Twenty-seven family members and some neighbours were held in the small room for six hours while soldiers searched their homes. Bathroom use was restricted.

The soldiers first came for a 30-year-old man and forced him to enter neighbours’ homes in front of them. They came a second time for a 17-year-old boy, who was also used as a human shield.

At 4 pm the soldiers dismissed the women and older men and handcuffed the rest of the men, a total of five, ages 17 to 30. They were forced to exit via the hole in their wall and climb up a steep rocky hill without the use of their hands. Soldiers brought the men to a home in the Raas Al Ain quarter. The men were not allowed to use the toilet at all for the next ten hours.

When the men asked when their hands would be untied—they were having shoulder pains, particularly an overweight man who could not remain so long with his hands stretched behind—a soldier tied the handcuffs tighter instead. The men said they could hardly feel their hands.

Around 9 pm, soldiers blindfolded the men and drove them in jeeps to Huwara. The Muhabarat was waiting and took off the men’s blindfolds, looked at their IDs, checked them, and asked a few basic questions: What’s your name? Where are you from? What do you do? The men answered the questions in two minutes, and were blindfolded again for six more hours.

At 3 am, soldiers let the men go (i.e. they were detained 17 hours for two minutes of questions). Because of the curfew and late hour there was no transportation so they had to walk the eight kilometres home, all the time afraid of wild dogs and being gunfire from the Army.  They arrived home around 5 am.

Two days later the soldiers returned and detained the same family with others—a total of 35 people—in a house in the woods near their homes for three hours. Their home was lightly searched during their absence. Half an hour after the family came home, the soldiers returned a third time and began searching again, this time violently, turning over furniture and breaking glasses and windows. Meanwhile, the family was detained again for two more hours in a separate room and all the men were handcuffed. The soldiers said they were looking for guns and would demolish the home if they found any.

Report written by: Anna

Edited by: Gemma

Date of report: March 12, 2007

Human Rights Report No.306

Summary: Soldiers use 11-year-old girl as human shield

Date of incident:February 28, 2007

Time:
Place: Nablus Old City
Witness/es: the girl

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

Description of Incident:

On Wednesday, February 28, 2007, while soldiers were detaining a family and searching their home, soldiers took the father and one daughter aside to ask them questions about the wanted people. When both proved uncooperative, the soldiers picked another daughter, who is 11 years old and more timid. When she insisted she didn’t know anything about the wanted people, they called her a liar and threatened to arrest her. Then they had the girl show them around to different houses in the area, making her walk in front of them with their guns pointed. She estimated about ten soldiers were using her as a shield.

Report written by: Anna

Edited by: Gemma

Date of report: March 12, 2007

Human Rights Report No.307

Summary: Six-month-old baby dies at checkpoint while being prevented access to an oxygen tent.

Date of incident:March 8, 2007

Time:
Place: Atara Checkpoint
Witness/es: Parents of child & driver

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

Description of Incident:

Early Thursday March 8, 2007 around 12:45 am, a car rushing to the hospital carrying a couple and their six-month-old baby boy who was having trouble breathing, was stopped at Atara checkpoint. The family was heading from their village Kufr ‘Ain to the nearest hospital in Ramallah, where the parents hoped to secure their son an oxygen tent, which had helped him recover from difficult respiratory episodes in the past. The soldiers asked for the IDs of the father, the mother, and the driver. The father explained that his son needed urgent medical care, but the soldiers took almost twenty minutes checking the IDs and then the car. The father realized that his son was dying and begged them to let him go. Around 1:05 am the baby died at the checkpoint. Soldiers shined their light on the child’s face, saw that he was dead, and finally let the grieving family pass. On their way back from the hospital—where the baby was confirmed dead—the same soldier stopped the car again for five more minutes.

Report written by: Anna

Edited by: Gemma

Date of report: March 12, 2007

Human Rights Report No.308

Summary: Israeli soldiers invade family’s home twice; steal 875 NIS; ransack house; blindfold, handcuff, abduct, and beat three sons aged 13-21, one beaten unconscious

Date of incident:Mar 11 and 14, 2007

Time:
Place: Marda
Witness/es: Victims and family

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

Description of Incident:

First incident

A 19-year-old Palestinian man reported that at around 8.30 – 9.00 pm on Sunday March 11, 2007, soldiers from the Israeli Occupation Forces came with 3 jeeps and began kicking the family’s door and throwing sound bombs outside the house. He was studying upstairs for a university English exam the next day when he heard a lot of noise and went downstairs to see what was happening. About 14 soldiers were in and around his house. They grabbed him and hit him several times. His father, mother, aunt, and 13-year-old brother tried to intervene but the soldiers slapped his father, pushed his mother and aunt to the ground, and pushed his little brother down and hit him in the stomach each time he tried to get up. Each time his mother and aunt screamed with horror at the beating of the young boy, the soldiers beat him again. Shortly after, several soldiers covered the 13-year-old boy’s face at once so that he could not breathe, suffocating him. The soldiers ransacked the house and took several greeting cards and photographs of the brothers, which they laughed at. They destroyed some of the children’s toys, took several CDs, and stole 400 NIS from one brother’s wallet.

The soldiers handcuffed (painfully tight) the 19-year-old and his 13-year-old brother and took them in jeeps to the gate at the entrance to the village where they beat the 13-year-old as his older brother was blindfolded and forced to listen from the jeep. They kicked the young boy and beat him with their fists, bats, and guns. While hitting the 13 year old, soldiers asked him who had thrown stones at them. They made fun of him, taking away his hat and calling him Hamas. When the boy told the soldiers that he was sick, one soldier said that they would punish him to the point of death. After half an hour of beating, the soldiers left the boy to walk home.

After dropping off his younger brother, the soldiers took the 19-year-old brother to the Ariel police station where they continued to beat him with their fists, bats, and guns all over his body, particularly in his head and temples. All the time he was blindfolded so he never knew from where the next blow was coming. They also kicked and choked him. When he asked the commander for some water he told him “go to hell.” One soldier even forced his boot into the young man’s mouth and kicked him in the groin. At this point he lost consciousness. He regained consciousness when they threw cold water on his face. They continued to beat him and accused him of throwing stones, destroying settlers’ cars, and being a member of Hamas. After beating him for almost 4 hours, the soldiers gave him a document and told him to report to Military Prison in Qedumin settlement three days later for further questioning. Then they drove him to the gate at the entrance to Marda village and left him there. It was about 1.00 am. His family reported that when he came home it looked as if he’d taken a blood shower.

Second incident

The eldest of the three sons who is 21 years old reported that on Wednesday March 14, 2007, the same soldiers returned to his home in 3 jeeps. They cursed at the father who tried to stop their entry, tracked mud through the house, searched everything, broke a cabinet, and stole some more CDs and photos. They handcuffed the 21-year-old and his 19-year-old brother (the same one who was beaten unconscious three nights before) and took them to an abandoned building off the main street outside of Marda. They took the eldest son’s wallet and phone, and without saying a word, they began punching the brothers, especially in the face. After a long beating, they began to accuse the brothers of throwing stones, possessing weapons, and being members of Hamas. The young men denied the allegations.

The soldiers then took their coats, brought them out into the rain, and began to beat them again. Having beaten them for almost 2 hours total, they left the young men at the entrance of their village. They returned the eldest brother’s phone and ID but stole 60 NIS, 70 JD (worth more than 415 NIS), and the university papers that were in his wallet.

SOLDIERS  HAVE  CONTINUED  TO  INVADE  MARDA  ALMOST  NIGHTLY  FOR  MORE  THAN  ONE  MONTH.

Report written by: Gemma

Edited by: Anna

Date of report: March 17, 2007

Human Rights Report No.309

Summary: Palestinian veterinary student imprisoned three years this Friday for not having an ID card.

Date of incident:March 2004 – present

Time:
Place:

Witness/es: Victims and family

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

Description of Incident:

On March 23, 2004, a twenty-year-old veterinary student at Al Najaa’ University in Nablus was caught going to school without a Palestinian ID card by the Israeli Occupation Forces and arrested. Three years later, the young man, now twenty-three, is still in jail with no access to family visits or telephone calls. He is not charged with any crime except that he does not have a Palestinian ID card.

The student was born to Palestinian parents who were working abroad in 1967 when Israel occupied the West Bank, so they lost their land and became Palestinian refugees with Jordanian citizenship (from pre-1967 Jordanian occupation). The family returned to the West Bank legally in 1998, but they were never granted residence nor ID cards. The Palestinian DCO agreed that the family could stay indefinitely in the West Bank, but Israel never has. Meanwhile, having stayed longer than eight years outside of Jordan, they have also lost their Jordanian citizenship, so they are all stateless.

Report written by: Anna

Edited by: Gemma

Date of report: March 17, 2007

Human Rights Report No.310

Summary:Soldiers raid numerous homes in the middle of the night, throw bombs, steal photographs, handcuff, threaten, and interrogate families.

Date of incident:Feb 19 & 20, 2007

Time:
Place: Kufr ‘Ain

Witness/es: Families

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

Description of Incident:

FAMILY 1:

On Monday, February 19, 2007 10 soldiers arrived at a family’s home in Kufr ‘Ain at 3:30am and threw sound bombs to wake them up. The father was away working in the United States, so only the mother and six children, ages 2-14, were home. The mother ran outside to see what was happening and was told to get into an Army jeep alone. Inside she was questioned about where her husband and his friends were, and she said that her husband was away and she didn’t know the location of his friends.  She told them they could search the home if they didn’t believe her. She was made to open all the rooms and doors in the house and stand outside with her children in the cold. They were still in their pajamas without shoes, but the soldiers kept them outside while they searched the house. The soldiers discovered a well inside and accused the family of using it to hide people or weapons but the mother swore there was nothing but water in the well.

The soldiers demanded to see the roof, where they said intelligence had seen bags of bullets. The woman was made to fetch a ladder from neighbors, still in her nightgown and slippers. While she was gone, the soldiers questioned her 14-year-old daughter, and tried to make her enter the well. When the mother returned with the ladder, the soldiers changed their minds about needing it. They proceeded outside and around to another apartment on the bottom floor of the home owned by another family. They broke the lock of the empty apartment and forced the mother to go first into the darkness.

When the soldiers didn’t find anything downstairs, they enclosed the entire family in the living room upstairs for four hours while they searched the house again. The family could hear bombs going off inside their home. Soldiers threatened to put bombs all over the house, and when they finally left at 7:30am the family came out of their living room to find bombs in the well and the girls’ room. They had torn open a locked bag of photos, and taken some photos. The mother said it took her almost six hours of cleaning to repair the mess that the soldiers had created in her home.

FAMILIES 2 & 3:

On Tuesday, February 20th around 2:30am, after throwing sound bombs, 12-13 soldiers entered the home of another family in Kufr ‘Ain while other soldiers surrounded the house. The captain questioned the father about people who had been inside the home, and then enclosed the man, his wife, and their daughter in a bedroom with the light off. The two sons were shut in a second bedroom and the light also turned off. Both groups were told not to leave on any condition.

Five minutes later, soldiers arrived with a handcuffed neighbor whom they interrogated in a third bedroom. After the questioning, the rest of his family was brought in and they were all closed together. This family described their personal experience as well:

They were sleeping around 3am when soldiers threw sound bombs outside and demanded that everyone get out. One son, age 25, went outside with his pregnant wife, where they saw soldiers pointing their guns and bright lights at them. The soldiers demanded that the son put up his hands, and then to take off several layers of his clothes. Then they handcuffed him and threw him on the grass outside his home. His three brothers, aged 18, 21, and 27 came out after him in succession, and each was made to do the same thing until they were all four laying stripped and handcuffed on their front lawn.

The soldiers then demanded that the women and children come out of the house, and they told the father to turn on all the lights and to open all the windows in the home. Soldiers entered the home from the back door and searched house. One soldier whom the sons recognized, named Ramzi, threatened to blow up their house. He asked when they had last seen M from the village, and when they said they were not in contact with M, Ramzi said, “You’re liars, and I’ll make your days very black. I’m watching you, and I have spies…” When one brother said “This is Palestine,” Ramzi threatened to take him to “Hell”—solitary confinement in Al Maskobiya prison, known for its cruel treatment of inmates.

One brother was taken inside with the soldiers and their dogs to search the house.  Soldiers tried to recruit another brother to be a collaborator. Their mother was pushed by one of the soldiers, and found the house in disarray, with dirt and clothes everywhere.

OTHER FAMILIES: There were seemingly dozens of other families with similar stories from the same nights and weeks before.

Report written by: Anna

Edited by: Nova

Date of report: March 17, 2007

Human Rights Report No.311

Summary: Israeli soldiers shoot grandmother walking in village. Bullet scrapes face, taking off part of her right nostril, requiring 20 stitches.

Date of incident:4March 2007

Time:
Place: QarawatBani Hassan
Witness/es: Neighbors

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

Description of incident:

On 4 March 2007 around 5:00 p.m., a 56-year-old grandmother was walking home after visiting her son.  That evening Isareli soldiers had entered the village in a military hummer and several children had been throwing stones.  As she rounded a corner, the grandmother came upon 2 soldiers crouched hiding and aiming to fire.  One soldier fired a rubber coated metal bullet that grazed her face, tearing and detaching a segment of her right nostril. A neighbour who was watching from a window of her house down the street quickly closed it upon seeing the soldiers. Just after she moved out of the way, 5 bullets went through the window into her home, breaking the glass.

After firing the shots, the soldiers quickly retreated to their hummer and left the village.  The grandmother was found covered in blood, her face swollen. The nearest clinic in Biddya could only give her an IV and bandages, so an ambulance took her to Raffidya Hospital in Nablus, where she stayed for 6 days and received 20 stitches. The doctor told her that if the bullet had hit her at a slightly sharper angle, she would have been killed.

According to her family, soldiers returned to the village later the same night and threw sound bombs.  They also report that soldiers enter the village almost every day and night searching for wanted men and harassing villagers.

Report written by: Nova

Edited by: Anna

Date of report: 17 March 2007

Human Rights Report No.312

Summary: 63 year old Palestinian woman struck by car driven by an Israeli settler is paraplegic, hospitalized in Israel for seven years; son is not allowed to visit her.

Date of incident: November 09, 1999

Place:Haris

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 thirty one year old Palestinian man reported that on November 09, 1999 his sixty three year old mother was struck by a car. The woman and several family members had just finished picking olives, during the olive harvest that year, and were on their way home. While standing at the side of the road between Haris and Revana settlement, the woman was struck by a car driven by an Israeli settler. The driver called an Israeli ambulance and she was taken to Rabin Medical Centre. Doctors told the family that she suffered serious head injuries and will not recover. After two weeks she was transferred to Itehad Hospital in Nablus where she was kept for another seventeen days, then transferred, again, to the NeotHasharoi Medical Centre in Israel, where she has been for the past seven years. She does not recognize anyone and is fed through feeding tubes.

Since 2000, the Israeli Occupation Forces have made it extremely difficult for the son to visit his mother. Each time he has to request a note from the hospital then take it to Qedumin Military Prison to apply for a permit to enter Israel. On several occasions the Occupation Forces refused him claiming that there was an error with his mother’s ID number and he will not be allowed to visit her until the matter was resolved. As a result, he did not see his paralyzed mother for three years, from 2003 to 2006.

The son was finally granted a permit to visit his mother in Jan 2007. Since then he has applied for another permit to enter Israel but was refused. The young man wants his mother to be sent to a hospital in the West Bank so that he could visit her freely and more often. He has no other close relative and is fearful that his mother will die before he sees her again.

Report written by: Gemma

Date of report: March 29, 2007

Human Rights Report No.313

Summary: Soldiers refuse to return ID cards after detaining three young men for over seven hours following Land Day demonstration.

Date of incident: March 30, 2007

Place: Village of Rafat, KafrKasem Checkpoint

Witnesses: 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 to begin action.

Description of incident:

On March 30, 2007, three young men from the village of Rafat were arrested by the Israeli Forces following a nonviolent demonstration on the village’s land.  At 1:44pm, the demonstration was finished and all participants were on their way home.  The three men—ages 16, 20, and 24—who were walking by were detained on the road by eight soldiers who were checking IDs on their way out of the village.  After 30 minutes, the three men were escorted by soldiers down the road away from the village, handcuffed, and forced into separate jeeps, where they were taken into custody for seven hours.

The IOF took the young men to the KafrKasem checkpoint outside the village of AzZawiya.  Upon arriving, soldiers stripped each man of his shirt, and tied one man’s shirt around his eyes as a blindfold. They used other blindfolds to blind the others. The men report that over the seven hours in custody, 40 soldiers took turns periodically kicking and hitting them with their hands and their guns in the head, back, and stomach. The 16-year-old reports that he told the soldiers his back hurt, at which point they told him to lie down on his back and began kicking him in the stomach.  The men were forced to sit on the floor blindfolded and handcuffed with no food or water.  Later they were forced into a small room where soldiers turned on air conditioned cold air and left them there in their undershirts.  A female soldier—who had participated in beating the men—stuck a thin wooden stick in each blinded man’s nose and ears, and put small stones down the backs of their shirts. One man also reports that the female soldier asked if he had a girlfriend, and bit his left ear.

While in custody the men were each questioned about the nonviolent demonstration earlier in the day where they had no confrontation with soldiers—nor did anyone else present. Soldiers also asked the detainees where they worked and how much money they made. One soldier smoked in front of them, and when they asked if they could smoke too, he said yes, if they gave him 200 shekels.

At approximately 8:00pm, the three men report being released from custody near a garbage dump where they had to walk two hours home.  Soldiers confiscated their identification cards, which are vital for going to work and through checkpoints throughout the West Bank.  By Israeli law, Palestinians must carry identification cards with them at all times and being caught without them is grounds for imprisonment.

Background of incident:

The demonstration in Rafat earlier in the day included 150 people as part of the Stop the Wall campaign to commemorate the 31st Land Day celebration in Palestine.  Participants marched West from the center of town towards the Israeli Apartheid Wall. One group of men prayed, while another group of 30 men approached the Wall (made of wire fence, electric sensory wire, and razor wire), broke open a gate, and tore down part of the Wall before Israeli forces arrived on the scene at around 1:15pm.  All participants retreated to the village and there was no confrontation or clashes with Israeli soldiers during the demonstration.

Since 1976, Land Day is marked by Palestinians to protest against the the colonization and confiscation of Palestinian lands by Israel.  Rafat is adjacent to the 27-settlement bloc of Ariel, the largest Israeli settlement network in the West Bank. The Wall around the Ariel bloc stretches for 114 km and grabs within it 120,000 dunums of prime aquifer-laden agricultural land which produce about 30 percent of the West Bank’s olive oil production. The Apartheid Wall dips farthest from the Green Line here and deep into the West Bank by about 22 kilometers.

Report written by: Gemma and Nova

Edited by: Anna

Date of report: April 1, 2007

Human Rights Report No.314

Summary: 19-year-old girl dies when hospital runs out of dialysis liquid due to ongoing economic embargo.

Date of incident: March 1st, 2007

Place: Qira village, Salfit

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:

On March 1st, 2007, a 19-year-old girl named Olfat with kidney problems from Qira village died after her parents were forced to dilute her dialysis liquid.

Due to the West and Israel’s ongoing economic embargo of the Palestinian Authority, state hospitals have been unable to receive adequate medical supplies for over a year. When they began to run out of the necessary 4.25% dextrose concentration (D-C) in mid-February, Olfat’s parents began mixing it with 1.5% D-C liquid. In less than two weeks, Olfat, who had been receiving successful dialysis treatment for more than ten years, began to show signs of deterioration as her body absorbed rather than processed incoming water. They first went to Salfit hospital because Al-Watani Hospital in Nablus was under siege during Israel’s February-March 2007 Nablus “Hot Winter” Invasion. By the time Olfat was able to reach Al-Watani, her chest was so full of water that she was past the point of recovery, and died shortly thereafter.

Qira villagers suffer from a disproportionately high percentage of kidney failure, likely due to the stagnant water that villagers are forced to purchase from Israel while nearby Ariel settlement enjoys disproportionate amounts of the region’s fresh water. Olfat is just one of many kidney patients who’ve died since the embargo began.

Report written by: Anna

Edited by: Andjelka

Date of report: April 5, 2007

Human Rights Report No.315

Summary: 9-month-old baby gassed by Israeli military develops severe neurological deterioration into vegetative state

Date: February 2002 – present

Place:Skan Abu Absa suburb of Ramallah

Witnesses: Grandmother

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:

In February of 2002, a nine-month-old baby and his grandmother were in their home when it began to fill with nerve gas from a nearby Israeli military base. The Army had moved in on a hill near their home in the Skan Abu Absa suburb on Ramallah, and would frequently shoot all over the surrounding area, sometimes retaliating against Palestinian gunfire from a hill away from the suburb. On this first incident of such gas in his home, the baby Mohammad began to shake violently and then suffered a stroke which caused extensive paralysis. His grandmother went to pick him up and herself inhaled the gas, which she said created a burning sensation all over her body and she had to remove some clothing. When she realized her grandson had stopped moving, she raced him to the hospital after the soldiers opened the road for them. Mohammad was diagnosed with severe neurological deterioration resulting in a vegetative state. He stayed three days in a Ramallah hospital and was eventually transferred to one in Jordan, since West Bank facilities were insufficient to treat his condition.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health conducted extensive tests on Mohammad and his parents to determine with certainty the cause of his condition. After a full genetic investigation, doctors found that Mohammad’s state was neither hereditary nor due to a chromosomal abnormality, but a result of the poisonous gas. This assessment was also confirmed by the United National Relief and Works Agency.

Mohammad continues to suffer from severe neurodevelopmental delay and poorly controlled seizure disorder, as well as the loss of sight and ability to eat. Mohammad eats via a G-tube (poking directly into his stomach) and is fed a special formula called “Pediasure” that is not available in Israel or Palestine (he has reacted poorly to alternative generic forms). For the past five years, his father has travelled to Jordan four times a year to bring the formula as well as the multiple anticonvulsants that Mohammad requires. Mohammad, now almost six years old, must also travel to Jordan twice a year for medical care.

A Jordanian military hospital provides the anticonvulsants free, but the family has to pay for the Pediasure themselves, costing approximately US $2,500 per year. The family is forced to pay Israel customs taxes on the formula when crossing the border from Jordan back into the West Bank, amounting to 300 shekels every three months. This in addition to the cost of traveling to Jordan (1500 shekels every three months) and the countless other daily expenses, including adult diapers (more than 100 shekels a week), maintaining his customized bed (to prevent bed sores), and round-the-clock care. Besides a token gift of 100 shekels per months from the Palestinian Authority, Mohammad’s family is forced to cover these expenses alone. They would like to take legal action against the Israeli Army for poisoning their son, but lack remaining funds to do so.

Mohammad’s family has also hesitated to publicize their case for fear of punishment by the Army.

Report written by: Anna

Edited by: Aviva

Date of report: April 13, 2007

Human Rights Report No.316

Summary: Home invaded in Kafr ’Ein, man arrested.

Date of incident: April 9th, 2007

Place:Kafr ’Ein, Ramallah-Al Bireh

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.

Description of incident:

The following information was gathered in an interview with the family of the arrested man in the afternoon of April 12th, 2007.

At approximately 3 a.m. on April 9th, 2007, it was reported that eight Israeli army jeeps and one truck, with no less than fifty soldiers, surrounded a home in the village of Kafr ’Ein. The soldiers reportedly kicked and pounded on the door, ordering the residents outside. They did not permit them time to dress first and demanded that family members raise their hands as they left their home.

The owner of the house was questioned as to why his brother had slept there overnight. He replied that his brother is welcome to stay at his home anytime. The man was handcuffed without being allowed to button his sweater first, and told by one soldier that he was lucky to be captured alive. One of the children informed the soldier of his uncle’s bad knee.

The family of the arrested man said that for the year leading up to his arrest they experienced regular home incursions, approximately two to three nights per week in different homes. The family described that with each visit from the army the soldiers forcefully entered the house in the middle of the night, ordered everyone outside and ransacked the house. The family lived in fear of these nightly raids for a year.

The arrested man is a 33-year-old officer for the Palestinian National Police. He was told he was arrested because he owned a weapon, but as an officer his weapon is legally registered.

The arrested man was taken to Ofer prison west of Ramallah. This was his first arrest. The family received a short call from him on April 11th, 2007 indicating that he is still alright. The arrested man was taken from his wife and three children, ages four, three and one.

Report written by: Aviva

Edited by: Andjelka, Beth

Date of report: April 13, 2007

Human Rights Report No.317

Summary: Home invaded in Kafr ’Ein Twenty-two-year old man arrested, shot and wounded, imprisoned by the Israeli army.

Date of incident: January 1st, 2007

Place: KafrEin, Ramallah-Al Bireh

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.

Description of incident:

The following information was gathered in an interview with the family of the arrested man on the afternoon of April 12th, 2007.

On January 1st, 2007, a 22-year-old man was arrested during a late-night incursion in the village of Kafr ’Ein. The young man awoke to news of soldiers in the village. Soon after the army surrounded his house, and shot at him several times in the course of making the arrest. He was taken to Hasharon prison, near Ramla, Israel and reportedly had 10 cm. of his colon removed at the prison hospital. The arrested man serves in the Palestinian National Police.

The family reports that the young man has been transferred five times since his arrest. His mother is the only family member permitted to visit. His sister has applied for a visitor’s permit on numerous occasions but has never been permitted to visit her brother. His mother has only been allowed to visit twice since his arrest. Her most recent visit took place on April 10th, 2007 and she found that his health had improved since the surgery. The arrested man is her only son, whom she relies on for financial support.

The family has recently received an official document in Hebrew from the Israeli court, assumed to be a list of allegations. They are currently trying to get the document translated into Arabic.

Report written by: Aviva

Edited by: Beth

Date of report: April 13, 2007

Human Rights Report No.318

Summary: Izbat at Tabib nighttime incursion; men and boys forced to line up for over an hour, houses ransacked

Date of incident: April 13th 2007

Place:Izbat at Tabib, Qalqilia

Witnesses: 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:

On April 13th 2007, after 8 p.m., the Israeli army entered the village of Izbat at Tabib. Initially two jeeps entered, and were joined by ten other vehicles including three to four Hummers. Between 50 to 60 soldiers entered the village, residents said. A curfew was imposed and checkpoints were quickly set up around the village, preventing anyone from entering or exiting. Around 20 houses – or half the houses in the village – were raided, and residents forced outside. In one home a woman in her seventh month of pregnancy was harassed and frightened as the soldiers searched for men and boys.

The reason given for the incursion was a complaint by a settler that stones had been thrown on to the main road.

Twenty-five men and fifteen boys – some reportedly as young as four or five years old – were forced to line up for one to two hours facing a wall off the main road of the village, with their hands held behind their backs. The boys were questioned about the alleged incident. Two of the very young boys fell asleep against the wall. One of the men lined up at the wall attempted to look at the events occurring around him, at which point a soldier took hold of his head and forced it to face the wall again.

The mayor of the village asked to speak to the Israeli army commander, who refused, ordering him to stand against the wall with the other villagers. The men were told that they and the village would be punished for rocks thrown on the main road, regardless of who was responsible.

After two hours, most of the soldiers, left indicating that this was only the beginning and the next time would be worse. Three jeeps continued to patrol the area for the rest of the night.

IzbatTabib has about 250 residents and experiences army incursions every night, a village elder told IWPS, with five to seven vehicles typically entering at a time. Vehicles also enter during the day. Soldiers may demand to see the I.D. cards and names of people they stop.

Report written by: Aviva and Andjelka

Edited by: Beth

Date of report: April 15, 2007

Human Rights Report No.319

Summary: Three young men blindfolded and detained by the Israeli army at the Jit checkpoint.

Date of incident: April 17th 2007

Place:Jit  Checkpoint, Nablus

Witnesses: 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 April 17th 2007, at approximately 7:30 p.m. at the Jit military checkpoint, four Israeli soldiers stopped a vehicle with three young Palestinian men and  ordered them to get out of the car. Two of the soldiers took their ID cards and the other two pointed guns at the men. They were ordered to move to the side of the road and to pull up their shirts.

Two of the men were then blindfolded and all three had their hands tied.

For one hour the men were detained while the car and its contents were thoroughly searched.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. another army vehicle arrived with four soldiers who  blindfolded the third man.

The soldiers refused to give out any information about their actions. At the time of writing this report it is still unknown where the three young men have been taken.

Report written by: Andjelka

Edited by: Aviva

Photo by: Andjelka

Date of report: April 18, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 320

Summary:Young Haris banker detained, searched in early hours of morning

Date of incident: May 13, 2007

Time: 12:15-1:45 a.m.

Place:Haris, Salfit

Witnesses: Family members; villagers; IWPS

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:

When a young Ramallah bank employee returned home to Haris shortly after midnight on May 13, 2007, he was confronted by soldiers who suggested he was driving a stolen car and carrying stolen money. He was kept on the road for an hour and a half, subjected to searches and questioning, and finally allowed to leave after police had arrived and conducted another inspection.

The young man was first confronted in front of his house by soldiers, who demanded he back his car up to the entrance of the village a few metres away. There, they made him lie down on the ground, which was muddy from rain. They suggested that his car was stolen and searched it fully, making the young man open the hood and trunk. The man had purchased the car over two months earlier from someone in a neighbouring village; his father said police from nearby Ari’el settlement had been by the family home eight days earlier to check on the car, and did not consider it to be stolen property.

Soldiers also searched the young man’s bag and asked why he was carrying so much money. The man explained that his job requires him to travel throughout Salfit to collect money from bank customers wishing to make deposits into their accounts, as there is no branch of this bank in Salfit. The man must often visit customers late in the evening after they have returned home from their jobs, often in settlements in Salfit. He then makes the cash deposits the following day in Ramallah. The young man was carrying his bank ID card with him when he was stopped.

However, when IWPS arrived on the scene, a soldier was still suggesting the money and car might be stolen, and said the young man would be detained with his car near the village entrance until police arrived. At one point there were nine soldiers and three jeeps at the village entrance (compared to the young man, an older brother and their parents, a friend who was interpreting for the family, and two IWPS teammembers). One soldier positioned himself in a small field to the side of the road, pointing his gun toward the houses in the distance, prompting the young man’s mother to remark that “we are not afraid as they are, with their guns.”

Police finally arrived shortly after 1:30 a.m. and after yet another inspection of the car, allowed the young man to go home with his family.

The village of Haris has also suffered in recent days from army incursions and checkpoints, with so-called “flying” checkpoints having been set up after dark, near the entrance to the village, on May 4, 5 and 6. The young banker and his family live on the main road of the village just inside the entrance, and so are particularly affected by such army actions.

Report written by: Beth

Report edited by: Andjelka

Report written on: May 13, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 321

Summary:Family home in Al Funduq to be demolished in three days

Date of incident: May 16, 2007

Time: between 10 and 11 a.m.

Place: Al Funduq, Salfit

Witnesses: Family members

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:

A family in Al Funduq had a demolition order delivered to their home while both were at work yesterday, 16th May. The paper was left on the door. It was the third final order and it left them three days to leave before destruction of their home.

The man, 29 years old is a worker for the Red Crescent Society. The woman, 25 years old, is a school-teacher. They have two children, four years and 8 months old. The house, which had been built for them to move in after their wedding, is 150 square meters and an approximate value of NIS 180,000 or USD $45,350.

The house has been under threat of demolition since February 2006, when the first demolition order was delivered. The second demolition order followed in May 2006. Each time, the family has retained an attorney in an attempt to appeal against the demolition. They paid out approximately NIS 12,000 or USD $3020 USD to the lawyers and nothing was achieved. The order which had been left by Israeli soldiers on the door of their houseyesterday, the family retained a third lawyer for NIS 7,940 or USD $2000.

Last year, one of the man’s brothers had his home demolished (see IWPS HR Report No. 279) nearby to this house. The reason given then was lack of a permit to build. Reasons given for this year’s slated demolition is also lack of a permit to build. The family has a deed to the property dated from 1964.

Report written by: Sue

Report edited by: Andjelka and Kim

Report written on: May 17, 2007

Human Rights Report No.322

Summary: Collective punishment of Izbat at Tabib

Date of incident: May 19 – at present

Place: Izbat at Tabib, Qalqilia

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:

On May 19 the IOF followed through on their threat of collective punishment, which had been hanging upon the village of Izbat of Tabib since April 13. Soldiers had told the residents that the village would be punished for rocks thrown on the so-called bypass road, regardless of who was responsible (see IWPS Human Rights Report No. 318).

In the morning hours of Saturday, May 19, children who were going to use the main road to Azzoun, east of Izbat at Tabib, and walk to school in the town, as well as villagers who needed to get to work in Azzoun discovered that this would not be possible. IOF bulldozers had created two road blocks on this road, forcing residents of the village to use the Israeli-controlled road. Also those who attempted to get to the neighboring village of Isla, south of Izbat at Tabib, could not get pass a third road block around their village.

According to the mayor of the village, in addition to the road blocks, IOF jeeps and hummers have been patrolling the area without interruption since early morning of May 19. Mobile check points have been set up at the entrance to the village.

A young resident of the village reported to IWPS that on May 23, at approximately 4.00 p.m. he was stopped by the soldiers in the center of the village. He was asked questions about alleged stone throwing from the village and was allowed to continue to where he was heading only after his ID card had been checked. The young man reported that the soldiers said they would shoot to kill, if stones were thrown at them.

Report written by: Andjelka

Edited by: Sue

Date of report: May 24, 2007

Human Rights Report No.323

Summary: Home Invasion in Marda

Date of incident: May 26, 2007

Place:Marda

Witnesses: 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 to begin action.

Description of incident:

At 4 AM on Saturday, May 26, 6 soldiers banged on the door of a home in Marda, shouting “Open the door. Open the door!” The owner of the home is an Israeli citizen and at the time was in Israel at work. His wife and children had been asleep inside. He received a call from his wife and brother about the situation and left his job to come to the house.

IWPS received a call from a contact in the village at approximately 10 AM, asking us to come to Marda. Two members of IWPS arrived at 10:40 and knocked on the door. There was no answer at first. When an IOF soldier appeared on the roof, we asked in English if we could get in the house, but received no answer. We walked around the side of the house to see if there any IOF soldiers were visible from the roof.  There were none. When we returned to the front of the house we again called out to the IOF inside the house.  Eventually, an IOF soldier answered and we asked why the IOF had invaded the house.   IWPS members were able to negotiate entry into the house, in order to check on the safety of the family members still in the house.

IOF soldiers were present on the second floor of the house and the roof.   The owner of the house and several members of his extended family also entered the house and brief but tense confrontation ensued.

IWPS attempted to ascertain why the soldiers in the house. According to the lead soldier, the IOF had invaded the house because they were “on a mission” but did not give any further details.

IWPS members then sought to negotiate with the IOF soldier in charge for the soldiers to leave. The IOF eventually agreed to leave, however, they demanded that we calm the owner who was distressed over the situation and that family members leave before the IOF would vacate the house.  The immediate family, however, did not want to leave the house. After discussion with the family, IWPS members informed the IOF that the extended family would leave, however, the immediate family and IWPS members would remain to ensure the IOF departure.  The IOF soldier in charge agreed to this.  IWPS members then accompanied the 6 IOF soldiers to the door and then walked with them until they had departed the property completely.

When IWPS members tried to ascertain further why the IOF had invade the house, we were informed that they had invaded the house because someone inside had been throwing stones at the road (despite the house being at least 500 or 600 metres from the nearest Israeli road).

When IWPS members returned to the house, the owner’s wife informed us NIS1500.00 (US $373.50) was missing from her purse. We were also informed by house owner’s mother that when the IOF first invade the home, one of the IOF took a part of her hijab and attempted to cover her mouth in order to stop her speaking. They had also demanded that the wife to make them coffee and something to eat. She had replied that they should make it themselves. The IOF also damaged the fence outside to gain access to the property, unplugged the telephone, used the computer, moved the furniture around, and fired off two rounds of ammunition from inside the house

Report written by: Sue

Photos by: Sue

Edited by: Kim

Date of report: May 24, 2007

Human Rights Report No.325

Summary: Army prevents farmers from reaching their land in Wadi Qana

Date of incident: late May/early June 2007

Place: Deir Istiya/Wadi Qana

Witnesses: 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 to begin action.

Description of incident:

IWPS was contacted by the villagers of Deir Istiya, as farmers had been harassed by Israeli soldiers who were attempting to prevent them from accessing their land in the valley of Wadi Qana. The land in Wadi Qana is owned by families in Deir Istiya who stopped living on their land after illegal Israeli settlements were built on the hilltops surrounding the valley. The valley is a principal source of income for the villagers of Deir Istiya, with citrus, grapes and vegetables crops grown and honey farmed.

Farmers had reportedly been harassed for a week prior to contacting IWPS. Villagers had been informed by other Israeli soldiers that there was a new army unit in the area, previously been stationed in Gaza, that was responsible for harassing the farmers.

Two farmers reported being accosted by soldiers on Friday, June 1st on the main road leading to Wadi Qana and told they could not travel to their land. According to one farmer, aged 71 years, the soldiers told him the land was not his. The farmer waited until the soldiers eventually left to gain access to his land. Both farmers were able to record the numbers of the army Hummers the soldiers were driving.

On the same day, a shepherd was also accosted by soldiers who threatened to shoot him if he took his herd of goats to Wadi Qana.

On May 31st, the army reportedly prevented at least four farmers from accessing their land, detaining them for at least one hour before calling the border police. When police arrived, according to the villagers, they told the villagers they could access their land. However, once the border police departed, soldiers again began to harass and threaten the villagers.

On the same day, another farmer, aged 75 years, was harassed by soldiers who told him he was not allowed to travel to his land. According to the farmer, this was the fourth time in one week that the army had tried to prevent him from accessing his land.

On Saturday, June 2nd, IWPS members accompanied farmers to their land at Wadi Qana and were not interfered with by soldiers. Farmers, however, reported renewed harassment in the days that followed, and the mayor of Deir Istiya has requested IWPS’s assistance in reporting the identifying numbers of the two hummers, as well as the soldiers’ behaviour.

Report written by: Kim

Edited by: Beth

Date of report: June 9, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 326

Summary:Hundreds of Jewish pilgrims invade Salfit village, desecrate tombstones

Date of incident: June 7-8, 2007

Time: 12 a.m.-7 a.m.

Place: KiflHaris, Salfit

Witnesses: Villagers

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:

Over 1,000 Jewish pilgrims invaded KiflHaris at around midnight on June 8, 2007 and stayed until 7 a.m. that morning, vandalizing property and desecrating graves in the village cemetery. This was the first time tombstones in the cemetery had been broken by the pilgrims, but the second time graffiti had been written on the tomb and on shop doors.

Nine tombstones were vandalized, of which eight had their headstones broken and/or pulled off, and two had graffiti painted on the sides. One villager, Mahmoud, showed IWPS team members the tombstone of his mother, which had been broken. In the tomb of the prophet KalibBenyivna (or Kifl for Muslims), white paint was splashed over the floors, a hole punched at one end of the sarcophagus, and graffiti slandering Arabs was painted on the walls.

On the inside wall of the tomb belonging to the mayor’s grandfather, where some Jews believe the prophet Joshua was buried, the slogan “Kahane was right” had been painted. Anti-Arab graffiti was also left on a shop’s doors.

This was the first major pilgrim visit this month, but the third one this year; the previous visits took place in February and April. The en masse visits of the pilgrims in the past have resulted in vandalism and destruction, as well as curfew for villagers, all-night noise and occasionally the army occupation of houses and interruption of electrical service.

On Thursday, June 7th, the Israeli army arrived at the entrance to the village at about 6 p.m. At around 11 p.m. the mayor, Ahmed Bouzyah, was telephoned and alerted to the pilgrims’ arrival, and warned of possible damage to villagers’ cars. Following the phone call, the army placed the village under curfew, and told villagers through loudspeakers to return to their homes.

Approximately five army jeeps, two Hummers and two army buses were in KiflHaris, and the army provided escort for the pilgrims. The mayor reported that the head of security for Ari’el settlement was also in attendance, and is normally present during major pilgrim visits.

No villager was injured during the pilgrims’ visit, but the mayor reported damage to property. Two houses had their windows broken by stones, two water pipes were damaged, 10 garbage receptacles had their wheels broken and stones placed inside, and five cars had their tires slashed, while two also suffered broken windows.

The mayor said he told a District Coordinating Office representative that the next time the pilgrims made a visit to KiflHarisen masse, the townspeople would be outside, including at the graveyard, to safeguard property and tombs, and would not accept curfew. He also told the DCO representative that all damage would be documented and an itemized list sent to the Red Cross. The mayor will also report the damage to Israeli police at Ari’el settlement.

The mayor told IWPS that all this gives the village’s children a grim perspective. When he recently asked a nephew, not more than three, what he wanted to be when he grew up, the youngster replied he wanted to be a shooter.

Jewish pilgrims generally come every week to KiflHaris to visit the tombs of the prophets, normally on Friday nights, but in smaller groups of four or five.

Report written by: Beth

Photos by: Beth

Report edited by: Kim

Report written on: June 8 and 9, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 327

Summary:Eight villagers receive orders against their homes from Israeli civil authorities

Date of incident: June 12, 2007

Place:Yasouf, Salfit

Witnesses: Villagers

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 June 11, 2007, eight residents of the village of Yasouf in the Salfit district received orders against the construction of their homes from the Israeli civil administration for Judea and Samaria. The orders stated that residents had either:

  • no permit for the construction of their house
  • no permit for building extensions
  • failed to build in accordance with permits (e.g., the location or height of the building were    wrong)
  • not built in accordance with planning/zoning permits (e.g., too close to the road or other buildings)

Villagers receiving the orders were told they could challenge them at the Israeli civil administration centre in Beit El, near Ramallah. A final decision on whether to issue demolition orders would be made on July 12th in Beit El, the orders indicated.

The mayor of Yasouf has contacted planning engineers at the Palestinian Authority to certify that the houses have been built in accordance with zoning regulations.

Report written by: Kim

Report edited by: Beth

Report written on: June 13, 2007

Human Rights Report 328

Summary: Shepherd harassed by four soldiers and a settler while herding his goats

Date of incident: June 23, 2007
Place: Road from Deir Istiya to Yaqir, Salfit
Witnesses: Shepherd

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 June 23, 2007, a shepherd from the village of Deir Istiya was herding his goats on the road between his village and the settlement of Yaqir. An Israeli army Hummer with four soldiers pulled up to him and told him that he was not allowed on the road. He tried to explain that there was no other road for him to use. Two of the soldiers got out of the Hummer and chased the approximately 150 goats into the olive fields. While the shepherd was talking to the soldiers and trying to negotiate with them he suddenly felt a push from behind and he fell to the ground. Once on the ground he realized that he had been hit by a car. Since the road was open and the visibility was clear he believes that he was hit intentionally.

The driver got out of the car but the soldiers told him to leave and he did. The shepherd tried to get up from the ground but his injuries prevented him from doing so. He asked the soldiers to send for an ambulance but they refused to do this. He finally was able to get up. Then he gathered his sheep. He continued on the road and the soldiers continued to follow him in their Hummer, chasing the goats into the fields. The shepherd called his son and brother to come and help him. By this time he was in a great deal of pain. He asked the soldiers again to call an ambulance and they again refused and additionally started to threaten him by readying their guns. Feeling the pain of his injuries, the worry about gathering all of his goats and frustration at the situation he opened his shirt and told the soldiers to just go ahead and shoot him. They put their guns away. He asked them for water to drink and was given warm water.

Later the shepherd was examined by the clinic of the Palestinian Red Crescent and they found that he suffered from several injuries, apparently as a result of a car accident. He had sprains in several parts of his body including his chest and neck and a second degree injury in left hand on his left hand. He showed IWPS a large abrasion on his left elbow and said that he also had some on his back and right shin.

The shepherd said that he was also harassed on the morning of June 26 on the road from Deir Istiya to Wadi Qana. An army jeep with four soldiers ran him off of the road and his goats into the fields.

Report written by: Wendy
Report edited by: Beth and Kim
Report written on: June 27, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 329

Summary: Israeli army invades Old City and Balata Refugee camp in Nablus

Date of incident: June 27-29, 2007
Place: Nablus
Witnesses: Residents, doctors and nurses at Rafidiyeh, Nablus Specialty and Al Watani hospitals, international volunteers from IWPS and ISM

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 June 27, 2007, Israeli occupation forces invade the Old City and Balata Refugee camp in Nablus late on Wednesday evening with jeeps, hummers, armored tanks and armored bulldozers. Over the next two days, the Israeli military instigated a curfew in both the Old City and Balata and transformed numerous Palestinian houses in both areas into Israeli military posts. In addition, the Israeli occupation forces repeatedly and continuously fired teargas and sound grenades throughout the old city and Balata refugee camp. Witness also reported that the Israeli occupation forces also took control of local radio stations in order to issue orders regarding the curfew to local residents.

International volunteers visited three of the houses that the Israeli military occupied during the invasion. The families were either put in a small room in the house or forced to leave and go to a neighbor’s house. The houses were ransacked and damaged. The soldiers broke down doors, threw electrical equipment to the floor, breaking it and emptied closets, cupboards and drawers. In many places they bore holes in the floors and walls. In one home the ceiling was ripped out and wood paneling on the walls were pried off.

At least three Palestinian houses in the Old City were demolished by the Israeli occupation forces, using explosive charges. Medical relief workers reported that at least one person was trapped in the rubble. When international volunteers attempted to accompany a Palestinian medical relief team to assist at the demolition sites, they were prevented from doing so by the Israeli military.

Two Palestinian medical relief team members were detained by the Israeli occupation forces, along with a team of international volunteers, who were attempting to deliver food and medical assistance to residents in the Old City. One medic was released, while another was arrested. All international volunteers were also released.

According to doctors and nurses, Israeli army also blockaded three major hospitals in Nablus with bulldozers and armoured vehicles. According to doctors and nurses at the Rafidiyeh, Nablus Specialty and Al Watani hospitals, many doctors, nurses and other medical staff were unable to reach the three hospitals due to the Israeli curfew. One doctor from Rafidiyeh hospital stated that he was unable to leave his house because Israeli jeeps were outside on the street and teargas was being fired indiscriminately. He was only able to leave his house to reach the hospital after the hospital sent an ambulance to pick him up.

According to doctors and nurses, staff and patients at all three hospitals were either delayed or prevented from entering all three hospitals.

Nurses at the Al Watani hospital stated that staff and patients were held for at least a half an hour before they were allowed to enter the hospital. One emergency patient was denied entry by the Israeli military for at least 5 – 10 minutes before being allowed to enter. Nurses also reported that the Israeli military had opened fire on Al Watani five times during the course of the invasion, splaying the walls of the hospital with machine gun bullets. In addition, the Israeli forces also prevented supplies of oxygen and dialysis treatment chairs from entering the hospital for more than a half hour. The supplies were only delivered after intervention by the hospital director phoning the Israeli District Command. In addition, hospitals also found it difficult to get basic food supplies, such as bread, delivered to the hospital.

At the Nablus Specialty Hospital, doctors reported that the Israeli military had blockaded the hospital, preventing the entrance of patients and staff. According to doctors, the military told patients to go home and that they could not enter the hospital. In addition, the Israeli military forces also prevented food and other supplies destined for the hospital to enter. According to one doctor, four teenage boys, 10 and 14 years, were admitted to the hospital with rubber bullet injuries. In addition, on Friday, 29th June, one person, HaithamSalih (28), who had been killed by the Israeli military in the Ad Dahiya area of Nablus was brought to the hospital, with multiple bullet injuries in his chest, abdomen and legs.

According to one doctor, Rafidiyeh hospital was blockaded by at least 20 Israeli soldiers and two military vehicles. While the majority of staff and patients were delayed entry to the hospital, a number of patients were also refused entry completely.

Report written by: Kim
Report edited by: Wendy
Report written on: June 30, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 330

Summary: Israeli army invades Salfit village, arrests young man, uses his brother as human shield

Date of incident: July 2, 2007
Place: Deir Istiya, Salfit
Witnesses: Village residents

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 July 2, 2007, between 3 and 4 a.m., the Israeli army invaded the village of Deir Istiya in Salfit district — one of a series of reported incursions into West Bank towns and villages in the early morning hours — resulting in the arrest and detention of a local man, aged 21, and some property damage.

Residents of Deir Istiya reported that they heard sound bombs and rounds of live ammunition in the middle of the night, at least some of which seemed random. One resident reported that an army bullet had pierced the water tank on his roof, emptying it, and that another had hit his house very close to his children’s bedroom window. He said the damage caused was minor compared to the fear his family experienced. Another man reported that in the morning he found that his refrigerator had been punctured by six or seven bullets which had entered the kitchen through an open window. No one was in the kitchen at the time of the shooting.

The family of the young man arrested said approximately eight army jeeps arrived near her house at approximately 4 a.m. About 15 minutes after they had begun to surround the house they banged on the door and ordered the family outside. While mother, father and two sons were guarded by soldiers outside, two other soldiers entered the house to search for another son. Soldiers then demanded to know the location of the other son’s home, which was next door. The mother reported that the soldiers then took the older son, age 30, who is mentally ill, to use as a human shield to go to the wanted man’s home, where he was sleeping with his wife and four-month-old daughter. The mother said she begged the soldiers not to cause distress to the son they forced to accompany them, as she feared it would exacerbate his mental illness.

After taking the older son to his brother’s home, the soldiers had him knock on the door. The wanted man opened the door, still in his pyjamas, and the soldiers refused to let him dress before arresting him and taking him away.

The young man’s mother said her son had never been arrested before, and that she did not know why he had been arrested or where he had been taken. On the same night, the man’s brother-in-law was also reportedly arrested in a nearby town.

Report written by: Wendy
Report edited by: Beth
Report written on: July 2, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 331

Summary: Village of KiflHaris closed by Israeli army for five days and six nights; medical relief vehicle

Date of incident: June 25-July 1, 2007
Place: KiflHaris
Witnesses: Residents, including village mayor

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:

The village of KiflHaris in Salfit district was reopened on Sunday morning after being closed by the Israeli army for five and a half days, during which time even medical vehicles were not allowed to pass. The mayor of KiflHaris, Ahmed Bouzyah, said the army cited rocks being thrown onto the main road outside the village (Highway 505) as the reason for closing the gate.

The army refused to open the gate for cars or people to pass through, and on Friday, June 29, refused to allow a medical vehicle to exit through the gate, which was then forced to pass through the neighbouring village of Haris in order to exit.

Residents of KiflHaris created space to get around the gate but were forbidden from using the makeshift opening when soldiers were present, which was most of the time. Otherwise, residents had to enter and exit the village through connecting roads to neighbouringHaris and Jamma’in.

Report written by: Alissa and Beth
Report edited by: Beth
Report written on: July 3, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 332

Summary: Civil engineer beaten and turned back at Za’atara checkpoint on way to work in Salfit

Date of incident: July 5, 2007
Place:Za’atara checkpoint, Salfit
Witnesses: Bus driver and passengers
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 July 5, 2007, at approximately 9:00 a.m., a bus loaded with passengers, travelling east on Highway 505, arrived at Za’atara checkpoint. It was stopped by Israeli soldiers and everyone on the bus was ordered off. All IDs were collected, and most passengers were eventually allowed back onto the bus. However, a young civil engineer from KiflHaris, on his way to work in the town of Salfit, was told that he could not proceed on the bus and must turn back. The civil engineer told the soldiers that he travels to Salfit daily for his job, adding that he needed to get to his job and that they were making a mistake in denying him passage.

The young engineer reported that one soldier then poked the barrel of his gun into his belly, which he then pushed away. Again, he said, the soldier pressed the barrel into his belly, and once again the young man moved it aside. The soldier then reportedly removed the man’s ID from his pocket, forcibly, and then started to punch and hit the man, while a second soldier hit the man from behind on his head. The young man reported that the first soldier told him to kneel, and when he refused the soldier began to kick him.

Blood started to run down the man’s head. He said the soldiers walked him a short distance away, where they gave him water to wash the wound and also to drink. They also offered him a carton of chocolate milk. They then told him to go home, which he did. The young engineer estimated that the entire incident, including the alleged beating, lasted about one half-hour.

The young man said that he had never had a problem with the army before and does not know why he was the only man from his village, on that bus, that was not allowed through the checkpoint. He showed two IWPS team members wounds on his left arm, right shin, the back of his neck and the top of his head. He also showed a shirt which was covered in blood.{Image2}

IWPS also interviewed the soldiers on duty at Za’atara checkpoint, who denied beating the man, or even of touching him with their guns

Report written by: Wendy
Report edited by: Beth
Report written on: July 5, 2007

Follow-up required: Yes; one IWPS team member will accompany the young man to work on his next workday.

Human Rights Report No. 333

Summary: Home demolished in Al Funduq

Date of incident: July 12, 2007
Time: 8:30 am
Place: Al Funduq
Witness/es: Family members of demolished house
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 July 14, 2007 two IWPS women met with the father of a family in Al Funduq along with some of his sons. They showed us their demolished home. They were visibly very worried about their sheep and goats who they said were now “homeless”.

On September 8, 2005 they had received orders to halt construction of their house which was more than halfway completed. Although they complied with the order, they immediately began gathering the necessary documentation, not only proving that they owned the land, but also a document signed by their neighbors that the neighbors did not object to the construction. (Called a Neighbor’s Agreement.) They obtained a lawyer to fight the orders and had gathered the necessary documents by February 2006. All the documentation was then sent to the Israeli authorities at Bet El.

The family claimed that they owned the 12 dunams + 250 square meters of land since 1987. They began construction of a 340 square meter house in 2003. The two storey house had 15 rooms, excluding the bathrooms. The cost was 180,000 NIS which does not include the labor that the men in the family provided. Prior to that time there were only temporary structures on the land. Six of the men of the family (the father and 5 sons) lived in the first floor of this house and 370 sheep and 30 goats occupying the second floor. The rest of the family (16 more members) lived in the nearby village of Haja.

The father told us that the authorities called the family to appear at Bet El on July 16, 2006. He said that when they got there they were required to pay 160 NIS for the two documents that they submitted. Then the Israeli authorities told them to go home and that they would be contacted, if needed. The father told us that soldiers even pointed guns at them to get them to leave. They indicated to us that they believed the reaction of the authorities and the soldiers might have had something to do with the fact that Israel was embroiled in the war with Lebanon at the time.

After this meeting the father said that his lawyer (a Palestinian-Israeli in the town of Tira, Israel) had told them that they do not have to worry anymore. They believed this and have not been concerned ever since.

On Tuesday, July 10, 2007 the father told us that some Israeli soldiers came into the farmlands surrounding Al Funduq and made some general threats about home demolitions. Since they felt safe with their lawyer’s advice, they did not worry. Even so, they searched their property because sometimes Israeli soldiers leave demolition orders under a rock. They did not find anything. Hence, they told us that they were very startled when 100 Israeli soldiers and two bulldozers (one large and one small) arrived at their home at 8:30 am Thursday morning, July 12, 2007. Eight family members were there and were given only minutes to vacate the premises before the demolition began. No documents were given. The demolition took approximately one half hour.

The father and 5 sons are now living with family in Jinsufut. They have built temporary structures for the animals, however, they are extremely concerned about their sheep and goats because almost half of them are pregnant and if they are exposed to rain or harsh weather, they will die. The father told us that all 22 members of his family rely solely on the income generated from these sheep and goats.

Report written by: Wendy
Edited by: Kim
Photograph by: Wendy
Date report written on: July 14, 2007

Follow up required:. Contact ICAHD and have them call the father of this family. Convey the desperation that they feel about getting shelter for their animals.

Human Rights Report No. 334

Summary: Elderly farmer beaten by Israeli in random roadside attack

Date of incident: July 16, 2007
Time: approximately 7:15 a.m.
Place: On road, near Deir Istiya, Salfit
Witness/es: none
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:

An elderly farmer from Deir Istiya reports he was beaten by an Israeli man early in the morning of July 16, 2007 in a seemingly random, unprovoked roadside attack. The farmer, aged 77, said he was returning home from tending his fields, as was his custom, and had crossed the main road to Deir Istiya, near the junction with the road leading to settlements such as Yaqir in the north. He said he noticed a car with Israeli licence plates stopping near him on the side of the road.

At first, the farmer said, he paid no attention to the car. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a man behind him, and felt himself being struck with an hard object, possibly a metal stick. The farmer said the man, whom he took to be a West Bank settler, tried to hit him on the head, but he stopped him by raising his arms over his head. The blows, he said, then struck him on his right hand and wrist, on his face, and on the right side of his torso. The farmer estimated the assault lasted about a half a minute.

The farmer then visited the Rafidiya hospital in Nablus, where he complained of pain in his head and face, and to his right hand, wrist and ribs. The medical report indicated that following an examination the farmer was X-rayed, but there were no broken bones. His hand and wrist were bandaged, he was given painkillers and a topical ointment, and told to revisit the clinic in a few days.

The municipality of Deir Istiya made several calls on the farmer’s behalf following the reported attack, and the family spoke to more than one organization, though were apparently hampered by having no Hebrew speakers in the house. They also called the District Co-ordinating Liaison office (DCL), but there is currently little to no contact between this office and Israel. The family said one organization recommended they report the assault to the Israeli police; however, the farmer was not able to see his attacker well and did not have the chance to carefully observe the car or read its licence plate, making the alleged assault difficult to report.

The farmer, a soft-spoken man, said he was in some pain, and that he was sorry he had not been able to defend himself properly. His daughter-in-law described him as being “shocked” by the assault from behind.

Report written by: Beth
Photo by: Beth
Date report written on: July 17, 2007

Follow up required: Yes; family has requested accompaniment to Ari’el police station to file a report.

Human Rights Report No. 336

Summary: Three Young man arrested in night-time raids

Date of incident: October 1, 2007
Time: approximately 1.30 to 2.30 a.m.
Place: Deir Istiya, Salfit
Witness/es: family members

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

Description of Incident :

At around 1.30 a.m. on the 1. October 2007 the Israeli army entered the village of Deir Istiya, surrounded and searched several houses and arrested three young men, 18-19 years old. The youth are still under interrogation at this date. At least one of the arrested, is being held in Jalameh prison. The Prisoners Club reported that his interrogation period was extended till the 16.10.2007 under the general accusation of being a security threat. He was so far denied the right to see a lawyer.

The family of one of the arrestees gave the following account of the night of his arrest:

Between 1 and 2a.m. the family was woken up by sounds outside their house. Thinking it might be burglars they gathered in the living room of the house, when soldiers started, without warning or demanding to open the door, to throw large stones at the doors and windows. The stones broke one window and damaged the door and the wall around it.

When the father opened the door, four soldiers stormed into the house, beating the Father, his wife and the 22 year old daughter all over their body. One 19 year old student of Al-Quds open University in Salfit, was hand-cuffed and blind-folded and violently dragged of in his sleeping clothes to the army jeeps waiting a couple of hundred meters down the street, being kicked and beaten in the process. The family was not allowed to give him clothes or shoes.

The rest of the family of 8, including three children under 18, was then made to leave their home and were kept outside, guarded by soldiers, while 4 soldiers searched the home. In spite of the soldier’s threats and pushes, the father managed to gain entry into his home and accompany the soldiers as they went room to room.

Following damages were caused during the search:

* The frame of a bed was ripped apart.
* A side panel was ripped off of the computer and
internal damage was done to it.
* Several cupboard and cabinet doors were broken
and torn off their hinges.
* The cassette door of a stereo was ripped off
its hinges
* Many items from the kitchen were broken,
as well, many belongings and personal items
were torn out of cupboards and off shelves,
left broken or on floors.
* A window of a truck belonging to the family was broken.

About 15-17 soldiers were involved in the raid of this family house. They left the house after about 40-60 minutes.

Report written by: Clara
Date report written on: October 9, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 337

Summary: Army occupies house belonging to four families and injures seven residents in Marda.

Date of incident: October 16/17, 2007
Time: approximately 9 a.m to 3am (the following day)
Place: Marda , Salfit
Witness/es: family members and IWPS members

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

Description of Incident :
At around 9am on Tuesday 16th October the Israeli army entered the village of Marda and occupied a four story house on the main street, which is home to four families including about 10 children and about 20 adults. A number of other children and adults were visiting the house at the time. The army forced entry to establish a military lookout on the roof, where they erected an Israeli flag. Throughout the day the family and their neighbours continued to resist the occupation both inside and outside of the house.

Soldiers positioned on the roof and in jeeps and on foot patrol responded by firing sound bombs, tear gas, plastic coated steel bulleted and rounds of live ammunition. At around 1pm a curfew was announced and violently imposed on the village. Seven young men were injured by rubber coated bullets. An ambulance called to the village was initially prevented from reaching the injured. Two of the injured men, along with 5 others, were detained and handcuffed and marched at gunpoint through the village towards the occupied house. They were released following the intervention of local women and International and Israeli human rights workers.

The situation inside and outside the house escalated on a number of occasions. On one occasion a soldier threw chairs belonging to the family down the stairwell, where they smashed onto the floor. On another a soldier tried to push one of the women inside the house down the stairs. Throughout this time phone calls were being made to the DCO by human rights workers. They were repeatedly told that the army had orders to leave the house and were merely preparing to ensure their safe exit. This was clearly a lie: the first claim was first made at 11am, yet the soldiers on the ground clearly had no intention of leaving and made no step towards trying to exit the house. Soldiers present told villagers that they would be in the house for at least three more days; others told the family they would leave the following morning.

At about 8:00pm, following a period of relative calm, the soldiers on the roof began firing flares, allegedly in response to stone throwing. The explosions causes by the firing terrified the families inside and caused the men sitting outside to re enter the house and approach the soldiers on the roof to request that they stop firing. Tear gas was thrown from the roof, landing in the entrance of the house and sending gas into every floor of the house. At this time the house was full of women and children with no way of leaving. The gas caused suffocation and panic within the house and further escalated tensions outside. Some fireworks were set of from neighbouring rooftops.

At around 9.30pm more villagers gathered around the house to support those inside, but were prevented from entering the house by soldiers positioned at the door. Negotiations ensued for about an hour. Meanwhile the women began protesting through banging saucepans and pots inside the house. They were later forced into one of the rooms and locked in by the army tying wire around the door handles. Army reinforcements arrived and violently reinforced curfew by pushing and beating people, throwing sound grenades and threatening to shoot into the unarmed crowd. They also smashed the car window of residents attempting to leave the area. An elderly man inside the house collapsed and was treated by an ambulance on the scene. The situation calmed down around 11:30 and an agreement was reached with army that the family members would move to neighbouring house and to the apartments on the ground and the first floor.

At about 3am the army evacuated the house and left the village.

Report written by: Clara and Sam
Date report written on: October 17, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 338

Summary: Continuous army harassment in Deir Istya

Date of incident: October 1 – 16, 2007
Place: Deir Istya ,Salfit
Witness/es: Village residents, IWPS and ISM members

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

Description of incident:
For more than two weeks the Israeli army has been continually harassing the village of Deir Istya in Salfit district. As reported in IWPS Human Rights Report number 336 three young men were arrested in night time raids on the 1st October. Since then the army has been back to Deir Istya almost every day and every night. Below are detailed specific events reported to us by villagers.

October 7th: The Israeli army invaded the village with several vehicles and imposed a curfew until the following morning. They entered and searched a number of houses. In one home, soldiers entered and seized three children, ages 11, 15, and 16. They were taken to a nearby schoolyard to interrogate them for about an hour, during which the youngest boy was kicked. The soldiers had arrived in three military jeeps, approximately 20 soldiers remained outside while four soldiers proceeded to search and ransack the house, from bottom to top, before leaving. The family reports that soldiers returned two hours later, parked in front of the home and waited for a while before leaving. IOF soldiers later went to both boys and girls schools, interrupting students in their classes.

October 12th: On the early morning of Friday 12th October, the first day of the Ramadan feast the army attacked an elderly farmer and his children who were grazing their goats close to the village. Soldiers beat and kicked the boys aged 6 to 20 years old and set a dog on the goats. The goats scattered widely and one of the goats is still missing.

14th October: At about 8am a group of 8 soldiers entered the village on foot and forced entry into one of the family houses on the outskirts of the village. As the parents had already left for their olive fields far from the village only 4 girls aged 6 to 16 were left in the house. The women of the neighbourhood were very concerned about the girls being forced to stay in the house alone with the soldiers and tried to convince them to let the girls leave the house. However the soldiers threatened the woman and told them to keep away from the house and forced the girls to come with them to the veranda at the roof of the house. Although there was no threat that anyone from the village would attack the house, this still constitutes the use of civilians as human shield, in contravention of the 4 th Geneva Convention. The soldiers left after about 2 hours.

16th October: a farmer from Deir Istya harvesting olives on his land near the settler road was threatened by soldiers and settlers and forced off his land.

Human Rights Report 339

Summary: Army flares cause fire destroying olive groves in Deir Istiya.

Date of incident: October 17, 2007
Time: 9:30 – 11pm
Place: Deir Istiya, Salfit
Witness/es: IWPS volunteers and villagers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you may require, on request.
Description of Incident:
At between 9.30 and 10pm on October 18th 2007 a fire broke out in olive groves lining the main road between the settlements of Revava and Yaqir, destroying an estimated 4 dunums of olive groves belonging to a farmer from the Salfit village of Deir Istiya. According to Palestinian fire-fighters called to the scene the fire was caused by a light flare shot by the Israeli army. The fire spread quickly through the groves as a result of both extremely dry ground and high winds. An IWPS volunteer visiting the groves the following morning recovered a canister lying inside the burnt area which villagers later confirmed came from a flare.

By 10:45 that evening, when human rights workers arrived on the scene the fire had been extinguished by the fire-fighters. An Israeli fire engine had also been called out but only arrived a few minutes before the human rights workers. Around 6 soldiers were also present along with around 15 Palestinians from the nearby village.

The village of Deir Istiya has been subject to increased army activity in recent weeks. For more information see Human Rights Report No. 336 and 338.

Report written by: Clara and Sam
Date report written on: October 18, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 340

Summary: Man beaten and family detained for 5 hours following olive harvest in Zawarta

Date of incident: October 20, 2007
Time: 3:00pm – 8:00pm
Place:Zawarta, Nablus
Witness/es: Victim and family

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you may require, on request.
Description of Incident :
Three days after the incident the family gave following account to three IWPS volunteers present in Zawarta Village for olive harvest accompaniment:

At around 3pm on Saturday October 20th a 31 year old man, his wife and three children were crossing a military road on their way back to Zawarta village from their olive groves. The children are aged 2 and half, 11 and 12. As they were crossing the road a jeep with three soldiers and a driver pulled up alongside the family. Three soldiers got out and demanded that the man speak in Hebrew to them. After the man explained that he didn’t understand Hebrew they swore at him and, after ordering him to hand his 2  year-old son over to his wife, punched him in the face.

They then took his ID from him and ordered the family to stand by the side of the road where they detained them for around an hour and a half. During the original attack the youngest child had been so frightened he had soiled himself but the family were unable to leave to clean him up or to take the children to safety. At around 4:30 the soldiers told the farmer they were leaving but that he and his family were to wait by the side of the road until they returned. They also said that they knew where his house was and if he and his family moved they would come to the village and shoot him. They left, taking his ID with them and returned five times between 4:30 and 8pm.

At around 8 the jeep returned with the army captain inside.. The captain ordered the man to come to the back of the jeep and again demanded that he speak in Hebrew. When he again explained that he didn’t speak Hebrew the Captain grabbed his head and banged in into the back of the jeep. They then returned his ID and told to him and his family to go home. After returning home the man received medical attention from a neighbour who is a nurse.

The military road surrounds Zawarta and leads to a military base. It is impossible for farmers to get to their land without crossing the road. The man doesn’t own the land but picks their in return for a share of the olives. Following the incident the family were frightened to go back to the land, but needed to go as it is one of the few sources of income for them. The following Thursday the family returned to the land with IWPS volunteers.
Report written by: Sam
Date report written on: October 26, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 341

Summary: Settler action prevents Palestinians harvesting olives in Tell, Nablus region.

Stand First: Date of incident: October 24, 2007
Time: 8:30 – 12
Place: Tell, Nablus
Witness/es: Villagers, IWPS volunteers and Rabbis for Human Rights

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

Description of Incident :
At 7:30 a group of IWPS volunteers assembled in Tell, south west of Nablus to accompany farmers to their olive groves. At about 8:30 six volunteers, one ISM activist and about eight Palestinians reached the settler road bordering the family’s olive groves. An army vehicle was already parked on the roadside as they had said they would offer protection. We were spotted by a settler walking to the outpost consisting of a few mobile homes. He made a call on his mobile and other settlers started to appear on the bank opposite.

The army called for reinforcements. Five police vehicles arrived and briefly, another Humvee. The army officer in charge refused to allow internationals to cross the road saying they would ensure the farmers safety. They drove their Humvee up the bank and positioned it next to the olive trees and the settlers.

Three younger men had meantime crossed the highway further back and out of sight of the settlers and entered the olive grove to start picking. An older man and woman climbed the bank up to the olive trees but were prevented from picking by the settlers and the army who stood between them. There was a great deal of aggression and verbal abuse shown particularly towards the older woman. The Palestinians eventually returned to our side of the road.

A bus load of Rabbis for Human Rights arrived but was later redirected by the army to take up a position at another entrance to the settlement. The settler group increased to about 14, two on horseback and accompanied by two large black dogs. They sang, danced and shouted at the army, police and the Internationals. The stand-off continued for several hours. An old man, clutching his permit and ID eventually left although it seemed for a time that the police might have offered to protect him. Eventually the army and police declared that it was too dangerous to pick and we were all sent back. The settlers dispersed although the two on horseback came over to our side of the road and made threatening gestures before leaving. We met up with the three men who had been picking. They had collected only half a bag. They have 130 olive trees but they said that they do not know who had stolen the rest of the olives.

The 2006 High Court ruling obliges the army to allow the Palestinians access to harvest their lands and also to protect them against settlers. It is unclear why the army did not do their duty as, in this instance they outnumbered the settlers who were not armed. No arrests of settlers were made.

Report written by: Maggie and Kisna
Date report written on: October 28, 2007

Human Rights Report No. 342

Summary: Seven houses and one workshop threatened with demolition in Haris

Date of incident: October 2007
Place:Haris, Salfit District
Witness/es: House owners

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

Description of Incident :
In the last two weeks the Israeli army delivered house demolition orders for seven family houses and one workshop in the village of Haris in the Salfit district. The orders have been given on the pretext of them being built in Area C without an Israeli permit.

The seven houses belong to three extended families in Haris village. The demolition orders were delivered by the army on the 24.10.2007. All the houses are located on the southern fringe of the village, but several hundred meters away from the settler highway 505 and its security fence; however their location is close to the projected line of the Separation Barrier around the Ariel Settlement Block. The houses are all built on private land belonging to the affected families, who are currently seeking legal aid to challenge the demolition orders in court.

Three of the houses belong to three brothers. One is still under construction, while the other two are home to one family of 5 and one family of 4 persons. The residents of the houses include five children, the youngest being a 4 month old baby-girl. According to the owner the two finished houses cost about 140 000 NIS and the family had worked for more then five years to be able to afford to build them.

Three more houses belong to two brothers and one of their sons. Two of the houses have been inhabited for seven years and are home to families of eight and three respectively, including seven children, the youngest of whom is eight years old. The families state they have invested more then 15 years of work to be able to build these homes. The third house has been inhabited for 4 years and is home to a family of six. A court date is scheduled for the 29.11.07 in Beit El settlement to decide if the demolition orders for these three houses will be carried out.

The seventh house belongs to another family and has been under construction for 4 years. It is going to be home to a family of seven, including 5 children, the youngest being 1 and half years old. The family is currently living in a rented house. Although only the ground floor is finished, the family has already started moving in and sleeping in the new house in order to protect it. The father of the family stated that he had to work 15 years to be able to build the house, in addition to borrowing money from friends and relatives, money that the family still has to pay back. The demolition order was left on the door of the house by the soldiers, as the owner of the house was not present when they came. The order states that the house will be demolished if the owner fails to present the necessary papers to legalize it to the DCO within a month. The house owner has already invested a considerable amount of time and money to secure the papers proving his ownership of the land and the house from different Palestinian and Israeli institutions and to have a map of the house and its location in the village drawn up by a certified surveyor.

The workshop is located on the western side of the village and is part of a small cluster of buildings that is isolated from the rest of the village by the settler road leading north to Ravava and Yakir settlements. The workshop was built by a Palestinian from a neighbouring village in exchange for being able to use it without paying rent for the land for two years. It only recently became the property of the family who owns the land. The demolition order for the workshop was delivered by the army about two weeks ago and the demolition seems imminent. It was rented out by a local Palestinian who worked as a subcontractor to an Israeli clothing company. He also employed four other Palestinians. The tenant moved out immediately after learning about the demolition order, so the order has already resulted in the loss of four jobs and the rent, which substituted the meagre income of the family of five, including three young children. The woman of the family is currently 8 months pregnant.

This is not the first time the family has been subject to a demolition order. In 1994 their family home was demolished and has taken until now to finish rebuilding. They are not trying to legally challenge the demolition of the workshop, as they have no faith in the Israeli legal system and expect the costs of the court proceedings with an uncertain outcome to be higher then the little rent they can earn from the workshop.

The context of the current wave of demolition threats is the virtual impossibility for Palestinians to get building permits on their own land, if it is situated in Area C (under Israeli administration according to the Oslo Agreement). This has particularly severe effects in the Salfit District, where a large proportion of the undeveloped land is defined as Area C as a result of the 21 settlements and numerous settler roads being located in the area. Given the pressure of population growth, combined with the difficult economic situation and the impossibility of obtaining building permits for their own land, many families have no choice but to risk building without the permits required by the Israeli military administration.

Report written by: Clara and Sam
Date report written on: October 31, 2007

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