From: "Palestinian Centre for Human Rights"
Subject: weekly report 4-2002
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 13:51:38 +0200

Introduction

This report covers human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupation forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in the period  17-23 January 2002.

This week, 11 Palestinians were killed and more than 100  were injured.

Israeli assaults take place under a silence from the international community that encourages the Sharon government and Israeli occupation forces to  perpetrate more violations, including war crimes, against the Palestinian  people. The latest assault consisted of two large-scale incursions into cities  of the West Bank, resulting in the assassination of four Palestinians in Nablus  and willful killing of two Palestinian civilians. Israeli violations take place  under political cover provided by the US. US Secretary of State Colin Powell went as far as to suggest to reporters that the Israeli policies against the  Palestinian people were an act of self-defense. Portraying Israeli occupying  forces as the victim and the Palestinian civilians as the victimisers is a  distortion of the situation from the standpoint of international law and humanitarian law. The US government demonstrated this attitude by vetoing a  draft resolution at the UN Security Council that would have provided protection  for Palestinian civilians in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention.

According to PCHR's documentation, Israeli forces encroached into Palestinian cities in the West Bank. The largest brought nearly the entire city  of Tulkarm under Israeli control for some 30 hours. Dozens of Palestinian houses  were seized and dozens of Palestinians were arrested. Tulkarm was also attacked  by Israeli F-16 fighter jets. A Palestinian security man was killed, a  Palestinian governmental compound was destroyed and 45 houses and some public  properties were severely damaged.

On Friday, 18 January, Israeli forces destroyed the building of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Ramallah.

In a continuation of Israel's assassination policy, on Tuesday, 22 January, Israeli forces killed 4 Hamas activists in Nablus.  This week, two Palestinian civilians died in willful killing by Israeli forces in Nablus and the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces continued to shell Palestinian residential areas and civilian facilities, causing severe damage to private and public properties and  injuring dozens of Palestinian civilians. At the time of this writing, Riadh  Nasri `Ali Hattab, 23, a member of the Palestinian General Intelligence from  Ramallah, was pronounced dead from an injury by a live bullet in the right side  he received early in the morning when Palestinian security forces confronted  Israeli forces, which shelled and moved into Al-Tira area in the west of  Ramallah. In addition, another security man, Mustafa Rebhi Mustafa, 29, a member  of the General Intelligence Service from Beit Lid village in Tulkarm, was seriously injured by a live bullet in the abdomen.

Despite Israeli claims that the siege imposed on the OPT was "eased," Israeli forces tightened the siege and erected roadblocks and checkpoints on main and branch roads in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They also maintained  restrictions on the movement of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. Israeli  tanks were positioned less than 70m away from his office in Ramallah.

For complete details regarding Israeli violations against Palestinian civilians in the period 17-23 January 2002, see
<http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/W_report/English/2002/24-01-2002.htm>