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