Settler Attacks on Palestinian Civilians

JOHN M COX coxj at SPAMemail.unc.edu
Sun Oct 15 04:27:01 MDT 2000



From: Islamic Association For Palestine <Iapinfo at iap.org>
Reply-To: palestine-net at egroups.com
To: iap-net at iap.org
Subject: PNet: IAP-Net: Settler Attacks on Palestinian Civilians

Assalamu'alaikum

Settler Attacks on Palestinian Civilians
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
13 October 2000

From: "LAW" <law at lawsociety.org>

Israeli settlers have been attacking Palestinians in Israel and the occupied
territories with total support from the Israeli occupation troops.

Since the time clashes began between the occupation troops and Palestinian
civilians on 28 September 2000, after the provocative visit of Likud
opposition leader Ariel Sharon, the region has been witnessing unprecedented
activity of the Israeli extreme right in both Israel and the occupied
territories. The result has been devastating: 5 Palestinians have been shot
dead, 3 by settlers in the occupied territories and 2 shot by the Israeli
police in Nazareth during the clashes that took place when settlers from
Upper Nazareth launched their attack against the Palestinian community in
the city. Eyewitnesses say that settlers have taken part in the shooting.

Settlers and Jewish racist extremists have been waging attacks inside the
green line since 6 October 2000. These orchestrated attacks are meant to
terrorize Palestinian civilians and target their lives and property. Reports
say that settlers have used live bullets in many cases under the cover and
eye of the Israeli occupation troops and in total impunity.

In light of this dangerous turn in the events, LAW has prepared this report
to describe these dangerous attacks. The report deals with the features of
these attacks and describes some of the events that took place despite the
difficulties faced by the field researchers to monitor and document these
incidents. Field researchers have also found it difficult to move around due
to the military siege imposed by the Israeli occupation troops in the West
Bank and the Gaza Strip.

First: Murder of Civilians
Settlers have used live bullets against Palestinians in a ‘shoot to kill’
policy. They also employed other means such as severe torture and deliberate
running over. Palestinians have unfortunately fallen victims to this policy
such as Sara Hasan, 1 and a half year old from the village of Qasra, Isam
Hamad, 39, from the village of Um Asafa, Mohammad Bouzieh, 39, from Kuful
Hares, all from the occupied West Bank. Meanwhile, 2 Palestinians, Omar
Akawi, 42, and Wisam Yazbak, 26, were killed in the city of Nazareth. 30
other civilians were injured, 5 of whom sustained very serious injuries
after the clashes with the Upper Nazareth (Nazaret Ilit) settlers.

On 1 October 2000, one a half year-old Sarah was taken to the hospital by
her father Hasan.On the way home, fully armed settlers opened fire on their
car, instantly killing Saran and injuring Hasan’s 20-year-old niece.

On 8 October 2000, the body of Isam Hamad, 36, from Um Safa, Ramallah, was
found in a field near his village located near the Halmeesh settlement. His
brother, Basam, stated that Isam was driving to his village when an Israeli
military vehicle ordered him to stop. He was then taken in the direction of
the Halmeesh settlement. Hamad was found dead the next morning in a field
near Pisgot settlement. When the family members tried to take the body, they
were fired at from the settlement. They managed to take the body to their
house and later to the hospital in Ramallah. Preliminary examination has
shown that he was hit with a sharp tool in the head, his face was burned and
his hands were broken. He had bruises on his back and his left leg had been
burned with an iron. Evidence of electrocution were also found

On 8 October 2000, an estimated one thousand Israeli extremist settlers from
Natzeret Illit (Higher Nazareth), supported by the Israeli police, attacked
East Nazareth; they broke into the homes of the Palestinian residents, and
fired at Palestinian civilians killing Omar Ikawi, 42, and Wisam Yazbik, 26,
and wounding thirty people, five of them critically. The deaths of Ikawi and
Yazbik raise the death toll of Palestinians within the Green Line, (in
Israel) to 13.

On 11 October 2000, Mohammad Bouzieh, 39, from Kuful Hares in the district
of Salfit was overrun by a settler. An eyewitness stated that a car carrying
an Israeli license plate was spotted driving away from the accident site.

Second: Blockage of Roads
As the oppressive operations by the Israeli occupation troops were gaining
momentum, settlers in the West Bank took to the streets blocking exits and
entrances to the major towns and villages and assaulting Palestinian
civilians and their property. During the attacks, settlers used all sorts of
weapons including stones, axes and batons. They rampaged villages,
destroying cars and property. On 6 October, settlers opened fire at a car
wounding the passengers at the Za’tara junction in the district of Nablus.
On the same evening, two Palestinian civilians, Tha’er Said, 21, and Amjad
Safarini, 25, from the village of Safarine in Toulkarem, were brutally
assaulted and wounded in the shoulders and face by settlers and had their
car smashed.

On 8 October 2000, in another incident, a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance
was attacked smashed by settlers near the settlement of Shilo. The ambulance
received a call that settlers had beaten Palestinians. Upon arrival to the
area, the paramedics found out that the report was false. On their way back,
a military Jeep offered to accompany the ambulance into Ramallah saying that
there were settlers on the road that could assault them. Along the way,
settlers did stop the ambulance and the jeep. The soldiers got out of their
jeep to speak with the settlers and the settlers ran top to the ambulance
and attacked it.

On 10 October 2000, two Palestinian reporters on their way back to Nablus
were pelted with stones thrown by settlers. The two Palestinians reported
the incident to Israeli troops but nothing was done about it. On the same
evening, settlers from Ofra assaulted Mustafa Qasem from Silwad hitting him
with a sharp tool on the head. In another incident, settlers also assaulted
Mohammad Qasem, from the village of Beitin. The two Palestinians were
transferred to hospital for treatment.


Third: Assault on individual and property
Armed, protected and supported by Israeli troops, the Israeli settlers have
waged a number of attacks and assaults on the civilian Palestinian
population particularly the cities and surroundings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Al
Bireh and other parts of the West Bank.

Settlers tried entering and sealing off the Orient House in East Jerusalem
under the protection and sight of the Israeli occupation troops. However,
angry Palestinian youth challenged them and pushed them off. The settlers
also took to the Azahra Street, of East Jerusalem and sealed off the exits
and entrances of the city. In another incident, Hussein Atawil, 20, was
wounded as young Palestinians took to the street to prevent the settlers
from gaining access to the Shu’fat Refugee Camp. In other incidents,
settlers rampaged motorway # 1 and stoned Palestinian cars.

Settlers attacked the village of Bidya near Nablus. They burned shops and
destroyed electric power lines. Meanwhile, Israeli bulldozers blocked the
roads and installed make shift checkpoints preventing villagers from
leaving. They also fired at Palestinian houses.

In the village of Huwara, settlers attacked Palestinian houses and broke the
windows with stones and bullets. They also attacked the new built mosque,
burning copies of the Holy Koran and other religious books. The mosque’s
carpets were also set on fire.

In the district of Hebron, three Palestinian civilians from the village of
Sourif were wounded when settlers opened fire on them at the Beit Ummar
junction. Settlers in the city of Hebron hassled Palestinian residents,
pelting them with rocks, beating them or setting dogs on them.

On October 4, Aqel Awad’s house came under fire from the nearby settlement
of Pisgot. Aqel’s daughter stated that she and her family members were in
the house in the evening when live bullets were fired at the house. She
stated, ‘ I was ironing my clothes at that time, so I stopped. My father, 80
years old, was in his room that overlooks the settlement. He is an old man
partially paralysed. I went to check on him. When things calmed down, I went
out to the balcony to close the door and I  was hit with a bullet in the
eye, but I did not hear the shot. I fell to the floor and I shouted for
rescue. I tried to crawl into the room. My mother and brother came to my
rescue. I was later transferred to the Ramallah hospital. The injury was
close to the eye. I was later taken to the Arazi Ophthalmic hospital for
further treatment especially as glass blisters had filled my eye. I was
later discharged. When I arrived home, I found out that my brother was also
hit with a bullet in the same place where I had been hit before. No one
heard any shots. The bullet hit him in the stomach and exited through his
back. He was in critical condition but is believed to be improving. My
brother is 54 years old. He lives in the States and he was here on a visit.’


The following is a list of a number of Palestinians whose property or being
had been assaulted:

        1.      Mahmoud Al Uqueili / Raboud village / Doura / Hebron
        2.      Hamed  Al Uqueili  / Raboud village / Doura / Hebron
        3.      Rizek Al Habiyat/ Raboud village / Doura / Hebron
        .       Eid Abul Kabash, 40, was hit with a bullet in his left leg
at the Asamou’ junction.
        .       Samar Asharabati, old city in Henron was shot in the eye.
        .       Jamal Hammoud , 40, was beaten and suffers a fracture in the
skull.

LAW reiterates the following:

        .       The Israeli government is fully responsible for situation
that has developed in the Occupied Territories and the violence committed
against Palestinian civilians by Israeli settlers
        .       LAW demands that those responsible for this aggression
against Palestinians be investigated and brought to trial.
        .       We demand that the United National Security Council take
immediate action to protect Palestinians civilians and force Israel to
comply with articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection for Human Rights and the
Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving human
rights through legal advocacy.

LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), The
Federation Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l'Homme (FIDH), The World
Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), and is a member of the
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN)

LAW
PO Box 20873
Jerusalem
Tel: 00 972 2 583 3428/3298/3537/3530/3430
Fax: 00 972 2 583 3317
Email: law at lawsociety.org







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