Israel launches most fierce attack on Palestinians

John Cox hazel_motes52 at
Wed Feb 20 12:11:27 MST 2002

From: "Lawsociety"@LAWSOCIETY.ORG
To: "Lawlist List Member"@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: [Lawlist] Israel launches most fierce attack on Palestinians {01}
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 17:07:51 +0200

Israel launches most fierce attack on Palestinians
Israel shells Nablus, Ramallah and Gaza
20 February 2002

In one of the most fierce assault in the past 16 months Israeli
occupation forces have escalated their aggression against Palestinians
during the past few hours during which Israeli shells and rockets ravage
security outposts in Gaza, Nablus and Ramallah, deliberately targeting
Palestinian civilians.

The assault followed a few hours after armed Palestinians had shot at a
group of Israeli soldiers at an Israeli military checkpoint at Ein Areek
near Ramallah, in which six Israeli soldiers were killed. During the
following assault, Israeli occupation forces have killed twelve
Palestinians until this moment.

At around 2 am today, Israeli Special Forces entered two Palestinian
security outposts at the entrance of Nablus and opened fire, killing
seven Palestinians. LAW's researcher in the field stated that the Israeli
forces opened fire at the seven Palestinians from close range and when
assured of being hit they approached them and shoot them again. Medical
sources at Rafidia Hospital in Nablus stated that one of the bodies was
severely maltreated, in particular in the face and the head. It seems
that a large stone was thrown at him.

The casualties were: Zahi Zawatyeh (26) from the village Zawata near
Nablus; Awad Balawneh (47) from Tulkarem; Muhammad an-Najjar (26) from
Khan Yunis; Fu'ad Ishtayeh (35), a father of five, from Tel near Nablus;
Ghanem Barham (27), father of two, from Qalqilia; Mahmoud al-Ashqar (20)
from Gaza; and Zuheir 'Aqel (24) from Sibastia, northwest Nablus.

Following this, Israeli occupation forces, including tanks, armored
vehicles and troop carriers broke into the southern checkpoint of the
city and made a military incursion of one kilometer into the Jerusalem-
Nablus road. Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces opened fire at
residential homes and occupied two residential buildings belonging to
Hindiyeh and Abu Hamda and clashes took place between members of the
Palestinian security forces and Israeli forces killing 19-year old
policeman Muhammad Hashash (he was shot in his heart) and 18-year old
Muhammad Abu Mirsal (he was shot in his chest), both from Balata refugee
camp. Nine others were injured:

· Mahmoud Al Batta (22) from Gaza, critically injured by two shots in his
waist and back;
· Ziyad Al Shami (25) from Khan Younis, gunshot in his left thigh;
· Wa'el Yadak (28) from Quseen, gunshot in his left thigh;
· Sa'eed Al Bureeni (40) from Balata refugee camp, gunshot in his right
· Muneer Hamad (17) from Balata refugee camp, injury in his face;
· Ala' Rayyan (17) from Balata refugee camp, injury in his abdomen;
· Izz Al Deen Abu Sarkees (17) from Balata refugee camp, gunshot in his
right arm;
· Ra'ed Al Shafi'I (27) from Balata refugee camp, gunshot in his right
· Zaki Seif (30) from Balata refugee camp, gunshot in his right foot

According to information gathered by the Palestinian Center for Human
Rights in Gaza, at around 2 am on Wednesday, February 20, 2002, Israeli
naval gunboats opened fire at the Ameen checkpoint, 100 meter from the
seashore, killing four Palestinians and severely injuring three, since
heavy fire hindered them from escape or shelter. The casualties were:
Ibrahim Abu Sharar (27) from Jabalia (gunshots in his chest); Mahmoud
Attalah 'Al 'Ibeit' (23) from Deir Al Balah (gunshots in his chest);
Ibrahim Al Ali (38) from Al Rimal quarter in Gaza (gunshots in his head
and chest); Mahmoud Al Tatar (22) from Al Tufah quarter in Gaza (gunshots
in his chest).

Those injured were: Yousef Al Ajrami (21) from Jabalia, severely hit by
gunshot in his chest; Wisam Abu Ghazeh (30) from Al Naser quarter in
Gaza, gunshot in his chest; and Muhammad Abdeen (24) from Al Rimal
quarter in Gaza, two gunshots in his thighs.

At 2.45 am, Israel F16 fighter jets fired an air-to-land-missile at a
Palestinian Police building in Gaza which destroyed the three-story-
building and caused severe damage to many civilian buildings, located
around the building, including the UNRWA joint elementary Gaza school.
Missile shrapnel which hit the school yard caused severe damage.
Additionally, damages were caused to the al-Zaytoon elementary boys'
school and the Al-Noor Center for Rehabilitation of the Disabled.
Fortunately, the shelling happened before the schools started.

At 2.50 am, Israeli attack helicopters fired an air-to-land-missile at
the Ansar building which severely damaged the building including the
President's home.

At around 4 am, three Israeli tanks made an incursion into Tel village
south Nablus and into the Palestinian security outpost set at the eastern
entrance and made an incursion into the village shooting at civilian
homes. In the meantime, the police station building was besieged and
explosives were set inside. These were detonated by Israeli forces. The
blast destroyed the Palestinian police station almost completely.

At the same time, an Israeli force, consisting two armored troop carriers
and four military jeeps broke into Deir Al Sudan village, north of
Ramallah from its eastern entrance, firing heavy ammunition and tank
artillery at the Palestinian checkpoint set at its entrance. Afterwards,
it made an incursion into the village and clashes broke out, killing
Shqeir Samara (40) from Al Zawyeh in Salfeet with two gunshots in his
head and chest. Additionally, 20-year-old Hussein Arar, from Qarawet Bani
Zeid, was hit by a gunshot in his leg.

At 4:45 am, an Israeli Apache helicopter fired a land-to-air missile at a
building in Ramallah, which destroyed a food store belonging to the
Palestinian security forces completely, injuring 32-year-old Hussein
Bawatneh, from Ramallah, by shrapnel in his right foot.

At 5:20 am, an Israeli helicopter fired six air-to-land missiles at a
Palestinian security outpost in Khan Younis causing severe damages to the

At 5:30 am, while 55-year-old Muhammad Abu Ramadan, a security officer in
Ramallah, was preparing breakfast for his colleagues at Al Ma'lufiyeh
checkpoint, at the southern entrance of Al Bireh, an Israeli Apache
helicopter fired two air-to-land missiles at the checkpoint. The missiles
hit a mobile post and critically injured Abu Ramadan, a member of the
Palestinian security forces, with shrapnel in various parts of the body
and with his left leg cut. He died on the way to hospital.

At around 6 am, Israeli occupation forces stationed at the eastern
entrance of Deir Al Sudan village opened fire at a Palestinian civilian
car on its way from Arura village to Ramallah hitting 45-year-old Ikram
Khseib, from Arura village with gunshot shrapnel in his face.

At 9 am, three Israeli tanks made a military incursion into Al Thahriyeh
village and opened heavy ammunition at the Palestinian checkpoint east of
the village until they withdrew after 30 minutes.

Israeli occupation forces stationed at various checkpoints at main roads
in the occupied West Bank restricted the movement of Palestinians
completely. LAW's researchers stated that this collective punishment
covered the Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem and Qalqilia
districts. Regularly, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinians who
tried to cross these military checkpoints. This severe measure comes two
days before the Muslim feast, Eid Al Adha, in which Palestinians are
prevented from spending this holiday with their families.

LAW Society strongly condemns the ongoing violations of human rights and
international humanitarian law, including those acts that amount to war
crimes perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces with impunity and
urges the international community to immediately fulfill their moral and
legal obligations to ensure Israel's respect of the Fourth Geneva
Convention and end its occupation of the Gaza strip and West Bank
(including East Jerusalem), and to provide immediate and effective
international protection for Palestinian civilians in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories.

LAW Society additionally calls for a thorough, independent, and effective
international investigation into violations of the Fourth Geneva
Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including war crimes,
and calls for those found responsible for such actions to be tried before
an international court.

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of 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) and the World Organisation
Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the
Environment, PO Box 20873, Jerusalem, tel. +972-2-5833530, fax. +972-2-
5833317, email: law at, web:

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