IOF Continues its Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and their Properties in the Gaza Strip; Al Mezan Calls for an End to the Collective Punishment
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights issued its monthly field report on the Israeli violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) against the population of the Gaza Strip during April 2010.
The report starts with the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) implementation of the Military Order 1650, which allows the IOF to arrest and deport any persons, including Palestinians who hold Gazan ID cards and live in the West Bank, and Palestinian wives who are married to Palestinian men in the West Bank and live there. The order violates the right of Palestinians to free movement, travel and residence in their own country. It gravely violates the right to marry and start a family as well as the right of a child to live in his/hers parents’ custody.
The report shows that the IOF continued its systematic attacks on civilians and their properties in areas near the borders as part of its attempt to enforce the ‘Security Buffer Zone’ that extends one kilometer along the eastern and northern separation fences between the Gaza Strip and Israel. During the reporting period, the IOF conducted ten incursions into the Gaza Strip and leveled dozens of agricultural lands.
The IOF continued its attacks on Palestinian peaceful demonstrations that took place near the northern and eastern separation fences between the Gaza Strip and Israel. As a result, one person was killed and four other persons were injured in separate incidents. One of the injured was the international peace activist, Bianca Zimmit, 28.
During the reporting period, the IOF continued its attacks on Palestinian fishermen. The IOF opened fire on Palestinian fishermen and chased them. The IOF arbitrarily detained two Palestinians at Erez crossing in the North Gaza District. One of these detainees was a patient who went to Erez to obtain Israeli permission to receive medical treatment at an Israeli hospital. The other detainee was arrested while he was on his way to the Gaza Strip. He and his family were in Jordan and were on their way to the Gaza Strip.
In its report, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights reiterates its strong condemnation of the continued and systematic attacks by the IOF against Palestinian civilians. These attacks come as the IOF tightens the siege on the Gaza Strip. The IOF prevents Palestinian fishermen from working, even when they are within the Israeli-imposed fishing zone of 3 nautical miles, which the IOF announced in March 2009.
As these violations and the Israeli siege of Gaza continue, Al Mezan expresses its outrage at the lack of any meaningful international protection of Gaza’s population. This has encouraged the IOF to continue such serious violations of IHL and international human rights law in Gaza, and the occupied Palestinian territory for too long. Al Mezan, therefore, calls on the international community to uphold their moral and legal obligations and take action to bring to a swift end to the violations of international law; including the siege, which represents the illegal collective punishment of the Gaza population. The perpetrators of these violations must be held accountable in accord with the rules of international law.
(Al Mezan Center for Human Rights)
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