By: Daniel Breslau
Week 2,007 of occupation
17 November 2005 - 23 November 2005
IDF operations in the Northern West Bank continue
Intensive Israeli incursions and `arrest operations` continued almost daily in and around the West Bank town of Jenin. On several occasions these led to violent confrontations and killings.
On Thursday, 17 November, IDF soldiers killed two Palestinian men at a roadblock near Jenin. IDF sources claim that the two were members of the local Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyr`s Brigade, and had carried out guerilla attacks against the army. One of them was reported to have been armed with a pistol as they attempted to skirt the roadblock in their car. According to an investigation by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, local witnesses confirmed the identity of the two killed activists, but disputed the IDF`s account. They say that the IDF special forces unit was working undercover, driving a truck with Palestinian license plates, when, without warning, soldiers opened fire on the car containing the two Palestinian fighters.
On Wednesday, 23 November, clashes broke out when IDF soldiers entered Jenin looking for suspected militants. One Palestinian man was killed and twelve more were injured in the fighting.
One killing, two stories
All that we know for sure is that on 18 November, Zaid Abu A`isha, 24, of Hebron, was shot and killed by IDF troops somewhere near Hebron. Here are two versions of the story, first from Ha`aretz:
A Hamas militant was shot and killed Friday night by soldiers after he was injured when the explosives belt he was carrying blew up. The incident occurred near the settlement of Telem, southwest of Hebron in the West Bank. Israel Defense Forces troops in a jeep heard an explosion that was apparently the result of a `work accident.` Arriving at the scene, soldiers shot and killed the man, Zeid Abu A`isha, 24, of Hebron, after they saw him lying on the ground with injuries. Remnants of the explosives belt were found on his body, and an additional device was on the ground nearby.
Then from the independent investiation of the Palestine Centre for Human Rights:
However, investigations conducted by PCHR refute these claims and indicate that the area was quiet and that the unarmed civilian was killed far away from the aforementioned settlement. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 18:40, Zaid `Omar `Abdul Qader Abu `Eisha, 24, was walking towards home in Hebron. When he arrived near a fuel station at Farsh al-Hawa road near bypass road (35), northwest of Hebron, an IOF (Israel Occupation Forces) patrol stopped in the area and opened fire at him without any warning. He was instantly killed. According to eyewitnesses, IOF fired at him from a distance of less than 40 meters. Soon, IOF brought reinforcements to the area. They fired flash bombs and searched the area. They did not allow Palestinian ambulances to reach the area. Later, IOF transferred Abu `Eisha`s body to Tarqoumia crossing, west of Hebron. At approximately 23:00, IOF allowed an ambulance from Palestine Red Crescent Society to evacuate the body to Hebron Hospital. According to medical sources, the victim was hit by 3 live bullets to the heart, the back and the abdomen.
In the past there have been many documented instances of IDF misinformation following killings of innocent civilians. As we have noted in previous summaries, the IDF is not a credible source, and its reports should be trusted only when independently verified.
Construction continues in occupied territories
Israel`s construction of new housing in the occupied West Bank is proceeding despite the fact that it violates international law and Israel`s obligations under specific international agreements. On Wednesday, the Israel Lands Administration (ILA) issued 13 building tenders for the settlement of Ma`aleh Adumim, and the Housing Ministry issued infrastructure tenders for the settlements of Ma`aleh Adumim, Ariel, and Adam. These are within areas that the Israeli Government has unilaterally declared `settlement blocs` that do not fall under the terms of the road map, despite the fact that the legal status of these areas under Israeli and international law is identical to all the other occupied territories.
Then, on 21 November, as the Labor Party was preparing to leave the ruling coalition, Labor Housing and Construction Minister, Yitzhak Herzog, announced new tenders fro 350 additional housing units in Ma`ale Adumim. This adds to 315 tenders for housing in illegal West Bank settlements that have been issued since the beginning of the year.
Israel has stated its agreement to the terms of the Road Map, but has never implemented any of its obligations under that plan.
House shelled with its residents inside
On Monday, 21 November, IDF soldiers fired missiles and live amunition at a house in the Nur Shams refugee camp in the northern West Bank. No warning was given to the residents, including two small children, who were inside the house. The residents managed to get out of the house as it burst into flames. Damage to the building has made it uninhabitable.
Sources: IMEMC, Ha`aretz, Palestine Centre for Human Rights, B`tselem.