By: Daniel Breslau
Week 2,025 of occupation
16 March 2006 - 22 March 2006
Casualties of occupation
On Friday, March 17, undercover Israeli Border Police shot and killed a 10-year-old Palestinian girl in the village of Al-Yaamoun, near Jenin. The Border Police opened fire on the taxi in which the girl and her aunt were travelling, after it tried to go around a temporary roadblock. The police claimed that they had fired at the tires of the car, according to the standard procedure, although they had received no clearance to do so. They ended up hitting young Akbar Zaid in the head, and wounding her aunt. It is likely that the taxi driver did not see the roadblock and misunderstood the instructions of the police. The police thought that the taxi contained wanted militants trying to escape, which strengthens the suspicion that they may have been shooting to kill the car`s passengers.
On Wednesday morning, 22 March, the IDF killed an unarmed member of the military wing of the Islamic Jihad while conducting an "arrest operation" in the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, near Jericho. Ramadan Mutair, 22, was hiding in his own house when the IDF entered and opened fire.
The Gaza diet
Following the Palestinian Legislative Council elections, Israeli government officials stated their intention of "putting the Palestinians on a diet." They have apparently followed through on their promise. The Karni crossing, between Israel and the Gaza Strip, has been opened only intermittently since the beginning of the year. As a result, the strip is experiencing extreme shortages of essential goods, especially flour. Bread is now rationed in Gaza, many bakeries have closed down, and the many low-income Gazans whose basic nutrition is based on bread are now facing severe hunger. On Sunday, 19 March, representatives of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the "Quartet," and Egypt agreed to an arrangement by which goods would be delivered to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing near the Egyptian border. The extreme food shortage was temporarily relieved by an emergency shipment of Egyptian goods through Kerem Shalom on Wednesday. Israel has made the unverifiable claim that intelligence reports of planned attacks have forced the closures, yet this does not explain the need for nearly continual closure to shipments entering the Gaza Strip.
More land stolen for the wall
Construction of the annexation wall through the West Bank is proceeding, and with it the continual confiscation of Palestinian land. On Sunday, orders were issued for the confiscation of 766 dunums of agricultural land in the southern West Bank. The villages also stand to lose all of their land that is located on the other side of the wall. The ruling Kadima party has announced its intention to permanently annex all the land on the western side of the wall, in defiance of international law. Kadima now leads in polls in advance of the March 28 Israeli general elections.
Sources: Ha`aretz, IMEMC, Palestine Centre for Human Rights, PASSIA.