By: Daniel Breslau
Week 2,002 of occupation
13 October 2005 - 19 October 2005
The occupied Gaza Strip
In response to Palestinian refusals to cooperate, Israel has given up plans to route traffic between the Gaza Strip and Egypt throught he Kerem Shalom crossing, on Israeli soil. This is an achievement for the Palestinian side, and is likely to put more pressure on Israel to open the Rafah crossing. That crossing has been closed since September 13, although it was opened for three brief periods for the passage of specially-approved hardship cases. Since evacuating settlements and military installations in the Strip, Israel remains the occupying power, controlling all land, sea, and air passage to and from the Gaza Strip.
Border Police kill Jenin Jihad leader
On Sunday, 16 October, Israeli border police killed a leader of the Islamic Jihad in Jenin, Nihad Abu Gheinem. IDF sources said that the undercover border guards opened fire on Abu Gheienem after he had shot at them with his pistol. Palestinian sources and eyewitnesses report that Abu Gheinem was killed in a hail of gunfire after his car was attacked and driven off the road. The sources claim that Abu Gheinem presented no threat to the undercover border guards, and are calling his death an extrajudicial execution.
IDF imposes restrictions on Palestinian traffic in the West Bank
In response to two separate shooting attacks on Israelis in the West Bank on Sunday, the IDF imposed new restrictions on traffic, affecting the entire West Bank. Roadblocks have been set up preventing private Palestinian traffic from traveling on highways 60 and 90, both main arteries of the West Bank. Observers have suggested that Israel is using the attacks, in which three Israeli settlers were killed and seven injured, as a pretext to permanently segregate Palestinian and Israeli traffic, preventing the former from using the main highways altogether.
Along the path of the wall...
On Friday, 14 October, Israeli forces once again employed undercover agents disguised as Palestinian civilians to incite violence at the weekly protest in Bil`in against the annexation wall. The infiltrators urged some participants in the demonstration to throw stones at the soldiers, in order to justify the use of stronger measures to suppress the march.
Despite Israel`s previous assurances of free access, Palestinian farmers are finding it difficult to reach their fields that are on the other side of the wall. Farmers from Tulkarm and Qalqilya were prevented from reaching their farmlands this week.
Israel`s High Court of Justice continues to flaunt the decision of the International Court of Justice in the Hague, by which construction of the wall through occupied territories is a violation of international law. This week the Israeli court approved the construction of a section of the wall that will separate the Palestinian villages of A Ram and Dahiat Al-Baraid from East Jerusalem. These communities will also be separated from the city of Ramallah to their north.
Sources: IMEMC, Ha`aretz, Palestine Centre for Human Rights, International Solidarity Movement.