By: Daniel Breslau
Week 2,005 of occupation
3 November 2005 - 9 November 2005
Gaza crossings still closed
If the Erez and Karni crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel are not opened and kept open to commercial traffic, the result could be a blow to the already devastated Palestinian economy, as the vegetable export season nears. Nigel Roberts, the World Bank`s representative in the Palestinian territories, speaking in Washington, stated that at least 150 trucks per day must be allowed out of the Gaza Strip, if the economy is to be viable. Israel had promised the World Bank that it would allow 15,000 workers per day to enter Israel from the strip, but has not fulfilled this pledge, allowing fewer than 100 per day in October.
The World Bank has also insisted on open travel between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, a necessity for Palestinian economic development. A 30 September report by the bank suggests three separate routes, along which convoys of buses and trucks could travel. Three routes are required because of Israel`s restrictions on travel within the West Bank, that would make it difficult for vehicles entering the southern West Bank to reach cities in the north.
12-year-old with a toy gun is shot and killed
On Thursday, 3 November, Ahmed al-Katib was playing with a plastic toy gun in the West Bank city of Jenin, when IDF soldiers shot him in the head from a distance of 130 meters. The soldiers reported that they had come under fire, but this was denied by eyewitnesses, who reported that the soldiers were firing at a group of stone-throwing children.
The boy was transferred to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, where he died on Saturday. Katib`s family donated his organs, as a gesture of peace and reconciliation. Recipients for the boy`s heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs were quickly found from waiting lists.
Sharon promises to hinder, but not to disrupt, PA elections
On Monday, 7 November, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced that Israel would not prevent Palestinian parliamentary elections from taking place with the participation of the Hamas movement. But Sharon added that Israel will do everything it can to prevent the free movement of Hamas members on election day, 25 January, 2006. If Hamas runs in the election, Israel will not remove checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israel vows to continue assassination campaign, claims killings are effective
Providing no supporting evidence, IDF chief of staff Dan Halutz said on Tuesday that Israel`s assassinations of Palestinian militants have been very effective and will continue. Military sources have said that more assassinations of Islamic Jihad members will be carried out in the near future. Assassinations, which constitutde extrajudicial executions, are in violation of international law. They have played a large role in undermining the Palestinian Authority and moderate Palestinian leadership.
East Jerusalem killing ignites protests
Occupied East Jerusalem might be described as a tinderbox, waiting to be ignited. On Wednesday, police entered the village of Isawiyah, to arrest a resident who was suspected of breaking into cars in the French Hill area of Jerusalem. From the contradictary reports it is apparent that, as the police were confronted by a crowd of Palestinian youth, a vehicle driven by Samir Dari (32 or 36 years old) approached the police. As Dari was driving away, police opened fire, killing him. The police called it an attempt to run them down, while witnesses believed that Dari had inadvertently wandered close to the police and lost control of his vehicle. Later investigation by the Police Investigations Department concluded that `the shooting apparently took place under unjustified circumstances`; as Dari was not in the car, there was no physical contact between the sides during the shooting, and the police officer shot Dari in the back. After the announcement of Dari`s death, youths from the village confronted police and border guards, threw stones, and burned tires.
Dari is a well-known figure in the village, and a father of three. He owned a transportation company that in the past was employed by the Peres Center for Peace.
Sources: IMEMC, Ha`aretz, Palestine Centre for Human Rights, International Solidarity Movement.