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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/51/99
19 April 1996

Original: ENGLISH

Fifty-first session
Item 85 of the preliminary list*


REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE ISRAELI
PRACTICES AFFECTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN
PEOPLE AND OTHER ARABS OF THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES


Note by the Secretary-General


The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the members of the General Assembly the attached periodic report covering the period from 19 August to 31 December 1995, which was submitted to him, in accordance with paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 of Assembly resolution 50/29 A of 6 December 1995, by the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.






__________________

* A/51/50.

CONTENTS

paragraph
page
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL .................................................... 4
I.

II.
INTRODUCTION ...........................................

INFORMATION RECEIVED BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE ..............
1 - 7

8 - 425
6

6
A.General situation ................................. 8 - 162 6
1.

2.
General developments and policy statements ...

Incidents resulting from the occupation ......
8 - 88

89 - 162
6

18
(a)


(b)


(c)
List of Palestinians killed by troops
or Israeli civilians ....................

List of other Palestinians killed
as a result of the occupation ...........

Other incidents .........................
89


89

90 - 162
19


21

23
B.Administration of justice, including the right
to a fair trial ...................................
163 - 197 34
1.

2.
Palestinian population ........................

Israelis ......................................
163 - 179

180 - 197
34

37
C.Treatment of civilians ............................ 198 - 348 39
1.General developments .......................... 198 - 273 39
(a)

(b)
Harassment and physical ill-treatment ....

Collective punishment ....................
198 - 214

215 - 258
39

43
(i)

(ii)

(iii)
Houses or rooms that were demolished or sealed

Imposition of curfews, sealing off or closing of areas

Other forms of collective punishment
215 - 224

225 - 257

258
43

44

47
(c)

(d)

(e)
Expulsions ...............................

Economic and social situation ............

Other developments .......................
259

260 - 272

273
47

48

50
2.Measures affecting certain
fundamental freedoms ..........................
274 - 314 50
(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)
Freedom of movement ......................

Freedom of education .....................

Freedom of religion ......................

Freedom of expression ....................
274 - 292

293 - 296

297 - 304

305 - 314
50

53

54

55
3.Information on settlers' activities
affecting the civilian population .............
315 - 348 57
D.Treatment of detainees ............................ 349 - 372 62
(a)

(b)
Measures concerning the release of detainees ......

Other information concerning detainees ...
349 - 356

357 - 372
62

63
E.

F.
Annexation and settlement ..........................

Information concerning the occupied Syrian Golan ...
373 - 415

416 - 425
66

73
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

29 February 1996


Sir,

The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories has the honour to transmit to you herewith, in accordance with paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 of General Assembly resolution 50/29 A of 6 December 1995, a periodic report updating information contained in the twenty-seventh report, which it adopted and presented to you on 18 August 1995 (A/50/463). The present periodic report has been prepared in order to bring to your attention, and to the attention of the General Assembly, updated information on the human rights situation in the occupied territories.

The present periodic report covers the period from 19 August to 31 December 1995. It is based on written information gathered from various sources among which the Special Committee has selected relevant excerpts and summaries, which are reflected in the report.

Accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.

(Signed) Herman Leonard de SILVA
Chairman of the Special Committee to
Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the
Human Rights of the Palestinian People and
Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories
His Excellency
Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Secretary-General of the United Nations
New York

I. INTRODUCTION


1. In its resolution 50/29 A of 6 December 1995, the General Assembly:

2. The Special Committee continued its work under the rules of procedure contained in its first report to the Secretary-General and held the first of its series of meetings from 28 to 29 February 1996 at Geneva. The first series of meetings was attended by Mr. Herman Leonard de Silva (Sri Lanka), who acted as Chairman, Mr. Ibra Deguène Ka (Senegal) and Dato' Abdul Majid Mohamed (Malaysia).

3. The Special Committee decided to continue its system of monitoring information on the occupied territories and, in accordance with paragraph 7 of resolution 50/29 A, to pay special attention to information on the treatment of prisoners. The Special Committee examined information appearing in the Israeli press and in the Arab-language newspapers published in the occupied territories on developments that had occurred in the occupied territories between 19 August and 31 December 1995. Other materials related to its mandate were also made available.

4. The Special Committee also decided upon the organization of its work for the year. It agreed to address the Governments of Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic with a view to seeking their cooperation in the implementation of its mandate. The Special Committee also agreed to address the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Office at Geneva and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Finally, the Special Committee decided that at its next series of meetings it would undertake hearings in the area for the purpose of recording relevant information or evidence.

5. On 29 February 1996, the Special Committee addressed a letter to the Secretary-General seeking his intervention in an effort to secure the cooperation of the Government of Israel. The Special Committee also addressed the Government of Israel directly.

6. The Special Committee also examined the present report, which was adopted on 29 February 1996.

7. The geographical names and the terminology employed in the present report reflect the usage in the original sources and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Special Committee or the Secretariat of the United Nations.

II. INFORMATION RECEIVED BY THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE

A. General situation

1. General developments and policy statements

8. On 20 August, the Cabinet approved the transfer of eight additional spheres of civilian authority to the Palestinians: commerce and industry, agriculture, local government, fuel and gasoline, postal services, labour and insurance and statistics. The empowerment was an addition to five other spheres of control that had been handed over to the Palestinians during the previous year (education, health, taxation, tourism and social welfare). Negotiations were said still to be under way concerning 26 other spheres of civilian authority. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 21 August)

9. On 23 August, it was reported that over the previous months there had been an increase in the number of protest activities by Palestinians in Jerusalem. This was particularly manifest in information campaigns and protests over the confiscation of Palestinian-owned land and the demolition of Palestinian-owned houses. (Ha'aretz, 23 August)

10. On 23 August, the Israeli Cabinet Committee on Jerusalem decided to outlaw all political activity at Orient House in Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Times, 25 August)

11. On 24 August, it was reported that the General Security Service (GSS) had uncovered the Hamas cell responsible for the suicide bus bombings in Ramat Gan in July and Jerusalem on 21 August. At least 30 Hamas members, most of whom were from Samaria while others were from Hebron and Jerusalem, were apprehended during the operation, considered by the GSS to be a severe blow to the operational infrastructure of Hamas. The uncovered cell allegedly planned to carry out two additional attacks in the near future, apparently a car bombing and the kidnapping of soldiers. A booby-trapped car, ready for detonation, was also discovered during the operation. In addition, the head of the GSS revealed that a massive manhunt was under way in the Jericho area for another leading activist. He also indicated that the special interrogation methods used by the GSS had enabled it to extract the information that had led to the dismantling of the cell. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 24 August)

12. On 24 August, the Ministerial Committee on the GSS extended until October the special permission granted to the GSS to employ "special measures" during interrogations. This included authorization to exert physical pressure on suspects, including extreme shaking and severe sleep deprivation. In a related development, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel attacked Police Minister Moshe Shahal for suggesting that the law should be changed so that GSS interrogators could enjoy immunity from prosecution should they cause irreversible physical or mental damage to a suspect or even kill them. (Jerusalem Post, 25 August)

13. On 24 August, according to military sources, it was reported that in the course of previous months there had been an increase in the number of explosive demolition charges planted on roads used by Israeli military vehicles in the Gaza Strip. On the other hand, the same sources indicated that meticulous controls at border crossings in the Gaza Strip coupled with the dramatic decrease in the number of vehicles allowed to enter Israel and the escorting of such vehicles by the army had reduced the possibility of smuggling firearms and explosive materials from and into the Gaza Strip. In addition, a decline was also registered in the number of infiltrations into Israel with most infiltrators reportedly captured. (Ha'aretz, 24 August)

14. On 25 August, it was reported that the Chief of General Staff, Lt.-Gen. Amnon Shahak, had issued an order reversing an earlier plan to relocate two major recruit training camps located between Nablus and Jenin during the interim period of the peace accords. According to the new decision, the two camps, which train paratroopers and "Golani" soldiers, would remain in place despite the fact that they were not located in the vicinity of Jewish population centres. A senior IDF officer indicated further that according to the army's redeployment scheme called "Rainbow B" other military bases would continue in the West Bank during the interim period. (Ha'aretz, 25 August)

15. On 28 August, the Police Ministry sent warning letters to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Census and Statistics, the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation and the Palestinian Health Council, informing them that unless they closed their offices in 96 hours, they would be closed by the police. The letters stated that the offices were being closed because they were violating the Law of Implementation of the Gaza-Jericho Accord, which prohibited the Palestinian Authority from carrying out its activities in Jerusalem. In addition, Police Ministry sources announced that several other Palestinian institutions also faced closure for operating in Jerusalem. Palestinian leaders, for their part, warned that the closure of the offices would torpedo the peace process and spark unrest in the city. (Ha'aretz, 21 August; Jerusalem Post, 21, 28 and 29 August; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 1 September)

16. On 31 August, it was reported that the Palestinian Authority had promised to meet the demand of the Government of Israel to put an end to the operation in East Jerusalem of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Census and Statistics, the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation and the Palestinian Health Council. (Jerusalem Post, 31 August)

17. On 1 September, the Tel Aviv District Police arrested 22 Palestinians who were found in the Tel Aviv area without a permit and transferred them to the Abu Kabir detention centre. The arrests were said to have been made as part of a security operation carried out before the beginning of the new school year. (Ha'aretz, 3 September)

18. On 4 September, Israel opened official celebrations marking Jerusalem's 3,000th anniversary, with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin reiterating that undivided Jerusalem was the heart of the Jewish people and the capital of the State of Israel. The festivities, which took place under the heavy guard of hundreds of policemen and border policemen, were boycotted by the Palestinians and the European Union (EU). The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of falsifying the events of history through its 3,000th anniversary of Jerusalem. A statement issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Information claimed that by emphasizing the historical attachment of Jews to the City, Israel ignored both the thousands of years during which other cultures had existed in Jerusalem and the great importance that the City had for the two other monotheistic religions, Christianity and Islam. (Ha'aretz, 5 September; Jerusalem Post, 4 and 5 September)

19. On 6 September, Prime Minister Rabin stated that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) would evacuate unspecified parts of Hebron but that it would at the same time retain its freedom of movement throughout the town. Mr. Rabin indicated during a television interview that redeployment in Hebron would not be similar to that foreseen in the other six towns in the territories from which Israel would redeploy completely. Instead, he stated, special arrangements would be made in order to safeguard the security of the Jewish residents of Hebron, Kiryat Arba and Givat Haharsina and to allow the army to move freely in Hebron for security reasons. Meanwhile, Palestinians living in Hebron announced that they would boycott the Palestinian Council elections if the IDF remained in the city. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 7 September)

20. On 6 September, the Islamic Waqf and the Sharia Court moved back into their premises in the centre of Hebron. The return of the twin Islamic institutions to the town centre was the first of a series in which Palestinian institutions were reclaiming their rights to buildings that they had been forced to vacate over the past few years. These expulsions formed part of the Israeli policy of creating a security cordon around the tiny settler enclave. Other national institutions such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Permits and Tax Collector's Offices had reportedly moved back to the old town the following week. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 September; Al-Tali'ah, 14 September)

21. On 7 September, it was reported that some 1,000 reserve soldiers who were members of an organization opposed to the Oslo Accords had signed a document stating that they would not obey orders to uproot settlements. In addition, the organization's Action Committee for the Abolition of the Autonomy Plan stated that it would soon open recruitment centres for volunteers who were ready to resist the uprooting of settlements and to take part in armed patrols on roads in the territories once the IDF had redeployed there. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 7 September)

22. On 10 September, the Civil Administration handed over to the Palestinian Authority six spheres of civil authority in the West Bank. This included statistics, fuel and gas, insurance, commerce and industry, labour and local government. The spokesman for the Coordinator of the Government's activities in the territories stated that the transfer of control over agriculture would be delayed until 14 September, while postal services would be handed over in 10 days' time owing to the complexity of arranging the transfer. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 11 September)

23. On 10 September, it was reported that according to a public opinion poll conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Communication and Media, 90 per cent of Hebron's residents were opposed to the continued presence of settlers in the city. Sixty-four per cent of those questioned stated that they preferred a state of war over the continued presence of the settlers, while 65 per cent stated that they would not vote in the elections for a Palestinian Council as long as the IDF stayed in Hebron. Responding to the question on how they viewed the town's future, 46 per cent stated that they were "pessimistic". The poll also showed that 77 per cent of the persons interviewed were against the interim arrangements that allowed Jews to continue to pray in the Cave of the Patriarchs (Ibrahimi Mosque). (Ha'aretz, 10 September)

24. On 12 September, it was reported that the GSS had uncovered in Kalkiliya a cell of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) that was responsible for the murder of two Israeli hikers in Wadi Kelt in July. One suspected cell member was reportedly arrested by the GSS while two other suspects were detained in Jericho by the Palestinian Police. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 12 September)

25. On 27 September, some 180 Palestinians expelled from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in protest against the Israel-PLO peace accord returned to the Gaza Strip after spending weeks in scorching desert heat. Palestinian sources reported that Israel had allowed the Palestinians to cross the West Bank and Israeli territory on their way to the Gaza Strip. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 28 September)

26. On 28 September, after months of difficult negotiations, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PL0 Chairman Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo II Accord at the White House in Washington, D.C., thereby paving the way for an IDF withdrawal from all Palestinian cities in the territories and elections for a Palestinian Council. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 29 September)

27. On 30 September, a senior Central Command officer confirmed that the military police had established a special anti-riot unit in expectation of heightened tension and disorders while the redeployment in the territories was being implemented. (Jerusalem Post, 1 October)

28. On 30 September, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres stated in New York that the IDF would begin redeployment in the course of the week, with the dismantling of its positions in 12 large villages in Area B (Palestinian villages). Mr. Peres confirmed in a radio interview that the first town around which the army would redeploy would be Jenin, where redeployment would begin in October. (Jerusalem Post, 1 October)

29. On 3 October, it was reported that the IDF had rounded up a number of Hamas activists in the West Bank following warnings of imminent suicide attacks against Israeli targets. (Ha'aretz, 3 October)

30. On 10 October, the Jerusalem police allowed some 30 members of the Temple Mount Faithful movement onto the Temple Mount for the first time in several years. In a related development, the police allowed onto the Mount a member of the extreme right-wing Kahane Hai movement. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 11 October)

31. On 10 October, 40 members of a Jewish extremist group led by Gershon Solomon marched through the streets of the Old City shouting anti-Arab slogans. (The Jerusalem Times, 13 October)

32. On 10 and 11 October, the Civil Administration handed over to the Palestinian Authority its offices in the villages of Salfit (Nablus area), Kabatiya (Jenin area), Kharbata (Ramallah area) and Yatta (Hebron area). The closure of the offices marked the first phase of the Israeli army redeployment in the West Bank. Thirteen other such offices were due to be dismantled in Area B (the area encompassing some 450 villages and rural areas in the West Bank). (Ha'aretz, 10 October; Jerusalem Post, 10 and 12 October; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 13 October)

33. On 18 October, the Prisons Service completed the evacuation of Nablus prison (280 prisoners) and started to evacuate Jenid prison (60 prisoners) in anticipation of the Israeli army redeployment in the West Bank. Prisoners were transferred to other detention centres inside the Green Line. Preparations were under way for the handover of the facilities to the Palestinian Authority, scheduled for the end of December, when it would be given control over Nablus. (Ha'aretz, 19 October; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 20 October)

34. On 18 October, a provisional town council was established in Kalkiliya. Another town council took office in Jenin a day earlier. Both Kalkiliya and Jenin had collaborators as their mayors over recent years until they handed in their resignations in September. (Ha'aretz, 19 October)

35. On 20 October, hundreds of Arab residents staged a demonstration in Jaffa against the settlement of collaborators in Jaffa and other neighbourhoods of southern Tel Aviv. (Ha'aretz, 22 October)

36. On 22 October, Amnesty International strongly condemned as "legalized torture" the GSS law that was being drafted by the Justice Ministry. In a statement issued in London, the organization stated that the law would effectively legalize torture in Israel and the occupied territories and violate Israel's international treaty obligations. Amnesty International was referring to a definition of torture in the bill in which torture was said to be illegal "except for pain or suffering inherent in interrogation procedures or punishment according to the law". (Jerusalem Post, 23 October; Ha'aretz, 24 October)

37. On 22 October, security forces arrested six Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists in the Jenin area. (Ha'aretz, 23 October)

38. On 25 October, hundreds of cheering Palestinians celebrated in Jenin as the IDF began its pull-out from the town in the first phase of its redeployment in the West Bank. (Ha'aretz, 25 and 26 October; Jerusalem Post, 26 October; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 27 October)

39. On 26 October, Fathi Shakaki, a founder and leader of the Islamic Jihad, was shot dead (see list) in Malta by a gunman who fled the scene on a motorcycle. Islamic Jihad and Hamas blamed Mossad agents for the murder in broad daylight. It only became certain at the end of the week that the victim, first identified as a Libyan businessman, was Shakaki, who was travelling under an assumed name. Islamic Jihad chose Ramadan Abdallah Shalah as its new leader and called for revenge. More than 2,000 Gazan students demonstrated against the killing at Gaza's Islamic University while a general commercial strike was declared on 29 to 31 October in Hebron, Abu Dis, Bethlehem and Ramallah. In Hebron and Abu Dis, Palestinians burned tyres and threw stones at Israeli cars. (Ha'aretz, 29 and 31 October; Jerusalem Post, 29 and 30 October; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 3 November)

40. On 26 October, the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) issued a statement criticizing the Government of Israel's approval of "shaking" prisoners as a "special measure" during interrogation. The PHR indicated that violent shaking was potentially lethal as it could cause brain haemorrhage and irreparable brain damage. (The Jerusalem Times, 27 October)

41. On 1 November, 200 Palestinian labourers who were staying in Israel illegally were detained during a special police operation and transferred back to the territories after being interrogated. (Ha'aretz, 2 November)

42. On 2 November, a large crowd of Palestinian youths hoisted the Palestinian flag on the roof of the Jenin police station as a first contingent of 24 Palestinian police officers arrived in Jenin while the second stage of the Israeli army pull-out from the town was under way. (Jerusalem Post, 3 November)

43. On 2 November, the head of the Gaza Coast Regional Council, Zvi Hendel, stated that violent incidents, including shootings and the planting of bombs, were common occurrences in Gaza, but he indicated that many were not reported because they did not have a tragic outcome. Mr. Hendel made his statement following two suicide bombing attacks in Gaza in which 2 Palestinians were killed and 11 Israelis wounded. (Jerusalem Post, 3 November)

44. On 4 November, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a 27-year-old Jewish law student opposed to the peace process. Yitzhak Rabin was shot three times at close range as he was entering his official car after a massive pro-peace rally in Tel Aviv. He was not wearing a bullet-proof vest despite repeated threats against his life in recent weeks by extreme right-wing Jews who had branded him a "traitor" for starting to hand back the occupied West Bank to the Palestinians. The assassin, Yigal Amir, told police interrogators that he had acted alone, on God's orders, and that he had no regrets. He also told the police that he had twice attempted to approach the Prime Minister close enough to assassinate him and that he had also planned to murder Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. At an emergency Cabinet meeting, Shimon Peres was appointed Acting Prime Minister and Defence Minister. He immediately pledged to continue with the peace process. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 5 November; also referred to in Al-Tali'ah, 9 November, and The Jerusalem Times, 10 November)

45. On 4 November, thousands of Palestinians participated in a rally organized by the Islamic Jihad movement in the centre of Gaza City in commemoration of the assassination of Fathi Shakaki in Malta on 26 October. The speakers stated that Shakaki's murder would not paralyse the movement's activities and vowed to continue with its attacks. (Ha'aretz, 5 November)

46. On 6 November, a grieving nation of Israel and an assembly of world leaders paid a last tribute to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as his body was laid to rest on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 7 November)

47. On 6 November, Acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres reportedly instructed those in charge of implementing the interim peace accords to hasten the pace of army redeployment in the West Bank and to accelerate the transfer of authority to the Palestinians (also referred to in Al-Tali'ah, 9 November). Mr. Peres also stated that he had no intention of bringing forward the Israeli election date since he believed that he could move resolutely on the Palestinian issue during the following year. (Ha'aretz, 8 November)

48. On 7 November, the widow of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin blamed the Likud Party leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, and other Israeli right-wing inciters for helping to create the atmosphere that had led to her husband's assassination by a religious Jewish fanatic. In a series of television interviews, Mrs. Rabin blamed right-wing parliamentarians for giving extremely violent speeches in the Knesset and allowing incitement against her husband. Mrs. Rabin stated that in their speeches the parliamentarians had claimed that Israel was being sold and that it would cease to exist once the implementation of the peace accords was completed. (Ha'aretz, 8 November; Jerusalem Post, 7 November)

49. On 8 November, the Civil Administration handed over the postal services in the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority. The Director-General of the Palestinian Post and Communications Ministry declared that the Ministry had already started to issue stamps, some of which featured the Palestinian flag. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 9 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 10 November)

50. On 10 November, it was reported that the IDF had arrested four family members of Yihya Ayyash, a wanted Palestinian activist known as "The Engineer". The four were interrogated before being released. Ayyash's mother remained in detention, accused of aiding and abetting her son. (The Jerusalem Times, 10 November)

51. On 13 November, Israel pulled out its last troops from Jenin, which became the first West Bank town to revert to Palestinian rule. The final evacuation ended 28 years of Israeli military occupation of the town. (Ha'aretz, 14 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 17 November)

52. On 14 November, it was reported that the IDF had issued new rules for opening fire in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley. The rules, which dealt separately with the three types of areas in the West Bank (A, B and C), were said to be stricter than the previous ones, reportedly in light of what was described as the new reality in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley. (Ha'aretz, 14 November)

53. On 15 November, some 3,000 Palestinians gathered at the Yarmuk Stadium in Gaza to celebrate "Independence Day" (i.e. the seventh anniversary of Yasser Arafat's proclamation in Algiers of an independent Palestinian State as the "second step" on the way to real independence). Thousands of other Palestinians took to the streets in Jenin to celebrate the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the town two days earlier. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 16 November)

54. On 15 November, the Coordinator of the Government's activities in the territories, Brig.-Gen. Oren Shahor, and the Palestinian civil affairs negotiator, Jamil Tarifi, agreed on the transfer of five more spheres of authority to the Palestinians. These included transport, labour, population registry, the assessor's office and the remainder of the functions of the Interior Ministry. (Jerusalem Post, 16 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 24 November)

55. On 19 November, the Cabinet approved the establishment of an ad hoc inter-agency task force that would coordinate information and direct efforts to crack down on Jewish extremist groups involved in incitement and sedition. In addition, the Cabinet stated that the Government would not allow Jews from abroad to come to Israel as immigrants, tourists, residents or as citizens if they expressed support for illegal organizations or backed violent activities. However, the Cabinet did not issue any new regulations regarding Jewish extremists on the grounds that existing laws were sufficient and simply needed to be better enforced. (Jerusalem Post, 20 November)

56. On 19 November, a first contingent of 15 Palestinian officers and policemen arrived at the Tulkarm district coordination office and began a transfer of power operation with their Israeli counterparts, in preparation for the Israeli army's withdrawal from the town. The policemen, who arrived in Tulkarm wearing uniforms and equipped with personal arms, were greeted by hundreds of singing and dancing Palestinians. (Ha'aretz, 20 November)

57. On 20 November, it was reported that according to a public opinion poll conducted by the University of Haifa among 1,000 Jewish and Arab adults, 78 per cent of the Jewish respondents and 72 per cent of the Arab respondents felt that the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin would strengthen the peace process. However, 85 per cent of those questioned indicated that they would retain their current political positions. Of the 15 per cent who claimed to have changed their views, 14 per cent stated that they had become more dovish whereas 1 per cent stated that they had become more hawkish. (Jerusalem Post, 22 November)

58. On 22 November, Attorney-General Michael Ben-Yair held a meeting with a delegation of rabbis, most of whom were from the territories, and warned them that the Government's new policy would be much stricter in distinguishing between free speech and criminal incitement. (Jerusalem Post, 23 November)

59. On 23 November, the security forces arrested 16 Islamic Jihad activists in the West Bank. It was reported that since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin the security forces had carried out a number of such operations in numerous villages located in the Ramallah area, Nablus, Kalkiliya and near the settlements located in the Jenin area. Military sources reported that ammunition dumps and military instructions issued by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad had been discovered during the operations. (Ha'aretz, 26 November)

60. On 24 November, Palestinian sources reported that 11 Islamic Jihad activists had been arrested in villages near Jenin. The IDF stated that it was checking the report. (Jerusalem Post, 26 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 1 December)

61. On 24 November, it was reported that the Israeli army had started to withdraw from Tulkarm, Kalkiliya and Nablus and was due to pull out completely by 18 December. (Jerusalem Post, 24 November)

62. On 26 November, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), together with the Coalition for Freedom of Information and the Centre for Alternative Information, petitioned the High Court of Justice to order the Interior Ministry to release information concerning the way it had dealt with the Arab residents of Jerusalem since 1967. The petition asked for information on three subjects: the number of requests for family reunification submitted by Jerusalem Arabs since 1967 and the number of requests that had been granted; the number of requests for permanent residency submitted by former residents of Jerusalem; and the number of requests granted and the number of former residents of Jerusalem who had lost their permanent residency status because of extended stays in the territories or abroad. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 27 November)

63. On 27 November, Prime Minister Shimon Peres sent a firm message to Yasser Arafat from the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee stating that if the clauses in the Palestinian Covenant calling for Israel's destruction were not cancelled by March the peace process would be halted. The ultimatum was strengthened by his clarification that the decision to rescind the clauses had to be taken by both the Palestinian Self-Rule Council, which was to be elected in the autonomous areas, and the Palestinian National Council, representing the PLO leadership in Tunis. (Jerusalem Post, 28 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 1 December)

64. On 28 November, the IDF redeployment in the West Bank continued with the arrival of a dozen Palestinian policemen at the Kalkiliya district coordination office. It took place one day after 25 Palestinian policemen had arrived in Tulkarm, where they were greeted by hundreds of cheering Palestinians, and two days after the opening of the district coordination office in Nablus (also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 1 December). In Kalkiliya, however, the arrival of Palestinian police officers inspired little enthusiasm since the town, which was largely dependent for its livelihood on borders being open with Israel, had been feeling increasingly enclosed since the signing of the Oslo Accords. (Ha'aretz, 28 and 29 November; Jerusalem Post, 26 and 29 November)

65. On 28 November, it was reported that a first contingent of observers from EU had arrived in Israel and had set up their headquarters in Ramallah, in preparation for elections in the territories. (Ha'aretz, 28 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 1 December)

66. On 3 December, a first contingent of 15 Palestinian policemen entered Beit Jallah (Hebron district) to the cheers of hundreds of Palestinians who carried pictures of Yasser Arafat and chanted: "In spirit and blood we will redeem Palestine". (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 4 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

67. On 4 December, the Palestinian Authority dispatched police convoys from Jericho to the Kalkiliya and Tulkarm district coordinating offices in preparation for a final pull-out of IDF troops from the towns later in the month. Additional police officers were due to arrive in Nablus but their arrival was delayed amid continuing differences over the location of the district coordinating offices. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 5 December)

68. On 4 December, it was reported that the registration of eligible Palestinian voters would be prolonged because a substantial number of voters had not yet registered, particularly in East Jerusalem. Election registrar Hanna Amireh stated that one of the main reasons for which the residents of East Jerusalem hesitated to register was their fear of losing their residency rights once they had revealed that they had moved out of the City. Thousands of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are said to have left the City in recent years, reportedly because of high costs and other factors. These Palestinians had not notified any change of address to the Israeli authorities and many feared that Israel would inspect the Palestinian Authority voter registration forms in order to detect such changes. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 4 December)

69. On 5 December, the IDF announced that it had closed Dhahariya prison, south of Hebron, as part of its redeployment in the West Bank. Military sources stated that the prisoners had been transferred to detention facilities within the Green Line. (Jerusalem Post, 6 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

70. On 6 December, Meretz faction Chairman Ran Cohen submitted to the Knesset Law Committee a proposal calling for the demolition of both the memorial in honour of Baruch Goldstein in the Kiryat Arba settlement as well as the one in honour of Sallah Nazal, who had carried out the 1994 Tel Aviv bus bombing attack. Mr. Cohen also requested that the Committee prepare regulations that would prevent Goldstein's grave from becoming a site where further racist attacks were encouraged. (Jerusalem Post, 7 December)

71. On 6 December, it was reported that Civil Administration officers had begun collecting arms held by collaborators who lived in West Bank towns. Security sources stated that hundreds of collaborators had already asked to move to Israel. (Ha'aretz, 6 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

72. On 6 December, Palestinian Minister without Portfolio Faisal Husseini appealed to the Arab residents of Jerusalem to register as voters and reassured them that registering would in no way compromise their rights as citizens of Jerusalem. Husseini said that only 70,000 out of the 110,000 persons eligible to vote in Jerusalem had registered so far. In a separate development, the PFLP issued a statement in which it reiterated its determination to fight for a boycott of the elections. The PFLP also called for the evacuation of all the West Bank settlements and the Arabization of Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

73. On 8 December, the Israeli Military Attorney-General for the Occupied Territories prohibited the Muslim Brotherhood from setting up an organization. The ban was issued on 30 November, although no formal legal measure exists prohibiting the creation of such an organization. Palestinian attorney Usamah Odeh explained that the decision had been taken in the context of the rising number of Muslim Brothers coming to Palestine from Jordan. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

74. On 8 December, it was reported that Palestinian, Arab and Islamic circles had reacted strongly to the news of a plan by an Israeli religious extremist to blow up the Al-Aqsa Mosque using rockets. The news broke earlier in the week when the Israeli authorities arrested Yigal Kenan on charges of planning an armed attack on the mosque. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

75. On 10 December, thousands of Palestinians from Tulkarm and nearby villages and refugee camps flocked to the centre of Tulkarm to hold celebrations as the IDF pulled out of the town and was replaced by 400 Palestinian policemen. Tulkarm was the third West Bank town (following Jericho and Jenin) to revert to Palestinian rule. In another development, a first contingent of Palestinian Police officers moved into the Hebron district coordinating office on Har Manoah and began preparations for the redeployment of the Palestinian Police in five police stations in the rural (B) area around Hebron. (Ha'aretz, 10 December; Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 11 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 15 December)

76. On 11 December, it was reported that the security authorities in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence had decided to build a 12 kilometre-long separation fence west of Kalkiliya and Tulkarm. According to security sources' estimates, the fence would help decrease criminal activity and infiltrations from the West Bank into Israel. (Ha'aretz, 11 December)

77. On 11 December, tens of thousands of Palestinians held celebrations in Nablus as IDF troops withdrew from the town, which was the fourth West Bank town to revert to Palestinian rule. During the pull-out, hundreds of residents spat and threw stones at soldiers and verbally abused them. After the last soldiers had left, hundreds of Palestinian youths stormed the military government headquarters, took down the Israeli flag and burned it. In a separate development, hundreds of Palestinians from the Ramallah area welcomed the arrival of a contingent of some 15 Palestinian officers at the Ramallah district coordinating office. In another development, Palestinian security forces entered three police stations in villages located in the B area around Tulkarm, thereby completing their deployment in that area. In Tulkarm itself, Israeli border police and the Palestinian Police began conducting joint patrols along the road crossing the town. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 12 and 13 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 15 December; Al-Tali'ah, 21 December)

78. On 13 December, Deputy Defence Minister Ori Orr told the Knesset plenum that a major problem was that there was no peace with the Palestinians but only a Declaration of Principles, which was being converted into a peace treaty with considerable effort. Mr. Orr stated that making peace while hatred prevailed on the ground was difficult but that there was no other alternative. He made his statement as he was answering motions to the agenda regarding the shooting of a settler and his daughter in the West Bank and the withdrawal of IDF troops from Nablus, which had been accompanied by the burning of the Israeli flag on top of the abandoned military headquarters. (Jerusalem Post, 14 December)

79. On 14 December, Prime Minister Shimon Peres told the Labour Party's political bureau that unless the PLO took more action to curb "terrorism", the peace process would be halted. Mr. Peres also recalled that the PLO had undertaken to amend its National Charter by March. (Jerusalem Post, 15 December)

80. On 16 December, at least 25,000 Hamas supporters held a rally in Gaza during which Hamas officially announced its decision to boycott Palestinian elections in the territories and continue its jihad (holy war) against Israel until the whole of Palestine was liberated. Hamas claimed in its statement that ignoring the question of Jerusalem and the existence of settlements proved that the Palestinian people would not be able to achieve sovereignty and that the elections based on the Oslo Agreements would not grant them their rights. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 17 December)

81. On 16 December, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of Kalkiliya to celebrate as the IDF pulled out of the town. Unlike the Israeli army pull-out from Nablus, there were no hostile incidents against the departing IDF soldiers, who left the town after a brief handing-over ceremony at the local police station. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 17 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 22 December)

82. On 18 December, it was reported that President Ezer Weizman had turned down a request to meet with a group of settlers who wished to return to live within the Green Line. The President reportedly declined the request on the grounds that the question of evacuating settlers living in the territories was not on the agenda for the time being. (Jerusalem Post, 18 December)

83. On 20 December, the security forces announced that 15 Hamas "terrorists" from the Tulkarm area had been arrested on charges of planning attacks, including suicide bombings, against Israeli targets. Military sources announced that further arrests were expected. Meanwhile, OC Central Command revealed that 3,400 Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists involved in "terrorist" organizations had been detained throughout the West Bank over the past year. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 21 December)

84. On 21 December, the head of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), Maj.-Gen. Gabi Ophir, stated that dozens of suspected "terrorists" from Bethlehem and the surrounding villages had been arrested in the course of the previous weeks. (Jerusalem Post, 22 December)

85. On 21 December, thousands of Palestinians celebrated in Bethlehem as the IDF pulled out of the town and hundreds of Palestinian policemen moved into the area. Throughout the town, church bells rang and fireworks lit the sky. Pictures of Yasser Arafat decorated numerous windows and facades and men dressed as Santa Claus distributed candies to children. Bethlehem, with some 45,000 residents, was the sixth West Bank town to revert to Palestinian rule. The others were Jericho, Jenin, Tulkarm, Nablus and Kalkiliya. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 22 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 22 December)

86. On 26 December, some 310 Palestinian policemen were deployed in five villages in the rural (B) area around Hebron. The villages were Dahariyeh, Yatta, Nuba, Dura and Babi-Naim. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 26 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 29 December)

87. On 26 December, the spokesman for the Coordinator of the Government's activities in the territories confirmed that Israel had agreed that five more seats be added to the Palestinian Council. This brought the number of Council seats to 89 (including a seat for Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat). (Jerusalem Post, 27 December)

88. On 27 December, the IDF withdrew from Ramallah and Al-Bireh amid cheers and stone-throwing incidents. Immediately after the last convoy of border police jeeps had left Ramallah, the Palestinian flag was raised on top of the local police station and thousands of residents took to the streets to celebrate the pull-out, which brought to an end the first stage of the Israeli army withdrawal from West Bank towns. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 28 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 29 December)

2. Incidents resulting from the occupation

89. The following abbreviations of the names of newspapers are used in the tables:

(a) List of Palestinians killed by troops or Israeli civilians

Date
Name and age
Place of residence
Remarks and source
25 AugustIbrahim Kawasmeh, 25Hebron area (West Bank)Wanted member of Izz al-Din al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas. Deported to Lebanon in 1992. Accused of planning several attacks against Israelis. Shot dead in Hebron by the Israeli army's Duvdevan undercover unit. (H, JP, 27 August; also referred to in JT, 1 September)
25 AugustNasser (Nader) Shehadeh, 22 or 23Hebron area (West Bank)Wanted member of Izz al-Din al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas. Shot dead in Hebron by the Israeli army's Duvdevan undercover unit. (H, JP, 27 August; also referred to in JT, 1 September)
8 SeptemberSalaman Zamareh, 24Halhoul (West Bank)Killed by gunmen disguised as IDF soldiers (JT, 15 September)
20 SeptemberOmar (Ahmad) Razawi, 17

Omar Hiron, 17
Nablus (West Bank)Shot in the back by a soldier while they were standing among a group of stone-throwers in Nablus. (H, JP, 21 September; also referred to in AT, 18 September; JT, 22 September)
20 SeptemberNaser Ha'oun, 23Nablus (West Bank)Killed by IDF gunfire during riots in Nablus in protest against the killing of a Palestinian youth by an IDF soldier earlier in the day (H, JP, 21 September)
20 SeptemberAla Nimr, 28Gaza (Gaza Strip)Hamas activist. Died from wounds sustained in 1993 when he was shot in the head by IDF soldiers during a protest in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood (JP, 21 September)
24 SeptemberAmar Ali Abdallah A-Tanbur, 17 or 19Nablus (West Bank)Shot in the chest by the IDF during a stone-throwing incident in Nablus (H, 27 September; also referred to in JT, 29 September)
26 OctoberFathi Shakaki, 45DamascusFounder and leader of the Islamic Jihad. Set up headquarters in Damascus after being deported from the territories in 1988. Shot in the head at close range in Malta by an unidentified gunman who escaped on a motorcycle driven by another man. The Islamic Jihad and Hamas blamed Israel for the killing. Israel neither acknowledged nor denied involvement in the assassination, but Israeli political leaders welcomed the removal of a hated militant chief (H, JP, 29 October; JP, 29 and 30 October; also referred to in JT, 3 November)
28 NovemberAbed El Karim Masalma, 35Beit Awa (West Bank)Member of the military wing of Hamas. On the IDF wanted list. Killed by IDF troops and the security forces after refusing to surrender. (H, 29 November; also referred to in JT, 1 December)
3 NovemberMuhamad A-Rahmi, 14 1/2Jalazone refugee camp (West Bank)Killed in a hit-and-run attack, apparently by a Jewish settler who fired at three Palestinian boys through a hole in the fence separating the Jalazone refugee camp from the adjacent road. (H, 29 December)
1 DecemberBasam Fawad Hussein, 17Deir el Hatab villageShot dead by an IDF soldier who opened fire at a group of Palestinians near Beit Dajan village. According to Palestinian eyewitnesses, the youth was shot for no apparent reason. According to the IDF, he was shot during a stone-throwing incident. (H, 3 December)
1 or 2 December(Not reported)(Not reported)Shot dead by masked gunmen in the village of Awarta (Nablus area). (H, 3 December)
8 DecemberTalal Mustafa Abu Issa, 20 or 23NablusShot in the head by IDF soldiers during a stone-throwing incident in the centre of Nablus. (H, JP, 10 December)
14 DecemberRa'ed Mahmoud A-Sarsur, 22HebronHamas member. Released from prison under the Oslo Agreements. Shot several times in the chest and hand by Israeli border policemen as he was stabbing two Jewish settlers in the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron (H, JP, 15 December; also referred to in JT, 15 December)


(b) List of other Palestinians killed as a result of the occupation

Date
Name and age
Place of residence
Remarks and source
21 AugustSufiyan Salem Abed El-Rabu Sabih or Jabarin, 26 or 27Dahariyeh refugee camp near Hebron (West Bank)Hamas suicide bomber. Detonated a bomb on a crowded Egged company bus in Jerusalem. (H, JP, 22 and 24 August; also referred to in JT, 25 August)
13 SeptemberIbrahim Naffar, 33 or 34Gaza City (Gaza Strip)Wanted member of Izz al-Din al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas. Killed when a bomb he was preparing exploded in an apartment in Gaza City (H, JP, 14 September)
19 SeptemberJuma Swairki, 45(Not reported)Suspected collaborator. Shot in the head in Kalkiliya by a masked assailant. (JP, 20 September)
7 OctoberMohammad Abu Shakra, 21 or 23RamallahPalestinian detainee. Found dead at the Ketziot detention facility. According to military sources, was killed by inmates who suspected he was a collaborator. According to Hamas, was killed by inmates collaborating with the Israeli authorities. According to the JT, the PNA stated that he had died as a result of torture. (H, JP, 10 October; also referred to in JT, 13 October)
1 November(Not reported)(Not reported)Islamic Jihad suicide bomber, killed when he detonated a car bomb near an Israeli bus in Gush Katif (GS). (H, JP, 3 November)
29 NovemberAli Aisheh, 38NablusSuspected collaborator. Shot dead in the Balata refugee camp by three Palestinians, members of the Fatah Hawks (JP, 30 November)
7 DecemberAdel Sabbih, 50El-Khader village (Bethlehem area)Shot dead by four masked men in Beit Jallah, apparently because of his land dealings. (H, JP, 8 December)
11 DecemberAbu Sabra Rahman, 33GazaStabbed to death at Beersheba prison by several Arab inmates. According to the Prisons Service, the killing was motivated by a dispute. (JP, 12 December)
27 December(Not reported)Azzun village (Tulkarm area)Suspected collaborator. Shot dead in the Tulkarm area. (H, 28 December)


(c) Other incidents

90. On 19 August, an IDF soldier was slightly injured when an explosive device was detonated on the road separating Khan Younis from Gush Katif. Soldiers fired at the man suspected of detonating the device but he managed to escape to Khan Younis. An anonymous caller informed the French news agency in Gaza that the PFLP had carried out the attack in order to show its determination to continue perpetrating attacks against Israel. In a separate incident, a settler was injured during a stone-throwing incident in Ramallah. Other stone-throwing incidents took place in Nablus. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 20 August)

91. On 20 August, two incidents in which stones were thrown at IDF vehicles occurred in the Hebron area; no injuries were reported. Two Palestinians were arrested by IDF soldiers in connection with the incidents. A demolition charge exploded as an IDF patrol was passing near the border with Egypt, south of Rafiah; no harm or injuries were reported. In Jerusalem, the police arrested nine members of the Hai Vekayam movement who engaged in a violent confrontation with members of the Waqf at the Temple Mount when they tried to enter the Temple Mount compound in order to pray there; two activists and a press photographer were injured during the clash. (Ha'aretz, 21 August)

92. On 21 August, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb on a crowded bus in the Ramot Eshkol neighbourhood of Jerusalem, killing himself (see list) and four Israeli passengers and wounding 106 others. In a statement issued on the Damascus-based Al-Quds Radio, Izz al-Din al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas, stated that it had carried out the attack and vowed to continue such attacks until Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was toppled from power. Following the attack, Israel suspended peace talks with the Palestinians until after the burial of the victims. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 22 and 24 August; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 25 August and 1 September)

93. On 22 August, a Palestinian woman was shot and moderately wounded by a border policeman at the Ras Al-Amud checkpoint in Jerusalem after she had tried twice to stab a border policeman in the chest. Three incidents in which stones were thrown at IDF and settlers' vehicles occurred in the Hebron area without any injuries being reported. A border policeman was slightly injured in the Ramallah area during another stone-throwing incident. Other incidents in which stones were thrown at settlers' vehicles took place on the Ramallah road in the vicinity of settlements. In Jerusalem, the police arrested a 17-year-old Jew suspected of beating and spitting at an Arab woman from East Jerusalem. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 23 August)

94. On 23 August, two armed youths, allegedly Hamas activists, shot and moderately injured in Jenin a Palestinian man employed by the Public Works Department on the construction of the Jenin bypass road. Palestinian sources reported that a Palestinian youth from Jenin was slightly injured during the incident. In a separate incident, a settler from Kdumim (Tulkarm area) claimed that while he was guarding the entrance to the settlement three Palestinian youths had attacked him with tear-gas and seized his M-16 rifle. In Jerusalem, the police arrested six members of the Hai Vekayam movement who had tried to enter the Temple Mount in order to pray there. It was also reported that numerous stone-throwing incidents had occurred in the Hebron area. According to military sources, two border policemen were slightly injured during the incidents. Two other incidents in which stones were thrown at settlers' vehicles took place at the Kisufim junction in the Gaza Strip. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 24 August)

95. On 24 August, a demolition charge exploded in the Ramot Eshkol settlement near Jerusalem; no injuries were reported. (Ha'aretz, 25 August)

96. On 25 August, an IDF undercover unit shot dead two wanted Hamas gunmen (see list) who had barricaded themselves inside a house in Hebron. The house, which belonged to Ribhi Sultan, was subsequently destroyed. Several other suspects were rounded up for questioning. A general commercial strike to mourn the killing was proclaimed in Hebron the following day. Residents strongly condemned as unnecessary the killing as well as the demolition of the house where the men were hiding. Several eyewitnesses stated that the two men had come out of the house in order to surrender to the soldiers, who nevertheless continued with heavy gunfire from several directions. The Mayor of Hebron, Mustafa Natshe, also claimed that the men could have been apprehended without bloodshed, while Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Authority's Minister for Local Government Affairs, described the incident as murder committed in cold blood. In a separate development, a border policeman was slightly injured in the head by a stone thrown at him in Hebron. Other stone-throwing incidents took place in Nablus, Hebron and Ramallah. Two Egged company bus drivers were slightly injured by stones thrown at them in Ramallah. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 27 August; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 1 September)

97. On 26 August, two Palestinian boys from a village in the Ramallah area were injured, one slightly and the other moderately, when a device one of them was holding exploded. According to Palestinian sources, the device was part of the ammunition that had been abandoned by the IDF in the area. (Ha'aretz, 27 August)

98. On 28 August, a riot broke out in Jericho to protest the siege imposed on the town. Three Israeli policemen were slightly injured when Palestinians threw stones at them. The IDF used tear-gas to quell the demonstration. (The Jerusalem Times, 1 September)

99. On 30 August, a young Palestinian man from the Ramallah area and a Palestinian woman from Beit Hanina tried, in two separate incidents, to stab border policemen guarding the home in the Muslim Quarter of Likud Member of the Knesset Ariel Sharon. A policeman was slightly injured in his hands in one of the incidents. Both the attackers were apprehended. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 31 August)

100. On 31 August, the police detained two Palestinian teenage sisters for allegedly trying to stab Israeli soldiers at the entrance to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post, 1 September)

101. On 2 September, police arrested a 60-year-old Jew for allegedly stabbing a 70-year-old Arab in Jerusalem. The victim reportedly suffered slight wounds in the back. (Jerusalem Post, 3 September)

102. On 3 September, two incendiary bottles were thrown at IDF vehicles in the territories. No injuries or damage were reported. (Ha'aretz, 5 September)

103. On 4 September, a number of stone-throwing incidents took place in the Ramallah area, in Nablus and in Jenin. Several injuries were reported. (Ha'aretz, 5 September)

104. On 5 September, a 28-year-old Jewish settler was killed, apparently by a "terrorist" who broke into his home in the Maaleh Mikhmas settlement located north-east of Jerusalem. His wife, 29, who was five months pregnant, suffered multiple stab wounds to her lungs, liver and arm, and lost the baby. An anonymous caller telephoned a news agency in Jerusalem and claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of the PFLP. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 6 September)

105. On 7 September, Palestinian students and right-wing protesters clashed outside Orient House following a week of daily confrontations near the building. Palestinian youths threw three bottles with acid-like liquid at the protesters after the latter burned pictures of PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. Later on, Palestinian youths threw two additional bottles at border policemen outside Orient House. Two right-wing protesters and a border policeman were slightly injured during the clashes. The police detained five Arabs, three of whom were minors, on suspicion of participating in the demonstration. One right-wing activist was also detained but was released after a couple of minutes. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 8 September)

106. On 8 September, a resident of Halhoul (see list) was shot dead in his home by unidentified gunmen dressed in IDF uniforms. The IDF indicated that no soldiers were in the area when the shooting occurred. Police stated that five gunmen had entered Halhoul and started banging on the doors. They were holding a list and forced people out of their homes and conducted searches. Finally, they arrived at the house of the wanted person wearing masks and forced their way in. They beat and handcuffed the father and shot three times at the son when he returned home. A group calling itself Eyal, which is composed of members of the former Kach organization, claimed responsibility for the killing. The same group had claimed responsibility in 1991 for the killing of three Palestinians in their car. (The Jerusalem Times, 15 September)

107. On 13 September, a powerful explosion in a Gaza City apartment killed a wanted member of Izz al-Din al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas (see list) and moderately wounded a Palestinian woman. The Palestinian Police reported that the man had been killed when a bomb he was preparing exploded in the apartment, where more than 10 kilograms of TNT and other explosives were found. In Jerusalem, 10 activists of the Hai Vekayam movement were apprehended by the police and the border police when they tried to enter the Temple Mount to pray there. In a separate development in Hebron, eight babies were rushed to hospital after being affected by tear-gas fired by IDF soldiers during violent clashes between settlers and Palestinians in Hebron. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 14 September)

108. On 14 September, hundreds of Palestinians clashed with IDF soldiers in Hebron during a rally to protest against the "aggressiveness" of Jewish settlers. The demonstration, in which hundreds of students, senior public figures and members of Fatah's Higher Committee participated, was said to be the largest demonstration held in the town since the Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) massacre. Mouhamad Amin El-Jabari, a leading Fatah member in Hebron, stated that the protest was an expression of public anger at both the behaviour of settlers towards the Palestinian residents of Hebron and the support settlers were given by the IDF. Several youths were injured by tear-gas inhalation, while a border policeman was injured by a stone thrown at him during the clashes. In a separate incident, an IDF soldier was moderately injured by stones thrown at him when he tried to assist settlers whose car was being pelted with stones near the town of Halhoul. An incendiary bottle was thrown at a police station in Bethlehem. Two other incendiary bottles were thrown at IDF patrols in the Hebron area; no injuries were reported in either incident. A number of stone-throwing incidents took place in the Bethlehem area, in Nablus and in Ramallah. Several IDF vehicles were damaged during the incidents. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 15 September)

109. On 15 and 16 September, violent clashes took place in Hebron between Palestinian youths and IDF soldiers. Dozens of youths reportedly pelted soldiers with stones and rocks from rooftops, burned tyres and set up barricades on streets. Soldiers resorted to firing stun grenades, tear-gas and rubber bullets in order to disperse the demonstrators. Palestinian sources reported that a Palestinian woman was moderately injured by a stone while two other Palestinians were injured by tear-gas inhalation. (Ha'aretz, 17 September)

110. On 17 September, a Jewish man was stabbed and seriously wounded by two Arabs in the Old City's Muslim Quarter. In Hebron, clashes occurred between Palestinians and IDF troops. Several incidents in which stones were thrown at the IDF and border police troops were reported in Ramallah. Two additional incidents in which stones were thrown at settlers' vehicles were reported in Gush Katif (Gaza Strip). No harm or injuries were reported. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 18 September)

111. On 19 September, a Palestinian man suspected of collaborating with Israel was shot dead (see list) by a masked assailant in Kalkiliya. (Jerusalem Post, 20 September)

112. On 20 September, a soldier opened fire and killed a Palestinian teenager (see list) when youths threw stones at an army patrol in Nablus. Eleven other residents were reportedly injured after inhaling tear-gas or being hit by rubber bullets. A funeral procession in which hundreds of persons participated took place shortly after the incident. The youth's mother claimed that the IDF had prevented her from leaving the Gaza Strip in order to participate in her son's funeral because of the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip. After the funeral, violent riots erupted in Nablus to protest against the killing. An IDF special forces (undercover) unit responded by opening fire at the demonstrators, killing a young Palestinian man (see list). Ten others were injured, two of them critically, seven moderately and one slightly. One was shot in the back with live ammunition and the other in the head and chest. According to the IDF, only seven people were injured during the riots. Two Israeli border policemen were slightly injured during the clashes. In Gaza, a Hamas activist died from gunshot wounds he had sustained when he was shot in the head by IDF soldiers in 1993 (see list). (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 21 September; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 22 September)

113. On 20 September, two unarmed Palestinian youths were killed in Nablus during clashes with Israeli soldiers (see list). Eleven other residents were reportedly injured after inhaling tear-gas or being hit by rubber bullets. Later in the day, an Israeli special forces unit opened fire at persons attending the funeral of one of the youths. Nine Palestinians were reported injured, including Mahmoud Abu Salha, 24, who was transferred to Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem after being hit by a bullet in the head. Riots were also reported the following day despite the curfew imposed on the town. (The Jerusalem Times, 22 September)

114. On 21 September, violent clashes erupted in Nablus for the second consecutive day in protest against the killing of 2 Palestinians and the injuring of 10 others during clashes with the IDF the previous day. Hundreds of youths blocked roads, burned tyres and threw objects at soldiers and Israeli vehicles. Large numbers of IDF and border police troops responded by firing tear-gas and rubber bullets at the protesters, injuring two Palestinians. The riots, which according to residents were reminiscent of the beginning of the intifadah, were accompanied by a general commercial strike that was observed throughout the city. A number of incidents were reported throughout the territories: a border policeman was slightly injured in the head during one of several stone-throwing incidents that occurred in the Hebron area. Other stone-throwing incidents took place in the Ramallah area. In a separate development, a soldier seriously injured a Palestinian "terrorist" who had tried to kidnap him near Yakneam. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 22 September)

115. On 22 September, it was reported that three Arabs, Walid Shubak, Nidal Shubak and their cousin, Sammi Shubak, a former Hebron policeman who speaks Hebrew very well, had been arrested for the murder of Hussein Zamreh on 8 September. The arrest took place after the Israeli authorities had exhumed the body for autopsy on 15 September, despite the refusal of the family of the deceased to allow the autopsy. (The Jerusalem Times, 22 September)

116. On 23 September, hundreds of Palestinians clashed with IDF troops in Hebron as soldiers fired rubber bullets and stun grenades in order to disperse Palestinian stone-throwers. At least two Palestinians were injured during the clashes. During another incident in Hebron, IDF troops shot in the leg a 45-year-old Palestinian man when he and other members of his family tried to prevent his son from being arrested on suspicion of throwing stones a day earlier. A general commercial strike was proclaimed in Hebron to protest against the Oslo II Agreement, which envisaged a continued presence of IDF troops and Jewish settlers in the city. A general strike was also held for the third consecutive day in Nablus where dozens of youths closed off downtown streets, put up barricades, burned tyres and threw stones at IDF troops who responded with tear-gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets, wounding three youths. It was also reported that three gunmen had opened fire at a border police post near the Vered Yericho settlement. No injuries were reported. The gunmen managed to escape to Jericho. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 24 September)

117. On 24 September, IDF soldiers shot in the chest and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian man when a group of youths threw stones at soldiers and military vehicles in the centre of Nablus (see list). Hundreds of residents participated in the youth's funeral and a general strike was proclaimed in the city. Disturbances were reported during the night and early morning hours when young Palestinians burned tyres and threw stones at Israeli patrols. The following day, hundreds of members of the Fatah Hawks and their supporters marched through the town calling for an escalation of the confrontation and throwing stones at Israeli army vehicles. The IDF continued to fire at demonstrators and used tear-gas bombs. At least 20 Palestinians had reportedly been injured in Nablus during the previous week. In a separate incident in Nablus, a border policeman was slightly injured by stones thrown at a border police patrol. It was also reported that three Palestinians were injured during clashes with IDF troops in the centre of Hebron. Dozens of youths reportedly threw stones and empty bottles at soldiers who responded by firing tear-gas and warning shots in order to disperse the protesters. (Ha'aretz, 27 September; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 28 September)

118. On 26 September, riots erupted in Nablus with Palestinian demonstrators throwing stones and bottles at IDF soldiers who responded by firing tear-gas and rubber bullets at the demonstrators. A Palestinian was slightly injured by tear-gas inhalation. Two incendiary bottles were thrown at IDF troops in Hebron. The bottles exploded on the road without causing any injuries. (Ha'aretz, 27 September)

119. On 28 September, the day of the signing of the Oslo II Agreement in Washington, D.C., the residents of the Dheisheh refugee camp started to dismantle the barbed wire surrounding the camp. The Israeli army closed the main road near the camp and fired stun bombs and tear-gas grenades. (The Jerusalem Times, 6 October)

120. On 29 September, a rabbi was stabbed in the back in the Old City of Jerusalem. Police and border policemen arrived at the scene shortly afterwards and detained dozens of Arab youths on David Street. In addition, police ordered the owners of shops on the street to close them and come to the police station in order to testify about the incident. In Hebron, incendiary bottles and stones were thrown at Israeli vehicles and IDF soldiers in protest against the Oslo II Agreement, which allowed 450 Jewish settlers to remain in Hebron under IDF guard. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 1 October)

121. On 30 September, two IDF soldiers and two border policemen were injured in Tulkarm and Hebron when empty bottles and stones were thrown at IDF patrols. (Ha'aretz, 1 October)

122. On 2 October, a number of clashes between IDF troops and Palestinians took place in the territories, mainly in the Hebron area. In the Ramallah area, two Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets fired by IDF while an IDF soldier was slightly injured in the hand by a stone. In another incident, shots were fired at an Israeli vehicle in Kalkiliya. (Ha'aretz, 3 October)

123. On 2 October, three Palestinian youths were injured in the Ramallah area by unidentified objects left by the Israeli army following military exercises in the vicinity of the village of Badras. (The Jerusalem Times, 6 October)

124. On 3 October, an Israeli policeman was slightly injured when an explosive device was detonated near an army patrol in the Gaza Strip; IDF soldiers responded with gunfire. Two IDF soldiers were lightly injured during a number of stone-throwing incidents in Hebron. Other incidents occurred in the Ramallah area, Jenin and Nablus; no harm or injuries were reported. (Ha'aretz, 5 October)

125. On 7 October, a number of incidents took place in the territories: Palestinian sources reported that two Palestinian youths were injured by rubber bullets fired by IDF during a number of clashes in Hebron. An IDF soldier was slightly injured in the hand during the clashes. Other incidents, mainly involving the throwing of stones at IDF and settlers' vehicles, took place in the Ramallah district. (Ha'aretz, 8 October)

126. On 8 and 9 October, riots erupted in Ramallah in protest against the death of a Palestinian detainee at the Ketziot detention camp (see list). Dozens of Palestinians threw stones at IDF soldiers and border policemen who responded by firing rubber bullets and tear-gas at the demonstrators (also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 13 October). A Palestinian and a border policeman were injured during the clashes. Five demonstrators were detained. Clashes between IDF troops and Palestinians also took place in the Nablus area. An IDF officer was slightly injured when stones were thrown at his vehicle in Nablus. Other incidents in which stones were thrown at IDF soldiers took place in the Hebron area. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 10 October)

127. On 11 October, six members of the extreme right-wing group Hai Vekayam were detained when some 25 members of the group tried to get past the police guarding the entrances to the Temple Mount. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 12 October)

128. On 17 October, IDF soldiers fired stun grenades in order to break up a demonstration of several hundred Palestinians who protested in Ramallah against Israel's refusal to release all Palestinian prisoners. Six Palestinians were injured during the clash. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 18 October; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 20 October)

129. On 18 October, four petrol bombs were thrown at the IDF outpost in Beit Hadassah in Hebron. The IDF spokesman stated that the petrol bombs had not caused any injuries or property damage. (Jerusalem Post, 19 October)

130. On 21 October, some 200 Palestinians participated in a march in Bethlehem calling for the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. The protesters marched from the Red Cross building to the City Hall, bearing placards that read "Without Palestinian prisoner release there will be no peace". (Jerusalem Post, 22 October)

131. On 25 October, three incendiary bottles were thrown at the police station in Jenin. The bottles exploded on the ground without causing any damage. In a separate incident, stones were thrown at IDF patrols in the centre of the town. A border policeman was hit in the head and slightly injured. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 26 October; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 27 October)

132. On 1 November, several members of a "terrorist" cell riding in a stolen United Nations vehicle shot and seriously wounded a rabbi near the Kokhav Ya'acov settlement (Ramallah area). The PFLP stated that it had carried out the attack. Large numbers of police and IDF soldiers were dispatched to the scene, which was declared a closed military zone, and began searches during which a number of Palestinians were detained for questioning. Meanwhile, the head of the Binyamin Regional Council issued a statement warning that settlers from the area would wage war and defend themselves with guns, preventive fire and the deployment of armed patrols. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 2 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 3 November)

133. On 2 November, two suicide bombers detonated two car bombs in the proximity of two Israeli buses in the Gush Katif area of the Gaza Strip, killing themselves (see list) and slightly injuring 11 Israelis, three of whom were soldiers. The Islamic Jihad movement stated that it had carried out the attacks. Shortly after the bombings, which were apparently carried out to avenge the killing of Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shakaki, a large number of IDF and border police troops were quickly dispatched to the area. They began searches and closed the Gush Katif to Palestinian traffic. In a separate incident, a man was slightly injured when stones were thrown at a bus he was travelling in in the village of Beitin (Ramallah area). Another incident in which stones were thrown at an Israeli bus took place near the settlements of Hermesh and Mevo Dotan. Three Palestinians were arrested in connection with the incident. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 3 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 3 November)

134. On 15 November, an IDF soldier and a bus driver were slightly injured during two separate stone-throwing incidents in the Ramallah area. Another IDF soldier was slightly injured during a stone-throwing incident in Al-Bireh, while an Egged bus company driver was slightly injured when his bus was stoned and its windscreen smashed in the vicinity of Beitin village. Two incendiary bottles were thrown at two Israeli vehicles near the Mevo Shiloh settlement; no harm or injuries were reported. In Nablus, during a march celebrating the Declaration of independence, Palestinian youths threw stones and rocks at military vehicles and burned tyres. Soldiers responded with gunfire and tear-gas, injuring one Palestinian. (Jerusalem Post, 16 November; also referred to The Jerusalem Times, 17 November)

135. On 16 November, a number of incidents were reported throughout the territories: a former Palestinian prisoner from Nablus was apprehended when he tried to stab a border policeman in the vicinity of East Jerusalem's central bus station. When questioned, the man stated that he had wanted to stab an Israeli in order to prove that he was not a collaborator. In a separate incident, an IDF soldier was slightly injured when stones were thrown at IDF troops in Hebron. Two other soldiers were slightly injured during one of several stone-throwing incidents in the Ramallah area. Other stone-throwing incidents took place in Nablus and in the vicinity of the Cave of the Patriarchs (Ibrahimi Mosque) in Hebron. It was further reported that an Israeli taxi driver had sustained a light stab wound after being attacked at Kibbutz Dvir, allegedly by two Arab passengers. (Ha'aretz, 17 November; Jerusalem Post, 17 and 19 November)

136. On 18 November, two Palestinians were injured during an explosion in Tulkarm. (Jerusalem Post, 18 November)

137. On 23 November, the police detained 10 members of the Hai Vekayam movement and confiscated their identity papers after they tried to enter the Temple Mount. (Jerusalem Post, 24 November)

138. On 27 November, a Palestinian driver was injured when border policemen opened fired at his vehicle after he had evaded a roadblock in Beit Horon. The police reported that the majority of the nine passengers who were in the vehicle did not have permits to stay in Israel. (Ha'aretz, 28 November)

139. On 28 November, IDF troops shot dead a wanted Hamas activist in the Deir Awa village (Hebron area) after he had refused to come out of the house in which he was hiding and surrender (see list). The Palestinian Authority denounced what it described as a summary execution and called on Israel to desist immediately from carrying out such killings. (Ha'aretz, 29 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 1 December)

140. On 29 November, IDF troops fired stun grenades at a crowded coffee shop in Kabatiya in the liberated Jenin area and at an angry crowd outside the shop after customers had refused to hand over a Palestinian fugitive who had sought refuge inside the coffee shop. Two Israeli border policemen were kidnapped east of Kabatiya by the Fatah Black Panthers, apparently in response to the incident, but were later freed by the Palestinian Police. Upon their release, the border policemen were immediately suspended from duty (also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 1 December). In another development, three Fatah vigilantes lured a suspected informer into the Balata refugee camp near Nablus and shot him to death (see list). (Ha'aretz, 30 November; Jerusalem Post, 30 November and 1 December)

141. On 30 November, some 23 Palestinians were wounded, three of them seriously, by IDF gunfire during a four-hour clash in Nablus, which was said to have been one of the fiercest in that town for more than two months. An IDF officer and two border policemen were also injured during the clash. The incident reportedly began when an IDF patrol fired rubber bullets and live ammunition after being attacked with stones and empty bottles by hundreds of Palestinian youths who were demonstrating to commemorate the killing in Nablus of four members of the Black Panthers by Israeli undercover troops six years earlier (also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 1 December). In a separate incident, two IDF reserve soldiers were wounded, one of them seriously and the other slightly, when shots were fired at a jeep escorting a bus near the Shaked settlement (Jenin area). Two explosive devices were found during searches of the area. Another IDF soldier was moderately wounded by an incendiary bottle thrown at an IDF patrol in a village near Tulkarm. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 1 December)

142. On 1 December, an IDF soldier opened fire at a group of eight Palestinian labourers near Beit Dajan village, killing a 17-year-old Palestinian (see list) and injuring another in the face. The IDF stated that the soldier had opened fire when he was pelted with stones. According to the Palestinians, however, the soldier fired from a long distance with no provocation whatsoever on their part. They reported that the soldier had come out of a military jeep that had stopped some 80 metres away, pointed his M-16 rifle at them and started shooting like a madman, after which he had got back into the jeep and driven away. (Ha'aretz, 3 December)

143. On 1 or 2 December, a Palestinian man was shot dead (see list) and another injured by masked gunmen travelling in a vehicle in the Nablus area. (Ha'aretz, 3 December)

144. On 3 December, a border policeman opened fire at a Palestinian truck near the A-Rum village after the truck had hit a private vehicle and pushed it to the side of the road. In another incident, a border policeman was slightly wounded when two fire-bombs were thrown at his jeep in Hebron. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 4 December)

145. On 4 December, a number of clashes between Palestinians and the security forces were reported in the territories. In Nablus, a Palestinian youth threw a riot grenade at the Israeli police station. No injuries were reported. The youth was detained. (Ha'aretz, 5 December)

146. On 5 December, an IDF soldier was seriously wounded and a military doctor was slightly wounded when gunmen opened fire at an IDF ambulance north of the Elon Moreh settlement (Nablus area). (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 6 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

147. On 7 December, a Palestinian resident of El-Khader village was ambushed by four masked men in Beit Jallah and shot to death, allegedly because of his land dealings (see list). (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 8 December)

148. On 7 December, three Israeli soldiers were wounded in the Jenin area. One officer was hit by a stone-thrower, while the other two received bullet injuries. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

149. On 8 December, a Palestinian man was killed by IDF gunfire during stone-throwing incidents in Nablus (see list). His death sparked off further clashes in which four Palestinians were injured by IDF gunfire. Other clashes broke out in Hebron and the surrounding area without any injuries being reported. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 10 December)

150. On 9 December, gunmen in a speeding car shot and wounded a settler from Efrat and his four-year-old daughter as they were driving past the Neveh Daniel settlement located 12 kilometres south of Jerusalem. In a separate incident, a gas bomb was thrown at the Nablus police station. It was reported further that an IDF soldier was slightly wounded by a stone during one of the numerous incidents that took place in Hebron and the surrounding area. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 10 December; Ha'aretz, 11 December)

151. On 11 December, a stun grenade was thrown at the Israeli police station in the centre of Nablus; no injuries were reported. (Ha'aretz, 12 December)

152. On 12 December, shots were fired at a settler's vehicle travelling on the hills south of Hebron. The bullets riddled the vehicle but the settler managed to escape unharmed. In a separate incident, Palestinians threw two hand- grenades at an IDF checkpoint in the centre of Hebron. The grenades shattered several store windows and windscreens. Witnesses reported that 20 Palestinians had been detained in connection with the incident. (Jerusalem Post, 13 December)

153. On 13 December, three incendiary bottles were thrown at an IDF vehicle in Hebron; no harm or injuries were reported. (Ha'aretz, 15 December)

154. On 14 December, border policemen shot and killed a Palestinian youth (see list) as he was trying to stab two elderly Jewish settlers in the proximity of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. The settlers were slightly injured as a result of the stabbing. The Israeli army was reported to have later arrested the victim's four brothers. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 15 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 15 December)

155. On 19 December, a Jewish girl was slightly injured when she was hit with the handle of an axe thrown at her by an Arab near Hebron's casbah. Some 17 to 30 Palestinians were detained during searches for the assailant but were released after a brief interrogation. In a separate development, the Samaria (northern West Bank) district police arrested a settler from Itamar on charges of verbally abusing Palestinian policemen who were on joint patrol with the IDF. The police were said to be searching for another Israeli who was suspected of harassing Palestinian policemen. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 20 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 22 December)

156. On 20 December, an incendiary bottle was thrown at an IDF vehicle travelling along Abdallah Road in Hebron. Three incendiary bottles were thrown at an Israeli vehicle near the Shilo junction (Ramallah area). Another incendiary bottle was thrown at border police troops in Ramallah. No injuries were reported in either incident. (Ha'aretz, 22 December)

157. On 21 December, a number of stone-throwing incidents were reported in the territories. In Hebron, a border policeman was lightly injured in the vicinity of the Cave of the Patriarchs (Ibrahimi Mosque). Stones were thrown at an Israeli vehicle on the Hebron bypass road. Other incidents in which stones were thrown at IDF and Border Police patrols took place in the Hebron area, without causing any harm or injuries. In a separate incident, a 14-year-old Jewish boy was beaten up by two Arab youths in Hebron. In the Beit Jallah area, youths threw stones at settlers' vehicles; no injuries were reported. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 22 December)

158. On 24 December, an IDF soldier was moderately wounded when "terrorists" opened fire at an IDF patrol in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 25 December)

159. On 27 December, a Palestinian man was shot dead (see list) in the Tulkarm area. The police believed that the man was a collaborator. (Ha'aretz, 28 December)

160. On 29 December, two IDF soldiers were lightly injured in the face when two bottles containing acid were thrown at an IDF patrol in the Hebron area. In another incident in the Hebron area, stones were thrown at an IDF patrol without causing any harm or injuries. It was reported further that the IDF had stepped up its patrolling along the Bethlehem and Ramallah bypass roads. The number of soldiers stationed around settlements located near Palestinian population centres in the West Bank is also said to have been increased. (Ha'aretz, 31 December)

161. On 30 December, four fire-bombs were thrown at an Israeli vehicle travelling on the Bethlehem bypass road; no harm or injuries were reported. (Jerusalem Post, 1 January)

162. On 31 December, a stun grenade was thrown at an Israeli vehicle in Bethlehem; no injuries were reported. (Jerusalem Post, 1 January)

B. Administration of justice, including the right to a fair trial

1. Palestinian population

163. On 23 August, the Israeli Military Court at the Erez checkpoint sentenced Abdul Aziz Al Rantisi, a founder of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, to 70 months in prison of which 28 months were a suspended sentence. Al Rantisi's trial had been postponed 21 times. Al Rantisi was arrested on his return from a one-year exile in Marj-Az-Zuhur, together with 414 other Palestinians. He was accused of affiliation with the Hamas. (The Jerusalem Times, 25 August)

164. On 24 August, the Military Court in Nablus sentenced a Hamas activist to five years of imprisonment, two and a half of which suspended, for planting a fake roadside bomb in the Nablus area. (Ha'aretz, 25 August)

165. On 24 August, the High Court of Justice rejected an appeal by a Palestinian journalist from Ramallah to release him from 15-month-long administrative detention. The Court accepted the security forces' claim that the man was a leading figure in the PFLP and that his release would have an adverse effect on security in the West Bank. The defendant's lawyer, however, contended that the arrest was politically motivated and carried out in conformity with the decision to arrest anyone suspected of involvement in the PFLP, with a view to isolating persons who opposed the peace process. (Ha'aretz, 25 August)

166. On 28 August, the Military Court in Nablus sentenced a leading Fatah activist to 15 years of imprisonment, plus 10 suspended, for his involvement in the 1994 murder of the mukhtar of Sinia village (Tulkarm area) who was suspected of selling Palestinian-owned land to Jews. (Ha'aretz, 30 August)

167. On 3 September, the Military Court in Nablus sentenced two Hamas activists from Kalkiliya to three years in prison plus three years suspended and ordered them to pay NIS 5,000 fine for having provided shelter and assistance to the suicide bomber who carried out the Tel Aviv bus bombing attack in which 23 passengers were killed. (Ha'aretz, 4 September)

168. On 4 September, the Military Court in Nablus sentenced a Fatah activist to six months in prison plus four years suspended for attacking an Israeli who had mistakenly entered the Balata refugee camp (West Bank) in January 1995. (Ha'aretz, 5 September)

169. On 6 September, the High Court of Justice rejected a petition by a Palestinian from the Bureij refugee camp (Gaza Strip) to reduce the life sentence he was given for his involvement in the killing of a reserve soldier in 1990. (Ha'aretz, 7 September)

170. On 7 September, the High Court of Justice turned down two appeals by the villagers of Samaria (northern West Bank) against plans to expropriate their land for the building of bypass roads as part of the Israeli army redeployment in Judea and Samaria (West Bank). (Jerusalem Post, 8 September)

171. On 7 September, it was reported that the High Court of Justice had approved a compromise agreement which made possible the construction of the El-Bireh bypass road. The agreement, which was reached between the El-Bireh Municipality, 14 Palestinian landowners, and the OC of IDF troops in the West Bank, stipulated that the location of the El-Bireh bypass road would be changed and that it would serve not only settlers but Palestinian residents as well. In addition, the agreement stipulated that no additional land would be confiscated except that which was needed for the construction of the bypass road. (Ha'aretz, 7 September)

172. On 19 September, the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court released on bail a Palestinian resident of Gaza who was arrested on charges of trading in illegal entry permits to Israel. The Judge ordered his release on a NIS 75,000 personal bond, a NIS 40,000 cash deposit as well as a NIS 20,000 guarantee provided by an Israeli citizen. (Ha'aretz, 20 September)

173. On 27 September, the High Court of Justice rejected an appeal by a 17-year-old Palestinian against the severity of the sentence imposed upon him for the attempted murder of passengers on a bus in Jerusalem. The youth, who is from the Kalandia refugee camp, was sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment. (Ha'aretz, 28 September)

174. On 18 October, the Nablus Military Court sentenced a leading member of the Fatah Hawks, Murhsad Anaham, to four sentences of life imprisonment plus 20 years after he was convicted of killing four suspected collaborators. (Ha'aretz, 19 October)

175. On 30 October, the Ramallah Military Court ordered the release to be followed by house arrest of Aisha Ayyash, the mother of Yihye Ayyash, the bomb-maker who is also known as "The Engineer". The mother, who was detained some 40 days earlier, was charged with using forged documents in order to enter Gaza. According to The JerusalemTimes, she was also procuring a revolver from jailed Hamas member Anwar Ayyash. The Court cited the woman's age, 55, and her health as the reasons for its decision to release her. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 31 October; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 3 November)

176. On 12 November, an extended panel of seven judges of the High Court of Justice nullified with an overwhelming majority a ruling by three of the Court's judges that had stipulated that a plot of land confiscated in East Jerusalem in 1968 should be returned to its Palestinian owner. The land had purportedly been confiscated for public purposes. The ruling had apparently been made on the basis of legalistic arguments that the owners of the land had not proven that the land was not confiscated for public purposes. (Ha'aretz, 13 November)

177. On 14 November, the High Court of Justice commuted a 15-month prison term plus a one-year suspended sentence that had been handed down to a 23-year-old Palestinian woman from the Shu'fat refugee camp for the attempted stabbing of an Israeli border policeman. The judges commuted the 15-month prison term to a 15-month suspended sentence and upheld the initial one-year suspended sentence. The Court's ruling came after the State had consented to the woman's release, partly in view of its intention to release female prisoners within the framework of the Oslo II Agreement. (Ha'aretz, 15 November)

178. On 19 December, the High Court of Justice released on bail a Palestinian prisoner in order to allow him to campaign for elections for the Palestinian Council. The prisoner, who is the head of the security forces of Jibril Rajoub, had been charged with helping to abduct two Arabs from Jerusalem in order to take them to Jericho and with soliciting the kidnapping of a third man, which was not carried out. (Jerusalem Post, 20 December)

179. On 24 December, in an unprecedented move, the High Court of Justice issued an interim injunction forbidding the use of all physical force by the GSS during the interrogation of Abed Belbasyi, a Palestinian detained in Ashkelon prison. The Court also issued a show cause order giving the State seven days to explain why it believed that the use of such force was necessary. The Court order followed a petition filed by three Palestinian detainees from the territories against their torture by GSS interrogators. The other detainees withdrew their petition after the GSS had announced that their interrogation had been completed. (Jerusalem Post, 25 December; Ha'aretz, 31 December)


2. Israelis

180. On 30 August, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and the Association of Israeli-Palestinian Physicians for Human Rights filed a petition with the High Court of Justice asking it to order the indictment of those responsible for permitting the GSS to use the "special measures" for interrogation that had caused the death of Hamas activist Abdel Harizat three months earlier. The petition requested that Attorney-General Michael Ben-Yair and State Attorney Dorit Beinish be ordered to file manslaughter charges against the persons involved in the interrogation of Harizat. It specifically pointed to GSS interrogators who had directly caused Harizat's death, GSS officials who had authorized the use of the special measures, the head of the GSS and members of the Ministerial Committee on the GSS, which had permitted the use of shaking that caused Harizat's death. In this regard, the petitioners criticized Attorney Beinish for her decision to endorse the report on the investigation on Harizat's death, which determined that it was difficult to prove with the appropriate degree of certainty the causal relationship between the actions of the interrogator and the death of the victim. The petitioners indicated that the coroner's report had determined that the cause of death was "accelerated circular movement of the head precipitated by shaking". (Jerusalem Post, 31 August)

181. On 3 September, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court ordered the release of three yeshiva students from the Yitzhar settlement who were detained on suspicion of burning a school in the Arab village of Burin. The judge stated in his decision that he could see no reason for their continued detention and ordered their release on a NIS 10,000 personal bond for each student. In addition, the judge ruled that they should be forbidden from entering Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) until 9 September. (Ha'aretz, 3 September)

182. On 12 September, it was reported that the Parole Board had decided to release from prison an Israeli man who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for firing at an Arab bus in 1984. One man was killed and a dozen passengers injured during the attack, which occurred near the Old City of Jerusalem. Hebron Mayor Mustafa Natshe condemned the Parole Board's decision, which he described as being "apartheid-like" in nature, since only Israelis who had shed Arab blood were being released. (Jerusalem Post, 12 September)

183. On 14 September, the Jerusalem District Court sentenced a rabbi who had been convicted of throwing stones at Arab cars to six months of public service plus one year of a suspended jail sentence to be in effect for three years. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 15 September)

184. On 19 September, a settler from the Beit El settlement who had been charged with killing a Palestinian at Har Artis in August and obstructing justice was released from prison pending trial. The release, ordered by the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, was conditional upon the settler not entering Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) or East Jerusalem, or carrying a weapon. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 20 September)

185. On 19 September, an Israeli man was released from prison for good behaviour after having served 11 years out of the 18-year prison term to which he had been sentenced for having killed a Palestinian during a missile attack he had carried out against a Palestinian bus in Jerusalem on 28 October 1984. (Ha'aretz, 20 September)

186. On 19 September, the Jerusalem District Court handed down sentences to five members of the Jerusalem Police Minority Division who had been convicted of mistreating Arabs from East Jerusalem during questioning. Ahmed Troudy was sentenced to 15 months in prison plus 15 suspended. Avi Ittah was sentenced to two months of community service and four months suspended. Rafi Levy was sentenced to three months of imprisonment, three months of community service and six months suspended. Ilan Chen was sentenced to three months of imprisonment, to be replaced by community service, plus five months suspended, while Yossi Ben Yair was sentenced to public service without being formally convicted. Five other policemen were cleared of all charges. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 20 September)

187. On 1 October, the High Court of Justice issued a show cause order giving the Attorney-General 45 days to explain why the GSS agent who had interrogated Hamas member Abdel Harizat when he died in custody should not be prosecuted. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 2 October)

188. On 2 October, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court ordered the release of two Kach activists who had been detained on charges of involvement in the smashing of a dozen windows on Palestinian-owned vehicles in Hebron. The Court prohibited them from entering Hebron for three months. (Jerusalem Post, 3 October)

189. On 19 October, the Kfar Saba Magistrate's Court handed down sentences to five Kach activists convicted of carrying out a pogrom in the Palestinian village of Kira (West Bank) three and a half years earlier. Two activists were sentenced to six months in prison, commutable to community service, a one-year suspended prison term and an NIS 5,000 fine. Two other activists were sentenced to four months in prison, commutable to community service, one year of a suspended prison term and an NIS 3,000 fine, while the fifth activist was sentenced to a one-year suspended prison term under the supervision of a probation officer. (Ha'aretz, 20 October)

190. On 30 October, the High Court of Justice issued an interim order preventing the allocation of plots for a build-your-home project in the Katzir settlement (West Bank) pending a final decision. The decision came after the Association for Civil Rights in Israel had petitioned the Court on behalf of an Arab couple who had been denied the possibility of purchasing a building plot in the settlement on the grounds that they were Arabs. (Ha'aretz, 30 and 31 October)

191. On 7 November, the Jerusalem District Court forbade a Kach activist from leaving Hebron to study at a Jerusalem yeshiva without permission from the OC for Judea and Samaria. (Jerusalem Post, 8 November)

192. On 15 November, it was reported that the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court had issued an order granting the Ateret Cohanim group 30 days to evacuate three buildings it was illegally occupying in the Muslim Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. (Ha'aretz, 15 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 17 November)

193. On 15 November, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court turned down a request by the Judea and Samaria (West Bank) district police that it issue arrest warrants against two settlers, one of whom was suspected of voicing support for the Cave of the Patriarchs (Ibrahimi Mosque) massacre while the other was suspected of attacking Palestinians in Hebron. During the hearing, the police attorney claimed that both settlers had failed to report to the police for questioning. The judge, however, refused to issue arrest warrants against the two on the grounds that he had not been presented with any evidence that suspects had been effectively informed about the questioning. (Ha'aretz, 16 November)

194. On 11 December, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court sentenced a rabbi to six months' imprisonment plus a six-month suspended term for rioting at the Hebron market four and a half years earlier. The rabbi was convicted of terrorizing and injuring Palestinians and shooting at and damaging their property. (Ha'aretz, 12 December)

195. On 17 December, the Jerusalem Juvenile Court convicted a settler from Shilo of the 1993 murder of a 51-year-old Palestinian who was ploughing his field near the village of Turmus Aiya. The Court deferred the sentencing pending the submission of a probation officer's report on the settler, who was 16 at the time the crime was committed. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 18 December)

196. On 19 December, the IDF issued administrative orders restricting the movement of 13 members of the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva near Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. Two members - the head of the yeshiva and one of its rabbis - were barred from entering Nablus or the tomb compound, while the others were forbidden to leave their settlements except when they wished to go to areas within the Green Line, where their movement was not restricted. In addition, they were ordered to report to a police station near the Yitzhar settlement every day. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 20 December)

197. On 27 December, the Jerusalem District Court sentenced the former Kach leader Baruch Marzel to three months' imprisonment plus a three-month suspended prison term for disturbing the peace in Jerusalem some four years earlier. (Jerusalem Post, 28 December)

C. Treatment of civilians

1. General developments

(a) Harassment and physical ill-treatment

198. On 30 August, a nine-year-old Palestinian child, Malek Hisham Al Ja'bari, was beaten by IDF soldiers in Hebron when the ball he was playing with touched one of them. Al Ja'bari suffered skull fractures and contusions on different parts of the body. (Al-Tali'ah, 31 August)

199. On 31 August, it was reported that the parents of girls studying in two schools located near Orient House in East Jerusalem threatened not to send their daughters to school unless an encampment that was set up by right-wing Jewish activists near Orient House was dismantled. Parents and teachers claimed that during the previous weeks there had been numerous cases when the girls were harassed and verbally abused and in some cases threatened by the activists. Teachers also claimed to have been subjected to threats on several occasions. (Ha'aretz, 31 August)

200. On 3 September, dozens of students, parents and teachers demonstrated in front of the tent set up by right-wing Jewish activists near Orient House in Jerusalem. They protested against the presence of the settlers, who they claimed frightened, verbally abused and harassed students at the nearby Dar Tifal school, which is attended by 1,200 students, most of whom are girls. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 4 September)

201. On 3 September, three IDF soldiers and two border policemen shot and wounded a Palestinian man from a village near Hebron and stole thousands of shekels in cash, gold and jewels from his home. The Palestinian, Hassan Masalmeh, stated that the soldiers, who had identified themselves as GSS agents, broke into his house at 2.30 in the morning, announcing that they had come to carry out a search. Afterwards, they placed a sack on his head, beat and handcuffed him and dragged him outside the house. They then put him in the boot of their car and drove to a nearby village where they beat him again and ordered him to run away. When he refused to do so out of fear that he would be shot in the back under the pretext that he had tried to escape from being arrested, one of the soldiers shot him in the leg while the others kicked him in the body and the head before driving away. Masalmeh, who was bleeding, managed to drag himself to one of the nearby houses and was taken to Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem for treatment. The entire incident was said to be under investigation by the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Division. A border police commander ordered the three border policemen suspended while the two soldiers were detained for questioning. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 4 September)

202. On 5 September, the Jerusalem police detained seven Jewish youths suspected of beating a Palestinian teacher at one of the Arab schools near Orient House. The incident reportedly occurred when the youths started to beat the teacher who had asked them to stop removing signs hung by Palestinian students during a demonstration staged for the fourth consecutive day against the Jewish activists' protest tent, which had been set up near Orient House. A similar demonstration was held on 9 September, with police forcefully evicting the protesters after they had tried to block the road near Orient House. (Ha'aretz, 6 September)

203. On 10 September, right-wing demonstrators beat, choked and spat at an Arab journalist near Orient House. One suspect was reportedly detained in connection with the attack. (Jerusalem Post, 11 September)

204. On 20 September, the IDF arrested the 55-year-old mother of Yihya Ayyash in Rafat, near Nablus. Yihya, known as "The Engineer", was suspected of masterminding a series of suicide bombings that had killed scores of Israelis. The mother was reportedly being held in solitary confinement at the Russian Compound Prison in Jerusalem in a closed, unventilated cell. She has only one lung and breathes with difficulty. (The Jerusalem Times, 22 September and 6 October)

205. On 25 September, an Israeli Military Court decided to extend the incarceration of Ayshah Ayyash, the mother of Yihya Ayyash, for an additional 15 days. Yihya's brother Mar'i had also been detained by the Israeli authorities at the Petah Tikva detention centre for the previous two weeks. Palestinian residents of Rafat reported that Yihya's father, Abdul Latif, 60, had been severely beaten by Israeli soldiers. Yihya's wife had also been taken to a gynaecologist in order to determine if she was pregnant. She and her son have been in hiding for four months. (The Jerusalem Times, 6 October)

206. On 27 September, a right-wing demonstrator fired tear-gas at two Arab passers-by in the Old City of Jerusalem. Three members of the Hai Vekayam movement were detained in connection with the incident. (Ha'aretz, 28 September)

207. On 2 October, Palestinian residents of Rafat village near Tulkarm reported that the Israeli authorities had arrested 24 relatives and friends of Yihya Ayyash, the bomb-maker also known as "The Engineer". An Israeli army spokesman refused to comment on the arrests. (The Jerusalem Times, 6 October)

208. On 10 October, OC border police transferred six border policemen who were suspected of mistreating two Palestinians to administrative assignments that precluded any contact with civilians. Two of the suspects, who were commanding officers, were removed from their command posts. OC border police reportedly took the disciplinary measure following a complaint by two Palestinians from Gaza who claimed that on 8 October, several border policemen on patrol near Kalkiliya beat them with sticks and the butts of their rifles, ordered them to undress and took away all their money after they had failed to produce their stay permits. (Ha'aretz, 10 and 11 October)

209. On 14 October, IDF soldiers accompanied by Civil Administration officials, broke into the Fatah movement's new offices in villages in the Jenin area and conducted searches. Activists stated that in the villages of Yamun, Ya'bad, Tubas, Jabba and Kabatiya, soldiers broke open the entrance doors and left chaos and destruction behind them. The offices were subsequently declared closed. (Ha'aretz, 15 October; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 20 October)

210. On 23 October, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel issued a strong protest to the Egged bus company over an incident in which a driver ordered a passenger to stop talking in Arabic on a cellular phone. ACRI stated that the driver overheard the passenger's conversation and loudly told him that he could not speak Arabic on the bus, especially not on a cellular phone, adding that he did not know what kind of "terrorist" attack he was planning. Later on, the driver demanded the passenger's identity card. The passenger reportedly produced the identity card of an Egged member but that, according to ACRI, did not calm the driver, who repeated his suspicions. (Jerusalem Post, 24 October)

211. On 3 November, it was reported that the inhabitants of the recently "liberated" area of Salfit were subjected to harassment by Israeli settlers and soldiers. The Israeli army has set up a blockade at Deir Balut, where they check documents, holding up traffic for hours. The residents of the nearby Kuful Haris had reported that settlers in the area had become increasingly aggressive since the arrival of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Bands of settlers vandalizing Palestinian property have been roaming the streets at night. (The Jerusalem Times, 3 November)

212. On 22 November, the IDF raided the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics in Ramallah. An employee was arrested and later released. The authority for population registration had been tranferred to the PNA in August 1995. The head of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Census and Statistics, Hassan Abu Libdeh, qualified the Israeli invasion of the building as a violation of Palestinian sovereignty represented by the Israeli invasion of the building. (The Jerusalem Times, 24 November)

213. On 14 December, security forces raided the family home of a Palestinian in Hebron who was shot dead by border policemen shortly before. Soldiers reportedly destroyed property and detained the victim's four brothers. (Ha'aretz, 15 December)

214. On 29 December, it was reported that on 3 November, a 14½-year-old Palestinian boy from the Jalazone refugee camp (West Bank) was shot and killed, apparently by a Jewish settler (see list). The following day, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist and Israeli newspapers were said to have had no space left to report about "yet another case of killing of a Palestinian youth". No report was made either about the distress of the boy's family when his body was forcibly exhumed and another put in its place in the middle of the night. According to Palestinian eyewitnesses, the incident in which the boy was killed occurred when a bearded man wearing a keffiyeh fired at three Palestinian boys through a hole in the fence separating the Jalazone refugee camp from the adjacent road. One of the bullets hit one of the boys and he was immediately rushed to the Ramallah hospital where he died shortly afterwards. Later on, when the boy's body was taken from the hospital for burial, soldiers came to the refugee camp and demanded that the body be exhumed for autopsy, which was reportedly always carried out by the IDF and the police in such cases, although the completion of the autopsy also marked the end of the investigation. As is frequent in most such cases, the family was opposed to the post mortem examination. The following day, Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated and the whole case was forgotten. Four days later, however, soldiers returned with an order by the OC West Bank and exhumed the body despite the family's repeated opposition. The following day, a Civil Administration officer told the family to come and pick up the body. Later in the day, however, the same officer notified the family that he had changed his mind and that soldiers would re-bury the child themselves. The child's father, Ahmed A-Rahmi, could not understand why he was not allowed to bury his own child for the last time, also fearing that soldiers would not treat the body with due respect. Finally, the Civil Administration officer told Ahmed that he could return for the body at 10 p.m. When the body finally arrived at 12.30 that night and the shroud wrapping it was removed, Ahmed saw that the body was not of his son but that of an elderly man. It was 2.45 a.m. when Ahmad finally obtained the body of his son and a funeral was held at 4.30 a.m. with IDF soldiers surrounding the cemetery. (Ha'aretz, 29 December)

(b) Collective punishment

(i) Houses or rooms that were demolished or sealed

215. On 20 August, it was reported that the Mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, had signed two demolition orders against two five-storey buildings in East Jerusalem that had been built without a permit. During a meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Jerusalem Affairs, Mr. Olmert stated that he would continue to sign administrative demolition orders against illegal construction in East Jerusalem in the light of an escalation of this type of building in the City. (Ha'aretz, 20 August)

216. On 25 August, an IDF bulldozer was used to demolish a Palestinian-owned house in Hebron where two wanted Hamas gunmen had been hiding before being shot dead by an IDF undercover unit. The owner of the house, Ribhi Sultan, stated that he had nothing to do with the two men. He indicated that he had left his house at 3.30 a.m. for the early morning prayer, leaving the entrance door open, as was his custom. Upon his return, he was intercepted by soldiers who ordered his family to get out of the house, after which they opened heavy fire on the house. Shortly thereafter, he saw two young men coming out of the house in order to surrender but they were shot dead as they approached the threshold. Sultan stated that the youths, who were pursued by the IDF, were forced to enter the house late at night. He added that he did not know that they were wanted. Sultan was not allowed to rebuild his house. Mr. Sultan also stated that the soldiers had ordered him to drag the corpses into the street and hand over the firearms that were in the possession of the two men. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 27 August; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 1 September)

217. On 28 August, the Israeli authorities demolished two houses in Al Jib and another in Anata on the pretext that they had been built without a permit. (Al-Tali'ah, 31 August)

218. On 18 September, the Jerusalem Municipality evicted pupils and teachers from an Arab nursery school in the Umm Tuba neighbourhood and demolished the building on the grounds that it had been built without a permit. The demolition followed a two-hour stand-off during which some 35 children and teachers refused to leave the building. (Jerusalem Post, 19 September)

219. On 2 October, the IDF demolished two houses in Beit Ta'mar village in the Bethlehem area, without providing any explanations. The houses belonged to Mohammed Abdallah Wahsh and Hassan Dirbas. It was reported that the Israeli army wanted to extend the area of its training ground. (The Jerusalem Times, 6 October)

220. On 4 October, the residents of the Balata refugee camp went on strike in protest against the demolition orders concerning the homes of two suspected "terrorists". Palestinian associations sent a letter to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin protesting the demolition orders and pointing out that one of the suspects had not been living with his parents for some time. In the other case, the house was rented and stood on Waqf-owned land. (The Jerusalem Times, 6 October)

221. On 5 October, the Association for Civil Rights In Israel demanded the rescinding of a military order to demolish the family homes of two suspected "terrorists" in Nablus. The order was said to have come as a surprise to civil rights observers since the IDF was scheduled to leave Nablus in the course of the following two months anyway, when security would have been handed over to the Palestinian Authority. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 6 October)

222. On 28 November, IDF soldiers ordered the residents of a house where a wanted Hamas activist was staying as well as those of an adjacent house to come out. They subsequently opened fire and fired rockets at the houses, killing the activist. Two military tractors were subsequently brought to the site to demolish the houses and the nearby fences and wine sheds. (Ha'aretz, 29 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 1 December)

223. On 9 December, the police unsealed 13 Palestinian houses that had been sealed during the intifadah as punishment for attacks by a family member against IDF soldiers. (Jerusalem Post, 11 December)

224. On 30 December, three houses in the village of Waljah near Beit Jala were demolished because they were too close to the Israeli Circular Road No. 60, which had recently been completed. The three houses were marked in the Taba Accords as being in the C Area and were located one kilometre away from the road. (The Jerusalem Times, 5 January)

(ii) Imposition of curfews, sealing off or closing of areas

225. On 20 August, the security authorities lifted the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip on 11 August for fear of a suicide attack. However, a total closure was imposed on the territories on the following day in the immediate aftermath of a suicide bus bombing attack in Jerusalem. The closure of the West Bank was lifted on 27 August (with the exception of Jericho, which remained sealed off until 30 August), while that imposed on the Gaza Strip was lifted on 23 August. (Ha'aretz, 20, 22-24 and 30 August; Jerusalem Post, 22, 24 and 27 August)

226. On 23 August, the IDF sealed off Jericho, allegedly following intelligence information that a wanted Hamas activist accused of being involved in the Jerusalem suicide bus bombing attack was hiding in the town. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 24 August)

227. On 23 August, the Israeli authorities tightened the closure of Jericho and banned Palestinians from entering the Green Line following the suicide bomb attack in Jerusalem two days earlier. The measure was thought to be linked to the Israeli request for the extradition of two Hamas activists suspected of being involved in the bombing. The activists, Abdul Majid Dudin and Rashed Khatib, were apprehended by the Palestinian National Authority, speedily tried and sentenced to lengthy prison terms by the State Security Court in Jericho prior to the Israeli request. (The Jerusalem Times, 25 August; Al-Tali'ah, 31 August)

228. On 25 August, Hebron was sealed off throughout the long siege of a house where two Hamas gunmen were hiding. The closure, which was imposed early in the morning, was lifted in the afternoon following the killing of the gunmen by an Israeli undercover unit. (Jerusalem Post, 27 August)

229. On 26 August, Israel announced that the closure of Jericho imposed on 21 August following a suicide attack in Jerusalem would not be lifted as long as the Palestinian Authority did not extradite to Israel two Hamas activists who had been sentenced by a Palestinian security court to long prison terms. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 27 August; Ha'aretz, 30 August)

230. On 30 August, the Israeli authorities lifted the siege imposed on Jericho. (The Jerusalem Times, 1 September)

231. On 3 September, the IDF placed the Palestinian village of Dahirriya (Hebron district) under curfew when dozens of residents gathered at the village mosque in order to stage a protest march against the confiscation of Palestinian-owned land for the benefit of the nearby Tana settlement. (Ha'aretz, 4 September)

232. On 4 September, hundreds of police and border policemen were deployed in the East Jerusalem village of Silwan as Israel began celebrations marking Jerusalem's 3,000th anniversary. Streets were closed to traffic and residents were not allowed to approach the area where the opening ceremony was being held. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 5 September)

233. On 5 September, the IDF placed villages in the Ramallah area under curfew following the killing of a Jewish settler in Maaleh Mikhmas, allegedly by a Palestinian. (Ha'aretz, 6 September)

234. On 13 September, the IDF declared the Hebron area a closed military zone and dispatched numerous soldiers and border policemen to the town, where violent clashes were taking place. (Ha'aretz, 14 September)

235. On 13 September, the Israeli authorities imposed a curfew on the area around the Kortuba girls' elementary school in Hebron, following an attack by Jewish settlers. The area was declared a closed military zone. (Al-Tali'ah, 14 September; The Jerusalem Times, 15 September)

236. On 16 September, the centre of Hebron was declared a closed military zone following clashes between Palestinians and the security forces. (Ha'aretz, 17 September)

237. On 20 September, the IDF imposed a closure on the Gaza Strip following information that an Islamic activist was planning a suicide attack against Israelis. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 21 September)

238. On 20 September, the city of Nablus was declared a closed military zone following the killing of two Palestinians. In a separate development, Israel announced the closure of the Gaza Strip until further notice after its security offices received information that a suicide attack against an Israeli target was being planned in Gaza. (The Jerusalem Times, 22 September)

239. On 21 September, the IDF declared most of Nablus a closed military zone during riots that had erupted in the town in protest against the killing of two Palestinians by IDF soldiers a day earlier. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 22 September)

240. On 24 September, the IDF imposed a total closure on the West Bank, in advance of the Jewish New Year's Eve. On 30 September, the closure was extended for the fourth time. (Ha'aretz, 24 September; Jerusalem Post, 1 October)

241. On 27 September, the IDF imposed a total closure on the territories because of the signing of the Oslo II Agreement in Washington. (Jerusalem Post, 28 September)

242. On 28 September, the Israeli authorities imposed a curfew on the Dheisheh refugee camp south of Bethlehem when residents started to dismantle the barbed wire surrounding the camp. (The Jerusalem Times, 6 October)

243. On 2 October, the IDF sealed off the town of Kalkiliya following intelligence reports of planned suicide attacks against Israeli targets. An IDF spokesman announced that the town would remain sealed off until 8.00 a.m. on 5 October. (Ha'aretz, 3 October)

244. On 17 October, Israel lifted the closure it had imposed on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank on 20 and 24 September respectively. The closure was imposed and extended repeatedly after the security authorities had received information that the Islamic Jihad or Hamas were planning an attack against Israeli targets in order to show their opposition to the Oslo II Agreement. (Ha'aretz, 21 September and 20 October; Jerusalem Post, 21 and 24 September and 3, 5, 8 and 10 October)

245. On 26 October, the IDF declared Jenin a closed military zone, apparently in order to prevent Palestinians who were not residents there from disturbing a meeting of several liaison officers at the district coordination office. (Ha'aretz, 26 October)

246. On 30 October, the Israeli military authorities established a security cordon around the Palestinian self-rule areas following the assassination of Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shakaki in Malta on 26 October. (The Jerusalem Times, 3 November)

247. On 2 November, the IDF closed the Gush Katif area and all entrances into the Gaza Strip to Palestinian traffic following two suicide bombings in the Gaza Strip. (Jerusalem Post, 3 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 3 November)

248. On 4 November, a total closure was imposed on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for fear of "terrorist" attacks following the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a 27-year-old Jewish religious nationalist (also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 10 November). On 12 November, the military authorities eased the closure and allowed Palestinian men aged over 23 and women aged over 40 to enter Israel. Restrictions concerning patients having to enter Israel for medical treatment were reportedly also eased significantly. (Ha'aretz, 5 November; Jerusalem Post, 12 November)

249. On the morning of 28 November, the IDF imposed a curfew on the Palestinian villages of Deir Samit and Beit Awa shortly before the security forces killed a Hamas activist in Deir Samit. The curfew imposed on Deir Samit was still in force at night. (Ha'aretz, 29 November)

250. On 30 November, the IDF imposed a closure on Jenin and Kabatiya following the kidnapping of two Israeli border policemen who had raided the town of Kabatiya in the liberated Jenin area by Fatah's Black Panthers. (Jerusalem Post, 1 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 1 December)

251. On 5 December, the IDF sealed off the area north of Nablus following a shooting incident there. (Ha'aretz, 6 December)

252. On 9 December, the IDF declared Nablus a closed military zone after a gas bomb had been thrown at the Israeli police station in the town. (Jerusalem Post, 10 December)

253. On 14 December, the IDF imposed a curfew on the centre of Hebron following the killing of an Arab youth by the IDF. (The Jerusalem Times, 18 December)

254. On 19 December, the IDF imposed a curfew on the area of the Hebron casbah following an incident in which a Jewish girl was injured by an axe-wielding Palestinian. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 20 December)

255. On 21 December, the IDF declared the Hebron casbah a closed military zone when several dozen settlers demonstrated there in order to protest against the beating of a Jewish boy by two Arab youths. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 22 December)

256. On 21 December, it was reported that the Israeli authorities would tighten the closure of Jerusalem. (Al-Tali'ah, 21 December)

257. On 26 December, the IDF declared Ramallah a closed military zone in anticipation of its pull-out from the town, which was scheduled for the following day. (Ha'aretz, 27 December)

(iii) Other forms of collective punishment

258. On 17 September, police and border police ordered merchants in the Old City's Muslim Quarter to close their shops following the stabbing of a Jewish man by two Arabs. (Ha'aretz, 18 September)

(c) Expulsions

259. No information available.

(d) Economic and social situation

260. On 20 August, the Bank of Israel issued licences allowing a Jordanian mortgage bank and the Jordanian Kuwait Bank to open branches in the West Bank. The banks were expected to begin operations as of the following month, which would bring to 10 the number of foreign banks operating in the West Bank. (Jerusalem Post, 21 August)

261. On 20 August, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin urged all the authorities dealing with water to assess the needs of Palestinians living in Hebron and do what was possible to overcome the town's water shortage. Meanwhile, the army brought water tanks to the town in an attempt to ease the shortage temporarily. Hebron Mayor Mustafa Natshe argued, however, that the 27 cubic metres of water the town had received was hardly a solution when it consumed 25,000 cubic metres a day. He further claimed that Hebron was not receiving its share of the water from the well near Herodian, which, according to the Mayor, was channelled to Kiryat Arba and other Jewish settlements in the area. On 23 August, Minister of Agriculture Ya'acov Tsur announced that the water supply to Hebron had been increased by 1,000 cubic metres a day. (Jerusalem Post, 21 and 24 August)

262. On 25 August, residents of the Arab village of Ubadiya (West Bank) filed a petition with the High Court of Justice in which they asked the Court to order the IDF to supply water to their village. The petitioners claimed that the water supply to the village had been cut off for more than a year while the same pipes were continuing to provide water to the nearby settlements of Maaleh Adumim, Kedar A and Kedar B. At a time when settlements abounded with lawns and swimming pools in the middle of the desert, the 8,000 residents of the village were left with dry pipes and no water, the petitioners indicated, and added that they nevertheless were asked to pay water bills. They also indicated that they had no choice but to buy water on the black market at a price of NIS 20 per cubic metre, compared with NIS 3.5 per cubic metre paid by the nearby settlements. (Ha'aretz, 25 August)

263. On 1 September, it was reported that the Israeli authorities had refused to allow Palestinian merchants and products from the Gaza Strip to enter Israel or the West Bank, although they had issued permits for that purpose. (The Jerusalem Times, 1 September)

264. On 8 September, it was reported that the Israeli Civil Administration had asked Palestinians living in the West Bank to transfer their postal bank accounts to a local bank in the West Bank. The social benefit funds to which employees working for Israelis were entitled would be deposited in those accounts. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 September)

265. On 15 September, it was reported that an Israeli helicopter had recently sprayed a pesticide whose use is illegal over olive tree groves around the town of Turmus Aya, near Ramallah. The Ramallah Land Defence Committee indicated that some 2,500 trees had died, which amounted to a loss of about $87,000. (The Jerusalem Times, 15 and 22 September; Al-Tali'ah, 28 September)

266. On 22 September, following the announcement of the closure of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli authorities indicated that goods would still be permitted to cross into Israel at the Karni checkpoint and that some Palestinians would receive special permits. The Israeli army has prevented more than 10,000 Palestinians from Gaza from entering Israel during the previous three days. (The Jerusalem Times, 22 September)

267. On 5 October, it was reported that in the course of the previous two weeks the Gaza Strip had incurred losses amounting to some $21 million (or $1.5 million a day) as a result of the tightening of the closure; the decision not to allow some 15,000 labourers to enter Israel for work; and the imposition of more stringent restrictions on the freedom of movement of merchants and businessmen. Aside from the financial losses incurred by Palestinians who used to work in Israel and the fear that many would lose their jobs should they not be allowed to return to their places of work until after the Jewish holiday of Succoth, a large number of manufacturers reported additional losses as a result of export restrictions and delays in the arrival of imported raw materials. (Ha'aretz, 5 October)

268. On 6 October, it was reported that as a result of the Israeli-imposed closure of the Palestinian territories, 30,000 Palestinians were unable to reach their places of work. (The Jerusalem Times, 6 October)

269. On 20 October, it was reported that according to Sayid Madlal, the Minister of Labour of the Palestinian Authority, unemployment in the Gaza Strip had increased by 25 per cent in the course of the previous nine months. Mr. Madlal cited the prolonged closures, the stringent restrictions on freedom of movement and the repercussions that the cessation of work in Israel had on all the economic sectors in Gaza as the reasons for the increase in unemployment (the number of job holders in Gaza dropped from 83,000 in 1994 to some 65,000 in 1995). Mr. Madlal indicated that Gaza's workforce amounted to some 150,000 people, of whom at least 65,000 were constantly unemployed. Hundreds of small businesses had to close in 1995 while others had to cut back on their workforce because of export restrictions and losses incurred on the local market. The prolonged unemployment of Palestinians who had previously worked in Israel also reduced the residents' purchasing power and caused heavy losses for farmers and merchants. The closures and restrictions on the freedom of movement had also deterred Palestinian investors from investing in Gaza. (Ha'aretz, 20 October)

270. On 4 December, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) charged that corruption and mismanagement at the Population Registry Office in East Jerusalem were only symptoms of the real problem, which was the existence of major and permanent flaws in the Office's regulations and policy. In a letter submitted to the Minister of the Interior, ACRI provided detailed information about the procedural flaws regarding family reunification, registering of children and the granting of Israeli citizenship. It warned that unless the errors were corrected soon it would appeal to the High Court of Justice. ACRI stated that although the authorities were obliged to publish the criteria for their decision-making, the Ministry of the Interior had so far failed to publish the criteria applied by its employees in their handling of applications for permanent residency status. ACRI charged that when it requested the Ministry to make public the criteria, it had been told that the Ministry was barred from providing such information on the grounds that the Committee's debates were held behind closed doors. According to ACRI, the secrecy surrounding the criteria prevents monitoring of crucial decisions such as whether people could lead a normal family life together. In that regard, ACRI noted that every week applications for family reunification were rejected for no apparent reason and added that, in the present circumstances, it was impossible to determine whether the applications had been turned down on the basis of secret criteria or because the residents had failed to bribe the corrupt employees. As for the registering of children, ACRI reported that a child born in East Jerusalem to a woman resident of the City and a non-resident father could not be registered as a resident. In such cases, the child's mother was obliged to apply for "family unification" as if her child were a foreign resident. This procedure entailed spending a substantial amount of money on the application and waiting for a period of at least one year during which the child remained unregistered and was not entitled to any state-sponsored health insurance. (Ha'aretz, 5 December)

271. On 13 December, Peace Watch stated that Israel had failed to comply with its agricultural obligations under the Oslo Accords by preventing Palestinians from exporting eggs, poultry, fruit and vegetables. In its report, Peace Watch noted that under the Paris economic agreement Palestinians were entitled to export to Israel 6,000 tons of poultry and 40 million eggs a year. The report stated, however, that there had been virtually no exports. The report quoted Mohammed Rayes, the Director-General of the Palestinian Authority's Agriculture Ministry, as claiming that Israel made it difficult for Palestinians to obtain health licences and that Palestinians could not compete with the subsidies that were granted to Israeli farmers. (Jerusalem Post, 14 December)

272. On 28 December, the Palestinian Authority's Minister of Finance and Agriculture complained that Palestinians were made to pay more for water consumption than Jewish settlers, who benefited from a subsidized rate. The Minister also stated that Palestinian imports from Israel amounted to $1.2 billion a year while exports stood at only $200 million. In that connection, the Minister stated that the Palestinians sought to amend their economic agreement with Israel so that they could purchase more goods from other countries such as Jordan. (Jerusalem Post, 29 December)

(e) Other developments

273. No information available.

2. Measures affecting certain fundamental freedoms

(a) Freedom of movement

274. On 23 August, Palestinian officials indicated that between 5,000 and 6,000 Palestinian workers, all of whom were holders of new magnetic cards, had crossed into Israel from the Gaza Strip. Some 10,000 Gazan workers were still waiting for their new cards to be issued. (Jerusalem Post, 24 August)

275. On 24 August, ACRI urged the Coordinator of the Government's activities in the territories and the IDF Legal Adviser for the Gaza Strip to order soldiers stationed at border crossings to immediately allow Palestinian health workers (doctors, nurses, etc.) to cross from Gaza and the West Bank to East Jerusalem and vice versa. In a letter sent to the two on behalf of the Association of the Israeli-Palestinian Physicians Association for Human Rights, ACRI claimed that preventing Palestinian health workers from going to work during a closure was illegal. In addition, they were asked to establish regulations authorizing health workers to move freely whenever closures or curfews were imposed on the territories. Some 700 persons reportedly work at the Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem, 428 of them from the West Bank and 48 from the Gaza Strip. Workers from the West Bank were barred from reaching the hospital because of the closure which was imposed on the territories on 21 August while workers from the Gaza Strip had not been able to reach the hospital since the beginning of August. (Ha'aretz, 25 August)

276. On 27 August, it was reported that thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who were living in the Gulf States could lose their residence permits in those countries unless they were allowed to leave the Gaza Strip in the following two days. Hundreds of Palestinians were said to be at least one week late in arriving at their places of work in the Gulf and Jordan, while dozens of others, mainly Palestinians who studied in Europe, had missed their flights and therefore lost money. Doctors, teachers and engineers who had been employed for many years in the public sector in the Gulf feared that they might lose their jobs and be compelled to remain in the Gaza Strip without any possibility of finding a job. (Ha'aretz, 27 August)

277. On 28 August, hundreds of Palestinians protested against the closure of Jericho, which had been in force since 21 August. Dozens of Palestinians reportedly rioted near the entrance to Jericho, throwing stones, burning Israeli flags and slightly wounding three border policemen. The closure was reportedly beginning to take its toll on the town's 20,000 residents: clerical workers from Jerusalem who arrived at the city prior to the closure were unable to return home, ambulances were forced to wait for an hour or more at the checkpoints before being allowed to leave for hospitals in Jerusalem and residents were complaining of food, medicine and fuel shortages. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 29 August)

278. On 1 September, the Israeli military authorities at the Erez Junction were reportedly turning back holders of Jerusalem identity cards. No explanation was given concerning the measure. (The Jerusalem Times, 1 September)

279. On 1 September, it was reported that the Israeli authorities had allowed a few hundred Christians from the Bethlehem area to participate in celebrations at the Gethsemane Church honouring the Virgin Mary. The Palestinians were brought to Jerusalem in special buses and were not allowed to walk into the town. (The Jerusalem Times, 1 September)

280. On 5 October, some 1,500 Palestinian labourers from the West Bank were granted special permits to enter Israel to work in olive groves. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 5 October; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 6 October)

281. On 20 October, it was reported that some 200 Palestinians from the West Bank who had gone to the Gaza Strip a month earlier had not been allowed to return to their homes since that time. The Palestinians were not allowed to leave because of the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip on 20 September. However, they had been prevented from leaving even after the closure was lifted on 17 October. Their forced stay in Gaza reportedly resulted both in their suffering heavy financial losses (owing to loss of working days and hotel expenses) and in their children missing days in school. (Ha'aretz, 20 October)

282. On 24 October, the IDF declared that it would not allow armed Palestinian policemen to drive from Jericho to Jenin. (Jerusalem Post, 25 October)

283. On 27 October, a Palestinian Authority source reported that Palestinians from the West Bank who had arrived in the Gaza Strip during the week following the lifting of the closure with exit permits issued by the Civil Administration had not been allowed to leave the Strip. In another development, the IDF spokesman announced that for security reasons, the passage of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank or Jordan would be allowed only in organized transportation and under IDF escort. (Ha'aretz, 27 October)

284. On 2 November, the IDF imposed a closure on the Gaza Strip following two separate suicide bombing attacks there. Holders of exit permits and patients who had to leave the Gaza Strip for medical examinations or non-urgent treatments were sent back from the checkpoints to the Strip. (Ha'aretz, 3 November)

285. On 20 November, it was reported that the security authorities had eased restrictions on the entry of Palestinians into Israel by allowing men of at least 28 years of age to enter the country. (Ha'aretz, 20 November)

286. On 20 November, Israel decided to increase from 200 to 500 the number of lorries authorized to leave the Gaza Strip under military escort. It also decided to allow 100 lorries from the West Bank to arrive at the Karni passage for "back-to-back" loading of merchandise (lorries from the West Bank had previously been barred from travelling to the Gaza Strip and vice versa) and authorized 100 lorries to park permanently on the Israeli side of the Erez checkpoint so that they could avoid being subjected to checks and military escorts. Palestinian merchants and officials at the Ministry of Industry of the Palestinian Authority argued, however, that the improvements were hardly sufficient since there were 3,700 lorries in the Gaza Strip. In addition, they complained that lorry drivers had to wait some 12 hours at the Erez checkpoint before being allowed to leave and noted that the military escort of lorries meant that merchants had to conduct their trading activities in one area of Israel only, which severely restricted their freedom of choice. Contrary to expectations that prevailed prior to the transfer of authority to the Palestinians, the Erez industrial zone had not experienced an economic boom or become a meeting point for Palestinian and Israeli businessmen because of the serious restrictions imposed by Israel on the entry of Gazans into the area. (Ha'aretz, 22 November)

287. On 21 November, it was reported that the Palestinian Ministry of Trade and Industry was to choose 350 important businessmen and investors from the territories to whom the Israeli authorities would grant special permits that would facilitate their freedom of movement. The permits would be valid for three months, 24 hours a day, even during periods of total closure. Out of the 2,800 Palestinian businessmen registered with the Ministry of Industry, approximately 1,000 had received normal permits over the previous two weeks. The move came after three months during which residents had been almost totally barred from leaving the territories on a regular basis. (Ha'aretz, 21 November; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 24 November)

288. On 24 November, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior was reported to have taken new measures against Jerusalemites who enjoyed permanent residency status while living abroad and only returning for visits. The new measures stipulated that this category of Jerusalem resident would have to apply for a special permit for their children, including those as young as one month. (The Jerusalem Times, 24 November)

289. On 3 December, the Israeli authorities refused to allow the participants in the celebration marking the International Day for the Handicapped to reach the checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jerusalem. Several handicapped Palestinians had gathered at the Al-Ram junction in order to go to Jerusalem. A spokesman stated that the handicapped suffered considerably owing to their inability to receive medical treatment in Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

290. On 4 December, it was reported that applications for permits to enter Jerusalem would go through two offices: the Palestinian Authority and the Civil Administration. According to Bethlehem Mayor Elias Freij, the arrangement would make things more difficult for Palestinians. (Jerusalem Post, 4 December)

291. On 11 December, the Israeli authorities placed a sign at the main entrance to Bethlehem warning tourists not to enter the town without a permit issued by the Israeli police. An Israeli official stated that groups numbering less than 15 persons would not be allowed to cross the checkpoint unless a permit was obtained 21 days in advance. (The Jerusalem Times, 15 December; Al-Tali'ah, 21 December)

292. On 21 December, the PNA Minister of Economics, Ahmed Qureia, denounced the message of the billboards that appeared at several checkpoints indicating that tourists required prior permission from the Israeli authorities before entering the West Bank and Palestinian autonomous territories. (The Jerusalem Times, 29 December)

(b) Freedom of education

293. On 6 September, Education Minister Amnon Rubinstein stated that the Government would allow the Palestinian Authority to continue to oversee the private school system in East Jerusalem despite the ban on activities of the Palestinian Authority in the City. Mr. Rubinstein also stated that the Palestinian Authority would be allowed to distribute the final examinations to all Arab schools in Jerusalem, including State-run schools. On the other hand, Mr. Rubinstein indicated that school books with the Palestinian Authority's insignia would continue to be forbidden in Jerusalem's State-run Arab schools. (Jerusalem Post, 7 September)

294. On 27 September, the Palestinian Information Centre for Human Rights confirmed in a statement that only 600 out of the 1,250 students from Gaza had received permits to enter the West Bank in order to attend their university classes. The statement indicated that even students who had received permits were continuously harassed by the Israeli authorities. (The Jerusalem Times, 29 September)

295. On 12 December, the Israeli authorities began issuing exit permits to residents of the Gaza Strip who studied in the West Bank. The move reportedly came two months after the beginning of the academic year at the higher education institutions in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority received 230 permits for students who had valid magnetic cards while an additional 180 permits were due to be issued during the following days for students whose magnetic cards had expired. Some 135 Gazan students were barred from leaving Gaza for "security reasons" but their names had not been published. In November, the Israeli authorities reportedly decided to allow some 350 female students to leave the Strip. However, the Palestinian Authority initially rejected the arrangement as discriminatory and prevented the students from leaving until the beginning of December. Some 1,003 students out of 1,200 were said to have been issued permits to enter the West Bank at the end of November but were prevented from leaving the Gaza Strip at the last moment on the orders from the OC Southern Command. The issuing of permits to Gazan students is said to have been regularly delayed in 1995. Numerous students missed at least one semester as a result. In November, ACRI announced that unless students were allowed to pursue their studies regularly, it would petition the High Court of Justice against what it described as the extreme unreasonableness of the military authorities' conduct and their unjustifiable violation of the students' right to pursue their studies on a regular basis. In addition, ACRI demanded, together with other Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations, that the Israeli authorities establish clear rules that would enable all the enrolled students to obtain their permits on time. (Ha'aretz, 13 December)

296. On 21 December, the Jerusalem Police prevented the holding of a scholarship awards ceremony in East Jerusalem. The ceremony, during which scholarships were to be awarded to Palestinian students from the West Bank, was banned at the order of Public Security Minister Moshe Shahal, allegedly on the grounds that it violated the law prohibiting the Palestinian Authority from carrying out its activities in Jerusalem. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 22 December)

(c) Freedom of religion

297. On 20 August, members of the Israeli extremist group the Temple Mount Zealots tried to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque by force. They confronted the Israeli police and Palestinian residents who stopped their advance. (The Jerusalem Times, 25 August)

298. On 1 September, it was reported that the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron had reopened following a five-day closure imposed by the Israeli authorities. Settlers living in the vicinity called for the expulsion of Hebron's citizens to Jordan. (The Jerusalem Times, 1 September)

299. On 19 September, a large contingent of Israeli special forces escorted 20 Jewish extremists on a tour of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. An altercation took place between Palestinians who were in the compound and the commander of the special forces unit whom locals identified as a member of the extreme Israeli right. (The Jerusalem Times, 22 September)

300. On 29 September, it was reported that religious Jews had recently placed 10 tombs in the area of Salduhah, on the south-eastern side of the wall adjoining the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The tombs were empty and were placed next to a prominent tourism development project being undertaken by the Jerusalem Municipality. A member of the Islamic Waqf protested the move saying that Salduhah is Islamic property and does not belong to the Israeli municipality. (The Jerusalem Times, 29 September)

301. On 13 October, it was reported that the Israeli High Court had decided to allow a group of Jewish zealots to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the occasion of the Feast of the Tabernacles. In a separate development, it was reported that Israelis had planned to build a 200-metre tunnel under Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem. The proposed tunnel would be a pedestrian passage for religious Jews who wanted to pray at the site. (The Jerusalem Times, 13 October)

302. On 21 November, the IDF removed Torah scrolls and other religious objects, including a mezuzah, which settlers had placed in the Al Arba'een Mosque, located in Tel Rumeida. Later in the day, however, hundreds of settlers who were joined by yeshiva students and other orthodox Jews arrived at the site, which they claimed was a synagogue, prayed there and listened to speeches by the rabbi and the head of the Kiryat Arba settlement. (Ha'aretz, 22 November)

303. On 21 November, the IDF closed Al Arba'een Mosque in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron after evicting Jewish settlers who had moved into the mosque two days earlier. The mosque was declared closed for one week. (The Jerusalem Times, 24 November)

304. On 14 December, IDF and border police troops closed the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron for several hours and tightened security after an incident in which a Palestinian was shot dead by border policemen. (Ha'aretz, 15 December)

(d) Freedom of expression

305. On 4 September, it was reported that Police Minister Moshe Shahal had announced that three East Jerusalem-based Palestinian institutions that had been slated for closure could remain open on condition that they signed a declaration affirming their independence from the Palestinian Authority. (Jerusalem Post, 4 September)

306. On 11 September, the IDF and the police removed the Palestinian flag from the Kortuba elementary school for girls in Hebron and ordered the schoolmaster not to fly it again for fear of clashes between settlers and Palestinians in the town. The order, which was greeted with satisfaction by the settlers, was issued following an incident in which settlers forcibly removed a Palestinian flag from the school building, beat the schoolmaster and injured several schoolgirls who had staged a march to protest against the incident. On 14 September, soldiers once again removed the Palestinian flag from the school building. On 15 September, tension was high in Hebron after soldiers removed the Palestinian flag from the building of the local office of the Ministry of Economy and Trade of the Palestinian Authority. On 16 September, a Civil Administration officer three times removed the Palestinian flag from the Kortuba elementary school. (Ha'aretz, 12 and 17 September)

307. On 20 September, Palestinian journalists carrying press cards issued by the Government of Israel were kept away by police from the Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) during the visit of the Israeli President to the shrine. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 22 September)

308. On 21 September, border policemen briefly detained five Palestinian photographers who had tried to cover riots in Nablus where two Palestinians were killed by IDF gunfire. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 22 September)

309. On 29 September, it was reported that the Israeli army had arrested five Palestinian journalists who were covering the confrontations that had taken place in Nablus earlier in the week. The journalists, who were working for the Reuters, WTN, IB Agency and ABC news agencies, were taken to Nablus central prison and later released. (The Jerusalem Times, 29 September)

310. On 7 October, security forces detained for two hours the headmaster of the Kortuba girls' school in Hebron and two of the school's security guards after the headmaster refused to comply with an order to sign a commitment to stop flying the Palestinian flag on top of the school building. (Ha'aretz, 8 October)

311. On 8 October, 22 female Palestinian security prisoners who had received commutations of their sentences following the Oslo II Agreement refused to leave prison and sign a commitment not to revert to "terrorist" activities in order to protest against a decision by President Ezer Weizman and OC Central Command Ilan Biran not to release four female prisoners who had been convicted of murder and as an accomplice to murder. Only one female prisoner who had been placed in solitary confinement and claimed that she did not know about the decision of the other prisoners left Sharon prison and returned to her home in East Jerusalem. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 10 October; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 13 October)

312. On 16 November, the Israeli authorities removed the Palestinian flag from the main post office in Hebron which, is under the authority of the Palestinian Ministry of Information. The incident followed clashes between the citizens of Hebron and Jewish settlers. (The Jerusalem Times, 24 November)

313. On 11 December, Israel blocked the holding of a Palestinian high-level economic meeting in a building in Jerusalem owned by the Vatican. A senior Israeli government official stated that the meeting represented an attempt by the Palestinian Authority to exploit the Vatican in order to set a precedent in Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post, 12 December)

314. On 14 December, the Jerusalem police detained the Palestinian Authority's Deputy Minister of Planning and International Cooperation and prohibited the Minister of Education from entering the Palestinian National Theatre in East Jerusalem on the grounds that a meeting there was supposed to be held under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority. The organizers of the meeting, which was planned for the occasion of the Palestinian Teacher's Day, rejected the accusation. (Ha'aretz, 15 December)

3. Information on settlers' activities affecting the civilian population

315. On 28 August, Jewish settlers threw empty bottles and stones and opened fire at Arab houses located near the Telat Al Kharsina settlement in Hebron. In separate incidents, several residents were subjected to beating by settlers in the city of Hebron. (Al-Tali'ah, 31 August)

316. On 2 September, parents and students from three schools in East Jerusalem - Dar A Tifel, Khawlah Bint Al Azwar and Dar Al Awlad - announced that they were staging an open-ended sit-in in order to protest the presence of settlers demonstrating near Palestinian schools. The settlers, who had been camping in front of Orient House and the Dar A Tifel school since the beginning of the summer, had been harassing students on their way to and from school. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 September; Al-Tali'ah, 14 September)

317. On 5 September, a Palestinian teacher, Nather Takrouri, was attacked by two Jewish extremists while leaving the Dar A Tifel school in Jerusalem. He was injured and taken to Makassed Hospital. The Israeli police stated that the settlers had a permit to demonstrate and could stay. Settlers tried to raid the boarding school during the night, but were prevented from doing so by Orient House guards. One guard was injured while another was arrested by the Israeli border police. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 September; Al-Tali'ah, 14 September)

318. On 6 September, a group of Israeli settlers led by Rabbi Moshe Levinger tried to prevent Waqf officials from moving back into their premises in Hebron. The settlers smashed the front door and attacked Waqf employees. The IDF intervened in order to stop the confrontations between Hebron residents and settlers. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 September)

319. On 10 September, settlers injured 10 schoolgirls and beat their headmaster in Hebron. Palestinian residents stated that the incident began when several settlers entered the Kortuba girls' elementary school near Beit Hadassah in the centre of Hebron in order to remove the Palestinian flag from the school building. According to eyewitnesses, the settlers entered the school, took down the flag and pushed and beat the headmaster who tried to stop them. Afterwards, they tore the flag to pieces in front of the pupils and the headmaster. Following the incident, the pupils, accompanied by several teachers, staged a protest march during which they were harassed by several settlers who grabbed the Palestinian flag they were carrying on a pole, hit them with the pole, kicked several of them and threw stones and bottles at them. Ten girls were rushed to a nearby hospital where their wounds were bandaged. No settlers were arrested in connection with the incidents. (Ha'aretz, 11 and 12 September)

320. On 13 September, teachers at the Kortuba elementary school in Hebron reported that Stars of David had been sprayed on the walls of the school while garbage had been placed at the entrance door, which had been covered with glue. Teachers and parents also stated that several settlers accompanied by MK Shaul Gutman had entered the school and tried to remove a Palestinian flag from the building and put an Israeli flag in its place. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 14 September; also referred to in Al-Tali'ah, 14 September; The Jerusalem Times, 15 September)

321. On 14 September, it was reported that Jewish settlers from the Barkha and Yetsahar settlements had blocked the road leading to the secondary school in Burin. The school secretary, Ahmed Kassem Khalifa, stated that this had been the eighth attack on the school since the beginning of the year. The last reported attack had taken place on 23 July, when settlers had set fire to rubber tyres inside the school, burning several doors and windows. (Al-Tali'ah, 14 September)

322. On 18 September, B'tselem, the Israeli human rights organization focusing on the treatment of Palestinians, called for the evacuation of the 450 Jewish settlers in Hebron on the grounds that it was impossible to secure Palestinian human rights as long as the Israelis remained in the town. In a 33-page report entitled "Impossible Coexistence", the organization stated that despite the decisions of the Shamgar Commission, which had been set up following the Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) massacre, the Israeli authorities continued to react with leniency and turn a blind eye to the frequent acts of violence of settlers against Palestinians and continued to make the daily lives of the city's Palestinian residents more difficult in a way that compromised their rights. The report pointed in particular to the severe violation of the residents' freedom of movement, especially since the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre. According to the report, 32 roadblocks and 10 manned checkpoints had been set up in the centre of Hebron, causing great difficulties to the residents and occasionally placing them in danger. The report spoke about the case of a woman in labour who had to walk some 250 metres on her way to the hospital because Palestinian vehicles were not allowed into the area where she lived. The report indicated further that since the massacre the lives of some 100,000 Arab residents of the Hebron area had been seriously disrupted with 50 days of curfew and 40 night curfews, the killing of 26 Palestinians and violent house searches. In addition, Hebron Mayor Mustafa Natshe stated that the closure of the vegetable market had cost the municipality more than NIS 1 million in taxes from shopkeepers who refuse to pay taxes without being able to use the premises. A Palestinian-run petrol station had to close because access to the area was denied to Palestinian vehicles. Only 27 shops out of the 76 shops located along the street where settlers lived remained open because of loss of business and the fears of the merchants. In its conclusions, the report stated that for more than 20 years the Israeli authorities had failed to fulfil their duty to protect the lives and property of the Palestinian residents of Hebron against repeated attacks by settlers. The resolute instructions of the Shamgar Commission had not been followed in full while those which had been followed (such as increased military presence in Hebron) only augmented the suffering of the Palestinian population. Finally, the report claimed that any political solution that preserved the Jewish settlement in the city and Israeli control over it, wholly or partially, would inevitably lead to additional violation of the human rights of the city's Palestinian residents. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 19 September)

323. On 22 September, Palestinian sources reported that an 18-year-old Palestinian man had been shot in the legs by settlers on the road linking Kiryat Arba to Givat Harsina. The circumstances under which the incident occurred were unknown. (Ha'aretz, 24 September)

324. On 22 September, Palestinian residents reported that a Palestinian from the Kalandia refugee camp (West Bank) had been shot and seriously injured by a settler who had opened fire on a group of youths near the camp. (Ha'aretz, 24 September)

325. On 25 September, a few hours after the signature of the Taba Accords, several attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinian residents and their property were reported in Hebron. At least seven residents were injured by settlers' stones or bullets, including a child of 3 and a youth of 17 who were intentionally run over by settlers' cars. (Al-Tali'ah, 28 September)

326. On 26 September, Jewish settler Michael Ben Shitreet allowed his dog to attack journalist Kawthar Salaam while she was interviewing a resident of Hebron in the street. (The Jerusalem Times, 29 September)

327. On 27 September, officials of the Palestinian Authority led a march in Hebron to show their opposition to the Jewish settlement in the town, which has been left in place under the Oslo II Agreement. Mutuawakel Taha, head of the Information and Culture Ministry of the Palestinian Authority, stated that the protest was meant to serve as a warning against the continued presence of the settlers in Hebron, which, he cautioned, could disrupt the whole peace process. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 28 September)

328. On 28 September, Jewish settlers were reported to have set up camp at St. Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. The settlers, under the protection of Israeli soldiers, built barricades at two key points in the village. Residents had been prohibited from moving beyond the barricades and some 1,500 students had been prevented from going to school. In a separate development, thousands of settlers opposed to the peace agreement held demonstrations in the streets of Hebron. Four cars belonging to Palestinian residents were vandalized and nine Palestinian houses were stoned during the day. The streets of Hebron were deserted, in compliance with a strike sponsored by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements. (The Jerusalem Times, 6 October)

329. On 30 September, hundreds of settlers staged a protest march in Hebron, smashing car windows and throwing stones at Palestinian homes. Some of the settlers shouted "This is our land" and "Slaughter the Arabs". (Ha'aretz, 1 October)

330. On 30 September, the residents of Burin village in the Nablus area complained that settlers from the Yitzhar settlement had set fire to land belonging to the village, had fired shots in the air and stolen 70 sheep. (Ha'aretz, 1 October)

331. On 1 October, Israeli settlers from the Jordan Valley blocked the road leading to the Allenby Bridge for more than two hours. The settlers were protesting against the signing of the second phase of the Oslo Accords and the extension of the rule of the Palestinian National Authority. (The Jerusalem Times, 6 October)

332. On 4 October, some 250 settlers accompanied by right-wing activists tried to enter Kalkiliya but were prevented from doing so by IDF and border police troops. (Ha'aretz, 5 October)

333. On 17 October, some 200 settlers marched through Hebron in order to protest against plans concerning the opening of the town's wholesale market. Hebron settlement leaders claimed that opening the market area, which had been closed to Arab traffic since the Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) massacre, would represent a security threat. (Jerusalem Post, 18 October)

334. On 17 October, 8,000 Gazans aged 35 and over (out of the 16,000 labourers who were in possession of valid work permits and magnetic cards on the eve of the closure) were allowed to return to work in Israel. The stringent age restrictions were said to have provoked considerable anger among the labourers and trade unions since the bulk of Gaza's workforce consisted of Palestinians aged between 20 and 35. (Ha'aretz, 18 October)

335. On 30 October, the IDF prevented some 100 settlers from Hebron and Kiryat Arba from entering the Hebron casbah. It was the third time in a week that the settlers had organized "patrols" through Hebron in order to affirm their presence in the town. (Jerusalem Post, 31 October)

336. On 31 October, pupils and teachers from the Kortuba girls' school in Hebron were attacked once more by Jewish settlers from the area. The headmistress, Feryal Abu Haikal, stated that a group of settlers had raided the school, beaten a teacher whom they accused of tearing down a poster they had placed on the wall outside the school and beaten several students. Seven students were taken to hospital. (The Jerusalem Times, 3 November)

337. On 19 November, a Palestinian man from Hebron, whose home was located some five metres away from the Kiryat Arba fence, petitioned the High Court of Justice to order the IDF and the police to protect him against harassment by Jewish settlers. The Court was also requested to issue an order forbidding settlers from Kiryat Arba to enter his land. The Palestinian, Shaker D'ana, claimed through his lawyer that settlers from Kiryat Arba had been harassing him and his family for some 20 years and had caused them both physical and psychological damage. Settlers were alleged, among other things, to have encroached on his land, thrown stones and bottles at his home and repeatedly threatened him with death and eviction. The appeal provided several examples of such incidents that had occurred in the course of the previous three months. They included an incident in which a youth from the Kiryat Arba settlement pointed a gun at Mr. D'ana and two of his daughters as they were busy repairing their roof following an attack by Jewish settlers; an incident when settlers came to his home at 11 p.m. and for three consecutive hours shouted "Slaughter the Arabs" and "Muhammad is dead" and threw stones at the house; and incidents in which live ammunition was fired at the house. The appeal stated that since the Cave of the Patriarchs (Ibrahimi Mosque) massacre, incidents of harassment had been on the rise, with settlers throwing stones at the house three or four times a week, especially at night, shooting at it and even throwing grenades. Mr. D'ana stated that over the years he had repeatedly lodged complaints with the Police and the Civil Administration against the settlers' violent acts, but to no avail. (Ha'aretz, 20 November)

338. On 24 November, sources at the Hebron municipality reportedly stated that settlers had recently moved into houses in the Tel Rumeida area whose owners were absent at the time. (The Jerusalem Times, 24 November)

339. On 2 December, Meretz MK Dedi Zucker asked Prime Minister Shimon Peres and the Attorney-General Michael Ben-Yair to prohibit settlers from conducting armed patrols in the West Bank. He denounced the settlers as illegal militia whose members had to be treated as law-breakers. Mr. Zucker made his request after the Council of Jewish Settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza had affirmed that settlers would continue with their patrols in the West Bank. (Jerusalem Post, 3 December)

340. On 3 December, it was reported that unknown persons, apparently settlers, had entered Urif village (West Bank) during the weekend and had opened fire at houses. Residents reported damage to solar heaters. (Ha'aretz, 3 December)

341. On 4 December, a resident of the Bab Al Silesleh Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem was badly injured when the floor of her house collapsed as a result of excavations being carried out by settlers underneath the house. Settlers have been burrowing tunnels since the 1970s under both the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the surrounding area of the Muslim Quarter. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

342. On 5 December, it was reported that settlers from the Maaleh Adumim and Alon settlements had established a new outpost in Ein Fuar, which they were manning around the clock. The outpost is said to have been set up without a permit but with the tacit agreement of the IDF. (Ha'aretz, 5 December)

343. On 8 December, settlers from the Beir Horon settlement near Ramallah broke the fence surrounding the 24 dunums of land belonging to Atweh Jaber, a villager from At Tirh. Villagers managed to stop the settlers from entering the land with their bulldozers. This was not the first time that the settlers had encroached on Jaber's land. Jaber's ownership of the land was attested by the Custodian of Absentee Property as well as by the attorney for the settlement. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

344. On 8 December, Prime Minister Shimon Peres stated that Israel would immediately issue 9,500 additional work permits to Palestinians. This would bring the number of Palestinians allowed to work in the country to approximately 45,000. (Jerusalem Post, 10 December)

345. On 9 December, the IDF announced that 2,700 additional Palestinian labourers from Gaza and 6,800 from the West Bank would be allowed to enter Israel. (Jerusalem Post, 10 December)

346. On 17 December, two residents of the Arab village of El Khader petitioned the High Court of Justice against the Israeli authorities' refusal to take action against Jewish settlers who had illegally begun construction on their property. According to the petitioners, on 26 November, a group of settlers from the nearby Neve Daniel settlement began laying foundations for a factory on their land. The petitioners reported that they had lodged a complaint with the Gush Etzion police the same day, but they had taken no action. On 1 December, they lodged another complaint with the army, again without response. The petitioners stated that they had checked with the Civil Administration offices in Bethlehem for records that the land had been expropriated but could not find any. (Jerusalem Post, 18 December)

347. On 19 December, the Hebron police detained at least nine Jewish settlers for rioting, throwing stones, verbally abusing Palestinians and trying to overturn two Palestinian-owned vehicles following an incident in which a Jewish girl was slightly injured by an axe-wielding Arab in the Hebron casbah. The settlers were released after one hour. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 20 December)

348. On 22 December, it was reported that the Zu Arzenu ("This is our Country") movement had announced that it intended to conduct independent patrols by settlers in the West Bank with the proclaimed aim of coming to the rescue of Israelis who were caught in trouble there. (Ha'aretz, 22 December)

D. Treatment of detainees

(a) Measures concerning the release of detainees

349. On 6 September, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin stated that Israel would not consider releasing any Palestinian prisoners who had either murdered or wounded Israelis. Mr. Rabin stated, however, that other criteria would be discussed once a final status agreement had been reached. Under the Oslo Agreement, final status negotiations were to be conducted by May 1999. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 7 September)

350. On 15 September, it was reported that an Israeli prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment in 1984 would be released on parole the following week after having served two thirds of his sentence. David Ben-Shimol was convicted in 1984 for firing a hand-launched missile at an Arab bus in Jerusalem, killing one man and injuring over a dozen passengers. (The Jerusalem Times, 15 September)

351. On 10 and 11 October, between 900 and 950 Palestinian prisoners, none of whom had been convicted of murder, were released from Israeli prisons in the first stage of the prisoner release envisaged by the Oslo II Agreement. Under the Agreement, Israel committed itself to releasing Palestinian prisoners in three stages: a week following the signing of the accord, prior to elections for a Palestinian Council, and during the final status negotiations. (Ha'aretz, 11 October; Jerusalem Post, 10 to 12 October)

352. On 13 October, Israeli sources reported that 882 Palestinian prisoners had been released, including 507 political prisoners. The rest were common law prisoners. According to the Palestinian peace negotiator Sufian Abu Zaydeh, it had been agreed that the files of ordinary criminals were to be handed over to the Palestinian Police, who would decide which prisoners were to be released. Abu Zaydeh stated that the Israelis had acted independently on the matter. (The Jerusalem Times, 13 October)

353. On 22 October, it was reported that the detention of Ahmad Qatamesh, the longest-standing administrative detainee, had been extended for another six months, until 13 April 1996. The measure meant that Ahmad Qatamesh, who is considered by many to be one of the most important leaders of the PFLP in the West Bank, would not be able to take part in the elections for a Palestinian Council. Mr. Qatamesh's lawyer and relatives were of the opinion that the security authorities had decided to prolong his detention in order to "neutralize" him before the elections and prevent him from influencing public opinion in the West Bank. Mr. Qatamesh had been detained for more than three consecutive years without being placed on trial. (Ha'aretz, 22 October)

354. On 8 December, Prime Minister Shimon Peres pledged to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners prior to Palestinian Council elections scheduled to be held in January. According to The Jerusalem Times, over 5,375 prisoners were still detained in Israeli jails. (Jerusalem Post, 10 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

355. On 22 December, the Palestinian women prisoners held in the Telmond-Hasharon prison demanded their immediate and simultaneous release so that they could participate in the forthcoming Palestinian elections. The female detainees expressed their disappointment at the Israeli lack of compliance with the decision to release them. (The Jerusalem Times, 22 December)

356. On 27 December, the Interministerial Committee on Palestinian Prisoners' Release firmly rejected a Palestinian demand for the release of five female prisoners who were involved in the killing of Israelis. Previously, the President of Israel had refused to grant amnesty to those prisoners. As a result, 20 other female prisoners who had not been implicated in the killing of Israelis refused to be released in order to protest against the decision. In another development, the Committee decided to examine the personal files of 1,100 Palestinian prisoners who were serving their sentences in prisons in Israel and who were due to be released before the Palestinian Council elections. (Ha'aretz, 28 December)

(b) Other information concerning detainees

357. On 8 September, a Palestinian detainee from the Dheisheh refugee camp filed an appeal through his lawyer with the High Court of Justice demanding that the GSS be ordered to stop shaking him during interrogation. The man, Ahmed Hijazi, who had been arrested on suspicion of belonging to the Hamas movement and of being involved in a recent suicide bombing attack, stated that he had been told by his interrogators that he might die during his interrogation. He also indicated that he was unable to see anything after five minutes of being repeatedly shaken and beaten on the back. In an urgent letter to the State Attorney, the detainee's lawyer, André Rosenthal, warned that he feared for Hijazi's life, indicating that Hijazi had been interrogated in an intensive and continuous manner since 4 September, except for one-and-a-half hours during which he nevertheless remained handcuffed. In addition, Mr. Rosenthal claimed in the appeal that the GSS rejected his request to visit Hijazi on the grounds that he was under interrogation. A previous appeal by the detainee to prohibit the GSS from subjecting him to sleep deprivation was turned down by the High Court of Justice on 5 September on the grounds that such a measure was necessary for the interrogation. (Ha'aretz, 10 September)

358. On 10 September, a Palestinian security prisoner, Abed Rantisi, 23, from Gaza, was murdered by three other security prisoners following an ongoing feud. Rantisi's family blamed the Prisons Service for his death, claiming that the prison authorities were aware that he was at odds with many of his cellmates but did nothing to separate them. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 11 September)

359. On 10 September, a Palestinian prisoner, Abdul Fatah Rantisi, 32, from the Shati' refugee camp in the Gaza Strip was beaten to death in his cell at Ashkelon Prison. It is believed that the persons who killed Rantisi were Israeli collaborators. Rantisi had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the killing of collaborators. This brought to 41 the number of Palestinian detainees who had died in Israeli prisons since the beginning of the intifadah. (The Jerusalem Times, 15 September)

360. On 13 September, the High Court of Justice gave the Ministerial Committee on the GSS 60 days to explain why GSS interrogators should not stop shaking prisoners violently during questioning. However, the Court, which had issued the order at the request of ACRI, rejected another request by the Association calling for a temporary restraining order preventing GSS interrogators from practising such a form of interrogation until a further discussion of the issue was held. (Jerusalem Post, 14 September)

361. On 28 September, a Palestinian prisoner from Nablus, Ibrahim Kanaze, reportedly died in prison. (Al-Tali'ah, 28 September)

362. On 19 October, the Special Ministerial Committee on GSS Affairs granted the GSS a three-month extension authorizing it to use "special measures" during the interrogation of Islamic Jihad and Hamas activists. The measures included the exertion of physical pressure on suspects, including "body shaking" and the right to deprive them of legal assistance until information deemed vital by interrogators was obtained from them. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 20 October)

363. On 26 October, it was reported that ACRI had demanded that the Chief of the Police, Assaf Hefetz, take immediate action in order to improve the conditions of detention of Palestinians arrested in Israel without a stay permit. ACRI described the detainees' detention conditions as disgraceful and intolerable. ACRI claimed that at the Kishon detention facility, 20 Palestinian detainees were being held in a tiny cell without any toilet paper, soap or towels. Several detainees had to share the same mattress at night because there were insufficient mattresses for all the prisoners. Detainees suffered from the cold because they were given only one blanket to cover themselves while all the mattresses were withdrawn from the cell in the morning. In response to ACRI allegations, the Kishon prison authorities stated that the absence of adequate detention conditions at the facility was due to the fact that the detainees were not held there for long periods. (Ha'aretz, 26 October)

364. On 26 October, Palestinian detainees at the Ansar III detention camp in the Negev desert announced that the prison administration had recruited collaborators to infiltrate the prison population. (The Jerusalem Times, 3 November)

365. On 12 November, it was reported that human rights organizations in East Jerusalem and the West Bank had denounced what they described as the deterioration of detention conditions at the Ketziot detention facility in the Negev desert. The organizations reported that detainees had staged a five-day hunger strike a week earlier and were threatening to commit collective suicide (also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 10 November). According to information obtained by the Al-Damir organization, the detainees, who had been transferred to the facility following the evacuation of the West Bank prisons of Jenid, Nablus, Ramallah, Jenin and Hebron, were subjected to particularly harsh conditions of detention. These included torn tents; an insufficient number of blankets; spoilt food (more than 100 prisoners had suffered from food poisoning at the beginning of the month); and lack of soap and hot water. They were held separately from other detainees and were denied visits. Furthermore, they were subjected to collective punishment. In response to the allegations, the IDF spokesman stated that the conditions at the facility had not changed and proceeded to explain that detainees had been kept separately because of "disorderly conduct" and that the modalities concerning family visits, which had been prohibited under the closure, were re-established earlier in the week. In an additional related development, detainees at the Nafha prison submitted to the Nazareth-based Prisoners' Friends Association a letter of complaint stating that detainees, especially those whose families lived in Gaza, were denied family visits. In yet another related development, the Prisoners' Friends Association reported that detainees at the Shata prison had also complained about their conditions of detention, notably about poor food and lack of hygiene. Referring to the accusations, the Prisons Service spokesman stated that family visits depended on factors beyond the control of the Prisons Service (i.e. the closure imposed on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) and insisted that the conditions of detention at the facility did not differ from those in other prisons. (Ha'aretz, 12 November)

366. On 19 November, as a preliminary step to partial redeployment, the Israeli authorities pronounced the Hebron prison closed after transferring its 600 inmates to prisons inside the Green Line. (The Jerusalem Times, 24 November)

367. On 1 December, it was reported that Islam Sharif Abu Al Izzah had been severely slapped on the face during interrogation, which caused him to lose one eye. The family filed a complaint against the prison authorities. In another incident, a 15-year-old boy, Abdel Rahman Asaad Shamlah, was reportedly rushed to hospital from the interrogation cells at Ashkelon prison when he lost all motor coordination. Hamas prisoners reported that the boy had been undergoing harsh interrogation for the past two months. Shamlah is suspected of belonging to the Izz al-Din al-Qassam wing of Hamas. (The Jerusalem Times, 1 December)

368. On 11 December, a Palestinian prisoner from the Gaza Strip was stabbed to death (see list) at Beersheba prison by several other Arab inmates while he was taking a shower. The Prisons Service claimed that the murder had been motivated by a dispute among the prisoners and indicated that the case was under investigation. (Jerusalem Post, 12 December)

369. On 13 December, two Palestinian detainees from the Hebron area appealed to the High Court of Justice to order the GSS to explain why it would not permit them to consult a lawyer. In addition, the Court was requested to issue an interim order banning the GSS from interrogating them pending a deliberation on their appeal. (Ha'aretz, 14 December)

370. On 21 December, three Palestinian detainees in Ashkelon prison petitioned the High Court of Justice against their torture by GSS interrogators. According to the petition filed by attorney André Rosenthal and the Centre for the Defence of the Individual, the detainees were being violently shaken by their interrogators and subjected to other forms of torture, including sleep deprivation, tying them onto small stools in painful positions with a sack placed on their head and forcing them to perform crouching exercises. One detainee had to be taken to the hospital after complaining of strong chest pains and breathing problems but was sent back to the prison infirmary, where the doctor decided that he was sufficiently healthy for further interrogation. Meanwhile, Amnesty International issued a press release in which it indicated that it considered any type of violent shaking torture. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 22 December)

371. On 29 December, it was reported that the Israeli authorities had set up summary courts at Megido prison inside the Green Line. The courts were reportedly set up to deal with the numerous prisoners evacuated from Fara prison near Nablus. Prisoners complained that the authorities were resorting to torture in order to extract confessions. (The Jerusalem Times, 29 December)

372. On 31 December, it was reported that a GSS detainee from the Gaza Strip had submitted an affidavit to the High Court of Justice charging that GSS interrogators were violating the Court's order forbidding his torture pending a hearing of his petition on the issue. The prisoner, Abed Belbaysi, who had filed a petition together with two other detainees against their torture on 21 December, claimed that despite the Court order he continued to be subjected to torture, which included placing him on a small stool in the prison courtyard for several days with his legs shackled, his hands chained behind his back to a ring on the wall and with a sack on his head. The detainee charged further that at night he was placed near a loudspeaker that played loud music until the morning. (Ha'aretz, 31 December)

E. Annexation and settlement

373. On 20 August, the IDF and the police evicted right-wing Jewish activists from the occupied hill of Magen Dan. Dozens of activists were detained for questioning but were released soon thereafter. Meanwhile, dozens of settlers from the Beit El, Psagot, Ofra, Mikhmash, Rimonim and Maaleh Levonah settlements reoccupied Har Artis where a Palestinian was shot dead by settlers a week earlier. (Ha'aretz, 21 August)

374. On 5 September, the Central Bureau of Statistics issued data revealing that the Jewish population of the occupied territories had increased by approximately 5,000 or 3.9 per cent in the first half of 1995, amounting to 133,000 persons. (Jerusalem Post, 6 September)

375. On 6 September, it was reported that a number of right-wing activists, members of the ELAD association who had occupied several buildings in the Arab village of Silwan in East Jerusalem in 1991, had recently purchased some 40 additional houses in the same village with the intention of renewing the Jewish settlement there. ELAD Chairman David Bari revealed that the association was engaged in an intensive but low-key campaign of buying houses that would culminate in their being overtly inhabited. Mr. Bari indicated that Jews would move into the houses as soon as there was a sufficient concentration of Jewish-owned houses in the village. In a comment on the affair, some Palestinian villagers indicated that they had effectively been approached by settlers who offered to buy houses they claimed were stolen Jewish property, occasionally using threats. The settlement of Jews in the village in 1991 is said to have stirred strong Arab protests and violent opposition by the villagers. (Ha'aretz, 6 September)

376. On 16 September, thousands of villagers from Sebariya, Burka, Rameen, Dei Sharaf, Beit Umreen, Naqoura and Bazariya gathered in Nablus to protest the decision against of the Israeli Civil Administration to confiscate some 850 dunums of their land to be used for a garbage dump. Villagers also claimed that the dump would adversely affect the environment of the area. (The Jerusalem Times, 22 and 29 September; Al-Tali'ah, 28 September)

377. On 19 September, it was reported that the Land and Water Establishment for Studies and Legal Services and the Association of Saint Yves had demanded that the Government reverse its decision to confiscate some 71,000 dunums (23,600 acres) of Palestinian- owned land in the West Bank. The decision to carry out the expropriation, reportedly for military purposes, for the expansion of settlements and the creation of landfills and quarries, had been announced both before and after the Oslo Agreement. According to the two organizations, the expropriations did not include land designated for the construction of bypass roads. (Ha'aretz, 19 September)

378. On 1 October, Housing Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer informed the Jerusalem Economic Forum that his Ministry intended to sell some 2,300 housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Har Homa by the beginning of 1996. Mr. Ben-Eliezer also stated that an additional 4,000 housing units would be put on sale in the settlement later in the year. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 2 October)

379. On 12 October, a report compiled by the Peace Now movement apparently showed that there was a boom in building activity in settlements in the territories and that it had reached its highest point since 1992. The report, which was submitted to the Interministerial Committee on Building in the Territories, also claimed that construction was continuing in 12 settlements despite the fact that the Committee had not given any permission for construction. (Jerusalem Post, 12 October)

380. On 12 October, Israeli bulldozers carried out ground-levelling work for the construction of a circular road to connect the settlements of Ofra and Kohav Hashahar in the Ramallah area. Landowners in the area were not given prior notice and could not appeal the decision as no formal decrees had been issued. (The Jerusalem Times, 20 October)

381. On 13 October, it was reported that the residents of eight villages in the Nablus area intended to contest the seizure by the Israeli authorities of 250 acres of their land. A 24-kilometre circular road connecting the Jewish settlements in the area was to be built on the confiscated land. (The Jerusalem Times, 13 October)

382. On 19 October, it was reported that according to the Council of Jewish Settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza the number of settlers in the territories had increased by 4 per cent in 1995 and was now standing at 146,000. (Ha'aretz, 19 October)

383. On 21 October, Israeli bulldozers levelled land near Silwad in preparation for the building of an industrial complex to service nearby settlements such as Ofra. (The Jerusalem Times, 27 October)

384. On 23 October, the Minister of Construction and Housing, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, stated that not only had he not changed his mind regarding the need for Israel to keep within its borders the settlements of Maaleh Adumim, Givat Zeev and Beitar, but that his feelings on the issue were stronger and stronger by the day. At the opening ceremony of the new Maaleh Adumim interchange, Mr. Ben-Eliezer also pledged to boost development projects in the settlement, including the construction of hotels and the creation of a territorial link with Jerusalem. The Maaleh Adumim Mayor, Benny Kashriel, stated that 6,000 housing units and several hotels with a total of 2,400 rooms as well as other tourist facilities were scheduled to be built in the settlement by the year 2005. He indicated that this would increase the settlement's population from the current 20,000 to 50,000. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 24 October)

385. On 23 October, Peace Now called on Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to delay the construction of a large shopping mall in the Maaleh Shomron settlement and submit the issue for deliberation by the Ministerial Committee on Settlement Construction. (Ha'aretz, 24 October)

386. On 23 October, work on a circular road started in the area of Jaloud village. The road will link the settlements of Shilo and Alon to the Jordan Valley. Villagers pointed out that a settler bypass road already existed in the area. An attorney from the Land and Water Establishment for Studies and Legal Services, Hosni Kalbouna, indicated that most of the confiscated land was fertile. He also stated that the existing road was far away from populated areas and was considered very safe. (The Jerusalem Times, 27 October)

387. On 24 October, the head of the Palestinian Statistics Bureau, Hassan Abu Libdeh, condemned Israel for conducting a census in East Jerusalem. Mr. Libdeh stated that Israel's unilateral annexation of the City did not give it the right to organize the census, which, he claimed, might be used to decide which Palestinians would be allowed to live in Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post, 25 October)

388. On 26 October, it was reported that the members of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe had complained of being subjected to heavy pressure aimed at forcing them to evacuate their encampment near the Maaleh Adumim settlement. The tribesmen contended that bulldozers carrying out ground-levelling work for the expansion of the settlement were passing near their tents and suffocating them with clouds of dust. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem-based Association Against Apartheid accused the Government of intending to expel the tribe into the autonomous areas. (Ha'aretz, 26 October; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 27 October)

389. On 26 October, 29 settlers were detained and subsequently released when the IDF and the police evacuated a group of settlers from Efrat after they had tried to stake a claim to Givat Hadagan, a hill located north of the settlement. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 27 October)

390. On 27 October, it was reported that the Government had recently appropriated land near the Beit El settlement in order to construct a reservoir and a road that would serve the settlements of Beit El and Ofra. An official from Beit El stated that the reservoir, slated to be built on Har Artis, was just the beginning and that the settlement had hoped eventually to build a whole neighbourhood on the site. (Jerusalem Post, 27 October)

391. On 27 October, more than 1,000 Palestinians from Halhoul staged a rally to protest against the confiscation of some 2,700 dunums (675 acres) of their land for the construction of the Hebron bypass road. The Acting Mayor of Halhoul, Mouhamad Mish'al, stated that the construction of the road was a crime since the bulk of the expropriated land consisted of the villagers' most fertile farmland. (Ha'aretz, 29 October; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 27 October)

392. On 31 October, it was reported that settlers throughout the territories had moved into hundreds of vacant State-owned homes in their settlements that the Housing Ministry had refused to rent or sell because of the Government's freeze on settlement building. Although the Housing Ministry officially denied having any information on the matter, a ministry document obtained by Peace Now reportedly showed that there had been 612 cases of settlers squatting in empty apartments in settlements. The figure did not include dozens of other cases when settlers squatted in apartments in the Ariel settlement and to whom the Government finally agreed to sell the apartments in question. (Jerusalem Post, 31 October)

393. On 1 November, the Peace Now movement called upon Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to convene a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Settlements with a view to preventing the construction of a 2,000-cubic metre reservoir on Har Artis for the benefit of the settlements of Beit El and Ofra. The reservoir and an access road were scheduled to be built on disputed strategically located land overlooking the Beit El settlement. Settlement leaders revealed that the appropriation of the land would mean that Palestinians would not gain control over the site as part of the peace accords. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 2 November)

394. On 9 November, the Palestinian residents of Kalkiliya and the village of Kafr Kaddum complained about the confiscation of their fertile farmland for the building of bypass roads to serve the settlements of Kadumim and Tzofim. In a separate development, Israeli bulldozers started ground-levelling work on land belonging to villages at the eastern outskirts of Nablus. Hundreds of olive trees were uprooted in order to make way for a bypass road that will link the settlements of Elon Moreh, Makhura, Etamar and Yitzhar. (Al-Tali'ah, 9 November)

395. On 10 November, it was reported that the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee had approved a project to build a Jewish neighbourhood with 132 housing units in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ras el Amud. (Ha'aretz, 10 November; also referred to The Jerusalem Times, 17 November)

396. On 10 November, some 25 Palestinian landowners from the Halhoul area demonstrated against the Government's plans to confiscate some 2,700 dunums of their farmland and vineyards for the construction of the Hebron bypass road. (Jerusalem Post, 12 November)

397. On 13 November, the General Bureau of Statistics released its 1995 yearbook according to which the Jewish population in settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip had increased by 9.8 per cent in 1994 to reach 127,800 (2 per cent of Israel's population), indicating a growth rate of the Jewish population that was higher than that observed elsewhere in the country. (Ha'aretz, 14 November)

398. On 14 November, the High Court of Justice issued an order nisi granting the Jerusalem Municipality and the Planning and Construction Committee 60 days to explain why they would not confiscate a plot of land in East Jerusalem occupied by a yeshiva so that a junior high school could be built there for the Arab residents of the nearby neighbourhoods of A-Tur and Aswana. The order was issued following an appeal by the A-Tur Residents' Committee claiming that the decision not to expropriate the land, to the detriment of the Arab residents, was motivated exclusively by the ideological and political affinity of the Jerusalem Mayor and his deputy with the yeshiva and went against the municipal construction plan under which the expropriation was to be carried out. (Ha'aretz, 15 November)

399. On 21 November, more than 100 Palestinian demonstrators threw stones at border policemen guarding bulldozers working on the Hebron bypass road. The demonstrators protested against the confiscation of a large amount of their fertile farmland for the construction of the road. They reportedly refused to accept financial compensation. (Jerusalem Post, 22 November; also referred to in Al-Tali'ah, 23 November)

400. On 22 November, Israeli bulldozers completed preliminary ground-levelling work in the Hebron area for the construction of Route 60. They destroyed over 5,000 dunums of farmland, mainly vineyards around Hebron and Halhoul, in the process. Route 60 is part of the settlement plan envisaged by the Government of Israel. The Hebron Municipality complained that the Israelis had ignored specific instructions from the Israeli High Court to divert the route in order to reduce the damage done to the surrounding agricultural land as well as to the homes and property of Palestinians. (The Jerusalem Times, 24 November)

401. On 23 November, the Gush Shalom movement called upon the Government to desist from expropriating Palestinian-owned land in the Kalkiliya area for the construction of a road for the benefit of the settlements of Tzufim and Kochav Yair. In its appeal, Gush Shalom claimed that the expropriation was undermining the livelihood of Palestinian farmers in the area. (Jerusalem Post, 23 November)

402. On 23 November, the Israeli Commanding Officer in the West Bank, General Ilan Biran, issued a military order for the seizure of land in El Bireh, Beitunia, Rafat and Tireh. The order number T/12/95 did not specify how many acres of land were to be seized. The declared purpose of the confiscation was that the land was required for the paving of a new settler road of some 2.5 kilometres. The municipality of Al-Bireh lodged a complaint with the Israeli Civil Administration. (The Jerusalem Times, 1 December)

403. On 27 November, dozens of Palestinians from the Al Hadar village located south of Bethlehem stood in the way of and stopped two tractors carrying out ground-levelling work on land in the vicinity of the nearby settlement of Neve Daniel, which they claimed was theirs. Work was halted for several hours but resumed in the late afternoon. Referring to the incident, the head of the Etzion Regional Council stated that the Council intended to build industrial facilities at the site and explained that it had received all the necessary permits for the construction, which he claimed was being carried on its own land. The Palestinians, however, showed papers dating from the British Mandate that testified to the fact that they owned the land, apparently confiscated several years ago without their knowledge. (Ha'aretz, 28 November)

404. On 3 December, 24 Palestinians from Halhoul petitioned the High Court of Justice against the planned building of a bypass road around their town. The Court was also requested to issue an interim injunction prohibiting any work on the road pending a final deliberation on the issue. The petitioners charged that the planned road would damage their vineyards and that the army refused even to consider an alternative route they had suggested. Moreover, the petitioners charged that they had never received any expropriation orders from any official source and added that all the information they had on the expropriation came by way of rumours, which prevented them from opposing the decision in the Planning and Building Council. They indicated, however, that even if they had all the necessary information, it would still have been useless since they had never been granted a hearing by any of the competent bodies. They concluded that the army's decision had been made with total disregard for their rights and needs and violated international law. On 7 December, the petitioners withdrew their petition from the Court because the road had already become a fait accompli and their vineyards were destroyed. A similar petition by residents of Hebron was withdrawn from the Court for the same reason. (Jerusalem Post, 4 and 8 December)

405. On 5 December, it was reported that the Binjamin Regional Council had traced dozens of routes, mostly without permits, on hills surrounding settlements under its jurisdiction. The head of the Council stated that the objective was to keep the hills under Israeli sovereignty and pointed out that the actions carried out by settlers in several locations had changed the Oslo II map and prevented armed Palestinian forces from being stationed near settlements. (Ha'aretz, 5 December)

406. On 5 December, the Israeli authorities confiscated 50 dunums of land belonging to the village of Turqumiya, south-west of Hebron, in order to set up a so-called "safe corridor" between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

407. On 8 December, it was reported that the Israeli authorities had seized 300 dunums of land belonging to the village of Beit Kahel, west of Hebron, for military purposes. A barbed-wire fence was put up around the confiscated area on 6 December. (The Jerusalem Times, 8 December)

408. On 13 December, Yossi Beilin, an Israeli government minister, told a delegation of the Peace Now movement that under a final peace agreement, Israel should retain control over the settlements of Maaleh Adumim, Betar, Pisgat Zeev, Gush Etzion as well as other settlements in Western Samaria (the north-western part of the West Bank). Mr. Beilin also stated that there was consensus in the Labour Party about Jerusalem and added that the Party did not object to the construction of Jewish neighbourhoods in Ras el Amud and Har Homa, which are located respectively in the eastern and southern parts of the City. (Jerusalem Post, 14 December)

409. On 20 December, the Bethlehem bypass road opened to traffic amid a number of incidents involving the throwing of stones on Israeli buses heading for Hebron. The road was said to be temporary and slated to be replaced in the summer by another road, which would include tunnels and a bridge linking the Gilo settlement with Gush Etzion. Meanwhile, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel requested the State Comptroller's Office to open an investigation into the decision-making process that had led to the construction of the road, which it claimed had caused environmental damage. In a separate development, settlement officials stated that the IDF was planning to build a tunnel near Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem in order to protect Jews going to pray there. According to other reports, the IDF intended to invest millions of shekels in security and infrastructure works around the Tomb compound, including the building of a parking lot, the elevation of the walls surrounding the Tomb and the establishment of observation posts in addition to other security facilities on the site. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 21 December; Ha'aretz, 22 December; also referred to in Al-Tali'ah, 21 December)

410. On 20 December, the IDF corps of engineers and private contractors began ground-levelling work at the site where an 11-kilometre-long fence was to be built in order to separate Kalkiliya, Tulkarm and other Arab population centres in the area from Jewish population centres along the demarcation line. Hundreds of Kalkiliya residents arrived at the site to protest against the project and the confiscation of Palestinian-owned land for its implementation. The demonstrators disrupted the operation and bulldozers halted work until a solution was found. (Ha'aretz, 21 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 29 December)

411. On 21 December, ground-levelling work was reportedly carried out on land confiscated from the village of Beit Kahel, near Hebron. An Israeli military outpost was to be set up on the land. (Al-Tali'ah, 21 December)

412. On 22 December, the head of the Palestinian National Security Forces in the West Bank, Brig.-Gen. Haj Ismail Abu Jaber, denied the Israeli claim that the PNA had signed a document with the Israeli side giving permission for the confiscation of Arab land for the building of a wall on the border between Kalkiliya and Israeli-held territory. Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres had apparently authorized the project on 20 December. (The Jerusalem Times, 22 December)

413. On 25 December, Prime Minister Shimon Peres met with settlement leaders from the Jordan Valley and reassured them that his Government's policy towards the region had not changed. Mr. Peres reportedly told the head of the Jordan Valley Settlements Committee that the region would remain under Israeli control. In addition, Mr. Peres was quoted as stating that he would recommend a NIS 30 million plan over three years to expand and improve Route 90, which runs along the whole length of the Jordan Valley. (Jerusalem Post, 26 December)

414. On 26 December, two segments of the Ramallah bypass road were opened for traffic. The first segment leads from Jerusalem to the settlements of Kochav Y'achov and Psagot, while the second links the Beit El settlement with the Alon road and Jerusalem. Another segment, linking the Ofra settlement with the Alon road, was still under construction. (Ha'aretz, 26 and 27 December; Jerusalem Post, 27 December; also referred to in The Jerusalem Times, 29 December)

415. On 29 December, it was reported that despite the Israeli redeployment, hundreds of acres of Arab-owned land continued to be confiscated throughout the West Bank. Israeli bulldozers began levelling land belonging to the villages of Kalandia, Rafat and Jdeirah in order to build a road connecting the Jerusalem Airport with an army base built on land confiscated from the village of Beitunia. The road, which would pass through the three villages, will be 6 kilometres long and 150 metres wide. The villagers stated that they had never been informed about the confiscation. Confiscation of land also continued between Tulkarm, Kalkiliya and the Green Line. Ground-levelling work was also reported in Kufr Libed on land recently confiscated. The residents of Surrah village received a confiscation notice from the Israeli authorities stating that 4.5 acres of land would be confiscated for military purposes. On 26 December, bulldozers began levelling tracts of land in the village of Beit Hanina. The land was to be used for a road linking Ramot with other settlements in the area. (The Jerusalem Times, 29 December)

F. Information concerning the occupied Syrian Arab Golan

416. On 30 August, officials of the Golan Regional Council revealed that in the previous two months alone, 120 Jewish families had arrived at the existing moshavim and kibbutzim on the Golan Heights. The families reportedly constituted an addition to the massive influx of newcomers to the Katzrin settlement, which had reportedly experienced a population boom during the previous 12 months. There was said to be a six-month waiting list for rental housing in Katzrin. The Golan Regional Council Chairman, Yehuda Wolman, stated that the Council was confident that the number of new families coming to live in the region, apart from Katzrin itself, would go beyond the 1,000 mark within a year and he indicated that the Council was continuing to develop and expand existing infrastructure and increase the number of workplaces - in particular in industry, tourism and agriculture - with a view to meeting the newcomers' needs. (Jerusalem Post, 31 August)

417. On 4 September, it was reported that according to a public opinion poll conducted by the Centre for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, over 50 per cent of Israelis (54.1 per cent) opposed a Syrian-Israeli peace treaty that would include a total withdrawal of Israel from the Golan Heights in exchange for security arrangements there and the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two countries. Thirty per cent expressed their support for such a treaty while 15.9 per cent stated that they were undecided on the issue. The poll, which was conducted between 7 and 17 August among 1,233 adult Jews, was said to have a margin of error of 2.9 per cent. (Jerusalem Post, 4 September)

418. On 4 September, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres voiced his disappointment at Syrian President Hafez Assad's "pessimistic tone" and his refusal to enter into high-level talks with Israel. (Jerusalem Post, 5 September)

419. On 22 September, the High Court of Justice rejected a petition filed by the Peace Now movement demanding that the Court forbid the Golan Heights Regional Council and the Katzrin local council from contributing to the campaign to keep the region under Israeli sovereignty. Peace Now claimed in its petition that the law stipulated that local councils could not finance activities whose aim was to change government polices on foreign affairs and defence matters. When the petition was first filed, the Court had agreed to a request by Peace Now to issue a temporary injunction forbidding the councils to contribute funds to the Golan campaign. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 24 September)

420. On 5 October, the huge mobile exhibition of the Golan Residents Committee reopened in the Katzrin settlement. The reopening of the exhibition was made possible after the High Court of Justice rejected a petition filed by the Peace Now movement demanding that the Court ban the Golan and Katzrin local councils from contributing funds to the Golan Residents Committee and the campaign against Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. (Jerusalem Post, 6 October)

421. On 20 November, Acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres announced that he intended to honour Yitzhak Rabin's commitment to place the question of an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights to a vote by referendum. (Jerusalem Post, 21 November)

422. On 21 November, the Golan Residents Committee announced that it was renewing its public campaign against any withdrawal from the Golan Heights despite the fact that it had intended to postpone its activities at least until the end of the 30-day mourning period for the assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The Committee Chairman stated that the decision to resume the campaign had been taken in view of the apparent willingness of Acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres to contemplate a full withdrawal from the Golan in exchange for a peace treaty with the Syrian Arab Republic. (Jerusalem Post, 22 November)

423. On 26 November, it was reported that no reference whatsoever could be found to any possible withdrawal from the Golan Heights in the Labour Party's first pre-election political information campaign, scheduled to be launched in December under the leadership of Prime Minister Shimon Peres. A reliable source in the Labour Party indicated, however, that the lack of mention of the Golan Heights in the campaign did not mean that the Prime Minister did not expect any breakthroughs with the Syrian Arab Republic on the issue in the near future. The source explained that the contrary was rather the case, since Mr. Peres was quite optimistic concerning such prospects but did not wish to cause public controversy about the Golan at present. (Ha'aretz, 26 November)

424. On 4 December, six Syrian Druze women left their families in the Syrian Arab Republic and crossed into the Golan in order to marry Druze men living in villages located in the north of the plateau. The arrival of the brides, which was mediated by United Nations observers and the International Committee of the Red Cross, was made possible after the Israeli and Syrian authorities had granted their permission for the arrangement. The last arrangement of the sort took place in November 1993. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 4 December)

425. On 16 December, American Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Prime Minister Shimon Peres announced the resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic. Their announcement came after a six-month stalemate in negotiations between the two countries. (Jerusalem Post, 17 December)


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