Annual Report: Palestinian Authority 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Palestinian Authority 2011

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  • On 25 August in Ramallah, PA security officials forcibly dispersed a peaceful protest against the PA's agreement to participate in new peace talks with Israel. Journalists, photographers and human rights monitors were among those assaulted.
  • The South Society for Women's Health, an NGO providing family planning advice to women in Rafah, was reported to have been forced to close for three weeks from 31 May by the Hamas authorities and then only allowed to reopen under Interior Ministry supervision. Two other women's NGOs in Rafah were also closed on 31 May.
  • The Sharek Youth Forum, an NGO funded by the UN Development Programme and operating in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, was issued with a temporary closure notice in Gaza on 30 November, following several months of harassment by the Hamas authorities. Its Gaza offices remained closed at the end of 2010.

Abuses by armed groups

Palestinian armed groups associated with Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine fired indiscriminate rockets and mortars into southern Israel, killing one civilian, a migrant worker from Thailand, on 18 March, and endangering the lives of others. The scale of rocket fire was much reduced compared to previous years. Israeli forces launched attacks on those they held responsible.

In May and June, unidentified Palestinian gunmen burned facilities in Gaza used by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for its summer games programme for children.

In the West Bank, four Israelis, including a pregnant woman, were killed on 31 August near the Kiryat Arba Israeli settlement as new US-sponsored negotiations between Israel and the PA were about to begin. The following day, two other Israelis were shot and wounded near another settlement, Kochav Hashachar. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for both attacks.