PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (25 – 31 May 2017)

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 25 – 31 May 2017.

7 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip were wounded during activities supporting Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, while Israeli forces continued to target the Gaza Strip border area.

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 8 Palestinian civilians, all of whom were wounded at the border area in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, Israeli navy forces continued to chase and open fire at Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip sea. In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful protests, but no casualties were reported.

 

In the West Bank, the majority of the West Bank cities witnessed protests in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in the Israeli jails. Israeli forces used force against these protests and other protests against the annexation wall and settlement activities. As a result, dozens of Palestinian civilians fainted because of tear gas inhalation. No casualties were reported.

 

In the Gaza Strip, the border area witnessed protests supporting the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in the Israeli jails and rejecting the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces used force to disperse the protestors, due to which, 8 civilians, including a child, were wounded. Seven of them were hit with live bullets and one was hit with a metal bullet.

 

In the context of Israeli attacks on fishermen in the sea, on 26 May 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed in the sea, northwest of Beit Lahia village, north of the Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at fishing boats sailing within the allowed area and chased them. Similar attacks recurred in the same area on 27 and 29 May 2017. No casualties were reported.

 

On the same day, Israeli navy forces stationed off Gaza Port opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles.

 

Concerning attacks on the border area, on 29 May 2017, Israeli forces stationed in watchtowers around al-Mentar (Karni) crossing, east of al-Shuja’iya, east of Gaza City, opened fire at agricultural lands. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 31 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 7 others into Jerusalem and its suburbs  During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 48 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children. Twenty six of them, including 2 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs, while 5 civilians, including 3 children, were arrested while participating in protests supporting the Palestinian prisoners. The number of arrested persons this week raises to 53, including 6 children.

Settlement activities

 

On 27 May 2017, a number of settlers assaulted farmer Ma’moun Amin Nassar (44), from Burin village, south of Nablus, under the guardianship of the Israeli soldiers. They threw stones at him, hitting him in the head, back and right shoulder.

 

Regarding settler attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in Jerusalem, on 31 May 2017, dozens of settlers moved into Helwa valley neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem, during a protest they organized marking the so-called “The Decent of the Torah“. The settlers threw stones at the houses, verbally insulted the residents in the area and damaged mirrors of some vehicles.

 

Restrictions on movement:

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people.  The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy.  They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons.  Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.

  • Use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall

 

Demonstrations in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities

 

  • Following the Friday prayer on 26 May 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in and N’ilin villages, west of Ramallah, al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, and Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities and in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protesters, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased the protesters into olive fields and between houses. As a result, many protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

 

Demonstrations in Solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the Friday prayer on 26 May 2017, hundreds of Palestinian civilians performed the prayer at the intersection of Bita village, south of Nablus, to support the prisoners’ demands in the Israeli jails. At the end of the prayer, a number of young men threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers, who fired live and metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them and chased them between the agricultural fields. They then arrested Ra’ed Rashad Hamayel (39) from the same village. It should be noted that Ra’ed is the brother of Fahed Hamayel, a prisoner on hunger strike.

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in the vicinity of Jaljoulia checkpoint established in the south eastern entrance to Qalqiliyah, in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike in the Israeli jails. When the protestors approached the abovementioned checkpoint, the Israeli soldiers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. The soldiers then arrested 4 civilians, including 3 children namely Ra’ed Jamil Abdullah Dawoud (17), ‘Ali Mo’ayad Yusuf Shrem (17), Ghazi Abdullah Rafiq Nofel (17) and Omer Yasser Mohammed Shrem (21).

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 26 May 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered few meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Yunis, in response to calls for protests in the border area in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and in rejection to the Israeli closure imposed on Gaza. A number of the participants set fire to tires while others headed towards the abovementioned border fence. They attempted to raise the Palestinian flags over the security fence. The soldiers stationed along the border fence fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them and the agricultural lands located in the east of the village. The shooting continued sporadically for about 3 hours. As a result, 3 civilians from Khuza’a village sustained live bullet wounds while they were in the protest area. They were transported to Gaza European Hospital and their medical condition was classified as moderate. The wounded civilians were identified as:

 

  1. Rashad Suleiman Ahmed al-Najjar (22). He sustained a live bullet wound to the right leg;
  2. Hani Fathi Husain al-Najjar (32). He sustained a live bullet wound to the right leg; and
  3. Talal Abdul Qader Suleiman al-Najjar (33). He sustained a live bullet wound to the right leg.

 

  • At approximately 14:30 on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered few meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Shuhadaa’ Cemetery, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, in response to calls for protests in the border area in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and in rejection to the Israeli-imposed closure on Gaza. A number of the protestors approached the abovementioned border fence and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed there. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them. The clashes continued until approximately 19:00 on the same day. As a result, 2 civilians were wounded and transferred to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia. The wounds of one of them were classified as serious while the other’s wounds were minor. The wounded civilians were identified as:

 

  1. Mohammed ‘Ahed Mohammed Hassan (22), from al-Sekka Street in Jabalia, was hit with a live bullet to the right thigh, which resulted in the laceration of the veins and nerves. He was transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City; and
  2. Mohammed Ibrahim Shabet (25) was hit with a metal bullet to the right hand.

 

  • Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered into the east of Gaza, in response to calls for protests in the border area in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and in rejection to the Israeli-imposed closure on Gaza. A number of them approached the border fence and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed there. The soldiers fired metal bullets and tear gas canisters at them. The clashes continued until approximately 19:00 on the same day. As a result, 2 civilians sustained live bullet wounds. They were transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Their wounds were classified as moderate.

 

  • Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian young men made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij, in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike in the Israeli jails and in rejection to the Israeli-imposed closure on the Gaza strip. The young men gathered near the security fence, set fire to tires, raised the Palestinian flags and then threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed at the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of civilians sustained tear gas inhalation and received medical treatment on the spot by the PRCS crews.

 

Continued closure of the oPt

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Gaza Strip

 

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.

Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

 

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

 

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

 

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested.

Israel has imposed a tightened closure on the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians:

 

  • Hebron: Israeli forces established (15) checkpoints all over the city.

 

On Thursday, 25 May 2017, Israeli forces established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Samou’a, Taramah, Wad al-Shajnah and Jalajel villages.

 

On Friday, 26 May 2017, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Halhoul and Sa’ir villages.

 

On Saturday, 3 similar checkpoints were established at the entrances to Beit Ummer, Tarqumiyia and Raboud villages.

 

On Monday, 29 May 2017, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, at the southern entrance to Hebron and on Wad Abu Risha road in Ethna village.

 

On Tuesday, 30 May 2017, 2 similar checkpoints were established at the eastern entrance to Dura village and at the entrance to Bani Na’iem village.

 

  • Ramallah and al-Bireh: Israeli forces established (6) checkpoints all over the city.

 

On Thursday, 25 May 2017, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah; under the bridge of Yabroud village, northeast of the city; and on the main street of “Beit Eill” settlement in al-Bireh City.

 

At approximately 19:40 on Friday, 26 May 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Um Safa village, north of Ramallah.

 

At approximately 09:30 on Monday, 29 May 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Um Safa village, north of Ramallah.

 

At approximately 23:30, a similar checkpoint was established under the bridge of Yabroud village, northeast of the city.

 

  • Jericho:

At approximately 10:05 on Friday, 26 May 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho. At approximately 20:00, a similar checkpoint was established at the intersection of al-‘Ojah village, north of the city.

 

  • Qalqiliyia: Israeli forces established (2) checkpoints all over the city.

At approximately 12:10 on Thursday, 25 May 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyia.

 

At approximately 20:45 on Monday, 29 May 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqliyia.

 

  • Salfit: Israeli forces established (3) checkpoints all over the city.

 

At approximately 14:50 on Friday, 26 May 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Salfit.

 

At approximately 22:50 on Sunday, 28 May 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Deir Balout village, west of Salfit.

 

At approximately 22:40 on Monday, 29 May 2017, a similar checkpoint was established at the western entrance to Dier Balout village, west of the city.

 

Arrests at military checkpoints:

 

  • At approximately 21:10 on Monday, 29 May 2017, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Mohamed Mahmoud Mousa al-‘Amour, from Bethlehem.

 

  • At approximately 23:50 on Monday, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near the entrance to Kafur al-Deek village, west of Salfit, during which, they arrested Oraib Waleed Mahmoud Abu Salem, from al-Laban al-Gharbi village, northwest of Ramallah.

 

 

  • Efforts to Create Jewish majority

 

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

 

Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, 25 May 2017, Israeli forces moved into Sh’ofat refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Zuhair Mohamed Abu Sinanah (24) and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, a group of undercover units of the Israeli police arrested Mohamed ‘Omar ‘Atiayh (16) and Mohamed Habash (17). The arrested persons were severely hit while they were in one of al-‘Issawiyia village’s streets, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. A member of a follow-up committee in the village of Issawiya, Mohamed Abu al-Humus, said that a vehicle of Israeli forces carrying Israeli undercover units and intelligence officers moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, where they assaulted two children and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 21:30, Israeli forces moved into Hizmah village, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They surrounded the village’s mosque during Isha prayer and fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters in the vicinity of the mosque. In the meantime, the Israeli forces arrested 4 civilians and took them to an unknown destination. The arrested persons were identified as Amjad Omar Kan’an, Ghasan Omar Kan’an, Ghazi Bader al-Khateeb, and Ishaq Mostafa Jaber.

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Monday, 29 May 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested 15 civilians. PCHR keeps the names of the arrested persons.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Shou’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mo’min Mohamed al-Dab’i (19) and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:40 on Tuesday, 30 May 2017, Israeli forces moved into Bab Hata neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They arrested two persons, who were identified as Bahaa Abdullah Najeeb (23) and Ahmed al-Bayoumi (21).

 

  • At approximately 03:00 on Tuesday, 30 May 2017, Israeli forces moved into Baten al-Hawah neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Loai Yehia al-Rajbi (21) and arrested him.

 

Settler attacks

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Wednesday, 31 May 2017, dozens of Israeli settlers moved into Wad Helwa neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They organized a demonstration to commemorate the anniversary of the so-called “The descent of the Torah”. A Palestinian civilian ,Majd Ghith, said that dozens of Israeli settlers moved into the abovementioned neighbourhood and threw stones at the civilians’ houses. They also insulted the village residents and damaged their cars’ mirrors. After that, the village’s residents confronted them until the arrival of Israeli forces.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Settler attacks:

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 27 May 2017, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar” settlement in Bureen village, south of Nablus, assaulted the farmer Ma’moun Ameen Nasar (44), from the abovementioned village, under the Israeli forces’ protection. It should be noted that while Ma’moun was grazing his sheep in “Khilat al-Nigasah” area, the Israeli settlers threw stones at him. As a result, Ma’moun was hit to his head, back and left shoulder. During which, a number of the village residents and members of the village council came and helped Ma’moun. He was then taken to Rafidiyia Hospital in Nablus.

 

Recommendations to the International Community

 

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 10 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

 

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC in 2017 to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

 

(Source / 04.06.2017)

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