According to its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the week of 14‚Äď 20 October 2010, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that two members of the Palestinian resistance were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip; three civilians were wounded, and 13 abducted, including two Israeli peace demonstrators and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank. Israeli forces continued to fire at Palestinian workers and farmers in border areas in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 34 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank this week, during which they abducted 7 Palestinian civilians, including a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. In one example of the 34 separate invasions this week, on Thursday October 12th, at approximately 22:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Liqya village, west of Ramallah. A number of Palestinian children gathered and threw stones at Israeli forces. Immediately, Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the children. As a result, a number of Palestinian civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Israeli troops stationed at military checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank abducted at least one Palestinian civilian.
Israel has continued to take measures aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem. During the reporting period, Israeli forces attempted 3 times to dismantle a sit-in tent set up by Palestinian civilians in al-Bustan quarter in Silwan village to the south of the old town of Jerusalem.
On 17 October 2010, Israeli forces abducted a Palestinian child who was run down by an Israeli settler in Silwan village. An Israeli court placed the child under house arrest and imposed a fine on his family. At approximately 05:00 on Sunday, Israeli forces moved into Wad Hilwa area in Silwan village to the south of the old town of Jerusalem. They raided a house belonging to the family of ‘Omran Mufeed Mansour, 12, who was run down by an Israeli settler on 08 October 2010, and abducted the boy. Israeli forces interrogated the child and detained him until 13:30, when an Israeli court ordered his release, but placed him under house arrest and ordered his family to pay a fine of 2,000 NIS (approximately US$ 550). According to the child’s parents, the child has been suffering from extreme fear and tension, stemming from the time he was run down by the Israeli settler. He has been suffering from psychological problems, including isolation and uncontrolled urination.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, on 17 October 2010, two member of the Palestinian resistance were killed by a missile fired by an Israeli warplane in the northern Gaza Strip.
During the reporting period, a Palestinian child was wounded when Israeli soldiers stationed at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired at them while collecting raw construction materials.
On 20 October 2010, a Palestinian farmer was wounded by Israeli gunfire in Khan Yunis during an Israeli incursion.
The illegal closure has caused not only a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of human rights and human dignity for the population of the Gaza Strip. Measures declared recently to ease the blockade are vague, purely cosmetic and fail to deal with the root causes of the crisis, which can only be addressed by an immediate and complete lifting of the closure, including lifting the travel ban into and out of the Gaza Strip and the ban on exports. PCHR is concerned that the new Israeli policy is simply shifting Gaza to another form of illegal blockade, one that may become internationally accepted and institutionalized. Palestinians in Gaza may no longer suffer from the same shortage of goods, but they will remain economically dependent and unable to care for themselves, and socially, culturally and academically isolated from the rest of the world.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. During the reporting period, Israeli forces handed a military order to the local council of Kufor Qaddoum village, east of Qalqilya, confiscating 11,245 square meters of land to established ‘a security road’ near ‘Qidoumim’ settlement, northeast of the village. Local sources expressed concerns that more areas of agricultural land would be confiscated on both sides of the planned road to be annexed to the settlement.
During the reporting period, Israeli settlers from ‘Alkanah’ settlement seized large areas of Palestinian agricultural land in Mas’ha village, northwest of Salfit. They razed at least 100 donums of agricultural land. These areas of land have been isolated by the annexation wall. In his testimony to PCHR, a Palestinian farmer stated:
‘At approximately 07:00 on Thursday, 14 October 2010, I went to my agricultural land through the northern gate of the village as I have a valid permit. A guard of the settlement, who knows me, attempted to prevent me. I told him that I was going to a tract of land other than mine, so he allowed me to pass. When I arrived at my land, I found that it was completely changed. I saw bulldozers uprooting olive trees. I moved to other tracts of land, and I saw the scenes.’
At approximately 10:00 on Friday, 15 October 2010, a number of armed Israeli settlers from ‘Allon Moreh’ settlement, northeast of Nablus, attacked Palestinian farmers who were cropping olives in the west of ‘Azmoun village. They chased and fired at the farmers to force them away from the area.
At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 15 October 2010, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Zuhar’ settlement, east of Qalqilya, set fire to olive fields in ‘Amayer al-Mansour area to the west of Til village, south of Nablus. Palestinian fire engines were not allowed to attend the affected area for more than an hour. The attack resulted in burning at least 100 donums of land planted with olives.
At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 16 October 2010, at least 15 Israeli settlers from ‘Brakha’ settlement, south of Nablus, attacked Palestinian farmers who were cropping olives in Karm al-Rasheed area in the north of Bourin village. Soon after, Israeli forces arrived at the area and forced the farmers to leave their lands.
On Monday morning, Israeli settlers from ‘Etzion’ settlement to the north of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, pumped waste water on Palestinian agricultural land in the village, and confiscated a bulldozer and a truck belonging to a Palestinian civilian.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, on Saturday morning, 16 October 2010, ‘Omar Musleh ‘Awadh, 38, went to agricultural field near ‘Etzion’ settlement to work on a tract of land belonging to the Sabarna family. At the end of the day, he parked his bulldozer in the area to continue his work on the following day. On Sunday morning, 17 October 2010, Israeli settlers pumped waste water onto the area. Large areas of agricultural land and the bulldozers were damaged. ‘Awadh called his brother who assisted him to pull the bulldozer on a heavy truck, and brought another bulldozer to the area. On Monday morning, 18 October 2010, the settlers pumped more waste water onto the land. At approximately 15:30, ‘Awadh went to the area to take his bulldozer, but he saw Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli forces, taking it. He traveled in his truck and intercepted them. Immediately, Israeli settlers and soldiers pointed their guns at him. They also took his identity card and confiscated his mobile phone. They also took him and his truck to the settlement. They released him later, but kept the bulldozers and the truck. According to Mohammed ‘;Ayad ‘Awadh, at least 50 donums of agricultural land were damaged.
At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 19 October 2010, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Bitar Elite” settlement, west of Bethlehem, set fire to areas of Palestinian agricultural land near the settlement. Fire broke out in at least 30 donums of land belonging to Palestinian farmers from Housan village. Israeli forces delayed access of fire engines to the area, which doubled the losses. According to sources of the local council of Housan village, at least 600 trees were burnt.
At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, 19 October 2010, dozens of Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli forces, gathered in Abu Martin area near Tulkarm-Nablus road. They moved to a monument established for an Israeli settler who was killed in December 2009. They remained in the area for several hours.
On Wednesday morning, 20 October 2010, Israeli settlers from ‘Elli’ settlement, south of Nablus, set fire to a store of sport equipments in a Palestinian secondary school, and wrote Hebrew words on the walls of the school. The store was completely burnt. According to the school principal, Maysoun Sawalha, the settlers broke the locks of the door of the store and burnt the equipment. She added that Israeli settlers repeatedly attack the school, and Israeli forces did not act to stop such attacks.
At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 20 October 2010, armed Israeli settlers from ‘Allon Moreh’ settlement, northeast of Nablus, attacked Palestinian farmers who were cropping olives in ‘Azmout village. The chased the farmers and fired at them.
At approximately 12:45 on Wednesday, 20 October 2010, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Qidoumim’ settlement, east of Qalqilya, threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles traveling on Nablus-Qalqilya road. No injuries were reported.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall. As a result, a Palestinian civilian was wounded, and dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders suffered from tear gas inhalation or sustained bruises. Israeli forces also abducted 5 demonstrators, including two Israeli human rights defenders.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest to the construction of the Wall and settlement activities in the West Bank, and against the establishment of a buffer zone along the border in the Gaza Strip. As a result, a Palestinian civilians was wounded. Dozens of civilians and human rights defenders also suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises. Additionally, Israeli forces abducted two Israeli human rights defenders, who were released later, and 3 Palestinian civilians.
Following the Friday Prayer on 15 October 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bil’ein village, west of Ramallah. They moved towards the annexation wall. Israeli troops stationed in the area fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten by Israeli troops.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 15 October 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest against the construction of the Annexation Wall. They clashed with Israeli troops positioned near the Wall. Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. As a result, several demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, and others sustained bruises.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 15 October 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, in protest against land confiscations in the Wad al-Raya area between the villages of Nabi Saleh and Deir Nizam. When the demonstrators attempted to reach areas of land seized by Israeli settlers near ‘Halmish’ settlement, Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, ‘Omar Saleh al-Tamimi, 21, was hit by a tear gas canister to the right foot. A number of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation. Israeli undercover units that were deployed among the demonstrators abducted two Israeli human rights defenders, but released them later. They also abducted 3 Palestinian civilians: Mohammed ‘Atallah Tamimi, 21; Mahdi ‘Abdul Wahab Tamimi, 19; and Malek Talal Tamimi, 21.
At noon on Saturday, 16 October 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They moved towards areas of Palestinian land, which are threatened of confiscation by Israeli forces, near ‘Karmi Tsur’ settlement, south of the village. Israeli forces attacked and fired at the demonstrators. As a result, Jiff, 65, an American human rights defender, sustained bruises throughout the body.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that, in recognition of ICRC as the guardian of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the ICRC increase its staff and activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including the facilitation of family visitations to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
The PCHR appreciates the efforts of international civil society, including human rights organizations, bar associations, unions and NGOs, and urges them to continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel’s respect for human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to demand Israel end its attacks on Palestinian civilians.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: