PCHR Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (18 – 25 March 2015)

March 30, 2015 3:45 AM IMEMC & Agencies Human rights, News Report, Palestine 0
30 Mar
3:45 AM

Israeli forces have continued with systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) for the reporting period of 18 – 25 March 2015.Israeli attacks in the West Bank & Gaza:

Shootings

During the reporting period, a Palestinian civilian died of wounds he sustained last week. Moreover, Israeli forces wounded 10 Palestinian civilians, including five children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; seven of whom, including the five children, were wounded in the West Bank, while the other three ones were in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces also continued to open fire at border areas in the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, a Palestinian civilian died of wounds he sustained last week, while Israeli forces wounded seven Palestinian civilians, including five children. One of the children was wounded during a weekly protest against settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall. Furthermore, six civilians, including four children, were wounded in other protests in the oPt.

On 25 March 2015, medical sources at Palestine Medical Compound in Ramallah pronounced Ali Safi (20), from al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, dead of wounds he sustained earlier.

Israeli forces continued the use of excessive and systematic force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international solidarity activists against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, a 17-year-old child sustained a bullet wound to the left leg during Kufor Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqilya.

In the same context, six Palestinian civilians, including four children, were wounded during other protests organized at the western entrance of Selwad village, northeast of Ramallah, the southern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, and around Ofer detention facility, southwest of Ramallah.

In the Gaza Strip, on 20 March 2015, three Palestinian civilians were wounded when Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire and fired tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian civilians, who were present 150-500 meters away from the said fence. As a result, the three civilians were wounded and were taken to Algeria Hospital in Abasan hospital.

In the context of opening fire at border areas, on 19 March 2015, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of al-Shuhada cemetery, east of Jabalia in the north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at the border area. Israeli forces opened fire also at approximately 13:00 on Saturday, 21 March 2015, at approximately 16:30 on Sunday, 22 March 2015, and at approximately 10:15 on Monday, 23 March 2015.

Furthermore, on 22 March 2015, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence opened fire at agricultural lands in the east of Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip.

On 23 March 2015, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence also opened fire and fired tear gas canisters at agricultural lands and shepherds, east of Deir al-Balah and al-Bureij refugee camp in the east of the central Gaza Strip.

It should be noted that because of the abovementioned shooting incidents, farmers were frightened, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

Incursions

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 77 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, six ones in East Jerusalem and a limited one in the Gaza Strip. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 67 Palestinians, including 22 children and 10 women. Thirty-one of these Palestinians, including 16 children and 10 women, were arrested in Jerusalem.

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 8 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 1.8 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.

Efforts to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem:

Incursions and arrests

On Sunday, 15 March 2015, Israeli forces moved into al-Eisawiya village, north of East Jerusalem. They raided a number of houses from which they arrested two civilians.

On the same day, Israeli forces arrested 3 girls and a woman, who were present around al-Selsela gate of al-Aqsa Mosque in the old city.

On Monday, 16 March 2015, Israeli forces moved into al-Eisawiya village, north of East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested four civilians, including three children.

On the same day, Israeli forces moved into Ras al-Amoud neighborhood, east of the old city. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested three children.

On Tuesday, 17 March 2015, Israeli forces arrested a woman and three young men while being present in the yard of al-Aqsa Mosque in the old city under the pretext of participating in riots.

On the same day, Israeli forces arrested Mahdi Hatem Abu Asab (11), while he was present in al-Qarmi neighborhood, in the old city.

On Wednesday, 18 March 2015, Israeli forces moved into Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested three civilians, including a child.

On the same day, Israeli forces raided a house belonging to Mohammed Darweesh in al-Eisawiya village, north of East Jerusalem. They searched the house and arrested his son Khaled (17).

On the same day, Israeli forces moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested two civilians, including a child.

On the same day, Israeli forces moved into Ras al-Amoud neighborhood, east of the old city. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested two children.

Also on the same day, Israeli forces arrested Jawad Siyam (42), director of the Information Center of Wadi Helwa, in Selwan village, south of the old city.

Settler attacks in the city

On Friday, 13 March 2015, 2 settlers attacked Ahmed Mohammed Essa Abu Ta’ah (19) when he was in al-Masharef Mount area ‘the French Hill’, north of the old city. As a result, he sustained wounds in the face and bruises in the neck.

At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 16 March 2015, Israeli forces surrounded a house belonging to Sab Laban family house in Aqabet al-Khalidiya in the old city. They tried to evacuate the house for the interest of settlers. Israeli forces brought demolition tools to burst out the door and force the family get out of the house. The family lawyer intervened and obtained an order to delay the evacuation.

On Wednesday, 18 March 2015, Israeli Elad Association seized by forgery a building belonging to al-Malehi family and two tracts of land in Wadi Helwa neighborhood, south of the old city.

In the same context, under the protection of Israeli forces, dozens of armed settlers seized a 500-square-meter tract of land belonging to al-Abasi family in Wadi Helwa neighborhood and established tin-made rooms on it. They also seized a 1,200-square-meter tract of land belonging to Sh’aban family in the same neighborhood. They cleaned the land and placed a caravan on it.

Restrictions on movement in the city

On Sunday morning, 15 March 2015, Israeli police denied eight buses from Sour Baher, south of East Jerusalem, access to al-Aqsa Mosque.

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property:

On 16 March 2015, Israeli forces noticed Qana Valley farmers, northwest of Salfit, that they would uproot 240 olive trees aged six years from the lands of al-Tanour lands belonging to Hasan Mustafa Mansour, Mohammed ‘Abdel Fattah Zidan and Ahmed Khalil Mansour from the village. They gave the farmers 48 hours to remove the trees starting from 15 March 2015 and threatened either to uproot the trees or to subject the three aforementioned farmers to trial, harm and detention.

On 18 March 2015, Israeli forces backed by three bulldozers moved into Kherbet Makhoul area in the Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The Israeli bulldozers immediately levelled a residential compound for Palestinian shepherds.

Israeli forces then headed to the nearby al-Hadideyah area, and their bulldozers levelled 60-square-meter barrack belonging to Ahmed ‘Abdullah Hafez Bani ‘Odah. They then went to al-Farisiyah area and confiscated two water tanks of a capacity of 12 cubic meters.

At approximately 10:00 on the Wednesday, Israeli forces moved into al-Thaheriyah village, south of Hebron. They stationed in Ma’ala Valley area in the southeast of the village and then cut down ten almond trees and cactus seedlings in addition to confiscating them. The Civil Administration officer who accompanied the Israeli soldiers sprayed chemicals at the rest of the tree stalks in the land.

On Friday, 13 March 2015, settlers gathered on the main road between Jenin, Tulkarm and Nablus near the entrance of Silet al-Thaher village, south of Jenin. The settlers fired in the air and threw stones at the passing Palestinian vehicles traveling on the aforementioned road.

On Tuesday, 17 March 2015, Israeli settlers gathered on the main road between Jenin, Tulkarm and Nablus near the entrance of Silet al-Thaher village, south of Jenin. The settlers threw stones at the passing Palestinian vehicles traveling on the aforementioned road.

Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Um al-Rayhan village, which has been isolated from its surroundings by the annexation wall, southwest of Jenin. They levelled vacant lands in the vicinity of a barrack used to manufacture marble.

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

During the reporting period, Israeli soldiers used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians, international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, a 17-year-old child sustained a bullet wound to the left leg in Kufor Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqilya.

In the same context, six Palestinian civilians, including four children, were wounded during protests at the southern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, the western entrance of Silwad village, northeast of the city, and around Ofer detention facility, southwest of Ramallah.

(PCHR keeps the names of the wounded in fear of being arrested by the Israeli forces within its policy to oppress the peaceful protests and prevent Palestinian civilians from participating).

Demonstrations against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activity

Following the Friday prayer, on 20 March 2015, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Bil’in, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The protestors marched by the annexation wall and tried to cross the fence. Israeli soldiers stationed behind the wall, in the western area, and a large number of soldiers deployed along it, fired live bullets, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs and wastewater at them and chased them into the olive fields. As a result, a number of protestors suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up by Israeli soldiers.

Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians organised a peaceful demonstration in the centre of Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The demonstrators took the streets and headed to the annexation wall. Israeli forces closed the gates of the wall with barbwires and prevented the demonstrators from crossing to the land behind it before they responded by throwing stones. Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the civilians, and chased them into the village. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up.

Also following the Friday Prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders gathered in the center of Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, to start the weekly peaceful protest against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The protesters walked towards the gate erected by Israeli forces near the entrance of the village and leading to Palestinian lands that Israeli settlers from the nearby ‘Halmish’ settlement are trying to seize. Israeli soldiers who had been extensively deployed in the area and near all the entrances of the village since the morning, began to confront the protesters who wanted to walk towards the affected lands. Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up.

At approximately 12:20, Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists organized a protest in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilya, heading to the eastern entrance of the village in protest against closing that entrance since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada with an iron gate. The demonstrators threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters in response. As a result, a 17-year-old child sustained a bullet wound to the left leg.

Other demonstrations

Following the Friday prayer, 20 March 2015, dozens of Palestinians gathered at the western entrance of the Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah, on the road between Silwad and Yabroud villages, near Bypass road (60), in protest at the Israeli policies. Protestors set fire to tires and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at the aforementioned road and Israeli soldiers. In response, Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. Israeli soldiers raided a house belonging to Mo’amer Ayyad (38) and turned it into a military barrack to fire at the protestors. As a result, three civilians, including two children, were wounded and taken to Palestine Medical Compound in Ramallah. A 15-year-old child sustained a bullet wound to the left leg, a 16-year-old child sustained a bullet wound to the right leg and a 31-year-old child sustained a bullet wound to the right knee.

On Friday afternoon, dozens of youngsters gathered from different areas of Ramallah and al-Bireh in the vicinity of Ofer detention facility, southwest of Ramallah. They headed towards the facility’s gate that was closed by Israeli soldiers. They set fire to tires and threw stones and empty bottles at the soldiers. Israeli forces deployed around the detention facility and started firing live and rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, two civilians were wounded and taken to Palestine Medical Compound in Ramallah. Yousef Mohammed Hussein Joreesh (13) sustained a bullet wound to the left leg and 19-year-old civilian sustained a bullet wound to the right leg.

Also following the Friday prayer, dozens of children and young men gathered at the southern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They were about 300 meters away from the fence of ‘Beit Eil’ settlement. Israeli forces stationed in the area fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, 15-year-old child sustained a bullet wound to the head and was taken to Palestine Medical Compound in Ramallah.

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.

The total closure of al-Mentar (‘Karni’) crossing since 02 March 2011 has seriously affected the economy of the Gaza Strip. Following this closure, all economic and commercial establishments in the Gaza Commercial Zone were shut off. It should be noted that al-Mentar crossing is the biggest crossing in the Gaza Strip, in terms of its capacity to absorb the flow of imports and exports. The decision to close al-Mentar crossing was the culmination of a series of decisions resulting in the complete closure of the Sofa crossing, east of the Gaza Strip in the beginning of 2009, and the Nahal Oz crossing, east of Gaza City, which were dedicated for the delivery of fuel and cooking gas to the Gaza Strip, in the beginning of 2010.

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.

The cooking gas crisis has fluctuated due to the closure of Karm Abu Salem for security claims. According to PCHR’s follow-up, Israeli authorities only allow an average of 98 tons of cooking gas into Gaza per day. This limited quantity is less than half of the daily needs, which is 200 tons per day of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip during winter. The crisis has unprecedentedly aggravated for around six weeks due to cold weather and overconsumption in addition to the power outage and using gas as an alternative in many instances of electricity. The lack of diesel and benzene led to the aggravation of the crisis as a result of using the gas cylinder for cars or as an alternative for benzene to run generators. As a result, the demand for gas further increased.

For almost seven consecutive years, Israeli forces have continued to prevent the delivery of construction materials to the Gaza Strip. Two years ago, Israeli forces approved the delivery of limited quantities of construction materials for a number of international organizations in the Gaza Strip. On 17 September 2013, they allowed the entry of limited quantities of construction materials for the private sector. However, on 13 October 2013, they re-banned it claiming that these materials are used for constructing tunnels. Last week, Israeli forces allowed the entry of construction materials only for UNRWA and UNDP projects. As a result, construction works have completely stopped impacting all sectors related to construction and an increase in unemployment levels. During the 51-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip in July and August 2014, Israeli authorities did not allow the entry of any construction materials. As a result, vital and infrastructure projects have been obstructed so far.

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.

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 denied permission to access hospitals via the crossing for new categories of patients from the Gaza Strip.

West Bank

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 have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, 19 March 2015, Israeli forces established at the entrance of Ethna village, west of the city. At approximately 16:00, another checkpoint was established at the entrance of Beit Kahel village, west of Hebron. Later, the two checkpoints were removed, and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 20 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Ethna village, west of Hebron. Later, the checkpoint was removed, and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 21 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Majd village, west of Dura, southwest of Hebron. Later, the checkpoint was removed and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 07:00 on Sunday, 22 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Deir Samit village, west of Dura, southwest of Hebron. Meanwhile, another checkpoint was established at the entrance of Sa’ir village, east of Hebro. At approximately 07:30, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Samou’a village, south of the city. At approximately 16:00, another checkpoint was established at the southern entrance of Halhoul. Later, all checkpoints were removed and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 24 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Samou’a village, south of the city. At approximately 15:00, another checkpoint was established at the entrance of Beit Ummar village, north of the city. Later, both checkpoints were removed, and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 07:00 on Wednesday, 25 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Kahel, west of the city. Later, the checkpoint was removed, and no arrests were reported.

· Ramallah: Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 06:30 on Thursday, 19 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of N’ilin, west of the city. At approximately 16:30, Israeli forces established another checkpoint under the bridge of ‘Ein Yabrud village, northeast of Ramallah. At approximately 20:00, another checkpoint was established between Jericho and Ramallah. Both checkpoints were removed and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 08:30 on Friday, 20 March 2015, Israeli forces reestablished ‘Atarah checkpoint at the northern entrance of Bir Zeit, north of the city. At approximately 09:30, closed the eastern entrance of al-Nabi Saleh village, northeast of the city with the iron gate established at the aforementioned entrance and prevented civilians from entering or leaving through it. At approximately 11:00, a similar checkpoint was established at the entrance of N’ilin, west of the city. At approximately 15:30, they also established a checkpoint at the entrance of Deir Nizam village, northwest of Ramallah. All checkpoints were removed and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 10:30 on Saturday, 21 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint under the bridge of ‘Ein Yabrud village, northeast of Ramallah. Later, the checkpoint was removed and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 22 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint under the bridge of ‘Ein Yabrud village, northeast of Ramallah. Meanwhile, another checkpoint was established at the entrance of Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of the city. At approximately 20:30, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Termes’ayah village, north of Ramallah. Later, all checkpoints were removed and no arrests were reported.

· Jericho: Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 10:30 on Sunday, 22 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near the entrance of Fasayel village, north of the city. At approximately 17:00, another checkpoint was established at the southern entrance of Jericho. Later, both checkpoints were removed and no arrests were reported.

· Tulkarm: Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 12:30 on Thursday, 19 March 2015, Israeli forces stationed at ‘Annab military checkpoint which is established on the road between Tulkarm and Nablus, east of the city, tightened their restrictions against civilians and obstructed their movement. Later that day, the tightening ended and no arrests were reported. The tightening renewed at approximately 08:00 on Saturday, 21 March 2015, at approximately 18:30 on Sunday, 22 March 2015, and at approximately 19:00 on Monday, 23 March 2015.

· Salfit: Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 17:25 on Sunday, 22 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near Arayel settlement on ”Aaber al-Samerah’ main road, north of Salfit. Later, the checkpoint was removed, and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 20:00 on Monday, 23 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint under the bridge of Iskaka village, east of Salfit. At approximately 02:00 on Tuesday, 24 March 2015, the checkpoint was later removed, and no arrests were reported.

· Jenin: Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 22:00 on Friday, 20 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Jalamah village, north of Jenin. Later, the checkpoint was removed, and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 16:00 on Tuesday, 24 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint on the main road between Jenin, Tulkarem and Nablus near the intersection of al-Mansourah village, south of Jenin. Later, the checkpoint was removed, and no arrests were reported.

Arrests and Maltreatment at Military Checkpoints

On Thursday evening, 19 March 2015, Israeli forces stationed at the Western Tourah village, southwest of Jenin, arrested Mo’ataz Mowafaq Ahmed Qobaha (20) from Western Tourah village, when he was passing the checkpoint. He was taken to an unknown destination.

At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 23 March 2015, Israeli forces arrested three civilians from al-Khader village, west of Bethelehm when he was on his way to work in Occupied Jerusalem and took them to an unknown destination. They were identified as: Karim Adam ‘Issa (20); Mohammed Ibrahim Mousa (22); and Mohammed ‘Adel ‘Issa (22).

At approximately 10:00 on the same day, Israeli forces stationed at the entrance of ‘Gosh ‘Etzion’ settlement, south of Bethlehem, arrested ‘Alaa’ Jihad ‘Ali Sabarnah (15) and Fadi Mohammed Fawzi al-Ja’ar (14) from Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, after they went to the Israeli Intelligence in the aforementioned settlement.

At approximately 16:00 on Tuesday, 24 March 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the intersection of al-Zawiyah village, south of Jenin. They arrested ‘Alaa’ ‘Omer Zakarnah (20) and ‘Adel Ghassan ‘Adel Qar’awi (24) and took them to an unknown destination.

Efforts to create Jewish demographic majority in occupied East Jerusalem

House demolitions and demolition notices

On Sunday, 22 March 2015, Israeli municipal officers and special police units distributed administrative demolition notices to houses in Ein al-Louza neighborhood and Beer Ayoub in Silwan village, south of the old city in East Jerusalem.

Ana eyewitness said to a PCHR fieldworker that Israeli municipal officers moved into Ein al-Louza neighborhood in Silwan village. They photographed the entrances, streets and some buildings in the neighborhood. In addition, they pinned out fove administrative demolition notices on five houses, one of which was under-construction and another one has been occupied by Abdul Razeq family since 45 years. The other three houses have been occupied since they were built two years ago.

Incursions and arrests

At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 19 March 2015, Israeli officers beat Jihad Mahmoud Mohammed Shweiki (42) after they raided his house in al-Thawri neighborhood, south of East Jerusalem. Jihad Shweiki said to PCHR’s fieldworker that armed officers raided his house in al-Thawri neighborhood to implement the Israeli municipality decision under which the house furniture should be seized under the pretext of the accumulation of debts ‘Arnona tax’ that reached NIS 50,000. Shweiki said to a PCHR filed workers that Israeli officers threatened to forcibly seize the house furniture and then attacked him. It developed to a quarrel and shouting. As a result, his wife and 3 children were frightened. Al-Shweiki added that the Arnona tax was accumulated because he was in detention, as he was arrested 17 times and had had no job for four years. Moreover, he added that Israeli forces seized his house furniture 8 months ago for the same reason.

At approximately 13:00 on the same day, Israeli forces moved into Anabta village, north of East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested two civilians: Mohammed Hani Abu Haniya; and Sa’id Anas Ibrahim.

At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces arrested four Palestinian women while being present near al-Asbat gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque gates. They took them to the police station to be questioned. The detainee were: Ekram Ghazawwi, Mona Abu Esbaitan, Randa Abu al-Hawa and Sana al-Rajabi.

At approximately 05:00 on Sunday, 22 March 2015, Israeli forces raided al-Thawri neighborhood, south of East Jerusalem. They raided a number of houses from which they arrested two children: Ghassan Ahmed Assi (13) and Mohammed Amin Abdul Razeq (14).

At approximately 11:00, on the same day, Israeli forces arrested two Palestinian civilians when they were present near al-Ghawanma gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates. They took them to Bab al-Selsela police station to be questioned. The detainees were: Rebhi Mousa Abu al-Hommos (50); and Mohammed Abdul Rahman Abu Ghariba (22).

At approximately 17:00, Israeli special units and intelligence officers raided and searched a house belonging to Ali al-Eisawi in al-Mukabber Mount neighborhood, southeast of East Jerusalem. Monther al-Eisawi, Ali’s son, said that his family was surprised when Israeli forces raided the house in a provocative manner. He explained that they kept all the family members in a room and prevented them from moving or talking. Israeli soldiers confiscated also their mobile phones. It should be noted that Israeli soldiers thoroughly searched the family 2-storey building, the roof, parking and garden. Israeli forces withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 23 March 2015, Israeli forces arrested Ms. Noura Khalil al-Sa’ou (31) while going out of al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. They took her to the police station to be questioned.

At approximately 03:00, on the same day, Israeli forces moved into al-Eisawiya village, north of East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested Mohammed Amin Abu Romoz (16) Mohammed Hassan Sa’ida (16).

At approximately 12:00, Israeli forces arrested two Palestinian children while playing around in Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of East Jerusalem: Ahmed Sa’id al-Bakry (17); and Mohammed Nasser Baybars (15).

At approximately 14:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Jdeira village, northwest of East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested four children, the oldest of whom was less than 16. In the meanwhile, a number of the village residents tried to prevent Israeli soldiers from arresting the boy and threw stones at the soldiers. However, Israeli soldiers called for backups, fired tear gas canisters and sprayed pepper spray over them. As a result, Akram Barjas (65) and Sharif Akram (42) sustained burns in the face. The detainees were identified as Mohammed Ashraf Akram Barjas (14), Fathi Rebhi Majed Barjas (15), Mahmoud Nayef Suleiman (15) and Ouda Mohammed Mostafa (16).

At approximately 15:00, Israeli forces arrested Osama Hassan Hammad (21), from Qalandya refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, when he referred to the Israeli intelligence upon a summons sent to him earlier.

At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces arrested six Palestinian children while playing football in the al-Aqsa mosque yards in East Jerusalem. They harshly beat them and took them to the police station to be questioned. The children are: Tawfiq Najeeb (13); Abdullah al-Bakry (14); Mohammed Zakariya Awad (17); Amir Mohammed al-Maleki (12); Bashar Najib (15); and Ayman Hashima (14).

At approximately 11:00 om Tuesday, 24 March 2015, Israeli forces sprayed pepper spray over the face of Hesham Harhash (24) while walking in Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood, east of the old city in East Jerusalem.

An eyewitness said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli police stopped Harhash in a provocative way and without reason in Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood in Jerusalem. When they were talking to him, they sprayed pepper on his face. He added that Israeli soldiers tried to arrest Harhash, but other civilians intervened and a quarrel erupted. The eyewitness said also that Israeli forces fired sound bombs to disperse the Palestinian civilians. As a result, Mohammed al-Sabbah (25) and Mostafa Harhash sustained wounds.

At approximately 13:00, Israeli forces raided a house belonging to the family of Ahmed Na’im Ashayer (18) in al-Khelleh area in al-Tour neighborhood, east of the old city in East Jerusalem. They handed his father a summons for his son to refer to al-Masqoubia detention facility to be questioned next Sunday. An eyewitness said that Israeli forces raided the house of Ahmed Ashayer while his mother was at home. They searched the house, damaged its contents and then handed her a summons for her son to be questioned in al-Masqoubia facility. It should be noted that Ashayer was arrested three times earlier and was released 2.5 months ago after he had served a year in an Israeli prison.

At approximately 15:00 on the same day, Israeli forces arrested five Palestinian women once they went out of al-Aqsa mosque. They took them to the police station to be questioned. The detainees are: Somaya Taha (23); Rawand al-Abbasi (22); Wesal Abu al-Hawa (24); Samar al-Sabbagh (26); and Maram Jouda (22).

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property:

On Thursday, 19 March 2015, Israeli forces raided al-Farisiya area, northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. They confiscated two potable water tanks belonging to al-Maleh valley council.

On the same day, Israeli forces moved into Kufor Ataya area, in area (C), west of Majdal Bani Fadel village, southeast of Nablus. They levelled agricultural lands, cut off 300 olive trees aging about four years and demolished over 600 meters of retaining walls.

On Monday, 23 March 2015, Israeli forces moved into al-Mantiqa area, northeast of Beit Ommar village, north of Hebron. An Israeli Civil Administration officer distributed notices to halt construction works in three houses and a facility under the pretext of non-licensing.

On Tuesday, 24 March 2015, Israeli forces moved into Ta’nak village, west of Jenin. They bridged an artesian well belonging to Suleiman Abdul Rahman Sadeq Zayoud (31), demolished a retaining wall and cut off 10 olive trees belonging to the aforementioned person too.

On Tuesday, 24 March 2015, Israeli forces moved into al-Koum village, west of Hebron. An Israeli Civil Administration officer distributed three notices to halt construction works in 2 houses and a water well under the pretext of non-licensing too.

On Thursday, 19 March 2015, Mohammed Ahmed Hezamah from Termes’yah village, north of Ramallah found that 65 olive seedlings from his land were uprooted in al-Thahrat area adjacent to ”Aadi ‘Aad’ settlement outpost established in the eastern side of the village.

On Saturday morning, 21 March 2015, around nine masked and armed settlers from ”Aadi ‘Aad’ settlement outpost established in the eastern side of Termes’ayah village fired two live bullets at Rabah ‘Ali Mohammed Hazamah (47), a farmer, who was with four other farmers ploughing his land in al-Thahrat area near the aforementioned outpost. However, no injuries were reported.

Recommendations to the International Community:

PCHR emphasizes the international community’s position that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation, in spite of Israeli military redeployment outside the Gaza Strip in 2005. PCHR further confirms that Israeli forces continued to impose collective punishment measures on the Gaza Strip, which have escalated since the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, in which Hamas won the majority of seats of the Palestinian Legislative Council. PCHR stresses that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and the international humanitarian law, especially the Hague Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land and the Geneva Conventions. Israel is bound to apply the international human rights law and the law of war sometime reciprocally and other times in parallel in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for victims.

In light of continued arbitrary measures, land confiscation and settlement activities in the West Bank, and the continued aggression against civilians in the Gaza Strip, PCHR calls upon the international community, especially the United Nations, the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention and the European Union – in the context of their natural obligation to respect and enforce the international law – to cooperate and act according to the following recommendations:

1. PCHR calls upon the international community and the United Nations 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;

2. PCHR calls upon the United Nations to provide international protection to Palestinians in the oPt, and to ensure the non-recurrence of aggression against the oPt, especially the Gaza Strip;

3. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to compel Israel, as a High Contracting Party to the Conventions, to apply the Conventions in the oPt;

4. PCHR calls upon the Parties to international human rights instruments, especially the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to pressurize Israel to comply with their provisions in the oPt, and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the concerned committees;

5. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfil their obligation to ensure the application of the Conventions, including extending the scope of their jurisdiction in order to prosecute suspected war criminals, regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator and the place of a crime, to pave the way for prosecuting suspected Israeli war criminals and end the longstanding impunity they have enjoyed;

6. PCHR calls on States that apply the principle of universal jurisdiction not to surrender to Israeli pressure to limit universal jurisdiction to perpetuate the impunity enjoyed by suspected Israeli war criminals;

7. PCHR calls upon the international community to act in order to stop all Israeli settlement expansion activities in the oPt through imposing sanctions on Israeli settlements and criminalizing trading with them;

8. PCHR calls upon the UN General Assembly to transfer the Goldstone Report to the UN Security Council in order to refer it to the International Criminal Court in accordance with Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute;

9. PCHR calls upon the United Nations to confirm that holding war criminals in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a precondition to achieve stability and peace in the regions, and that peace cannot be built on the expense of human rights;

10. PCHR calls upon the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council to explicitly declare that the Israeli closure policy in Gaza and the annexation wall in the West Bank are illegal, and accordingly refer the two issues to the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Israel to compel it to remove them;

11. PCHR calls upon the international community, in light of its failure to the stop the aggression on the Palestinian people, to at least fulfil its obligation to reconstruct the Gaza Strip after the series of hostilities launched by Israel which directly targeted the civilian infrastructure;

12. PCHR calls upon the United Nations and the European Union to express a clear position towards the annexation wall following the international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, as the annexation wall seizes large parts of the State of Palestine;

13. PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that both sides must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel, and the EU must not ignore Israeli violations and crimes against Palestinian civilians;

14. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian leadership to sign and accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Geneva Conventions, and calls upon the international community, especially the United Nations, to encourage the State of Palestine to accede to international human rights law and humanitarian law instruments.

Full, detailed document, including info on patrols and border crossings available at the official PCHR website.

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