PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (20 – 27 September 2017)

29 Sep
4:54 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 20 – 27 September, 2017.

An armed Palestinian was killed at the entrance to “Har Adar” settlement, northwest of Jerusalem, a Palestinian civilian wounded during Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqilia, while Israeli forces conducted 85 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one into the Southern Gaza Strip.

Shooting:

During the reporting period, on 26 September 2017, Israeli forces killed Nemer Mahmoud Jamal (37) from Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem when 4 Israeli Border Guard officers at the entrance to “Har Adar” settlement opened fire at him.  Moreover, three Israeli soldiers were killed and the fourth was wounded.

 

On 22 September 2017, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian civilian with a rubber-coated metal bullet when they opened fire at dozens of Palestinians and international activist during Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqiliya.

 

In the pretext of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Sea, on 21 September 2017, Israeli gunboats sporadically opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip and chased them.  The shooting recurred in the same area on 25 September 2017 and twice on 26 September 2017.

 

On 24 Septmber 2017, Israeli gunboats sporadically opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats, west of al-Soudaniya , wwest of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, and chased them.  The gunboats recurred the same shooting twice on 26 Stpember while no casualties were reported in all the incidents. However, the fisehrmen were forced to flee for fear of being wounded, arrested or their boats being damaged.

 

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 85 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 75 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children. Among those arrested during this week was journalist ‘Abdel Rahman ‘Awad, Reporter of Safa News Agency in Ramallah and al-Bireh.  He was arrested from his family house in Burdus village, west of Ramallah, and Raghid Tabasiyah (26), who is also a photojournalist at Annajah Satallite Channel in Nablus, was arrested as well from his family house in Qalqiliya.  The Israeli forces also arrested ‘Alaa’ Badarnah, a photojournalist at the Gemran News Agency while covering the weekly protest in the Northern Jordan Valley and took him to “Samra” settlement.  After two hours, he was released.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 24 September 2017, Israeli forces moved into Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip.  Israeli forces combed and levelled the lands for hours along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and then headed to the eastern side of al-Fokhari.  Israeli forces later redeployed along the fence.

 

Collective Punishment Measures:

Following the armed attack at the entrance to “Har Adar”  settlement, northwest of Jerusalem, on 26 September 2017, the Israeli Prime Ministerm Benyamin Netanyahu, threated, the Attacker’s house would be demolished and Israeli work permits withdrawn from his extended family.” As soon as the attacker was identified, the Israeli forces declared Beit Sorik village, where the attacker lived, as a closed military zone and imposed a tightened cordon on it.  Israeli forces also prevented any vehicle, civilian, ambulances and jouralists from entering or leaving the village.  They also closed the Tunnel Road, which is the only one connecting the villages of Northwest Jerusalem and its surroundings.  The cordon has not been so far lifted.

 

Settlement Activities and Settlers’ Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and their property:

As part of house demolitions, on 25 September 2017, Israeli forces demolished a workshop for stone manufacturing in Beit Za’tah area, east of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, under the pretext of building without a license in Area (C) according to the 1993 Oslo Accords.  The workshop which built of tin plates and bricks on an area of 150 square meters belongs to Zamel Hamad Abu Mariah (45).

 

On the same day, Israeli forces demolished a car wash and two barracks for grazing sheep in Bab al-Marj area at the western entrance to Deir Balut village, west of Salfit, for the same abovementioned pretext.

 

On 07 September 2017, agroup of settlers from “Rahlim” settlement established on the lands of Yitma and al-Sawiyah villages, south of Nablus, cut down 43 olive trees with automatic saws.  Those trees belong to Gom’ah ‘Aadi from al-Sawiyah.

 

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.

Demonstrations in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities

 

West Bank:

 

  • On Friday, 22 September 2017, dozens of Palestinians and supporters organized a demonstration at the entrance to Kherbet Qalqas, south of Hebron, in protest against closing the main and sole road for the Kherbahand lining the Bypass Street (60) for 17 years. Following the Friday prayer, the Palestinian civilians raised Palestinian flags and chanted national slogans. Meanwhile, a large Israeli force arrived at the area and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. They also chased the young men, who threw stones at the soldiers. As a result, a number of protestors suffered tear gas inhalation. It should be noted that Kherbet Qalqas is inhabited with about 2000 persons and the Israeli authorities so far close its entrance from the southern side with sand and rocks. This forces the residents to use an alternative long road passing by Kherbet al-Samn Valley and Kherbet al-Dar. In the same time, the Israeli authorities continue expanding “Beit Hagai” settlement established on the Kherbah lands from the southern side.

 

  • At approximately 12:30 on Friday, Palestinian civilians and International activists organized a protest in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. They made their way to the eastern entrance to the village in protest against closing that entrance since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada with an iron gate. When the protesters approached the entrance, the Israeli forces fired metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, a 19-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the right leg. He was transferred to Dr. Darwish Nasal Governmental Hospital in Qalqiliyah to receive medical treatment.

 

  • Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized protests in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah; al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protesters, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased protesters into olive fields and between the houses. As a result, some of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 27 September 2017, dozens of farmers, human rights defenders and national and Islamic organizations’ representatives organized a peaceful protest from the center of ‘Atouf village, east of Tamoun village, south of Tubas. They made their way towards the obstacles established by the Israeli forces since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada to isolate the Jordan Valleys from other Palestinian lands. When the protestors arrived at Alwan Street, which was filled with Israeli soldiers and settlers, the protestors closed the street and started hand-fighting with the soldiers. The soldiers then called for more backups. When the backup arrived at the area, the soldiers fired tear gas canisters and pepper-sprayed the protestors. As a result, dozens of protestors suffered tear gas inhalation in addition to severe pain. They were transferred to Turkish Hospital in Tubas to receive medical treatment. The Israeli forces arrested ‘Alaa’ Tawfiq Saleh Badarnah (46), photojournalist at the German Agency. They took him to “Samra” settlement and released him after 2 hours. They also attacked Ja’fer Zahed Husain Shteiah (50), photojournalist at France Press Agency (AFP), with their foot and the riffle’s butt.

 

Collective punishment:

 

  • Following the armed attack at the entrance to “Har Adar” settlement established on lands of Badou and Beit Surik villages, northwest of occupied Jerusalem, on 26 September 2017, due to which 3 soldiers and the attacker were killed, The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, threatened that: “The house of the attacker will be demolished, and the soldiers already moved into the village of the attacker to demolish his house. They also will withdraw work permits in Israel from his family.”

 

After identifying the attacker, Nemer Mahmoud al-Jamal (37), Israeli forces announced that Beit Surik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem, is a closed military zone and imposed a tight closure on it. The Israeli forces also closed main and sub roads leading to the village and established checkpoints at the entrances to the village. They also banned any vehicle or civilian from entering or leaving the village. Moreover, they banned the ambulances and journalists from entering the village. Furthermore, the Israeli forces closed the Tunnel Road, which is the only road that connects the villages in the northwest of Jerusalem with its surroundings.  Those villages are Qatannah, Beit ‘Anan, Beit Surik, Beit Eksa, Badou, al-Qabibah, Beit Ejza, Beit Daqou and Kharb al-Lahem villages, which are all inhabited by 60, 000 civilians. In the evening hours, the Israeli forces detained dozens of cars at the Tunnel entrance to theses villages. They only allowed limited number of cars to pass after subjecting them to precise and long search.

 

  • On Tuesday, 26 September 2017, Israeli forces raided the house of Nemer Jamal, who carried out the attack against Israeli Board Guard officers. An Israeli officer questioned the family members, and the attacker’s brother, Medhat al-Jamal, was arrested. Member of Beit Sowreek Village Council, Mo’tasem Qandeel, said that at approximately 07:00, Israeli forces moved into the village and closed all its entrances. They also ordered all the shops’ owners to close. All the village residents were prevented from entering and exiting the village and imposed a curfew. The Israeli forces also imposed a complete cordon on the village. Qandeel added that the Israeli forces raided a medical center belonging to UNRWA and closed it. Moreover, they closed the entrance to Beit Aksa village and prevented its residents from entering and exiting the village.

 

  • On Wednesday, 27 September 2017, for the 2nd consecutive day, Israeli forces continued to close all the entrance to Beit Sowreek village and nearby villages, so doctors were denied access 10 health clinics. Dr. Shadi al-Lahaam, Deputy Director of Health in Jerusalem, said that medical crews were denied access to health clinics since Tuesday morning, 26 September 2017, so the residents were denied medical treatment and services. He added that on Wednesday, doctors and medical crews headed to the Heath Directorates in those areas, but declaring the villages as closed military zones, heavy deployment of the soldiers and establishing checkpoints denied their access.

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 25 September 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles, Israeli Border Guard officers and a digger moved into Beit Za’tah area, east of Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They deployed in the vicinity of a stone manufacturing workshop and the digger started to demolish a 150-square-meter workshop, which was built of tin plates and bricks. The workshop belongs to Zamel Hamad Abu Mariyiah (45) and demolished under the pretext that it is not licensed as it is located in Area (C) according to Oslo Accords.

 

  • At approximately 12:00 on Monday, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer moved into Deir Balout village, west of Salfit, and then headed to Bab al-Marj area, at the western entrance to the village. They closed all shops in the area and then the bulldozer demolished a car wash belonging to ‘Amer Khalil Abed al-Elah, under the pretext of non-licensing. Moreover, the Israeli forces demolished 2 barracks used for breeding sheep, under the pretext of non-licensing. The abovementioned barracks belong to Tayseer Abed al-Khaliq and Rafeeq Khalil Abdullah.

 

 

Collective punishment:

 

  • On Tuesday, 26 September 2017, Israeli forces raided the house of Nemer Jamal, who carried out the attack against Israeli Board Guard officers. An Israeli officer questioned the family members, and the attacker’s brother, Medhat al-Jamal, was arrested. Member of Beit Sowreek Village Council, Mo’tasem Qandeel, said that at approximately 07:00, Israeli forces moved into the village and closed all its entrances. They also ordered all the shops’ owners to close. All the village residents were prevented from entering and exiting the village and imposed a curfew. The Israeli forces also imposed a complete cordon on the village. Qandeel added that the Israeli forces raided a medical center belonging to UNRWA and closed it. Moreover, they closed the entrance to Beit Aksa village and prevented its residents from entering and exiting the village.

 

  • On Wednesday, 27 September 2017, for the 2nd consecutive day, Israeli forces continued to close all the entrance to Beit Sowreek village and nearby villages, so doctors were denied access 10 health clinics. Dr. Shadi al-Lahaam, Deputy Director of Health in Jerusalem, said that medical crews were denied access to health clinics since Tuesday morning, 26 September 2017, so the residents were denied medical treatment and services. He added that on Wednesday, doctors and medical crews headed to the Heath Directorates in those areas, but declaring the villages as closed military zones, heavy deployment of the soldiers and establishing checkpoints denied their access.

 

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.

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