According to the Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, produced by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 22 – 28 Oct. 2009, 41 civilians, including 5 journalists, 8 women, and one child, sustained injuries and bruises when Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations in the West Bank.56961
According to the Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, produced by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 22 – 28 Oct. 2009, 41 civilians, including 5 journalists, 8 women, and one child, sustained injuries and bruises when Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations in the West Bank.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 25 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 47 Palestinian civilians, including 17 children.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces stormed into the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, and used excessive force against Palestinian civilians who attempted to stop the raid. The raid and related incidents followed a call by extremist Jewish groups, particularly the ‘Organization for Human Rights on the Temple Mount,’ urging extremist Jews to break into the al-Aqsa Mosque and its yards to conduct Talmudic rituals to mark Rambam’s ascension.
Since Saturday night, 24 October 2009, Israeli forces have been intensively deployed throughout the Old City of Jerusalem. The al-Aqsa Mosque and worshippers were subjected to a similar assault on 27 September 2009, when a number of Israeli settlers attempted to break into the yards of the Mosque.
Journalist Diala Jwaihan told PCHR that the Israeli police violently beat her when she photographed a police officer attacking an old Palestinian civilians. They also cut her clothes. She sustained acute bruises to the neck and the back and a muscular strain.
Journalist Mahfouz Abu Turk told PCHR that he was violently beaten by members of ‘Border Guards’ when he was near Bab Hotta area in the old town. He suffered severe pains in the left foot and right knee and sustained bruises to the back.
Journalist Mais Abu Ghazala told PCHR that when she attempted to enter the al-Aqsa Maosque through Bab Hutta, an Israeli soldier blocked an iron barrier on her right foot. She emphasized that she saw an international journalist being beaten and her teeth being broken. She learnt later that the journalist was French.
Israeli forces abducted dozens of Palestinian civilians, including Hatem Abdul Qader, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. On Monday, 26 October 2009, an Israeli court ordered the expulsion of Abdul Qader from the al-Aqsa Mosque and the old town for 21 days.
On 27 October 2009, Israeli forces demolished 8 houses in East Jerusalem.
On Friday Oct. 23rd at noon, Fahmi Hamdi Shaheen, 39, PCHR’s field worker in Hebron and Bethlehem, was beaten an detained by Israeli forces, when he was participating in a peaceful sit-in organized by a number of Palestinian civilians, human rights defenders and international and Israeli solidarity activists near ‘Kiryat Arba’ settlement, which stands on Palestinian land in Hebron. Israeli forces used excessive force against participants at the sit-in.
According to Shaheen and eyewitnesses, at noon, when Shaheen was participating in a peaceful sit-in organized by scores of Palestinian civilians from Tallat al-Ja’abra area, local activists from ‘Youths against Settlement’ and French and Israeli solidarity activists, Israeli forces and the so called Border Guard Police besieged the participants, who raised and cheered slogans against occupation and settlement. Israeli forces used force to disperse the sit-in. They also abducted and violently beat Shaheen. Israeli forces declared the area a closed military zone and tore down a tent set up on lands threatened to be confiscated by Israeli forces for the purpose of settlement expansion.
At approximately 13:10, Israeli forces took Shaheen to a detention and interrogation center in a police station near ‘Kiryat Arba’ settlement. They also detained 3 Israeli solidarity activists. Shaheen was informed that he was under detention, and in the evening he was interrogated for charges of ‘incitement, obstruction of the work of security forces and presence in a closed military zone.’
Earlier, when Israeli forces started to disperse the sit-in and chase the participants, they abducted ‘Abdul Karim Ibrahim al-Ja’bari, a land owner, and Badee’ Dib Dwaik, a local activist, and 9 international and Israeli solidarity activists. Israeli forces released them all after one or two hours in detention.
At approximately 23:45, upon the intervention of Lea Tsemel, an Israeli lawyer, Shaheen was released on bail. He was warned not enter the Israeli-controlled areas known as H2 area in the south and southeast of Hebron.
Shaheen, who is an activist against the illegal settlements in Hebron, reported that the Israeli police violently beat him when they abducted him, although they knew that he works in the field of human rights. He sustained bruises to the chest and the right shoulder.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank in violation of international humanitarian law and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 27 October 2009, scores of Israeli settlers from ‘Shavot Rachel’ settlement, which stands on lands belonging to Qaryout village, southeast of Nablus, launched a series of attacks against Palestinian farmers who were cultivating olives, nearly 500 meters away from the settlement.
The settlers, escorted by Israeli forces, attacked farmers with stones and violently beat a number of them. As a result of these attacks, 5 Palestinian farmers sustained bruises, and Israeli forces abducted Kamal ‘Abdul Jawad Kassab, 29, claiming that he refused to obey orders to leave the area.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
On Thursday Oct. 22nd, at approximately 03:15, an Israeli forces warplane bombarded a workshop belonging to Shareef Mohammed Loulu in Jaffa Street in the center of Gaza City. The workshop was destroyed.
Israeli forces have continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The illegal Israeli forces blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.
1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education. The main concern of 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip is to obtain their basic needs of food, medicines, water and electricity supplies.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
Israeli forces have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory. During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders to protest the construction of the Wall.
Following the Friday Prayer on 23 October 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in the center of Bil’in village, west of Ramallah. They moved towards the Wall and following altercations threw stones at Israeli forces troops positioned in the area. Immediately, Israeli forces troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. Dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalations.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 23 October 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall. They clashed with Israeli forces troops positioned near the Wall. Israeli forces troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. As a result, 7 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 16 October 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration to protest the construction of the Annexation Wall in al-Ma’sara village, south of Bethlehem. Israeli troops closed the entrance of the village and attacked the demonstrators. They fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators and violently beat a number of them. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians sustained bruises: Ya’qoub Suleiman ‘Alaa’ al-Din, 24; ‘Omar ‘Alaa’ al-Din, 24; and ‘Ali Mousa Zawahra, 24.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made a number of recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention comply with the legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.
The PCHR calls for the immediately implementation of the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice, which considers the construction of the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank illegal.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: