In its weekly report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, during the week of 12-18 Nov. 2009, a Palestinian child was killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, and 6 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 22 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 4 into the Gaza Strip. During these incursions, Israeli forces abducted 32 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children, in the West Bank. Israeli troops positioned at military checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank arrested 5 Palestinian civilians, including two women.
In addition, Israeli forces transformed a house in Hebron into a military site, and troops also established a fence along ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya. The Israeli government approved the construction of 900 new houses in ‘Gilo’ settlement, south of Jerusalem. Israeli settlers uprooted 97 olive trees in Bourin village, south of Nablus.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
On 13 November 2009, Israeli troops positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of Gaza Valley village, southeast of Gaza City, opened fire at 7 Palestinian children and young men who were traveling on an animal cart towards the village. As a result, Mustafa Mohammed Sabri Wadi, 15, was killed, and Ahmed Khader Sa’doun, 17, was wounded by two gunshots to the abdomen and the thigh. According to one of the released detainees, the seven children and young men were on their way back from a market in Gaza City traveling on an animal cart. They saw a number of dogs. Five of them chased the dogs towards a solid waste plant, which is nearly 300 meters away from the border, and continued to chase them up to 150 meters away from the border. Israeli troops positioned at the border opened fire at them, so they attempted to hide behind a hill of sand, but gunshots hit two of them. Israeli forces moved into the area and abducted them. According to medical sources, Wadi was hit by two gunshots to the head and the left foot.
Soon after, Israeli forces moved nearly 300 meters into the area, and abducted 4 of these civilians, including the wounded child. The detainees were released later, excluding the wounded teen who was taken to an Israeli hospital.
On 15 November 2009, two Palestinian civilians were wounded in two separate gunfire attacks by Israeli troops positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Also in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted 4 limited incursions into Palestinian communities, during which they leveled areas of land, which had previously been razed.
Israeli forces have continued to impose a total siege and have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world. The Rafah International Crossing Point has been opened for a few days for a number of patients who received medical treatment abroad and needed to return home to the Gaza Strip.
Israel has continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to Palestinian civilians wishing to travel to the West Bank and Israeli for medical treatment, trade or social visits. Israel has continued to prevent the entry of spare parts form water networks and sewage systems. Losses incurred to this sector are estimated at US$ 6 million.
Poverty and unemployment rates stand at approximately 80% and 60% respectively in the Gaza Strip due to the ongoing Israeli siege.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 22 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Israeli forces abducted 32 Palestinians, including 8 children.
Israeli forces have established many checkpoints around and inside the city of Jerusalem. Restrictions of the movement of Palestinian civilians escalated on Friday to prevent Palestinians from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque.
On Wednesday evening, 11 November 2009, Israeli troops positioned at a checkpoint abducted Nelly Zahi al-Safadi, 33, from Nablus. On the following morning, 12 November 2009, her brother, 34-year-old Fu’ad, traveled from Nablus to al-Ram town, north of Jerusalem, to look for her. Israeli troops positioned at Jaba’ checkpoint, northeast of Jerusalem, abducted him. Nelly is the wife of ‘Abada Sa’id Billa, who has been detained by Israeli forces since 16 April 2002 and is serving a 10.5 years sentence, the sister of Hassan al-Safadi, who has been placed under administrative detention since 29 July 2007, and the sister of Farid Zahi al-Safadi, who was killed by Israeli forces on 26 September 1996.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces demolished 5 houses in East Jerusalem, rendering 41 Palestinians homeless. The Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem also issued a decision ordering the demolition of a 500-square-meter, 7-storey apartment building belonging to Sharhabeel ‘Alqam. The building, which was built in 2002, includes 25 flats that were purchased by Jerusalemite families at a cost of at least US$ 60,000 per flat.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
Israeli forces abducted 8 Palestinian civilians during a protest against the construction of the Annexation Wall in Deir al-Ghossoun village, north of Tulkarm. Additionally, Israeli forces transformed a house in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, into a military site.
Also in the West Bank, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded when Israeli forces used force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders, in protest of the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank.
On 13 November 2009, Israeli forces completed establishing a fence along bypass road #55 to the north of ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya, allegedly to prevent stone throwing at Israeli vehicle traveling on the road, which links Nablus and Qalqilya. The fence is 3.5 kilometers long and two meters wide. Israeli forces had started establishing the fence last year. With the establishment of this fences, ‘Azzoun village had become totally isolated, and at least 1,300 donums of its agricultural land have become separated from it. Israeli forces have also imposed restrictions on construction near the fence. Palestinian civilians have to resort to alternative longer roads to travel to Qalqilya and to reach their lands.
Israeli Settlement activity:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank in violation of international humanitarian law and Israeli settlers living have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 17 November 2009, the Construction and Planning Committee of the Israeli Ministry of Interior approved the construction of 900 new housing units in ‘Gilo’ settlement, south of East Jerusalem. This plan implies the expansion of the settlement towards al-Malha suburb. According to the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, the construction of those units is the first stage and a wider plan to expand the settlement, which the Israeli government claim to be an integral part of ‘Greater Jerusalem.’
On 12 November 2009, Israeli forces moved into Roujib village, east of Nablus. They handed written notices to 13 Palestinian civilians ordering a cease of construction works in 12 houses and a bird farm in al-Salaht area, and requesting the civilians to report to Beit Eil Court at 09:00 on Thursday, 10 December 2009. Israeli forces then demolished the houses and the farm. On the same day, Israeli forces handed 11 notices to Palestinian civilians in Um al-Khair village, south of Hebron, ordering the demolition of 17 civilian facilities, which includes 9 houses where 57 people, including 39 children, live. The facilities are only 50-300 meters away from ‘Carme’el’ settlement. Israeli forces gave Palestinian civilians until 10 December 2009 to appeal against the orders.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces ordered a cease of construction in al-Bireh Stadium, allegedly due to the lack of a construction license. The Mayor of al-Bireh, Jamal al-Tawil, stated that the area where the stadium is being constructed is a part of the city, which has been added to its boundaries since 1976. Since that time, the municipality has implemented many infrastructure projects in the area and offered construction licenses to many Palestinians, without facing any problem.
On 12 November 2009, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Yits’har’ settlement, south of Nablus, uprooted 97 olive trees belonging to Akram Ibrahim ‘Omran in Bourin village, south of the city.
On 13 November 2009, a number of Israeli settlers living in ‘Abraham Avino’ settlement in the center of Hebron seized a commercial building belonging to ‘Ali ‘Aashour Abu Snaina in al-Sahla Street in the west of the old town for several hours. The conducted religious ceremonies in the building.
On 14 November 2009, Israeli settlers living in ‘Carme’el’ settlement to the southeast of Yatta village, south of Hebron, attacked Palestinian civilians from the al-Hathalin Tribe and their houses in Um al-Khair Bedouin Village. Israeli troops were present in the area, but did not intervene to stop the attack.
On the same day, a number of armed Israeli settlers from ‘Kharsina’ settlement, east of Hebron, attacked Palestinian houses in Qaizoun area using stones and empty bottles. The windows and doors of a house belonging to Ghaleb ‘Abdul Karim al-Za’tari were damaged. On the following day, the settlers attacked the same area again. They damaged 3 cars.
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 international community pressure Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupation forces on access for international organizations to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The PCHR reiterates that any political settlement not based on international human rights law and humanitarian law cannot lead to a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian question. Rather, such an arrangement can only lead to further suffering and instability in the region. Any peace agreement or process must be based on respect for international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: