According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights’ Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, during the week of 19-24 Nov. 2009, 9 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Also this week, Israeli warplanes launched 8 strikes on the Gaza Strip. A factory, a workshop and a house were destroyed and a number of other civilian facilities were damaged.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 20 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 19 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children. Israeli forces also abducted 8 members of the Palestinian security services.
In an example of one of the week’s 20 incursions, on Thursday Nov. 19th, at approximately 09:00 am, an Israeli undercover unit moved into Bil’in village, west of Ramallah, traveling in a civilian vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate. The vehicle stopped near a car maintenance workshop belonging to Mohammed Ahmed Yassin, 20. A number of persons got out of the vehicle and asked for water. When they entered a house located near the workshop, they chased and abducted Yassin. When his brother intervened to help him, those persons threatened him and told him that they were members of a special unit of the Israeli military.
Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.
Israeli forces have established checkpoints in and around Jerusalem, severely restricting Palestinian access to the city. Civilians are frequently prevented from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
There are approximately permanent 630 roadblocks, and manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank. In addition, there are some 60-80 ‘flying’ or temporary checkpoints erected across the West Bank by Israeli forces every week.
Palestinian civilians continue to be harassed by Israeli forces in Jerusalem, and across the West Bank, including being regularly stopped and searched in the streets by Israeli forces.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
Israeli forces continue to harass, and assault demonstrators who hold peaceful protests against the construction of the Annexation Wall.
Following the Friday Prayer on 20 November 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders gathered in the center of Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. They moved towards the Wall and following altercations, threw stones at Israeli troops positioned in the area. Immediately, Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. Dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 20 November 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli 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 troops positioned near the Wall. Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians, were wounded by rubber-coated bullet gunshots.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israel has continued settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in violation of international humanitarian law and Israeli settlers living have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On 20 November 2009, a number of armed Israeli settlers from ‘Ma’oun’ settlement, south of Hebron, attacked 4 Palestinian shepherds in Khellat Um Zaytouna area to the east of the settlement and prevented them from gazing animals in the area. They threw stones at the young shepherds whose ages ranges from 14 and 18.
On the same day, Israeli settlers from ‘Carme’el’ settlement, south of Hebron, attacked a tin-made house in Um al-Khair area, in which ‘Eida al-Hathalin, 56, who was attacked by the settlers last week, lives. They threw stones at the house in an attempt to force her to leave the area. The house was damaged. On 23 November 2009, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian civilian vehicles traveling on the Nablus-Qalilya road. According to eyewitnesses, at least 25 settlers threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles traveling on the main road near ‘Havat Gilad’ settlement outpost. A number of vehicles were damaged.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
During the reporting period, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip.
On 22 November 2009, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded when Israeli warplanes attacked the Yebna area near the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, targeting tunnels; two of the wounded sustained serious wounds.
During the reporting period, Israeli warplanes launched 8 air strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip. Six air strikes targeted tunnels along the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, one targeted a workshop in the central Gaza Strip and one targeted a factory in the northern Gaza Strip.
On Sunday, 22 November 2009, at approximately 00:20, Israeli warplanes bombarded a 400-square-meter smith workshop at Saladin Street opposite to al-Zawaida village in the central Gaza Strip. The workshop was completely destroyed and a nearby fodder factory belonging to Khader Hassan Aby ‘Ajwa was damaged.
On the same day, at approximately 00:25, warplanes bombarded a 600-square-meter factory of washing machines belonging to Mohsen Fua’d Qazqaz in Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip. The factory was completely destroyed. Additionally, a nearby brick factory belonging to Sa’ad Mohammed al-Sultan and 4 houses belonging to Yousef Mohammed al-Najjar, Eyad Ahmed al-Sultan, Riad Ahmed al-Sultan, and Hatem Ahmed al-Sultan, were damaged. Three children from the al-Najjar family also sustained bruises.
Israel has continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The illegal Israeli-imposed 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.
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 fulfill their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: