In its Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that during the week of 11-17 March 2010, Israeli forces used excessive force against Palestinian peaceful demonstrations in the West Bank. 31 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and 5 women, were wounded by Israeli gunfire. Israeli forces inaugurated a Jewish synagogue 300 meters away from the al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, in addition to conducting 13 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and a limited incursion into the Gaza Strip.Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the last week, Israeli forces abducted 27 Palestinian civilians, including two children and a journalist, during 13 separate incursions.
In one example of the week’s invasions, on Friday, 12 March 2010, at approximately 00:30, Israeli forces moved into Ramallah. A number of Palestinian boys gathered and threw stones at Israeli military vehicles. Immediately, Israeli troops fired at the boys. They withdrew from the town later, and no casualties were reported.
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, 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.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
Israeli forces have continued to impose a total siege and have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces fired at Palestinian workers and fishing boats. They also fired at a peaceful protest against the security zone Israeli forces plan to establish along the border.
On 12 March 2010, Israeli warplanes bombarded and destroyed a factory of plastics in Khan Yunis.
In the Gaza Strip, on 12 March 2010, Israeli forces moved into the east of Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip. They leveled areas of land which they had already razed.
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 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.
Israeli forces have continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the face of Palestinian civilians wishing to travel to the West Bank and Israeli for medical treatment, trade or social visits.
Israeli forces have not allowed fuel supplies into the Gaza Strip, excluding few amounts of cooking gas and energy fuel for Gaza Power Plant, since 10 December 2008.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On Thursday morning, 11 March, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem set out plans to build thousands of housing units in Jerusalem, especially in the east and south of the city. The plans are supported by the Israeli government. The distribution of the new unit is like this: 3,000 units in ‘Gilo’ settlement; 1,500 one in ‘Har Homa’ settlement; 1,500 ones in ‘Pisgat Ze’ev’ settlement; 3,000 one in ‘Giv’at Matosim’ settlement; 1,200 ones in ‘Ramot’ settlement; 600 ones in ‘Armona Netseev’ settlement; 450 in ‘Neve Yacov’ settlement; and 144 ones in ‘Olive Mount’ settlement. A new settlement neighborhood of 13,000 housing unit will also be established near al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem.
On Friday morning, 12 March 2010, dozens of Israeli settlers from ‘Elli’ settlement attacked Battisha area in the northwest of Qaryout village, southeast of Nablus. They uprooted 40 olive trees.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
During the reporting period, 31 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and 5 women, were wounded when Israeli forces used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall and settlement activities in the West Bank.
Following the Friday Prayer on 12 March 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bil’in village, west of Ramallah. The demonstrators moved towards the Wall and attempted to cross it towards annexed lands. Immediately, Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. Two Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets. Additionally, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, and some of them sustained bruises.
Also on Friday noon, 12 March 2010, 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. Dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, and other sustained bruises. Israeli troops also abducted Salah Mustafa ‘Amira, 37, a farmer, and Sarita Haim, an Israeli human rights defender.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 12 March 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in protest to land confiscation in Wad al-Raya area between Nabi Saleh and Deir Nizam villages, northwest of Ramallah. When the demonstrators attempted to reach areas of land seized by Israeli settlers near ‘Halmish’ settlement, Israeli troop fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 18 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces issued a military order declaring the area of the Annexation Wall in Bil’in and Ne’lin villages, west of Ramallah, a closed military zone on Fridays, banning access of Palestinian civilians to the area. According to the order, the ban will remain effective until 17 August 2010.
When complete, the illegal Annexation Wall will stretch for 724 kilometers around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population. 350 kilometers of the Wall has already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the Wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, further confiscating Palestinian land.
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 to 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 stated that it 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: