In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the week of 17-23 June 2010, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that 7 civilians were wounded – three of these, including a child, were injured during non-violent demonstrations in Bil’in village in the West Bank.Israeli forces attacked three journalists in Beit Jala, where Israeli forces also abducted ten civilians, including 3 international human rights defenders, a journalist and five medical volunteers.
Also this week, Israeli forces continued to fire at Palestinian farmers and workers in border areas of the Gaza Strip. Four workers, including two children, were wounded.
Israel conducted sixteen incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 43 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children. 28 of these civilians were abducted in Deir Samer village near Hebron.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians to protest the construction of the Annexation Wall and settlement activities in the West Bank and against the creation of a buffer zone along the border in the Gaza Strip. As a result, three civilians, including a child, were injured. Israeli forces also violently beat three journalists.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall and settlement activities. Four Palestinian civilians were injured, four journalists sustained bruises and others suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Following the Friday Prayer on 18 June 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in protest against the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bil’ein village, west of Ramallah. They moved towards the annexation wall. Israeli troops stationed in the area fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. They also chased the demonstrators into fields and fire broke out in some areas. Three Palestinian civilians, including a child, were hit by tear gas canisters. Israeli troops also abducted 3 human rights defenders.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 18 June 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest against the construction of the Annexation Wall. They clashed with Israeli troops positioned near the Wall. Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, and others sustained bruises. Israeli troops also abducted five volunteers of Palestine Red Crescent Society and the photographer of the Public Committee against the Wall and Settlement in Ne’lin village. Four of the detainees were released in the evening and the remaining two were released two days later.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 18 June 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, in protest against land confiscations in the Wad al-Raya area between the villages of Nabi Saleh and Deir Nizam. When the demonstrators attempted to reach areas of land seized by Israeli settlers near ‘Halmish’ settlement, Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. A number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation. Israeli troops also abducted Khaled ‘Atallah al-Tamimi, 23; they released him two hours later.
On Sunday noon, 20 June 2010, Palestinian civilians organized a peaceful demonstration in Wallaja area, west of Bethlehem, in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall. They moved towards a site where a section of the wall is being constructed, to the west of the area. Israeli troops fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them and violently beat three journalists.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least sixteen military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 43 Palestinian civilians, including five children. This figure includes 28 civilians who were abducted in Deir Samet village near Hebron. Israeli forces also abducted ten civilians, including three international human rights defenders, a journalist and 45 medical volunteers.
Israel has continued to take measures aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem.
Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in Hebron. On Monday morning, 14 June 2010, following an armed attack on an Israeli police vehicle near ‘Beit Hajai’ settlement, southwest of Hebron, Israeli forces waged a wide scale campaign against villages near Hebron, especially Dura village. They erected a number of checkpoints and stopped and checked Palestinian civilians. Israeli forces also abducted Hassan Abu ‘Arqoub, 24, in Kharsa area, south of Dura village.
On 20 June 2010, the Israeli police closed Ilaf Association for Education Support on Haron al-Rashid Street in Jerusalem on an order issued by Israeli Police General Inspector, Dodi Kohen. The pretext given for the closure was that meetings for Hamas were held in offices of the Association. The closure order stated: ‘In accordance with the powers granted to me and in accordance with Law no. 6a on the Prevention of Terrorism for the Year 1948, I hereby order the closure of Jerusalem Association for Education Support which is known as Ilaf Association, 19, ground floor, Haron al-Rashid street, until 01 July 2010, because it belongs to a terrorist organization and is being used by Hamas. Having reviewed reliable confidential documents proving that the Association is employed by Hamas, we inform you that we are considering the issuance of an additional order to close the Association for one year. Any one who thinks that he/she may be hurt by this order can submit a written appeal to me within 15 days from the publication of this order.’ Mustafa Abu Zahra, Chairman of the Association’s Board of Directors, denied the Israeli allegations, stating that they are false, fabricated and unfounded. Ilaf Association for Education Support in Jerusalem was established seven months ago. Since its establishment, the Association has provided financial assistance in the form of loans to be repaid after graduation to approximately 160 students in different specializations.
Also on 20 June 2010, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld an order issued by the Israeli police to deport from Jerusalem Mohammed Abu Tir, a PLC member from the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform Bloc, until next September when the Court will consider his petition.
On 21 June 2010, Israeli forces implemented large-scale bulldozing activities on Palestinian lands between ‘Pisgat Ze’ev’ and ‘Neve Ya’kov’ settlements in the north of occupied Jerusalem in preparation for the construction of 600 new settlement units. The construction of these new settlement units was approved one year ago in order to establish a link between the aforementioned settlements.
Also on 21 June 2010, the ‘District Committee of Organization and Construction’ in the Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem approved a plan to establish the ‘King David’s Garden’ (a Biblical garden) on the former location of houses in al-Bustan neighborhood in Salwan, according to a press release issued by the Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem. The Garden will include restaurants and a public hotel. The demolitions will affect 22 houses in the northwestern part of al-Bustan neighborhood. It should be noted that the Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem revealed last year that there was a plan to demolish 88 houses and displace 1,500 individuals.
During the reporting period, the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem forced In’am Ibrahim Me’bed, 62, from the Housh al-Hilo area in the old city of Jerusalem to demolish her 40-square-meter house, claiming that the house was built without a license. Me’bed built the house four years ago as a residence for her and her disabled daughter. The family had already paid a fine of 18,000 NIS. The Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem also forced the family to demolish two structures in 2007.
Israeli Settlement Activities:
Israel has continued its settlement activities in the West Bank in violation of international humanitarian law, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On 18 June 2010, an Israeli settler attacked a Palestinian child with a heavy tool in Hebron. The child was seriously injured in the head.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces fired at Palestinian workers who were collecting construction materials. As a result, four workers, including two children, were wounded in four separate incidents.
On 17 June 2010, a Palestinian resistance fighter was wounded by Israeli forces in ‘Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted three limited incursions into Palestinian areas, during which they conducted searches.
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 convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel’s respect of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.
PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to comply with its legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: