In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the week of 29 July – 04 August 2010, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that Israeli forces killed two Palestinian resistance fighters, one of whom was killed in an extra-judicial execution, in the Gaza Strip. Two resistance fighters were wounded by Israeli bombardment.Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank. A Palestinian boy and two International human rights defenders were injured. Israeli forces abducted 7 civilians, including a child and an Israeli human rights defender.
Israeli forces continued to fire at Palestinian farmers and workers in border areas of the Gaza Strip. 5 Palestinian workers, including a child, were wounded in the northern Gaza Strip. 19 Palestinian civilians, including two women and a child, were wounded by an Israeli air strike against a Palestinian police station in Gaza City.
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 29 July 2010, at least 40 armed Israeli settlers from ‘Atirat Kohanim’ group stormed a two-storey apartment building belonging to the Qarrash family, in which 9 families counting 49 individuals, including 22 children, live, the majority of whom were outside the building at the time. The settlers, escorted by the Israeli police, broke locks and broke into the building. The family had previously filed a petition at an Israeli court, which ordered the evacuation of settlers. The Israeli police procrastinated in implementing the court ruling, and the settlers were able to appeal against the court ruling, and the court froze the ruling. The Jewish group has claimed ownership of the building since 1987. The family have pursued the case before Israeli courts, Israeli courts recognized the family’s ownership of the building in 2000 and in 2008.
At approximately 14:20 on Friday, 30 July 2010, dozens of Israeli settlers from ‘Brakha’ settlement, south of Nablus, attacked the eastern outskirts of Bourin village and set fire to large areas of agricultural land planted with olives in al-Juhair and ‘Ein al-Sharqiya areas. In his testimony to PCHR, Rakhaa’ ‘Abdul Ra’ouf ‘Eid, a civil defense officer, stated: ‘At approximately 14:20 on Friday, 30 July 2010, while I was on duty, we received a phone call informing us that fire broke out in olive trees and grass in al-Juhair area in the east of Bourin village. Immediately, a fire engine was sent to the village. The fire engine was driven by Mohammed ‘Omran accompanied by officer Sami ‘Omran. The fire engine arrived at the aforementioned area, and its staff saw about 20 settlers setting fire in the area. They threw stones towards the fire engine. We contacted the Palestinian Liaison Department and informed about what was going on. Approximately 20 minutes later, while the civil defense officers were extinguishing fire, a number of Israeli military vehicles arrived at the area and stopped near the settlers. Israeli troops fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at civil defense officers and at villagers who provided assistance to extinguish fire. As a result, officer Sami ‘Omran suffered from tear gas inhalation.
“In the meantime, were received a phone call in which we were informed that fire broke out in ‘Ein al-Sharqiya area. Officer Shadi al-Zeben, 29, and I traveled in a vehicle towards the area. When we arrived at the area, Israeli troops fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at us. Officer al-Zeben suffered from tear gas inhalation. He was treated by a medical crew of Palestine Red Crescent Society and was then taken home. We moved back to our center after having been able to extinguish the fire that burnt at least 100 olive trees; we were able to save 140 olive trees. When were arrived at our center, we were informed that fire broke out again in al-Juhair area because of tear gas canisters and sound bombs fired by Israeli troops. We moved towards the area, but Israeli troops prevented us from reaching the blaze. We contacted the Palestinian Liaison Department, and 10 minutes later, we were allowed to reach the area and we were able to extinguish fire.’
At approximately 06:00 on Monday, 02 August 2010, Israeli forces moved into al-Baq’a area in the east of Hebron and started to dismantle irrigation networks on 3 fields belonging to Badran Bader Jaber. Israeli forces also confiscated the dismantled networks and many saplings of vegetables. During this operation, Israeli troops violently beat Jaber, his wife, his daughter, his child, 16-year-old Wadee’, and his brother-in-law, Mohammed Musbah al-Ja’bari, 37. They arrested the child and the brother-in-law. They beat and arrested the latter before the eyes of his 4-year-old child who was crying and begging Israeli soldiers not to beat and arrest his father. Soon after, Israeli forces moved to a nearby field belonging to ‘Azzam Mohammed Jaber and dismantled the irrigation network and uproot meters of water pipes used for irrigation, confiscated an agricultural sprinkling machine and damaged hundreds of saplings belonging to Badran Jaber. This attack against Badran Jaber’s family had been the fourth in the past 10 months.
On Monday, 02 August 2010, the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem approved the construction of 40 housing units in ‘Pisgat Ze’ev Mizrah’ settlement neighborhood. According to Israeli media sources, the Planning and Construction Committee in the municipality approved the construction of 4 buildings, each of which would include 10 housing units, which is part of a wider project that includes the construction of 220 housing units in the area. It is worth noting that the construction of another 32 housing units in the area had been approved two weeks earlier.
According to a report issued by the Israeli Peace Now, the past months witnessed the beginning of construction of 390 settlement buildings in the West Bank, during the period of temporary freezing of settlement activities. This number includes 223 stable units and 167 mobile ones. Thus, the number of housing units being built during the period of temporary freezing of settlement activities has mounted to 603. These units are being built in the following settlements: 180 units in ‘Bitar Elite;’ 62 units in ‘Burkan;’ one unit in ‘Binreh;’60 units in ‘Sha’ari Tikva;’ 40 units in ‘Givat Ze’ev;’ 24 units in ‘Matsbe Yericho;’ 22 units in ‘Ariel;’ 21 units in ‘Ma’le Adomim;’ 20 units in ‘Kfar Etzion;’ 18 units in ‘Kfar Adomim;’ 12 units in ‘Eitamar;’ 11 units in ‘Elli;’ 9 unit in ‘Uranit;’ 9 units in ‘Tsufin;’ 7 units in ‘Bitar Elite;’ 6 units in ‘Alkana;’ 6 units in ‘Fdu’el;’ 5 units in ‘Eliazer;’ and 5 units in ‘Yakir.’
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed two members of the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip. They also wounded 29 Palestinians, including 16 police officers, two women, two children and two resistance fighters.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces extra-judicially executed a fighter of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) in the central Gaza Strip. The targeted persons had been subjected to several extra-judicial assassination attempts, the latest of which was during the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, which killed his wife and five children.
On 30 July 2010, 19 Palestinians (16 police officers, two women and a child) were wounded, when Israeli warplanes bombarded a security site in Gaza City.
On 04 August 2010, Israeli forces killed a fighter with the Palestinian resistance, when Israeli soldiers fired a drone at a number of fighters in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces fired at Palestinian workers who were collecting raw construction materials in the northern Gaza Strip. As a result, 5 workers, including a child, were wounded.
Also during the reporting period, Israeli warplanes bombarded tunnels along the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, and a number of civilian targets in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 31 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 28 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children.
Israeli troops stationed at military checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank abducted two Palestinian civilians.
Israel has continued to take measures aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem.
During the reporting period, the Israeli Central Court in Jerusalem, rejected a petition filed by a number of Palestinian civilians, who hold identity cards issued by the Palestinian National Authority and live in al-Salam and ‘Anata suburbs, north of Jerusalem, against an Israeli decision to expel them from their homes and lands. The court claimed that the presence of more than 60 Palestinian families counting about 500 individuals in the area is illegal since it is a part of Jerusalem, and that they can go to Ramallah as they do not have permission to be in the area.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians in protest of the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, a Palestinian boy and two international human rights defenders were injured. Israeli forces also violently beat a number of demonstrators. Israeli forces also abducted 7 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and an Israeli human rights defender.
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 have already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the Wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, further confiscating Palestinian land. At least 65% of the main roads that lead to 18 Palestinian communities in the West Bank are closed or fully controlled by Israeli forces (47 out of 72 roads).
Following the Friday Prayer on 30 July 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders, including Mr. Paolo Sionfi, speaker of the parliament of a state in Brazil, British singer Kareen Dennis, US singer Marcel Cartier, a 45-member Spanish delegation and a 30-member German delegation, 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. As a result, Mohammed Shawkat al-Khatib, 18, was hit by a tear gas canister to the left shoulder, and an international human rights defender, who has not been identified, was hit by a tear gas canister to the foot. Several of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten by Israeli troops.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 30 July 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 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, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, and others sustained bruises.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 30 July 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. As a result, Elli Kid, 23, a British human rights defender, was hit by a tear gas canister to the right leg. A number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises. Israeli forces also arrested Waleed Daifallah al-Tamimi, 13, and Ben, 21, an Israeli human rights defender, but released them an hour later.
On Saturday afternoon, 31 July 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders demonstrated in the center of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They moved towards Zaher al-Brahish area, where Israeli forces plan to confiscate areas of Palestinian land to the north of the Israeli settlement of ‘Karmi Tsur.’ Israeli troops attacked the demonstrators and fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, 5 civilians, including a child, a woman and two photojournalists, were injured:
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 recognize the Gaza disengagement plan, which was implemented in September 2005, for what it is – not an end to occupation but a compounding of the occupation and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
In recognition of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as the guardian of the Fourth Geneva Convention, PCHR calls upon the ICRC to increase its staff and activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including the facilitation of family visitations to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: