In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the week of 08-15 September 2010, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including two children and old man, in the Gaza Strip. In addition, Israeli police killed a Palestinian civilian from the West Bank, in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.Israeli forces wounded two Palestinian civilian and a member of the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces continued to fire at Palestinian farmers and workers in the Gaza Strip’s border areas.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, on 12 September 2010, Israeli forces killed three Palestinian civilians in the northern Gaza Strip: an old man; his grandchild and another child. The victims were killed when Israeli forces fired five shells towards a group of Palestinian farmers and shepherds in Abu ‘Eida land in the northeast of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip. The attack resulted in the killing of about 30 sheep as well.
On 14 September 2010, a member of the Palestinian resistance was seriously wounded during an Israeli incursion into Gaza Valley village in the central Gaza Strip.
On 15 September 2010, Israeli war planes fired two missiles at a tunnel in al-Brazil neighborhood in Rafah, at the Egyptian border in the southern Gaza Strip. The tunnel was destroyed and a worker was killed. Another two workers in an adjacent tunnel were also wounded.
At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, 14 September 2010, Israeli troops stationed on observation towers at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to the northwest of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at a number of Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists, who demonstrated dozens of meters to the southeast of the aforementioned crossing. According to Saber al-Za’anin, Coordinator of the Local Initiative , 50 demonstrators, including 4 international solidarity activists and 5 journalists, gathered at approximately 10:20 near the Agricultural School in the north of Beit Hanoun, to protest the imposition of a buffer zone by Israeli forces along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. They got as close as to 300 meters to the southeast of Beit Hanoun crossing. There, they raised the Palestinian national flag on a hill, and started to fill a trench, which had been dug by Israeli forces on Thursday, 02 September 2010, nearly 500 meters away from the border. At approximately 11:00, Israeli troops stationed at observation towers opened fire at the demonstrators. The shooting lasted for 20 minutes, but no casualties were reported. This protesting activity was ended at approximately 11:40.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, on 14 September 2010, a Palestinian civilian from East Jerusalem was shot dead by the Israeli police in Tel Aviv. According to the Israeli television channel 2, an Israeli police officer fired at a handcuffed Palestinian in Tel Aviv. The victim’s family denied the Israeli claim, and confirmed that the victim was shot dead from a zero range. PCHR has not been able to verify the two narratives as the only witnesses are the detainees who were with the victim as they are still detained.
Israeli forces conducted 36 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 20 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children. In one example of this week’s 20 abductions, at approximately 08:00 on Monday, 13 September 2010, Israeli troops stationed at a checkpoint established at Hijja intersection, east of Qalqilya, arrested Samer Radwan Ahmed, 25.
Israel has continued to take measures aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem. An Israeli court approved the establishment of an iron bridge near Bab al-Maghareba. On 14 September 2010, the Israeli Central Court in Jerusalem approved the establishment of an iron bridge to kink between the Bab al-Maghareba (Gate of the Magharibis), southwest of al-Aqsa Mosque, and the road leading to the Gate. Such approval may open the door wide for Israeli settlers to continue there attacks on the Hill of the Gate of the Magharibis, which caused a ground split-up in 2004 due to excavation works in the area by Israeli settlers and the Israeli Ministry of Religions.
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 13 September 2010, Israeli settlers from ‘Shavoth Rachel’ settlement, northeast of Ramallah, seized at least 15 donums of agricultural land belonging to Palestinian civilians from Qaryout village, southeast of Nablus. They leveled the land for agricultural purposes.
On 14 September 2010, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that the Planning and Construction Committee of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem would soon convene to approve the construction of 1,362 settlement units in Palestinian areas that were occupied by Israel in 1967. The newspaper quoted sources within the municipality as saying that the committee would discuss approving the construction of the aforementioned units in ‘Givat Hamatos’ area in the outskirts of Beit Safafa village, south of Jerusalem, after the Jewish holidays. According to the newspaper, the project would include the construction of 549 flats in ‘Givat Hamatos B’ area, and 813 in ‘Givat Hamatos C’ area.
On the same day, ‘Na’out Hapisga’ Company declared the resumption of construction works in ‘Modi’in Elite’ settlement, west of Ramallah, in spite of temporary freezing of settlement activities. The Israeli military radio reported that the company decided to resume the construction of 2,400 settlement units.
In the meantime, a report prepared by the Israeli Peace Now revealed that the construction of 2,066 housing units in 42 Israeli settlements would start on 26 September 2010, the end of the temporary freezing of settlement activities. The report indicated that those unit had been already approved and settlers had already obtained construction licenses in existing settlements. These figures are consistent with previous ones, which indicated that settlers could start building 2,000-2,500 housing units once the temporary freezing of settlement activities ends. Peace Now further pointed out that there are plans to construct 11,000 housing unit on sites that had already obtained licenses and areas of land were devoted by the Jewish Agency for their construction.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest of the construction of the Wall and settlement activities. As a result, a Palestinian civilian was wounded. A number of civilians and human rights defenders also suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Following the Friday Prayer on 10 September 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’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 Ahmed Hamad, 19, was hit by a tear gas canister to the back. A number 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 10 September 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, several demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, and others sustained bruises.
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 international civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and NGOs, participate in the process of exposing those accused of grave breaches of international law and urge their governments to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel. PCHR further calls upon the EU states to prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: