In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the week of 16-22 September 2010, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that Israeli forces killed two Palestinians and wounded six civilians this week.According to the Center’s findings, Israeli forces extra-judicially executed a Palestinian in Nour Shams refugee camp near Tulkarem. In addition, private Israeli security forces guarding Israeli settlements killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded two others in Silwan village in Jerusalem.
Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank. Two Palestinian children and two human rights defenders were wounded. Israeli forces arrested two Palestinian civilians and two human rights defenders.
Israeli forces launched a number of air strikes against civilian targets in the Gaza Strip, destroying a store and a country house.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 37 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 38 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces extra-judicially executed a Palestinian in Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm. They also wounded two Palestinian children and two human rights defenders. Additionally, a guard of Israeli settlements killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded two others in Silwan village in East Jerusalem.
On 17 September 2010, Israeli forces committed a new extrajudicial execution crime in Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm. This crime claimed the life of Eyad Asa’ad Ahmed Abu Shilabaya, 38, an activist of Hamas movement. The Israeli military spokesman claimed that soldiers opened fire at Abu Shilabaya as they believed that he ‘was posing a threat to their lives.’ He stated that Abu Shilabaya who is ‘wanted’, continued to walk towards the soldiers while putting his hands behind his back although the soldiers asked him to stop. According to the military spokesman’s claims, the soldiers were afraid and opened fire accordingly. After checking the body of Abu Shilabaya, it was found out that he did not have any weapons. Investigations conducted by PCHR revealed that the crime was committed in a bedroom with a single door. Blood was just in front of the bed, approximately one meter far from the door. These findings refute the Israeli military spokesman’s claims.
Also this week, Israeli forces broke into a school in Hebron and arrested two school children.
Israel has continued to take measures aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem. Israeli forces started to construct a new section of the annexation wall in Shu’fat refugee camp.
Israeli troops stationed at military checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank abducted at least 7 Palestinian civilians.
On 18 September 2010, Israeli forces started to built concrete blocks at the entrances of Ras Khamis neighborhood and Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of Jerusalem, as part of the process of the construction of a section of the annexation wall in the area, to completely separate it from Jerusalem and establish a new military post. A PCHR field worker reported that the concrete blocks are 12 meters high and extend over a 600-meter-long distance. The construction of this section of the wall will separate Shu’fat refugee camp, ‘Anata village and Ras Khamis, Rash Shihada and al-Salam from the center of Jerusalem. As a result, at least 55,000 Palestinians will be separated from Jerusalem.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
On Monday, September 20th, at approximately 06:30, Israeli gunboats stationed opposite to Beit Lahia beach in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. They also fired flash bombs over the area. No casualties were reported.
Israel has continuously closed all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for over three years. The illegal Israeli-imposed closure 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.
The illegal closure has caused not only a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of human rights and human dignity for the population of the Gaza Strip. Measures declared recently to ease the blockade are vague, purely cosmetic and fail to deal with the root causes of the crisis, which can only be addressed by an immediate and complete lifting of the closure, including lifting the travel ban into and out of the Gaza Strip and the ban on exports. PCHR is concerned that the new Israeli policy is simply shifting Gaza to another form of illegal blockade, one that may become internationally accepted and institutionalized. Palestinians in Gaza may no longer suffer from the same shortage of goods, but they will remain economically dependent and unable to care for themselves, and socially, culturally and academically isolated from the rest of the world.
Israeli settlement activities:
On 22 September 2010, a guard of Israeli settlements in Silwan village to the south of the old town of East Jerusalem shot dead Samer Mahmoud Sarhan, 32. The guard fired a number of bullet from his pistol at a number of Palestinians, killing Sarhan and wounding another two civilians. The Israeli police claimed that the guard collided with a burning garbage container that was placed in the streets by Palestinians. They further claimed that those people had thrown stones at the guard, so he fired from his pistol through his car’s window. However, eyewitnesses refuted the claims, and emphasized that the guard got down out of the car and chased these people. He fired at them from 3 different places, even after those people had already left the street.
On 19 September 2010, Israeli forces delivered 8 notices to Palestinian civilians ordering stopping the construction of a facility and a number of houses in Deir Ballout village, southwest of Slafit, claiming that they area being built without licenses.
Also on 19 September 2010, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Kharsina’ settlement, east of Hebron, uprooted 70 grape trees belonging to ‘Abdul Rahman Shareef Sultan in al-Bwaira area.
On 20 September 2010, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Ramat Gilad’ settlement attacked Palestinian agricultural areas in Jainsafout village, east of Qalqilya. According to sources of the Municipality of Jainsafout village, Israeli settlers attacked a tract of agricultural land belonging to ‘Abdul Hafiz Kamel ‘Obaid, and started to cultivate olives. A number of Palestinian civilians protested, but the Israeli settlers claimed that they had purchased the land. When the owner learned about the attack, he arrived at his land, and the settlers then left it.
On 22 September 2010, at least 60 armed Israeli settlers from ‘Jabal Aldayr’ and ‘Ein Harsha’ settlements stormed a housing project in Western al-Mazara’a village, northwest of Ramallah, and station atop of a number of houses. They photographed the area.
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 to the construction of the Wall and settlement activities. As a result, two Palestinian children and two human rights defenders were wounded. Dozens of civilians and human rights defenders also suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Following the Friday Prayer on 17 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, two Palestinian children and an Israeli human rights defender were wounded. 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 17 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.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 17 September 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, ‘Omar Saleh al-Tamimi, 22, sustained bruises. A number of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation.
At approximately 11:30 on Saturday, 18 September 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They moved towards areas of Palestinian land, which are threatened of confiscation by Israeli forces, near ‘Karmi Tsur’ settlement, south of the village. Israeli forces attacked and fired at the demonstrators. As a result, Anna, 32, a Swedish journalist, was injured by shrapnel from a sound bomb. Additionally, Mohammed ‘Ayad ‘Awadh, 48, a member of the Palestinian Solidarity Project, sustained bruises to the back and the left hand, and Shungua, 21, a Japanese human rights defender, sustained bruises to the back. Israeli forces also arrested Younis Mousa ‘Arar, 24; Mousa Hussein Abu Hashem, 45; and two international human rights defenders: Ran, 24, a British citizen; and Maria Luis, 21, an American citizen.
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 recommendations was the call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to comply with their legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.
Also, the PCHR calls for the immediate implementation of the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice, which considers the construction of the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank illegal.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below.