In its weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 23-29 September 2010, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that Israeli forces killed 5 Palestinians, including a fisherman and a toddler, in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. In addition, a member of the Palestinian resistance died of previous wounds in the Gaza Strip.Also this week, Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a photojournalist, were wounded. Israeli forces detained a French human rights defender for several hours.
Israeli forces continued to fire at Palestinian workers and farmers in border areas in the Gaza Strip, wounding two workers.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinians in Gaza, while a 5th Palestinian died of previous wounds.
In the Gaza Strip, on 24 September 2010, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian fisherman while fishing with his cousins opposite to al-Sudaniya beach in the northern Gaza City. It should be noted that Israeli gunboats daily chase Palestinian fishermen in the sea and threaten their sources of livelihood through continuously firing at their boats, detaining them and confiscating their fishing tools.
On 25 September 2010, medical sources at Nasser Institute Hospital in Egypt declared that Mohammed Salem al-‘Amarin, 21, from al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the southeast of Gaza City, died of wounds he had sustained by Israeli forces in the central Gaza Strip on 14 September 2010.
At approximately 11:20 on Sunday, 26 September 2010, Israeli soldiers stationed at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of ‘Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis town in the southern Gaza Strip, fired at dozens of Palestinian civilians who organized a peaceful demonstration against the establishment of a security fence at the border. As a result, Suleiman Ziad Abu ‘Anza, 20, was seriously wounded by a bullet to the abdomen.
On 28 September 2010, Israeli forces killed 3 members of the Palestinian resistance, when an Israeli warplanes fired a missile at them in the central Gaza Strip.
On 28 September 2010, an Israeli warplane fired a missile that landed on a house belonging to Kamal ‘Abdul Hadi Abu Shamla near Slah al-Din Street in Nussairat refugee camp. The house was damaged, but no casualties were reported.
During the reporting period, two Palestinian workers were wounded when Israeli troops stationed at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired at them while collecting raw construction materials.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted one limited incursion into al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis. They leveled areas of Palestinian land.
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 attacks in the West Bank:
During the past week, Israeli forces conducted 24 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 13 Palestinian civilians. Israeli troops stationed at military checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank abducted at least 3 Palestinian civilians.
In the West Bank, on 24 September 2010, 13-month old Mohammed Mahmoun Abu Sara, from al-‘Eissawiya village near Jerusalem, died due to tear gas inhalation. According to the victim’s uncle, on Wednesday evening, 22 September 2010, Israeli forces moved into al-Zahra area in al-‘Eissawiya village and fired tear gas canisters near his brother’s house. As a result, the toddler suffered from difficulties in breathing. He was taken to a medical center in the village and he was treated. On the following day, Israeli forces moved into the area again and fired tear gas canisters. The baby again suffered from tear gas inhalation. He was evacuated to a medical center. Over the night, Israeli forces continued to fire tear gas canisters in the village. At approximately 05:30 on Friday, 25 September 2010, the toddler’s mother was shocked that he lost consciousness. He was immediately transported to Hadasa Hospital, but he died. The Israeli police held the body, and allowed only members of the family to bury him at approximately 13:10.
Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.
Israeli forces have established checkpoints in and around Jerusalem, severely restricting Palestinian access to the city. Civilians are frequently prevented from praying at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. There are approximately 585 permanent roadblocks, and manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank.
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 25 September 2010, on the eve of the Israeli temporary freezing of settlement activities, Israeli settlers from ‘Rafafa’ settlement seized dozens of donums of land in Deir Estia village, northwest of Salfit. According to eyewitnesses, the settlers placed 22 mobile homes on a 30-donum area of agricultural. They also leveled areas of land.
On 25 September 2010, Israeli settlers from ‘Givat Ze’ev’ settlement broke into al-Zaytoun area in the south of Bitounia town, west of Ramallah, and organized celebrations for the Jewish Sukkoth. Later, Israeli forces moved into the area and evacuated the settlers.
On the same day, Israeli settlers from ‘Nukadim’ settlement placed 3 mobile homes in al-Mas’hab area in Khirbat Jib al-Theeb village, east of Bethlehem.
On 26 September 2010, dozens of armed Israeli settlers, accompanied by bulldozers and escorted by Israeli forces, continued to lay foundations for a new settlement known as ‘Havat Ma’oun’ near ‘Ma’oun’ settlement to the east of Yatta village, south of Hebron.
On the same day, Silvan Shalom, Deputy Israeli Prime Minister, in the presence of dozens of settlers, put the corner stone of a Jewish religious school near ‘Beir Rumano’ settlement outpost in Hebron in a celebration that was attended by a number of leaders of settles and rightist members of the Israeli Knesset, who encouraged more settlement activities and seizure of Palestinian property.
On 27 September 2010, a number of armed Israeli settlers, accompanied by a bulldozer and escorted by Israeli forces, leveled a tract of land, which they had seized in Wad al-Hussain neighborhood in Hebron, in order to build on it. The 8-donum land belongs to Mahmoud Jabet and Ziad Jaber, and was seized by Israeli settlers two years ago.
In the same context, the Public Committee to Defend Land in Hebron, stated that the so-called Israeli Military Organization Commissioner issued this week an order to evacuate 44 donums of land belonging to Mohammed Ibrahim al-Khamaisa in the northwest of Taffouh village, west of Hebron, claiming that it is ‘a state land.’
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 in the West Bank, and against the establishment of a buffer zone along the border in the Gaza Strip. As a result, 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded. Dozens of civilians and human rights defenders also suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Following the Friday Prayer on 24 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, 3 Palestinian civilians 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 24 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 24 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, Wa’d al-Tamimi, 13, was hit by a tear gas canister to the right foot. A number of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation.
At approximately 11:30 on Saturday, 25 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, two Palestinian civilians, including a child, and 3 American human rights defenders, sustained bruises. Israeli forces also detained Francis Debeleouk, 22, a French human rights defender, for several hours.
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 pressure Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupation forces on access for international organizations to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The PCHR reiterates that any political settlement not based on international human rights law and humanitarian law cannot lead to a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian question. Rather, such an arrangement can only lead to further suffering and instability in the region. Any peace process or agreement must be based on respect for international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: