In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 30 September – 06 October 2010, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that Israeli forces killed a worker in Jerusalem, wounded a child, wounded a worker in Gaza, and resumed (or began) construction in 350 illegal settlements in the West Bank.Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, on 03 October 2010, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian worker from Sa’ir village, northeast of Hebron, after he crossed the annexation wall near al-Tour village, east of Jerusalem, to get to work. An Israeli police spokeswoman claimed that the Israeli police ‘noticed a number of persons (around 15) jumping over a wall opposite to al-‘Eissawiya village near the main road leading to Ma’ale Adumim settlement. Two police officers chased them, and one of the officers was able to capture one of them. A quarrel erupted between the two, during which the Palestinian worker attempt to seize the officer’s gun, so a bullet was unleashed, and it hit the worker.’ However, investigations conducted by PCHR and eyewitnesses’ accounts refute this claim, and indicate that Israeli soldiers could have arrested the worker without killing him.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 00:00, a number of Palestinian workers, including ‘Izziddin Saleh al-Kawazba, 37, from Sa’ir village northeast of Hebron, went out to their work places in Jerusalem. At approximately 02:15, al-Kawazba arrived at a section of the annexation wall near al-Tour village, east of Jerusalem, where around 50 workers gathered and attempted to jump over the wall. At approximately 02:30, the workers were able to jump over the wall and cross the main road :30, the workers were able to jump over the wall and cross the main road :30, the workers were able to jump over the wall and cross the main road near ‘Ma’ale Adumim’ settlement. They then resorted to a dirt road towards al-Tour village. When al-Kawazba was crossing the main road, he was surprised by a military vehicle coming towards him, so he ran towards the dirt road. A soldier stepped down from the vehicle and ran behind him. When the soldier was as close as 10 meters to al-Kazazba, he fired one bullet. Al-Kawazba was wounded in the back. Ten minutes later, an Israeli ambulance arrived at the area, but Israeli soldiers did not allow its crew to attend al-Kawazba. An eyewitness, Ghanem ‘Aabed al-Kawazba, 32, stated that Israeli forces evacuated the victim’s body to the Israeli forensic medicine department. Israeli forces delivered the body to a Palestinian ambulance at Tarqoumia crossing, southwest of Hebron, at approximately 16:30 on the same day. The eyewitness further said: ‘… When we received the martyr’s body, we noticed signs of autopsy, and a Palestinian doctor who witnessed the autopsy told us that the bullet was explosive and it entered the back and then penetrated the heart.’ Al-Kawazba was married and a father of 6 children.
This week, Israeli forces used excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized in protest of Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall. As a result, a Palestinian child was wounded, and dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders suffered from tear gas inhalation or sustained bruises.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 18 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 6 Palestinian civilians, including a judge and a child. In one example of this week’s 18 incursions, on Thursday, 30 September 2010, Israeli forces abducted a Judge of the Magistrate Court in Hebron, Jamal ‘Abdul Majid Shadid, 42, from Kharsa village southwest of Hebron. According to his brother, Nasser, 47, and his wife, Nivine, 33, at approximately 02:00, Israeli forces besieged the judge’s house. Israeli soldiers threw stones toward the house, so he opened the door. When they attempted to catch him and break into the house, he introduced himself and refused to allow soldiers to get into the house. He requested to talk with the officer of the military unit. They accompanied him to the officer who was 100 meters away. In the meantime, Israeli soldiers stormed and searched the house. They held the family in one room. Later, they allowed the judge to get into the house to change his clothes and then abducted him. On Monday noon, 04 October 2010, a lawyer was able to visit the judge in ‘Kfar Etzion’ detention center. On Wednesday evening, 06 October 2010, the judge’s family learnt that he was transferred to ‘Ofer Prison, west of Ramallah, and that he would be presented to the Israeli military court on Thursday, 07 October 2010.
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 attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian worker was wounded when Israeli soldiers stationed at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired at them while collecting raw construction materials. The attack came during an Israeli military incursion into the northern Gaza Strip, during which they chased a number of Palestinian workers who were collecting raw construction materials.
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:
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 03 October 2010, Israeli settlers from ‘Aadi Aad’ settlement outpost stormed olive fields in the northwest of al-Mghayar village, northeast of Ramallah. They attempted to steal olives. Soon after, Israeli forces moved into the area.
On 04 October 2010, a number of Israeli settlers stormed the Prophets Mosque in Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem, and set fire to it. The mosque was heavily damaged.
On 05 October 2010, Israeli forces moved into Far’oun village, south of Tulkarm. They stopped near a play ground in the west of the village and photographed it. They also hung a notice of demolition of its buildings. They then delivered notices ordering the demolition of a number of houses belonging to Palestinian civilians.
On 06 October 2010, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that 350 housing units are currently being built in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. According to the paper, 56 units are being built in ‘Qidoumim’ settlement, east of Qalqilya; 54 ones in ‘Ariel’ settlement, north of Salfit; 56 ones in ‘Karmi Tsur’ settlement, north of Hebron; 24 ones in ‘Mateh Benjamin; 34 ones in ‘Kiryat Arba’ settlement, southeast of Hebron; and one unit in each of the following settlements: ‘Oranit;’ ‘Sha’ari Tikva;’ ‘Rafafah;’ ‘Yakir;’ ‘Kokhav Hashahar;’ ‘Burkan;’ ‘Kfar Adomim;’ ‘Taqqou;’ and ‘Dulif.’
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, a Palestinian child was wounded. Dozens of civilians and human rights defenders also suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Following the Friday Prayer on 01 October 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, a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten by Israeli troops.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 01 October 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 01 October 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, 02 October 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, Mohammed Jamal Abu Hashem, 14, was hit by a tear gas canister that caused burns to his body.
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.
There are approximately 500 kilometers of restricted roads across the West Bank. In addition, approximately one third of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, is inaccessible to Palestinians without a permit issued by the Israeli forces. These permits are extremely difficult to obtain.
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, including human rights organizations, bar associations, unions and NGOs continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel’s respect for human rights in the OPT and to demand Israel end its attacks on Palestinian civilians.
The PCHR called upon the international community to 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.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: