In its weekly report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 24 Feb. 02 Mar. 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that during the last week, a Palestinian worker and a resistance fighter were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces launched a series of air strikes against civilian targets in the Gaza Strip. During the air strikes, 4 houses were destroyed and 14 others were damaged. In addition, 11 civilian establishments were destroyed or heavily damaged, a security building was destroyed and a mosque was damaged.
Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian workers, farmers and fishermen in border areas in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian worker and a farmer were wounded by Israeli troops this week.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, on Thursday, 24 February 201, at approximately 00:05, Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at an agricultural room belonging to Wa’el ‘Abdul Hadi al-Majaida, 40, in the north of the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis. The room was completely destroyed and a nearby house belonging to Khaled Na’im Wafi was damaged. At approximately 04:10, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a yard in al-Shouka village, east of Rafah. As a result, a house belonging to Hassam Mahmoud Hamad was destroyed, and another house belonging to Ashraf Hassan Abu Rezeq was heavily damaged. Hamad’s son stated to PCHR that he had received a phone call from a person who introduced himself as an officer of the Israeli intelligence. The officer order him to evacuate the house, because it would be bombarded, and the family rushed out just before the bomb hit.
On 27 February 2011, Israeli forces positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel shot dead a Palestinian worker who was collecting scraps of construction materials in the northern Gaza Strip, nearly 300 meters away from the border.
Another worker was wounded by Israeli forces on 26 February 2011.
On 27 February 2011, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian resistance fighter in the east of Gaza City. An Israeli warplane fired a missile at a number of fighters of The al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad).
On 28 February 2011, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian resistance fighter in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.
On 01 March 2011, a Palestinian farmer was wounded when Israeli forces fired an artillery shell at a number of Palestinian resistance fighters in the central Gaza Strip.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces launched a series of air strikes against the Gaza Strip. As a result, 4 houses were destroyed and 14 others were damaged, 11 civilian facility were heavily damaged, a security building was destroyed and a mosque was damaged.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 40 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 13 Palestinian civilians, including two children.
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:
Israel has continued its settlement activities in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On 27 February 2011, Israeli forces moved into Hariqat al-Khammas area in the west of Deir Estia village, northwest of Salfit. They razed a 15-donum area of land belonging to Hussein ‘Abdul Rahim Zaidan. Israeli forces destroyed fences of the land and 30 water tanks and uprooted 150 seedlings.
On the same day, Israeli forces handed notices ordering the demolition of a school, a mosque and 13 houses in al-Ramadin village, southwest of Hebron, claiming that they were built without licenses.
On 28 February 2011, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Gilad’ settlement set up a number of tents and mobile homes on Palestinian land in the east of Ematin village, northeast of Qalqilya. Israeli forces intervened later and dismantled the tents and mobile homes.
On 28 February 2011, a number of armed Israeli settlers from ‘Halmish’ settlement, northwest of Ramallah, closed the entrance of Nabi Saleh village, west of the town. They threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles. Israeli forces were present in the area, but did not intervene immediately.
On 28 February 2011, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Yits’har’ settlement attacked a house in Hawara village, south of Nablus, using Molotov cocktails. The house was damed.
On 02 March 2011, Israeli forces destroyed a water well belonging to Hamed Yousef Jaber in al-Baq’a area, east of Hebron, near bypass road #60.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank. 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. As a result, 7 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded. Dozens of Palestinian civilians and human rights defenders also suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Following the Friday Prayer on 25 February 2011, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Bil’ein village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the annexation wall. Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, Qassem Barakat al-Khatib, 17, was hit by a tear gas canister to the right hand. Additionally, a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 25 February 2011, 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, a Palestinian civilian, who has not been identified, was hit by a tear gas canister to the right foot. Additionally, a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 25 February 2011, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Beit Reema 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, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded: a 50-year old man, a 52-year old man hit by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head, and a 22-year old man, also wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head. A number of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation. Additionally, Israeli forces abducted a 54-year old Israeli journalist.
At approximately 12:10 on Friday, 25 February 2011, the Youth Commission against Settlement in Hebron organized a peaceful demonstration in the center of Hebron, in protest to Israeli settlement activities and in commemoration of victims of an attack by an Israeli settler against Palestinian civilians in Hebron in 1994, in which 29 civilians were killed. When the demonstrators arrived near ‘Beit Rumano’ settlement in the north of the old town, Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. They also violently beat a number of demonstrators. Three demonstrators were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets, including a 50-year old man.
A number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, including Fahmi Hamdi Shahin, 27, a PCHR field worker, a paramedic and two journalists. Additionally, Israeli forces abducted Mahmoud Ramadan al-Ja’bari, 26. Israeli forces also abducted 3 international human rights defenders, but released them later. It is worth noting that the demonstration attempted to draw the attention of the international community to a series of human right violations perpetrated by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians, including the closure of al-Shuhada Street in the center of Hebron for 17 years.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention fulfill their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.
In addition, the PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel’s respect of the Convention in the OPT and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: