In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 03-09 Mar. 2011, 7 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded by Israeli forces and Israeli settlers in Qasra village, southeast of Nablus.In addition, Israeli forces launched a series of air strikes against civilian targets in the Gaza Strip. A car was bombarded, and 4 offices, stores and 12 flats were damaged in Nussairat refugee camp. Two rooms were destroyed and 6 houses were damaged in al-Zawaida village.
Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian workers, farmers and fishermen in border areas in the Gaza Strip. Israeli gunboats fired at Palestinian fishing boats in the northern Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank. 4 Palestinian civilians, including two children, and an international solidarity activist, were wounded, and two journalists suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 42 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 10 Palestinian civilians, including two children.
In one example of the week’s invasions, on Thursday, 03 March 2011, at approximately 00:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Shyoukh village, northeast of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and abducted Mohammed and Ra’ed Kamel al-Mashni, 29 and 31 respectively. The latter is physically disabled.
In another example, on the same day, at approximately 10:00, Israeli forces moved into Tulkarm. They patrolled in the streets and took position near Palestinian Technical University (Khadouri) in the west of the town. They stopped, checked and questioned a number of students. They then moved eastwards. They stormed a candy shop in the center of town and questioned its owner. They withdrew from the town later and neither house raids nor abductions were reported.
Israeli soldiers positioned at military checkpoints in the West Bank abducted 4 Palestinian civilians, including a woman.
There are approximately 585 permanent roadblocks, and manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank.
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.
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.
At approximately 20:30 on Thursday, 03 March 2011, Israeli settlers from ‘Halmish’ settlement, northwest of Ramallah, closed the entrance of Nabi Saleh village, while Israeli forces were present in the area. A number of those settlers attempted to enter the village. They also threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles. later, Israeli forces intervened an evacuated the settlers from the area. No casualties or damages were reported.
At approximately 11:30 on Friday, 04 March 2011, 5 Israeli settlers riding motorcycles broke into Raba village, southeast of Jenin. They took a round in the streets and moved southward towards the nearby Ebziq village.
At approximately 18:30 on the same day, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Emanuel’ settlement, east of Qalqilya, gathered at the entrance of the settlement. They threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles traveling on Qalqilya-Salfit road. No casualties were reported.
Beginning on Friday, 04 March 2011, trucks of ‘Gush Etzion’ settlement bloc, southwest of Bethlehem, unloaded large amounts of mud, stones and solid waste onto Palestinian agricultural lands in Wad Abu Shahin area to the west of Artas village, south of Bethlehem. More than 20 donums of agricultural land planted with apricots and olives were filled up. According to Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Swai, from Arats village, who is a victim of Israeli settlement activities, Israeli forces facilitated access of trucks to the area. He stated that the area and neighboring areas have been closed by Israeli forces under security claims. This attack on Palestinian land came a few days after Israeli construction crews had established a network of huge pipelines from ‘Efrat’ settlement through Sha’ab Sultan area and then to agricultural areas of Arats village. There serious concerns that Israeli settlers may pump residuals of the settlement onto Palestinian agricultural lands.
At approximately 08:05 on Saturday, 05 March 2011, a number of Israeli settlers gathered near Jeet intersection, northeast of Qalqilya. They threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles traveling on Qalqilya-Nablus road. No casualties were reported.
At approximately 18:20 on the same day, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Taffouh’ settlement, south of Nablus, stormed Palestinian agricultural lands in Yassouf village, east of Salfit. Soon, Israeli forces intervened and evacuated them from the area.
At approximately 09:10 on Sunday, 06 March 2011, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Kerni Shomron’ settlement, east of Qalqilya, gathered at the entrances of the nearby Kufor Laqef village. They threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles traveling on Qalqilya-Nablus road. No casualties were reported.
At approximately 16:00 on Monday, 07 March 2011, 10 Israeli settlers from ‘Yish Ad’ settlement outpost, which stands on the lands of Qasra village, east of Nablus, attacked Thiba Salama and her son, 23-year-old ‘Omar ‘Abed Salama, while they were plowing their land in the area. Three of the settlers were armed with M16 rifles, a fourth one was carrying a pistol and the others were carrying shovels and sticks. The settlers threw stones at the woman and her son and then beat them. The two were forced to flee towards the village. They told villagers that the settlers were uprooting olives trees in the area, nearly 500 meters away from the village. Loudspeakers of mosques called on villagers to defend their lands. Dozens of Palestinian civilians went to the area. Immediately, the settlers and Israeli soldiers who arrived at the area to protect them fired at Palestinian civilians. As a result, 7 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded.
Two Palestinian civilians also suffered from tear gas inhalation: Lu’ai Mahmoud Hassan, 20; and Anwar ‘Abdul Jabbar Hassan, 36. Additionally, 3 civilians were injured or sustained bruises as a result of being beaten, including a 50 year old, a 36-year old and a 32-year old man.
At approximately 16:30 on Monday, 07 March 2011, Israeli forces moved into Barta’a village, which has been isolated by the annexation wall, southwest of Jenin. They handed notices to a number of Palestinian civilians ordering them to stop construction in their houses, claiming that the construction is unlicensed.
On Tuesday morning, 08 March 2011, Israeli forces handed notices to 4 Palestinian civilians ordering demolition of a number of caves, tents and stores in Yatta twon, south of Hebron. According to information available to PCHR, the notices included order to demolished 4 caves, 4 tents and 4 stables in Zeef area, claiming that their proximity to an Israeli military post and ‘Bni Hefer’ settlement posed a security threat. These civilian facilities belong to Mohammed Shihada Abu Taha, Mahmoud Shihada Abu Taha, Shihada Mohammed Abu Taha and Mohammed Mahmoud Abu Taha. The demolition of these facilities apparently constitutes an attempt to evacuate the area as a prelude to annex it to the aforementioned settlement.
At approximately 09:30 on Wednesday, 09 March 2011, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron. They demolished a 500-square-meter stable belonging to Mohammed Younis al-‘Allami. Israeli forces claimed that the stable is close to Hebron-Bethlehem road and Israeli settlements in the southern West Bank.
Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip:
During the last week, Israeli forces launched a series of air strikes against the Gaza Strip. As a result, 4 a car and two rooms were destroyed and 6 houses, 12 flats, 4 offices and stores were damaged. In addition, Israeli forces closed al-Mentar (Karni) crossing completely.
On Saturday, 5 March, at approximately 22:30, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at Abu Jarad training site of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas, south of Gaza City). Neither casualties nor damage were reported. Also at approximately 22:30, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a space area in the southeast of al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. No casualties were reported.
On the same day, at approximately 23:30, an Israeli forces warplane fired a missile at a bird farm belonging to Hani Kamel al-Hayek in the southwest of al-Zawaida village in the central Gaza Strip. The farm was destroyed and a number of birds were killed. Six nearby houses were damaged:
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.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized in protest of Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall in the West Bank. As a result, 4 Palestinian civilians, including two children, and international solidarity activist were wounded, and dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders suffered from tear gas inhalation, including two journalists.
Following the Friday Prayer on 04 March 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, ‘Aassem Basman Yassin, 17, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right foot. Additionally, a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 04 March 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 04 March 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, two Palestinian civilians were wounded. A number of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation. Additionally, Israeli forces turned a house belonging to a Helmi Tamimi into a military site until 16:50.
At approximately 11:00 on Saturday, 05 March 2011, dozens of Palestinian civilians, female activists, international solidarity activists and public and social figures organized a peaceful demonstration against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities organized by the Palestinian Union of Women’s Work Committees for International Women’s Day and on the 42nd anniversary of the establishment of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The demonstrators gathered near offices of Qalandya Association in Qalandya refugee camp, south of Ramallah, and moved towards Qalandya checkpoint. Israeli forces closed the checkpoints and fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators. As a result, Sinda, 24, an international solidarity activist, was hit by a tear gas canister to the face. Dozens of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation or sustained bruises.
At approximately 12:45 on Saturday, 05 March 2011, Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, in protest to Israeli settlement activities. They moved towards closed Palestinian areas located neat ‘Karmi Tsur’ settlement, south of the town. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators and journalists. Israeli settlers also threw stones at the demonstrators. As a result, Hamza Ahmed Abu Hashem, 12, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right arm, and shrapnel from a sound bomb to the back. Four Palestinian civilians, including two journalists, suffered from tear gas inhalation and sustained bruises, including a 42-year old man whose nose was broken by a stone thrown by Israeli settlers.
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 European Union 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 West Bank.
In addition, PCHR calls on the international community to recognize the Gaza disengagement plan, which was implemented in September 2005, for what it is – not an end to occupation but a compounding of the occupation and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: