In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the week of 17-23 March 2011, 10 Palestinians, including 4 children, were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. The victims include 6 civilians.24 Palestinians, including 11 children, were wounded by Israeli forces and Israeli settlers in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
A police station and a number of civilian facilities were destroyed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian workers, farmers and fishermen in border areas in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces abducted a Palestinian fisherman and his child.
Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank, wounding 4 Palestinian civilians.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 6 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, and 4 Palestinian resistance activists in the Gaza Strip. They also wounded 28 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 11 children.
In the Gaza Strip, on Saturday evening, 19 March 2011, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian children who were nearly 300 meters away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Also on Saturday, 19 March 2011, at approximately 08:00, Israeli forces positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Yunis, fired a number of artillery shells at Palestinian agricultural and residential areas in the east of the villages of al-Qarara, ‘Abassan, Khuza’a and al-Fukhari. The artillery shelling continued sporadically until 11:00. As a result of the shelling, the minaret of ‘Amar Bin Yasser Mosque in ‘Abassan village was damaged, but no casualties were reported.
On Sunday 20 March 2011, at approximately 13:00, Israeli naval troops abducted two Palestinian fishermen who were sailing on board of a fishing boat nearly two nautical miles away from the seashore of Gaza City. The two fishermen were taken to the Israeli Ashdod Harbor. Israeli forces released the two fishermen on the following day morning at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, but kept their boat in custody. The two fishermen are: Nasser Fadel Baker, 45, and his 15-year-old child ‘Allam.
On Monday March 21st, at approximately 23:00, Israeli forces warplanes fired two missiles at ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al-Rantissi site of the Palestinian police near al-Twam intersection in the west of Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip. Police buildings and two vehicles were destroyed. A police officer, Mohammed Hussein Abu ‘Amira, 43, from Jabalya town, sustained bruises. Additionally, 6 Palestinian civilians, including two children and two women, were lightly injured by fragments of glass. Dozens of nearby houses , 7 shops and two vehicles were damaged. The building of Bytona Association for Social Development, which is located nearly 100 meters away from the targeted site, was heavily damaged.
On 22 March 2011, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including two children, and wounded 11 others, including 8 children, with artillery shells in the east of Gaza City. Israeli forces claimed that a shell went astray and killed and wounded these civilians. PCHR’s investigations refute this claim, as the area was targeted by 4 successive artillery shells.
On the same day, Israeli forces killed 4 members of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) in Gaza City.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces launched a series of air strikes on a number of Palestinian civilian facilities and a police station. The targeted facilities were destroyed and a number of houses and other property were damaged. Additionally, 15 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were lightly injured.
Israel has continued to impose a total siege and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 45 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces abducted 20 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children, and two international human rights defenders.
The widest incursions were into ‘Awarta village, southeast of Nablus, and Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, during which Israeli forces wounded two Palestinian civilians and abducted 14 Palestinian civilians and two international human rights defenders. They also violently beat a number of civilians, including a pregnant woman.
Israeli soldiers positioned at military checkpoints in the West Bank abducted one Palestinian civilian.
On 23 March 2011, two Palestinian civilians were wounded and abducted in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, when Israeli forces attacked Palestinian civilians participating in the funeral procession of a dead woman.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. Israeli settlers launched a series of violent attacks against Palestinian civilians and property. Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian worker inside a settlement in the north of the West Bank and stabbed another one in the south. Israeli settlers burnt two cars and damaged another 3.
During the reporting period, a Palestinian civilian was wounded and two others sustained bruises by Israeli forces that intervened to protect Israeli settlers who attacked Palestinian civilians and property.
At approximately 09:30 on Thursday, 17 March 2011, at least 8 Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian worker in ‘Shilo’ settlement, north of Ramallah, using sharp tools. He sustained bruises throughout the body. In his testimony to PCHR, the victim, Sami ‘Abdul Mo’ti Snoubar, 31, from Yatma village, stated: ‘At approximately 09:30 on Thursday, 17 March 2011, I was working in ‘Shilo’ settlement. When I was on the second floor of the building where I work, I was surprised by 8 settlers getting onto the floor. One of them hit my head with a sharp tool, so I fell onto the ground. Another one sprayed gas on my face and eyes. They then all violently beat me using sharp tools and stones. They continued to beat me for 15 minster. The guard of the building arrived then and attempted to stop them, but he could not. He phoned the guard of the settlement, and when the latter came, the settlers fled. He called the Israeli police and medical crews. No one talked to me. Paramedics provided me with first medical aid. They then transported me in an ambulance to the nearby Turmos’iya village, and a Palestinian ambulance transported me from there to Ramallah Hospital.’
On Thursday noon, 17 March 2011, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Karni Shomron’ settlement gathered at Kufor Laqef intersection, north of Qalqilya. They threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles. As a result, a car belonging to Bassam ‘Abed Abu Khaled, from Kufor Qaddoum village, was damaged.
At approximately 15:45 on the same day, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Qidoumim’ settlement, northeast of Qaqlilya, burnt two cars belonging to Na’im ‘Abdul Karim Tayem and Bashar ‘Abdul Latif Tayem, both from al-Fundoq village east of Qalqilya, near the settlement. In his testimony to PCHR, Bashar Tayem stated: ‘At approximately 15:30 on Thursday, 17 March 2011, Na’im Tayem and I were working in ‘Qidoumi’ settlement. We stopped our cars near Jeet intersection as usual. While we were working, the guard of the settlement phoned us. He told us that our cars were set alight. We immediately went out to find that our cars had been completely burnt. The Israeli police arrived at the area. We asked the guard about the perpetrator, but he refused to answer. We submitted a complaint at an Israeli police station in ‘Ariel’ settlement.’
At approximately 18:00 also on Thursday, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Qidoumim’ settlement gathered on Nabus-Qalqilya road and threw stones at Palestinian civilians vehicles. No injuries or damage were reported. Israeli forces intervened and closed the road until they evacuated the settlers.
On Friday morning, 18 March 2011, Ayman Talal Dmaidi, 36, from Hawara village south of Nablus, survived an attempt by an Israeli settler to run him down. Dmaidi stated to PCHR that at approximately 04:45, following the dawn prayer, he got out of ‘Ali Bin Abi Taleb Mosque on his way to his house. When he was as close as to 150 meters from his house, an Israeli car hit him from the back, so he fell onto the ground. The settlers attempted to run over him. The settler then fled.
At approximately 14:40 on the same day, Israeli settlers from ‘Taffouh’ settlement stormed agricultural areas in the east of Yassouf village, east of Salfit. Israeli forces intervened and evacuated the settlers.
At approximately 18:15 on the same day, a number of Israeli settlers gathered at Jeet intersection, northeast of Qalqilya. They set fire to tires and close Nablus-Qalqilya.
At approximately 18:30 on the same day, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Qidoumim’ settlement gathered on Nablus-Qalqilya road and threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles. No injuries or damages were reported.
At approximately 18:35 on the same day, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Karni Shomron’ settlement gathered at Kufor Laqef intersection, north of Qalqilya. They threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles. No injuries or damages were reported.
At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 19 March 2011, Mahmoud Rashad ‘Atallah, 30, from Beit Leed village east of Tulkarm, was subjected stone throwing by Israeli settlers, when he was driving his car on the bypass road linking between Hawara intersection, south of Nablus, and Jeet intersection, northeast of Qalqilya.
At approximately 08:30 also on Saturday, dozens of Israeli settlers, some of whom were armed, stormed Palestinian agricultural areas in Twana village, east of Hebron, and attempted to prevent Palestinian farmers and international solidarity activists from planting olive seedlings. Israeli forces intervened and attacked farmers and solidarity activists. As a result, Fadel Ahmed Reb’ei, 32, was injured in the head. Israeli forces also detained Jaber Saber al-Harini, 16, for several hours. The targeted area had been razed by Israeli forces one week earlier, and Israeli settlers established a settlement outpost on the area 7 years ago.
At approximately 14:30 on the same day, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Sousia’ settlement, south of Hebron, herded hundreds of sheep onto Palestinian agricultural lands planted with wheat and barley belonging to the al-Nawaj’a family in Sousia areas, nearly 500 meters away from the settlement. This attack came in the context of Israeli attempts to prevent Palestinian farmers from reaching their lands. Israeli forces were present in the area and did not intervene to stop the attack. It is worth noting that Israeli settlers had already seized a two-donum area of agricultural land belonging to ‘Adnan Shihda al-Nawaj’a.
At approximately 16:30 on the same day, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Kharsina’ settlement, northeast of Hebron, intercepted Musbah Ghaleb al-Za’tari, 40, while he was traveling in his car, accompanied by his two children – Mahmoud, 5; and Ahmed, 12 – in al-Bwaira area. They threw stones at the car from all directions. Al-Za’tari and his children were forced to open the doors and escape. He sustained bruises to the left leg. The settlers continued to hit and damage the car for nearly 15 minutes. Later, Israeli forces arrived at the area and helped the settlers escape, charging none of them for the attack. Al-Za’tari’s car was heavily damaged.
At approximately 18:30 on the same day, several armed Israeli settlers from ‘Douleb’ settlement, west of Ramallah, set up a tent in the east of ‘Ein Qinya village, and conducted religious rituals for the Jewish Purim. Israeli forces were present in the area, but did not intervene to stop them. The settlers left the area on the following morning.
At approximately 08:30 on Monday, 21 March 2011, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Ma’oun’ settlement intercepted Mahmoud Ibrahim Zain, 31, from Khirbat Tana area, south of Hebron, when he was riding his donkey and selling milk. One of the settlers stabbed him. He was seriously injured in the chest and right arm.
At approximately 12:45 on the same day, an Israeli settler traveling on Hebron-Bethlehem road fired from his pistol at dozens of Palestinian civilians who were participating in the funeral procession of a dead civilian in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron. Two civilians were wounded, aged 65 and 30. The settler then fled towards ‘Kfar Etzion’ settlement.
At approximately 15:15 on the same day, a number of Israeli settlers from ‘Kharsina’ settlement, northeast of Hebron, threw stones at a number of houses belonging to the al-Za’tari family in al-Bwaira area. As a result, Sabrin ‘Abdul Karim al-Za’tari, 17, sustained acute bruises to the right leg. A house belonging to Ghaleb ‘Abdul Karim al-Za’tari and a taxi were also damaged.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall in the West Bank. As a result, 4 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded, and dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders suffered from tear gas inhalation.
As a result, 4 Palestinian civilians, including two children, 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 18 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, 4 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded. Non-violent organizer Eyad Bornat, 38, was hit by a tear gas canister to the head and taken to the hospital.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 18 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 number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 18 March 2011, 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, a number of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation. Additionally, Israeli forces abducted two international human rights defenders. Israeli forces also turned the roof of the cultural center in the village into a military site until 16:30.
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 convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel’s respect of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.
The PCHR calls upon 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.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: