In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 21 – 27 April 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that 7 Palestinians and one Spanish peace activist were wounded by Israeli forces this week, and 13 people were abducted, including 5 children.A Palestinian worker from Hebron was wounded and abducted by Israeli forces while trying to have access to Israel for work. Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian workers, farmers and fishermen in border areas in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian farmer was wounded in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank. Six protesters, including a child and a Spanish human rights defender, were wounded. Israeli forces abducted 5 protesters, including a child and three international human rights defenders.

Israeli attacks in the West Bank:

During the past week, Israeli forces conducted 25 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 8 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children. Israeli forces abducted at least four Palestinians, including two children, at military checkpoints in the West Bank.

In one example of the checkpoint abductions this week, at approximately 16:30 on Thursday, 21 April 2011, Israeli troops stationed at a checkpoint, northwest of Hebron, abducted Hussein Tayseer Hussein Tnaina, 16, and Jamal Nasser Hassan Shalalfah, 17 from Tarqoumia village.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, Israeli troops stationed a checkpoint near al-Liyah intersection with bypass road (35), leading to villages north and west of Hebron, abducted Tnaina and Shalalfah while they were going home in Tarqoumia. They beat, handcuffed and detained them for a few hours before they were transported to a police station near ‘Kiryat Arba’ settlement, southeast of Hebron. The two children were questioned regarding ‘stone-throwing at Israeli troops’. Later, they were detained, handcuffed and blindfolded in the open air of the Israeli police station from 18:00 to 04:00 on Friday, 22 April 2011, and then transported to ‘Kfar Etzion’ detention center, southwest of Bethlehem. According to information collected by PCHR, Tnaina is a 10-grade student suffering from a mental disorder, while Shalalfa is a student in the 11th grade.

On 24 April 2011, a Palestinian worker was wounded when Israeli forces stationed in ‘al-Kharouba’ border area in the southwest of al-Ramadin village, southwest of Hebron, opened fire at him. Israeli forces opened fire before and after intentionally letting sniffer dogs attack the Palestinian worker and eat his flesh. They then abducted him and transferred him later to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. The abducted Palestinian was transferred later to an Israeli detention center. It should be noted that this crime is the fourth of its kind documented by PCHR within two weeks in Hebron.

In testimony to the PCHR, the wounded man’s son stated, “The Israeli soldiers had left my father bleeding and lying on the ground for more than 2 hours without offering any medication or help. During which, my father was able to call me through his mobile phone to inform me of what had happened, asking me to bring a car to transport him to a hospital. It seems that this happened before an Israeli ambulance called by the soldiers arrived. He was transported by the Israeli ambulance to Soroka hospital in Beersheba … it was difficult for me to reach the hospital and visit my father. I listened to his story in detail after receiving medical treatment and 2 units of blood. While I was at hospital and before completing the necessary treatment, Israeli soldiers came at approximately 17:00 on the same day. They detained my father and transported him to a police station near ‘Kiryat Arba’ settlement under the pretext of questioning him regarding his wounds and ‘entering Israel without a permit’. The following day, on Monday 25 April 2011, I knew via a phone call with an officer in the mentioned police station that my father was detained and transported to ‘Kfar Etzion’ detention center. Later, he was transported to Ofer prison, southwest of Ramallah, where he is under detention, waiting for a military trial, as far as I know.’

The victim is a father of 6 children. He suffers from serious health problems in the heart and kidney, and needs regular medical care. Therefore, detaining him constitutes a threat on his life.

On 21 April 2011, Israeli forces positioned and deployed in the south of Hebron raided ‘Tareq Ben Zeyad Secondary School’ which is located to the south of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the south of Hebron. Israeli forces claimed that an Israeli forces patrol was stoned while passing by the school. Israeli forces abducted a student from the school and transferred him to an Israeli forces police station near ‘Kiryat Arba’a’ settlement, southeast of Hebron. The student was placed under investigation and was released in the afternoon on the same day.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday corresponding to 22,23 and 24 April 2011, the Israeli troops stationed at the checkpoint (130) in northern Bethlehem and leading to Jerusalem imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. Additionally, they prevented hundreds of Christians from Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour from reaching the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and other holy places in Jerusalem to celebrate Good Friday (the anniversary of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ), Holy Saturday and Easter day.

In just one of the 25 incursions this week, on Wednesday, 27 April, at approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Awarta village, southeast of Nablus. Amid intensive firing of sound bombs aimed at annoying and terrifying locals, Israeli forces drove in the streets. They raided a house belonging to Amjad Fawzi Awwad, who is one of the persons accused of the implementation of the attack in ‘Itamar’ settlement in which five settlers were killed. Israeli forces forced the Awwad family to leave the house. They searched the house and destroyed its content. Israeli forces withdrew at approximately 04:00 and no arrests or casualties were reported.

Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:

In the Gaza strip, during the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted two limited incursions, and also fired at fishermen off the coast.

On 21 April 2011, Israeli forces moved approximately 200 meters into the southeast of the area adjacent to al-Mentar (Karni) crossing in the east of Shajaeya neighborhood, east of Gaza City. Israeli forces bulldozed eight metal warehouses belonging to Palestine Development and Investment Company (PADICO) which is owned by Palestinian businessman Munib al-Masri and managed by Wadi’ Mohammed Shaaban al-Masri, 48. The bulldozed stores were built on an area of approximately 4,200 square meters.

Also on 21 April 2011, a Palestinian farmer was wounded when Israeli forces positioned on the border opened fire at Palestinian farmers and shepherds who were in their farms or in the jungle in al-Qutbania area in the southeast of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip. The wounded Palestinian was on his land which is approximately 900 meters far from the border.

On 23 April 2011, Israeli forces gunboats positioned off al-Waha resort in the west of Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip, fired shells and opened intensive fire at Palestinian fishing boats. They also fired many flash bombs. Palestinian fishermen escaped as a result in fear of being wounded or abducted. No casualties or damages in property were reported.

On 27 April 2011, Israeli forces moved approximately 70 meters into the east of Wadi al-Salqa village, east of Deir al-Balah. Israeli forces fired indiscriminately as they entered the area, then bulldozed and leveled lands along the border. No casualties were reported.

Israel has continued to impose a total siege on the Gaza Strip. The cooking gas crisis which has erupted last November has continued to affect the Gaza Strip. This crisis was created when the Israeli occupation authorities totally closed, on 04 January 2010, Nahal Oz crossing, which used to be dedicated for the delivery of fuel and cooking gas supplies to Gaza, and shifted fuel and cooking gas supplies to Karm Abu Salem crossing which is not technically equipped to receive Gaza’s needs of fuel. Karm Abu Salem crossing, with its maximum absorptive capacity, can receive only 200 tons of cooking gas per day.

Israeli Annexation Wall:

In the West Bank, 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, six civilians, including a child and a Spanish human rights defender, were wounded. Five of them were wounded in Bil’in ‘s weekly protest in the west of Ramallah, while the child was wounded in Nabi Saleh’s protest in the northwest of Ramallah. In addition, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank suffered from tear gas inhalation and bruises as they were beaten by Israeli forces.

Israeli forces have continued to attempt to prevent international human rights defenders from participating in peaceful assemblies against settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall. AS part of these attempts, Israeli forces abducted five participants in peaceful protests, including a child, Amed Nafez Abdul Al, 17, three international human rights defenders and a Palestinian civilian, Fadel Tamim Hussein Tamimi, 51. The child, Abdul Al, was released six hours later.

Israeli settlement activities:

On Friday, 22 April 2011, at approximately 09:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Funduq village, east of Qaqilya, and they patrolled in the streets. One of the owners of shops located in the main street said that Israeli forces forced them to close their shops till 13:00 because Israeli settlers were organizing for a demonstration in the area. The shops which were forced to close are owned by Azmi Mahmoud Hafez Tayem who sells construction materials; Umar Ahmed Mohammed Mheisen who owns a supermarket and a butchery; and Adel Hanatsh who owns a supermarket.

At approximately 06:00 on Sunday, 24 April 2011, following the killing of an Israeli settler and the wounding of 3 others in Joseph Tomb, east of Nablus, Israeli forces imposed severe restrictions, while they re-established their presence at other checkpoints, including Beit Foreek, Nablus and al-Bathan checkpoints.

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. The 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 called 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 Occupied Palestinian Territories and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.

For the full text of the report, click on the link below: