In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 26 May – 01 June 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that a Palestinian child was wounded in Iraq Bourin village, south of Nablus. In addition, a Palestinian demonstrator was wounded in Bil’in, west of Ramallah. Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank, abducting 15 demonstrators, including a child. The abducted persons include 7 Palestinians and 8 international human rights defenders.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 47 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 29 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and 2 women.
Israeli forces launched a wide scale campaign against the Islamic Jihad in Jenin and closed 2 charitable associations. During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded two Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank. The child was wounded when Israeli forces moved into Iraq Bourin village, south of Nablus, while the other Palestinian was wounded in a peaceful protest against settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall in the West Bank.
Israeli forces have also continued to use checkpoints as traps to abduct Palestinians allegedly on their ‘wanted’ list. During the reporting period, Israeli forces abducted at least 4 Palestinians at checkpoints in the West Bank including, a PLC Member of the Change and Reform Bloc, Nezar Abdul Aziz Ramadan, 47. Ramadan was with PLC Speaker Dr. Aziz Dweik and PLC members Anwar Zboun, from Bethlehem, and Basem al-Zaarir, from Hebron, when Israeli forces held them for more than 4 hours at an Israeli checkpoint.
On 30 May 2011, Israeli forces moved into Iraq Bourin village, south of Nablus, amid intensive firing of sound bombs and tear gas canisters. A number of boys gathered and stoned Israeli forces who immediately replied by firing rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters. A 16-year-old child was wounded as a result.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
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, Ibrahim Abdul Fattah Burnat, 29, was hit by a tear gas canister in the right shoulder and his eye was affected because of the gas. 15 demonstrators, including a child, were abducted: 7 Palestinian civilians and 8 international human rights defenders. 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.
Following the Friday Prayer on 27 May 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. The demonstrators then walked to the annexation wall. Israeli forces made a barrier of barbed wire approximately 100 meters far from the wall. Before demonstrators’ arrival to the barrier, Israeli forces closed the barrier and fired bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. Israeli forces also sprayed wastewater at the demonstrators and chased them in olive field. As a result, Ibrahim Abdul Fattah Birnat, 29, was hit by a tear gas canister in the right shoulder, while Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 27 May 2011, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest against the construction of the annexation wall. They then walked to the wall. Israeli forces closed the gate erupted in the wall with barbed wire. When the demonstrators tried to cross the wall to the land located behind it, Israeli forces prevented them. The demonstrators responded by stoning Israeli forces who responded by firing bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. Israeli forces also chased demonstrators in olive field. Many demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation as a result.
Also following the Friday Prayer on the same day, 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 the wall and settlement activities. The demonstrators walked in the streets of the village and chanted national slogans, expressing their refusal to the occupation and its arbitrary actions. They held Palestinian flags. Then they walked to the lands that settlers from ‘Halmish’ settlement try to seize. Israeli forces closed off the southern entrance of the village to prevent Palestinian and international demonstrators from having access to the mentioned lands.
As the demonstrators attempted to access the land, Israeli forces prevented them. They also sprayed wastewater at the demonstrators and chased them. As a result, many demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and sustained bruises. Israeli forces fired bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, fire was set to the contents of Abdul Rahman al-Tamimi’s house due to firing a tear gas canister inside the house. Besides, olive fields neighboring the village were burnt, due to which, Civil Defense was called to extinguish the fire. Six demonstrators were abducted, including 4 unknown international activists who were transported to an unknown destination.
On Saturday, 28 May 2011, Israeli forces deployed in the farms, north of Beit Ommar and Safa villages north of Hebron, prevented the Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders from cultivating their lands in the areas located near ‘Bat Ayin’ settlement, northwest of Beit Ommar. Israeli forces abducted dozens of Palestinians and released them later on the same day.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, the Israeli measures included breaking into farms in ‘Ein al-Baida’, south of ‘Bat Ayin’ settlement, dismissing the farmers and international activists from the lands, detaining approximately 20 persons, including women and children, in the open air under the pretext that ‘they entered a closed military zone’ before arresting 15 Palestinians and international human rights defenders. The detainees were transported to the Israeli police station near ‘Gush Etzion’ settlement complex, north of Hebron. Later in the evening, Israeli forces released 5 Palestinians, while an international activist was kept in detention until the next morning, when he was released on bail.
At approximately 15:30 on the same day, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Iraq Burin village and the neighboring villages, south of Nablus. They walked to the lands that settlers try to seize in the southern side of the village, west of ‘Bracha’ settlement. Before the demonstrators reach the said lands, Israeli forces fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, the demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces chased the demonstrators and abducted 3 international human rights defenders after entering Nader Ibrahim Qa’dan’s house in the west of the village. A PCHR field worker has not identified the international human rights defenders.
At approximately 11:30 on Tuesday, 31 May 2011, Israeli forces stationed at the border fence in the vicinity of Erez crossing, north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at a peaceful demonstration of about 50 demonstrators after they reached 300 meters far from the border fence. The demonstrators included 15 international solidarity activists. The fire lasted for 15 minutes sporadically, but no injuries were reported. Saber al-Za’anin, the one supervising the demonstration, said to a PCHR field worker that the demonstration was organized to condemn the Israeli policy of imposing a buffer zone along the border fence with the Gaza Strip, which would seize more lands and property of the Palestinian civilians.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers continued their attacks in the West Bank. On 29 May 2011, Israeli forces moved into the northern plain of Kafr Dan village, northwest of Jenin. Israeli forces soldiers stepped down from vehicles and deployed in Palestinian farms and told Palestinian farmers that they had orders to demolish 12 artisan wells claiming that they were established without licenses. Guarded by soldiers, Israeli forces bulldozers and digging machines started demolishing the wells.
Two hours after the start of the demolition, large numbers of Palestinians from Kafr Dan village and from Jenin arrived at the scene and gathered in farms closed to Israeli troops’ locations. Some of the Palestinians stopped in front of bulldozers trying to stop them. Israeli forces talked with the Palestinians who were protesting in the scene and agreed to stop the demolition works asking Palestinians to withdraw from the scene. At this time, Israeli forces had already completed the demolition works.
On 30 May 2011, Israeli forces moved into Jinsafout village, east of Qaqilya. They raided a shop of construction materials owned by Mahmoud Yousef Mohammed Sukkar, 31. Israeli forces then bulldozed the shop with the materials inside it under the pretext of the lack of license.
On 26 May 2011, a group of settlers from ‘Yitzhar’ settlement which is established on parts of Palestinians’ lands in the south of Madma village, south of Nablus, used clubs to beat Hamad Jaber Ahmed al-Qet, 66. Al-Qet sustained wounds, crumple in the head and bruises throughout the body.
On 30 May 2011, nearly 10 settlers from ‘Yitzhar’ settlement which is established on parts of Palestinians’ lands in the south of Madma village, south of Nablus, set fire to farms planted with barleys in Ein al-Eshreh and al-Sawawin areas which are located nearly 2 kilometers from ‘Yitzhar’ settlement. The fire destroyed nearly 4 donums of land planted with barleys before the Palestinian villagers manage to extinguish the fire. The damaged farms belong to Hassan Mohammed Zyada, member of the Local Council of Madma village.
Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, on 31 May 2011, Israeli forces moved nearly 300 meters into the east of al-Bureij refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip. They conducted bulldozing and leveling works until 13:00. They then redeployed beyond the border fence.
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 been steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in 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.
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 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 Occupied Palestinian Territories 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: