In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 12 – 18 April 2012, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that the Israeli Army used force to disperse a peaceful protest organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. 15 demonstrators, including two children and two Israeli human rights defenders, were wounded. Two Palestinian civilians, including a woman, were wounded by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
This week, Israeli forces conducted 56 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
On Thursday April 12th, at approximately 09:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Fundoq village, east of Qalqilya. They invaded a house belonging to Lu’ai As’ad Tayem, turning it into a military site. A curfew was imposed on the village and shops on both sides of Qalqilya-Nablus road were forced to close to allow Israeli settlers to celebrate the Jewish Easter. Israeli forces withdrew from the village at approximately 13:00.
In a second example, on Tuesday, 17 April 2012, at approximately 22:00, Israeli forces entered Shwaika suburb, north of Tulkarm, and patrolled the streets. A number of Palestinian boys gathered and threw stones at Israeli military vehicles. Immediately, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the boys. At approximately 23:00, Israeli forces invaded a house belonging to Eyad Husni Nasser and questioned members of the family. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.
At approximately 09:00 on Saturday, 14 April 2012, 400 Palestinian civilians and 150 international human rights defenders participated in a bicycle march in al-‘Ouja village, north of Jericho, organized by Sharek Youth Forum, in cooperation with the Governorate of Jericho and a number of other organisations including the Municipality of Jericho, the Ministry of Tourism, al-Quds Open University, and al-Istiqlal University. The cycle was organized to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and the population of the Jordan Valley. The cycle started in al-‘Ouja village and moved then to Fassayel and al-Jiftlek villages, north of Jericho. Israeli military stopped the participants for more than two hours at the entrance of al-‘Ouja village and prevented them from riding their bicycles on road #90. They also beat a number of the participants. As a result, 5 participants, including a woman and 3 foreign nationals were injured.
At approximately 13:00 on Tuesday, 17 April 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and families of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails organized a peaceful demonstration near ‘Ofar Prison, southwest of Ramallah, in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators. As a result, two demonstrators were wounded, and other suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Israeli soldiers arrested 7 Palestinian civilians at various checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, on 17 and 18 April 2012, two Palestinian civilians, including a woman, were wounded when Israeli soldiers positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at Palestinian houses and farmland in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis. As a result, Hassan Waleed Eshnainu was wounded by a bullet to the right thigh, when he was nearly 2,000 meters away from the border.
On 13 April 2012, Israeli naval troops arrested 3 Palestinian fishermen and confiscated their boat in the northern Gaza Strip. The fishermen were released later, but the boat remained in custody.
Israel has continued to impose a total closure of the Gaza Strip; isolating the area from the outside world. The closure of the area – which has steadily tightened since June 2007 – has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip; causing not only a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of human rights and human dignity for the population. Measures declared recently to ease the blockade are vague, purely cosmetic and fail to deal with the root causes of the crisis; which can only be addressed by an immediate and complete lifting of the closure, including lifting the travel ban into and out of the Gaza Strip and the ban on exports. Palestinians in Gaza remain economically dependent and socially, culturally and academically isolated from the rest of the world.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On 12 April 2012, a number of Israeli settlers from “Eitamar” settlement, southeast of Nablus, attacked 5 Palestinian farmers resulting in the farmers sustaining mild wounds. Israeli soldiers arrived at the area and arrested the five farmers for questioning.
On 13 April 2012, a number of Israeli settlers from “Kiryat Arba” settlement, southeast of Hebron, violently beat and old man and his son on their own land in Jabal Jales area in Hebron. The old man was evacuated to a hospital in Hebron as he was moderately injured. The settlers also uprooted dozens of olive trees.
On 15 April 2012, a number of Israeli settlers from “Nahal’eil” settlement, northwest of Ramallah, destroyed at least 250 olive trees belonging to residents of Betello village.
On 15 April 2012, a number of Israeli settlers from “Ma’oun” settlement to the east of Yatta village, south of Hebron, attacked and fired at Palestinian farmers and shepherds in al-Litwana area.
On 16 April 2012, Israeli forces, accompanied by bulldozers, moved into Kufor al-Dik village, west of Salfit. They demolished 4 agricultural rooms, 6 barnyards and 3 water wells belonging to Palestinian farmers from Rafat village, west of Salfit. Palestinian farmers attempted to reach the area, but Israeli soldiers prevented them from doing so.
Also on 16 April 2012, Israeli soldiers, accompanied by bulldozers, moved into al-Majnouna area in the south of Dura town, southwest of Hebron. They demolished 3 old water wells and a number of agricultural pools and destroyed a two-dunum area of farmland planted with vegetables belonging to local farmers.
On 18 April 2012, at least 3,000 Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli soldiers, invaded Kufol Hares village, north of Salfit, and performed religious rituals. They attacked and insulted Palestinian civilians on the streets. Israeli forces also arrested a Palestinian civilian.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
During the reporting period, Israeli soldiers used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest of the construction of the Wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 18 demonstrators – including 3 children and two Israeli human rights defenders – were wounded, and dozens of others sustained bruises and suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Following the Friday Prayer on 13 April 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians, including local activists from Hebron and Ramallah, 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 and in commemoration of the third anniversary of killing Bassem Abu Rahma by Israeli forces. The demonstration followed an international conference on public resistance organized in the village. The demonstrators raised the Palestinian flag and called for an end to the political split. As the demonstrators moved towards areas of 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, 5 demonstrators, including a child, were wounded, and others suffered from tear gas inhalation (PCHR keeps names of the wounded).
A similar incident occurred following the Friday Prayer on 13 April 2012 in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah. Dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in protest to the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The demonstrators raised the Palestinian flag and called for national unity and for the release of Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails. They moved towards areas of the annexation wall. Immediately, Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday prayer on 13 April 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders gathered in the center of Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, to start the weekly peaceful protest against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The protesters walked towards the gate erected by Israeli forces near the entrance to the village leading to Palestinian lands that Israeli settlers from the nearby ‘Halmish’ settlement are trying to seize. Israeli soldiers, who had been extensively deployed in the area and near all the entrances of the village since the morning, confronted the protesters who wanted to walk towards the affected lands. Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters. A result, 8 demonstrators, including a child and two Israeli human rights defenders, were wounded, and other demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation (PCHR keeps names of the wounded).
At approximately 01:25 on Friday, 13 April 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilya, in protest to continued closure of the eastern entrance of the village by Israeli forces. Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and two demonstrators, including a child, were hit directly by tear gas canisters.
On Saturday noon, 14 April 2012, Israeli soldiers used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and a number of international human rights defenders near “Karmi Tsur” settlement to the south of Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron. Israeli forces prevented the demonstrators from reaching Khillat al-Kutla area. They violently beat a number of demonstrators and fired sound bombs at them. As a result, ‘Emad Ahmed Abu Maria, 22, was hit by a sound bomb to the hand.
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 international community pressure the Israeli government to lift the severe restrictions it has imposed and enforced by its occupation forces on access for international organizations to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The PCHR reiterates that any political settlement not based on international human rights law and humanitarian law cannot lead to a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian question. Rather, such an arrangement can only lead to further suffering and instability in the region. Any peace process or agreement must be based on respect for international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: