In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 07– 13 June 2012, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that 19 civilians were abducted, including 4 children, by Israeli forces this week. Israeli forces continued to fire at Palestinian communities and agricultural areas in the Gaza Strip, and used force to disperse peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 43 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank during which they abducted 18 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children. Israeli forces also abducted a Palestinian civilian at a checkpoint in the West Bank.
Israeli forces have continued efforts to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem. On 07 June 2012, the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem approved a plan to build 2,500 housing units in “Gilo” settlement on Abu Ghnaim Mountain in the Bethlehem municipality.
On the same day, Israeli forces, accompanied by bulldozers, stormed the community of Arab al-Jahalin near ‘Anata village, east of occupied Jerusalem, and closed the area. They tore down 5 tents and 5 sheds belonging to 5 families. Israeli forces claimed that military exercises would be conducted in the area. According to eyewitnesses, the bulldozers tore down the tents and the sheds without prior warning.
On 12 June 2012, Israeli forces, accompanied by bulldozers, moved into al-Sal’a area in Jbal al-Mukabber neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. They demolished a number of sheds that are used as barnyards, established on a 700-square-meter area of land. Israeli forces also destroyed 20 tons of barleys, imposed on the owner of the barnyards a demolition fee of 50,000 ILS and obligated him to remove the debris.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
Israeli forces razed 43 dunums of agricultural land and destroyed irrigation networks and agricultural pools in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip. During the reporting period, Israeli gunboats attacked opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats in the northern and central Gaza Strip on 6 occasions. No casualties were reported.
Israeli forces positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israeli opened fire at Palestinian communities and agricultural land, but no casualties were reported.
Israel has continued to impose a total closure and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world. 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. The illegal closure has caused not only a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of human rights and human dignity for the population of the Gaza Strip. 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 may no longer suffer from the same shortage of goods, but they will remain economically dependent and unable to care for themselves, 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 07 June 2012, Israeli forces moved into agricultural plains located near Beit Qad village, east of Jenin. They closed 6 wells after destroying their electricity cables, water pipelines and motors.
On the same day, Israeli forces moved into Far’oun village, south of Tulkarm. They handed a notice to Bassam and Hussam Hassan Suleiman ordering demolition of their 75-square-meter, two-story house, which is located nearly 75 meters away from the annexation wall.
Also on the same day, a number of Israeli settlers from “Eliazer” settlement, south of Bethlehem, stole iron bars and barbwire surrounding fields belonging to a number of Palestinian farmers from the Salah family in al-Khader village. The farmers stated that they found leaflets on their lands, which indicate that this attack was launched by an Israeli organization known as “Green Helmets.”
On 08 June 2012, Israeli forces stormed Khirbat al-Mafqara area to the east of Yatta village, south of Hebron. They surrounded a site of the construction of a mosque and forced the workers to stop building the mosque.
On 11 June 2012, Israeli settlers from “Ma’oun” settlement, south of Hebron, uprooted 30 olive trees in al-Tawani village, south of Hebron.
On 11 June 2012, a number of Israeli settlers from “Karmi Tsur” settlement, which stands on the lands of Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, attacked a Palestinian farmer, Hamdi Abu Maria, when he was working on his land. When a number of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders intervened to protect the farmer, Israeli forces intervened and violently beat Mousa ‘Abdul Hamid Abu Maria, 35, a member of the Public Committee, and abducted him. He was injured in the head as an Israeli soldier hit him using the gun butt.
On 12 June 2012, Israeli forces moved into Sousia village, south of Hebon. They handed notices to a number of Palestinian civilians ordering demolition of 52 houses and civilian facilities, including a clinic and a kindergarten.
Israeli attacks on non-violent protests:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest to the construction of the Wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Following the Friday Prayer on 08 June 2012, 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 and. They raised the Palestinian flag and called for ending political division. They then moved towards areas of annexation wall. They called through megaphones on Israeli settlers in “Mitityahu” settlement to leave Palestinian land. Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 08 June 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The demonstrators 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 08 June 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 of the village and 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, began to confront 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. As a result, some demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
At approximately 15:00 on Saturday, 09 June 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders gathered in the center of Nouba village, southwest of Ramallah. They organized a peaceful demonstration, which they called the march of return to the evacuated Latroun villages. Dr. Leila Ghanem, Governor of Ramallah and al-Bireh, and Dr. Wassel Abu Yousef, Member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization, participated in the demonstration. They moved towards the annexation wall near the village. Israeli soldiers positioned in the area immediately fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, and fire broke out in some agricultural areas near the annexation wall.
On Monday noon, 11 June 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians, peacefully demonstrated in front of Oufar Prison, southwest of Ramallah, in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, especially Mahmoud al-Sarasak, who has been on hunger strike for 90 days. They raised the Palestinian flag and portraits of Mahmoud al-Sarska, Akram al-Rakhawi and Samer al-Barq, Palestinian detainees who have been on hunger strike. They played football to express solidarity with Mahmoud al-Sarsak, who is a member of the Palestinian national football team. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
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.
In addition, 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: