In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 14– 20 June 2012, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Palestinian women and children have been killed or wounded by Israeli settlers in Gaza, Hebron, and throughout the West Bank. Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces escalated attacks against the Gaza Strip. They killed eight Palestinians, including a child, and wounded seventeen others, including a woman, three children and a blind old man. Additionally, five Palestinian civilians, including three children, sustained cuts and bruises.
On 14 June 2012, two members of the Palestinian resistance were wounded by Israeli artillery shelling that targeted al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis.
On 17 June 2012, a Palestinian civilian was wounded during an Israeli military incursion into Wadi al-Salqa village in the central Gaza Strip.
On the same day, five Palestinian civilians, including a woman and her husband, were wounded by shrapnel when Israeli warplane bombarded a workshop in Rafah.
In the Gaza Strip, on 18 June 2012, four members of the Palestinian resistance were killed and a fifth one was seriously wounded by two Israeli air strikes in the north.
On 19 June 2012, two Palestinian boys were killed and a third one was wounded by Israeli forces at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of al-Msaddar village. The three boys attempted to cross the border to search for jobs in Israel.
On 20 June 2012, a Palestinian child was killed and his blind father and three children were wounded by an Israeli air strike in Tal al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City.
On the same day, a member of the Palestinian resistance was killed and another was wounded by an Israeli sir strike in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.
Also on June 20, Israeli forces launched a series of air strikes against civilian targets in the Gaza Strip. As a result of these attacks, a house and two cars were destroyed and a number of houses were damaged. Additionally, five civilians, including three children, sustained bruises.
During the reporting period, Israeli warplanes attacked a number of training sites of the Palestinian resistance in various areas in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli gunboats opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats in the northern and central Gaza Strip on 9 occasions. No casualties were reported. The Israeli navy also abducted six Palestinian fishermen, and released them the following day after day after questioning them overnight.
Israeli forces positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at Palestinian communities and agricultural land, but no casualties were reported.
Israeli settlement activities:
In the West Bank, on 17 June 2012, two Palestinians were killed by an Israeli settler south of Hebron. The settler, who was driving a truck in the area, claimed that three Palestinians attacked him with an iron bar and in response, he fired at them. The settler claimed that when he was traveling near al-Simya village, he was attacked by the Palestinians, and felt that his life was endangered, so he fired at them, killing two of them and injuring the third one. The settler used lethal force against these Palestinians choosing not to submit them to Israeli forces. There is an Israeli military observation point one kilometer away to the west of the area in which the attack took place.
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On 17 June 2012, a number of Israeli settlers from “Qidoumim” settlement, northeast of Qalqilya, set fire to an area of agricultural land in Kufor Qaddoum village. As a result, seven olive trees and fifteen almond trees were completely burnt, before Palestinian fire fighters were able to extinguish the fire.
On 18 June 2012, Israeli forces handed notices ordering the demolition of four houses in Sha’ab al-Sair area near “Karmi Tsur” settlement in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron. According to those notices, the owners of the houses may appeal the demolition orders before Beit Eil military court no later than 03 July 2012.
On 19 June 2012, Israeli settlers set fire to Zaid Ben Hareth Mosque in Jaba’ village, northeast of Jerusalem. According to eyewitnesses, one of the windows in the Mosque and the carpets inside the Mosque were on fire. Locals were able to extinguish the fire, which destroyed the glass of that window and some of the carpets, in addition to damage done to walls and the frame of that window. Hebrew writing was found on one of the external walls of the Mosque, which referred to war and revenge. The Hebrew writing shows a connection between this crime and the evacuation of the Olbana neighborhood in the Beit Eil settlement, north of Ramallah and al-Bireh. It should also be noted that the Adam settlement is located approximately 500 meters to the east of the Zaid Ben Hareth Mosque.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 54 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 17 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children.
Israeli forces have continued efforts to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem. The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem forced a Palestinian civilian to demolish his house and a subordinate farm. On 17 June 2012, Shareef Mousa Laqyaniya, from Beit Eksa village north of occupied Jerusalem, demolished his house and farm after he had received a notice from the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem ordering him to demolish his house and farm; Laqyaniya claimed that he did not obtain a construction license from the municipality. According to the notice, if he did not demolish the house and the farm by himself, the municipality would do it and he would be responsible for the cost of demolition. According to Laqyaniya, he obtained a construction license from the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government, but the Israeli municipality refused to recognize the license.
Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.
Israeli attacks against non-violent demonstrations:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 5 Palestinian civilians were wounded and dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Following the Friday Prayer on 15 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 settlement activities. They raised the Palestinian flag and called for ending political division. They then moved towards areas of annexation wall. They called through megaphones to 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 15 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 15 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, Bilal ‘Abdul Salam Tamimi, 46, a photographer of the public resistance movement in Nabi Saleh village, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right thigh. Some demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation.
At approximately 13:15 also on Friday, 15 June 2012, Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qqlilya, in protest to the continued closure of the eastern entrance of the village by Israeli forces. They moved towards the entrance. Immediately, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, 3 demonstrators were hit by tear gas canisters. Some demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation. Additionally, 600 chickens belonging to Zahi ‘Ali were killed by tear gas.
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 recognize the Gaza disengagement plan, which was implemented in September 2005, for what it is – not an end to occupation but a compounding of the occupation and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
In recognition of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as the guardian of the Fourth Geneva Convention, PCHR calls upon the ICRC to increase its staff and activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including the facilitation of family visitations to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: