In its Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 14 -21 Nov. 2012, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that during the 8-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, 156 Palestinians, including 103 civilians were killed by Israeli forces. 33 children, 13 women and 3 journalists were among those civilians who were killed. 1,000 Palestinians, including 971 civilians, were wounded.247 children, 162 women and 12 journalists were among those civilians who were wounded. Israeli forces carried out 1,350 airstrikes, in which 1,400 missiles were launched. 55 houses were completely destroyed, while hundreds of other houses sustained damages ranging between big damage and partial damage.
2 mosques were completely destroyed, while another 34 mosques sustained partial or complete damage. 8 governmental establishments, 13 security offices and police stations, and 2 bridges connecting the central Gaza Strip with the northern Gaza Strip were destroyed. 6 media offices, 6 health institutions, 28 educational institutions and 22 civil and charity associations were targeted.
Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces launched a new offensive on the Gaza Strip that started at 14:45 on Wednesday, 14 November 2012, and ended at approximately 21:00 on Wednesday, 21 November 2012. The offensive ended as a result of an agreement that was reached between the Israeli government and Palestinian resistance groups under the auspices of Egypt.
Similar to the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip (‘Operation Cast Lead’) in 2008-2009, the main victims of this recent offensive were civilians. Hundreds of civilians, the majority of whom were children and women, were killed and wounded. Furthermore, entire families passed away under the rubble of their houses, which were cruelly and intentionally shelled by Israeli forces. This offensive increased the suffering of the Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli imposed illegal closure for 6 years, due to which the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following ‘Operation Cast Lead’ was hindered.
During the 8-day Israeli offensive Israeli forces, especially warplanes, attacked the entire Gaza Strip, leaving no place to be safe. Israeli forces targeted houses, destroyed them completely, in addition to targeting other civilian objects, governmental establishments, police stations, mosques, schools, hospitals, health clinics, streets, bridges, and service centers. These targeted areas were densely populated areas, due to which the number of civilian casualties increased. Moreover, Israeli forces intentionally and directly targeted journalists and media offices, killing 3 journalists and injuring 12 others. Numbers and statistics mentioned in this report reflect the scale of the attacks carried out during this military operation.
The Israeli offensive resulted in the killing of 156 Palestinians, including 103 civilians. 33 children, 13 women and 3 journalists were among those civilians who were killed. In addition, entire families were killed, such as 8-members of the al-Dalo family. However, until now a girl still remains under the rubble of the family house. Furthermore, the offensive resulted in the wounding of 1,000 Palestinians, including 978 civilians. 276 children, 163 women and 12 journalists were among the civilians who were wounded.
The first attack was conducted on Wednesday, 14 November 2012, when Israeli forces extra-judicially executed the leader of Ezz Eddin al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas movement), Ahmed al-Ja’bari, and his bodyguard. A comprehensive offensive was then launched on civil and military targets throughout the Gaza Strip.
During the offensive, Israeli forces carried out 1,350 air strikes, in which 1,400 missiles were launched, in addition to artillery shells fired by land and naval forces. The Israeli attacks resulted in the following:
55 houses were completely destroyed, while hundreds of other houses sustained damages ranging between extensive damage and partial damage.
2 mosques were completely destroyed, while other 34 mosques sustained partial or extensive damage;
8 governmental establishments were destroyed, the most prominent of which were the Prime Minister’s head office and the Governmental Compound (Abu Khadra) in Gaza City;
13 security offices and police stations were destroyed, the most prominent of which was the Police Headquarter in Gaza City;
2 bridges connecting the centre of the Gaza Strip with the northern Gaza Strip were destroyed;
6 media offices and 6 health institutions were targeted;
28 educational institutions sustained major damage.
In one example of this week’s many airstrikes, on Sunday November 18th, at approximately 16:30, Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at a vehicle which is used to distribute clean water, in which Suhail Aashour Mohammed Hamada, 42, and his child, 10-year-old Aashour, were traveling in Beir al-Naja area in Beit Lahia. The father and his child were instantly killed.
The same evening, at approximately 21:55, an Israeli drone fi red a missile at Jalal Mohammed Saleh Nasser, 42, and his child, 8-year-old Hussein, while they were trying to fix the water tank on the roof of their house at Abu Sharekh intersection in Jabalya town. The father and his child were instantly killed.
On Monday, November 19th, at approximately 19:25, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a house belonging to Fuad Khalil Hijazi, 46, in the north of Jabalya. The house was destroyed and Hijazi and his 3 children, 4-year old Mohammed and 2-year-old Suhaib, were killed, and 20 civilians, including 7 residents of the house, were wounded.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli forces used excessive force to disperse peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. 2 Palestinian demonstrators were killed; one in Ramallah and the other one in Hebron.
In the wake of Israeli forces’s assassination of Ahmed al-Ja’bari, Commander of the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, on Wednesday evening, 14 November 2012, the West Bank witnessed a wide scale popular movement throughout its cities. Israeli forces used excessive force against these peaceful demonstrations. As a result, two Palestinian civilians were killed, 102 sustained injuries, including 21 children, a woman and a paramedic.
During incursions conducted by Israeli forces during the reporting period, 4 Palestinians, including 2 children, sustained wounds. On Friday, 15 November 2012, a child sustained wounds in al-Tabka village, west of Doura, southwest of Hebron, when Israeli forces moved into the village. Another civilian was wounded in al-Nouba village, west of the city. On Saturday, 17 November 2012, a child sustained wounds when Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub Refugee Camp, north of Hebron. On 20 November 2012, Israeli forces abducted the child from his home. On Sunday, 18 November 2012, a Palestinian civilian was injured in Beit Umar village, north of Hebron, when Israeli forces moved to the village. They also abducted his brother, a physically disabled ex-prisoner. According to eyewitnesses, the injured civilian went out to see where Israeli forces were leading his brother when they fired at him, injuring him in the back and shoulder. They also beat him severely before transporting him with an Israeli forces ambulance.
In the same sense, Israeli forces continued to systematically use excessive force against peaceful demonstrations, organized by Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights activists, protesting the continued construction of the annexation wall and settlement activity in the West Bank. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians sustained wounds. In Bil’ein village, west of Ramallah, Adeib Abu Rahmah, 41, member of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlement Activity, was hit by a tear gas canister to the right foot, while his son, Ahmed Adeib Abu Rahmah, 12, was injured with a metal bullet to the back. Also in Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilya, a civilian sustained an injury in the head by a gas canister, and dozens of demonstrators sustained bruises and suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
The Israeli forces conducted 77 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank
The Israeli forces abducted 76 Palestinians, including 6 children, ex-prisoner Tha’er Halahla, and two women.
4 Palestinians, including 2 children, were wounded during incursions conducted by Israeli forces. In addition, 2 of the wounded persons were abducted.
The Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli settlers in the West Bank have continued to commit crimes against Palestinian civilians. These attacks are conducted under the incitement of the Israeli government, encourages settlers to conduct more attacks in presence of Israeli soldiers, who offer protection to them. In addition, the Israeli government neglects to carry out investigations after complaints are filed by the Palestinian civilians against the settlers. These attacks are carried out in with the entire world as a witness and an Arab world and larger international community that remains silent, due to which Israel continues to commit more crimes, promoting the perception of Israel as a state above the law.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made a number of recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that that international civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and NGOs, participate in the process of exposing those accused of grave breaches of international law and urge their governments to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel. PCHR further calls upon the EU states to prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: