In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 06- 12 Dec 2012, Israeli Forces killed 1 Palestinian child in Hebron in the southern West Bank. 1 Palestinian civilian and 1 member of an armed group died of wounds they had sustained during the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. 8 Palestinian civilians were wounded in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, 2 Palestinians, including 1 civilian, died of wounds they had sustained during the latest Israeli offensive. On 09 December 2012, Nasser Zaidan al-Nahhal, 49, from al-Shati’ refugee camp, was pronounced dead medical sources in Egypt; he died of wounds that he sustained on 18 November 2012, when an Israeli gunboat targeted a Palestinian in al-Shati’ refugee camp. As a result of the attack, the targeted person and 1 little girl, who was playing in the area, were killed and 5 others, including al-Nahhal, were wounded.
On 12 December 2012, Abdullah Mahmoud Abdul Fatah ‘Asqoul, 24, from al-Qarara, was pronounced dead medical sources in Egypt; he died of wounds that he sustained during the latest Israeli offensive on Gaza. ‘Asqoul is a member of an armed group and was wounded on 17 November 2012 when an Israeli warplane bombarded the al-Zanna area in the east of Khan Yunis. ‘Asqoul and another member of an armed group were wounded in the attack.
On 09 December 2012, at approximately 12:00, Israeli forces took position at the observation towers of the border fence near Beit Hanoun “Eirez”, located in northwestern Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza Strip. They opened fire at a group of workers who were collecting stones and grits from the rubble of the destroyed buildings in the “Eirez” Industrial area. As a result of these shootings, Abdullah Salim Abu Jari, (23), living in Um al-Naser village in northern Gaza Strip, sustained injuries in his left leg. He sustained these injuries while he was 300 meters away from the border fence. A group of workers then transferred him by a cart to the road and from there he was transported to the Martyr Kamal Odwan hospital in Beit Lahia. His wounds were described as moderate. It should be mentioned that Palestinian workers usually collect stones and grits from the rubble of destroyed buildings to use them in the construction and reconstruction process, particularly because the entry of building materials in Gaza Strip has been restricted since Israeli forces imposed the closure on the strip more than 6 years ago.
On 12 December 2012, 1 Palestinian worker was wounded when Israeli infantry moved 150 meters to the south of the border fence, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. Israeli soldiers opened fire at a group of workers, who were collecting gravel and firewood.
Israel has continued to impose a total closure and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 70 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which the forces abducted 45 Palestinians, including 5 boys and 1 girl.
In the West Bank, in an example of excessive use of lethal force, on 12 December 2012, Israeli forces killed a 17-year old Palestinian child when a female Israeli soldier from the Border Guard Forces opened fire at him and killed him. According to the findings of investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 18:30 on Wednesday, 12 December 2012, Mohammed Ziad Awad al-Salayma, 17, was on his way home after buying a cake to celebrate his birthday, which was on the same day. When he arrived at an Israeli checkpoint that is established at the entrance of al-Masharqa neighborhood, Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint were detaining a child, who had a plastic pistol. Once al-Salayma reached the checkpoint, an Israeli female soldier fired at him from a close range; as a result, he was hit by three bullets that penetrated his body and killed him immediately. Israeli forces kept his body for over two hours before delivering him to an ambulance belonging to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS). As a precondition for the release of his body, Israeli forces prohibited the burial of al-Salayma in a cemetery close to the limitation zone in al-Sheikh area in the centre of the Old City.
On 11 December 2012, Israeli forces wounded 1 Palestinian civilian when they moved into Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah, where dozens of boys were protesting. Israeli forces opened fire and wounded 1 Palestinian civilian in the left leg.
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protests organised by Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders. 5 Palestinians were wounded, including 1 child, while participating in the al-Nabi Saleh weekly protest. In addition, dozens of Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation and sustained bruises.
Israeli forces raided 3 the offices of civil and human rights organisations in Ramallah and confiscated some of their contents.
Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. At least 2 Palestinians were abducted at checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protests in the West Bank. At least 5 Palestinian civilians, including 1 child, were wounded in Bil’ein weekly protest, west of Ramallah.
Following the Friday Prayer on 07 December 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Bil’ein village, west of Ramallah, in protest of the construction of the annexation wall, titled: ‘Against Administrative Detention and In Solidarity with Prisoners on Hunger Strike’. The demonstrators gathered in the streets of the village, chanting slogans calling for national unity. The protesters aimed to stress the need to adhere to national principles and the right of return, to resist the occupation and to call for the release of all Palestinian prisoners. The protesters raised Palestinian flags and made their way towards the wall. They called through megaphones for 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, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 30 November 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest of 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, some demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Around the same time on Friday, 30 November 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders gathered in the Martyrs Square in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, to hold a weekly peaceful protest against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities, titled: ‘Commemoration of Our Martyrs, the Commencement of Popular Resistance in Nabi Saleh, the 9th Anniversary of Bassma al-Tamimi’s, 1st Anniversary of Mustafa al-Tamimi’s and the 40th Anniversary of Rushdi al-Tamimi’s Killing by Israeli Occupation Forces’. The protesters walked towards the gate erected by Israeli forces near the entrance of the village, which leads to Palestinian lands that Israeli settlers from the nearby ‘Halmish’ settlement are trying to seize. Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters. As a result, 5 civilians were injured, including a child, and dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in the centre of al-Ma’sara village, south of Bethlehem, in protest at the ongoing construction of the annexation wall. As the protestors moved towards the gate of the village, the Israeli forces closed it to prevent the demonstration from gaining access to the confiscated land and attacked the participants; as a result, Mahmoud Zawahra (25), coordinator of the Popular Resistance Against the Wall and the Settlement Activity, sustained bruises.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
At approximately 00:00 on Thursday, 06 December 2012, a group of settlers, under the protection of Israeli forces accompanied by military vehicles, raided the area of ‘Trcilla’ settlement, which was established on Palestinian lands, south of Jenin and evacuated in 2005. The settlers stayed in the area for a time and practiced Jewish rituals. They later left with no reports of any other actions. It should be mentioned that the aforementioned settlement was taken over by Israeli forces after the 1967 war; before that, the Jordanian Army established a camp in the area in 1952 and built a mosque in 1965. After the Israeli forces confiscated the camp, they turned it into a military camp and converted the mosque to a synagogue. Settlers occasionally encroach into the evacuated settlement area under the protection of Israeli forces to practice religious rituals.
At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 06 December 2012, dozens of settlers from ‘Carmiel’ settlement, established on Palestinian lands east of Yatta, south of Hebron, organized a demonstration in support of the Israeli government’s policy to expand its settlement activity in the West Bank on Bypass Road 60. The settlers raised Israeli flags and banners bearing anti-Arab slogans, and chanted in support of the government’s policies. The demonstration dispersed by ‘Susiya’ and ‘ Mtsa Yair’ settlements, southeast of Yatta.
In his testimony to a PCHR fieldworker, Rateb al-Jbour, member of the Popular Committee Against Settlement Activity, said that Israeli forces were heavily deployed along Bypass Road 60 between ‘Carmiel’ and ‘Susiya’ settlements, closed all entrances to the southeastern villages of Yatta, and banned civilians from Sha’b al-Battam and al-Tawani villages from moving, in order to provide protection for the settlers.
At approximately 07:00, dozens of settlers from ‘Susiya’ settlement, established on Palestinian lands southeast of Yatta, raided the Palestinian farmlands located near the security fence of the aforementioned settlement, in an attempt to confiscate them. The farmers present in the lands confronted the settlers and made them leave.
At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 08 December 2012, a group of settlers coming from ‘Mitzpe Yair’ settlement, established on Palestinian lands east of Yatta, ploughed the farm lands in Qawaries village, east of the city, in order to confiscate it. The 160 dunums of land belong to the ‘Awad family. The attack was carried out under the protection of Israeli police, who attacked the farmers and prevented them from coming into the area, declaring it a closed military zone. In his testimony to a PCHR fieldworker, Rateb el-Jbour said that dozens of settlers had raided the farmlands in Qawaries and ploughed it in order to confiscate it. He also mentioned that a skirmish occurred between the farmers, international activists and the settlers. The Israeli police intervened and beat the farmers, pushed them away and declared the area a closed military zone, while allowing the settlers to continue their provocative attacks. As a result, an intentional solidarity activist sustained bruises.
At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 09 December 2012, a group of settlers from ‘Adora’ settlement, established on Palestinian lands west of Hebron, gathered along Bypass Road 60 and started throwing rocks at passing Palestinian vehicles in front of Israeli soldiers who did not react. According to an eyewitness, dozens of settlers spread along the security fence of ‘Adora’ settlement and threw rocks at Palestinian vehicles that were driving through Bypass Road 60.
Early in the morning on the same day, a group of settlers used waste water to flood Abed Seder’s house, 30, in the centre of the old city of Hebron. As a result, the contents of the house were destroyed. According to an eyewitness, the settlers released waste water near civilians’ houses in the old city.
At approximately 14:30 on Sunday, 09 December 2012, Israeli forces leveled a dunum and a half of Palestinian farmlands in Khelt ‘Amro area, located near the Nablus–Qalqilya road, south of Hajja village, near ‘Karneh Shamron’ settlement, in preparation for the establishment of electrticity poles; as a result, 35 olive trees were uprooted and buried. In his testimony to a PCHR fieldworker, Omar al-Din Masalha, the owner of the land, said, ‘On Sunday, 09 December 2012, two Israeli bulldozers arrived at my land in Khelt Amro area, east of Qalqilya. The bulldozers began leveling the land. When I arrived to the scene they had already leveled a dunum and a half. At approximately 13:30 on Monday, 10 December 2012, an Israeli Liaison officer came in and informed us that they would not continue with the bulldozing.’
At approximately 15:00 on Sunday, 09 December 2012, Nidaa’ Salah Ibrahim Baraz’ya, 32, sustained injuries to the head and eyes after her car was targeted with rocks by settlers on Bypass Road 60, near ‘Efrat’ settlement, south of Bethlehem. In her testimony to a PCHR fieldworker, Nidaa said that, while she was driving home from al-Quds University, her car was attacked with rocks; as a result, her car’s windscreen was broken and she sustained wounds to the head and her right eyelid. She was transported by a Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance to Hebron Public Hospital.
At approximately 02:45 on Wednesday, 12 December 2012, a group of settlers raided the northern side of Shaqba village, west of Ramallah, and set fire to a civilian car, belonging to Ramadan Youssif Musa al-Masri. The village is located near a number of settlements, ‘Beit Aryeh,’ ‘Indigo,’ ‘Modi’in’ and ‘Nei’li’ settlements. The settlers wrote ‘Revenge!’ in Hebrew on walls in the area. In his testimony to a PCHR fieldworker, Mustafa Khalil al-Ajrab, 49, a local civilian, said, ‘At approximately 02:00 on Wednesday, 12 December 2012, while I was on night watch at Shaqba Hardware store, a garage for selling used car parts, on the northern side of Shaqba village, west of Ramallah, less than 1 kilometre away from 466 street, which is used by settlers, I heard a car engine stop near the main gate of the store, and a number of people speaking Hebrew stepped out of the car; I did not leave the store as I thought it must be an Israeli forces patrol unit. I heard an explosion and the sound of burning fire and when I was sure the car had left, I went outside and saw a car, a 1996 white Nissan, set on fire. The car was parked in front of the store, so I immediately called Mohammad al-Masri, 27, the store owner’s son, who rushed to the store to help me put out the fire, and a number of civilians helped us. After controlling the fire, I noticed a black Hebrew writing on the walls. I later learnt it said ‘Revenge!’
At approximately 09:20 on Wednesday, 12 December 2012, a large number of Israeli forces and ‘Border Guards,’ accompanied by two military bulldozers and a Civil Administration officer, raided the Beit Noba Residence Complex, established on the southern side of Beit Loqia village, southwest of Ramallah. At approximately 09:30, two bulldozers began destroying an under-construction room of 18 square meters, belonging to Sharif Mohammad Ibrahim al-Qadi, under the pretext that he had not obtained a building permit from the Israeli Civil Administration.
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, 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.
The PCHR appreciates the efforts of international civil society, including human rights organizations, bar associations, unions and NGOs, and urges them to continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel’s respect for human rights in the OPT and to demand Israel end its attacks on Palestinian civilians.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: