In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 23- 30 January 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that a Palestinian woman was killed by Israeli forces north of Hebron, and a Palestinian child died of previous wounds he had sustained in ‘Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem.3 Palestinian civilians were wounded by the Israeli forces in the south of the West Bank. 6 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were wounded by the Israeli forces in border areas in the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protests in the West Bank. 5 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were wounded.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, on 23 January 2013, in excessive use of force, the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian woman and wounded another one north of Hebron. According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 14:00 on Wednesday, an Israeli car (white Toyota Corolla) was traveling near the main road known bypass road #60 close to al-Arroub Agricultural College in Hebron. Two Israeli soldiers in the military uniform were traveling in the car. A number of Palestinian boys who were in the area threw stones at the car, which immediately stopped near the sub-entrance of the College that has been closed for several years by the Israeli forces using an iron gate. One of the soldiers stepped down from the car and indiscriminately opened fire from a machine gun at the branch road leading to the College. As a result, Lubna Moneer al-Hanash, (21), from Jabal al-Mawaleh village east of Bethlehem, was killed by a bullet to the head, and Su’ad Kahlil Ja’ara, (37), was wounded by a bullet to the left hand. Both women were on the branch road nearly 50 meters away from the abovementioned bypass road. The two women were evacuated to the National Hospital in Hebron. Soon after, the Israeli forces and police arrived at the scene and declared the area a closed military zone. A number of residents of al-Arroub refugee camp, which is nearly 200 meters away from the scene of the crime and clashed erupted between them and the Israeli forces, which fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs. A number of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.
On the same day, a Palestinian child of wounds he had sustained on 18 January 2013. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 14:30 on Friday, 18 January 2013, dozens of boys and children gathered at the eastern entrance of ‘Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers positioned inside the watchtower in the vicinity of Belal Ben Rabah Mosque (Rachel Tomb), north of the town. The Israeli forces later positioned at the main entrance of the camp and started firing sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators and opened fire at them. As a result, al-‘Amareen was wounded in the head and was transported to Beit Jala Public Hospital to receive treatment. Due to his serious condition, the aforementioned child was transferred to Hadasa “Aein Karim” where he stayed till they declared his death on the above-mentioned day.
On 25 January 2013, a Palestinian civilian was wounded by shrapnel from a sound bomb southeast of Hebron. At approximately 17:30, after declaring the death of Saleh al-‘Amareen of his wounds sustained during the clashes, which broke out in the vicinity of Belal Ben Rabah Mosque at the entrance of Bethlehem on 18 January 2013, dozens of young men gathered at the entrance of al-‘Aeza refugee camp, north of the town, and started throwing stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers positioned in the vicinity of the aforementioned mosque. The Israeli soldiers immediately fired tear gas canisters, sound bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets at the demonstrators and then moved towards the entrances of the camp amidst shooting. As a result, some of the demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and received treatment on the spot, except Mohammed Maher ‘Amarnah, (21), from al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of the town, as he suffered from severe gas inhalation and was transported to Beit Jala Public Hospital. Eyad Sho’aeib Sa’aid Abu Sha’aira, (22), was injured in his right foot with a gunshot and was transported to Beit Jala Governmental hospital. Ahmed ‘Alian al-Qadi, (24), was also hit by a tear gas canister in the head and was then transported to Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation where his injuries were described as serious.
During the last week, the Israeli forces conducted 75 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. At least 33 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children, were abducted during those incursions.
The Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. At least 11 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and an old woman, were abducted at checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israel has continued efforts to create a Jewish majority in East Jerusalem. 2 rooms and some other civilian facilities were demolished in Silwan village.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
The Israeli naval forces continued to fire at Palestinian fishing boats in the Gaza Strip. On 23 January At approximately 06:15, the Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha resort in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire heavily at Palestinian fishing boats for 15 minutes at a distance of 5 nautical miles off the shore. As a result, the fishermen were frightened and fled for fear of being abducted or wounded. Neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
At approximately 08:40, the Israeli forces moved nearly 200 meters into al-Qobtania area, southeast of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip. They leveled lands adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, amidst sporadic shooting. As a result, the farmers and bird hunters, who were in the vicinity of the aforementioned area, were frightened and fled for fear of being wounded. At approximately 14:30, the Israeli forces withdrew from the area and neither casualties nor damages were reported.
Israel has continued to impose a total closure and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
5 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were abducted in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israel has continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On 24 January 2013, the Israeli forces handed notices to 5 number of Palestinian civilians to stop the construction work in their houses in al-Zbidat village, north of Jericho, under pretext that they are not licensed.
On the same day, Israeli forces bulldozed two houses built of stone, wood and tin, three tents and three cattle barns in Abu-‘Ajaj area, in al-Jiffitlek village, north of Jericho.
On 25 January 2013, dozens of Israeli settlers coming from ‘Beit Hagai’ settlement, established on Palestinian land southeast of Hebron, raided the Palestinian farmlands near Deir Razeh village, east of Doura, southwest of Hebron.
On the same day, dozens of settlers coming from ‘Kharsina’ settlement outpost, established on Palestinian lands east of Hebron, stormed al-Hussain Valley area. They attacked a Palestinian civilian by spraying tear gas on his face. Later, a large Israeli forces unit raided the area and abducted the civilian and transported him to an unknown destination.
On the same day, At approximately 10:00 on Friday, a group of settlers coming from ‘Eliezer’ settlement, under the protection of the Israeli forces, planted olive seedlings in Khelat al-Fahem area, south of al-Khader village, located between ‘Eliezer’ and ‘Gosh Atsion’ settlements, on the lands of Palestinian civilians from al-Khader village.
On 26 January 2013, Israeli forces denied farmers from the Awad family and a number of international human rights activists from reaching the farmlands, which are threatened of confiscation in Qwaywees, east of Yatta, south of Hebron, under pretext that these lands are a closed military zone and civilians are prohibited from entering.
On 28 January 2013, Israeli forces stopped Palestinian farmers of al-Nawa’ja family from accessing their farmlands, adjacent to one of the Israeli forces’ military camps in Susiya area, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. The farmers were going to plant the land with olive trees. The soldiers detained a number of the Palestinian civilians for a number of hours before releasing them.
On 29 January 2013, Israeli forces, accompanied by military vehicles and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration, raided al-Tabban area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They handed 7 notices for stopping the construction work on 4 houses, which he occupies along with 33 members of his family, 3 barracks used for raising cattle and storing fodders and grain.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli forces continued to systematically use excessive force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinians and Israeli and international activists against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 5 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded. Besides, dozens of Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation or sustained bruises.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest at the construction of the wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 5 Palestinian civilians were injured, including two children. Four of them were wounded in the Bil’ein weekly peaceful demonstration, including a child, a member and a photographer of the Popular Committee against the Wall and the Settlement Activity in Bil’ein and an Israeli solidarity activist, while a child was wounded in Nabi Saleh weekly demonstration.
Following the Friday Prayer on 25 January 2013, 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. 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 lands adjacent to the annexation wall. The Israeli forces closed all ways and entrances to the village since early morning hours, to prevent Palestinians, journalists and international activists from joining the protest. 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, 4 demonstrators sustained wounds, a child, a member and a photographer of the Popular Committee against the Wall and the Settlement Activity in Bil’ein and an Israeli solidarity activist. Also dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 25 January 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest at 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 and others sustained bruises.
Around the same time on Friday, 25 January 2013, 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, entitled: ‘In support of the prisoners on hunger strike in the Israeli prisons.’ 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, a 17-year-old child was hit by a tear gas canister to the head and dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
At the same time on Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders gathered in Budrus village, west of Ramallah and al-Bireh, for a peaceful protest against the annexation wall and settlement activity. The demonstration was entitled: ‘In memory of the Killing of Samir Amed Awad.’ The settlers walked through the village streets and headed towards the wall. The Israeli forces closed the wall gates with barbered wires, and when the demonstrators attempted to cross wall to the land behind it, the forces stopped them and so the demonstrators threw rocks at them. The Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffocated from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in the center 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, some demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
At approximately 12:15 on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in the center of Kuffor Kadoum village, northeast of Qalqilya, in protest to the continuous closure of the eastern entrance of the village since the outbreak of al-Aqsa Intifada. The demonstrators moved towards the entrance of the village. Immediately, Israeli forces, stationed in the surroundings of the steel gate established at the entrance, fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. No injuries were reported.
After the Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs, Mr. ‘Issa Karake’, declared the PNA’s intention to build a village for the prisoners released from the Israeli jails on Palestinian civilians’ lands west of ‘Anin village, to the west of Jenin, and called it Kasser al-Kaid village (Breaking the chains), at approximately 15:30 on Friday, 25 January 2013, Mr. Rabah Roshdi Abdallah Yassin (49), owner of the land, accompanied by the head of the village council and a number of the village’s youths and a digger, went to prepare the land for erecting tents on it the next day. Immediately after arriving to the land, Israeli forces arrived at the scene and stopped them from working. At approximately 14:30 on Saturday, 26 January 2013, the Israeli forces declared ‘Anin village a closed military zone, and deployed its soldiers in the village, accompanied by a number of military vehicles. They were also stationed at the village’s gate, and denied a number of Palestinian officials from entering the village, including the Mayor of Jenin, the Minister of Prisoners Affairs and Jammal Howail, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Moreover, dozens of journalists and human rights activists and representatives of legal organizations were denied entry as well. Later, the Palestinian officials and the human rights activists gathered at the eastern entrance of the village, while the youth of ‘Anin village gathered at the western entrance. Young men threw the Israeli soldiers with rocks and empty bottles. Immediately, the Israeli soldiers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the crowd; as a result, dozens of them suffered from tear gas inhalation. The Israeli soldiers also beat Mr. Jamal Howail after engaging in a skirmish with them. Palestinian civilians Ahmed (24) and Yousif (32) Sha’ban Shafe’ Yassin were abducted while trying to leave the village and join the gathered demonstration at the village’s entrance.
At approximately 11:30 on Saturday, 26 January 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians, international and Israeli human rights defenders, gathered in the Center of Bait Ummar village, north of Hebron, for the weekly peaceful demonstration organized against the settlement expansion policy, the wall and the arrest of children. The demonstrators headed towards the confiscated farmlands near the security fence of ‘Kermi Tsour’ settlement, east of the village. A group of Israeli soldiers surrounded the demonstrators and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them; as a result, dozens of participants suffered from tear gas inhalation. The soldiers also assaulted a number of the demonstrators by kicking and punishing them. The assaulted demonstraters were identified as: Moussa Abdel-Hamid Abu-Maria (44) and Ahmed Abu Hashim (45). The Israeli soldiers detained an Israeli solidarity activist, and released him later.
On Tuesday, 29 January, Saber al-Zaa’anin, Coordinator of the local initiative in Beit Hanoun and who supervises on such solidarity activities with the Palestinian farmers who are subjected to shooting by Israeli forces. At approximately 10:20, al-Zaa’anin, accompanied with 8 foreigner solidarity activists and 14 Palestinian solidarity activist from the local initiative in Beit Hanoun, went to al-Ba’a farmland to help farmers harvesting their crops. Only moments before finishing their job, a number of Israeli soldiers got out of their jeep to position at the eastern border fence and started directly shooting at them. As a result, they were all frightened and forced to flee for fear of being injured. No injuries were reported.
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 Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and 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: