In its Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 18- 24 April 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that a Palestinian civilian was wounded during an Israeli incursion, and a child was wounded near the annexation wall in the West Bank. In addition, 6 protesters, and an elderly woman, were wounded during peaceful protests against the annexation wall, settlement activities and imprisonment of Palestinians.Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the past week, Israeli forces conducted at least 98 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces abducted at least 52 Palestinians, including 6 children and a number of political leaders and members of Hamas movement.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 8 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and a 70-year-old elderly woman, in the West Bank. Three of whom, including the elderly woman, were wounded during peaceful protests in Selwad village, northeast of Ramallah, protesting against the confiscation of lands for the interest of settlement activities. Moreover, three children were wounded; one of whom was abducted, during a protest organized by dozens of children at the southern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah to support the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails. A Palestinian civilian was wounded when the Israeli forces moved into the above-mentioned refugee camp and opened fire at a group of boys and young men. Further, a child was wounded near the annexation wall in Jalaboun village in Jenin.
In the West Bank during incursions conducted by the Israeli forces a Palestinian civilian from al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, was wounded on 18 April 2013.
On 24 April 2013, a Palestinian child was wounded when Israeli forces patrolled at the annexation wall in Jalaboun village, northeast of Jenin, opening fire on 2 children under the pretext that they attempted to cross the security fence. As a result, one of them was wounded while the other was abducted.
Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. 7 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were abducted at checkpoints.
Israeli forces have continued activities to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem. 7 residential apartments and 2 commercial stores were demolished.
On Thursday, 18 April 2013, Israeli forces raided al-Khader village, in the south of Bethlehem bulldozed two agricultural sheds under pretext of not obtaining a permit and building near the settlements. The destroyed sheds are located near ‘Daniel’ and ‘Eliezer’ settlement in the south of the village, and were established over 60 years ago, and were used as storage rooms for agricultural equipment.
On Saturday, 20 April 2013, Israeli forces, accompanied by a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration, raided ‘Attous area, west of Beit Oula village, in the west of Hebron. An officer of the Civil Administration placed 7 evacuation notices in a number of lands that are adjacent to the wall, that included the confiscation of approximately 600 dunums of agricultural and grazing lands.
On Monday, 22 April 2013, Israeli forces, accompanied by military vehicles and a bulldozer, uprooted 150 olive trees in al-Marhan area, in the east of Beit Dujn village, in the east of Nablus. These trees were between aged 1 and 1 and a half year; this is the 5th time that Israeli forces have uprooted trees from the same plot of land within the past years, under pretext that it is a closed area for military reasons.
On Tuesday, 23 April 2013, Israeli forces bulldozed 11 tents used as residences and cattle barns, in al-Maleh valley area and the neighbouring Yarza village, in the Northern Valleys, in the northeast of Tubas. As a result, 30 civilians became homeless, including 20 children.
Also on Tuesday, Israeli forces uprooted 650 olive trees aged between 1 – 4 years, in Um Nir area, southeast of Yatta, in the south of Hebron. They also bulldozed a tent.
On the same day, Israeli forces destroyed a greenhouse of 420 square meters, and 5 meters in height, that was used to store harvest crops for exportation located in al-Shobasy area in Bardala village, east of Bypass Road No. 90, east of Tubas; its destroyed contents were: a large supply of cartons; 4 surveillance cameras; a computer; and a digital scale.
On Wednesday, 24 April 2013, Israeli forces bulldozed an under-construction house, two agricultural rooms and an 80 meters high wall of reinforced concrete, in Khlat al-Bas area, southeast of al-‘Aroub refugee camp, in the north of Hebron.
On Wednesday, Israeli forces raided the western area of Ethna village, in the west of Hebron, and detained a number of construction workers while working on a water-well of 200 cubic meters, and banned them from continuing their work under pretext that this site has been given a notice to halt construction work, claiming that this area falls under Israeli security jurisdiction, according to the Oslo Accords.
On Wednesday, Israeli forces placed a notice with orders to halt construction on a site designed for building a medical clinic in the centre of the village. They also photographed the site.
On Wednesday, 24 April 2013, Israeli forces bulldozed 7 residential apartments and two shops in al-Tour village, in the occupied east Jerusalem. According to data acquired by PCHR, at approximately 08:00, Israeli forces, accompanied by two bulldozers and officers of the Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem, raided al-Hardoub neighbourhood in al-Tour village, in the occupied East Jerusalem. The bulldozers destroyed three apartments of 500 square meters, and 2 shops. The destroyed property belonged to Kayed Mohammed Abdallah Jaradat, and were destroyed under pretext of not obtaining a construction permit. In his statement, Jaradat said that his family occupies a house, adjacent to the bulldozed apartments, since 1997. He added that this is the third time that Israeli forces destroyed some of his property under pretext of not obtaining a construction permit, knowing that the family has been trying to obtain one for many years, but have been unsuccessful. Moreover, Jaradat said that the bulldozing made 40 members of his family homeless, 6 of them are disabled and 3 are blind.
In a relative context, Israeli forces raided al-Jadeed Street (al-Sahl) in al-Tour village, to bulldoze an under-construction housing building, under pretext of not obtaining a permit. The owner of the bulldozed building, Khamini Mohammed Hamdan, said that Israeli forces cordoned his building at early morning hours, but were unable to carry out with the bulldozing because the street leading to it was too narrow for the bulldozers to pass through. Therefore, Israeli forces bulldozed a number of shops and residential apartments that belong to him in another part of the village, returned later on and bulldozed the building. He added that the building is of two stories, each of 270 square meters, and has 4 apartments; he started building with a partner, Ziad Abu-Esbitan, six months ago, but was surprised to receive a demolition notice at the time. He also pointed out that he had tried to obtain a permit to continue with the construction, but was unsuccessful.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted 2 limited incursions into the Gaza Strip. Both incursions were conducted in the east of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip on the 22nd and 24th of April 2013. They levelled lands, however, no casualties were reported.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, southeast of Deir al-Balah in the centre of the Gaza Strip, abducted 2 children, who attempted to cross the borders into Israel.
Israel has continued to impose a total closure and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces have continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On Saturday, 20 April 2013, a group of settlers from ‘Beit Ayin’ settlement, established on Palestinian civilians’ lands in the west of Beit Ummar village, in the north of Hebron, attacked Palestinian farmers while working in their lands in Abul-Reish valley area, adjacent to the afore-mentioned settlement. It should be noted that this attack is the third of its kind against farmers in Abul-Reish valley area within the month of April, as settlers have broken and uprooted a number of olive and almond trees belonging to Slaibi family.
On Tuesday, 23 April 2013, a group of settlers from ‘Ofra’ settlement, established on the lands of Silwad and ‘Ayn Yabroud villages, in the northeast of Ramallah, raided Deir Jarir village, located approximately 2 kilometres to the northeast of the afore-mentioned settlement. The settlers then set fire to 10 Palestinian civilian vehicles in the village.
In his testimony to a PCHR filedworker, ‘Omran Mufadi ‘Omran (80), from Deir Jarir village, said, ‘At approximately 02:00 on Tuesday, 23 April 2013, my family and I were asleep at home, located in the western area of the village. All of a sudden, we heard an explosion; I looked out the window, which overlooks the front lawn of the house, and I was shocked to see that my daughter’s, Manal (40) car, a 2012 VW golf, was on fire and my son’s, Wisam (35), a 1995 black Mazda. Immediately, my son, Wisam, my wife and I, we put out the fire in the two cars, but the back of the cars was totally burnt. Some of the neighbours came over and told us that the settlers had burnt 8 other vehicles in the village, and I learnt later, after Israeli forces and police arrived in the area, that one of the neighbours saw someone carrying a backpack and running towards ‘Ofra’ settlement after setting the cars on fire. I also learnt that the surveillance cameras fixed on al-‘Alwey Stores, located by the entrance of the village, had caught the same person on tape when he entered the village; I was told that the Israeli police confiscated the tape.’
Also on Wednesday, a group of settlers, under the protection of Israeli forces and military vehicles, raided Yousif Grave area, in the east of Nablus. The settlers stayed for a while, performed some Talmudic rituals and withdrew later, no incidents were reported.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Palestinian civilians organised many peaceful protests in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails, especially those on hunger strike. Israeli forces used excessive force against the protesters; as a result, 3 children were wounded at the southern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, on 19 April 2013. The Israeli forces abducted one of the wounded children after offering him the first aid he needed.
In an example of the systematic use of excessive force against peaceful protests organised by Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank, on 19 April 2013, 3 civilians, including an elderly woman, were wounded in Selwad village, northeast of Ramallah; 2 of the wounded were abducted and transported to an unknown destination.
Palestinian civilians also organised peaceful demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, particularly those on hunger strike. Israeli forces used excessive force against these demonstrations. As a result, 3 children sustained wounds; Israeli forces abducted one of them, transported him into ‘Beit El’ settlement, where he received first aid and then he was taken to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem.
At noon on Friday, 19 April 2013, dozens of Palestinian youngsters and inhabitants of Silwad village gathered in the centre of Silwad village, in the northeast of Ramallah for a popular demonstration in protest to the settlers’ continuous attacks against Palestinians in the area and the confiscation of lands for settlement activity. Afterwards, the participants headed towards ‘al-Fakarra’ area, where the settlers are trying to confiscate lands, located near ‘Ofra’ settlement. Israeli forces closed the eastern entrance to the village in the early morning; the protestors threw stones and empty bottles at the forces, who were stationed at the entrance of the village. Israeli forces responded with live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs, and chased the demonstrators into the village. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians, including an elderly woman, sustained injuries; many civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises. Later on, Israeli forces raided a residential building and abducted 7 civilians, including two of the wounded; they were transported to an Israeli police station, in the southeast of Ramallah. Four of them were released at approximately 02:00 on Saturday; and they were identified as: ‘Imad Abdul-Rahman Abu Zaina (28); Mohammed Mahmoud Ahmed Youssif (35); Ramez Abdul-Baset Hamed (26); and Rami Abdul-Rahman Hamed (26). Those who remained in detention were identified as: Hussam Youssif Abu-Zaina (30), sustained a bullet wound to the right arm; Usama Abdul-Aziz Mer’i (38), sustained a bullet wound to the abdomen; and Mohammed Jar-Allah Hamed (24). They were transported to ‘Ofer’ prison, southwest of Ramallah. Additionally, 70-year-old Fatima Raya Hamed sustained a bullet wound to the chest.
Following the Friday Prayer on 19 April 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Bil’in village, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and in solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike inside Israeli jails. The demonstration commemorated the fourth anniversary of the death of Bassem Abu-Rahma, the 25th anniversary of Khalil al-Wazeer’s (Abu-Jihad) death and the 39th anniversary of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. The demonstrators marched through the streets of the village, chanting slogans calling for national unity, raised Palestinian flags and pictures of prisoners and made their way towards the lands adjacent to the annexation wall. Israeli forces had closed all entrances to the village since early morning to prevent Palestinians, journalists, and international activists from joining the protest. 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, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall, settlement activities and in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike inside Israeli jails, especially Samer al-‘Issawi. The demonstrators moved towards the annexation wall; Israeli forces closed the wall gate with barbed wire, and when the demonstrators attempted to get to the lands behind it, they were stopped by Israeli soldiers. The demonstrators threw stones at the Israeli soldiers who in responded with rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs, tear gas canisters and chased them across fields of olive trees. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Around the same time on Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians, and Israeli and international human rights activists 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. The demonstration was organized under the title: ‘Freedom is our children’s right,’ in commemoration of Palestinian Child Day and in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. The protesters walked towards Palestinian lands that Israeli settlers from the nearby ‘Halmish’ settlement are trying to seize. Israeli forces closed all entrances to the village in the morning to prevent Palestinians, international activists and journalists from joining the demonstration. Upon their arrival in the afore-mentioned area, Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters, chased the demonstrators into the village and sprayed them with waste water. Moreover, Israeli soldiers, from the special guards unit, deliberately fired tear gas canisters at the journalists, pushed them and yelled at them in an effort to force them to leave the area. Two of these journalists were identified, Bilal Abdul-Salam Hassan Tamimi (47) and Nariman Mahmoud Tamimi (37), photojournalists for the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Settlement Activity in Nabi Saleh and volunteers at B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
Following Friday Prayer, dozens of inhabitants of al-Mas’ra village, south of Bethlehem, international and Israeli human rights activists, activists in the Popular Resistance Committees and the Volunteer Work Committee, and mothers of Palestinian prisoners gathered for the weekly peaceful demonstration against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activity. The demonstration started outside Shomou’ Cultural Centre in the centre of the village. The participants carried Palestinian flags and signs against the occupation while they roamed the streets of the village. Israeli soldiers, who were deployed in large numbers in the village, intercepted the demonstrators, prohibited them from accessing the wall and fired tear gas canisters at them; as a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation. The demonstrators organized a sit-in near the wall emphasizing the importance of popular and official solidarity with prisoners and the importance of organizing events for solidarity with them. Moreover, a number of them chained themselves symbolizing the suffering of Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails.
At noon on Friday, 19 April 2013, dozens of Palestinian youth gathered at the southern entrance of al-Jazloun Refugee Camp, north of Ramallah, near the southeastern entrance of the camp, behind the UNRWA Camp School for Boys. The boys were 300 meters from the fence surrounding ‘Beit El’ settlement. The boys threw stones at the settlement’s fence; in response, the Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canister and sound bombs at them. As a result, 17-year-old Mustafa Suliman Mas’oud Samad’a sustained a bullet wound in the nose, he was abducted and transported him into ‘Beit El’ settlement where he received first aid and then he was taken to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. Moreover, two other children sustained wounds; a 15-year-old was hit by a tear gas canister to the head and a 16-year-old sustained a bullet wound to the head.
Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian youths gathered in the Um Rokba area, at the south-western entrance of al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. The demonstrators threw stones at Israeli forces stationed in the area. Immediately, Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators. As a result, a number of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the international community act in order to stop all Israeli settlement expansion activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories through imposing sanctions on Israeli settlements and criminalizing trading with them;
The PCHR calls upon the UN General Assembly to transfer the Goldstone Report to the UN Security Council in order to refer it to the International Criminal Court in accordance with Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: