In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 20 – 26 June, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces launched 3 air strikes against civilian targets and training sites in the Gaza Strip.A girl was injured in her home during the attacks in Gaza, a restaurant was completely destroyed and 13 houses sustained partial damage. In the West Bank, 4 protesters were wounded during a peaceful protest in Kofur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilia.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 48 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces abducted at least 25 Palestinians, including 5 children.
Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. 10 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were abducted at checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israeli forces violently beat a Palestinian young man from Beit Ummar village and threw him at the entrance of Kofur Etzion, south of Bethlehem.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, on 24 June 2013, Israeli forces launched 3 air strikes on training sites and civilian targets. At approximately 04:20, Israeli warplanes attacked a training site of al-Quds Brigades, west of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported.
At approximately 03:45, Israeli warplanes attacked an olive land in al-Zawayda village in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, 13 houses sustained partial damage and a girl sustained a fracture in her left leg. In his testimony to PCHR’s fieldworker, Ouda Suleiman Abu Zayed (73), from al-Zawayda, whose house was damaged, said: ‘I was about to perform the dawn prayer when I suddenly heard a heavy explosion rocking the house. I believed it was my house that was hit. We heard the sound of a drone and a warplane hovering. Women and children were frightened and shouting for about 20 minutes. We were waiting for a second attack. A few minutes later, I calmed down and started to look over the house whose windows were smashed and 5 of its doors were damaged. Meanwhile, I looked out of the eastern balcony and saw dust about 20 meters to the northeast of my house. It was in a nearby farmland. At 06:00, I found out that my jeep’s (Toyota) windshield was broken and the solar power glass was damaged as well.’
Around the same time, Israeli warplanes fired a missile on an olive farm in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, a restaurant was completely destroyed and many olive trees were damaged.
Crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel were closed for two days during the past week.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued 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. As a result, 4 civilians were wounded during a peaceful protest in Kofur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilia. In addition, 2 photojournalists from Palestine TV were attacked and abducted.
Following the Friday Prayer, 21 June 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 settlement activity. The demonstrators marched through the streets of the village, chanting slogans calling for national unity, raised Palestinian flags 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. The demonstrators walked along the wall and attempted to breach it. Israeli forces stationed behind the western side of the wall, and dozens of soldiers who were deployed along the route of the wall, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs, tear gas canisters, and waste water at the demonstrators, and chased them across olive fields. 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 and settlement activities. The demonstrators made their way towards the annexation wall. Israeli forces closed the wall gate with barbed wire and, when the demonstrators attempted to access the lands behind the barbed wire, they were stopped by Israeli soldiers. The demonstrators threw stones at the Israeli soldiers who responded with live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters, and chased them across fields of olive trees as far as the outskirts of the village. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Around the same time on Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians, Israeli and international human rights activists gathered at 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 protesters walked towards Palestinian lands that Israeli settlers from the nearby ‘Halmish’ settlement are trying to seize. From the morning, Israeli forces had closed all entrances to the village to prevent Palestinians, international activists, and journalists from joining the demonstration. Upon their arrival in the area, Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters, chased the demonstrators into the village and sprayed them and civilian houses with waste water. As a result, dozens of Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises, including the photographer of the Popular Committee against the Construction of the Wall and Settlement Activity in Nabi Saleh, Belal Abdel-Salam Tamimi (47), he is also a volunteer photographer 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, and activists in the Popular Resistance Committees gathered for the weekly peaceful demonstration against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activity. The demonstration was also organized in protest to the construction of a school for settlers in the south of Bethlehem. It started outside Shomou’ Cultural Centre in the centre of the village. The participants carried Palestinian flags, roamed the streets of the village. Upon their arrival to the wall, Israeli forces, backed-up by Israeli police and border guards, fired tear gas canisters at them in order to disperse them. Many demonstrators suffered due to tear gas inhalation. Later that day, Palestinians organized a car rally from the centre of the village to “Daniel” settlement, which is established on al-Khader village’s lands, south of Bethlehem, and then to the southern entrance of the village “al-Nashash” checkpoint, where they organized a sit-in.
At approximately 13:25 on Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in the centre of Kufor Kadoum village, northeast of Qalqilya, in protest at the continuous closure of the eastern entrance of the village which has been ongoing since the outbreak of al-Aqsa Intifada. Israeli soldiers denied them access to the gate and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters; as a result, 4 Palestinians sustained wounds: a 22-year-old male; a finger in his left hand was smashed after sustaining a metal bullet; a 20-year-old male, sustained two metal bullets in the abdomen and left hand; a 21-year-old male, sustained a metal bullet to the chest; and a 27-year-old male, sustained a metal bullet to the waist. Furthermore, the Israeli soldiers beat media workers of Palestine TV crew, and abducted Ahmed Abdel-Malek Othman Shawer (26); and Bashar Mahmoud Saleh Nazzal (33). In his testimony to a PCHR fieldworker, Nazzal said: ‘While we were covering Kufor Kadoum’s weekly demonstration on 21 June 2013, Israeli soldiers yelled at us and told us to leave the area; thus, we gathered our equipment in order to leave and while I was getting ready to leave as there was only one piece of equipment left that I had to take with me, Israeli soldiers attacked me and my colleague Ahmed Shawer with extreme brutality, and started beating and kicking us with their hands, feet and weapons, using profane language. We had the feeling that we were targeted, especially me, as I attend and cover this demonstration every week. After assaulting us, we were blindfolded, handcuffed and taken, with our equipment, in a military vehicle to ‘Kedumim’ settlement where a group of soldiers were there, mocking and photographing us. Even though we were blindfolded, we knew what was happening around us. We were later taken to several detention centres in Howara and Salem camps, then ‘Ariel’ settlement. We were released at approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 22 June 2013, after they confiscated our IDs.’
Israeli settlement activities:
Israel has continued its settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a direct violation of international humanitarian law, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On Thursday, 20 June 2013, a group of settlers, under the protection of Israeli police and forces, moved into Zawyat al-Ashraf and al-Budairy waqf, located at the entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the centre of Hebron. The settlers started digging and extending electricity networks, in an attempt to seize both establishments.
On Sunday, 22 June 2013, Israeli forces moved into Um al-Rokba area and handed Mohammed Marzouq Zawahra (35) a notice to halt construction work in a cement wall of and a water well, under the pretext of not obtaining a license. On another note, a number of settlers from ‘Karmi Tsur’ settlement moved into a farmland that includes a water spring that is called ‘Ayn Teeba,’ east of Halhoul. No incidents of vandalism or attacks against Palestinians were reported.
On Monday, 24 June 2013, a group of settlers from ‘Havat Gilad’ settlement raided Palestinian civilians’ land in Amateen village, northeast of Qalqilya and cut 6 olive trees. Furthermore, a group of settlers from ‘Carmiel’ settlement attacked a group of farmers and shepherds while they were in ‘Ayn al-Baidaa’ area. This incident took place in the presence of Israeli forces that declared the area a closed military area and abducted two Palestinian civilians under the pretext of assaulting settlers.
On Wednesday, 26 June 2013, a group of settlers from ‘Ovijal’ settlement attacked shepherds with police dogs while they were grazing their sheep in al-‘Attarya area. Additionally, 4 settlers raided pastoral lands in the surroundings of Kherbat Qwaiwes area and told shepherds of Abu-‘Arram family to leave the area, claiming that it is their property. Israeli forces arrived at the scene and ordered the shepherds to leave the area.
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 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: