In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 04 – 10 July 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces have continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank, wounding 4. Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
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 peaceful protests in Ramallah and Qalqilia on 05 July 2013. On 07 July 2013, a fourth civilian was wounded during a peaceful protest in Ramallah against attacks by settlers in Deir Qeddis and Shabtin villages, northwest of the Ramallah.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 58 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces abducted at least 62 Palestinians, including 3 children.
Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. 12 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were abducted at checkpoints in the West Bank.
On 04 July 2013, Israeli forces issued 3 notices to halt work in the Maghayer al-Abeed area, south of Hebron. The notices included 2 residential tents and solar panels funded by the EU.
On 05 July 2013, Israeli forces issued a notice to halt work in a tin-made barrack in Kherbet Janaba, south of Hebron.
On 07 July 2013, Israeli forces demolished an artesian well in al-Baqi’a valley near Atouf village, southeast of Tubas. It should be noted that Israeli forces did not send a prior notice to the well owner to halt work in this well.
On 08 July 2013, Israeli forces, accompanied by officers of the Israeli Civil Administration, moved into al-Ra’s al-Ahmer and al-Hadidiya areas in the northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. They demolished a number of residential, livestock and fodder storage tents.
On 08 July 2013, Israeli forces, accompanied by officers of the Israeli Civil Administration, moved into al-Deirat village to the east of Yatta, south of Hebron. A Civil Administration officer handed 6 civilians notices to halt construction works in houses and a facility under the pretext of not obtaining licenses.
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 05 July 2013, dozens of settlers, from settlements established on Palestinians’ lands in the east of Yatta, south of Hebron, organized a demonstration in front of the villages to the east of the city: al-Twany, al-Baraka and al-Rakyz villages. The settlers chanted religious and racist slogans demanding the expulsion of Arabs from their lands.
On the same day, 4 settlers from ‘Havat Maon’ settlement moved into farmlands surrounding Kherbat Touba area in the east of Yatta. The settlers attacked a civilian with stones while razing his sheep. As a result, he sustained minor bruises.
On 05 July 2013, a group of settlers, coming from ‘Susya’ settlement, raided Palestinian civilians’ lands in the southeast of Yatta, in the surroundings of al-Karmel village. The settlers, who were accompanied by Israeli forces, performed Talmudic rituals near one of the Roman archeological sites and chanted anti-Arab slogans.
On 06 July 2013, a group of settlers, coming from ‘Carmiel’ settlement, which is established on the lands of Kherbat Um al-Khair area in the east of Yatta, attacked Palestinian farmers and shepherds while in their lands, which are located in the south of the area.
On 07 July 2013, a group of settlers from ‘Beitar Illit’ settlement, which is established on the western countryside of Bethlehem governorate, pumped waste water into Ayn Madyq area, in the south of Wad Foquin village, in the west of Bethlehem.
On 08 July 2013, a group of settlers leveled agricultural lands in Wad al-Rakhim area to the southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. These lands belong to al-Halis family and are located near the security fence of ‘Susya’ settlement.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, on 08 July 2013, Israeli forces conducted 2 limited incursions in the southern Gaza Strip. They levelled lands along the border fence and withdrew later.
Israel continued to impose a tightened closure, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 7 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in a grave violation of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 1.7 million people. The Israeli authorities has established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy that has been aggravating for years due to the shortage of imports. They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Following the Friday Prayer, 05 July 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, a 20-year-old sustained a metal bullet in the right arm and a 37-year-old was hit in the right hand with a tear gas canister. Also, 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.
Following Friday Prayer, dozens of civilians in al-Ma’sara 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, which was titled ‘Water.’ It started outside Shomou’ Cultural Centre in the centre of the village; and while on their way 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.
At approximately 13:10 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. Upon the demonstrators’ arrival to the afore-mentioned gate, Israeli forces had set up ambushes for them and started chasing them, firing rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canister at them. As a result, a 40-year-old sustained wounds in his eye after a tear gas canister exploded near him and shrapnel scattered around.
At approximately 09:30 on Sunday, 07 July 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians, international and Israeli human rights activists gathered near ‘Ayn Ayoub area, in the northwest of Ramallah for a demonstration in protest to the daily settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians, and the Israeli government’s discrimination and settlement expansion policies and confiscation of lands for the expansion of ‘Nili’ settlement, which is established on Deir Qedis and Shabtin villages, in the northwest of Ramallah. The demonstration was organized by Popular Committees against the Wall and Settlement Activity in Ramallah and al-Bireh. The demonstrators gathered in the centre of the main street, which is used by settlers, leading to traffic jam in the area. The participants held Palestinian flags; immediately, Israeli forces, stationed in the area, fired rubber-coated metal bullets to the air, tear gas canisters and sound bombs and attempted to disperse them with force. As a result, Jamil al-Barghouthy (43) was hit in the chest with a tear gas canister, and was taken to Palestine Health Complex for treatment; also, dozens of civilians suffered due to tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises. Furthermore, Israeli forces detained 3 civilians, including the wounded civilian, for half an hour at the scene.
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 and the United Nations use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination, through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine;
The PCHR calls upon the United Nations to provide international protection to Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and to ensure the non-recurrence of aggression against the Occupied Palestinian Territories, especially the Gaza Strip
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: