In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 18 – 24 July 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that a Palestinian boy was wounded in al-Bireh in the West Bank during an Israeli incursion. In addition, Sarit Michaeli, B’Tselem spokesperson, was wounded during al-Nabi Saleh protest, northwest of Ramallah and dozens suffered tear gas inhalation and sustained bruises due to Israeli soldiers’ attack.Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded an 18-year-old boy and an Israeli human rights defender, and dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation during peaceful protests against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. Furthermore, a number of civilians sustained bruises due to Israeli settlers’ attack on them.
Israeli forces conducted 50 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which at least 25 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were abducted. On 27 July 2013, an 18-year-old boy was wounded during an Israeli incursion in al-Bireh. The boy was shot by 2 bullets to the chest.
Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. 10 Palestinian civilians were abducted by Israeli forces at checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israeli forces have continued efforts to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem. An Israeli court gave Siyam family an extension until 01 August 2013 to evacuate their house in al-Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in the occupied city.
Licenses were issued to build 165 new settlement units in “Nabi Ya’qoub’ settlement.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the Occupied Palestinian Territories and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
The total closure of al-Mentar (‘Karni’) crossing since 02 March 2011 has seriously affected the economy of the Gaza Strip. Following this closure, all economic and commercial establishments in the Gaza Commercial Zone were shut off. It should be noted that al-Mentar crossing is the biggest crossing in the Gaza Strip, in terms of its capacity to absorb the flow of imports and exports. The decision to close al-Mentar crossing was the culmination of a series of decisions resulting in the complete closure of the Sofa crossing, east of the Gaza Strip in the beginning of 2009, and the Nahal Oz crossing, east of Gaza City, which was dedicated for the delivery of fuel and cooking gas to the Gaza Strip, in the beginning of 2010.
Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.
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.
The settlers set fire to 400 fruitful olive trees, south of Bethlehem. The settlers continued their attacks on the Palestinian farmers and shepherds, south of Hebron. 4 settlers tortured a Palestinian woman, northwest of Ramallah, and put her life at risk.
At approximately 09:30 on Thursday, 18 July 2013, four armed settlers from “Talmon” settlement, which is established on the western side of the lands of the southern Mazra’ah al- village, northwest of Ramallah, attacked Khatemah al-‘Abed Mahmoud Shreiteh (50) when she was picking a sage field in an agricultural area known as “Na’alan”, west of the village.
The aforementioned woman said to a PCHR fieldworker that:
“I support a family of 4 boys and 1 girl. My husband is ill and cannot work. Two of my sons study at the university; therefore, I pick wild plants and sell them to provide a living and some family requirements. At approximately 08:00 on Thursday, 18 July 2013, I left my house with my son, Yousif (9) to Na’alan agricultural area, which is around 1 kilometer away from “Telmoun” settlement, west of al-Mazra’aah al-Qabaliya village, northwest of Ramallah. When we arrived, I asked Yousif to sit under an olive tree seeking shade in our farmland in the aforementioned area and I then walked to the top of the mountain searching for the sage field. At approximately 09:30, I was surprised by 4 armed settlers, one of whom was carrying a rifle and the other three were carrying guns, approaching me. They started shouting in Hebrew and could not understand them. When I tried to escape, one of them hit my back with a big stone on. After taking two steps, I fell to the ground and they started beating me severely with hands and legs and all over my body. One of them was beating me with the gun butts on my chest for 20 minutes and then another one beat me on the back of my head with a gun butt. I was bleeding and then lost consciousness. During the attack, I did not shout because I was afraid that my son, Yousif, could come to my voice and they would kill him. I then woke up to find myself lying on my chest and felt something heavy on my back. I thought the settlers were stepping on me and then I touched my back with difficulty to find a 50-kilogram rock. I started moving my body and brought it down. I then started to crawl on my hands and knees between rockets and thorns towards my son, Yousif, because I could not stand on my legs due to the severe pain. I felt blood flowing between my thighs. When I reached Yousif, He saw me in this condition and started crying. I asked him to stop crying fear of being heard by settlers, who would come and beat us. I then asked him to go to a nearby stone-pit to tell anyone about what happened. I completed crawling 100 meters to the road leading to the stone-pit, where the car would arrive. A few minutes later, Yousif came with the owner of the stone-pit in his car, and I was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah. I passed out on the way and then woke up to find myself in the Complex. After medical examinations, it was found out that I sustained bruises all over my body and stayed in the complex till Saturday, 20 July 2013.’
At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 19 July 2013, a group of settlers from ‘Kiryat Arba’ settlement, which is established on the Palestinian lands, east of Hebron, threw stones at Palestinian houses in Jaber neighborhood in the centre of the old town of Hebron. They also attempted to raid the houses under the pretext that a settler was hit by a stone in the face.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 08:00, on Friday, Ziad Sa’di Abu Rmeilah was out with his wife when a number of settlers from ‘Kiryat Arba’ settlement threw stones at their house and attempted to raid it, where Abu Rmeilah’s three children were inside and were terrified. Meanwhile, Islam (17) tried to push his body against the door to prevent the settlers from getting inside until his brother Iyad (24) found the key and locked the door. 20 minutes later, some Israeli soldiers arrived and raided the house. They found the windows broken because of the settlers’ attack. The soldiers checked ID cards of Abu Rmeilah’s children and took Iyad and Islam out to the yard. The soldiers asked the wounded settler to recognize them. However, they were released later.
Moreover, a house belonging to the family of Tha’er Hussein Jaber in the same area was also stoned by 10 settlers, who attempted to raid the house. As a result, some windows were broken. Israeli forces intervened a few minutes later. They checked the occupants’ ID cards and asked the settlers to identify them.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
During the reporting period, 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, Sarit Michaeli, B’Tselem’s spokesperson, was wounded by a bullet to the left knee. Besides, dozens suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises due to Israeli soldiers’ attack on them.
At approximately 11:15 on Monday, 15 July 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians from Bethlehem and neighbouring villages, representatives from popular committees against settlement activities and a number of international human rights activists organized a peaceful demonstration in protest at the Israeli decision to evacuate Negev. They started the demonstration in Housan village, west of Bethlehem, heading to an intersection around ‘Bitar Elit’ settlement, which is established on Palestinian lands, west of the city. They held a sit-in at the intersection, where Israeli soldiers attacked the demonstrations with tear gas canisters. Israeli soldiers also used high resonance to disperse the demonstrations.
At approximately 13:10, following the Friday Prayer, 12 July 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilia, heading to the eastern entrance of the village in protest at closing that entrance since the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada in 2001. The demonstrators gathered in front of the entrance. Israeli forces fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces raided 2 houses belonging to the families of Abdul Razeq Mahmoud Amer and Mohammed Taha Amer, and used them to observe the demonstrators and help catching them. An hour later, the demonstration was over. Neither casualties nor arrests were reported.
Also, following the Friday Prayer, 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 activities. The demonstrators made their way towards the annexation wall. Israeli forces closed the wall gate with barbwire and, when the demonstrators attempted to access the lands behind the barbwire, 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.
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, Sarit Michaeli (40), BTselem spokesperson, was wounded by a bullet to the left knee. Moreover, dozens of Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
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 United Nations 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.
In addition, the PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to compel Israel, as a High Contracting Party to the Conventions, to apply the Conventions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: