In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 07- 13 November 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that 2 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces at military checkpoints in the West Bank. 7 others were wounded this week, including 2 children, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.Israeli forces have continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank. 2 Palestinian children were wounded in Hebron and Ramallah. Dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, in an excessive use of force, on 07 November 2013, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, and the Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, in the West Bank.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 18:00 on Thursday, 07 November 2013, Basheer Sami Salem Habnain, 29, from Marka village south of Jenin, was traveling in a taxi from Ramallah to Nablus. When he became 20 meters far from Za’tara intersection, south of Nablus, he stepped down from the taxi and crossed the main road towards the other side. He was carrying a box of fireworks, from which flares were unleashed. Soon, an Israeli soldier descended from a military observation tower and fired directly at Habnain, killing him with 7 bullets to the legs and thighs and an 8th one which entered the back and exited the chest. Israeli forces kept the victim’s body until 03:00 on Friday, 08 November 2013, when they handed the body to the Palestinian liaison department. The victim was a lecturer at the fashion department in Palestine Technical University (Kadoorie) in Tulkarm.
Israeli forces claimed that ‘Habnain was carrying a flare gun, from which he fired at soldiers, so the soldiers responded by firing at him, and he was instantly killed.’ A video clip published on Youtube shows an Israeli soldiers descending from an Israeli military observation tower to the southeast of Za’tara checkpoint, and then firing at the area to the southwest of the checkpoint. Another 2 soldiers are seen in the video clip coming from the checkpoint. Even according to the Israeli narrative, Israeli forces could have used less lethal means against the victims, such as arresting him.
In a similar crime, at approximately 21:30, Isma’il Fu’ad Refa’ei al-Atrash, 25, and his brother Anas, 23, arrived at the Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, traveling from Jericho to their home in Hebron. They were traveling in a civilian car driven by Isma’il. When they arrived at the checkpoint, Isma’il slowed down to cross road bumps. Anas opened the door, and once he stepped down, Israeli soldiers shot him dead with 2 bullets to the chest. Israeli soldiers took Anas’ body and put it in a plastic sac near the checkpoint. Residents of the area and a number of members of the victim’s family arrived at the checkpoint and skirmishes erupted between them and Israeli soldiers. Later, the family received Anas’ body. Israeli forces claimed that ‘the young man attempted to stab a soldier, so the latter fired at him directly, killing him.’ According to Palestinian medical sources, the victim was hit by a bullet to the chest.
On 11 November 2013, a Palestinian child was wounded by Israeli forces during a demonstration organized in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, in commemoration of the 9th anniversary of President Yasser. On the same day, a child was also wounded in Hebron.
During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 68 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, abducting at least 46 Palestinians, including 8 children. The detainees include a number of political leaders of Hamas.
Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. At least 10 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children and a woman, were abducted at checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, on 10 November 2013, a Palestinian fisherman was wounded by Israeli forces in the northern Gaza Strip.
On 13 November 2013, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli forces in border areas in the southern and central Gaza Strip. At approximately 10:50 am, Israeli forces positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired at a person in civilian clothes who got as close as to 80 meters from the border to the east of al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis, wounding him with a bullet to the right leg. Following coordination through the ICRC, medical crew were able to attend him and evacuate him to Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. He was identified as Ashraf Fayez Abu Zaher, 23, from Wadi al-Salqa village.
In the context of targeting fishermen in the sea, Israeli gunboats stationed in the sea opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats 4 times, during which the abovementioned fisherman was wounded and fishing boat was confiscated. Israeli forces also detained 2 fishermen for one day.
In addition, 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 07 November 2013, a number of Israeli settlers from “Havat Gal” settlement, east of Hebron, set fire to 2 cars belonging to Palestinian civilians in al-Jalajel village, east of Hebron. They also wrote “In solidarity with Beit Ain settlement” on walls of houses in the village. Losses in the 2 cars are estimated at 7,000 NIS (approximately US$ 2,000).
On 08 November 2013, dozens of Israeli settlers living in settlement located near Taqqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem, closed the western entrance of the village, claiming that stones and Molotov cocktails were thrown at a settler’s car. The settlers raised the Israeli flag and organized a march in the area.
On 10 November 2013, dozens of Israeli settlers living in settlement located near Taqqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem, closed the western entrance of the village. The settlers raised the Israeli flag and provoked Palestinian civilians. Later, Israeli forces blocked the road leading to Khirbat al-Deir area in the northwest of the village with sand barriers.
Israeli has continued to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli authorities forced a Palestinian civilian to demolish his house.
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, dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation, and others sustained bruises.
Following the Friday Prayer, 18 November 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Bil’in, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. Demonstrators took the streets raising the Palestinian flags and headed to the liberated territories near the annexation wall. Israeli forces had closed all the entrances of the village since morning to prevent the Palestinian and international activists and journalists from participating in the demonstration. Demonstrators marched adjacent to the cement wall and tried to cross the fence before Israeli forces that are stationed behind the wall, in the western area, and a large number of soldiers deployed along it fired live bullets, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs and skunk water at them and chased them in olive fields. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by Israeli soldiers.
On the same day, dozens of Palestinian civilians organised a peaceful demonstration in the middle of Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. Demonstrators took the streets and headed to the annexation wall. Israeli forces closed the gates of the wall with barbwires and prevented the demonstrators from passing to the land behind it before they responded by throwing stones. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and bruises due to being beaten up by Israeli soldiers.
Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities, in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. Demonstrators took the streets raising the Palestinian flags and chanting slogans against the occupation and in support of the Palestinian unity resistance, and then they headed to the lands that the settlers are trying to rob by force near “Halmish” settlement. Israeli forces had closed all the entrances of the village since morning to prevent the Palestinian and international activists and journalists from participating in the demonstration. When they arrived at the land, the demonstrators were met by live bullets, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs and skunk water and were chased into the village. As a result, a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by Israeli soldiers.
At approximately 12:30 on the same day, Palestinian civilians and international activists organised a peaceful demonstration in the centre of Kufor Qaddoum village, northwest of Qalqilia, and headed towards the eastern entrance of the village, in protest at the continued closure of the entrance with an iron gate, since the beginning of the Aqsa Intifada. Clashes erupted between the demonstrators and Israeli forces that fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters to prevent them from reaching the aforementioned gate. As a result, a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.
Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Ma’assara village, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The demonstration started in front of the Candles Cultural Centre in the centre of the village. Demonstrators moved in the streets raising the Palestinian flag. When they arrived at the area where the annexation wall is established, Israeli forces started firing tear gas canisters in attempt to disperse them and prevented the demonstrators from reaching the annexation wall. A number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.
At approximately 08:30 on Monday, 11 November 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered at the entrance of Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, to commemorate the 9th anniversary of President Yasser Arafat’s death. They threw stones at an Israeli military observation tower in the area. Immediately, Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, Mohammed Bassem Tamimi, 11, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right side, and other civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.
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 he UN General Assembly 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.
The PCHR also calls upon the United Nations to confirm that holding war criminals in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a precondition to achieve stability and peace in the regions, and that peace cannot be built on the expense of human rights and victims.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: