In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 12- 18 December 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 6 others in Jenin refugee camp in the north of the West Bank. A Palestinian civilian died of previous wounds in Bethlehem.Israeli forces have continued to open fire at the border areas in the Gaza Strip. 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded in the northern and southern Gaza Strip.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
On Wednesday evening, 18 December 2013, in an excessive use of lethal force, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 6 others in Jenin refugee camp in Jenin. According to investigations conducted by PCHR and statements of eyewitnesses, at approximately 20:30, Israeli undercover units sneaked into al-Saha area, in the centre of Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, using a minibus with a Palestinian registration plate and the slogan of the ‘Palestine Telecommunications Company’ on it. The vehicle stopped in front of a house belonging to Jamal Abdul Salam Abu al-Haija, a prisoner in an Israeli jail. Members in the ‘Palestine Telecommunications Company’ costume stepped out of the vehicle and opened fire at a group of Palestinian young men, who were standing in front of a cafe below the abovementioned house. As a result, Nafe’ Jamil Nafe’ al-Sa’di (23) was shot dead, while 6 others were wounded, 2 of whom sustained serious wounds. Moreover, Israeli forces abducted a wounded person whose wound has not been identified yet. It should be noted that Israeli forces planned to target Abu al-Haija’s son namely Hamza (21), a member of Hamas movement, but he escaped the arrest or extra-judicial execution. Israeli forces then moved into Jenin refugee camp and topped some houses overlooking al-Saha area. They secured the withdrawal of the undercover units by firing sound bombs and tear gas canisters. In addition, they took the corpse of the killed Nafe’ al-Sa’di and abducted the wounded Ali al-Sa’di. The Palestinian military liaison office received the corpse of al-Sa’di through al-Jalama crossing, north of Jenin, while Ali al-Sa’di has been in custody so far.
In the same context, Medical sources at al-Maqased Charitable Hospital in East Jerusalem pronounced Mo’een Mohammed al-Atrash (28), from al-Dheisha refugee camp southwest of Bethlehem, dead of wounds he had sustained in 2004.
During the past week, Israeli forces conducted 21 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. At least 12 Palestinians were abducted.
As part of using military checkpoints and border crossings as traps to arrest Palestinian civilians under the pretext they are wanted, Israeli forces abducted at least 3 civilians in the West Bank.
Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child and 2 farmers, were wounded. On 14 December 2013, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when Israeli forces stationed along the border fence opened fire at him while he was about 200 meters to the east of al-Najjar neighbourhood in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis.
On the same day, Israeli forces stationed on the northern borders between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired a number of artillery shells at open area, north of Um al-Nasser Bedouin village, and northwest of al-Nada housing project, but no casualties were reported.
On 15 December 2013, a farmer from Ezbet Beit Hanoun was wounded when Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, northeast of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of framers who were 500 meters away from the said fence. Farmer Ali Khaled Abu Ouda, Mohammed’s brother-in-law, said that he has worked in harvesting and collecting vegetables for a week, while Mohammed has worked on this field for over a month. On Sunday, they headed to Abu Shammas land, northeast of Boret Abu Samra. They started work at 07:00 and the area was calm. Suddenly, they heard gunfire by Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence. A few moments later, Mohammed al-Shenbari was wounded by a bullet to the left leg, so he fell onto the ground and screamed out of severe pain. Some farmers ran towards him and found blood on his leg. They carried him and ran about 70 meters away. They then put him on a tractor belonging to a farmer and drove him to an ambulance of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS). The ambulance took the wounded person to Kamal Odwan Hospital to receive the necessary medical treatment.
On 16 December 2013, another farmer, from Jabalia, was wounded when Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of farmers who were about 600 meters away from the said fence.
On 17 and 18 December 2013, Israeli forces stationed in watchtowers, east of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at a number of farmers, shepherds and bird hunters in the east of Beit Hanoun. As a result, they all fled away fearing of being wounded.
In the context of targeting fishermen in the sea, on 16 and 17 December 2013, Israeli forces stationed off al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia, opened sporadic fire at Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing about 3 nautical miles off the shore. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the oPt and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world. 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 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 17 December 2013, Israeli forces issued a decision to confiscate 10 dunums of land in Qasrah village, southeast of Nablus. These confiscated lands are in “al-Wa’ar” area, which has always been attacked by settlers from “Yish Kodish” settlement established on the aforementioned village’s lands.
Local sources in Qasrah village said that ‘Abdel ‘Azim Wadi, head of the village council, was surprised on the aforementioned day morning with a call from the Israeli Liaison informing him about the decision. Wadi then contacted the Palestinian Liaison and Nablus as they confirmed receiving a copy of the decision.
Ghassan Daghlas, a researcher in settlement affairs in the northern West Bank, said that the Israeli Liaison officially informed the Palestinian side that they confiscated 10 dunums of farmlands in the area between “Yish Kodish” outpost and the southern Qasrah lands. He added that Israeli forces informed the Palestinian side that Palestinians are denied access to the area and its surroundings, an area of approximately 500 dunums of agricultural lands, i.e. confiscating another 500 dunums later.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
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. As a result, many protestors suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up by Israeli soldiers.
In spite of the bad weather, following the Friday Prayer, 13 December 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, supporting the al-Aqsa mosque and the Islamic and Christian religious sites. 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 civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were 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 as they were 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.
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.
In addition, 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: