In its weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, for the week of 19 – 25 December 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces launched a series of aerial and land attacks on the Gaza Strip. A child was killed and a woman and her 2 children were wounded in al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip.Israeli forces have continued to open fire at the border areas in the Gaza Strip. In excessive use of force, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded his brother, in the northern Gaza Strip. 8 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded in the northern and southern Gaza Strip.
In addition, a member of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service was killed in Qalqilia, and a child was wounded during an Israeli incursion into Tulkarem.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
During the reporting period, in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinians, including a 3-year-old child, and wounded 12 others, including 3 children and a mother of 2 of them, in several aerial and land attacks in the Gaza Strip and other shooting incidents along the border fence. In the West bank, Israeli forces killed a member of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service (GIS), in Qalqilia, and wounded 8 civilians, including a child in Bil’in weekly protest, west of Ramallah. Moreover, a child was wounded in an Israeli incursion into Tulkarm.
In the Gaza Strip, on 20 December 2013, in an excessive use of lethal force, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded his brother while they were near the border fence, north of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, Israeli forces used excessive force, as the crime was committed in the daylight and it was clear they were civilians collecting plastics and metals near the border fence.
On 24 December, 2013, after an Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper on the borders of the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces launched several aerial and land attacks on civilian objects and on training sites of Palestinian armed groups. As a result, a child was killed and a woman and her 2 children were wounded.
On 20 December, 2013, 2 civilians, including a child and a coal-supplier, were wounded when a group of civilians headed to the east of Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip, and threw stones at Israeli soldiers positioned along the border fence. Israeli soldiers opened fire at the stone throwers, wounding 2 of them, including a child, and a coal-supplier standing in front of his shop around 70 meters away from the borderline.
On the same day, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded when Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at a group of civilians who were present on agricultural lands to the west of the border fence.
On 21 December, 2013, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at a group of civilians present on agricultural lands and streets to the south of the border fence.
On 23 December 2013, a Palestinian civilian was wounded by 3 bullets when Israeli forces stationed along the border fence in Beit Lahia opened fire at him when he was at Beit Lahia beach.
On 24 December, 2013, a worker was wounded by 2 bullets to the right hand and thigh when Israeli forces stationed on the northern borders of the Gaza Strip opened fire at a group of workers who were collecting metals in the al-Ghoul area, northwest of Beit Lahia, about 200 meters away from the fence.
In the context of targeting fishermen in the sea, on 20 December, 2013, Israeli forces stationed off al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia, opened fire sporadically at Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing about 3 nautical miles offshore. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
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 37 Palestinians, including a child.
On Thursday, December 19th, In the early morning, Israeli forces killed a member of the GIS, in the centre of Qalqilia. They claimed that he opened fire at Israeli soldiers when they tried to arrest him, so they repeated the fire. Moreover, Israeli forces claimed he was wanted because he ‘opened fire at Israeli soldiers on several occasions in the past few weeks’. They added that they seized a weapon and ammunition in the scene. However, there were no Palestinian eyewitnesses, excluding a Palestinian taxi driver who took the victim to the hospital and has been kept in custody by the GIS. Therefore, PCHR fieldworkers could not meet him.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 03:00, on the above mentioned day, Saleh Samir Abdul Rahim Yassin (27), from Qalqilia, received a phone call from a friend. He immediately went out of his house in Nazzal neighbourhood, on Nablus road, telling his wife that he would be back in 15 minutes. A few minutes later, gunfire was heard in the area. A friend of his, the taxi driver, saw him as he was getting back after he drove some workers to Qalqilia checkpoint. He drove Saleh to the UNRWA hospital in the city, where he passed away. The victim’s cousin said to a PCHR fieldworker that he saw his cousin’s corpse in the hospital’s morgue and noticed that a single bullet entered the right side of his chest and exited the left side of it. He added that he heard the sound of 4 bullets only, which means that fire was opened at him once he went out into the street.
Also this week, Israeli forces maltreated the family of Ramzi Ahmed Abdullah Mohammed (26), from Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem. They blew up the main door of the house and released a sniffer dog inside.
On 24 December, 2013, Israeli forces distributed leaflets threatening residents of al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, as the leaflets had portraits of fathers whose sons ‘were involved in violence acts against Israeli citizens.’
On 25 December 2013, a child was wounded when Israeli forces moved into Tulkarm, and responded by firing sound bombs and tear gas canisters at stone throwers.
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, 8 protestors, including a child, were wounded in Bil’in weekly protest. In addition, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up by Israeli soldiers in that protest and other protests in the West Bank.
In spite of the cold weather, following the Friday Prayer, 20 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 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 into olive fields. As a result, 8 civilians, including a child, were wounded and a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation, while 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 center of Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest of 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 barbed wire 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.
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, southwest 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 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, 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, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and 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 of 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, who 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.
At approximately 15:00, a group of boys and young men gathered at the western entrance of Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah, on Silwad-Yabroud road near road 60. throwing stones at the said road. In response, Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters, due to which a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.
Israeli settlement activities…
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 High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions fulfill their obligation to ensure the application of the Conventions, including extending the scope of their jurisdiction in order to prosecute suspected war criminals, regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator and the place of a crime, to pave the way for prosecuting suspected Israeli war criminals and end the longstanding impunity they have enjoyed;
The PCHR calls on states that apply the principle of universal jurisdiction not to surrender to Israeli pressure to limit universal jurisdiction in perpetuation of the impunity enjoyed by suspected Israeli war criminals;
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: