In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 09-15 January 2014, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that, during the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 13 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and a woman, and an international activist, 10 of whom were wounded during weekly protests throughout the West Bank. One was wounded at the northern entrance of Ayda refugee camp and 3 others, including one civilian and 2 members of an armed group, were wounded in airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 72 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. At least 66 Palestinians, including 7 children, were abducted.
Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. At least 2 Palestinian civilians were abducted at checkpoints in the West Bank.
On 09 January 2014, Israeli forces, backed by military vehicles, moved into Um Sararah area adjacent to Kherbet al-Fakhit (al-Mosafer area), southeast of Yatta town south of Hebron. Israeli forces patrolled the vicinity of the area and deployed on the farmlands. They prevented the movement of civilians and declared it a closed military zone. Israeli soldiers confiscated barbed wire and uprooted a large number of woodland trees, which were less than 1 year old and were planted to establish a nature reserve on a 1000-dunum land donated by the Mehmed family to the Ministry of Agriculture. The project was funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
On 12 January 2014, Israeli forces accompanied by officers from the Civil Administration and police officers confiscated a green John Deere tractor belonging to Mustafa ‘Aqab Ban ‘Odah when he was working on a farmland in al-Ra’s al-Ahmar area north of the Jordan Valley, east of Tubas.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces carried out 5 airstrikes, 2 shooting incidents along the border fence and 6 shooting incidents at Palestinian fishing boats.
On 09 January 2014, 2 members of an armed group were wounded when an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a motorcycle, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. Moreover, a 3-year-old child sustained minor injuries by glass fragments.
On the same day, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a training site belonging to al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad), west of Rafah. The same training site was attacked again 15 minutes later, but no casualties were reported in either attack.
On 11 January 2014, a civilian was wounded when Israeli forces stationed along the border fence east of Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group young men who were a few meters away from the fence. On 14 January 2014, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence east of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire sporadically at farmlands for an hour, but no casualties were reported.
On 13 January 2014, Israeli warplanes launched 3 airstrikes against training sites belonging to Palestinian armed groups south of Deir al-Balah and northeast of al-Nusseirat, in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, the sites were damaged, and a 3-year-old child was wounded by glass fragments as he was standing with his father in front of a grocery, east of al-Nuseirat. Besides, 2 UNRWA schools and over 20 houses sustained partial damage.
In the context of targeting fishermen in the sea, Israeli forces fired at fishermen 6 times on 11, 13, 14 and 15 January 2014, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
Israel has continued to impose a total closure 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 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 13 January 2014, settlers from “Ma’oon” settlement established on Palestinians lands, east of Yatta town south of Hebron, cut and smashed branches of 20 old olive trees, by handsaws, in Mo’in Valley area belonging to Khader Mos’ef al-‘Amour and his brothers from al-Tawani village, east of the town.
On 14 January 2014, around 300 settlers from “Kiryat Arbaa’” settlement and “Hafat Jal” outpost, established on confiscated Palestinian lands east of Hebron, organized a demonstration in Khelet ‘Abdoh area in the eastern area of the city. The demonstration was organized under intensive guard by Israeli forces and police. They entered farmlands belonging to the al-Zaro and Abu Rmeilah families, damaging stone chains. They planted a number of olive trees in the lands confiscated by the Israeli forces since 1972, under the pretext that they are military training areas, to which their owners are denied access into them. This comes in an attempt by settlers to seize this land for the benefit of settlement expansion projects in “Hafat Jal” outpost.
On 15 January 2014, a group of settlers set fire to Imam Ali bin Abi Talib Mosque in Deir Estiya village, north of Salfit, and wrote hostile slogans on its wall in Hebrew. Settlers set fire in the vicinity of the mosque, so carpets at the entrance were burnt and continued burning till fire extended into the mosque burning a part of it.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli forces attacked a number of non-violent demonstrations organized by Palestinians, wounding ten protesters.
Following the Friday Prayer, 10 January 2014, dozens of Palestinian civilians, with 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 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, 4 protestors, including a woman and an international activist, were wounded. Moreover, dozens of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation, and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up by Israeli soldiers. A 33-year-old civilian sustained a bullet wound to the back; a 19-year-old civilian sustained a bullet wound to the right leg; a 23-year-old woman sustained a bullet wound to the left leg; and a 28-year-old international activist was hit by a gas canister to the left leg.
On the same day, dozens of Palestinian civilians organised a peaceful demonstration in the centre 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 barbed wire and prevented the demonstrators from passing to the land behind it before they responded by throwing stones. As a result, a 39-year-old civilian sustained a bullet wound to the right leg. 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, a 14-year-old girl sustained a bullet wound to the right shoulder and an 18-year-old civilian sustained a bullet wound to the back. Many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and bruises due to being beaten by Israeli soldiers.
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 them from reaching the annexation wall.
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 who fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters to prevent them from reaching the aforementioned gate. As a result, 3 civilians, including a child, were wounded. A 27-year-old civilian was hit by a gas canister to the leg, a 43-year-old civilian was hit by a tear gas canister to the lower back and a 17-year-old civilian was hit by a tear gas canister to the back.
At approximately 12:35 on Sunday, 12 January 2014, dozens of Palestinian children and young men gathered at the northern entrance of Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers who were positioned at the northern entrance of the camp. The Israeli soldiers fired gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets in response. As a result, a number of protesters and civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.
At approximately 16:00 on Wednesday, 15 January 2014, dozens of Palestinian boys and civilians gathered at the northern entrance of Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers who were positioned at the northern entrance of the camp. The Israeli soldiers fired gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets in response. As a result, a 19-year-old civilian sustained a bullet wound to the left leg. He was taken to Beit Jala hospital, where his wound was described as moderate. In addition, a number of protesters 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: