In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 13 – 19 March, 2014, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that, during the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child. They also wounded 7 Palestinian civilians, including a child and Norwegian activist in the West Bank; 5 of whom, including the Norwegian activist, were wounded in the protests organized against the annexation wall, while a civilian was wounded in other protests. Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces launched 3 airstrikes on 13 and 14 March, 2014, as a result of which 26 greenhouses were completely destroyed and 20 others were partially damaged, but no casualties were reported.
On 17 March, 2014, Israeli forces, positioned on watchtowers in the vicinity of Beit Hanoun crossing and north of Um al-Nasser village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at open areas, but no casualties were reported.
In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea, Israeli navy forces opened fire 4 times at Palestinian fishing boats on 15, 16 and 17 March, 2014. As a result, a store belonging to a Palestinian fisherman was completely destroyed, but no casualties were reported.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, on 19 March, 2014, Israeli forces stationed around the annexation wall, west of Doura, southwest of Hebron, killed a Palestinian child and wounded 2 others in company.
In the same context, Israeli forces used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations, organised by Palestinian civilians with international and Israeli human rights defenders, in protest of the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 4 Palestinian civilians and a Norwegian activist were wounded.
In the same context, an 18-year-old Palestinian civilian sustained a bullet wound to the right leg during a protest at the southern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, on 14 March, 2014.
On 13 March, 2014, 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded when Israeli forces fired at a number of youngsters gathered at a funeral in the cemetery of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, near the bypass road (60).
The detainees included a reporter of Palestine Today satellite channel and Tramsat News Agency crew. In addition, Israeli forces abducted a leader of the Hamas movement who had previously served 13 years in Israeli jails. On 16 March, 2014, at approximately 12:00, Israeli forces abducted Feda’ Abdul Fattah Nasser (25), a reporter of Palestine Today satellite channel, and the crew of Tramsat news agency after detaining them at the entrance of al-Shuhada’ Street, in the centre of Hebron. A female settler had attacked the reporter. The reporter, with photographer Mohanned Abu Zalata, were taken to ‘Kiryat Arba’ police station, east of Hebron. They were released a few hours later, after the intervention of the Palestinian liaison. ”
Abu Zalata said to a PCHR fieldworker: ‘I have been a trainee photographer in Tramsat news agency since late 2013. At approximately 10:30 on Sunday, 15 March, 2014, I went with my colleague Mahmoud Khalaf (27) and Fida Abdul Fattah Nasser, a reporter of Palestine Today satellite channel in Hebron, to Tal al-Rumaida area and al-Shuhada’ Street to prepare a reportage on the impact of the settler attacks on the Palestinian civilians during Jewish holidays. We crossed the street where the Container checkpoint is established and headed to Tal al-Rumaida area. We had interviews with the residents and, then, moved to the entrance of the street to make the last part of the reportage. A large group of settlers were present in the street, performing rituals of the ‘Purim’ Jewish holiday. In the meanwhile, a female settler approached, with a camera in her hand, and tried to hit Fida’ while preparing the reportage, but Fida’ pushed the camera away. The settler started screaming, due to which a number of settlers gathered around us. One of them tried to attack Fida’, but I prevented him. Another settler poured a glass of wine over Fida’. Some soldiers arrived and got the settlers away. A soldier ordered us to leave as well. When we approached the above mentioned checkpoint to leave the area, the above mentioned female settler with another one started shouting and asking Fida’ about her name. In addition, she talked to a soldier who followed her, in Hebrew, telling him that Fida’ had attacked her. The soldier ordered us to stop, but we had already crossed the checkpoint. Half an hour later, an Israeli policeman arrived and obliged us to return. We tried to explain what had happened, but he ordered Fida to go with him to the police station. We asked him to wait for lawyer Khitam al-Heeh, whom was called by us, but he refused and said that he would use force if she refused to go with him. I went with Fida’ to the police station in ‘Kiryat Arba’ settlement, east of Hebron. We waited for an hour with the company of the lawyer. The aforementioned female settler arrived and photographed us. She then entered the interrogation room. Half an hour later, she went out and Fida’ was asked to enter there. She asked them to have the lawyer with her, but they refused. 45 minutes later, Fida’ went out and was taken to another room. She told me later that she finger-stamped some papers and was photographed. Fida’ told us, also, that the settler had told the police that Fida attacked her. The interrogator told her there were photographs proving the incident. Fida’ denied the accusation and handed them our video tape, which proved the opposite. Moreover, Fida’ filed a complaint against the settlers who attacked us. She was released at approximately 16:20. There was a vehicle belonging to the Palestinian liaison waiting for us.’
In the afternoon, Israeli forces abducted Mohammed Jehad Mohammed Salah (20), from Barqa village, northwest of Nablus, while he was in Salem detention facility, northwest of Jenin, to attend a trial of a relative in the Israeli military court there.
On 17 March, 2014, Israeli forces moved into the eastern al-Lubban village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a house, confiscated cell phones and abducted the family’s breadwinner.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank, and Israeli settlers continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. Settlers uprooted 90 olive trees in Nablus and Hebron. 3 civilians were injured by glass shrapnel of their vehicle that was hit by a bottle.
On 14 March, 2014, Israeli settlers from “Sousia” settlement, established on the lands confiscated from the southern part of Yatta, south of Hebron, cut down by handsaw 40 olive trees, which are 6 years old and belonging to Karam Yousif ‘Awad Shatat.
On 15 March, 2014, Israeli settlers from “Eitamar” settlement, established in the east of Beit Fourik village, east of Nablus, stormed the eastern outskirts of the aforementioned village under the Israeli forces’ protection. Children and young men gathered to throw stones at the Israeli military vehicles and settlers. Israeli forces, in response, fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them.
On 16 March, 2014, a bottle was thrown at a Palestinian car driven by Hazem Ishtayyah (65) from Salem village, northeast of Nablus, while it was travelling on Street (55) between Za’atrah intersection, south of Nablus, and Jericho. The car was coming from Jericho and heading towards Nablus. 7 civilians were traveling by car, on their way back from Saudi Arabia, after performing Umrah (the lesser Islamic pilgrimage) rituals. When they were 400 meters away from “Majdolim” settlement, they were surprised by a white car with an Israeli registration plate coming from the opposite direction. The driver saw someone dressed in civilian clothes waving from the left window with something in his hand. When the Palestinian car approached the Israeli one, a green bottle was thrown at the car. The bottle hit the windshield of the Palestinian car and glass scattered on the passengers.
On 18 March, 2014, an Israeli settler from “Yitshar” settlement cut down 50 olive trees in al-Sawma’ah area near Hawarah Park in the northwest of Hawarah village, south of Nablus. These trees belong to Fawzi Hasan Mohammed Hussein, from the nearby ‘Aynabous village. Israeli forces abducted the settler and informed the Palestinian Liaison.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank. 4 Palestinian civilians and a Norwegian activist were wounded in protests organized against the annexation wall. A Palestinian boy was wounded in a protest at the entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah.
Following the Friday Prayer, 14 March, 2014, 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 to 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 the morning, in order to prevent 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, chasing them into the olive fields. As a result, the Norwegian activist, Katia (36), was hit by a gas canister to the back. Moreover, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten by Israeli soldiers.
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 crossing 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 by Israeli soldiers.
Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians, with Israeli and international human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Nabi Saleh village, southwest of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. Demonstrators made their way in 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 the morning, to prevent Palestinian and international activists and journalists from participating in the demonstration. When they arrived on 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, while others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by Israeli soldiers.
Following the Friday prayer, 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 (2000). 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, 4 civilians were wounded: a 42-year-old male was hit by a gas canister to the head; an 18-year-old male was hit by a gas canister to the chest; a 22-year-old male was hit by a gas canister to the abdomen; and a 24-year-old male was hit by a gas canister to the back.
On Friday, 14 March, 2014, dozens of children and young men gathered at the southern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They were about 300 meters away from the fence of ‘Beit Eil’ settlement. Israeli forces stationed in the area fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, an 18-year-old male sustained a bullet wound to the right leg. He was taken to Palestine Medical Compound in Ramallah. In addition, dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces also abducted Fahmi Abdul Rahman al-Bariya (28) and took him to an unknown destination.
On the same day, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered at the western entrance of Selwad village, northeast of Ramallah, on the road between Selwad village and Yabrod village near Street (60,) to throw stones at the aforementioned street. As a result, Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them and chased them to the village. As a result, dozens 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 UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council explicitly declare that the Israeli closure policy in Gaza and the annexation wall in the West Bank are illegal, and accordingly refer the two issues to the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Israel, to compel it into removing them.
In addition, PCHR calls upon the international community, in light of its failure to the stop the aggression on the Palestinian people, to at least fulfill its obligation to reconstruct the Gaza Strip after the series of hostilities launched by Israel, which directly targeted the civilian infrastructure
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: