PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

12 May
1:25 AM

In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 24 – 29 April, 2014, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces conducted at least 98 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 44 Palestinians, including 2 children and a woman. Israel also continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli attacks in the West Bank & Gaza:

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles moved into Nablus and Balatah refugee camp, east of the city. They deployed around Joseph’s Tomb to secure the settler buses arriving to the area for religious rituals. A number of boys gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who fired sound bombs, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets in response. As a result, a 17-year-old Palestinian, from Balatah refugee camp, sustained 2 bullet wounds to the abdomen and right leg. His wound was moderate (PCHR keeps his name).

Around the same time, Israeli forces with infantry units moved into Marah Rabah area, south of Bethlehem. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a number of houses. Some of the raided houses belong to the families of: Khalil Abdul Rahman al-Sheikh; Yusef Abdul Karim al-Sheikh; Hamdan Ahmed al-Sheikh and Samih Mahmoud Thawabtah. Israeli forces arrested Ahmed Nayef al-Sabbah (20) from his house and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron. They patrolled the streets then raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Tmaizi (21). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Oula village, west of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Yusef Mohammed al-‘Okul (29). They arrested the aforementioned person and his sister (31) and took them to an unknown destination.

At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into Jenin refugee camp, adjacent to Jenin city. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Rakan Jamal Abdullah Nasharti (20). They arrested the aforementioned and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 18:30, Israeli forces stationed in watchtowers at and around Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, northwest of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of stone and gravel collectors, who were present in the destroyed industrial zone, west of the crossing. As a result, Mostafa Adeeb Diab (18), from Ezbet Beit Hanoun, sustained a bullet wound to the right leg. His wound was moderate.

Thursday, 01 May 2014

Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into several neighbourhoods, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Ali Abu Turki in Tal’at Abu Hadeed area. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported. Israeli forces also raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mahmoud Sa’id Abu Romouz (18), in Qaytoun neighbourhood. They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Tarqoumia village, west of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Hesham Abu Zalata (29). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 09:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Khalayel area, east of Beit Ommar village, north of Hebron. They deployed in the area, prevented Palestinian civilians from working in their lands and forced them to leave at gunpoint. Some lands belong to Hani Abdullah Ikhlail; Omar Mohammed Ikhlail and Bassam Badawi Ikhlail.

At approximately 20:00, Israeli gunboats chased a number of Palestinian fishing boats and opened fire at them. The fishing boats were sailing about a nautical mile off Rafah shore, in the southern Gaza Strip. Israeli forces confiscated 56 pieces of fishing nets (2,800 meters long) belonging to a number of fishermen. Following is the damage:

1. 12 pieces of fishing nets (600 meters long) belonging to Omar Mohammed al-Bardaweel (51);
2. 6 pieces of fishing nets (300 meters long) belonging to Samir Ali al-Bardaweel;
3. 10 pieces of fishing nets (500 meters lomg) belonging to Khalil Abdullah al-Bardaweel (40);
4. 10 pieces of fishing nets (500 meters long) belonging to Khaled Omar Mesleh (50);
5. 10 pieces of fishing nets (500 meters long) belonging to Mohammed Ibrahim Meqdad (18); and
6. 8 pieces of fishing nets (400 meters long) belonging to Abdul ‘Aziz Fayez Soboh (30).

At approximately 23:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Ja’bari neighbourhood, south of Hebron. They raided a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Bajes al-Ja’bari (38). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

Friday, 02 May 2014

At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Nablus and Balata refugee camp, east of the city. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested 2 civilians from the old town:

1. Mohammed Ahmed ‘Akoub (23); and
2. Samer Mahmoud Hanoun (25).

At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Shyoukh al-‘Aroub area, northeast of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and deployed between the houses. In addition, they raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Ahmed Haroun al-Halayqa (52). Israeli forces withdrew later and no arrests were reported. In the meanwhile, Israeli forces raided a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Haroun al-Halayqa (48). They arrested his son Sa’ed (22). At approximately 03:30, a number of youngsters gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli forces during withdrawal. As a result, Israeli forces fired sound bombs. A number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.

Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into several neighbourhoods in the centre of Yatta, south of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and stationed in al-Baq’a neighbourhood. They also raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Ahmed Mousa al-Najjar. Israeli forces arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Taqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Amjad Nayef al-Sabbah (29). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Fayez Ahmed al-Tmaizi (29). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into the south of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Sa’id Abu Turki (22). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 19:00, Israeli navy forces stationed off Khan Yunis shore, in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats for about 2 hours. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

Saturday, 03 May 2014

At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Baita village, southeast of Nablus. They patrolled the streets and raided a number of houses. They arrested Yazan Essa Abdul Mo’ti (18) and took him to an unknown destination.

Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Jinsafout village, east of Qalqilia. They raided a house belonging to the family of Ahmed Mahmoud Bashir (22). They handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli intelligence service. Israeli forces withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

Also around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Samer Essa ‘Awad (33). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Fahes area, south of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and stationed in al-Mahjar area. They raided a house belonging to the family of Yusef Rabah Abu Snaina (19). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Shyoukh al-‘Aroub area, northeast of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Haroun Ahmed al-Halayqa (24). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Sheikh neighbourhood, in the centre of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Nabil Mahmoud al-Rajabi (29). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At around 19:50, Israeli forces moved into Salfit. They patrolled the streets, where a number of boys gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers, who fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters in response. As a result, a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. Furthermore, a vehicle belonging to Na’el Yusef Abdul Hafez sustained damage when a military jeep hit the vehicle that was parked on the side of the street. At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces withdrew later, and neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

Na’el said to PCHR’s fieldworker:

‘At approximately 22:45 on Saturday, 03 May 2014, I was sitting with my family in the balcony overlooking the main street. Suddenly, Israeli forces in 2 military jeeps arrived. The first jeep fled away while the second approached my car and hit it deliberately although it was away from it. The car (Opel Corsa 2008) sustained damage in the body and tyres.’

At approximately 21:00, Israeli navy forces stationed off Khan Yunis shore, in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at and chased Palestinian fishing boats. Neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

Sunday, 04 May 2014

At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Barqa village, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested 3 civilians:

1. Mo’een Walid Abu Omar (22);
2. Adham Hera’ Abu Nafisa (21); and
3. Montaser Mohammed Salah (41).

Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Asakra village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Yehya Ibrahim al-‘Asakra (26). They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Madama village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to journalist Mo’aweya Ya’qoub Nassar (22). They confiscated his camera and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 09:30, Talal Khaled Saif (18), from Barqa village, northwest of Nablus, headed to Hawara detention facility, southeast of the city, upon a summons he received earlier. Saif entered the facility and his father was waiting outside until 16:00, when he received a phone call from his wife. She told him that she received a call from Hawara detention facility informing her that Talal was detained there.

At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces moved into the southwest of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. A number of youngsters gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who chased them and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters in response. As a result, a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.

At approximately 17:00, Israeli forces moved into Termis’ya village, north of Ramallah. They patrolled the streets and stationed at the entrance of the village. Israeli forces arrested 2 children and took them to Benjamin police station. The two children were identified as: Yusef Mohammed Jbarah (15); and Mohammed Tha’er Suleiman (16).

Monday, 05 May 2014

At approximately 1:00, Israeli forces moved into Bethlehem. They patrolled the streets and stationed in al-Saff area in the centre of the city. Israeli forces raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Alaa’ Khader al-Hraimi (20). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Jenin refugee camp, adjacent to Jenin city. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Jamal Kharyoush (22). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 02:50, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aboud, northwest of Ramallah. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Ibrahim Mahmoud Barghouthi (43). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 19:00, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniya shore, west of Jabalia, and northwest off Beit Lahia shore in the northern Gaza Strip, chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. Israeli navy forces opened fire until at 05:00 on Tuesday, 06 May 2014. The fishermen sailed back fearing of being wounded or arrested. No casualties were reported, but the fisherman Ashraf Sobhi Sa’dAllah (31), from Jabalia refugee camp, lost 5 pieces of fishing nets. Besides, 2 torches attached to the fishing net were damaged due to gunfire. It should be noted that Israeli soldiers on board of gunboats were swearing at fishermen via megaphones.

Wednesday, 07 May 2014

At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Halhoul village, north of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Ahmed Abu Raya. Israeli forces withdrew later and no arrests were reported. In the meantime, Israeli forces raided and searched 2 other houses from which they arrested 3 civilians: Mohanned Yusef Zama’ra (21); his brother ‘Anan (19) and Ahmed Omar Mansour (20).

At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested 7 civilians:

1. ‘Awwad Abed Salimiya (40)’
2. His son Ezz al-Din (18);
3. Morshed Abdullah al-Tmaizi (35);
4. Ziad Hassan ‘Awwad;
5. Mohammed Ahmed ‘Awawda (20);
6. Khalil Mahmoud ‘Awawda (23); and
7. Mahmoud Ahmed ‘Awawda (22).

Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Suleiman ‘Eid Abu Jarour (30). They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Nahalin village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Abdul Karim Shakarna (20). They kept his family in a room and attacked them. Israeli forces arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 15:40, Israeli forces stationed along the border, east of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of Palestinian militants who were about 350 meters away from the said fence. As a result, a militant sustained a bullet wound to the left leg. He was taken to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, where they found his wound moderate.

Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:

During the reporting period, Israeli soldiers used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations organised by Palestinian civilians, international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded, dozens of protestors suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up by Israeli soldiers. A 20-year-old male was hit by a tear gas canister to the right thigh during Bil’in weekly protest, west of Ramallah. In addition, two civilians were wounded in Kufor Qaddoum protest, northwest of Qalqilia: the first one (38) sustained a bullet wound to the left leg; and the second one (47) sustained a bullet wound to the right leg.

In the same context, a 23-year-old male sustained a bullet wound to the left leg during a demonstration organized at the western entrance of Selwad village, northeast of Ramallah on the road between Selwad and Yabrod villages near Street (60).

(PCHR keeps the names of the wounded in fear of being arrested by the Israeli forces within its policy to oppress the peaceful protests and prevent Palestinian civilians from participating).

Demonstrations against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activity

Following the Friday Prayer, 02 May 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 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 and chased them into the olive fields. As a result, a 20-year-old civilian sustained a bullet wound to the right thigh. Moreover, a number of demonstrators 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 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 barbwires and prevented the demonstrators from crossing to the land behind it before they responded by throwing stones. Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the civilians. They also sprayed waste water at the civilians, and chased them into the village. 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 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 at the aforementioned 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 others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by Israeli soldiers.

Following the Friday prayer, at approximately 13:35, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders 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). Israeli forces fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters before the demonstrators arrive at the area. As a result, a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up by Israeli soldiers. In addition, two civilians were wounded: the first one (38) sustained a bullet wound to the left leg; and the second one (47) sustained a bullet wound to the right leg.

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 and sound bombs randomly at the demonstrators. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation.

Other Demonstrations

Following the Friday prayer, on 02 May 2014, 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. Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the civilians, and chased them into the village. As a result, a 23-year-old civilian sustained a bullet wound to the left leg. Moreover, a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up by Israeli soldiers.

At approximately 17:00 on Saturday, 03 May 2014, dozens of Palestinian journalists organized a demonstration on World Press Freedom Day in front of Beit Eil military checkpoint north of al-Birah and Ramallah. The journalists chanted slogans calling for the freedom of movement for Palestinian journalists and all local media institutions, and protecting them from Israeli forces’ attacks. Israeli soldiers started firing tear gas canisters and sound bombs at demonstrators. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and they were treated on the spot.

Continued closure of the oPt:

Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

Gaza Strip

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.
Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

The total closure of al-Mentar (‘Karni’) crossing since 02 March 2011 has seriously affected the economy of the Gaza Strip. Following this closure, all economic and commercial establishments in the Gaza Commercial Zone were shut off. It should be noted that al-Mentar crossing is the biggest crossing in the Gaza Strip, in terms of its capacity to absorb the flow of imports and exports. The decision to close al-Mentar crossing was the culmination of a series of decisions resulting in the complete closure of the Sofa crossing, east of the Gaza Strip in the beginning of 2009, and the Nahal Oz crossing, east of Gaza City, which were dedicated for the delivery of fuel and cooking gas to the Gaza Strip, in the beginning of 2010.

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

The cooking gas crisis has fluctuated for 9 months due to the closure of Karm Abu Salem for security claims. According to PCHR’s follow-up, Israeli authorities only allow an average of 98 tons of cooking gas into Gaza per day. This limited quantity is less than half of the daily needs, which is 200 tons per day of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip during winter. The crisis has unprecedentedly aggravated for around six weeks due to cold weather and overconsumption in addition to the power outage and using gas as an alternative in many instances of electricity. The lack of diesel and benzine led to the aggravation of the crisis as a result of using the gas cylinder for cars or as an alternative for benzine to run generators. As a result, the demand for gas further increased.

For almost 6 consecutive years, Israeli forces have continued to prevent the delivery of construction materials to the Gaza Strip. Two years ago, Israeli forces approved the delivery of limited quantities of construction materials for a number of international organizations in the Gaza Strip. On 17 September 2013, they allowed the entry of limited quantities of construction materials for the private sector. However, on 13 October 2013, they re-banned it claiming that these materials are used for constructing tunnels. Last week, Israeli forces allowed the entry of construction materials only for UNRWA and UNDP projects. As a result, construction works have completely stopped impacting all sectors related to construction and an increase in unemployment levels.

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices.

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel denied permission to access hospitals via the crossing for new categories of patients from the Gaza Strip.

The Egyptian authorities allow the population of the Gaza Strip to travel via Rafah International crossing, which connects the Gaza Strip with the outside world. Only limited and specified categories are allowed, including patients, students, persons that hold residencies in Egypt or abroad, men over 40 years, females in all ages, children under 18, persons who hold Arab and foreign nationalities, and members of Arab and international humanitarian delegations. Supposedly the crossing opens seven days a week. Nowadays, the crossing is overcrowded due to the prolonged procedures from the Egyptian side, particularly after closing it for several days over the past weeks due to Egypt’s security conditions, which has affected the travelers’ movement in both directions.

Settlement activities:

Israel has continued its settlement activities in the oPt, in a direct violation of international humanitarian law, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

Attacks carried out by Israeli forces

On 30 April 2014, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and a vehicle belonging to the Construction and Organization Department in the Civil Administration in addition to a military bulldozer and two diggers moved into al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They stationed in the al-Bus area, southeast of the camp and deployed in the area. The Israeli bulldozer leveled two residential houses under the pretext of building in a “C” area according to Oslo Accords without a prior license from the Israeli authorities.

On the same day, Israeli forces backed by 3 military vehicles and a vehicle belonging to the Construction and Organization Department in the Civil Administration moved into al-Nashash area, south of Bethlehem. They stationed in Um Rokbah area where they deployed, and a Civil Administration officer handed 3 civilians notices to halt construction in civilian facilities under the pretext of the lack of construction licenses. The notices gave the three civilians a period of 45 days to settle their legal affairs before the competent authorities in the Israeli Civil Administration.

On 02 May 2014, Israeli forces chopped down 30 forest and almond trees in al-‘Amayer and al-Rajmat areas in the eastern area of Madma village, south of Nablus. The Israeli soldiers used a machine saw in cutting the trees adjacent to “Yitshar” bypass road between the settlements in south of Nablus and the settlements in the east of Qalqilya. This happened one day after the farmers had found papers, which included cutting trees for security reasons, in the agricultural lands. Moreover, the residents were not allowed to object to the decision.

Attacks carried out by settlers

On 30 April 2014, settlers from “Afrat” settlement established on Palestinian lands, south of Bethlehem, uprooted around 50 olive seedlings, which are less than 2 years old, from the civilian lands in Khelet al-Nahlah area adjacent to Rahal Valley village, south of the city. Those trees belong to ‘Isa ‘Ali al-Ziyadah (50).

On 03 May 2014, settlers from “Beit ‘Ayen” and “Jab’out” settlements established on Palestinian lands, southwest of Bethlehem, cut the branches of 35 olive trees, aged between 20 to 30 years, and wrote racist phrases such as “Arabs are thieves” on some rocks under the sentence of “Price Tag”.

On 04 May 2014, settlers from “Hafal Jal” outpost established on Palestinian lands in Khelket ‘Abdoh area, east of Hebron, stormed the agricultural lands in Jales Mountain area and they were accompanied by a bulldozer and two trucks. The settlers leveled a land belonging to al-Zarou family and uploaded the sand in the two trucks to the aforementioned outpost.

Recommendations to the International Community:

PCHR emphasizes the international community’s position that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation, in spite of Israeli military redeployment outside the Gaza Strip in 2005. PCHR further confirms that Israeli forces continued to impose collective punishment measures on the Gaza Strip, which have escalated since the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, in which Hamas won the majority of seats of the Palestinian Legislative Council. PCHR stresses that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and the international humanitarian law, especially the Hague Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land and the Geneva Conventions. Israel is bound to apply the international human rights law and the law of war sometime reciprocally and other times in parallel in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for victims.

In light of continued arbitrary measures, land confiscation and settlement activities in the West Bank, and the continued aggression against civilians in the Gaza Strip, PCHR calls upon the international community, especially the United Nations, the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention and the European Union – in the context of their natural obligation to respect and enforce the international law – to cooperate and act according to the following recommendations:

1. PCHR calls upon the international community and the United Nations to 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;

2. PCHR calls upon the United Nations to provide international protection to Palestinians in the oPt, and to ensure the non-recurrence of aggression against the oPt, especially the Gaza Strip;

3. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to compel Israel, as a High Contracting Party to the Conventions, to apply the Conventions in the oPt;

4. PCHR calls upon the Parties to international human rights instruments, especially the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to pressurize Israel to comply with their provisions in the oPt, and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the concerned committees;

5. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfil 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;

6. PCHR calls on States that apply the principle of universal jurisdiction not to surrender to Israeli pressure to limit universal jurisdiction to perpetuate the impunity enjoyed by suspected Israeli war criminals;

7. PCHR calls upon the international community to act in order to stop all Israeli settlement expansion activities in the oPt through imposing sanctions on Israeli settlements and criminalizing trading with them;

8. PCHR calls upon the UN General Assembly to 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;

9. PCHR 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;

10. PCHR calls upon the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council to 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 to remove them;

11. PCHR calls upon the international community, in light of its failure to the stop the aggression on the Palestinian people, to at least fulfil its obligation to reconstruct the Gaza Strip after the series of hostilities launched by Israel which directly targeted the civilian infrastructure;

12. PCHR calls upon the United Nations and the European Union to express a clear position towards the annexation wall following the international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, as the annexation wall seizes large parts of the State of Palestine;

13. PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that both sides must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel, and the EU must not ignore Israeli violations and crimes against Palestinian civilians;

14. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian leadership to sign and accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Geneva Conventions, and calls upon the international community, especially the United Nations, to encourage the State of Palestine to accede to international human rights law and humanitarian law instruments.

Complete document, with charts and full report on Israeli patrols, in its entirety, at the PCHR official site, via link below.

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