PCHR Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (12 – 18 February 2015)

February 23, 2015 6:00 AM IMEMC & Agencies Human rights, News Report, Palestine 0
23 Feb
6:00 AM

Israeli forces have continued with systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) for the reporting period of 12 – 18 February 2015.Israeli attacks in the West Bank & Gaza:

Shootings:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli navy forces continued to chase and target Palestinian fishermen. Moreover, Israeli forces continued to open fire at border areas.

In the West Bank, in the same context, Israeli forces continued to use excessive forces against peaceful protests against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. As a result, photojournalist of al-Hayat al-Jadeeda newspaper sustained burns in the face because Israeli soldiers sprayed pepper spray on his face during Bil’in weekly protest, west of Ramallah. In addition, a child and 2 other civilians were wounded in other protests.

In the same context, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists suffered tear gas inhalation and other sustained bruises as they were beaten up by Israeli soldiers. Israeli soldiers arrested a member of the popular committee against the annexation wall and settlement activities in Bil’in village and took him to Ofer detention facility.

On 17 February 2015, secretary of Fatah movement in Jerusalem sustained shrapnel wound when Israeli forces raided Bab al-Quds village that was established by Palestinian and international solidarity activists in Abu Dees town, east of East Jerusalem, in protest at the settlement scheme ‘E1’.

In the Gaza Strip, on 16 February 2015, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of al-Shuhada cemetery, east of Jabalia in the north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at the border area. As a result, farmers, shepherds and bird hunters were frightened and fled, but no casualties were reported.

In the context of targeting fishermen, on 16 February 2015, Israeli navy forces stationed off al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia village, north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, fishermen were frightened and sailed back, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 58 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 46 Palestinians, including 3 children and 4 women. Seventeen of these Palestinians, including 3 children and the 4 women, were arrested in Jerusalem.

Restrictions on movement:

Israel 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.

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been 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 8 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 grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 1.8 million people. The Israeli authorities have 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. They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. During the reporting period, Israeli forces arrested a Palestinian patient who obtained a permit to travel to the West Bank for medical treatment, while another civilian accompanying his father was arrested while the father was denied travel for medical treatment.

Efforts to create Jewish majority:

On Tuesday, 17 February 2015, Israeli forces backed by a number of vehicles and 2 buses carrying dozens of settlers, stormed Bab al-Quds village that was established by Palestinian activists and international solidarity activists in Abu Dees town, east of East Jerusalem, in protest at ‘E1’ settlement scheme. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the activists. As a result, secretary of Fatah movement in Jerusalem, sustained a shrapnel wound of a sound bomb to the leg. He was taken to the clinic in Abu Dees town to receive the necessary medical treatment. Moreover, Israeli forces beat and arrested 3 Palestinian activists.

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property:

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

On Thursday morning, 12 February 2015, Israeli bulldozers guarded by the Israeli forces leveled lands in al-Maslabah area, west Deir Estia village near Salfit. The leveling process was carried out in the vicinity of ‘Yakir’ settlement, south of Qana Valley, to build new settlement units in the area that Israeli forces earlier announced.

On Tuesday, 17 February 2015, Israeli forces prevented civilians entering the lands in al-Asfir village adjacent to Mneizel area, east of Yata, south of Hebron, to plough them. Israeli forces claimed that the dozens of dunums from those lands that are part of ‘Beit Yatir’ settlement established on the Palestinian lands confiscated from the eastern area of the city.

On 18 February 2015, Israeli forces confiscated a hand building mixer in Kherbet al-Tawil area, east of ‘Arqabah village, east of Nablus.

On 18 February 2015, a number of settlers uprooted and broke around 550 olive seedlings that were planted in a 320-dunum area of land in al-Shyoukh, northeast of Hebron.

Use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall:

During the reporting period, Israeli soldiers used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations organized 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, Essam al-Rimawi, a photojournalist at al-Hayat al-Jadeeda newspaper, sustained burns in the face as Israeli soldiers sprayed pepper spray on his face. In addition, a child sustained a bullet wound to the right thigh during Kufor Qaddoum protest, northeast of Qalqilya, while 2 other civilians were wounded during another protest at the entrance of Azzoun village.

In the same context, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists suffered tear gas inhalation and other sustained bruises as they were beat up by Israeli soldiers during protest against the construction of the annexation wall and Israeli attacks. Moreover, Israeli forces arrested Mohammed Abdul Karim al-Khateeb, 39, a member of the popular committee against the annexation wall and settlement activities, and took him to Ofer detention facility, southwest of Ramallah.

(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, on 13 February 2015, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Bil’in, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The demonstrators took the streets raising the Palestinian flags and headed to the liberated territories near the annexation wall. Early in the morning, Israeli forces closed all entrances to the city to prevent Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders from participating in the protests. Protestors marched by the annexation wall and tried to cross the fence. Israeli soldiers 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 wastewater at them and chased them into the olive fields. As a result, 31-year-old Essam Huda al-Rimawi, photojournalist of al-Hayat al-Jadeeda newspaper, sustained burns in the face as Israeli soldiers sprayed pepper spray on his face. Moreover, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up by Israeli soldiers. Israeli forces detained Mohammed Abdul Karim Mostafa al-Khateeb (39), a member of the popular committee against the annexation wall and settlement activities, and took him to Ofer detention facility, southwest of Ramallah.

Around the same time, 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. The 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, and chased them into the village. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up.

Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in al-Nabi Saleh village, southwest of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The demonstrators made their way in the streets raising the Palestinian flags and chanting slogans against the occupation, 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, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up.

Also following the Friday prayer, at approximately 12:20, Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists organized a protest in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilya, heading to the eastern entrance of the village in protest against closing that entrance since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada with an iron gate. The demonstrators threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters in response. As a result, 17-year-old child sustained a bullet wound to the right thigh.

Also following the Saturday prayer, on 14 February 2015, at approximately 12:20, Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists organized a protest in the center of Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya, heading to the eastern entrance of the village in protest against closing that entrance since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada with an iron gate. The demonstrators threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters in response. As a result, 22-year-old civilian sustained a bullet wound to the head and another 19-year-old civilian sustained a bullet wound to the head too.

Other demonstrations

Also following the Friday prayer, on 13 February 2015, dozens of Palestinian gathered at the western entrance of the Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah, on the road between Silwad and Yabroud villages near bypass road (60). The demonstrators threw stones at the aforementioned road. In response, Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beat up by Israeli soldiers.

On the same day, 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, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beat up by Israeli soldiers.

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 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 benzene led to the aggravation of the crisis as a result of using the gas cylinder for cars or as an alternative for benzene to run generators. As a result, the demand for gas further increased.

For almost 7 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. During the 51-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip in July and August 2014, Israeli authorities did not allow the entry of any construction materials. As a result, vital and infrastructure projects have been obstructed so far.

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.

West Bank

Israel has imposed a tightened closure on the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians:

· Hebron: Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 07:00 on Thursday, 12 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron. Around the same time, Israeli forces established another checkpoint at the entrance of Sa’ir village, south of the city. Later, both checkpoints were removed, and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 07:00 on Saturday, 14 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Dura, southwest of Hebron. At approximately 15:00, Israeli forces established another checkpoint at the entrance of Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron. At approximately 16:00, another checkpoint was established at the northern entrance of Hebron. Later, the checkpoints were removed, and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 15:00 on Sunday, 15 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Ummar village, north of the city. Later, the checkpoint was removed and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 20:00 on Wednesday, 18 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Ummar village, north of the city. Later, the checkpoint was removed and no arrests were reported.

· Ramallah: Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 20:30 on Thursday, 12 February 2015, Israeli forces they re-established at ‘Atara checkpoint at the northern entrance of Bir Zeit, north of the city. They withdrew later, and no arrests were reported. Around the same time, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Deir Abu Mesh’aal village, northwest of the city. Later, both checkpoints were removed and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 09:30 on Friday, 13 January 2015, Israeli forces established closed the eastern entrance of Nabi Saleh village, northeast of Ramallah, with an iron gate established at the aforementioned entrance. Israeli forces prevented civilians from leaving or entering via the entrance. At approximately 20:00, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Senjel village, north of Ramallah and another one under Yabrud Village Bridge, northeast of the city. Later, all checkpoints were removed, and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 18:30 on Saturday, 14 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Beit ‘Oar al-Foqa village, southwest of Ramallah. At approximately 19:30, Israeli forces established another checkpoint near the intersection oif ”Ofrah’ settlement, north of the city. Later, both checkpoints were removed and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 11:30 on Sunday, 15 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance N’ilin village, west of the city. Later, the checkpoint was removed, and no arrests were reported.

· Jericho: Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 09:30 on Friday, 06 February 2014, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Fasayel village, north of Jericho. At approximately 20:00, they established a checkpoint al-Zbeidat village, north of the city. Later, both checkpoints were removed, and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 18:30 on Sunday, 15 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near the southern entrance of the city. Later, both checkpoints were removed, and no arrests were reported.

· Qalqilya: Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 13:00 on Thursday, 12 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance of the city. At approximately 16:30, they established another checkpoint at the main entrance of ‘Ezbet al-Tabib village, east of the city. Later, both checkpoints were removed and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 12:00 on Friday, 13 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the northern entrance of the city. At approximately 11:50, another checkpoint was established at the eastern entrance of the city. Later, the two checkpoints were removed, and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 23:50 on Saturday, 14 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the main entrance of ‘Azoun village, east of the city. Later, the checkpoint was removed and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 07:30 on Sunday, 15 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance of the city. At approximately 07:45, another checkpoint was established at the entrance of Amatin village, northeast of the city. Later, the two checkpoints were removed, and no arrests were reported.

· Tulkarm: Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 12:30 on Thursday, 05 February 2015, Israeli forces stationed ‘Annab military checkpoint which is established on the road between Tulkarm and Nablus, east of the city, tightened their restrictions against civilians and obstructed their movement. Later that day, the tightening ended and no arrests were reported. The tightening renewed at approximately 06:30 on Wednesday, 18 February 2015. At approximately 23:30, Israeli forces established a checkpoint on the main road between Tulkarm and Nablus near the intersection of Beit Leed village in area called “Abu Martein”, east of Tulkarm.

At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 16 February 2015, israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Far’on village, south of Tulkarm. The checkpoint was removed later, and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 06:30 on Wednesday, Israeli forces established a checkpoint on the main road between Tulkarm and Qalqilya near the entrance of Far’on village, south of Tulkarm. The checkpoint was removed later, and no arrests were reported.

· Jenin: Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 08:30 on Sunday, 15 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Jarba village, south of Jenin. The checkpoint was removed later, and no arrests were reported.

At approximately 09:30 on Tuesday, 17 February 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint on the main road between Jenin, Tulkarm and Nablus near the intersection of ‘Arabah village, south of Jenin. The checkpoint was removed later, and no arrests were reported.

· Salfit: Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 11:05 on Sunday, 15 February 2015, Israeli forces closed the western gate of Haris village, northwest of Salfit, and prevented civilians from passing through which for a while and then re-opened it.

At approximately 23:20 on Monday, 16 February 2015, Israeli forces established a acheckpoint at the entrance of Kafl Haris, north of Salfit and another one at the entrance of Mashah village, west of the city. The two checkpoints were removed later, and no arrests were reported.

Arrests and Maltreatment at Military Checkpoints

At approximately 03:00 on Tuesday, 17 February 2015, Israeli forces backed by a number of vehicles and 2 buses carrying dozens of settlers, stormed Bab al-Quds village that was established by Palestinian activists and international solidarity activists in Abu Dees village, east of East Jerusalem, in protest at ‘E1’ settlement scheme. They closed the street leading to the village and let the settlers demolish the tents and brick-made rooms. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the activists. As a result, Shadi Matour, secretary of Fatah movement in Jerusalem, sustained a shrapnel wound of a sound bomb to the leg. He was taken to the clinic in Abu Dees village to receive the necessary medical treatment. Moreover, Israeli forces beat and arrested 3 Palestinian activists: Ahmed Matar, Yazan Abu Helal and Hosam ‘Eriqat. It should be noted that it is the seventh time that Israeli forces demolish the abovementioned village.

At approximately 20:00 on Thursday, 12 February 2015, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of the Old City, in East Jerusalem. They stationed in Ein al-Louza area and searched a number of Palestinian vehicles. Palestinian youngsters threw Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers who fired rubber-coated metal bullets and sound bombs. Israeli soldiers violently beat and arrested 3 civilians from the village: Yeyha Jom’a al-Awar (22); Hassan Ahmed Khalafawi (19); and Omer Nasser al-Za’aneen (21).

At approximately 04:00 on Sunday, 15 February 2015, Israeli forces raided a house belonging to Yunis Adila in Ras al-Amoud neighbourhood, east of the Old City in East Jerusalem. They searched the house from which they arrested Adila’s 2 sons: Hamza (21) and Arkan (19).

At approximately 17:00 on the same day, Israeli forces arrested Sana’ al-Rajabi (36), while being present near Hetta gate, in the Old City, in East Jerusalem. Sana’ was taken to al-Qashala investigation facility in the Old City.

At approximately 15:00 on Monday, 16 February 2015, Israeli forces raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Isma’il Abu Fouli in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, north of the Old City in East Jerusalem. They arrested his son Ahmed (16) and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 16:00 on the same day, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of the Old City in East Jerusalem. They raided a number of houses and arrested 3 civilians, including a child: Ahmed Ziad Abu Sbaitan (16); Majdi Sabri Hadra (23); and Lo’ai Mahmoud al-Sayyad (21).

At approximately 11:00 on the abovementioned day, Israeli forces arrested 3 women while going out of al-Aqsa mosque in the Old City in East Jerusalem. They took them to al-Qashala investigation facility. The detainees were identified as: Diala al-Ali (26); Heba al-Husseini (28); and Rania Abu al-Hawa (27).

At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 17 February 2015, Israeli forces raided a house belonging the family of Arafat Abu Esbaitan in al-Tour neighborhood, east of East Jerusalem. They handed the house owner summonses to his 2 children, Ibrahim (10) and Mohammed (12), to refer to al-Masqoubia interrogation facility. They also photographed the 2 boys.

At approximately 13:00, on the same day, Israeli forces arrested Hassan Mahmoud Nasser (14) while playing around his family house in Ras al-Amoud neighborhood, east of the Old City, in East Jerusalem.

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property:

On Thursday morning, 12 February 2015, Israeli bulldozers guarded by the Israeli forces leveled lands in al-Maslabah area, west of Deir Estia village near Salfit. The leveling process was carried out in the vicinity of ‘Yakir’ settlement, south of Qana Valley, to build new settlement units in the area that Israeli forces earlier announced. Around 15 dunums of the agricultural lands are so far leveled. Those lands belong to the heirs of ‘Abdel Karim Abu Hajlah; ‘Amer abu Hajlah; Ibrahim ‘Abdel Raziq and Musatafa Khalil Dahdal.

At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 17 February 2015, Israeli forces prevented civilians from the families of Abu ‘ali, Abu ‘Abeid and Smeirat from entering the lands in al-Asfir village adjacent to Mneizel area, east of Yata, south of Hebron, to plough them. Israeli forces claimed that the dozens of dunums from those lands that are part of ‘Beit Yatir’ settlement established on the Palestinian lands confiscated from the eastern area of the city. It should be mentioned that the Israeli High Court issued years ago a decision to allow civilians to have access to their lands and plough then.

At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 18 February 2015, Israeli forces confiscated a hand building mixer in Kherbet al-Tawil area, east of ‘Arqabah village, east of Nablus. The value of the mixer, which belongs to Shaker Bani Fadel from ‘Arqabah village, is estimated at 5,000 NIS. He used it for a project to reclaim around 10 Roman wells in Kherbet al-Taweel area that is funded by Palestinian Hydrology Association in cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture. This project started a month ago. The Israeli soldiers handed Fathi Hamayel from Bita village, a worker who was present near the mixer, a notice of confiscation.

On Wednesday morning, 18 February 2015, a number of settlers uprooted and broke around 550 olive seedlings that were planted in a 320-dunum land in al-Shyoukh, northeast of Hebron. Those seedlings belong to the heirs of ‘Abdel Qader Abu Shanab al-‘Ayaydah and Mousa Abu Shanab al-‘Ayayda. This land that was attacked by settlers between the settlements of ‘Asfir’ and ‘Bani Kadim’ was planted a week ago by the residents and international volunteers after it was given by the YMCA.

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.

Full, detailed document, including info on patrols and border crossings available at the official PCHR website.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
« »

IMEMC & Agencies

Related Articles