PCHR Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (09- 14 July 2015)

16 Jul
7:33 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 09- 14 July 2015.Israeli attacks in the West Bank & Gaza:

Shootings

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian child during Kufor Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqilya, and wounded another civilian in Shu’fat refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem.

In the West Bank, 12 July 2015, a 55-year-old civilian from Shu’fat refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem, sustained a bullet wound to the eye when Israeli forces moved into the refugee camp to arrest some civilians.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive and systematic use of force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights activists in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli policies in the oPt. As a result, a 17-year-old child sustained a bullet wound to the right leg during a protest at the eastern entrance of kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilya.

Incursions

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 45 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 ones in East Jerusalem. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 40 Palestinians, including 8 children. Eleven of these civilians, including the 5 children, were arrested in East Jerusalem.

Restrictions on movement

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 30 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 4 ones in East Jerusalem. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 28 Palestinians, including 7 children. Ten of these Palestinians, including 6 children, were arrested in East 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. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 38.8%, 21.1% of which suffer from extreme poverty. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 44%, which reflects the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

Settlement Activities

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 11 July 2015, Israeli forces moved into Yasouf village, east of Salfit. They confiscated a water tank truck and a roller truck used in establishing an agricultural road, northeast of Yasouf village.

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 and Israeli policies in the Palestinian territories. As a result, a 17-year-old child waswounded by a bullet in the right leg while participating in Kafr Qaddoum demonstration, northeast of Qalqilya.

(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 10 July 2015, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Bil’in, west of Ramallah, in protest against the Annexation Wall and Settlement Activity. Protestors marched by the annexation wall and tried to cross the fence. Israeli soldiers stationed behind the wall fired live bullets, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs and chased them into the olive fields and into houses. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation, fainting, and others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

On the same day, dozens of Palestinian civilians organized a peaceful demonstration in the center of Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest against the Annexation Wall and Settlement Activity. The demonstrators took the streets and headed to the annexation wall. Israeli forces prevented the demonstrators from crossing to the land behind the Annexation Wall, so that they threw stones at them. Israeli soldiers fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the civilians, and chased them into the village. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in al-Nabi Saleh village, southwest of Ramallah, in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities. The demonstrators 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 them from participating in the demonstration. When they arrived at the aforementioned land, the demonstrators were met by live bullets, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs and were chased into the village. As a result, many demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and other sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

Following the Friday prayer, 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. When they arrived at the entrance of the gate, the demonstrators were met by live bullets, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs and skunk water. As a result, a 17-year-old child was wounded by a live bullet in the right leg. He was then taken to Rafidia Surgical Hospital in Nablus, and medical sources described his injury as moderate. On Saturday, 11 July 2015, the demonstration was repeated following al-Asr prayer, and no casualties were reported among the demonstrators.

Note: the protest of Kufor Qaddoum was scheduled twice a week (following the Fridays’ prayer and following al-Asr prayer on Saturdays).

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.

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.

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. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

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 also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested.

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 established 5 checkpoints all over the city. On Saturday, 11 July 2015, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance of Morik village, southwest of Dura city, southwest of the city, and on ‘Oyoun Abu Seif road, south of Dura, southwest of the city.

On Sunday, 12 July 2015, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance of Beit ‘Amer village, north of the Hebron, and on al-Nabi Younis road, north of Halhoul village, south of Hebron.

At approximately 21:00, on Monday, 13 July 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron.

· Ramallah: Israeli forces established 8 checkpoints all over the city. On 9 July 2015, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance of Deir Abu Mesh’al village, northwest of Ramallah and on the road between Termes’aya and Mogheir village, north of the city.

On Friday, 10 July 2015, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah; under the bridge of Yabrud village, northeast of the city and at the entrance of Ni’lin village, west of the city.

On Saturday, 11 July 2015, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints under the bridge of Kherbtha al-Mesbah village, southwest Ramallah, and on ‘Atara checkpoint at the northern entrance of Berziet village, north of the city.

On Monday, 12 July 2015, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints under the bridge of ‘Ein Yabrud village; northeast of Ramallah; at the entrance of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city; and on ‘Atara checkpoint at the northern entrance of Berziet village.

· Qalqilya: Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints all over the city. At approximately 09:00, on Thursday, 09 July 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the intersection of Jeet village, northeast of Qalqilya.

At approximately 09:00, on Friday evening, 10 July 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the aforementioned intersection.

At approximately 02:00, on Tuesday, 14 July 2015,, Israeli forces established the same checkpoint at the aforementioned intersection.

· Jericho: On Friday, 10 July 2015, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints all over the city.
On Friday, 10 July 2015, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance of Fasail village and at the entrance of al-Zbeidat village, north of Jericho.

On Monday, 17 July 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the southern entrance of Jericho village.

Note: all the aforementioned checkpoints were later removed, and no arrests were reported.

Arrests and Maltreatment at Military Checkpoints:

At approximately 16:00 on Thursday, 09 July 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They arrested ‘Alaa’ Sa’di Mohammed Abu ‘Ayyash (15) and ‘Amr ‘Emad Mohammed Abu ‘Ayyash (15) while passing by the checkpoint. They removed the checkpoint taking the two children to an unknown destination.

At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 10 July 2015, Israeli forces stationed at the checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, south of East Jerusalem, arrested Nour al-Huda Mohammed Manasrah (16) from Beit Na’im village, east of Hebron, when she was on her way with her family to perform prayers in al-Aqsa Mosque. She was released after a few hours of detention. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli soldiers provoked the girl and prevented her from entering Jerusalem to perform Friday prayers. The eyewitness added that Nour insisted on her right to enter the city. The Israeli soldiers then beat her in front of thousands of civilians at the checkpoint and then arrested her.

At approximately 20:00 on the same day, Israeli forces arrested ‘Abdel Ra’ouf Hasan ‘Awad Shamasnah (19), from Qetnah village, while passing via ‘Beit
Eksa’ checkpoint, northwest of Jerusalem. They claimed that the aforementioned civilian attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at the checkpoint, so the Israeli soldiers handcuffed the young man and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 21:00 on Sunday, 12 July 2015, Israeli forces stationed at ‘Annab checkpoint established on the main road between Tulkarm and Nablus, east of Tulkarm tightened their arbitrary measures against the Palestinian civilians and obstructed their movement via the checkpoint. When Muhanned Mahmoud Ibrahim Mer’ie (33) from ‘Anbta village was passing via the checkpoint, the Israeli soldiers arrested him and took him to an unknown destination.

Efforts to create a Jewish majority:

Shooting incidents

On Sunday, 12 July 2015, Israeli undercover units moved into Shu’fat refugee camp, north of the old city in East Jerusalem. They raided a store and tried to arrest Mohammed Nassar from inside. After they were discovered by Palestinians, a number of youngsters surrounded the units and tried to stop the arrest. Few minutes later, Israeli forces moved into the camp to secure the withdrawal of the undercover units. In the meantime, Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the Palestinians. As a result, Nafez al-Demeiri (55) sustained a bullet wound to the eye, due to which he was taken to Tsh’ari Tsedeq Hospital to receive the necessary medical treatment. It should be noted that the wounded person is deaf. Israeli forces also arrested Mohammed Nassar and took him to an unknown destination.

Incursions

On Friday, 10 July 2015, Israeli forces harshly beat Ramadan Ahmed Ramadan Dwani (30) at a military checkpoint at Ras al-Amoud gate in East Jerusalem. He was attacked while taking his sick daughter to the hospital. As a result, he sustained bruises in the head and fractures in the chest.

His cousin, Ali Dwani, said to a PCHR fieldworker that while Ramadan was transporting his sick daughter to the hospital by his private car, Israeli forces stopped him by the cement blocks they fixed a week ago in Oweis neighbourhood in Ras al-Amoud area. He requested them to let him take his daughter to the hospital, but they did not care. When he stepped out of his car to talk to them, he was surprised to see about 10 Israeli soldiers attacking him. Dwani added that his cousin fainted as he was harshly beaten especially in the head. He was then taken to Hadasa Hospital to receive the necessary medical treatment. It should be noted that Ramadan is still receiving medical treatment in the hospital’s emergency room, but he is under arrest and his hands and legs are tied up to the bed.

At approximately 03:00 on Monday, 13 July 2015, Israeli forces moved into al-Sa’diya neighbourhood, in the old city in East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested Tayseer Fawzi Hejazi (17) and Mohammed Abdullah Toffaha (16).

At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Jamal Ammar in al-Jamal neighbourhood, in Qalandya refugee camp, north of East Jerusalem. They arrested his son, Ashraf (24), and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 03:30 on the same day, Israeli forces moved into al-Eisawiya village, north of East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested Feras Nidal Mahmoud (17), Abdul Razeq Mousa Mostafa (15) and Emad Mahmoud Mohammed Abu Esbaitan (16).

At approximately 12:00, Ali Baheej Bassa (15) surrendered to the Israeli intelligence service in ‘Maaleh Adumim’ settlement, east of East Jerusalem, after Israeli forces raided his family’s house in al-Eizariya village, southeast of the city, and handed them a summons for the aforementioned child.

Around the same time, Israeli forces raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Yusef Abu Seriya in Anabta village, north of East Jerusalem. They arrested his son Tha’er (21) and took him to an unknown destination.

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.

At approximately 12:00 on Saturday, 11 July 2015, Israeli forces moved into Yasouf village, east of Salfit. They confiscated a water tank truck belonging to Mahmoud Qasem Abdullah (48) from Qaryout village, southeast of Nablus, and a roller truck belonging to Mahmoud Hassan Awad (50) from Tubas. The two trucks were used to establish an agricultural road, northeast of Yasouf village. The 900-meter-long road is funded by World Vision in cooperation with the village council. That road serves farmers in that area. Israeli forces stopped the workers and expelled them. They also confiscated their equipment under the pretext they worked in areas (C) and they had no permits to work in that area. Israeli forces took the equipment to ‘Taffouh’ settlement.

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 latest 51-day offensive 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;

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

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