PCHR Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (30 July – 05 August 2015)

07 Aug
9:53 PM

Israeli forces have continued with systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) for the reporting period of 30 July – 05 August 2015.Israeli attacks in the West Bank & Gaza:

Shootings

Israeli forces escalated the use of excessive force against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces used excessive force killing 2 Palestinian children, while a toddler was burnt and his parents and brother sustained serious wounds due to a settler attack. Furthermore, Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians were, 3 of whom in the West Bank and the fourth one in the Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli navy forces attacked Palestinian fishermen in the sea.

In the West Bank, on 31 July 2015, using excessive force, Israeli forces stationed at Attara checkpoint at the northern entrance of Bir Zeit village killed a Palestinian child from al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. Israeli forces claimed that a soldier opened fire at a Palestinian child that threw a Molotov cocktail at the checkpoint. PCHR believes that Israeli forces could have used less force to arrest the boy even if he threw a Molotov cocktail at the checkpoint.

On 31 July 2015, in one of the most heinous crimes committed by Israeli settlers against the Palestinian civilians and their property, a group of settlers set fire to two houses. Occupants of one of the two houses were asleep inside. As a result, a toddler, Ali Dawabsha, was killed and his parents and brother were seriously wounded.

On 03 August 2015, a Palestinian civilian was wounded and arrested by Israeli forces stationed at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus. Israeli forces claimed that he ran away and did not obey their orders to stop.

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, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded.

In the Gaza Strip, on 31 July 2015, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and wounded another as both of them were near the coastal border fence, northwest of Beit Lahia in the north of the Gaza Strip.

In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen, on 01 August 2015, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at fishermen sailing within 2 nautical miles. They also chased a number of boats and fired flare bombs overheads.

Incursions

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 34 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 6 ones in East Jerusalem. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 61 Palestinians, including 15 children. Thirty-six of these civilians, including 13 children and a woman, were arrested in East Jerusalem.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces carried out 2 limited incursions in the central and southern Gaza Strip on 30 July and 04 August 2015. They levelled lands and withdrew later.

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 (KeremShaloum) 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 Tuesday, 04 August 2015, Israeli forces raided a room built in Khellet al-Lowlab, east of Beit Kahel village, near Hebron and took its content outdoors. They asked the landlord to demolish the 45-square-meter agricultural room, so Israeli forces would not do it with a bulldozer and damage the surrounding land and plants.

On the same day, Israeli forces accompanied by Civil Administration vehicles moved into Hasaka area, west of Halhoul, north of Hebron. They demolished a number of agricultural facilities.

On Wednesday, 05 August 2015, Israeli forces accompanied by Civil Administration vehicles moved into al-Bass area, south of Shyoukh al-Aroub area, north of Hebron. They demolished a 120-square-meter, under-construction house.

On the same day, Israeli forces accompanied by Civil Administration vehicles moved into Khellet al-Qett area between Beit Ommar and Halhoul, north of Hebron. They demolished a 60-square-meter house belonging to Shalabiya Aqel Mahmoud Aqel (50) that was built about 50 years ago.

On Wednesday, 05 August 2015, Israeli forces moved into Kherbet Yerza, al-Aqaba and al-Mayta in the north of Jordan valley, east of Tubas. They demolished houses, livestock barns. As a result, 9 families comprised of members, including 17 children became homeless. Five houses and 9 livestock barns and fodders’ stores were demolished.

Settler attacks

In one of the most heinous crimes committed by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property, a group of settlers set fire to 2 Palestinian houses in Douma village, southeast of Nablus. Occupants of one of the two houses were asleep inside. As a result, a toddler, Ali Sa’d Dawabsha, was killed and his parents and brother were seriously wounded.

On Friday afternoon, a group of settlers from ‘Niria’ settlement outpost, north of Ras Karkar and al-Janeya villages, northwest of Ramallah, cut off and damaged 35 olive seedlings in al-Oyoun agricultural area
On Saturday, 01 August 2015, a group of settlers from ‘Adi Ad’ settlement outpost set fire to lands belonging to residents of al-Mughayer village, northeast of Ramallah.

On Monday, 03 August 2015, a settler driving his car threw a metal object at a Palestinian minibus (taxi) driven by Mousa Othman Taym Amali (52), from Qeblan village, south of Nablus. The taxi was traveling from Ramallah to Nablus.

On the same day, a group of settlers from ‘Maale Shamroun’, east of Qalqilya, set fire to a tract of land in Azoun valley, east of the city. The land belongs to the heirs of Mahmoud Ali Badwan, the heirs of Ahmed Nassar Dahbour and the heirs of Ibrahim Mohammed Abdul Hadi.

Efforts to create a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem

On 04 August 2015, Israeli forces started digging works to implement a plan of building pools for settlers to perform religious rituals on lands adjacent to ‘Maale Hazeetim’ settlement that is established in Ras al-Amoud neighborhood, east of the old city in East Jerusalem.

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 Bankand Israeli policies in the Palestinian territory. As a result, a Palestinian child was killed and two others were wounded.

Demonstrations against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activity

Following the Friday prayer on 31 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 activities. The protestors tried to cross the fence. Israeli soldiers stationed behind the wall, fired live and rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs and chased them into the olive fields and into residential 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 organised a peaceful demonstration in the centre 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 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 organised a peaceful demonstration in al-Nabi Saleh village, southwest of Ramallah, in protest against the annexation wall and settlement Activity. 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 civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and others 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, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

At approximately 17:00 on Saturday, 01 August 2015, 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, and sound bombs. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

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

Other demonstrations

On Friday afternoon, 31 July 2015, dozens of youngsters gathered at the southern entrance of Jalzoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, near the UNRWA boys school, to organize a protest against Israeli policies. The protestors threw stones at the ‘Beit Eill’ settlement fence near the camp. Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters in response. As a result, A Palestinian civilian, 20, sustained a fracture to the right arm when Israeli forces fired a suspicious object towards him. He was transported into Palestine Medical Complex governmental in Ramallah. On the following day, the doctors fixed platinum in his broken arm.

Also on Friday afternoon, dozens of Palestinian youngsters gathered at the western entrance of Selwad village, northeast of Ramallah, on the road between Selwad and Yabroud village, in order to organize a protest against Israeli policies. The protestors set fire to tires and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers, who fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters in response. As a result, a number of protestors suffered tear gas inhalation, and others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them.

Also on Friday afternoon, dozens of Palestinian youngsters gathered in Ramallah and al-Beira, southwest of Ramallah, in the vicinity of Ofer prison, southwest of Ramallah. The demonstrators went to the prison’s gate. Israeli forces closed the gate and soldiers were deployed in the area. The protestors set fire to tires and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers, who fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters in response. As a result, a number of protestors suffered tear gas inhalation, and others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them.

Using excessive of force , Israeli forces stationed at Atara checkpoint at the northern entrance of Bir Zeit village, killed a Palestinian civilian from Jalzoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. Israeli forces stated that Israeli soldier opened fired towards a Palestinian child claiming that he threw a Molotov cocktail at the checkpoint. An Israeli military spokeswoman said that Israeli forces used all means to confront riots and disperse the demonstrators, and an Israeli soldier eventually opened fired towards the ‘major inciter’ and wounded him in the lower parts of his body. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, that the Palestinian child was wounded in the upper parts of his body, and Israeli forces could have used less lethal force against him and arrest him, even if he threw a Molotov cocktail towards the concrete tower which is 6 meters high.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR and witnesses’ accounts, at approximately 17:30 on Friday evening, 31 July 2015, six children went to Atara checkpoint at the northern entrance of Bir Zeit village, northern Ramallah, to protest against the killing of Ali al-Dawabsha who was burned by settlers in Douma village, southeast of Nablus. Before the children arrived at the checkpoint, Israeli soldiers stationed on a watchtower shouted against them by using abusive words. When they got as close as 20 meters from the watchtower, one of Israeli soldiers stationed at watchtower fired 3 bullets towards them, and one of the children threw a Molotov cocktail from range of 10 meters towards the watchtower. After that, Israeli soldiers fired many bullets towards them in response. As a result, five children fled into agricultural fields, and the six child was set fire to a second Molotov cocktail. When he threw it towards the watchtower, the flames caught into grasses. As a result of the Israeli gunfire, a Palestinian child, Laith Fadel Issa al-Khalidi, 15, sustained a bullet wound that penetrated the back then exited the upper abdomen from the right side. Al-khaldi fell onto ground nearly 30-40 meters from the cement cubes. Two Palestinian children carried al-Khaldi and took him to a dirt road. They walked for 50 meters before a Palestinian private car came and took the Palestinian child. After that, Israeli soldiers chased the car and opened fire towards it, also they shouted at the driver to stop the car . In addition, when the Palestinian private car was on its way to Bir Zeit village, two Israeli military vehicles chased it, but the driver didn’t stop. Al-Kaldi was then transported by a Palestinian ambulance to Palestinian Medical Complex in Ramallah, where he underwent an operation for 6 hours. A medical source stated that the bullet that wounded Khaled led to many injuries, in which veins, the stomach, duodenum, liver and pancreas were affected. There was a severe bleeding in the abdomen. His medical condition was described as serious.

Al- Khaldi stayed on the intensive care unit until the midnight, then he relapsed, as his heart stopped beating. The doctors tried to revive him but their effort failed and he died.

According to the witnesses to PCHR fieldworkers, Israeli soldier stationed on the watchtower fired from range of 60 meters towards the child who was running around the area, so he sustained a bullet wound to the back. In morning, the victim’s body was transported into Forensic Medicine Institute in Abu Dis. According to Palestinian Minister of Justice, Salim al-Saqaa, stated that the results of autopsy showed there was an entrance wound of a bullet to the centre of the back as the bullet damaged the intestines and lever and then exited the upper right side of the abdomen. This injury is considered fatal. Al-Saqaa confirmed that the diameter of the entrance wound may be resulted from an M16 rifle. The autopsy report determined the cause of death as severe haemorrhage due to the damage caused by a bullet that entered an exited the body.

On Saturday afternoon, 01 August 2015, after the funeral of Fadel Isaa al-Khaldi, 15, in al-Jalzoun refugee camp ccemetery, north of Ramalla. Dozens of Palestinian youngsters gathered at the southern entrance of the camp, near the UNRWA boys school. They were 300 meters far from ‘Beit Eill’ settlement fence. The demonstrators threw stones at the settlement’s fence, so Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and chased them into the agricultural fields in response. As a result, a Palestinian civilian, 20, was wounded by a bullet to the chest, he then was taken to Palestinian Medical Complex Governmental in Ramallah to receive medical treatment.

At approximately 17:35 on Tuesday, 04 August 2015, Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at residents of Qarawet Bani Hassan village, northwest of Salfit while protesting against cutting off drinking water by the Israeli Water Authority from the aforementioned village. The drinking water was decreased during the heat wave which hit the area. On Wednesday, 29 July 2015, the residents of the aforementioned village woke up in the morning to find that the tanks ran out of water. After the follow-up by the municipality and competent authorities in addition to checking the surveillance cameras attached in the main tank, which supplies the village, it was found out that an employee working for the Israeli Water Authority did it after having a decision to decrease 40% of the water. As a result, water ran out in most of the high tanks and decreased in other tanks. On Monday evening, 03 August 2015, due to the heat wave and the residents’ urgent need for water, the residents headed to the main tank, south of the village, and broke the lock on the water tap. Israeli forces and civil administration officers immediately arrived and brought a new lock and closed the tap again. As a result, civilians organized a protest on the following day, but the Israeli forces dispersed them. It should be mentioned that the municipality received threats from the Israeli forces to stop protests, and promises to increase the water quantity allocated for the village. However, the situation has not been changed so far.

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 9 checkpoints all over the city.

On Thursday, 30 July 2015, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance of Sa’ir village, east of Hebron, and at the northern entrance of Hahoul village, north of Hebron.
On friday, 31 July 2015, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance of al-Fawar refugee camp, at the entrance of al-Jalajel village, east of the city, and at the entrance of Beit Awaa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron.

Ramallah and al-Beira: Israeli forces established 9 checkpoints all over the city.
At approximately 21:30 on Thursday, 30 July 2015, Israeli forces stationed at Atara checkpoint at the north entrance of Berziet village, north of the city.
At approximately 23:30 at midnight , Israeli forces established a checkpoint near the intersection of Beit Ur al-Fokaa village, southwest of the city.

On Friday, 31 July 2015, , Israeli forces established 5 checkpoints at the entrance of al-Nabi Saleh village, Deir Abu Mesh’al village, northwest of Ramallah, under the bridge of Yabrud village, northeast of the city, at the entrance of Senjel, north of the city, and on Atara checkpoint at the northern entrance of Berziet, north of Ramallah.

On Saturday, 01 August 2015, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the southwest entrance of al-Mogier village and at the eastern entrance of al-Tiyba village, northeast of Ramallah.

Qalqilya: Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints all over the city.
On Friday, 31 July 2015, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance of Kafer Kadoum village, northeast of Qalqilya, at the eastern entrance of Qalqilya, and at the entrance of Azoun village, in the east of the city.

At approximately 20:88 on Saturday, 01 August 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Azoun village, east of Qalqilya, and prevented civilians from entering and exiting the city.

Jericho: Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints all over the city.

On Friday, 31 July 2015, Israeli forces established 2 checkpointS at the entrance of Fasail village, and at the entrance of al-Zabedat village, north of Jericho.

On Sunday, 02 August 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint in the vicinity of the southern entrance of Jericho village.

Tulkarm: At approximately 11:30 on Friday morning , 31 July 2015, Israeli forces stationed at ‘Annab military checkpoint which was established on the road between Tulkarm and Nablus, east of the city, tightened their restrictions against civilians and obstructed their movement.

Salfit: Israeli forces established 7 checkpoints all over the city.
On Friday, 31 July 2015, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance of Salfit, at the entrance of Hares village, northwest of the city and under the bridge of Aakaka village, east of Salfit.

On Saturday, 01 August 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near Askaka village bridge, east of Salfit.

At approximately 23:50 on Sunday, 02 August 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint on the road between al-Zawiaa and Mashaa village, in the west of the city.

On Monday, 03 August 2015, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints near the bridge of Askaka village, east of salfit, and at the northern entrance of Burkien village, western Salfit.

Note: all the aforementioned checkpoints were later removed, after the inspection of the vehicle and its passengers and detained them for varying periods, and no arrests were reported.

Arrests and Maltreatment at Military Checkpoints:

At approximately 11:00 on Monday morning, 03 August 2015, Israeli forces stationed on Atara checkpoint, southern Nablus, opened fire towards Bahaa Mohammed Taleb Hrizat, 22, from Hebron. Israeli forces claimed that Hrizat did not obey orders by Israeli soldier to stop and ran away, so they wounded him to the legs. In the meantime, an ambulance that was driven by Toni Jteet, 61, belonging to Salfit Zakat Committee, passed through the checkpoint. The ambulance driver saw a group of Israeli soldiers gathering around Hrizat who fell over the ground near the checkpoint, so he tried to help him but Israeli forces expelled him out of the place.

Jteet contacted the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and told them about the incident, so they sent a Palestinian ambulance to the incident site, but Israeli soldiers refused to hand him over and put him in a military ambulance then took him to an unknown detination.

At approximately 15:00 on Sunday, 02 August 2015, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Ummer village, in the north of Hebron.

Israeli forces stopped and searched Palestinian vehicles and checked the passengers IDs. They arrested Malek Nayef Slaibi, 21, and Ameer Ibrahim Sabarna, 23.

At approximately 21:00 on Friday, 31 July 2015, Israeli forces beat a Palestinian civilian, Fares Reem Fares Hnani, 24, while he was crossing through Beit Fourik checkpoint by his own car ‘ Volkswagen 1998 ‘ , east of Nablus.

According to Fares Reem Fares Hnani to PCHR fieldworkers:
‘At approximately 21:00 on Friday evening, 31 July 2015, I was on my way from my village Beit Fourik to Nablus by my own car. When I arrived at a military checkpoint which is established at the western entrance of the city. I saw 2 Israeli military vehicles stationed there and Israeli soldiers stepped out from the vehicles and fired tear gas canisters towards village youngsters who threw stones at them. One of canisters fell in the vicinity of my car and the tear gas leaked into my car so I closed the car’s window and kept walking to the checkpoint. After that, I was surprised that one of the Israeli soldiers opened the car door and pulled me from my shoulder to the outside. Israeli soldiers then beat me up in the neck and back by gun butt. Israeli soldiers continued to beat me for 3 minutes. They then searched me and my car and prevented me from crossing the checkpoint.’

At approximately 15:00 on Saturday, 01 August 2015, Israeli forces beat Anas Ahmed Ateiya al-Tubasi, 29, from al-Rihana village, in the south of Hebron, on his head by a gun butt after they stopped his own car on the road between Beit Vajar village, southern Bethlehem , and on the road no.’60’. Al-Tubasi was transported into the Governmental Hebron Hospital to receive medical treatment.

Al-Tubasi said to PCHR fieldworkers:
‘I work in the field of distribution of goods and foodstuffs by a commercial vehicle. At approximately 15:00 on Saturday, 01 August 2015, I finished my work on the distribution of goods in Beit Fjaar village, south of Bethlehem, and returned to Hebron.

After I traveled 500 meters on the road between the village and ‘Gush Etzion’ settlement intersection, four soldiers were stopping next to a military jeep on the right of the road. I listened to Israeli orders and stopped my car. After that, two soldiers came up to me speaking Hebrew language that I did not understand it, but I understood from their signals that they wanted me to get out from the car. I tried to open the car’s door but the soldier prevented me. He then asked me to go to the other door. I opened the other door and found the soldier was waiting for me there and asking me about my ID card. I looked it up, but I didn’t find it, and told him that I forgot it at home. He ordered me to make contact and bring it.

I called my brother Amir, 28, from my mobile phone and asked him to look for my ID card and inform of its number . After that, when I was calling my son again, I felt that someone hit me. He was an Israeli soldier who hit me by a gun butt to the top of my head. As a result, I fell on the ground. After that, the Israeli soldiers aught me from my shoulders and brought me to the car asking me to leave. When I was on my way, I called my son Amir and told him what happened. While I was in the vicinity of the Beit Ummar village, I felt that I lost my consciousness and used the brakes. After that, I woke up in the Governmental Hebron Hospital and knew that youngsters from Beit Ummar village transported me to a medical center in the village by a private car, then to the Governmental Hebron Hospital by an ambulance.

Efforts to create a Jewish majority:

Settlement projects

On Tuesday, 04 August 2015, Israeli forces started digging works to implement a plan of building pools for settlers to perform religious rituals on lands adjacent to ‘Maale Hazeetim’ settlement that is established in Ras al-Amoud neighborhood, east of the old city in East Jerusalem.

Israeli media reported that Israeli authorities started large digging works in the vicinity of ‘Maale Hazeetim’ settlement to build a pool for settlers on 2.5 dunums of land that were used for public interest. It should be noted that the settlers’ commission in the said settlement presented 2 years ago a project to build pools near the settlement to be used by settlers for religious rituals ‘purification’. The project was approved by competent authorities and funded by the Israeli municipality with NIS 1.5 million.

It is worth saying that the ‘Religious Buildings’ section in the Israeli municipality sponsored the project. It designated the area for the use of settlers, noting that it was categorized as a public area. By implementing the project, the Israeli authorities neglected the Arabs’ need and annexed that piece of land to the settlement. Three months earlier, the Israeli authorities built a 4-meter-long retaining wall and established an 8-meter-high metal fence around the land remaining after building the pool. Therefore, residents of the area will be prevented from presenting any future plans ‘for public interest’ according to the Israeli municipality’s classification.

Incursions and arrests

At approximately 01:00 on Thursday, 30 July 2015, Israeli forces moved into al-Eisawiya village, north of East Jerusalem. They stationed in al-Madares neighbourhood in the village, where dozens of youngsters gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers who fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters in response. They also chased the Palestinian boys in Dari and Mahmoud neighbourhoods. As a result, a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. Furthermore, Israeli forces arrested Ameer Yasser Mahmoud (18), Mohammed Yunis al-Kiswani (21) and Majd Nasser (19).

At approximately 23:00, on the same day, Israeli forces raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa in al-Tour neighbourhood, east of the old city in East Jerusalem. They arrested his son Baha’ (19) and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 31 July 2015, Israeli forces arrested Wesam Adel Seder (22) when he was near Hetta gate’s neighbourhood in the old city in East Jerusalem.

At approximately 18:00, on the same day, Israeli forces arrested Ahmed Khalil Abu al-Hawa (23) at Za’im checkpoint, east of East Jerusalem, under the pretext that he attempted to attack Israeli soldiers who were present at the checkpoint. Abu al-Hawa was beat and then taken to an unknown destination.

At approximately 19:00, on the same day, dozens of Palestinian youngsters gathered at the entrance of al-Eisawiya village, north of East Jerusalem, and protested at the setters’ attack on Dawabsha family in Douma village, southeast of Nablus, that resulted in the killing of toddler Ali Dawabsha (18 months) and injury of his family members. The Palestinian youngsters burnt tires and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers who fired rubber-coated metal bullets in response. Clashes remained until late night. Israeli forces sprayed wastewater in the village; as a result, Amna Mahmoud (93) and Rasmiya Mahmoud (48) were taken to a health centre because they could not breathe well. Israeli forces intended to spray the wastewater at a house belonging to Khader Mostafa and Mahmoud Mohammed Mahmoud and his son. Israeli forces withdrew later and closed the eastern entrance of the village with huge rocks and cement cubes as a collective punishment.

At approximately 21:00, Israeli forces raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Ziad Zaidani in Ein al-Louza neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of the old city in East Jerusalem. They arrested his son Amer (19) and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 11:00 on Saturday, 01 August 2015, Israeli forces arrested Mohammed Zuhair Abu Hadwan (16) while being near al-Asbat gate in the old city in East Jerusalem. They arrested the aforementioned boy and took him to Beit Elyahu police station to be questioned.

At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 01 August 2015, Israeli forces arrested Abdullah Mahmoud al-Joulani (13) and Seri Mohammed Wahba (14) while walking in Khan al-Zait market in the old city in East Jerusalem. They took the 2 children to al-Qashala interrogation facility.

At approximately 02:00 on Sunday, 02 August 2015, Israeli forces raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Khaled Abu Sara in Ein al-Louza neighbourhood, south of the old city in East Jerusalem. They arrested his son Na’im (18) and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 07:00, on the same day, Israeli forces raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Khaled Mohammed al-Mughrabi (54) in Oqbet al-Khalidiya in the old city in East Jerusalem. They arrested the aforementioned person and took him to an unknown destination.

At approximately 11:00, on the same day, Israeli forces arrested 5 Palestinian civilians while getting out of al-Aqsa mosque in the old city in East Jerusalem: Obada Sharif Najib (19), Mahmoud Sharif Najeeb (18), Mohammed Wa’el Najeeb (21), Mohammed Tayseer Abu Snaina (19) and Abdul Karim al-Haddad.

At approximately 17:00 on Monday, 03 August 2015, Israeli forces arrested 2 Palestinian children while being present with other children in al-Ein neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of the old city in East Jerusalem, under the pretext they threw stones at Israeli soldiers. Israeli forces slapped and pushed the 2 children and then took them to Saladin police station. The 2 arrested children were identified as: Mohammed Sami Mousa Awwad (12) and Mohammed Amir al-Haimouni (16).

At approximately 03:00 on Tuesday, 04 August 2015, Israeli force moved into Silwan village, south of the old city in East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested 5 children: Mohammed Nadi al-Hashlamoun (17), Mohammed Fo’ad al-Hashlamoun (17), Amir Ra’ed al-Balbisi (17), Ibrahim Mostafa Abu Nab (15) and Majdi Mostafa Abu Nab (16).

At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 04 August 2015, Israeli forces arrested a Palestinian young man and 8 employees of the Islamic Endowments’ (Waqf) Department in al-Aqsa mosque in the old city in East Jerusalem following clashes that erupted between an Israeli settler and Palestinian worshippers.
According to an eyewitness, a settler entered al-Aqsa mosque from al-Maghereba gate. While walking in the yard, he raised the Israeli flag. Although the guards of al-Aqsa Mosque asked the Israeli police to prevent him from raising the flag, the police offered him protection. As a result, a group of guards and worshipers took the flag away and tore it into pieces. Clashes erupted between them and the settler, and the police officers attacked the Palestinians. The eyewitness added that the settler attacked the guards and worshipers with a sharp tool, due to which one of the guards,Mohammed Badran sustained wounds to the mouth and Suleiman Abu Mayala, sustained bruises to the leg. Moreover, Israeli forces arrested Majdi Ibrahim al-Abasi (29) and a group of employees of the Islamic Endowments’ Department: Radwan Tayseer Amr (43), Director of Manuscripts’ Department of al-Aqsa mosque, Fadi Mohammed Bakeer (38), Hosam Ahmed Sedr (31), Ahmed Abu Alya, Majd Abdeen and Ra’ed Zgheer. They were all taken to al-Qashala interrogation facility. Al-Aqsa Mosque guards organized a protest in front of the police station in the old city, condemning the arrests and attacks on the above-mentioned employees. During the protest, Israeli forces arrested Feras Mahmoud al-Debs (28) and journalist Abdul Karim Darweesh (25).

At approximately 16:00 on Wednesday, 05 August 2015, Israeli forces summoned journalist Amjad Asem Arafa (34) to question him in al-Masqoubiya facility. They seized his passport and informed him that he is denied traveling abroad for 3 months for ‘security reasons’.

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 06:00 on Tuesday, 04 August 2015, Israeli forces accompanied by 2 Civil Administration vehicles moved into Khellet al-Lowlab, east of Beit Kahel village, northwest of Hebron. They deployed in a piece of land belonging to Eyad Abdul Hay Hussein Mahfouz (38), from Hebron. The Civil administration officers raided a room built in that land and took its content outdoors. They asked the landlord to demolish the 45-square-meter agricultural room, so Israeli forces would not do it with a bulldozer and damage the land and plants. The aforementioned person said to PCHR fieldworker that he demolished the room that he built years ago, which cost him NIS 50,000, after being informed by the Civil Administration officer.

At approximately 06:30 on the same day, Israeli forces accompanied by Civil Administration vehicles moved into Hasaka area, west of Halhoul, north of Hebron. They deployed in the agricultural lands and a bulldozer demolished a number of agricultural facilities as follows:
1. An 8-meter-long retaining wall made of concrete;
2. A 12-square-meter agricultural room;
3. A 9-square-meter tin-made shed;
4. A 9-square-meter agricultural pool.
They belong to Walid Mohammed Mostafa al-Qashqish (54). This demolition was carried out under the pretext of non-licensing in area (c) that is under the Israeli control.

At approximately 04:30 on Wednesday, 05 August 2015, Israeli forces accompanied by Civil Administration vehicles moved into al-Bass area, south of Shyoukh al-Aroub area, north of Hebron. They deployed between the houses and demolished a 12-square-meter under-construction house belonging to Khaled Jamal al-Moghrabi (40) under the pretext of non-licensing.

At approximately 07:00 on the same day, Israeli forces accompanied by Civil Administration vehicles moved into Khellet al-Qett area between Beit Ommar and Halhoul, north of Hebron. They demolished a 60-square-meter house belonging to Shalabiya Aqel Mahmoud Aqel (50) that was built about 50 years ago. The house used to shelter a family of 4 members, 2 of whom are under 18. The demolition was also carried out for non-licensing reason in area (c).

At approximately 06:30, on Wednesday, 05 August 2015, Israeli forces moved into Kherbet Yerza, al-Aqaba and al-Mayta in the north of Jordan valley, east of Tubas. They demolished houses, livestock barns. As a result, 9 families comprising from 46 members, including 17 children. Five houses and 9 livestock barns and fodders’ stores were demolished.

Settler attacks

In one of the most heinous crimes committed by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property, a group of settlers set fire to 2 Palestinian houses in Douma village, southeast of Nablus. Occupants of one of the two houses were asleep inside. As a result, toddler Ali Sa’d Dawabsha was killed and his parents and brother were seriously wounded.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 02:00 on Friday, 31 July 2015, a group of settlers sneaked into Douma village, southeast of Nablus, which is two kilometers to the east of two settlement outposts, ‘Yesh Qadish’ and ‘Yehyah’, and set fire to two houses. Occupants of one of the two houses, which belongs to Sa’ad Mohammed Hassan Dawabsha (32), were asleep inside. The aforementioned person, his wife, Reham Hussein Hassan Dawabsha (27), and their 2 children, Ali (18 months) and Ahmed (5), were surrounded by fire before they were caught on fire. As a result, Ali was killed as the house was set on fire for 40 minutes before a Palestinian Civil Defense vehicle arrived. The toddler was taken out of his bedroom as a charred body and was then transported to Rafidya Hospital in Nablus. Moreover, the parents, who were found in front of the house, and their child Ahmed, who was rescued by the neighbors from the living room, sustained serious burns throughout their bodies. The burns that were concentrated in the face and upper parts of the bodies ranged between second and third degrees burns. The parents’ health condition is very serious. The three wounded persons were transported by a private car to Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, from which they were transported by a Palestinian ambulance to Rafidya Hospital as well. In the early morning, the three wounded persons were taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba to receive the necessary medical treatment for their serious injuries. The other house belonging to Ma’moun Rasheed Rashed Dawabsha was completely burnt. Occupants of that house survived because they were not at home but in an apartment belonging to them in Nablus when the attack took place. The settlers wrote racist slogans on the walls of the two houses calling for revenge against the Arabs.

On Friday afternoon, a group of settlers from ‘Niria’ settlement outpost, north of Ras Karkar and al-Janeya villages, northwest of Ramallah, cut off and damaged 35 olive seedlings in al-Oyoun agricultural area belonging to Khalil Hussein Mohammed Hassan (42), from Deir Ammar village, 2 kilometers away from the said outpost. It should be noted the aforementioned farmer planted those seedlings 4 years ago on 2 dunums of agricultural land.

At approximately 20:00 on Saturday, 01 August 2015, a group of settlers from ‘Adi Ad’ settlement outpost set fire to lands belonging to residents of al-Mughayer village, northeast of Ramallah. The residents of the village hurried up to extinguish fire. In the meanwhile, Israeli forces arrived at the area and the settlers ran away to the settlement. Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters. As a result, a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces beat 2 civilians and detained them for 3 hour. They were identified as Arafat Hussein Abu Alya (35) and Morad Fathi Abu Alya (28).

At approximately 09:15 on Monday, 03 August 2015, an Israeli settler driving his car threw a metal object at a Palestinian minibus (taxi) driven by Mousa Othman Taym Amali (52), from Qeblan village, south of Nablus. The taxi was traveling from Ramallah to Nablus. The object hit the windshield and smashed it. Glass scattered over the driver, who used the brakes and stopped 20 meters away from the scene. The driver looked back through the mirror and saw 4 settlers in civilian clothes stepping out of the car, so he drove fast towards Nablus.

At approximately 21:30, on the same day, a group of settlers from ‘Maale Shamroun’, east of Qalqilya, set fire to a piece of land in Azoun valley, east of the city. The land belongs to the heirs of Mahmoud Ali Badwan, the heirs of Ahmed Nassar Dahbour and the heirs of Ibrahim Mohammed Abdul Hadi. Civil Defense vehicles headed to the area to extinguish fire after 10 olive trees were burnt.

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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