In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 14- 20 January 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories throughout the week.5 Palestinian civilians were killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These include a Palestinian civilian who was killed, and his brother was wounded, in a deliberate run-over attack by settlers in the West Bank. 23 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and a female journalist, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed three Palestinian civilians and wounded 13 others, including four children and a female journalist.
In their employment of excessive force, Israeli forces killed on 14 January 2016 two Palestinian civilians, north and south of the West Bank. They opened fire at them under the pretext of alleged stabbings against Israeli soldiers.
According to PCHR’s investigations relevant to the first crime, at approximately 08:30, on the abovementioned day, Israeli soldiers stationed at the eastern entrance to Beit Aynoun village, which was closed with an iron gate, shot dead Mo’yed Jabareen (19), from Sa’ir village, east of Hebron.
Concerning the other crime, at approximately 13:15, two military jeeps were coming from Ebal camp, north of Nablus, and heading towards the bypass road leading to “Shavei Shomron” settlement, northwest of the city. When they reached the road linking northern Asirah village and Nablus, Haitham Yassin (34), from the said village, threw a stone towards the two jeeps, pulled a knife and ran towards them. An Israeli soldier immediately shot him dead with 10 bullets.
In a similar crime, on 16 January 2016, Israeli forces stationed at the southern entrance to Nablus, killed Wesam Qasarwah (21), from Masliya village, southeast of Jenin. According to PCHR’s investigations, Qasarwah stepped out of a taxi after crossing a checkpoint, as he was heading to Ramallah. He then returned towards the checkpoint and threw a knife at the Israeli soldiers from a far distance, but it did not hit anybody. As a result, Israeli soldiers stationed in the watchtower established at the checkpoint shot him dead with 10 bullets.
On 18 January 2016, a settler from “Ariel” settlement run over two brothers, one of whom is a child, from Mas’ha village, west of Salfit, while going back by bicycle from their work in Kufor Qassem village. The settler deliberately hit the bicycle ridden by Khalil (19) and his brother Oday (17). As a result, the bicycle rolled over, its driver was immediately killed and his brother Oday sustained serious wounds. Oday was then taken to “Beilinson” Hospital in Israel to receive the necessary medical treatment.
Israeli forces conducted 127 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank this week, during which 77 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were abducted. 6 of them were abducted in occupied Jerusalem.
Israeli forces demolished a house in Beit Hanina and forced a civilian to demolish a barn for his farm animals.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian civilians and wounded 11 others, including three children. 10 of them were wounded during peaceful protests near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
On 15 January 2016, dozens of Palestinian youngsters headed towards the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip. They threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed at the said fence. As a result, Israeli soldiers stationed behind the sand barriers opened fire at them. As a result, two of the protestors were killed and a third was wounded to the left thigh. The killed persons were identified as Mohammed Abu Zayed (18) and Mohammed Qita (26), from Khan Yunis.
In the context of Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea, on 14 January 2016, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip. A gunboat approached a fishing boat manned by the fishermen Mohammed Ibrahim Na’im al-Najjar (27), from al-Shati’ refugee camp, west of Gaza, and Hosam Mo’een Abu Reyala (18), from Shaikh Redwan neighbourhood in Gaza City. Israeli naval officers abducted the two aforementioned fishermen and confiscated their boat. They were detained until they were released at approximately 20:00, on the same day. However, Israeli forces kept the fishing boat under their custody. Shooting recurred in the same area on 16 January 2016, but neither casualties nor arrests were reported.
On 16 January 2016, Israeli gunboats opened fire heavily around Palestinian fishing boats sailing within three nautical miles off Khan Yunis shore, south of the Gaza Strip. This attack coincided with the fishermen sailing to bring the fishing nets from the sea. A similar shooting attack occurred in the same area on 17 January 2016, but neither casualties nor arrests were reported.
As part of Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians in the border area, on 16 January 2016, Israeli stationed at the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij refugee camp; and east of al-Salqa valley, east of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at farmers who were present in the eastern area. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
Settler attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property
At approximately 21:00 on Friday, 15 January 2016, Israeli settlers covered a large rock with black plastic bags and then put it at the intersection of Wadi Qana near the entrance to “Immanuel” settlement, northwest of Salfit. This resulted in a car accident, as Mohammed Ihssan al-Khateib (21), from Dirasitya village, northwest of Salfit, was driving his car when he was surprised to find the rock at the abovementioned intersection. As a result, the car hit the rock, due to which the car broke down. Mohammed al-Khateib said to PCHR’s fieldworker:
“At approximately 21:00 on Friday, 15 January 2016, I was driving my taxi on Wadi Qana road heading to Deiristya village with two passengers with me. When I approached Wadi Qana intersection near the entrance to “Immanuel” settlement, I was surprised that my car had crashed into a black object. After I got out of my car, I found a large rock covered with black plastic bags; the rock was placed at the intersection in an invisible place.”
At approximately 16:30 on Monday, 18 January 2016, an Israeli settler from “Ariel” settlement ran over two brothers, one of whom was a child, from Mas’ha village, west of Salfit, while they were returning by bicycle from their work in Kufor Qassem village. The settler intentionally deviated from the main street, although it was empty, and drove towards the bicycle that was rode by Khalil Mousa Zuhair ‘Amir (19), and his brother ‘Odai (17). As a result, the bicycle rolled over and the driver was immediately killed, while ‘Odai sustained serious wounds, after which, ‘Odai was transported to Beilinsion Hospital in Israel to receive medical treatment.
According to the uncle of the two abovementioned brothers, Bilal Zuhair Ahmed ‘Amir (38):
“At approximately 16:30 on Monday, 18 January 2016, while we were on foot going back from our work in Kufor Qassem village, which was near our house. Khalil and his brother ‘Odai were coming back with us by their bicycle. Additionally, they leave their bicycle near the wall of Kufor Qassem entrance and return daily by it. Khalil and ‘Odai work with their father in Kufor Qassem village. Furthermore, while we were walking on the side of the road, suddenly, an Israeli civilian car deviated towards the two brothers and ran over them, although the street was empty and wide enough. We saw how the settler intentionally deviated by his car towards them. Some photos of this settler were later published on social media websites showing who he was. The settler’s father then came to the incident place shouting at his son asking, ‘Why did you do that?!’ Afterwards, Israeli forces arrived and attempted to tell the people that it was an accident, but we saw with our own eyes how the settler intentionally deviated towards the brothers and how he did not attempt to use the brakes to stop the car.”
On Monday, six Israeli settlers, from “Bracha” settlement, south of Nablus, set an ambush for Palestinian civilian vehicles behind their parking station, south of Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus. The settlers were waiting the arrival of Palestinian vehicles coming from Hawara checkpoint, and they suddenly appear in front of their vehicles, so the Palestinian drivers were forced to drive slowly to avoid the Israeli claims about carrying out a run-over attack or opening fire at them. When Palestinian vehicles approached the settlers, the latter were throwing stones towards the vehicles under the Israeli soldiers’ protection, before the driver could even escape. As a result, two Palestinian vehicles were damaged. The first one belonging to Harees Abu ‘Awad, from Balatah refugee camp, east of Nablus, sustained damage in the left windows; and the second one belonging to Wadah Nabeel Abed al-Jaleel Ahmed ‘Amir (27), from Kufor Qalil village, east of Nablus, sustained damage in the windshield.
In addition to these attacks, also this week Israeli settlers wrote racist slogans on the walls of a church.
7 houses and 9 livestock and poultry barracks were demolished, and 47 fruit trees were cut down.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli troops violently assaulted numerous non-violent demonstrations this week.
On Friday, 15 January 2016, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered at the southern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, near an UNRWA school for boys, 300 meters away from the fence of “Beit-Eil” settlement, to organize a peaceful demonstration in protest against the Israeli attacks in the oPt. The demonstrators threw stones at the settlement fence; due to which, Israeli forces stationed in the area fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters and then chased them into the camp. As a result, three children were wounded; two of whom were hit with live bullets while the third one was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the back.
On Friday afternoon, dozens of young men gathered in the vicinity of Ofer Prison, west of Ramallah, to organize a demonstration against the Israeli policies and settler attacks. After the protesters then made their way to the prison gate, so the Israeli forces closed the gate and deployed in the area. The protesters set fire to rubber tires and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers, who immediately fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters. As a result, a 34-year-old civilian was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the back.
Following the Friday prayer, dozens of young men gathered near al-Moftah area in ‘Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, and then headed to Bilal Bin Rabah mosque. The protesters threw stones and Molotov Cocktail at a military watchtower established in the area. Due to this, Israeli soldiers immediately fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the protesters. As a result, 3 civilians were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets, while a female journalist, Safiya Omar (27), was hit with a Two-Two bullet.
At approximately 14:00 on Friday, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, and threw stones at Israeli vehicles stationed in the area. After that, Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets at the protesters and a PRCS ambulance. As a result, the ambulance windshield was broken, while the paramedics sustained shrapnel wounds. Director of Emergency Department at the PRCS, Mohammed ‘Awad, said to a PCHR fieldworker that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets at the windshield of the ambulance stationed at al-Khader area to offer medical treatment for the wounded persons. Due to this, the ambulance windshield was broken, while the paramedics sustained shrapnel wounds. The abovementioned wounded paramedics were identified as Loay al-Shareef and Fadi Ja’afrah, both of whom were wounded to the face. ‘Awad added that medical staffs offered first aid to the wounded and then took them to Beit Jala Hospital to receive medical treatment.
At approximately 14:00 on Friday, dozens of Palestinian young men headed to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the centre of the Gaza Strip. The protesters threw stones at the soldiers stationed behind the sand barriers along the fence, due to which, the Israeli soldiers opened fire at them. As a result, three protesters were wounded; one of whom was hit with a live bullet to the right thigh. The abovementioned wounded were identified as:
Mohammed ‘Adel Mohammed Abu Zayed (18), from al-Bureij, who was hit with a live bullet to the neck and immediately died.
Mohammed Majdi ‘Azmi Qitah (26), from Khan Yunis, who was hit with a live bullet to the abdomen and underwent a surgery in al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. It should be mentioned that doctors’ efforts to save his life failed and medical sources declared his death an hour later.
Around the same time, Israeli forces stationed at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, northwest of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at dozens of young men, who were on the road between the Palestinian and Israeli sides of the crossing. The protesters threw stones at the soldiers in protest at the Israeli attacks against the Palestinian civilians in Jerusalem and the West Bank. As a result of the clashes which continued until 17:30, six civilians, including two children, were wounded. Four of them were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets, while the two others were directly hit with tear gas canisters throughout their bodies.
Following the Friday prayer on 15 January 2015, in spite of the bad weather, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized a demonstration in protest at the Israeli settlement activities in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah. The Israeli forces used force to disperse the protesters by firing live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the protesters and chased them into agricultural fields. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation, one of whom was identified as Manal Abed al-Hafiz Tamimi (42). Manal was then taken to Yasir ‘Arafat Hospital in Salfit to receive medical treatment.
At approximately 15:30 on Friday, Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized a protest in the centre of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilia, and made their way 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 the protesters approached the entrance, Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the protesters in response. As a result, a 17-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet to the right leg.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the international community, in light of its failure to the stop the aggression on the Palestinian people, at least fulfil its obligation to reconstruct the Gaza Strip after the series of hostilities launched by Israel which directly targeted the civilian infrastructure;
In addition, 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.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: