In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 04- 10 February 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. 2 children were killed in the southern West Bank. 17 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian children, north of Hebron, and wounded 15 others, including 7 children. Nine of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 5 others were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets and one was run over by a military jeep.
During the past week, Israeli forces conducted 94 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. 78 Palestinian civilians, including 13 children, were abducted. Twenty-one of them, including 7 children, were abducted in occupied Jerusalem.
Israeli forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. Occupied East Jerusalem witnessed similar attacks. During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian children in Halhoul and al-Aroub refugee camp, south of the West Bank, and wounded 17 others, including 8 children. Fifteen of them, including 7 children, were wounded in the West Bank while the 2 others, including a child, were wounded in the Gaza Strip. Concerning the nature of injuries, 11 Palestinians were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 5 others were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets and a child was wounded as an Israeli military jeep deliberately ran over him.
On 05 February 2016, in excessive use of lethal force, Israeli forces killed Haitham Sa’da (15) and abducted anther, both are from Halhoul, north of Hebron. Israeli forces claimed that both of them intended to throw a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli military vehicle on Bypass Road (60). An eyewitness said that the area was calm and there were no clashes when the gunfire was heard.
On 10 February 2016, Israeli forces killed Omer Madi (16), from al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, when Israeli soldiers stationed at a military watchtower on Bypass road (60), opened fire at a number of school boys that threw stones at the soldiers. One of the school boys was killed as a result.
Concerning the circumstances during which Palestinian civilians were wounded, 6 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded during peaceful protests organized against the cordon imposed on Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. Moreover, a child was wounded during an Israeli incursion into Salfit and 2 brothers were wounded in Taqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem. In addition, 4 children were wounded during protests organized in al-Naqqar neighbourhood, near the annexation wall, west of Qalqilya; in the vicinity of “Etamar” settlement, east of Nablus; and at the southern entrance to al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. Two other children were wounded during Kufor Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqilya.
Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians. 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were abducted at military checkpoints.
During the reporting period, after 3 civilians from Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin, carried out an armed attack in occupied Jerusalem, on 03 February 2016, the Israeli Knesset decided to carry out a military operation in the said village. In view of this decision, the Israeli forces cordoned the village for 3 consecutive days, raided houses and abducted a number of civilians. Moreover, they withdrew permits to enter Israel from the village workers and traders.
In the context of collective punishment measures, on 07 February 2016, the Home Frond Command in the Israeli government issued decisions to close and seize houses of 4 Palestinian prisoners from East Jerusalem, whom were accused of killing a settler in September 2015 by throwing stones at his vehicle.
Concerning house demolitions and demolition notices, on 08 February 2016, Israeli forces accompanied by municipality vehicles moved into al-Eisawiya village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. They municipality officers randomly distributed administrative demolition notices to dozens of houses. It should be noted that those houses were built 5-20 years ago and obtained building permits from the Israeli municipality.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, during a protest organized near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij refugee camp, while another was wounded during a protest organized in the east of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip.
In the Gaza Strip, on 04 February 2016, Israeli forces moved about 100 meters into al-Shouka village, southeast of Rafah. They leveled and combed lands in the area and withdrew later.
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 9 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.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli settlement activities continued this week in the West Bank. The Israeli government issued a decision to close and seize houses of 4 Palestinian prisoners from Sour Baher village. 2 agricultural rooms, a water tank and water and electricity networks in Bil’in village, west of Ramallah, were demolished. 11 dwellings, 6 livestock tents and 6 barns in the northern and southern Jordan Valley were demolished. 3 residential tents in Sousya village, south of Yatta, were confiscated. 12 residential tents, 6 barns and 6 fodder storehouses in Kherbet Tana, east of Nablus.
On 04 February 2016, Israeli forces moved into Abu Lemon Nature Reserve, west of Bil’in village, west of Ramallah. Two bulldozers demolished 2 agricultural rooms, a water tank, water and electricity networks and public toilets that were built 4 years ago. It should be noted that this land was returned by Israeli forces to its owners following a decision from the Israeli Supreme Court 5 years ago.
On the same day, Israeli forces moved into Thera’a Awad in the northern Jordan Valley. Two bulldozers immediately demolished dwellings and livestock barns belonging to 2 families residing in that area. Moreover, the bulldozers demolished 4 residential tents, 7 livestock tents, 4 livestock barns, 2 kitchens, 2 rest rooms, 2 water tanks and steel partitions.
Also on the same day, Israeli forces moved into Sousya village, south of Yatta, southeast of Hebron. They demolished and confiscated 3 residential tents belonging to Nasser Ishraiteh under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities demolished 2 residential tents belonging to the same person in the same area on 02 January 2016.
On 08 February 2016, Israeli forces handed notices over to the owners of 4 houses in Deir Ballout village, west of Salfit, and owners of 10 residential rooms in Kherbet al-Markaz, southeast of Yatta, southwest of Hebron, to halt construction works under the pretext they are located in area (C) according to Oslo Accords.
On 09 February 2016, Israeli forces moved into Kherbet Tana, east of Beit Foreek, east of Nablus. They demolished 12 residential tents, 6 livestock barns and 6 fodder storehouses and confiscated a vehicle belonging to a Palestinian civilian. It should be noted that this is the 4th time these facilities have been demolished between 2014 and 2016 to dismiss its occupants.
On 10 February 2016, Israeli forces demolished 3 residential barracks, water and electricity networks and 2 livestock barns, west of al-Jiftlek village, north of Jericho.
On the same day, Israeli forces demolished 4 residential tents in the northern Jordan Valley belonging to Kayed al-Salameen. It should be noted that this is the second time these tents were demolished in less than a week and without prior notice.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
At approximately 17:00, on Thursday, 04 February 2016, dozens of young men gathered in al-Naqar neighborhood near the annexation wall, west of Qalqilya. The protesters threw stones at the soldiers, who fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bomb at them in response. As a result, 16-year-old male was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right thigh.
Following the Friday prayer, on 05 February 2016, a peaceful demonstration started from the center of Beit Foreek village, east of Nablus, and headed to a military site established on al-Qa’da Mount near “Itamar” settlement, east of Beit Foreek village. The protesters threw stones and empty bottles at the site, due to which, the soldiers fired live bullets and rubber-coated metal bullets at the protesters and chased them into the fields. As a result, 13-year-old male was hit with 2 live bullets to the legs and was then taken to Rafidia Hospital to receive medical treatment.
On Friday, 05 February 2016, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered at the southern entrance to 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 Occupied Palestinian Territories. The demonstrators threw stones at the settlement fence, due to which, Israeli forces stationed in the area fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters and then chased them into the camp. As a result, 2 children were wounded, the first one (16), was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet, while the second (17), was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head as well.
Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian young men organized a peaceful demonstration in solidarity with Mohammed al-Qeeq, the detained journalist hunger striking in the Israeli jails, on the road between Selwad and Yabroud villages, northeast of Ramallah; and in the vicinity of Ofer prison, southwest of the city. Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the protester. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.
At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 05 February 2016, dozens of Palestinian young men headed to the border area between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Burij refugee camp, in the centre of the Gaza Strip. The protesters threw stones at the soldiers stationed along the border fence. The soldiers stationed behind sand barriers opened fire at them in response. As a result, Iyad Ihab Hafiz Abu Hijayer (13), was hit with a live bullet to the pelvis. He was then taken to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah, where his injuries were classified as serious.
At approximately 02:30 on Friday, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at dozens of young men gathered near the fence, east of al-Shuhad cemetery, east of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip. The protesters threw stones at the soldiers in protest at the Israeli attacks against the Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. As a result of the clashes that continued until 18:00, Shadi Abed al-Hadi Abed al-Kareem Kharwat (19), from Beit Hanoun, was hit with a live bullet to the left leg and was then taken by a PRCS ambulance to the Indonesian Hospital, where his injuries were classified as moderate.
At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 05 February 2016, Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights activists organized a protest in the center 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, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters. As a result, 2 civilians were wounded, the first one (29), was hit with a live bullet to the right thigh, while the second (26), was hit with a live bullet to the right thigh as well.
Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights activists 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 and chased them into agricultural fields. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.
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 High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions compel Israel, as a High Contracting Party to the Conventions, to apply the Conventions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories;
In addition, 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 pressure Israel to comply with their provisions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in its reports submitted to the concerned committees;
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: