In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 18- 24 February 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.
4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed in the West Bank. One of them was killed in occupied Jerusalem. 21 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children and a photojournalist, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 75 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank this week.
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. During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank; one of whom was killed in occupied Jerusalem. Moreover, they wounded 21 civilians, including a child and a photojournalist. Eighteen of them, including 5 children, were wounded in the West Bank, while 3 others, including a child, were wounded in the Gaza Strip. Concerning the nature of injuries, 18 civilians were hit with live bullets, 2 others were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets and a photojournalist was hit with a sound bomb.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 18 others, including 5 children and a photojournalist. Sixteen of them were hit with live bullets, one was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet and the photojournalist was hit with a sound bomb.
On 19 February 2016, in employment of lethal force, Israeli forces killed Mohammed Abu Khalaf (20), from Kufor Aqeb village, north of occupied Jerusalem. The aforementioned person was killed at al-Amoud Gate, the northern entrance to the Old City, when Israeli Border Guard officers fired over 50 bullets at him. Even according to the Israeli story, Israeli forces could have used less force and abducted him. The Israeli police stated that a Palestinian young man hurried towards a police officer and stabbed him in the head, but to the wound was minor. While the young man was fighting with another police officer, Israeli soldiers shot him dead.
On the same day, Israeli forces killed Khaled Taqatqah (21) while participating in a protest in solidarity with journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq, who is on a hunger strike. The protest was organized at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. Taqatqah was hit with 2 live bullets to the chest, after which Israeli forces beat him up, dragged and handcuffed him. In addition, they prevented the Palestinian medical crews from offering him first aid. The aforementioned person was left like that for half an hour until a Magen David Adom’s (MDA) ambulance arrived and took him to Hadassa-Ein Karem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 17:30.
Also on the same day, Israeli forces killed Abed Hamed (19), from Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They opened fire at him after he ran over a number of Israeli soldiers, who were opening fire at Palestinian protestors at the western entrance to the village. An eyewitness said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli MDA crew arrived at the scene and offered medical assistance to the soldiers, but left the Palestinian wounded person bleeding for about an hour, after which he passed away.
On 21 February 2016, in employment of lethal force, Israeli forces stationed in their military site at the intersection of Beita village, south of Nablus, killed Qusai Abu al-Rub (16), from Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They claimed that he was holding a knife and heading towards Israeli soldiers that shot him dead even before he approached them. PCHR’s investigations highlights that Israeli forces could have used less force and abducted him, especially as the military site is fortified with cement cubes.
86 Palestinian civilians, including 19 children, were abducted. 19 of them, including 12 children, were abducted in occupied Jerusalem; while 13 others, including a child, were abducted during their participation in peaceful protests.
House demolitions continued on grounds of collective punishment. 2 houses in Tarousa and Deir Samet villages in Hebron were demolished.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, during their participation in protests organized adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, northwest of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip.
In the context of targeting border areas along the Gaza Strip, on 20 February 2016, Israeli forces stationed at the said fence, east of al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian farmers on their lands. Similar attack recurred on 23 February 2016, but no casualties were reported among farmers.
Israeli forces continued to target the border areas along the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
Israeli Settlement activities:
Settlement activities continued in the West Bank. Israeli forces issued more house demolition notices in the southern West Bank.
In the context of house demolitions on grounds of collective punishment, on 23 February 2016, Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to prisoner Ra’ed Mahmoud Khalil (36), in Tarousa village, west of Doura, southwest of Hebron. It should be noted that Khalil is accused of carrying out a stabbing in Tel Aviv in Israel on 19 November 2015, which resulted in the killing of 2 Israelis.
Around the same time, Israeli forces demolished an apartment belonging to the family of prisoner Mohammed al-Hroub (21), from Deir Samet village, southwest of Doura. It should be mentioned that Israeli forces accused the aforementioned person of opened fire at “Gosh Etzion” settlement’ intersection on 19 November 2015, which resulted in the killing of 2 Israelis.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Following the Friday prayer, on 19 February 2016, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem, to organize a peaceful demonstration in solidarity with Mohammed al-Qeeq. The protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktail at the soldiers, who fired live bullets, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets at the protesters and chased them into the village. The clashes between the protesters and Israeli forces continued until the afternoon, during which, Israeli soldiers set an ambush for many protesters and fired live bullets at them. As a result, Khalid Tareq Yousef Taqatqah (21) was beaten up and hit with 2 live bullets to the chest. Israeli forces handcuffed him and prevented medical crews from offering first aid to him. Khalid was left bleeding for half an hour without help until the arrival of an MDA ambulance, which took him to Hadassah Hospital. At approximately 17:30, he was pronounced dead. Moreover, an 18-year-old male was hit with a live bullet to the leg and was then taken by an MDA ambulance to the Arab Society for Rehabilitation Hospital (ASR) in Beit Jala to receive medical treatment. It should be mentioned that Taqatqah is a former prisoner who served around 36 months in the Israeli jails. Furthermore, Israeli forces severely beat Ali Abdullah Ali Taqatqah (17) and abducted him.
Following the Friday prayer, Israeli forces that established a fortified military watchtower at the western entrance of Selwad village, northeast of Ramallah, killed a Palestinian civilian from the same village. Israeli forces claimed that the abovementioned civilian carried out a run-over attack on a number of soldiers, who were opening fire at the protesters. According to PCHR’s investigations, following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered at the western entrance of Selwad village, to organize a demonstration in protest at the Israeli policies. The protesters set fire to rubber tires and threw stones and Molotov cocktail at the soldiers, who fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them in response. At approximately 15:50, Israeli forces opened fire at a private car claiming that a driver ran-over a number of soldiers stationed at the village entrance. As a result, the driver ‘Abed Raed Abdullah Hamed (19), was immediately killed. Israeli forces closed the area and prevented a Palestinian ambulance from approaching the wounded, in addition, Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters towards the ambulance. As a result, the ambulance medical crew suffered tear gas inhalation. An eyewitness said to a PCHR fieldworker that MDA medical crews offered medical treatment to the soldiers, while they left the Palestinian wounded bleeding on the ground for around an hour without offering medical treatment. As a result, the Palestinian wounded was pronounced dead and was then taken by an Israeli ambulance to an unknown destination. At approximately 18:00, the Israeli Intelligence service in “Beit Eil” settlement, north of Ramallah, delivered the corpse to the Palestinian Liaison Office.
In the afternoon, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered at the southern entrance to al-Jalazonerefugee 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 ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters and then chased them into the camp. As a result, a 32-year-old male was hit with a live bullet to the left leg and was then taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive medical treatment.
On Friday afternoon, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in the vicinity of Ofer prison, west of Ramallah, to organize a demonstration against the Israeli policies. After that, the protesters 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 ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters. As a result, 3 civilians, including a child, were wounded with live bullets to the lower limbs. All of the wounded persons were then taken to Palestine Medical Complex to receive medical treatment.
At approximately 11:00 on Saturday, 20 February 2016, a defense committee in Hebron, organized a peaceful demonstration to call for opening the closed al-Shuhada Street, in central Hebron. The protesters raised Palestinian flags and held posters on which “Dismantle the Ghetto” was written, commemorating the 22nd anniversary of the massacre perpetrated by Baruch Goldstein in 1994 against Muslim worshippers in the Ibrahimi Mosque. The protesters gathered in front of Ali al-Bakaa’ Mosque, in the center of the Old City, before they headed through al-Shalalda and al-Zahida streets to the iron gate, which closed the road leading to Osama Bin Munqith School. Israeli forces turned the abovementioned school into a settlement outpost known as “Beit Romano”. When the protesters approached, dozens of Israeli infantry units deployed in the area and heavily fired sound bombs at the protesters. Moreover, 12 protesters were abducted and then taken to a police station near “ Kiryat Arba” settlement, while 4 other protesters, including professor Ghadi al-Ghazi, are still under the Israeli custody claiming that they attacked the Israeli soldiers. Moreover, photojournalist Ma’moun Wazouz, who works at the Chinese Agency, was hit with a sound bomb, so he sustained minor wounds to the left knee.
At approximately 14:30 on Friday, 19 February 2016, 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 lasted until 17:00, 3 civilians, including a child, were wounded. Two of them were hit with live bullets, while the third was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head. The wounded persons were then taken by a PRCS ambulance to the Indonesian Hospital and their injuries ranged between minor and moderate.
Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized a protest in Nil’in village, west of Ramallah and Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliya. Israeli forces used force to disperse the protesters by firing live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, many civilians suffered teas 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 wek, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the international community and the United Nations 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;
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.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: