In its weekly report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 24 – 29 August 2017, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 7 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Five of them, including 2 children, were wounded in the West Bank, and the 2 others, including a child, were wounded in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip continued to chase the Palestinian fishermen in the sea.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 39 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. 50 civilians, including 10 children and a woman, were abducted in the West Bank. Eighteen of them, including 3 children and a woman, were abducted in Jerusalem. 2 Palestinian civilians were abducted at the checkpoints in the West Bank.
In the West Bank, on 25 August 2017, Israeli forces wounded 3 civilians, including a child, with rubber-coated metal bullets during Kafr Qaddoum protest, northeast of qalqilya, against the closure of the eastern entrance to the village since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada with an iron gate.
On 29 August 2017, two Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded with bullets when Israeli forces moved into Nablus to accompany dozens of settlers while entering “Josef Tomb” in the eastern side of the city to perform religious rituals. A number of children and young men gathered at the entrance to Balatah refugee camp and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli vehicles. The Israeli soldiers in response opened fire at them, wounding both of them.
Israeli forces continued efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem. A Jewish synagogue was opened in Silwan village. Students of al-Aqsa Sharia School were denied access to their school in the mosque under the pretext of receiving the Palestinian curriculum books.
In the context of creating a Jewish majority in the City, On 24 August 2017, Israeli Ministers, members of Knesset and Rabbis opened a Jewish synagogue in the neighborhood of Batn Al-Hawa in Silwan south of occupied Jerusalem. Zuhair al-Rajabi, Head of Batn al-Hawa neibourhood Committee, said that the Israeli Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, and Members of the Knesset as well as Rabbis and nearly 300 settlers opened a synagogue in Batn Al-Hawa in “Abu Nab” building which was seized in 2015. They brought two books from the Torah inside the property. It should be mentioned that the building is comprised of 5 apartments and characterized by its distinctive character. Thus, settlement organizations claim that it was a synagogue for the Jews of Yemen in the late 19th century and began to demand the evacuation of the property since 2004. The property falls within the “Ateerat Cohanim” scheme to control the 5200 square meters from the “Batn Al-Hawa” neighborhood, claiming it belongs to Jews from Yemen since 1881.
As part of targeting educational institutions, on 24 August 2017, the Israeli police denied students of al-Aqsa Sharia School access to their school in the Mosque, under the pretext of receiving book of the Palestinian curriculum with the Palestinian flag printed on which. They abducted Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat, Director of the Sharia Education in the Islamic Endowments “Aqwqa”, and Robin Muhsen, Seceterait at al-Qsa School. They also took the ID card of teacher Nader al-Afghani and summoned him for investigation at al-Qeshlah police station in Old Jerusalem. Al-Afghani teaches 100 female students at al-Aqsa Sharia School for Girls and 150 male students in al-Aqsa Sharia School for Boys from the 7th to 12th grade.
As part of targeting the NGOs, on 28 August 2017, Israeli forces raided Yabus Cultural Center on al-Zahraa’ Street and banned a research seminar. The Israeli Intelligence Service surrounded the Center an hour before the scheduled time for the seminar. They took the ID cards of the participants, forced them to leave the hall, and prevented anyone from entering it. The Israeli forces then fixed a decision signed by the Israeli Police Commander in Jerusalem saying that the ban is based on the ” 2016 Anti-Terrorism Law” under the pretext that Hamas Movement organizes the seminar.
In one example of this week’s 39 invasions, on Thursday August 24th at approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Kafel Hares village, north of Salfit. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they abducted 4 civilians, including 2 children, namely Eyad Raed Fayez al-Qaq (16), Anas Saber Hamad Shaqour (17), Ahmed Marwan Saleh Buziyah (23) and ‘Odai Hasan Shaqour (23). The soldiers also stole about NIS 1200 and JD 50 from a house belonging to Marwan Saleh Buziyah when they abducted his son Ahmed, but the soldiers denied that. Marwan said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 24 August 2017, my sons and I were in the living room as we were expecting the Israeli forces to come to our house after we knew they were in the village. My son, Ahmed, has always been in permanent confrontation with the Israeli forces, so his arrest was expected. The door was suddenly opened as the soldiers broke it with a special machine without knocking on the door. A large number of Israeli soldiers deployed all over the house while other soldiers searched the rooms. We knew that the soldiers will steal our money from the closet as I was saving it preparing for Eid al-Adha. While the soldiers were leaving the house, my wife went to the closet and opened it, but did not find the money. I quickly followed the officer and informed him that his soldiers stole money from me, but he denied that. The officer then ordered each soldier to take his wallet out of his pocket, but he did not search or even open them. He then promised me that he will turn the money back, but in vain, and this how they stole about NIS 1200 and JD 50.”
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
Israeli forces continued to target the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea. Seven shooting incidents were documented against Palestinian fishing boats in the northern Gaza Strip.
In the Gaza Strip, border areas witnessed protests against the unjust closure imposed on the Gaza population. During these protests, Israeli forces used force against the protestors, particularly when dispersing them. As a result, 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded after being directly hit with tear gas canisters.
Concerning attacks on fishermen, on 24 August 2017, Israeli gunboats sporadically opened fire at and chased Palestinian fishing boats, northwest of Beit Lahia village, north of the Gaza Strip. The shooting recurred in the abovementioned area on 26, 27, and 28 August 2017.
On 26 August 2017, Israeli gunboats sporadically opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats, west of al-Soudaniya area, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. The shooting recurred in the same area on 27 August 2017.
Also this week, Israeli forces abducted a Palestinian worker at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli forces continued their pattern of attacking the weekly demonstrations held to protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities.
At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 25 August 2017, Palestinian civilians and International activists organized a protest in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. They made their way to the eastern entrance to 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, the Israeli forces fired metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, a 37-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the head; an 18-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the abdomen; and an 8-year-old child sustained a metal bullet wound to the left leg.
Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized protests in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah; al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protesters, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased protesters into olive fields and between the houses. As a result, some of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.
At approximately 16:00 on the same Friday, 25 August 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, in response to calls for protests in the border area against the Israeli measures in occupied Jerusalem. A number of the young men set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli forces stationed along the abovementioned border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets at them. The clashes continued until approximately 20:00 on the same day. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian, from Jabalia, was hit with a tear gas canister to the back; and a 15-year-old child, from al-Shija’iyah neighborhood in Gaza, was hit with a tear gas canister to the back. The wounded civilians were transferred to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia. Their injuries were classified as minor.
(PCHR keeps the name of the wounded civilians)
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 European Union apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
In addition, the PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.