In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 30 March – 05 April 2017, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. Israeli forces killed a Palestinian from Nablus in occupied Jerusalem. 22 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a journalist, were wounded.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child from Nablus in Jerusalem’s Old City. Meanwhile, they wounded 22 other civilians, including 3 children and a photojournalist.
In a new crime of using excessive force, on 01 April 2017, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child, Ahmed Ghazal (17), from Nablus, after stabbing settlers on al-Wad Street in Jerusalem’s Old City. They chased the above-mentioned child, who fled towards the entry of a small building. The Israeli forces then fired around 25 bullets at him from a close distance, so Ghazal immediately died. Eyewitnesses emphasized that the shooting occurred immediately after they raided the building, so they could have abducted the child, given that the building is small and was completely surrounded. Moreover, there was only one exit.
In the same context, on 30 March 2017, 16 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded when dozens of Palestinian civilians and human rights defenders organized a peaceful protest commemorating the Earth Day in Salman Mount, south of Nablus, and planted olive trees in a land threatened of confiscation. Two of the wounded persons were hit with live bullets while the rest were hit with metal bullets.
On the same day, a 25-year-old civilian was hit with a bullet to the left thigh when Israeli forces moved into Tubas to carry out an abduction campaign. Following the shooting, a number of civilians protested against the soldiers.
On 31 March 2017, a 14-year-old child was wounded when Israeli forces stationed at the southern entrance to Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah, opened fire at him. They then abducted the child and took him to a hospital in Israel.
On the same day, Israeli forces wounded 3 civilians, including a photojournalist in Palestine TV while participating in Kafr Qadoum protest, north of Qalqilya.
On 05 April 2017, Akram al-Atrash (23) was hit with 3 bullets to the shoulder, hand and chest when Israeli undercover units dressed like Palestinians “Mosta’arbeen” sneaked into al-Dheishah refugee camp, south of Bethlehem to carry out an abduction campaign.
In the context of house demolitions, the Israeli Municipality vehicles demolished 3 residential facilities, walls and an agricultural room in Za’im village, east of the city, under the pretext of non-licensing. Those facilities are comprised of 3 buildings, which include 16 apartments; two of which were inhabited, 8 were ready for housing and 6 were under construction. Moreover, the bulldozers demolished an agricultural room and walls surrounding 3 plots of lands. It should be mentioned that the two inhabited apartments used to shelter 11 persons.
In the same context, Hafez al-Rajabi self-demolished his house on the same day in Beit Hanina village, north of East occupied Jerusalem, upon a decision by the Israeli municipality, in order to avoid paying the demolition costs to the municipality staff. The 120-square-meter house was built 15 years ago and sheltered a family of 7 members, including 4 children.
in the same context, Fayez and Soliman ‘Abdel Latif Ja’abis was forced to self-demolishe their houses in al-Mukaber Mount village, southeast of occupied Jerusalem, upon a decision by the Israeli municipality. The two houses were built on an area of 150 square meters 3 years ago and sheltered two families of 16 members, including 12 children.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 57 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 11 ones into occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces abducted at least 73 Palestinian civilians, including 16 children. Twenty-three of them, including 11 children, were abducted in occupied Jerusalem.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continued to open fire at the farmers in the border areas.
In the Gaza Strip, as part of targeting the border areas, on 03 April 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the agricultural lands in al-Fokhari and Khuza’ah villages. No casualties were reported.
On 04 April 2017, Israeli planes sprayed crop-killing pesticides on the agricultural lands to the west of the border fence between Israel and Gaza Strip, northeast of al-Qararah village, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Farmers there emphasized that they saw small planes flying low in the area. The farmers added that those planes started spraying pesticides over 300-400 meters of the lands to the west of the fence before moving to the north to the eastern side of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli settlers continued to carry out attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property this week.
On 30 March 2017, Israeli forces levelled Palestinian lands belonging to the Deir Balout Municpality, west of Salfit. Local sources said that the Israeli municipality bulldozers levelled so far 20 dunums out of 72 dunums intended to be levelled. those lands belong to the families of Samarah, ‘Abdel Rahman and ‘Abdullah and were levelled for the interest of expanding “Ariel” settlement and its industrial area.
On 03 April 2017, Israeli forces uprooted 135 olive trees from Qana Valley lands belonging to the Deir Istiya Municipality, northwest of Salfit, under the pretext that “they are obstacles in the Natural Reserve.” A 35-meter retaining wall was also demolished under the pretext of changing the area.
In the same context, on 27 March 2017, a group of settlers from Gel’ad settlement established on the Palestinian lands of Jeet village, northeast of Qalqilya, attacked farmers from the abovementioned village while ploughing their land there.
Israeli attacks against non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli troops engaged in an excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall.
At approximately 12:00, on Thursday, 30 March 2017, on Land day, dozens of Palestinian civilians and human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration. They moved from Madama village council and made their way to al-Qa’dat area in Suleiman Mount, south of the village, which is threatened of confiscation, as they carried olive seedlings. The civilians were surprised with the Israeli forces stationed on the top of the abovementioned mount, which is about 500 meters away from the land they intended to plant. When the civilians began planting the olive seedlings, the Israeli soldiers fired live bullets and rubber-coated metal bullets at them. As a result, 16 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded. Two civilians were hit with live bullets while the others were hit with metal bullets. Among those wounded were Dr. Ghassan Hamdan (54), Director of Medical Relief in Palestine in Nablus, sustained a metal bullet wound to the back; Derar Mohammed Husain Abu Omer (53), working in the Palestinian Agricultural Relief, was hit with a metal bullet to the right leg; Khaled Hasan Mohammed Soboh (59), official in Agricultural Relief, was hit with a metal bullet to the left leg sustaining fracture, Amin Mohammed Amin Nassar (12) sustained a metal bullet wound to the left leg and Hafeth Mohammed Hafeth Nassar (12) was hit with a metal bullet to the leg.
At approximately 13:00 on the same day, dozens of Palestinian civilians, activists from the Hebron Defense Committee and International and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful protest to plant trees in Wad al-Husain area, east of Hebron, on which the Israeli authorities established “Kiryat Arba” The protest was organized to commemorate the 41st anniversary of Earth Day. The protestors carried slogans titled “United against confiscation of lands in al-Jalil, al-Naqab and al-Muthalath”. The soldiers surrounded the area and attacked and beat the protesters, claiming that the abovementioned area was declared as a closed military zone. The Israeli soldiers then abducted 4 activists from the Popular Resistance and took them to a detention center in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem. The abducted activists were identified as ‘Anan Samir Maswadah, an activist in the Hebron Defense Committee; Bade’I Mohammed Adeeb Duwaik, Coordinator of the “human rights Defenders” Gathering; Younis Mohammed ‘Arar, Head of the Palestinian Committee against the Annexation Wall in Hebron and Eshaq Abdul Hamid al-Khatib. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities informed the lawyers of the abducted activists that they were abducted on charges of being in a closed military zone.
At approximately 12:40 on Friday, 31 March 2017, Palestinian civilians and International activists organized a protest in Kufur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. They made their way towards 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 rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, 3 civilians were wounded, including Bashar Mahmoud Nazal Saleh (40), a photojournalist at Palestine TV Channel, sustained a metal bullet to the right leg. Moreover, several civilians suffered tear gas inhalation, and the Israeli bulldozers damaged the main water pipe of the village.
Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, west of Ramallah, and in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, protesting against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protestors, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased the protesters into olive fields and between houses. As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers.
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 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.
In addition, the PCHR called upon the United Nations to provide international protection to Palestinians in the oPt, and to ensure the non-recurrence of aggression against the Occupied Palestinian Territories, especially the Gaza Strip.