In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 12 – 18 January 2017, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces killed two Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank. Israeli forces also wounded ten other civilians, including a child and woman; 3 of whom were in the Gaza Strip and the rest were in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea and open fire at farmers in the border areas.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, on 16 January 2017, during clashes between young men and Israeli soldiers at the southern entrance to the village, Israeli forces killed Qosay ‘Amour (17) after directly shooting at him and wounded his brother. Both live in Taqou’a village, southeast of Bethlehem.
In a new crime of excessive use of armed force, Israeli forces stationed at “Checkpoint 104”, west of Tulkarm, shot dead Nedal Mehdawi (44) from Shweikah Suburb and living in Western Baqah village in Israel. The Israeli forces claimed that Mehdawi threw stones at the Israeli soldiers and then pulled out a knife trying to stab one of the. As a result, the Israeli soldiers opened fire at him and he was immediately killed. Investigations indicate that the Israeli forces could have used less lethal force and abducted him.
On 13 January 2017, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded during their participation in Bil’in village, northwest of Ramallah. On the same day, 3 other civilians were wounded during a protest against the Israeli soldiers who moved into Hezma village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 60 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces abducted at least 62 Palestinian civilians, including 17 children and a woman. Thirty-two of them, including 13 children and the woman, were abducted in occupied Jerusalem. Among those abducted during this week were PLC Member affiliated with “the Change and Reform bloc”, Ahmed Mubarak (55) and Walid al-Hodali (57), Member of the General Union for Palestinian Writers. The Israeli forces also raided and confiscated contents of Sowan Printing House in Nablus.
On 12 January 2017, The Israeli Municipality forced Ramzi ‘Abdeidat and his brothers to self-demolish 8 facilities used for commercial and agricultural purposes in al-Sal’ah neighbourhood in al-Mukaber Mount village, southeast of occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli Municipality also forced Mohammed Rezeq Sori to self-demolish and removed 4 containers in al-Sal’ah area in al-Mukaber Mount village. Three of the containers were used as stores for construction materials, but the fourth one was used as an office.
On 16 January 2017, the Israeli Municipality demolished a poultry and livestock barn belonging to ‘Ali Zahaykah in Ras al-Mukaber Mount neighbourhood.
On 17 January 2017, Firas Mahmoud self-demolished his 130-square-meter house in al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. It should be mentioned that the municipality issued a decision so Mahmoud self-demolishes his house and refused his attempt to obtain a license or postpone the demolition. If he did not do so, the municipality would demolish it and impose on him a demolition fee. Mahmoud started building his houses 8 months ago and intended to move and live in it in the coming days along with his 5-member family.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, on 14 January 2017, Israeli forces wounded Ibrahim al-Sous, (36) from Beit Lahia with a bullet to the right leg. The Israeli forces opened fire at al-Sous while he was collecting wood around 400 meters away from the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip. On the same day, fisherman Eyad al-‘Omarein (20) was wounded when Israeli gunboats opened fire at him. On 17 January 2017, fishermen Khaled Abu Riyalah (22) was wounded when the Israeli gunboats opened fire at him as well.
In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea in addition to the abovementioned incidents, Israeli gunboats stationed in the see opened fire at the Palestinian fishermen 6 times during this week. The shooting happened off western Soudaniyah shore on 12 January 2017; northwest of Beit Lahia; Khan Younis shore, on 14 January 2017; northwest of Beit Lahia (twice) on 16 January 2017 and Rafah shore on 17 January 2017. As a result, 5 fishermen were abducted and 2 fishing boats were confiscated.
In the context of targeting the border areas, on 12 January 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at border area, east of Jabalia. On 17 January 2017, Israeli forces opened fire at the agricultural lands in al-Shokah village, east of Rafah city.
On 18 January 2017, Israeli soldiers opened fire at the lands adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Gaza Valley village and east of al-Farahin and ‘Abasan area, east of Khan Younis. However, no casualties were reported.
Israeli Settlement activities:
As part of this week’s Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 15 January 2017, settlers attacked properties belonging to the house of Mohammed Muheisen in Silwan village after failing to raid the house. The Israeli settlers took down and smashed a framed Quran Verse and damaging plantings and plastic chairs.
On 16 January 2017, Israeli bulldozers levelled a section of ‘Azoun village lands, east of Qalqilya, for the interest of establishing a new 3000-meter bypass road. The levelled section was about 172 dunums while around 344 dunums were indirectly damaged. Moreover, 1200 old and fruitful olive trees were uprooted.
On 17 January 2017, Israeli forces levelled a kilometre agricultural road and closed it with sand barriers in Kherbet Tana, east of ‘Aqraba village, southeast of Nablus. They also levelled a residential barrack, room, mobile bathroom, 2 animal barns and fodders store.
In the same context, on 14 January 2017, a group of Israeli settlers were in the place of evacuated “Homesh” settlement, north of Borqah village, northwest of Nablus. They attacked Mohammed Ramadan (38) with stones when he was working in his land. As a result, he was wounded to the left leg and then transferred to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus for medical treatment.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli troops engaged in excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall this week.
Following the Friday prayer on Friday, 13 January 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in, northwest of Ramallah, protesting against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. As a result, a 16-year-old child was hit with a metal bullet to the head, a 35-year-old civilian was hit with a tear gas canister to the foot and a 40-year-old civilian was hit with a tear gas canister to the foot.
Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah, and al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, and Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, protesting against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, 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 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 Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the United Nations provide international protection to Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and ensure the non-recurrence of aggression against the Occupied Palestinian Territories, especially the Gaza Strip.
The PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to compel Israel, as a High Contracting Party to the Conventions, to apply the Conventions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.