In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 22– 28 September 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. 6 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In addition, Israeli forces conducted 68 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 15 ones in Jerusalem and its suburbs. 114 civilians, including 16 children, were abducted.
51 of them, including 9 children, were abducted in occupied Jerusalem. Among the abducted was Jamal al-Natsha, a PLC member from Hamas’ Change and Reform Bloc.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child.
On 22 September 2016, an 18-year-old male sustained a bullet wounded to the right thigh and another bullet wound to the right side, and another 17-year-old male sustained a bullet wound to the left leg when Israeli forces moved into the east of Nablus.
On 23 September 2016, Israeli forces stationed at the entrance to “Givat Kharsina” settlement, east of Hebron, opened fire at Anas Zaidat (14), from Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron, when he was present at a nearby car stop. As a result, he was wounded to the lower limbs and was then transported to an Israeli hospital.
On the same day, an 18-year-old male sustained a bullet wound to the right leg while participating in a protest organized at the western entrance to Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah, in protest against the Israeli policies. The wounded person was transported to Palestine Medical Complec in Ramallah to receive the necessary medical treatment. His wound was classified as moderate.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 68 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 15 ones in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces abducted at least 114 Palestinian civilians, including 16 children. Fifty-one of them, including 9 children, were abducted in occupied Jerusalem. Among the abducted was Jamal al-Natsha, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from Hamas’ Change and Reform Bloc.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, on 23 September 2016, Qais Mohammed Baker (40), from al-Shati refugee camp, was wounded when Israeli forces stationed at the border fence, east of al-Shuja’iya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City, opened fire at dozens of Palestinian youngsters who headed to Nahal Oz area in participation of activities supporting Jerusalem.
On the same day, Ayman al-Najjar, (25) sustained a bullet wound to the left leg when Israeli forces stationed at the border fence, southeast of al-Bureij refugee camp, opened fire at dozens of Palestinian youngsters who headed to the area in participation of activities supporting Jerusalem.
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 forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
Concerning house demolitions, on 27 September 2016, the Israeli municipality vehicles demolished 2 residential buildings belonging to Abu al-Hawa family in al-Khelwa area in al-Tour village, east of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing.
In the same context, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished on the same day a restaurant in Beit Safafa village, south of East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing as well. It should be noted the restaurant was built over 20 years ago and offers income to 25 families.
In the evening, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished parts of a house belonging to Sa’id al-Qassas near “Gilo” settlement under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted the demolished part was attached to al-Qassas’ house 18 years ago.
On 18 September 2016, Rami Elwan and Emad Jaber self-demolished their houses in al-Ashqariya neighbourhood in Beit Hanina, north of occupied Jerusalem, upon a decision from the municipality. They self-demolished their houses to avoid the expensive fines imposed on the demolition.
On 26 September 2016, Israeli forces demolished a container used as an old car garage in southern Nablus.
On the same day, Israeli forces demolished a livestock barrack in the east of Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus, belonging to Sa’ed Abu Jaish.
On 27 September 2016, Israeli forces accompanied by Israeli Civil Administration crew moved into Kherbet al-Hamma in northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. They demolished dwellings and barns belonging to families of 5 brothers. As a result, 26 civilians, including 14 children, were rendered homeless.
On the same day, Israeli forces demolished 4 wells in Jouret al-Khail area, east of Sa’ir village, east of Hebron, under the pretext of building without license in area (C) according to Oslo Accords. It should be noted that on 16 August 2016, Israeli forces moved into the same area and demolished 5 houses, sheds and barracks under the pretext of non-licensing as well.
Concerning settler attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 25 September 2016, a group of settlers set fire to an under-construction house in Burin village, south of Nablus, belonging to Dakheel Eid. Fire burnt the walls, wood and construction equipment before the Civil defence could extinguish it.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli troops used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations by Palestinian civilians protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall.
On Friday, 23 September 2016, dozens of Palestinian young men organized a protest against the Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories at the western entrance to Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. Protesters set fire to tiers and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at them. Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs in response. As a result, an 18-year-old male was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right leg and was then taken to Palestine Medical Complex to receive medical treatment.
Following the Friday prayer, 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 and Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliya. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased protesters into olive fields and between houses. As a result, some of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.
At approximately 15:20 on Sunday, 25 September 2016, a demonstration headed to the lands in ‘Iraq al-Toutah in Deir Balout, west of Salfit, in protest against levelling those lands to annex to “Lishin” Settlement. The Israeli company, which works in the site, removed the barbed wires separating the settlement from other lands and levelled and confiscated new dumdums. These lands to be confiscated belong to Idris Jubarah Mahmoud ‘Abdullah; ‘Amer Yousif Mahmod ‘Abdullah; ‘Ahed Mousa Saleh ‘Abdullah; Mahmoud Hussein ‘Abdullah and Ahmed Hadrous ‘Abed Salman. The aforementioned civilians headed to where the bulldozers were levelling and stood in front of them in protest against the confiscation. Although there were identification papers proving the ownership in addition to an Israeli decision issued to prevent seizing them after the owners filed a case regarding previous attempts to annex these lands to the aforementioned settlement, the bulldozers continued their work in the site. The Israeli company then called in the Israeli forces and police. The Israeli forces arrived and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the Palestinian civilians, causing gas inhalation. The Israeli forces also abducted ‘Amer Yousif Mahmoud ‘Abdullah (50) after protesting against the levelling and standing in front of the bulldozers and put him in a military vehicle. After the vehicle rolled over in the aforementioned site, ‘Abdullah was wounded and transferred to a hospital in Israel for treatment. At approximately 12:30 on the next day, he was released. The leveling is ongoing in the site.
At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 23 September 2016, Israeli forces stationed at the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Shuja’iya, east of a Gaza City, fired live bullets and rubber-coated metal bullets at Palestinian young men, while heading to Nahal ‘Oz area, east of al-Shuja’iya participating in activities to support Jerusalem. The activities continued until 18:00. At approximately 17:15, Qays Mohamed Abed al-Raouf Baker (40), from al-Shati camp, was hit with a live bullet to the thigh (entered and exited) and was then taken to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where medical sources classified his wounds as serious.
At approximately 15:30, on Friday, dozens of Palestinian young men headed to the border fence between Gaza Strip and Israel, south of al-Bureij refugee camp. They threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who fired live bullets and tear-gas canisters at them. As a result, Ayman Ali Hasan al-Najar (25) was hit with a live bullet to the left leg and was then taken to al-Aqsa Hospital, where medical sources classified his wounds as moderate.
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, the 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 pressurize 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.