In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 23 – 29 March 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 child in al-Jalazone refugee camp and a woman in occupied Jerusalem. 9 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were wounded.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and woman. Meanwhile, they wounded 9 other civilians, including 2 children, in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the sea and open fire at the farmers in the border areas.
In the West Bank, in a new crime of using excessive force, on 23 March 2017, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 4 others, including 2 children. All of them were from al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. Israeli forces claimed that Palestinians in a car traveling near Beit Eil Settlement threw Molotov Cocktails at the settlement fence. The Israeli soldiers fortified in a watchtower opened fire at a car. As a result, a child was killed and 4 other civilians were wounded. According to information available at PCHR, if the Israeli forces’ claims were true, they could have used less lethal forces against the abovementioned civilians and abducted them.
In a new crime of wilful killings, on 29 March 2017, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian identified as Siham Rateb Nemer (49) after opening fire at her when she was entering the Damascus Gate (Bab al-‘Amoud) in occupied Jerusalem. Israeli forces claimed as usual that the abovementioned woman attempted to stab an Israeli soldier. However, PCHR’s investigations refuted those claims. It should be mentioned that Siham is the mother of Mustafa Nemer, who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on 05 September 2016 when he was driving a car along with his relative on ‘Anata Street in Sho’afat refugee camp, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. As a result, he was killed and his relative was wounded.
On 24 March 2017, 5 Palestinian civilians were wounded while participating in a demonstration in al-Qaboun area near al-Mugheir village, northeast of Ramallah. This demonstration was in protest against the establishment of a sheep barn by a settler in an attempt to establish a settlement outpost on the Palestinian lands.
Among those abducted were 10 of al-Aqsa guards. Israeli forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli forces forced a civilian to self-demolish his house roof in Beit Hanina, north of the city. Two under-construction houses in al-Issawiyah were demolished in addition to two inhabited ones in al-Mukaber Mount, rendering 14 persons homeless, including 10 children.
In the context of house demolitions, on 25 March 2017, Yousif Bakhtan self-demolished a house roof in al-Ashqariyah neighborhood in Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of occupied Jerusalem, to avoid the Israeli Municipality’s high demolition costs .
On 28 March 2017, Israeli forces demolished an under-construction house belonging to Ahmed Abu al-Homos and an under-construction building belonging to Mheisen family in al-Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem.
On 29 March 2017, Israeli forces demolished two houses belonging to Islam and Imam Mousa al-‘Abasi in al-Mukaber Mount villagem, southeast of occupied Jerusalem. The two houses were built in 2014 on an area of 160 square meters. the first house sheltered Islam al-‘Abasi and his 8-member family, including 6 children, while the second houses sheltered his brother Imam and his family comprised of 6 members, including 4 children.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, as part of targeting the border areas, on 25 March 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported.
On 28 March 2017, Israeli forces stationed inside watchtowers along the eastern borders of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at the border area opposite to al-Ahmar area. No casualties were reported.
In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen, on 25 March 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boat sailing there. However, no casualties were reported. The shooting recurred in the same area on 29 March 2017.
Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
A mobile house (caravan) was confiscated from the Northern Jordan Valley, and a metal workshop was demolished in al-Jaftalak village, north of Jericho.
On 27 March 2017, Israeli forces demolished a barrack used as a metal workshop in al-Jaftalak village, north of Jericho. The 144-square-meter barrack roofed and built of tin plates belongs to Anwar Abu Joudah, whose family is comprised of 10 members, including 8 children, and he is the sole breadwinner of his family.
On 28 March 2017, Israeli forces confiscated a mobile house (caravan) in al-Hammah area in the Northern Jordan Valley, east of tubas. The caravan belongs to Mahmoud ‘Awwad Ayoub and donated from ACTED Foundation.
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 on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli troops engaged this week in a disproportionate use of force against Palestinian civilians and their supporters involved in non-violent protests.
At approximately 10:00, on Friday, 24 March 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians organized a demonstration in al-Qabboun area near al-Moghir village, northeast of Ramallah, in protest against a sheep barn built by a settler in an attempt to establish a settlement outpost on the Palestinian lands. The Israeli forces immediately fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the protestors. As a result, 5 civilians sustained wounds. The first civilian (29) sustained a live bullet wound to the lower limbs, the second (23) was hit with a live bullet to the lower limbs, the third (19) was hit with a tear gas canister to the head, the fourth one (19) was hit with a bullet to the thigh and the fifth (31) was hit with a tear gas canister to the head.
(PCHR keeps the names of the wounded civilians).
Following the Friday prayer on March 24th, 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 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 due to being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli attacks this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that States apply the principle of universal jurisdiction, and not to surrender to Israeli pressure to limit universal jurisdiction to perpetuate the impunity enjoyed by suspected Israeli war criminals;
In addition, the PCHR calls upon the international community to act in order to stop all Israeli settlement expansion activities in the oPt through imposing sanctions on Israeli settlements and criminalizing trading with them.