In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 04– 10 April 2019, Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. 115 civilians, including 28 children, 5 women and 3 journalists, were wounded. The injury of 2 of them was reported serious. 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were wounded in the West Bank.
Israeli forces conducted 71 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 other incursions into the Gaza Strip. 54 Palestinian civilians, including 13 children, were abducted in the West Bank. Shooting incidents continued against Palestinian farmers and shepherds in the border areas of the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 53rd week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 115 civilians, including 28 children, 5 women and 3 journalists. The injury of 2 of those wounded was reported serious.
As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods. During the reporting period, PCHR documented 8 incidents were as follows: 4 incidents off al-Waha resort shore; 2 incidents off al-Soudaniya in the northern Gaza Strip, and 2 off Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.
As part of targeting the border areas, on 07 April 2019, Israeli forces opened fire at a number of Palestinians, who were collecting gravels near Sofa Site, east of Shokah in eastern Rafah City. However, neither casualties nor damage to property was reported. The shooting recurred in the abovementioned area on 09 April 2019.
On the same day, Israeli forces opened fire at the border area adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel in the northern Gaza Strip. However, neither casualties nor damage to the property was reported.
On 08 April 2019, Israeli forces fired flare bombs in the border area in eastern ‘Abasan, east of Khan Younis, and sporadically opened fire. Later, the Israeli media said that the Israeli forces abducted 2 young men who sneaked via the border fence.
On 09 April 2019, Israeli forces opened fire and fired teargas canisters at the shepherds and workers in eastern al-Fokhari village in the vicinity of Sofa Military Site, southeast of Khan Younis. The shooting recurred in the abovementioned area on 10 April 2019.
In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, in separate shooting incidents.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 71 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 4 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces abducted at least 42 Palestinians, including 4 children, from the West Bank, while 12 other civilians, including 8 children, were abducted from Jerusalem and its suburbs.
In the Gaza Strip, on 04 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into eastern ‘Abasan al-Jadidah, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. They levelled lands along the border fence between Gaza and Israel and headed to the south before redeploying along the border fence in front of al-Farahin neighbourhood, east of ‘Abasan al-Kabirah.
On 10 April 2019, Israeli forces moved 100 meters to the southern coastal in the northwestern side of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. They leveled and combed lands that were previously leveled amidst Israeli sporadic shooting. However, no casualties were reported.
On 10 April 2019, Israeli forces moved 50 meters into al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip. They levelled lands in front of the Return encampment and later redeployed along the border fence with Israel.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 13th consecutive year. Israeli forces established 92 permanent checkpoints and 129 temporary checkpoints in the West Bank. 10 Palestinian civilians were abducted at military checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem. As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on Saturday, 06 April 2019, Nabih al-Basti self-demolished parts of his house in al-Wad neighbourhood in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, to apply the Israeli Municipality’s decision and to avoid paying the destruction costs and high fines to the Municipality. The abovmentioned civilian said that the Israeli muncpality forced him to demolish the outside walls and ceiling in addition to the pillars in his house in al-Wad neighbourhood next to “House Peace” Hotel. It should be noted that in 2016 he self-demolished his house from the inside, rendering it uninhabitable.
On 09 April 2019, Razina Family self-demolished their residential building in Bir’Onah in Beit Jala, to apply the Israeli municipality in occupied Jerusalem and to avoid paying the high demolition costs and fines to the municipality. Walid Razina said that the Israeli authorities handed him a notice from the court that before 10 April 2019 the house of his brother, Ayman Rezeq Razinah and his sons, Rezeq, Mohammed and Saleh shall be demolished or they will demolish and force him to pay the expenses.
At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 06 April 2019, Nabih al-Basti self-demolished parts of his house in al-Wad neighborhood in Occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, implementing the Israeli municipality’s decision to avoid paying the demolition’s costs and high fines to the Israeli municipality. Nabih said that the Israeli municipality forced him to self-demolish the outside walls, the ceiling and the rest of the house in al-Wad neighborhood adjacent to House Peace Hotel. It should be noted that in 2016, he demolished his house from the inside so that the house became uninhabitable. He also said that the municipality recently summoned him and ordered him to demolish the rest outside sides of his house under the pretext of vandalizing the heritage of the Old City. Moreover, the municipality gave him the chance to demolish the house until 07 April 2019 or the municipality’s staff would demolish it and so he would be forced to pay the demolition expenses and fines. Nabih added that his house was built on an area of 65 square meters in 1999, and three years ago the municipality issued the final demolition decision after years of delaying and freezing in an attempt to license it. Although Nabih was forced to demolish the house from the inside, he was forced to demolish the outside walls.
At afternoon hours on Tuesday, 09 April 2019, Zarina family self-demolished their house in Bir Una area in Beit Jala upon a demolition decision by the Israeli municipality and avoiding paying high fines and demolition expenses to the municipality. It should be noted that several months ago, Israeli forces were pursuing Zarina family to force them to demolish their house. Waleed Zarina said that the Israeli authorities and courts handed him a notice from the court to demolish the 2-storey house comprised of four apartments. The house belongs to Waleed’s brother, Ayman Rezeq Zarina and Ayamn’s sons; Rezeq, Mohammed and Saleh. Waleed said that the court ordered him to demolish the house before 10 April 2019 or it will demolish it and force him to pay the demolition expenses. He added that the Israeli court detained his nephew after he refused to sign the demolition order so his family had to pay NIS 230,000 to release him and implement the decision of self-demolition before 10 April 2019. Waleed indicated that the family hired an Israeli lawyer a year ago after the Israeli authorities’ threat to demolish the house. Large amounts of money were paid to the lawyers, but the court decided to demolish the house. Waleed added that the Israeli authorities threatened the family to demolish all their houses, which belong to Waleed’s brothers; Khaled and Raed. He stressed that the Israeli authorities clearly target Bir Una’s residents as the Israeli authorities demolished a house belonging to him beside demolishing another one a year ago. Moreover, a month ago, the Israeli authorities demolished a house and barracks belonging to Waleed’s cousins; Mohammed and Moussa Zarina. Waleed indicated that the Israeli policy against the area and the family made them sustain great economic losses.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property
As part of settlement expansion and house demolitions, on 07 April 2019, the Israeli forces handed 7 families notices to demolish their dwellings, which are mobile houses built of tin plates and shelter 44 persons, in al-Mofqerah and al-Rakiz Kherbas,s outheast of Yata in the southern Hebron.
On 08 April 2019, the Israeli Civil Administration distributed notices to evacuate lands belonging to Palestinian civilians in al-Khemar (al-Harayeq) in Batir village, west of Bethlehem. Taysseer Qotash, Head of Batir Municipality said that the Israeli Civil Administration distributed notices among agricultural lands owners in al-Kemar area and ordered them not to enter the lands claiming that these lands belong to the state of Israel. Moreover, the Israeli Civil Administration gave the lands’ owners 30 days starting from the day they received the notices to challenge the decision.
During the reporting period, the Israeli authorities issued 3 military orders to seize 1191 dunums from the Palestinian agricultural lands. Two of these orders are about the construction of 2 new settlement roads; one in the northern West Bank and the other in the Southern, while the third order is about closing areas for military purposes. Based on the decisions and the attached road plans clarifying their tracks, the construction of these 2 roads would lead to swallowing up hundreds of dunums of Palestinian agricultural lands as well as the dunums already included in the seizure orders.
As part of Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, PCHR’s fieldworkers during the reporting period 7 incidents carried out by settlers that resulted in the injury of a Palestinian civilian with bruises and another with a stone to the head. Moroever, 8 civilian cars sustained damage. Most prominent incidents were as follows:
- On 04 April 2019, stones were thrown at the Palestinian cars passing by “Halmish” settlement intersection, northwest of Ramallah.
- On 05 April 2019, riots were carried put at the entrance to evacuated “Homash” settlement on Nablus-Jenin Street, northwest of Nablus.
- On 05 April 2019, ‘Orif village, south of Nablus, was raided.
- On 07 April 2019, 10 olive trees were uprooted in Kerm al-Dough area, east of Yanoun village, east of Nablus.
- On 08 April 2019, a group of Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles on the Main Street of Jibia village, north of Ramallah. As a result, a Palestinian civilian was hit with a stone to the head.
- On 10 April 2019, a group of settlers from ‘Ein Yabrud village, northeast of Ramallah, attacked Palestinian cars and wrote slogans calling for killing Arabs on the wall of a house belonging to Mustafa Shehadah and the vehicles.
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 to fulfill their obligations under article 1 of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles 146 and 147 to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
In addition, the PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.