In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 21– 26 July 2017, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, in the West Bank.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, in the West Bank while a third child was killed due to the explosion of a suspicious object from the Israeli forces’ remnants. Moreover, Israeli forces wounded 259 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children and 2 paramedics, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Two hundred and twenty one of them were in Jerusalem; 19 were in the West Bank while 19 others, including a child and 2 paramedics, were wounded in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip continued to chase the Palestinian fishermen in the sea and to open fire at farmers in the border areas.
On 14 July 2017, in excessive use of force, Israeli forces killed Mohammed al-Teneh (24) from Taqou’a village, east of Bethlehem, after he was shot near the northern entrance to the village. The Israeli forces claimed that al-Teneh attempted to carry out a stab attack, but eyewitnesses in the scene emphasized they did not see any sharp tool beside his body lying on the ground.
Following the Friday prayer, 21 July 2017, most of occupied East Jerusalem’s neighbourhoods and villages witnessed violent clashes between the worshipers and Israeli soldiers. Those clashes continued until the afternoon, resulting in the killing of 3 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children; one of whom was shot dead by an Israeli settler. In Ras al-‘Amoud neighbourhood, east of the City, Mohammed Sharaf (17) was shot dead when a settler opened fire at him. Sharaf was hit with 2 bullets to his neck. In al-Tur neighbourhood, east of the City as well, Mohammed Abu Ghannam (20) was shot dead when Israeli soldiers opened fire at him from a close distance, wounding him to the chest and heart. In Abu Dis, east of the City, Mohammed Lafi (17) was hit with bullets to his chest, one of which directly hit his heart.
In the same context, on 22 July 2017, ‘Oday Nawaj’ah, from Yata, south of Hebron, was killed after a suspicious object exploded from the Israeli forces’ remnants in Bzeiq area, northeast of Tubas, while grazing his sheep. It should be mentioned the abovementioned area witnessed many similar incidents as the Israeli forces is used to conducting military trainings there.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 240 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children; 221 were wounded in occupied Jerusalem, while the others were wounded in the West Bank. They were directly wounded with bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters.
A child was killed after a suspicious object from the Israeli forces’ remnants exploded in Tubas.
259 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children and 2 paramedics, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
221 civilians were wounded in Jerusalem and its suburbs, 19 were wounded in the West Bank and
Israeli forces conducted 81 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
128 civilians, including 14 children and 4 women, were abducted. 51 of them, including 5 children and a woman, were abducted in Jerusalem.
In one example of this week’s 259 civilians wounded by Israeli forces this week, on July 23rd, At approximately 17:30, Hekmat Jawdat Sa’id Hamed (26), from Furoush Beit Dagan village adjacent to al-Hamra checkpoint in the central Jordanian Valley, was driving his car on the main street. An Israeli military jeep chased him, so he fled away to the agricultural lands. The soldiers chased him and ordered him to stop, but he did not respond. When he travelled away from them, he left the car and ran away. The soldiers continued to chase him, and one of them opened fire at him. As a result, he was hit with live bullet to the right foot. The soldiers took him to al-Hamrah checkpoint. In the meantime, an ambulance of Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) arrived from the center of Tubas and offered first aid to Hekmat at the abovementioned checkpoint. The Israeli forces did not allow the ambulance crews to evacuate him from the area until approximately 19:30, as he was abducted from the ambulance and taken to “Jadi” military camp in al-Jiftlik. At approximately 20:30 on the same day, The Israeli forces coordinated with the Palestinian Military Liaison to hand over the wounded civilian and transfer him to a Palestinian hospital.
Israeli attacks on the al-Aqsa Mosque and surrounding areas:
For the second week, the Israeli authorities continued to escalate the measures taken against al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. Those measures included closing the Mosque; banning prayers; and establishing metal detector gates at its Gates. On Sunday morning, 16 July 2017, these authorities established metal detector gates at 9 gates of al-Aqsa; 5 were in the yard of the Lions’ Gate “al-Asbat”, 2 in the Council Gate “al-Majles”, and 2 in the Chain Gate “al-Silselah”. Meanwhile, the Gates of Remission “Huttah”, King Faisal, Bani Ghanim “al-Ghawanmah”, Iron “al-Hdaid”, Ablution “al-Mutaharah”, and Cotton Merchants “al-Qattanin” are so far closed. Since then, the Palestinian worshippers has refused to enter al-Aqsa Mosque through these detector gates and started performing prayers in the yards at the entrances to the Noble Sanctuary. Despite the demands to remove these gates, the Israeli Cabinet in the Israeli government decided in its meeting on Thursday, 20 July 2017, to maintain these detector gates; amass more forces to Jerusalem, its surroundings and al-Aqsa Mosque; impose a tightened closure on Jerusalem; and close all roads and entrances to and from the city. On 23 July 2017, Israeli forces installed surveillance cameras, overhead metal brdiges and railings at the entrances to the Lion’s Gate in addition to the metal detectors. On 25 July 2017, the Israeli forces removed the metal detectors and declared its intention to remove all the cameras, overhead bridges and surveillances cameras installed in the previous days at al-Aqsa Mosque entrances to restore the situation before 14 July.
In Ras al-‘Amoud neighbourhood, east of occupied Jerusalem, thousands of Palestinian worshipers performed the Friday prayer on the street at the entrance to the neighbourhood. Following the prayer, Israeli forces fired sound bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets at the worshipers and then dispersed them. Confrontations erupted in the neighbourhood and then reached near the entrance to “Ma’aleh Zeitim” settlement, in the center of Ras al-‘Amoud neighbourhood. According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ statements, an Israeli settler, who lives in the “Ma’aleh Zeitim” settlement, chased a group of Palestinian civilians while he was present at the entrance to the settlement. In the meantime, the Israeli settler topped one of the settlement walls and then opened fire at Mohamed Mahmoud Dawoud Sharaf (17). Mohamed was hit with 2 bullets to the neck. The Palestinian youngsters attempted to help Mohamed, but he succumbed to his wounds before arriving at the medical center. It should be noted that Mohamed has just celebrated his high school (Tawjihi) graduation and was planning to join the university and complete his study.
In al-Tour neighbourhood, east of occupied Jerusalem, violent clashes erupted between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli forces at the neighborhood intersection. The Israeli forces fired live bullets towards the worshipers. As a result, Mohamed Hasan Abu Ghannam (20) was wounded. Eyewitnesses stated that the Israeli forces opened fire at Mohamed from a close range. Mohamed’s father also said that the bullets penetrated Mohamed’s chest and heart and killed him as a result. After that, Mohamed was taken to al-Maqased Hospital to receive medical treatment. In the meantime, the Israeli forces raided the hospital and heavily fired sound bombs in the hospital yards. They also attempted to arrest Mohamed. When medical sources declared the death of Mohamed, a number of Palestinian young men smuggled his corpse out of the hospital and buried his corpse in al-Tour cemetery. In addition, Mohamed’s mother said that she could not bid farewell to her son because of the Israeli forces, who attempted to take his corpse from the hospital. According to PCHR’s investigations about the killing of Mohamed Abu Ghannam, at approximately 15:00, Mohamed arrived at the emergency department at al-Maqased Hospital. Mohamed was hit with a live bullet to the chest and his health condition was serious. According to medical sources, Mohamed suffered from a severe bleeding and he fell into a coma. Therefore, the medical crew offered first aid to him and tried to revive his heart. It should be noted that the electrocardiogram showed that he was still alive. Twenty minutes later, the medical crew decided to take Mohamed to the surgery’s section, where Mohamed was given blood units. Furthermore, Mohamed was accompanied by three nurses from the emergency department, an anesthesiologist, and another specialist from thoracic surgery. He was then put on a bed and taken to the corridor leading to the electric elevator. When Mohamed and medical crew arrived at the blood bank, a force of Border Police officers deployed in the corridor leading to the elevator and pointed their firearms at the Palestinian young men gathered in the blood bank. The Border Police officers attempted to deny Mohamed’s bed access to the elevator and during which they attacked a nurse, Raied Ibrahim Mubarak (25), hit him in the neck and pushed him on the ground. The Border Police officers also attacked the doctors and then removed the artificial oxygen device and blood units from Mohamed’s body. After that, a number of Palestinian young men immediately carried Mohamed and quickly took him to the X-ray room to which the doctors followed them. The Palestinian young men closed the door of the X-ray room so that the Border Guard officers would not catch them. The doctors tried to revive his heart, but he succumbed to his wounds.
Abu Deis village, east of occupied Jerusalem, witnessed violent clashes following the Friday prayer that was performed near Ras Kabsah city. In the evening, Mohamed Mahmoud Lafi (17), was hit with live bullets to the chest and heart. Mohamed was then taken via a PRCS ambulance to Palestine Complex in Ramallah, where medical sources declared his death. It should be noted that Mohamed has just celebrated his High School (Tawjihi) graduation and he was planning to complete his study.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
During the past week, 19 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted 3 limited incursions. On 23 July 2017, Israeli forces moved 100 meters into the western side of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij. They combed and levelled the area lands before redeploying along the border fence.
On 25 July 2017, Israeli forces moved 100 meters into the eastern side of al-Qararah village, northeast of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip. They levelled and combed areas along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
On 26 July 2017, Israeli forces moved 100 meters into the south-eastern side of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, and leveled and combed areas there.
Israeli settlement activities:
At approximately 00:20 on Sunday, 23 July 2017, a group of Israeli settlers gathered near the entrance to Dersitiyia village, northwest of Salfit, and then withdrew. No more incidents were reported.
At approximately 01:00 on Sunday, a group of Israeli settlers gathered at the entrance to Kafur al-Deek village, west of Salfit. An Israeli settler fired a live bullet in the air. No more incidents were reported.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
At approximately 13:45 on Friday afternoon, 21 July 2017, Palestinian civilians and International activists organized a protest in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. They made their way to 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 metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, a 38-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the back and a 22-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the back too.
Following the Friday prayer on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized a protest in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah; al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, in protest 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 protesters into olive fields and houses. As a result, some of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.
Demonstrations Against Israeli procedures in al-Aqsa Mosque:
At approximately 12:00 on Friday, 21 July 2017, dozens of Palestinian residents from Bethlehem and it camps gathered to perform Friday prayer near the military gate established in the annexation wall near Bilal Ben Rabah Mosque, north of the city. At the end of the prayer, they chanted slogans against the Israeli policy aimed to Judaize Jerusalem and the tight security measures imposed around al-Aqsa Mosque. A large number of Israeli soldiers arrived to the area from the security gate and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. The protestors threw stones at the soldiers and set fire to tires to deny the Israeli military jeeps and wastewater pumping vehicle access to the area.
Following the Friday prayer that was performed in al-Husain Ben ‘Ali Stadium in Hebron, the worshippers made their way to al-Zawiyah Gate. There was an Israeli force stationed at the military Checkpoint (56) established on al-Shuhadaa’ Street, which is closed. They threw stones and fireworks at the soldiers, who fired tear gas canisters at them. The young men dispersed and the soldiers chased them between the shops amidst Israeli soldiers’ firing live bullets and rubber-coated metal bullets at them. As a result, a 14-year-old civilian sustained live bullet wound to the left leg, a 19-year-old civilian sustained live bullet wound to the left shoulder, a 16-year-old civilian sustained a live bullet wound to the chest and was hit with a tear gas canister to the back. The soldiers also attacked a number of journalists in al-Tuffah Valley and prevented them from taking photos. Hazem Bader, a photographer at the French Agency, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli Border Guards attacked him and banned the other journalists from staying in the area. The Israeli forces moved into Hebron Governmental Hospital and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters around the hospital. Journalist Doaa’ al-Atrash, a reporter at Ma’an News Agency said to PCHR’s fieldworker:
“I was with my colleague Mashour al-Wahwah, a photographer at Wafa News Agency, when something hit my back. Before I turned back, an explosion occurred and it was a sound bomb although I was wearing the Press uniform. Fortunately, my colleague and I were not wounded.
Around the same time, Palestinian civilians organized a protest from the center of ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They made their way towards the northern entrance to the village and chanted slogans supporting al-Aqsa Mosque. The Israeli forces stationed at the abovementioned entrance fired metal bullets at the protestors. As a result, a 20-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the left knee. He was taken to Dr. Darwish Nasal Governmental Hospital to receive medical treatment. (PCHR keeps the name of the wounded civilian)
At approximately 14:15, dozens of Palestinian civilians organized a demonstration and made their way towards Howarah checkpoint, south of Nablus in protest against the Israeli measures against al-Aqsa Mosque. When they approached the abovementioned checkpoint, they set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed there. The soldiers fired live and metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 23-year-ld civilian was hit with a tear gas canister to the right ankle, a 20-year-old civilian sustained a super-facial live bullet wound to the right foot, a 24-year old civilian was hit with a metal bullet that broke the ribs and a 25-year-old civilian sustained a live bullet wound to the left arm.
Following the Friday prayer, residents of Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron, organized a peaceful protest against the Israeli security procedures in Jerusalem after they established metal detectors at the entrances to al-Aqsa Mosque. They approached the entrance to the village where the Israeli forces established a military checkpoint and there was a large force deployed in the area. The protestors threw stones at the soldiers, who fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them and chased them between houses. They also set up ambushes in the area to arrest the protestors. They abducted Mohammed Thyab Sabarnah (19) after they chased him and took him to the checkpoint established at the entrance to the village. They then transferred him to an unknown destination.
At approximately 17:00, dozens of Palestinian civilians made their way from the center of Qalqiliyah towards the northern entrance to the northern checkpoint “Eyal” checkpoint where the Israeli forces ara stationed. When they approached the checkpoint, the Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. They also abducted 3 children namely Khaled Na’el ‘Oudah Nazal (16), Hamzah Yusuf Ja’idi (17) and Yahiya Mohammed Abu Shehab (17).
At approximately 18:00 on Sunday, 23 July 2017, Palestinian civilians organized a protest from the center of Joyous village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. They made their way towards the annexation wall, west of the village, and chanted slogans supporting al-Aqsa Mosque. The Israeli soldiers stationed at the abovementioned wall fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, Mahmoud Mohammed Isma’il Qadoumi (14) sustained 2 live bullet wounds to the left thigh and right leg and was abducted. The PRCS crews were not able to offer medical treatment for him. The civilians, who were in the area, including Mohammed’s father, attempted to offer him first aid. However, a soldier pointed out his weapon at Mohammed’s father and threatened him to move away. Mohammed was abducted and transferred via an Israeli ambulance to an unknown destination. His family was informed later that he underwent a medical surgery in “Meir” Medical Center. The surgery continued from approximately 21:00 on the same day to approximately 05:00 on Monday, 24 July 2017. Moreover, Ahmed Fehmi Salim (60) sustained a metal bullet wound to the right hand.
At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 21 July 2017, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khuza’ah and ‘Abasan al-Kabirah villages, east of Khan Yunis. They set fire to tires and raised Palestinian flags. A number of them approached the abovementioned border fence and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed there. The Israeli forces fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them to disperse them. As a result, a number of civilians sustained tear gas inhalation.
At approximately 15:30 on Friday, 14 July 2017, dozens of Palestinian young men made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip, protesting against the Israeli metal detectors that were established at al-Aqsa Mosque gates. Some of the young men gathered near the security fence, set fire to tires, raised the Palestinian flags and threw stones at the Israeli forces stationed along the abovementioned border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 civilians were wounded. The first one was hit with a tear gas canister to the head and the other sustained a live bullet wound to the right leg. (PCHR keeps the names of the wounded civilians).
At approximately 16:00 on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered few meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, in response to calls for protests against the Israeli measures in occupied Jerusalem. Some of the young men set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli forces stationed along the abovementioned border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets at them. The clashes continued until approximately 20:00 on the same day. As a result, 17 civilians, including 2 children and 2 PRCS paramedics, were wounded. One civilian sustained a live bullet wound to the right leg while the other 16 civilians were directly hit with tear gas canister. As a result, the side windows of 2 ambulances belonging to the PRCS and Military Medical Services were broken. The wounded paramedics were identified as:
Mahmoud Yusri ‘Ayesh al-Masri (21), from Beit Hanoun, was hit with a tear gas canister to the nose which was broken as a result.
‘Alaa’ Abdul Mo’ez Abdul Mo’ati Abu Sh’air (32), from Jabalia, was hit with a tear gas canister to the back.(PCHR keeps the names of the wounded civilians)
At approximately 16:30, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel around Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, northwest of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. A number of them approached the abovementioned borer fence and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed there. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters around the protestors to disperse them. As a result, a number of civilians sustained tear gas inhalation.
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 international community respect the U.N. Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
The PCHR also called upon the ICC in 2017 to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.