Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 03 – 09 August 2017.
Ten Palestinian were wounded, including 9 civilians, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Five of them were wounded in the West Bank and 5 others in the Gaza Strip, while Israeli warplanes targeted two military sites in northern Gaza.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 10 Palestinian civilians, including 9 civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Five of them were in the West Bank while the 5 others were wounded in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip continued to chase the Palestinian fishermen in the sea. Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes against military training sites belonging to the Palestinian armed groups.
In the West Bank, on 28 July 2017, Israeli forces wounded 5 Palestinian civilians. Three of them were hit with metal bullets during Kafr Qaddoum weekly demonstration, northeast of Qalqilya, in protest against the closure of the eastern entrance to the village with an iron gate. The 2 others were hit with bullets when the Israeli forces raided Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, to arrest them.
In the Gaza Strip, border areas witnessed protests against the continued and unjust closures imposed on the Gaza population. The Israeli forces used force against the participants. Due to the shooting used to disperse the protestors, 4 Palestinian civilians were wounded; 2 of them with live bullets while the other 2 with tear gas canisters and sound bombs that directly hit them.
In the context of airstrikes, on 09 august 2017, Israeli warplanes targeted in separate air strikes a military training site and checkpoint belonging to Al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas Movement) in the northern Gaza Strip. The first airstrike resulted in the injury of a Member of Palestinian armed groups with shrapnel to the head. The 2 airstrikes caused damage to the site and checkpoint.
Concerning attacks on fishermen, on 04 August 2017, Israeli gunboats sporadically opened fire at the Palestinian fishermen, northwest of Beit Lahia village, north of the Gaza Strip, and chased them. Similar attacks recurred against the Palestinian fishing boats in the same area on 05, 07 and 08 August 2017.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 64 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 710 ones in Jerusalem. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 106 Palestinian civilians, including 21 children and 4 women. Thirty-six of them, including 8 children and a woman, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.
In the Gaza Strip, on 03 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into east of Khuza’ah village, northeast of Khan Younis. They levelled lands along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Efforts to create Jewish Majority
In the context of house demolitions, on 08 August 2017, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished a house belonging to Hamzah al-Shaloudi in al-Rabay’ah neighbourhood in al-Mukaber Mount village, south of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of no licensing. The wife of the house’s owner said that she lived with her husband and 2 children for 3 months in the 65-square-meter house. She added that the Israeli Municipality demolished the house without any prior warning. When the Municipality staff arrived to demolish the house, she called the lawyer who headed to the Municipality and managed to get a decision to delay the demolition. However, the bulldozers had already demolished the house.
On 09 August 2017, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished an under-construction room belonging to Siyam family in Beit Hanina neighbourhood, north of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of no licensing. The family said that the 45-square-meter room was built of wood as the family started building it 2 months ago.
Settlement activities and settler attacks
In the context of demolition notices and house demolitions, the Israeli authorities notified 14 residential, commercial and industrial facilities in Silwad village, east of Ramallah, to be demolished under the pretext of no licensing although the facilities are located within Area B according to Oslo Accords. The Head of the municipality said that among those notified facilities is a private school located within Silwad Municipality. This school was built 10 years ago and is the only private school in the eastern Ramallah villages.
Concerning settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 04 August 2017, dozens of settlers from “Karayat Arba’” settlement, east of Hebron, attacked Palestinian houses in Jaber neighbourhood to the east of al-Ibrahimi Mosque with stones. They also attacked Palestinian civilians under the protection of the Israeli police and forces, who did not lift a finger to prevent them. As a result, Tariq Rebi’ie Tamimi (40) was wounded to the left hand and sustained fracture in the palm of his hand. Moreover, Menwer Jaber (40) was wounded to the head and transferred to Hebron Governmental Hospital to receive medical treatment.
Restrictions on movement:
Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East 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 2 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 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons. Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.
Demonstrations Against Israeli Measures in al-Aqsa Mosque:
- Following Friday prayers on 04 August 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians from Dura organized a protest and made their way to Muthalath Kharsa area, south of the city, southwest of Hebron, in rejection to the Israeli policy of confiscating a 500-square-meter land belonging to al-Shahatit family as the soldiers transferred it to a military watchtower. The land is located in area (A) that is under the Palestinian control according to 1993 Oslo Accords near the bypass road (60) and “Negohot” settlement. At the end of the prayer, the protestors raised the Palestinian flags and chanted national slogans condemning the Israeli policy of confiscating lands. Large Israeli forces patrolled the area and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many civilians sustained tear gas inhalation. A number of young men threw stones and empty bottles at the soldiers and set fire to tires. Meanwhile, a wastewater pumping vehicle arrived to the area and sprayed the main road and shops with wastewater. Clashes continued until the evening hours, but neither injuries nor arrests were reported.
- At approximately 13:45 on Friday afternoon, 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 to 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, the Israeli forces fired metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, a 36-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the Back.
- At approximately 13:45 on Saturday afternoon, 05 August 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 to 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, the Israeli forces fired metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, a 26-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the right hand and a 39-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the back.
- At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 04 August 2017, 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 in the border area against the Israeli measures in occupied Jerusalem. A number 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, 4 civilians were wounded. Two civilians sustained live bullet wounds while the 2 others were hit with tear gas canisters.
Arrests at Military Checkpoints:
- At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 04 August 2017, Israeli forces deployed in Tal al-Ramidah neighbourhood in the centre of Hebron, arrested ‘Emad ‘Awni Abu Shmaisah (45), a human rights defender, while he was in front of his house. ‘Emad was then taken to “Kiryat Arba“ investigations centre, east of the city, and was released in the evening. ‘Emad said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“While I was near my house, an Israeli patrol stopped me and then detained me. I was then taken to an investigation centre in “Kiryat Arba“ settlement, where they took me to an investigation room. After that, they informed me that there was a video showing I pushed an Israeli soldier in order to seize his firearm. I denied all their claims and asked them to show me the video. At approximately 18:00, I was released on one condition that I should return back for interrogation if they summon me.”
- At approximately 12:10 on Sunday, 06 August 2017, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Jawhar Jameel Suliman al-Deek (35), from Kafur al-Deek village, west of Salfit, after checking his ID card.
- At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 07 August 2017, Israeli forces stationed at al-Karama crossing, arrested Sa’d Khalid Riyad Haj Mohamed (22), from Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus. Sa’d was arrested while travelling to Jordan through the crossing.
Efforts to Create Jewish majority
Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:
- Arrests and Incursions:
- At approximately 21:00 on Thursday, 03 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Maragha neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Yousef Maher al-Rajbi (19) and Mohamed Fayiz al-Rajbi (15).
- At approximately 23:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces moved into occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested 3 civilians, including 2 children. The arrested persons were identified as Abdullah Abu ‘Asab (11), Ahmed Naser Dayiah (11) and Yousef al-Za’tari.
- Following the Friday prayer, on 04 August 2017, Israeli forces deployed at al-Aqsa Mosque Gates in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City arrested 9 Palestinian civilians while they were on their way out from al-Aqsa Mosque. The Israeli forces stopped the civilians, checked their IDs and then searched them. In the meantime, the arrested persons were taken from al-Asbat (Lion’s Gate) to al-Rahama Gate Cemetery, where there was an investigation center. According to Lawyer Mohamed Mahmoud, the arrested persons were identified as photojournalist Mohamed al-Fateh Abu Isneinah; Mohamed al-Taweel; Mohamed al-Baby; ‘Obaidah al-Taweel; Nour al-Herbawi; Hassan Abu Lail; Samer Tawfiq Shaniq; Rayan Hamed and Basil Jaber.
- At approximately 02:00 on Saturday, 05 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Qalandia refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Saleem Abu Kowaik and arrested him.
- At approximately 01:00 on Sunday, 06 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Basil Dowaik (19) and arrested him.
- On Sunday, 06 August 2017, Israeli forces arrested 9 Palestinian civilians after beating them up at al-Silsilah and al-Majles Gates of al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The Palestinian civilians were arrested in concurrent with an activity organized for children in al-Aqsa Mosque yards. Eyewitnesses stated that the Israeli forces beat up and pushed Palestinian worshipers while entering al-Majles and al-Silsilah Gates. They also raided nearby houses from which they arrested Mayada Shawamrah and 6 other civilians. The arrested persons were identified as ‘Alaa al-Haddad, Mo’ayad Idreis, Mo’az Idreis, Ahmed Idris, Abdullah Badran and ‘Atif Badran. At al-Silsilah Gate, the Israeli forces pepper-sprayed al-Aqsa Mosque guards and worshipers after beating them up. They also detained al-Aqsa Mosque guard, ‘Imran al-Rajbi, in the detention center for few minutes before he was released. Before al-Maghrib prayer, the Israeli forces arrested Tareq Ziyad Abu Mayalah at al-Majles Gate while attempting to enter al-Aqsa Mosque.
- At approximately 02:30 on Monday, 07 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Amjad Hassonah (19) and arrested him.
- At approximately 03:30 on Monday, Israeli forces moved into Beir Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Adullah al-Qumairy and arrested his two sons Mohamed (22) and Rashid (20).
- At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 07 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood, east of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Mofeed Ziyad ‘Imran Sa’idah (17) and Jihad Naser Sa’idah (18).
- At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces arrested and beat up Nour al-Deen Ishaq al-Rajabi (54) while he was near al-Asbat (Lion’s Gate), one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s Gates, in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City.
- At approximately 19:00 on Tuesday, Israeli forces moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Omar Mohamed Showaki (14), Sameer Bakhtan (13) and Omar Bseilah (14).
- At approximately 00:30 on Tuesday, 08 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Adli Khalil al-Salaimah (34) and arrested him.
- At approximately 01:30 on Tuesday, Israeli forces moved into al-Mukaber Mount area, south of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mustafa Mohamed Abu Jamal (14) and arrested him.
- At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 08 August 2017, Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished a house belonging to Hamza al-Shalodiy in al-Rabaiy’ah neighborhood in al-Mukaber Mount village, south of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Hamza said that large number of Israeli Special Forces accompanied with sniffer dogs, Israeli Municipality crews and bulldozers moved into al-Rabaiy’ah neighborhood. He added that the Israeli Special Forces raided his house, forced his family to leave the house, took some its contents out and then demolished it.
Sanna’ Halsah al-Shalodiy, Hamza’s wife, said that she lives with her husband and their 2 children in their house for 3 months. It should be noted that the house was built on an area of 65 square meters. She stated that the Israeli Municipality demolished the house without any prior warning. Sanaa’ added that when the bulldozers came to demolish the house, she called the lawyer who then headed to the municipality and managed to get a decision to delay the demolition, but the bulldozers had already demolished her house. Moreover, she said that the Israeli Municipality crews, who were surrounding the house, refused to delay the demolition until the lawyer came with the decision to delay the demolition. When the Israeli court decided to delay the demolition, the bulldozers had already demolished most of the house except for parts of a room.
- At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 09 August 2017, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished an under-construction residential room belonging to Siyam family in Beit Haninah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Siyam family stated that the Israeli municipality bulldozers accompanied with Israeli forces surrounded the house and demolished it. They also demolished the fence surrounding the land on which the room is established. The family said that the 45-square-meter residential room was built of wood 2 months ago.
- Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property
- On Tuesday, 08 August 2017, the Israeli authorities notified many residential, industrial and commercial facilities in Silwad village, east of Ramallah, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that the abovementioned facilities is located in (B) areas according to the 1993 Oslo Accords. The Chairman of Silwad village Municipality, ‘Abed al-Rahman Saleh, stated that Israeli forces accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Silwad village. They handed 14 administrative demolition notices to owners of houses, facilities and a private school. He added that among the notified facilities, there was a private school located within Silwad village municipality. He also said that this school is the only school for the villages in the eastern side of Ramallah.
- Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property
Israeli settlers’ attacks
- At approximately 21:00 on Friday, 04 August 2017, dozens of Israeli settlers from “Kiryat Arba“ settlement, east of Hebron, attacked Palestinian civilians’ houses in Jaber neighborhood “al-Masharqa al-Foqa”, east of al-Ibrahimi Mosque. They threw stones at the houses under the Israeli forces protection. As a result, Tareq Khadir Hasan “Rabi’y Tamimi” (40), sustained wounds to the left hand and the palm of his hand was fractured. Moreover, Ahmed Hamed Jaber (40) sustained wounds to the head. Both of them were then taken to Hebron governmental hospital to receive medical treatment. Minwer Jaber said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“I live with my family in al-Masharqa al-Fouqa area between “Kiryat Arba’“ settlement and al-Ibrahimi Mosque. At approximately 21:00 when I was home, I heard some shouting in front of the house. I then headed to the window and saw 5 children from our neighborhood walking on the street and around 30 Israeli settlers; most of whom were young, cursing them. One of the children namely Mahmoud Nihad Jaber (7), shouted at the settlers. In the meantime, one of Israeli soldiers came and pushed Mahmoud to the wall and held his hand. I then opened my house door to see what was going on, during which a number of Palestinian young men gathered and attempted to rescue Mahmoud. Meanwhile, the Israeli settlers attacked Ahmed Abed al-Kareem Jaber (15) and hit him with their hands. Ahmed attempted to defend himself, but 3 Israeli soldiers attacked him and pushed him to the wall. Ahmed fell into the ground, during which 2 Israeli soldiers sat over him and started punishing his head and back and then took him away. The Israeli settlers threw stones towards the Palestinian young men and their houses; one of the settlers had an automatic firearm and then pointed it at the Palestinian young men. After that, an Israeli soldier intervened and took the settler away. In the meantime, my neighbor, ‘Aref Jaber (45), arrived at my house filmed what was happening via his phone. Three Israeli settlers then attacked us, so a number of Israeli soldiers approached and took the Israeli settlers away from us, while another Israeli soldier came towards us and sarcastically asked us what is going on? The Israeli settlers continued to throw stones and curse us. The stones heavily fell over my house, so ‘Aref was hit with a stone to his head and started bleeding. I then took him inside the house.”
Recommendations to the International Community
PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 10 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967. PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005. PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law. Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.
- PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the 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.
- PCHR calls upon the ICC in 2017 to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
- PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
- PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
- PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
- PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
- PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
- PCHR calls upon 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.
- 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.
- PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
- PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
- PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
- PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.
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