During the reporting period, PCHR documented 138 violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory.
As part of the Israeli violations of the right to life and bodily integrity, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 67 others, including 30 children, a woman, and a paramedic on 77th Friday of the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, a civilian succumbed to wounds he sustained 8 months ago at the Great March of Return protests. Meanwhile in the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 11 Palestinian civilians, including 2 journalists and an Israeli activist; 3 of those wounded, including the activist, were wounded during the peaceful protests weekly organized on Friday against the occupation and settlement activity. While others, including the journalists, were wounded during Israeli forces raids to Palestinian cities, and an incident near the Annexation Wall in the West Bank.
As part of the Israeli incursions and house raids, Israel carried out 80 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and raided civilian houses, attacking and enticing fear among residents in addition to shooting in many incidents. As a result, 60 Palestinians were arrested, including 2 children and a woman. During this week, the Israeli forces raided Augusta Victoria Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem and searched the Oncology Department. They ransacked through the department and terrified patients with their police dogs.
As part of Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, 4 shootings were reported by the Israeli gunboats against the Palestinian fishing boats at sea within the allowed limited area for fishing while 2 shootings were reported against the agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip.
Under the settlement expansion activities in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 2 house demolitions in Hebron and Jenin and 8 attacks by settlers, including throwing stones at vehicles and puncturing their tires; preventing farmers from entering their lands; cutting and burning olive trees; raiding al-Aqsa and al-Ibrahimi Mosques and closing the latter.
In terms of the Israeli closure policy, the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods and ongoing isolation of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilians’ movement is restricted and others are arrested.
Moreover, during the reporting period, Israel imposed a complete closure on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for Jewish Holidays. In the West Bank, Israel completely closed the King Hussein Bridge starting from 08:00 on Tuesday, 08 October 2019, to Thursday, 10 October 2019, as announced by the General Administration of crossings and borders.
- Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
- Excessive Use of Force against the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip
Israeli forces continued the excessive use of lethal force against “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” (GMR) peaceful demonstrations in the Gaza Strip; as well as protests in the West Bank against settlement expansion activities.
This week’s protest in Gaza was titled “Reconciliation is the People’s Choice,” and witnessed large civilian participation, faced with excessive and lethal force by Israeli forces despite the peaceful nature of the demonstrations. At approximately 15:00 on 04 October 2019, protests started across the five GMR encampments until 19:00, and involved activities such as speeches and theatrical performances. Hundreds of civilians protested at varied distances from the border fence across the Gaza Strip, and threw stones, firecrackers and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli forces. As a result, a civilian was killed and 67 other were injured, including 30 children, a woman and a paramedic. Additionally, a previously wounded civilian at GMR succumbed to his wounds.
The incidents were as follows:
- Northern Gaza Strip: Israeli shooting at the demonstrators resulted in the killing of ‘Ala’a Nizar ‘Ayesh Hamdan (28), from Beit Hanoun village, after being shot with a live bullet in the chest while he was about 50 – 100 meters west of the border fence. Hamdan was transferred via an ambulance of Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to the medical point where medical crews tried to resuscitate him for half an hour, with no avail. At approximately 17:05, Hamdan was pronounced dead. Furthermore, 12 civilians injured, including 9 children: 5 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, including 3 children; 5 children were shot with rubber bullets; and 2 civilians, including a child, were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were transferred via ambulances belonging to the Ministry of Health and the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) to the Indonesian and al-‘Awda Hospitals and their injuries were classified between minor and moderate.
- Gaza City: Israeli shooting and teargasing at the demonstrations, which continued from 16:00 until 18:30, resulted in the injury of 11 protestors, including 7 children: 6 shot with live bullets and their shrapnel; 2 with rubber bullets and 3 were hit with tear gas canisters.
- Central Gaza Strip: Israeli shooting and teargasing at the demonstrators, which continued from 15:00 from 19:00, resulted in the injury of 16 protestors, including 4 children; 10 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, 5 were shot with rubber bullets and 1civilians was hit with tear gas canister.
- Khan Younis: Israeli shooting and teargasing at demonstrators resulted in the injury of 9 civilians, including 4 children and a paramedic; 3 of them were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, 3 were shot with rubber bullets and 3 with tear gas canisters. The wounded volunteer paramedic, ‘Ali Abdul ‘Aziz Fuseifes (22), from Bani Suheilah, was hit with a tear gas canister in the head.
- Rafah: Israeli shooting and teargasing resulted in the injury of 19 civilians, including 6 children: 5 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, 11 were shot with rubber bullets and 3 were hit with tear gas canisters.
Civilian Succumbed to his wounds in northern Gaza Strip:
- At approximately 12:30 on Monday, 07 October 2019, the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip declared the death of Fadi Osama Ramadan Hejazi (20), from Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, after he succumbed to the wounds he sustained at GMR.
According to PCHR’s investigations, on 22 February 2019, Hejazi sustained serious wounds after he was shot with a live bullet in the thighs in eastern Jabalia, damaging his veins, tendons and arteries. He sustained additional wounds on 19 April 2019, as he was shot with a live bullet in the right knee in eastern al-Buraij camp protests in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, Hejazi suffered from another cut in the veins and arteries. Hejazi later suffered from blockage of arteries leading to a coma. At approximately 14:00 on Sunday, 06 October 2019, Hejazi was taken to the Indonesian Hospital and doctors said that he suffered from clots. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU); unfortunately, he was pronounced dead at approximately 09:30 on Monday, 07 October 2019. Hejazi was transferred to the Forensic Medicine Department in al-Shifa Hospital to reveal the cause of death; the forensic report identified the complications of thrombosis in the blood vessels in the lower extremities as the cause of death. Therefore, the Palestinian Ministry of Health officially announced that Hejazi’s death was caused by his wounds.
- Excessive use of force in the West Bank:
- At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 04 October 2019, Palestinians from Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah launched their weekly peaceful protest and headed towards the village’s eastern entrance that has been closed by Israeli forces for the past 16 years in favor of “Kedumim” settlement. The demonstrators chanted national slogans demanding end of the occupation and protested the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The protestors threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand berms while the soldiers fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 3 civilians, were injured injured, including an activist from the Israeli Youth Civic Leadership Institute (YCLI); a 26-year-old civilian was shot with a sponge-bullet in the foot, a 28-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in the hand, and a 26-year-old civilian was hit with a rubber bullet in the shoulder.
- At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 04 October 2019, a group of Palestinian civilians organized a peaceful protest from the center of Kafer Thuluth village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, into ‘Arab Khuli area in the village where Israeli forces established a steel gate to ban farmers from entering their lands behind the gate. The protestors threw stones at Israeli forces stationed behind sand berms, while the soldiers responded with rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, many civilians sustained tear gas inhalation. On Saturday, 05 October 2019, Israeli forces opened the gate.
- Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
- At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, 03 October 2019, Israeli forces moved into Ramallah and stationed in al-Tirah neighborhood, west of the city. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Walid Hanatshah and then arrested him. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men and children gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers in military vehicles. The soldiers fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, photojournalist Mohammed Radi was shot with a rubber bullet in the foot. On 16 August 2017, photojournalist Radi was shot with a rubber bullet in the face while covering the demolition of a house by the Israeli forces along with Palestine TV Channel crews.
- At approximately 08:30 on the same Thursday, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing between 3 to 5 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
- At approximately 07:35 on Friday, 04 October 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed in northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 08:25 on Saturday, 05 October 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed in northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. The shooting recurred at approximately 08:55 on the same day. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
- On Saturday evening, Israeli forces assigned to guard the annexation wall, fired rubber bullets at Lo’ai Mohammed Abu Rmelah, from Ya’bud village, southwest of Jenin. As a result, he was shot with a rubber bullet in the leg while attempting to sneak into Israel through the Gate established on lands of Qifin village, north of Tulkarm. Rmelah was transferred to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin for treatment.
- Also on Saturday evening, Israeli forces assigned to guard the annexation wall fired rubber bullets at Suheib ‘Ammar ‘Amer (26), from ‘Alar village in Tulkarm. As a result, he was shot with a rubber bullet in the foot while attempting to sneak into Israel through the gate established on lands of Zeta village, north of the city.
- At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 06 October 2019, Israeli forces assigned to guard the annexation wall, fired rubber bullets at Khalid Mahmoud Tawfiq Ja’arah (25), from ‘Alar village, north of Tulkarm, while attempting to sneak into Israel through the gate established at lands of Zeta village. As a result, Ja’arah was shot with a rubber bullet to the foot.
- At approximately 23:00 on the same Sunday, Israeli forces moved into Nablus through its eastern and southern entrances and stationed in the eastern area of the city to secure the entry of dozens of buses carrying settlers to the abovementioned area in order to perform their religious rituals and Talmudic prayers in “Joseph’s Tomb” in Balatat al-Balad village. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian civilians gathered and set tires on fire, put barricades on streets and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli vehicles in the city. Israeli forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them to disperse them. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment on the spot. Journalist Mo’tasem Samir Saqf al-Hait (31) was shot with a rubber bullet in the abdomen. Emad Edden Yaseen Taha Hamzah (18) was shot with rubber bullet in the left hand, causing a fracture to it. Hamzah was transferred to Rafidiya Hospital to receive medical treatment. Israeli sources mentioned that Israeli forces moved into Nablus to secure the entry of 17 buses carrying 1100 settlers to “Joseph’s Tomb”. They added that “Eli Cohen”, Israeli Minister of Economy, “Yossi Dagan”, Head of the Shomron Regional Council, and “Moshe Arbel”, a member of the Knesset, were along with the settlers.
- At approximately 07:30 on Monday, 07 October 2019, Israeli forces assigned to guard the annexation wall fired rubber bullets at Ahmed Mustafa Tawfiq Sa’abnah (23), from Fahmah village, south of Jenin, while attempting to sneak into Israel through the Gate established on lands of Zeta village, north of the city. As a result, he was shot with a rubber bullet in the foot.
- On Monday evening, 07 October 2019, Israeli forces assigned to guard the annexation wall fired rubber bullets at Abdul Salam Khalil Katanah (25), from Nazlet ‘Essa village, north of Tulkarm, while attempting to sneak into Israel through the gate established on lands of Zeta village, north of the city. As a result, he was shot with a rubber bullet in the leg. Israeli forces detained Katana at Barta’a checkpoint, southwest of Jenin for questioning him and then handed him to the Palestinian Military Liaison. The ambulance officer said that Katana was transferred to Dr. Thabet Governmental Hospital in Tulkarm for medical treatment. It should be noted that Katana is the fifth civilian, who was wounded by Israeli forces assigned to guard the annexation wall this week.
- At approximately 07:20 on Tuesday, 08 October 2019, Israeli forces stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
- At approximately 08:00 on the same Tuesday, Israeli soldiers stationed in eastern al-Shoka village, east of Rafah opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 07:30 on Wednesday, 09 October 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed east of Khan Younis opened fire at agricultural lands in the west of the border fence; no casualties were reported.
- Collective Punishment:
- On Sunday evening, 06 October 2019, Israeli forces informed Abu Hmaid family, al-Am’ari refugee camp residents, in al-Birah by phone to demolish their house. Lutfiyah Naji Abu Hmaid said that an Israeli officer phone called her and informed her of the demolition decision. The officer told Lutfiyah that she can appeal against the decision within a week, but she confirmed that she would not appeal before, what she called, moot courts. Lutfiyah added that she is currently reconstructing the house, which was blown up, and now building the third floor. Lutfiyah also said that the demolition of the house was on grounds of being built on a confiscated land and Israeli forces ban construction of any demolished house for 5 years.
This decision is part of the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against families of Palestinian individuals accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli forces and/or settlers. Israeli forces blew up Abu Hmaid family on Saturday, 15 December 2018 as a punishment for her after her son Islam threw a stone at the head of a soldier on 06 June 2018 leading to his death. Before its demolition, their residence was a 4-story house built on an area of 150 square meters. It should be noted that Israeli forces demolished Abu Hmaid family for the third time as they demolished it before in 1994 and in 2003. Moreover, Abu Hmaid’s family has 6 prisoners, who serve their sentences in the Israeli prisons; the last one of them was Islam, who was arrested on 13 June 2018.
- Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem
- Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
- At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 03 October 2019, an Israeli force backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with 2 excavators and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They stationed in Wad al-Shaiekh area in the eastern part of the village and demolished an under-construction house under the pretext of non-licensing. The 150-sqaure-meter house belongs to ‘Ali Mohamed ‘Ali al-‘Alami. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities handed al-‘Alami a notice based on a military order No. (1797), which was issued in 2018. Al-‘Alami was given 96 hours to implement the demolition or the Israeli authorities will demolish it.
- At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, an Israeli force backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with a bulldozer and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into al-Taiba village in western Jenin. They stationed in al-Qars neighborhood, where the bulldozer demolished an under-construction house belonging to Mohamed Mahmoud Ahmed Jabareen, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. The houses was built on an area of 240 square meters and its cost was estimated at NIS 1000.000.
- Israeli Settler Violence
- At approximately 02:25 on Sunday, 06 October 2019, a group of Israeli settlers moved into Qirah village, north of Salfit, and punctured the tires of 11 vehicles. They wrote slogans on the vehicles and the walls of 3 houses. ‘Aisha Khalil Nimer, Head of the village’s council, said that surveillance cameras recordings fixed in al-Qibali neighborhood showed the settlers’ attack. She added that “when official authorities came to document the assault, the Israeli liaison officer confirmed that the attackers were the same ones who attacked Askaka village in afternoon”. The affected vehicles belong to: Saher ‘Abed al-Fattah ‘Arabasi, Raied Saleh Saleh, Hekmat Majed Dalelni, Yaseen ‘Abood Abu Shamma, Naseem ‘Abood Abu Shamma, ‘Abood Yaseen Abu Shamma, Jaser Kareem ‘Arbasi, Mohamed Hatem Dalelni, Akram Hatem Dalelni, and Rami Rashid Dalelni. The affected houses belong to: Wael Majed Dalelni, Mahmoud ‘Abed al-Fattah ‘Arbasi and ‘Abed al-Jabbar Abu Shamma.
- At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, Israeli forces prevented Palestinian farmers from harvesting olive trees in the eastern side of Kafur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyia. ‘Akef ‘Abed al-Raouf ‘Abdullaj Jum’a and his family headed to their lands and an Israeli force expelled them. On the next day, Israeli forces expelled Jum’a and other international solidarity groups from his land. Jum’a said that: “on Sunday morning, 06 October 2019, my wife, grandsons and I headed to Hariqat ‘Ali Hijlah area in eastern Kafur Qaddoum village to harvest olive trees. When we began harvesting the trees, the guard of Kedumim settlement, who was armed, came and attempted to expel us. We refused to leave and continue our work. The guard then left the area and an Israeli force came and expelled us. On the next day, international solidarity groups and I headed to my plot of land and the settlement’s guard followed us along with an Israeli force. The Israeli soldiers decided to expel me while the international solidarity groups stayed in the land. The Israeli force came again to inform us that the area is a “closed military zone” and we should leave it. On Tuesday, 08 October 2019, I headed alone to my land and picked up some olive trees while the settlement’s guard was there and shouting at me all the time.”
- Early on Monday morning, 07 October 2019, the residents of Bureen village in southern Nablus wake up and found that Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, attacked Bab Khelet al-Ghoul area. The settlers cut 36 olive trees with automatic saws. This attack came in the olive harvest season to deprive the residents of reaping crop. The trees belong to Naser Isma’il Ibrahim Qadous and Ahmed Mahmoud al-Najjar.
- At approximately 10:30 on the same day, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, attacked the mixed Bureen School in the eastern entrance to the village, under the Israeli forces’ protection. The School administration evacuate all students for fear of their lives.
- On Tuesday, 08 October 2019, hundreds of Israeli settlers, including the Israeli Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, and right wing MP Yehuda Glick, moved into al-Aqsa Mosque’s yards in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, amid tight Israeli security measures. They imposed restrictions on Palestinian worshipers and denied their access to the mosque, coinciding with Yom Kippur Holiday. The Islamic Endowment (Awqaf) Department stated that hundreds of Israeli setters raided al-Aqsa Mosque as groups via al-Maghareba Gate under Israeli forces and intelligence officers’ protection. It should be noted that many Palestinians were threatened with arrest and banned from entering the mosque by Israeli forces if they head to Bab al-Rahma Mosque. The Israeli forces also detained the worshipers’ IDs. It should be noted that groups of Temple Mount Movement have called via media and social networking sites for collective raids of al-Aqsa Mosque during the Jewish holidays, with assurances of full protection by the Israeli police.
- At approximately 13:30, Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, set fire to olive trees belonging to Palestinian civilians on “Yatizhar” Bypass Road in Um Brais and al-Tanour areas, south of the village. As a result, at least 100 fruitful olive trees were burned before the residents and Civil Defense managed
to extinguish the fire. The affected olive trees belong to Ahmed Mohamed Ya’qoub ‘Odah.
- At approximately 17:30 on Tuesday, Israeli settlers, who were driving a car on Ramallah-Nablus main street in ‘Oyoun Haramiyia area, threw stones at Ibrahim Suliman Mohamed al-Deek’s (31) vehicle, from al-Sawiyia village, south of Nablus. As a result, the vehicle’s windshield was broken. Al-Deek said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “At approximately 17:30 on Tuesday, 08 October 2019, I was returning from my workplace in Ramallah and heading to al-Sawiyia village. When I arrived at ‘Oyoun Haramiyia area, north of Ramallah, there was a traffic jam. I was startled when a stone hit my windshield. The glass scattered on my face, body and inside my car. I closed my eyes and paused for a moment, then proceeded with caution.”
- On Wednesday, 09 October 2019, Israeli forces closed al-Ibrahimi Mosque in the central of Hebron’s Old City. They ordered the Islamic Endowment officers to get out of the mosque and prevented worshipers from entering it. Hundreds of Israeli settlers raided al-Ibrahimi Mosque to perform prayers on Yom Kippur Holiday.
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