Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 05 – 11 October, 2017.
5 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while Israeli forces conducted 68 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one into the Gaza Strip.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 5 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Sea and open fire at farmers and houses in the border areas.
In the West Bank, 05 October 2017, a Palestinian child was wounded when Israeli soldiers who established a checkpoint in al-Sweitat area, south of Jenin, opened fire at civilians in the vicinity of the checkpoint. The child was hit with a bullet to the right thigh and then arrested along with two other civilians. They were taken to al-Jalamah checkpoint, north of the city. The child was then transferred via a Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance.
On 10 October 2017, a 14-year-ld child was wounded with a rubber-coated metal bullet to his right foot when Israeli forces opened fire at youngsters protesting against the soldiers’ incursion into al-Thaher area near “Karmei Tzur” settlement, south of Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron.
On 11 October 2017, an 18-year-old civilian, from ‘Askar al-Jadid refugee camp, northeast of Nablus, was hit with 3 rubber-coated metal bullets to the back, left shoulder and right leg. He was wounded when Israeli forces moved into the city to secure the entry of dozens of buses carrying settlers to Josef’s Tomb in Balatet al-Balad, so dozens of children and youngsters protested against them.
In the Gaza Strip, the border areas witnessed protests against the on-going unjust closure on the Gaza population. During the protests, the Israeli forces used force against the protestors and opened fire in order to disperse them. As a result, 2 children were wounded; one of them in al-Brueij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip with a bullet to the right thigh and the other in eastern Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip with a bullet to the right leg.
In the pretext of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Sea, on 05 October 2017, Israeli gunboats opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip and chased them. The shooting recurred in the same area on 07 October 2017.
On 06 October 2017, Israeli gunboats opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats, west of al-Soudaniya, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, and chased them. The shooting recurred in the same area on 07 October 2017. The shooting forced the fishermen to flee for fear of being wounded. However, neither casualties nor damage to the boats were reported.
In the context of targeting the border areas, on 07 October 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, north of Um al-Nasser “Bedouni Village” in the northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area. However, neither casualties nor damage to property were reported.
On 09 October 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at the lands and houses, east of al-Bureij and Gaza Valley village in the central Gaza Strip. Neither casualties nor damage to the property were reported.
On the same day, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired 2 artillery shells at a watchtower belonging to the Palestinian armed groups, east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, the watchtower sustained damage, but no casualties were reported. Israeli forces re-shelled the abovmentioned watchtower on 11 October 2017.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 68 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 46 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and a woman. Three of those were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.
In the Gaza Strip, on 10 October 2017, Israeli forces moved into the southeastern side of Beit Hanoun village in the northern Gaza Strip. They patrolled to the south and stationed off Abu Safiyah Military Site, east of Jabalia. They levelled and combed vacant lands previously levelled amist Israeli sporadic shooting. They later redeployed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Measures to Make Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem
In the context of Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, hundreds of settlers raided al-Aqsa Mosque and is yards in East Jerusalem’s Old City while prayers and demonstrations were held in al-Buraq Wall yard and Silwan village, south of the mosque, to mark the Jewish Sukkot Holiday. As a result, the Israeli police closed the roads to the area, and a helicopter was hovering over the city.
Settlement Activities and Settlers’ Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and their property:
As part of settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 05 October 2017, 3 settlers near “Shilo” settlement on Ramallah-Nablus Road threw stones at a Palestinian civilian car carrying 3 civilians. As a result, its window was broken and one of the passengers was hit with a stone to the right side of his head. The wounded civilian was taken to Istishari Hospital in al-Rihan Suburb, north of Ramallah. Following medical check-up, it was found out that he suffered from a skull fracture and severe bleeding in his head, so he is in the ICU now due to his serious condition.
On 06 October 2017, Israeli settlers gathered on Bypass Road 60 near the sub-road leading to Kherbet al-Boq’ah, east of Hebron, to throw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling on the road. As a result, the window of a car belonging to Nemer Jaber (40) was broken, and his daughter, Yafa, sustained glass shrapnel wounds. She was taken to the 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.
Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property
- On Sunday, 08 October 2017, hundreds of Israeli settlers raided al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Moreover, they performed prayers and organized demonstrations in al-Buraq Wall yard and Silwan village due to the Jewish Sukkot holiday. The Islamic Endowment Department (Awqaf) stated that around 524 Israeli settlers raided al-Aqsa Mosque in the morning and afternoon; around 366 settlers raided the mosque in the morning while 158 others in the afternoon via al-Magharebah Gate. The Israeli settlers wandered the mosque’s yards while the Israeli soldiers were heavily deployed in the area. During the storming, many Israeli settlers performed prayers in the al-Aqsa Mosque while other settlers wandered and performed their rituals at the gates outside. Moreover, Member of Israeli Knesset Yehuda Glick, performed prayers at al-Qataneen Gate outside. Furthermore, thousands of Israeli settlers performed prayers of Jewish Sukkot holiday in al Buraq Wall yard, and the Israeli police closed all roads leading to the area. Moreover, a helicopter hovered over the city. The Israeli forces also closed all roads leading to Silwan village in conjunction with the Israelis’ arrival at the village to perform their rituals and prayers in al-Tantour Fer’oun and ‘Ain Silwan areas.
- On Monday, 09 October 2017, Israeli settlers continued to raid al-Aqsa Mosque for the 2ndconsecutive day. The Islamic Endowment Department (Awqaf) stated that hundreds of Israeli settlers raided al Aqsa Mosque in the morning and afternoon via al-Magharebah Gate. The raiders were 612 Israeli settlers, including 150 Israeli students.
- On Tuesday, 10 October 2017, hundreds of Israeli settlers raided al-Aqsa Mosque for the 3rd consecutive day under the Israeli forces protection. The Islamic Endowment Department (Awqaf) stated that around 628 Israeli settlers raided al-Aqsa Mosque in the morning and afternoon via al-Magharebah Gate and wandered the mosque yards. Moreover, the Israeli police checked the Palestinian worshipers’ IDs before entering the mosque, especially in the morning. In the morning, hundreds of Israeli settlers moved into occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and headed towards al-Buraq Wall. They were holding palm fronds to perform their prayers due to Jewish Sukkot holiday. They also wandered and performed prayers outside at al-Aqsa Mosque Gates.
- Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property
Israeli settlers’ attacks:
- At approximately 21:45 on Thursday, 05 October 2017, 3 Israeli settlers who were on the right side of street near “Shilo” settlement on Ramallah-Nablus Road attacked a Palestinian car carrying 3 Palestinian National Security officers. The Israeli settlers threw stones at the vehicle, breaking its windshield. As a result, Mohamed Mahmoud Jarar’ah (26), from ‘Asira village, north of Nablus, was hit with a stone to the right side of thehead. Mohamed was then taken to hospital in al-Rihan suburb, north of Ramallah. Medical tests showed that Mohamed suffers from a skull fracture and severe bleeding in the head. He is so far in the intensive care unit (ICU) due to his serious health condition.
Abed Yousef al-‘Obaidy, one of the vehicle’s passengers, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that,
“At approximately 20:30 on Thursday, 05 October 2017, my friends, Mohamed Jara’rah (26), from ‘Asira village, north of Nablus; and Ghassan Qasrawi, from Masliya village, southeast of Jenin; and I were heading to our work from Nablus to Bethlehem via a car driven by Ghassan as we are officers at the Palestinian National Security Service. While we were on our way near “Shilo” settlement, we saw 3 Israeli settlers on the right side of Ramallah-Nablus Main Road. One of the settlers had a torch and sporadically pointing it towards us. I said to Ghassan: slow down. I think this is the Israeli police. We were around 100 meter away from them. Ghassan slowly drove and when we approached them, we then knew they were Israeli settlers. In the meantime, one of them threw stones at the right window, which was closed, and broke it. Another settler threw stone at the right rear window next to Mohammed, so he was hit with the stone to the head. Mohamed shouted and was bleeding. I quickly told Ghassan to head to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah. Mohamed received medical treatment and underwent a CT scan, which showed that he suffers from a skull fractur and severe bleeding in the head. He was then transferred to the Isitishari Hospital in al-Rihan suburb.”
- At approximately 10:00 on Friday, 06 October 2017, dozens of Israeli settlers from “Kiryat ‘Arba’” and “ Kharsina” settlements gathered on Bypass Road (60) near a sub-road leading to Khirbet al-Boq’a, east of the city, where many Palestinian families live. The Israeli settlers threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles. When Nimer Jaber (40) traveling his car arrived on the sub-road leading to Khirbet al-Boq’a, the Israeli settler threw stones at his vehicle. As a result, the vehcile’s windows were broken, and his daughter Yaffa sustained glass shrapnel She was then taken to Hebron Hospital to receive medical treatment.
- At approximately 23:20 on Saturday, 07 October 2017, hundreds of Israeli settlers moved into ‘Awerta village, south of Nablus, under the Israeli forces protection. They performed their Talmudic rituals around Jewish historical tombs as they claim. In the next day morning, 08 October 2017, the Israeli settlers and soldiers withdrew from the village, and no further incidents were reported.
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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