Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory
05 September – 11 September 2019
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
- Great March of Return in Eastern Gaza Strip: 2 children killed and 80 civilians injured, including 39 children, 2 paramedics and a journalist.
- West Bank: 5 civilians injured, including a child.
- During 99 incursions into the West Bank: 47 civilians arrested, including 5 children and a woman.
- 2 shooting incidents reported against Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza shores, and 6 others reported at the agricultural lands, east of the Gaza Strip.
- 7 violations committed by Israeli forces and settlers as part of the settlement activity in the West Bank.
- 45 temporary checkpoints erupted in the West Bank, where 9 Palestinian civilians were arrested.
During the reporting period, PCHR documented 162 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 2 children at the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip and injured 80 other civilians: 39 children, a woman, a journalist, and 2 paramedics, including a female paramedic, at the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, 5 were injured, including a child, in the West Bank, making a total of 85 injuries among Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces.
As part of the Israeli incursions and house raids, Israel carried out 99 incursions into the West Bank and raided civilian houses, attacking and enticing fear among residents in addition to shooting in many incidents. As a result, 47 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children. In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces carried out one limited incursion into the eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 3 Palestinians who tried to infiltrate via the border fence in the eastern and central Gaza Strip.
Under the settlement expansion activities in the West Bank. PCHR documented 7 violations, including forcing a civilian to self-demolish his house in Silwan village in Jerusalem, destroying the foundations of 2 residential buildings in al-‘Iziriyah in Jerusalem, demolishing 3 rooms, 3 tinplate dwellings and residential tents in Hebron, and confiscating a construction vehicle and a truck in Qalqiliyah. Further, as part of the settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in the West Bank, the Israeli settlers threw stones at 3 cars in southern Nablus and broke their windows.
During the reporting period, the Israeli naval forces continued their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen and their equipment at sea though sailing within the allowed fishing area. This week witnessed 2 shooting and chase incidents against the fishermen and their boats.
In terms of the Israeli closure policy, the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation in 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 and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilians’ movement is restricted and others are arrested.
- Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
- Excessive Use of Force against the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip
The 73th Great March of Return took off in eastern Gaza Strip on Friday, 06 September 2019, titled “Protecting the Home Front.” The Israeli attacks resulted in killing 2 children and wounding 80 civilians, including 39 children, 2 paramedics and a journalist.
The incidents were as follows:
- Northern Gaza Strip: At approximately 16:30 on Friday, 06 September 2019, hundreds of civilians marched towards the central tent of the Great March of Return (GMR) in Abu Safiyah area, northeast of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces stationed behind sand berms and in military vehicles along the border fence, fired live and rubber bullets as well as teargas canisters at a number of protesters, who threw stones at them. As a result, ‘Ali Sami ‘Ali al-Ashqar (17), from Jabalia refugee camp, was killed after being shot with a live bullet that entered the backside of his chest and exited through the lower front side of his neck while only few meters away from the border fence. Moreover, 36 civilians were injured, including 26 children: 29 with live bullets and their shrapnel; 20 of them were children; 3 with tear gas canisters; and 4, including 3 children, with rubber bullets.
- Gaza City: at approximately 16:00 on Friday, hundreds of civilians marched in eastern Malakah area, east of Gaza City. Speeches, theatrical performances and other segments were performed at the protest central encampment. Dozens of protestors approached the fence and threw stones with slingshots at Israeli soldiers. The activities continued until 19:00 on the same day. Despite the peaceful nature of the demonstrations, Israeli forces directly stationed along the border fence fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the participants. As a result, Khaled Abu Baker Mohammed Sufian al-Rab’ie (14), from al-Shija’iyah neighborhood, was killed. According to PCHR’s investigations, the child arrived at Shifa Hospital at approximately 17:35 with a bullet wound in his waist, while being tens of meters away from the border fence, and he was pronounced dead. Moreover, 16 civilians were injured, including 6 children, a female paramedic and a journalist: 6 with live bullets, 8 with rubber bullets and 2 with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedic is Mona Khalifah Lubbad (21), who sustained a shrapnel wound to her left foot. The wounded journalist, Ahmed Mohammed al-Hendi (23), sustained a rubber bullet injury to the hand. Mr. al-Hendi works for Siraj Media Services.
- Central Gaza Strip: at approximately 15:00, hundreds of civilians, including women, children and families, took part in the eastern Bureij refugee camp protests; tens of them gathered adjacent to the border fence at a range varying between 2 – 70 meters. at approximately 17:10, a number of protestors threw stones with slingshots at Israeli soldiers. The Israeli soldiers, reinforced with several military SUVs, fired live and rubber bullets in addition to teargas canisters at them. As a result, 8 civilians were wounded, including 4 children: 4 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, 1 was shot with a rubber bullet and 3 were hit with tear gas canisters.
- Khan Younis: The Israeli forces’ use of force against the protesters, who gathered in the encampment in eastern Khuza’ah and near the border fence, resulted in the injury of 9 civilians, including 4 children and a paramedic: 5 with live bullets and shrapnel, 2 with rubber bullets; and 1 with tear gas canisters. Furthermore, many other civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. They received treatment on the spot in the field medical point. The wounded paramedic, As’ad Sami Mohammed Abu Ghalwah (30), from Khan Younis, was shot with a rubber bullet to the right foot.
- Rafah: hundreds participated in the eastern Shokah protests, where folklore songs and speeches were held. Dozens approached the border fence and threw stones at the shielded Israeli soldiers, who responded with live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters against the protestors. As a result, 11 civilians were injured, including a child. It was documented that 9 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel and 2 were shot with rubber bullets.
- Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the West Bank
- At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 06 September 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 15 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 sponge-tipped bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet to the face and a 19-year-old civilian was hit with a rubber bullet to the lower abdomen.
- At approximately 12:00 on Sunday, 08 September 2019, Israeli forces dispersed a peaceful protest called for by the national factions in Beit Jala against Israeli forces’ policy of seizing lands of al-Makhrour area, west of the city, in favor of settlement activity. Tens of civilians, activists and representatives of national factions started their protest from Beit Jala western entrance and headed to al-Makhrour area. The participants raised Palestinian flags and chanted national slogans against the Israeli forces’ seizure of Palestinian lands. Monther ‘Amira, Coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlement, stated that Israeli forces banned the protestors from reaching the abovementioned land and fired tear gas canister at them. Al-Makhrour area, which is about 2000 dunums and considered the only vital outlet in Beit Jala, always targeted by Israeli settlement activities and bypass roads in addition to building acts. Three weeks ago, Israeli forces demolished a restaurant belonging to Ramzi Qaisiyah and seized a 4-dunum land belonging to Saba Iskandar where settlers established a caravan and surrounded it with barbed wire lightened the land using an electric generator.
- At approximately 14:00 on Monday,09 September 2019, students from Birzeit University, a number of civilians and Israeli and human rights defenders launched a peaceful protest at al-Birah northern entrance against the death of Bassam al-Sa’eh in the Israeli prisons. When the protestors approached the checkpoint of “Beit Eil” settlement, north of the city, Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, an 18-year-old young man was shot with a live bullet to the chest. The wounded young man was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for medical treatment where he underwent a surgery. Medical sources classified his injury as settled.
- Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
- At approximately 21:00 on Friday, 06 September 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at the border area; no arrests were reported.
- At approximately 12:15 on Saturday, 07 September 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed eastern Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no arrests were reported.
- At approximately 12:10, an Israeli drone fired a missile at an agricultural land in al-Shoka village, east of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip; no arrests were reported. The Israeli forces’ spokesperson said in his statement that:” they targeted a group of Palestinians, who fired a drone that crossed the border fence from the Gaza Strip and threw an explosive device at the border area and then returned to the Strip. As a result, a vehicle was partially damaged; no casualties among the soldiers were reported.
- At approximately 13:45, Israeli forces stationed in east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at an agricultural land in eastern al-Sanati area in ‘Abasan al-Kabirah. The shooting continued foe few minutes; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 20:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They stationed around al-Arabe’in Mosque in the village and evacuated the area. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian young men and Israeli soldiers, who used rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. As a result, a young man was hit with a sound bomb shrapnel to the head and received medical treatment in a field medical point. Moreover, the soldiers arrested Mohanned Ma’moun Abu ‘Asab (17).
- At approximately 10:30 on Sunday, 08 September 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence sporadically opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern al-Maghazi. The shooting continued for 15 minutes; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 13:30, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern al-Qararah area in ‘Abasan al-Kabirah. The shooting continued for few minutes; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 07:30 on Monday 09 September 2019, Israeli forces moved into Beit Rema village, northwest of Ramallah and patrolled the streets. a number of children, who were heading to their schools, gathered and threw stones at the soldier, who responded with rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the children. As a result, Nour Eden Hazem al-Remawi (10) was shot with a rubber bullet to the right sides of the chest. He was taken to Yasser Arafat Hospital in Salfit for medical treatment. Moreover, the soldiers arrested Mohammed ‘Ezzat al-Remawi (17) after beating him with a rifle’s nozzle.
- At approximately 09;30 on the same day, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands along the border fence, northeast of al-buraij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. the shooting continued for 15 minutes; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 16:20, Israeli forced opened fire at agricultural lands along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip. The shooting continued for 15 minutes sporadically; neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
- At approximately 23:00 on the same Monday, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 5 nautical miles and chased them. They also fired a number of flare bombs in the sky of the area. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
- At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 01 September 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Shoka, east of Rafah, opened fire at a checkpoint of the field control point; no casualties were reported.
Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem
- Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
- On Thursday, 05 September 2019, Jameel Masalmah implemented the Israeli municipality decision to self-demolish his house in Wadi Rababah area in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Masalmah said that the municipality staff raided his house and informed him to self-demolish his house completely within 24 hours or he will pay a fine estimated at NIS 84,000. Thus, he was forced to self-demolish his 50-sqaure-meter houses built 20 years ago. He added that he attempted to license his houses, but in vain. It should be noted that there is an unlicensed 4-story-building for settlers located next to his house. He said that he was forced to live in his brother’s house with his family comprising of 5 persons. Lately, the Israeli Municipality escalated its self-demolish policy and ordered the facilities’ owners in Jerusalem to self-demolish their facilities. If the owners refused, they will pay a fine and demolition costs. Since the beginning of this year, over 110 residential, agricultural and commercial facilities were demolished in Jerusalem; 30 of them were self-demolished by using bulldozers, manual tools and machinery.
- At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 09 September 2019, an Israeli force backed by several military vehicles in addition to a bulldozer belonging to the Civil Administration moved into Kherbat Salamah, east of Tarqumiya village, west of Hebron. The bulldozer demolished an agricultural room built of bricks and tin plates on an area of 10 square meters belonging to Mohammed Khalil Ja’afrah. The room was demolished under the pretext of building without a license.
- At approximately 14:00 on Monday, 09 September 2019, Israeli forces moved into “ Mohamed Mount” area, which belongs to Kafur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyia. The Israeli forces surrounded a bulldozer and a truck belonging to Amjad ‘Abed al-Mo’min Yousef Jum’a, from Kafur Qaddoum village, and Samer Redwan ‘Abed al-Latif Ahmed, from Hejah village, under the pretext of non-licensing in area C. Jum’a said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “ at approximately 14:00 on Monday, 09 September 2019, while we were leveling and cleaning a road within a project belonging to Kafur Qaddoum village committee, Israeli forces backed by a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration ordered us to stop working and then confiscated the truck and bulldozer, taking them to an unknown destination. We were at around 50 meters away from residential houses and did not know if construction works are banned in this area or not. Following that, we headed to the official authorities and the Israeli military liaison, which informed us that construction works in area C are banned and gave us a list of confiscated items.”
- At approximately 07:00, on Wednesday 11 September 2019, Israeli soldiers and machinery carried out the foundation’s destruction of two buildings in al-Aizareya city, east of the occupied eastern Jerusalem belonging to Samer Abu Zeyad, under the pretext of building without a permit.
Abu Zeyad said that the Israeli forces moved into the two buildings that are still under construction in Ra’s al-Bostan neighborhood, in al-Aizareya city, after completely closing all roads leading to it. After that, the Israeli bulldozers destroyed them and prevented everybody from approaching to the site, and attempted to attack his son Mohammed (20). Mohammed said that he started the building process from the beginning of this year. Abu Zeyad added that the occupied government handed him the destruction decision in May, but he cancelled the decision and got a building license from the competent authorities, but he was surprised in the abovementioned day from the destruction decision.
- At approximately 09:00 of the same day, Israeli military forces reinforced with several military vehicles, belonging to the Civil Administration and four diggers moved into Kherbet al-Mafqara in the southeast of Yata, south of Hebron. The Israeli forces surrounded the civilians’ houses, while destruction machinery destroyed (3) tinplate houses and a residential tint, under the pretext of building without a permit. The destroyed houses belonging to:
- Fady Jasem al-Hamamda: a tinplate house willing of 25 Square meters.
- Bakr Mohammed Hamamda: a tinplate house willing of 25 Square meters.
- Mo’az Hussain Mahmoud Hamamda: a tinplate house willing of 25 Square meters.
- ‘Adla Maher al-Hamamda: a residential tent willing of 20 Square meters.
- At the same time, an Israeli force backed by several military vehicles, a vehicle belonging to the Civil Administration and 2 diggers, moved into Kherbat al-Rakeez, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. They surrounded civilians’ houses and then demolished 3 rooms built of tin plates and bricks on an area of 20 square meters in addition to a well of 50 cubic meters belonging to jabber Mohammed Dababsah and ‘Amer Mohammed Dababsah. They also closed the road connecting al-Mosafer area that links between al-Towanah and Sho’ab al-Batam.
- Israeli Settler Violence
- At approximately 05:00 on Sunday, 08 September 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, which is established in the eastern side of ‘Asirah al-Qabaliyia village, attacked al-Foqah neighborhood. They broke the windows of 3 vehicles with stones and punctured their tires. The village’s residents confronted them and threw stones at them. The affected persons were identified as: ‘Abed al-Baset Mohamed Ahmed, ‘Abed al-Wahab ‘Abed al-Rahman Mohamed Ahmed, and Rafiq ‘Abed al-Baset Mohamed Ahmed.