Summary of Israeli Violations of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (09 – 15 April 2020)
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to violate Palestinians’ human rights and commit crimes against civilians and their properties, conducting raids into Palestinian cities without regard to the state of emergency declared across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since 06 March 2020, in the efforts put forward to combat the spread of coronavirus. IOF raids are conducted without proper attention to prevention and safety standards to mitigate the risk of transmitting coronavirus to Palestinian territory, as the virus is widespread throughout Israel. PCHR’s concerns over Israeli raids still stand, as those raids undermine preventive measures adopted by the government.
Meanwhile, settlers backed up by IOF continued to seize more civilian property and attack civilians and their property. Furthermore, PCHR expresses its concern over the Israeli occupation’s policy of banning any preventive measures by the Palestinian Authority in occupied East Jerusalem, especially that Israel has adopted lenient measures in the city despite its responsibility for it under international law as an occupying power.
PCHR has also been increasingly wary of Palestinian prisoners’ situation in Israeli jails under the coronavirus pandemic; instead of adopting the necessary measures to protect inmates from the pandemic, Israeli authorities have adopted a number of measures that further violate prisoners’ rights. PCHR reiterates its calls for the Israeli authorities to urgently and immediately adopt the necessary measures for the protection of Palestinian prisoners from COVID-19, and calls for immediate release of all imprisoned patients, elderlies, women, and children.
This week, PCHR documented 71 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. The restrictions imposed under the state of emergency have hindered our fieldwork team’s ability to cover all incidents in the oPt and were forced to collect information via phone from trusted local sources. As such, this report is an in-comprehensive record of Israeli violations of human rights against Palestinians in the oPt, as IOF continues its attacks against civilians despite the exceptional circumstances that have overcome the whole world in the face of a life-threatening viral pandemic.
1. IOF Shooting and Violation of Right to Bodily Integrity: 3 Palestinian civilians were shot and wounded by IOF; 1 during suppression of civilians at Qalqilia; and 2 fishermen in Gaza. Also, 3 children sustained wounds as a suspicious device left by IOF exploded in Hebron. IOF opened fire 5 times during raids into the West Bank; 11 shootings against the agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip while 5 shootings were reported against Palestinian fishing boats off the northern Gaza Strip shore.
2. IOF Incursions and Arrests of Palestinian Civilians: IOF carried out 26 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 26 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 children. Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, IOF arrested 3 young Palestinians while attempting to cross into Israel through the border fence area in Rafah; they were released after investigation.
3. Settlement Expansion Activities and Settlers’ Attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented the confiscation of a construction vehicle in Beit Dojon village, northeast of Nablus, under the pretext of working in area C.
PCHR also documented 8 settler attacks: sabotaging olive trees seedlings in Ain Qesis, al-Khader village, southern Bethlehem; raids into Palestinian cities and neighbourhoods and a settlers’ tent erected in Salfit; 2 children assaulted an a settlers’ tent erected in Hebron; sewer water pumped into Bethlehem lands; and olive trees cut in Nablus.
4. Israeli Closure Policy and Restrictions on Freedom of Movement: For the fifth consecutive week, Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing and West Bank Crossings under the pretext of confronting the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
IOF continued to impose closure declared on Wednesday 08 April 2020, on the pretext of the Jewish Passover holiday. Israeli authorities stated that the closure that has already been imposed on the Palestinian areas will remain the same, as entry through the crossings will be allowed only for exceptional humanitarian cases and urgent medical cases.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities still continued to impose restrictions on Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing, except humanitarian cases would be allowed to pass through the crossing. Concerning Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) Crossing, the crossing will be operated on a limited scale.
Also, Israeli authorities closed Erez Crossing on Wednesday and Thursday, 08/09 April 2020, and on Tuesday and Wednesday, 14/15 April 2020.
This comes in a time when 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, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.
Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.
1. Violation of the Right to Life and to Bodily Integrity: Shooting and Other Violations
- At approximately 07:50 on Thursday, 09 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen Obai Adel Mohammed Jarbou’a (21) and Ahmed Abdul Fattah Ahmed al-Shurafi (23), from al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, were shot with several rubber bullets throughout their bodies. They were transferred to the Indonesian Hospital and their injuries were classified.
- At approximately 19:00 on the same Thursday, IOF moved into Abu Tayeh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of commercial shops and imposed a fine on their owners, claiming that they violated the Israeli government orders within combating the spread of coronavirus. When IOF raided a shop owned by Mahmoud Wa’el Abu Tayeh, the soldiers quarrelled with him, so they heavily beat him. In the meantime, dozens of Palestinian young men attempted to protect Abu Tayeh, but Israeli soldiers heavily fired live bullets and sound bombs in the air to disperse them. Israeli soldiers also arrested 4 young men after they beat them and they were identified as: Ala’a Tawfiq Abu Tayeh (22),his brother Ahmed (19), Mahmoud Wa’el Abu Tayeh (37) and his brother Mohammed.
- At approximately 13:20 on Friday, 10 April 2020, IOF stationed at the eastern entrance established at lands of Kufur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilia, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian young men participated, to demand opening the eastern street, which has been closed since 2003. IOF chased the young men, who gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. They received medical treatment by the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) crews. Several live bullets hit a water tank on house’s roof of Asem Kamal ‘Aqel, causing its damage.
- At approximately 15:00 on the same Friday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at agricultural lands. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
- At approximately 23:20 on the same Friday, IOF stationed along the border fence, south of Qalqilia, fired tear gas canisters at the Palestinian security services units and the emergency crews while they were watching water ferries to control the movement of workers from the West Bank to Israel after IOF opened them within the spread of corona virus under fears it would be used to smuggle workers.
- At approximately 08:20 on Saturday, 11 April 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian farmers. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
- At approximately 09:30 on the same Saturday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
- At approximately 09:40 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian farmers, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
- At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, 12 April 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza strip, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’a and Abasan villages, adjacent to the border fence. The shooting continued at 11:30 on the morning, east of Abasan village; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 11:00 on the same Sunday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. The shooting recurred at 22:25 on the same day; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 11:15 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, north of the Agriculture School, north of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at the border area, adjacent to the border fence. As a result, Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers, whose lands are near the border area, panicked. No casualties were reported.
- At approximately 00:45 on the same Sunday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian farmers. The shooting continued sporadically until 18:00 on the same day. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
- At approximately 14:30 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, north of Qalqilia, fired rubber bullets and sound bombs at a 22-year-old Palestinian young man, adjacent to Qalqilia, when he attempted to enter Israel for work. As a result, he was shot and injured with 3 rubber bullets in his right leg. The young man was transferred via a PRCS ambulance to the governmental hospital in Tulkarem.
- At approximately 20:00 on the same Sunday, IOF moved into Obeid neighborhood, west of al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They deployed between houses and checked the residents’ ID cards. In the meantime, a number Palestinian young men protested and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers while the latter responded with sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. They received medical treatment on the field.
- At approximately 06:30 on Monday, 13 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boat sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 2 – 3 nautical miles). IOF also pumped water at the boats. The attack continued from time to time until 09:55 on the same day. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
- At approximately 09:30 on the same Monday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of al-Qararah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
- At approximately 16:00 on the same Monday, 3 Palestinian children, from Bani Dar neighborhood, southeast of Hebron, sustained various wounds due to the explosion of a suspicious object from the remnants left by the Israeli forces, when the children were grazing sheep in the area. The wounded children identified as: Jamal Fares Jamal al-Badawai (13), Riyad Fares Jamal al-Badawi (16),a dn Mohammed Bilal Arafat Abu Turki (17), were transferred to the governmental hospital in Hebron.
- At approximately 17:40 on the same Monday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 06:30 on Tuesday, 13 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (2 – 3 nautical miles), the stack continued sporadically until 07:50 on the same day. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
- At approximately 21:30 on Tuesday, 14 April 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Shokah village, east of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and flare bombs when 3 Palestinian young men attempted to sneak into Israel. IOF later declared that they arrested the 3 young men after they sneaked into Israel. IOF questioned the 3 young men and then released them.
2. Incursions and Arrests
Thursday, 09 April 2020:
- IOF carried out an incursion in Qalqilia. No arrests were reported.
Friday, 10 April 2020:
- At approximately 10:50, IOF moved into Kufur Qaddoum, northeast of Qalqilia, and re-stormed it again at approximately 08:50, setting ambushes for the purpose of arresting civilians before the starting of the weekly march. No arrests were reported.
IOF carried out an incursion in Ein Qinya, northwest of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.
Saturday, 11 April 2020:
- At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Nahalin village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Taha Fannoun’s (23) house and arrested him. Mayor of Nahalin, Subhi Zaidan, said that IOF arrested Mohammad Taha Fannoun, who suffers from difficulties in pronunciation, after raiding his house in the Nahalin. Zaidan also stated that the IOF deliberately spit on the ground and walls during the raid.
- At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Deya’ Ayman Obaid’s (24) house and arrested him.
- Around the same time, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint in the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the Central Hebron’s Old City, arrested Mahdi Mohammed Abu Snaina (19). IOF claimed that Mahdi did not obey to the IOF’s orders. Mahdi was released after hour and a half.
- IOF carried out an incursion in Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, south of Jericho. No arrests were reported.
Sunday, 14 April 2020:
- At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Qalqilia. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mo’aweya Abdul Latif Ridwan (25), and Mahmoud Nidal Salim (24), and arrested them.
- At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Baha’ Ra’ed Ekhlaiel’s (17) house and arrested him.
- At approximately 17:10, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint near Azoun village, east of Qalqilia, and arrested Wajdi Tawfiq al-Jayyousi (29), from Tulkarem. IOF took Wajdi to an unknown destination.
- At approximately 17:30, IOF moved into the agricultural lands of Um al-Mawaker, west of Salfit. They arrested ‘Ameer Azzam Aziz Mar’i (22) and his brother Abdulah (24), and confiscated their mobile phones and ID cards, claiming that they were working in an agricultural land belonging to the State of Israel. IOF released them later.
- At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Betin village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Karam Hashem Zain al-Deen, and Mohammed Ayman Taher (22).
Monday, 13 April 2020:
- At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Karkafa neighborhood, in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Shadi Mohammed Hasasna’s (34) house and arrested him.
- At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Zawata village, west of Nablus. They raided and searched Ahmed Ateya Mousa’s (32) house and arrested him.
- At approximately 04:10, IOF moved into Betounya, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ibrahim Naser Abu Radaha’s (27) house and arrested him.
- At approximately 04:40, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Beira. They stormed two houses in Um al-Sharayet and Sateh Marhaba neighborhoods, and arrested two civilians; one of them is a member of the Legislative Council dissolved by the authority. The arrestees are: Mohammed Hasan Abu Tair (69) and Abdul Jawad Omar Hamayel (30).
- At approximately 11:00, IOF stationed at Salem detention center, west of Jenin, arrested Suhaib Nasr Jarrar (31) from Barqin village, west of Jenin. IOF arrested him after the Israeli Intelligence Services summonsed him. It should be noted that IOF arrested Suhaib 3 times before and spent several years in the Israeli prisons. Furthermore, IOF killed his father and brother.
Tuesday, 14 April 2020:
- At approximately 04:40, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Beira, they raided and searched two houses in Sateh Marhaba neighborhood and arrested Omar Abu al-Rab (27), and Lo’ay al-Sho’la (25).
- At approximately 17:00, IOF stationed at the border fence, east of Faqou’a village, northeast of Jenin, arrested Mohammed Jamil Abu Khamees (32), and took him to an unknown destination.
- At approximately 18:20, IOF stationed at the border fence northwest of Tawra village, southwest of Jenin, arrested two children; Abdul Rahmad Mo’ayad Qabha (15) and Aysar Muthanna Qabha (13), and took them to an unknown destination. At approximately 21:50, the two children were released after the intervention of the Palestinian liaison.
- At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched the house of the Secretary of Fatah Movement, Ahmed al-Abbasi (53), and handed his family a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Ouz” police station, southeast of Jerusalem. Al-Abbasi said that the Israeli Intelligence Services phone called him and ordered him to refer immediately to the Barid police station on Salah al-Deen Street. While he was on his way he informed that IOF stormed his house and left a summons for him to refer to “Ouz” police station, southeast of Jerusalem. IOF investigated with him about the establishing of the Coronavirus medical center which is funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Silwan. Al-Abbasi also was interrogated for his interview with a Palestinian channel where he talked about the efforts of the Palestinian Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in the occupied East Jerusalem. Al-Abbasi added that IOF released him next day at approximately 04:30, in condition of banning him from leaving his house for 5 days, and signed a bail of (5000NIS) and cut the connections of the emergency committees in the city. After a few hours of releasing him, IOF re-summonsed him for investigation and forced him to pay bail of (500) NIS claiming that he was present in the medical center which is funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
- Around the same time, IOF moved into Ein Silwan Mosque yard, the place which the emergency committee specified to Coronavirus checkup, which is funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
- IOF carried out (3) incursions in Kharbet Bani Hareth, Badrs, and Shabtin, in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.
3. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank
a. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
- At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 15 April 2020, IOF accompanied with a military SUV moved into Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus. They confiscated a bulldozer belonging to Yousef Sari Yousef Nasasrah (58), from Beit Foreek village, while working in ‘Adel Abu Helwan’s land, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. IOF forced Nasasrah at gunpoint to drive the bulldozer toward “Makhoura” settlement in northern Jordan Valley and allowed him to leave later.
b. Israeli Settler Violence
- On Sunday, 12 April 2020, Israeli settlers broke olive seedlings in ‘Ain Qisees lands in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that settlers broke at least 50 olive seedlings from Safi al-Deen Mohamed Da’dou’s land. Breijieh pointed out that since the beginning of the emergency state declared in Bethlehem, Israeli settlers escalated their attacks against Palestinian farmers and their properties as they damaged hundreds of trees and seedlings in the lands of al-Khader, Wadi Fokeen, Hosan and Wadi Rahaal villages.
- At approximately 20:00, three settlers attacked and pepper-sprayed Samour (16) and Wajeh (17) al-Rajbi while they were playing in al-Salayimah neighborhood in Hebron’s Old City. Both of them were taken to Mohamed ‘Ali al-Mohtaseb Hospital. In the meantime, Palestinian young men gathered to confront the settlers, so IOF closed a fence surrounded al-Salayimah and Ghaith neighborhoods.
- At approximately 14:30, Israeli settlers drove their vehicles and attempted to enter Qarawet Bani Hassan village lands, west of Salfit. Meanwhile, members of the village protection committee and Palestinian farmers intercepted them.
- On Monday, 13 April 2018, Israeli settlers, from “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem, pumped wastewater at agricultural lands planted with grape vines in Wadi Shakheet, east of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. As a result, farmers suffered financial losses and their lands sustained material damage. It should noted that it was the second time that the settlers pumped wastewater at dunums belonging to Bahar and Sabarna families.
- At approximately 17:00, settlers, from “Borkheen” settlement, attacked Kafur al-Deek village, west of Salfit. They set up tents on ‘Abed al-Hameed Suliman ‘Ali Ahmed’s land and withdrew at 20:50.
- At approximately 19:00, four settlers attempted to move into Qirah village, north of Salfit. The village emergency committee intercepted them before handing them to IOF at 22:30 through the Palestinian Liaison office.
- At approximately 20:00, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian lands in Tel al-Rumeidah neighborhood. The settlers set up tents near Youth against Settlement Center, which is surrounded by “Ramati Yashi” settlement. When the village residents intervened to prevent them, IOF infantry unit moved into the area, dispersed the settlers and removed the tents.
- At approximately 08:15 on Tuesday, 14 April 2020, Palestinian farmer Mahmoud Rateb Mahmoud Hussain, from Qaryout village, southeast of Nablus, headed to his plot of land (42 dunams) in Khela area to plow it, upon a prior security coordination with the Israeli authorities. When Hussain entered his land, he was shocked to find that 12 Roman olive trees were cut from the root and their stems confiscated, 2 days ago. It should be noted that Hussain is allowed to visit his land 6 days a year to harvest the crops and plow it, upon the security coordination.
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