Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 10 – 16 May, 2018.
Israeli forces continued to use appallingly lethal force against Palestinian protestors in the Gaza Strip; 46 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and a wheelchair-bound man, were killed; 2024 Palestinian civilians, including 328 children, 74 women, 20 journalists and 5 paramedics, were wounded; 62 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children and 2 women, were wounded in occupied the West Bank.
Israeli forces continued to use excessive lethal force against Palestinian civilians, who participated in peaceful demonstrations organized within the activities of the “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed peaceful demonstrations along the eastern and northern Gaza Strip border area. On Monday, 14 May 2018, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakbah, the Gaza Strip witnessed the activities of the Great March of Return early declared by the Supreme Authority of the Return, and ten thousands of Palestinian defenseless civilians participated, including women, young men, children and elderlies. On that day, the Israeli forces excessively and appallingly used lethal force against the peaceful protesters. As a result, dozens of Palestinian civilians were killed while hundreds were wounded; many of them sustained serious wounds, including a PCHR’s volunteer fieldworker. During the reporting period, the Israeli forces killed 46 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and a wheelchair-bound man. Moreover, they wounded 2,024 Palestinian civilians, including 328 children, 74 women, 20 journalists and 5 paramedics; 135 of those wounded are in serious condition. In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 62 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children, 2 women and 2 journalists, in separate incidents.
Investigations and Field Observations by PCHR’s Fieldworkers Confirm the Following:
- The demonstrations have been entirely peaceful, and the fieldworkers have not witnessed any armed manifestations despite the state of outrage and fervor prevailing among the demonstrators who were hundreds of thousands.
- An outstanding participation of women and children in the demonstrations.
- The Israeli Forces unprecedentedly and heavily stationed along the border fence and inside the military sites surrounding the area along with intensive flight of the Israeli warplanes.
- Tear gas canisters were intensively and unprecedentedly fired from the drones and by the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence or in the military sites. The tear gas has spared none, including PCHR’s staff that was in the field.
- Ambulances, medical staff, and field clinics were deliberately and directly targeted and prevented from approaching those wounded in addition to causing injuries among them.
- Journalists are directly targeted, causing injuries among them.
- The Israeli fire deliberately targeted the upper part of the body, inflicting head and chest wounds. There are many of those wounded in critical condition; thus, the number of deaths is likely to increase.
As part of targeting the border areas, on 10 May 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at the landfill, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, and at the Palestinian shepherds and farmers, east of al-Bureij. However, no casualties were reported.
On 11 May 2018, the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at 2 security checkpoints belonging to the Palestinian Armed Groups, east of the central Gaza Strip. On 12 and 13 May 2018, the Israeli forces also targeted 2 border control checkpoints, east of al-Maghazi.
On 14 May 2018, Israeli forces fired 2 artillery shells at a border control checkpoint belonging to al-Qassam Brigades (Hams Militayr Wing) in eastern Islamic Martyrs Cemetery in the northern Gaza Strip. They recurred the shelling on 16 May 2018. As a result, the checkpoint sustained severe damage, but no casualties were reported. The Israeli forces also targeted 2 border control checkpoints with artillery shells in eastern al-Bureij and al-Maghazi, east of the central Gaza Strip, and recurred the shelling at the same checkpoints on 16 May 2018.
On 16 May 2018, the Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at the agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence, east of al-Na’aymah Street, and east of al-Amal neighbourhood, east and northeast of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. However, neither damage nor casualties were reported.
As part of the airstrikes, on 12 May 2018, Israeli warplanes launched 5 missiles at the agricultural lands that are around 800 meters away from the western border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, northeast of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. However, no casualties were reported.
On 14 May 2018, the Israeli warplanes, only ten minutes apart, launched 6 missiles at Palestine military site belonging to al-Qassam Brigades, northeast of Um al-Naser Bedouin village in the northern Gaza Strip. They also launched a missile at Bader Military Site and another at al-Bahriyah Site near al-Baydar resort, south of Gaza City. They also targeted another site, southwest of Gaza City. However, in all the bombings, no causalities were reported, but the sites sustained severe damage.
On the same day, the Israeli forces flied a black drone carrying a plastic bottle filled with benzene and an explosive device fixed to the bottle. The drone then dropped it on the tents of the March of return and Breaking the Siege in Eastern Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. As a result, the car tires used during the protests burnt.
In the West Bank, on 10 May 2018, 6 protestors were wounded, including a 17-year-old child, when the Israeli forces moved into Nablus to guard hundreds of settlers who arrived via dozens of buses to Josef’s Tomb to perform religious rituals. Thus, dozens of Palestinian children and young men protested against them.
On 11 May 2018, 5 Palestinian civilians were wounded while participating in a sit-in in the Bab al-Rahmah Cemetery to remove parts of the fences lately established by the Israeli forces. During the sit-in, the Israeli forces supressed the participants using rubber bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. As a result, 3 civilians sustained sound bomb shrapnel wounds and 2 others sustained rubber bullet wounds.
In addition to the above mentioned injuries, During the reporting period, 51 other civilians, including 4 children, 2 women and 2 journalists, were wounded after the Israeli forces opened fire at them and fired tear gas canisters directly during peaceful protests and stone-throwing at the Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrances to the Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Those demonstrations came in the light of demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians in protest at Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Israeli forces’ ongoing settlement crimes, confiscation of Palestinian lands, and Israeli forces’ crimes against the peaceful demonstrations organized by the Palestinians along the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 91 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 similar ones into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 71 Palestinians, including 5 children, in the West Bank. Meanwhile, 52 civilians, including 8 children and 3 women, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs; a number of them were arrested during the peaceful protests in the City.
In the Gaza Strip, on 13 May 2018, Israeli forces moved 100 meters into eastern alBureij in the central Gaza Strip, to level lands adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
On 14 May 2018, Israeli forces conducted 3 incursions into east of Abu Reidah neighborhood, east of Khuza’ah, and east of ‘Abasan al-Jadidiah in eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip; and eastern Abu Saifyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli forces leveled lands and repaired the barbed-wire fence amidst sporadic shooting. As a result, 3 civilians, including a woman, were wounded.
On 16 May 2018, the Israeli forces moved 100 meters into al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip. They leveled and combed lands in the area before redeploying along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Efforts to Create a Jewish Majority in East Jerusalem:
As part of the Israeli settlement expansion, house demolition notices and demolitions, on 10 May 2018, the Israeli authorities confiscated a plot of land in al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jeurasalem, under the pretext of using it for the public good. The plot of lands is 2 dunums and belongs to Mustafa Family. The Israeli municipality staffs closed the land and surrounded the land threatened to be confiscated with barbed wires so it would not be used by its owners. They pitched a banner written on which “Here will be established an education facility by Moria Company in favor of the neighborhood residents.”
As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property, on 13 May 2018, hundreds of settlers raided al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of East Jerusalem and performed mass prayers. They then sang and danced in circles and raised the Israeli flag amidst Israel forces’ attacking the Islamic Endowments “Awqaf” officers and tightening on the mosque. The Islamic Endowments Department said that 1,042 settlers raided al-Aqsa Mosque during the morning raids via al-Magharbah Gate while the Israeli forces, police and senior officers intensively deployed in the mosque yards. It should be noted that the Israeli alleged Temple Institutions called their supporters for wide participation in mass raids of the mosque in coincidence with the commutation of the city’s occupation according to the Hebrew calendar. In the afternoon, thousands of Israelis participated in the annual “Flag Dance March” amidst Israeli tightened security measures isolating Jerusalem’s Old City, several neighborhoods and streets to secure the March. The settlers made their way from West Jerusalem streets passing by Hebron Gate and New Gate and then to Jerusalem’s Old neighborhoods via the Damascus Gate until they reached the Western Wall “Buraq”. Groups of them marched towards the Herod’s Gate, Sultan Suleiman Street, and the Lions’ Gate passing via Silwan village until they reached the Western Wall “Buraq”., where the rituals and celebrations of “Jerusalem Unification Day” were held.
Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:
Continuing the demonstrations in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to it, Palestinian civilians organized protests against the decision throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They further organized peaceful demonstrations where ten thousands of civilians participated, for the seventh Friday on a row, in commemoration of the 42nd Anniversary of the Land Day in the Gaza Strip. The demonstrations were called as “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege.”
- Efforts to Create A 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 08:00 on Thursday, 10 May 2018, Israeli forces moved into al-Westah neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Adnan Mahmoud Ghaith (42), Member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, and then arrested him along with his wife Noor. The Spokesperson of the Israeli Police said to media that the Israeli police accompanied with Israeli border guard officers arrested Fatah Movement’s activist in east Jerusalem due to not paying taxes estimated at hundreds of thousands of shekels. He added that: “In the morning, we arrested the suspected person for tax evasion and he appear before the court in order to consider the police request to extend his detention pending investigation about transferring money to institutions and Fatah activists in Israel. The suspect, who was detained, is a prominent Fatah member in Jerusalem. The elimination of transferring money is an important step against those organizations unlawfully attempting to transfer money for activists through concealment of money and tax evasion.”
- On Thursday, the Israeli Intelligence Service summoned Sheikh Akrama Sabri (79), head of High Islamic Committee and Khateeb of al-Aqsa Mosque, for investigation in al-Maskobiyia Police Station in West Jerusalem. The Israeli Intelligence officers handed him a decision that prevents him from entering the West Bank areas for 4 months. It should be noted that at the beginning of May, the Israeli authorities handed Sheikh Akrama Sabri a decision that prevents him from travelling for a month and this decision can be renewed for another 4 months.
- At approximately 04:00 on Saturday, 12 May 2018, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Mousa Mohamed ‘Odah, Khaled al-Showaki, and Khaled Abu Tayieh.
- At approximately 02:00 on Sunday, 13 May 2018, Israeli forces moved into Abu Dis village, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Jowhar Naser Jowhar (26) and Mohamed Bader al-Deen Wahish (24).
- At approximately 19:00 on Sunday, Israeli forces moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ashraf Hani Ghaith (16) and then arrested him.
- At approximately 16:00 on Monday, 14 May 2018, Israeli forces suppressed a protest, where hundreds of Palestinian civilians participated near the U.S embassy in al-Arnonah neighborhood near Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, coinciding with the inauguration of the embassy. The Israeli forces arrested 12 protesters while dozens civilians sustained bruises when the Israeli forces attempted to disperse the protest. According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ statements, hundreds of Palestinian civilians from Jerusalem, Israel and Golan Heights; left-wing Israeli activists; and Neturei Karta Group participated in a protest organized against the inauguration and relocation of the U.S embassy in Jerusalem. The participants protested few meters away from the embassy and raised the Palestinian flags and banners in Hebrew, Arabic, and English confirming the Palestinians’ right to return. The banners also were against Trump’s decision and confirmed that Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. The Israeli forces also pushed and beat the protesters for over 3 hours, arrested 12 civilians and forcibly confiscated the flags and banners. Lawyer Khaled Zabarqah said the Israeli police arrested Sheikh Ahmed Abu ‘Ajwah, Khateeb of Hasan Beek Mosque in Jaffa; Sheikh Husam Abu Lail; and 2 other youngsters, from Um al-Fahem, while participating in the protest. The Israeli forces extended their arrest while 9 other arrestees were released on one condition that they will sign bails. Among those persons were Jad al-Ghoul, Jehad Naser Qaws, Omar Zaghir, and Ihab al-Shalabi.
- At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 15 May 2018, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Abdullah Badir Abu ‘Asab (20) and Ahmed Yousef ‘Obaid (19).
- At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Mohamed Naser al-Zaghal (17), Moslah Mohamed Shehada (17), and Ahmed Ayman Abu Isninah (15).
- At approximately 04:00 on Tuesday, Israeli forces moved into occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Mohamed Rohi Da’nah (22) and Fares al-Shayoukhi (23).
- On Tuesday, 15 May 2018, Israeli forces suppressed a peaceful protest in Bab al-‘Amoud area in the center of occupied East Jerusalem; insulted elderlies, women and children; and arrested a child participating in the protest after severely beating him. The protest was organized to commemorate the 70th anniversary of al-Nakba, mourning those killed in the Gaza Strip and condemning the relocation of the U.S embassy to Jerusalem. According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ statements, the Israeli forces attacked the protesters in Bab al-‘Amoud area since the very beginning of the protest and while chanting slogans and raising black flags written on it “the right to return”. The Israeli forces also beat the protesters, forcibly disperse them and then forced them to leave. However, a group of women and elderlies insisted on staying in the area, so the Israeli forces attacked them and forcibly disperse them. One of the soldiers forcibly took off the hijab of a woman and then pulled her on the ground before releasing her. During the protest, the Israeli forces arrested ‘Azzam Nairoukh (14) after beating him and taking him to Salah al-Deen Police Station for investigation. In the evening, students of Hebrew University of Jerusalem protested in front of the university entrance near al-‘Issawiyia village entrance and then chanted slogans and national songs. The soldiers also attacked the students and then arrested 2 students identified as Heba ‘Odah and Karam ‘Eliyan.
In al-Tour village, clashes erupted between Palestinian young men and Israeli forces. Local sources in the village said that Israeli undercover units arrested 3 protesters, including 2 children, and then took them to an unknown destination. The arrested persons were identified as Ameer Hazem al-Sayyad (16), Mohamed Khadir Abu al-Hawa (17), and Mostafa ‘Ashayier (20).
Notices and House Demolition:
- At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, 10 May 2018, the Israeli authorities confiscated a plot of land belonging to Mostafa Family in al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of using it for public good. Jerusalemite activist Yousef ‘Obaid said that the Israeli Municipality crews accompanied with Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village and seized a two-dunum land belonging to Mostafa Family. He also said that the Israeli Municipality crews closed the area and then surrounded the land with wires to prevent its owners from using it. The Israeli Municipality crews also pitched a banner written on it: “Here Moira Company will build an education facility for the neighborhood residents”. He added that the Israeli Municipality claimed implementing projects for the public good while they demolish houses and commercial facilities and has refused the map of the village for 20 years under various pretexts; latest of which was lack of budget and preparing for the municipality elections. Moreover, the Israeli vehicles had previously demolished a petrol station near the abovementioned plot of land, which was lately confiscated, and confiscated tools under the pretext of non-licensing.
- Following the Friday prayer, on 11 May 2018, dozens of Palestinian young men organized a sit-in in Bab al-Rahma Cemetery and managed to remove the fences established by the Israeli forces in the cemetery 2 weeks ago. During which, the Israeli soldiers forcibly suppressed the sit-in and then fired live and rubber bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the protesters to disperse them and force them to leave the graves area.
According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ statement, dozens of Palestinian young men from occupied East Jerusalem responded to calls for protecting Muslims graves in Bab al-Rahma Cemetery adjacent to al-Aqsa Mosque from the eastern side, and gathered at its entrance in spite of transferring it to a military zone by the Israeli forces. The Israeli forces closed the cemetery entrances and forcibly expelled the Palestinian civilians from the cemetery after beating them. The Israeli soldiers also forced the protesters to walk towards Silwan village, prevented them from passing through al-Maghariba Gate, and attacked them while walking on al-Turbah Street and at the village entrance. While the Israeli forces were suppressing the sit-in in the cemetery, many Palestinian young men and elderlies were wounded as 3 young men sustained sound bomb shrapnel wounds, including one directly hit to the face, and 2 other civilian were hit with rubber bullets. Moreover, 6 protesters were arrested after severely beating them. Those protesters were identified as ‘Emad al-‘Abasi (28), Mahdi Qara’qeen (27), Tareq al-‘Abasi (26), Husam Hamodah (25), ‘Emad al-Qaisy (45), and Mostafa ‘Awad (28). Furthermore, the Israeli forces intentionally attacked press crews by beating and pushing them in addition to forcibly keeping them away from the sit-in in the Bab al-Rahmah Cemtrey. The Israeli forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the press crews in order to obstruct their work. The Israeli forces also prevented them from taking photos and denied them access to the scene. The soldiers then chased the press crews and took photos of them.
It should be noted that the Israeli authorities have been attempting for years to confiscate parts of the cemetery in order to establish the “National Parks” project in the vicinity of the Old City. Within this project, the Israeli authorities built a path for Israeli settlers and tourists on the cemetery lands and prevented the burial in parts of it. It also cut part of it to build a street known as the “Turbah Street”. During the past days, the Israeli authorities attempted to set up steel fences in the vicinity of and on the graves. The Nature Authority and Municipality claim that the cemetery and hill lands are classified as “a national park and public open yards.” Under an organizational plan in the late 1990s, the classification of the land as “an Islamic Cemetery” was cancelled and the land has become an alienable property while all evidence and documents confirm that the cemetery is registered in (Tabu) in the name of Islamic endowments (Awqaf) and Husseini and Ansari lands. Moreover, the cemetery has been a property belonging to the Ministry of Endowment upon a decision by the Shari’a Court in Jerusalem since the 19th century.
Settlers attacks against Palestinian civilians and property
- At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 13 May 2018, hundreds of Israeli settlers raided al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City in commemoration of the occupation of the city (according to the Hebrew calendar). They performed prayers danced, sang, and raised the Israeli flag, in addition to attacking the Islamic endowments (Awqaf) employees and imposing restrictions on the mosque. According to the Islamic Endowments Department, around 1,042 Israeli settlers raided the al-Aqsa Mosque during the morning raids through the al-Magharibah Gate while a large number of Israeli forces and police officers deployed in the mosque yards. The Endowments Department stated that hundreds of settlers performed their prayers in circles in Al Aqsa Mosque at al-Rahma, al-Qataneen, and al-Selselah gates. They also attacked the mosque guards and the Awqaf employees. The department added that the Israeli forces provided full protection for the settlers during the raid while a group of settlers raised the Israeli flag in the al-Aqsa Mosque yards adjacent to the Dome of the Rock. The Endowments Department stated that Israeli Special forces stationed at al-Selselah Gate beat the Al-Aqsa Mosque Director Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani along with the endowments employees, during a large prayer for settlers, who raided the mosque. The Israeli forces also arrested two of al-Aqsa Mosque guards identified as Muhammad al-Salhi and Ahmad al-A’war, in addition to a child whose identity is unknown. All of them were arrested from al-Aqsa Mosque yards after severely beating them before taking them to investigation centers.
The Israeli police deliberately imposed restrictions on the entry of Muslim worshipers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the morning, detained their identities at the mosque gates, and prevented some of them from entering. Meanwhile, hundreds of Israeli settlers organized demonstrations at the mosque gates from the outside and on the Old Jerusalem streets, especially on al-Wad Street. During which, the settlers danced and sang in circles while other settler groups deliberately provocatively performed prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque gates. Since the morning, the Israeli forces deployed on the Old City streets and at its entrances.
It is noteworthy that the alleged temple organizations called on its supporters to extensively participate in the mass and intensive raids of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, coinciding with the commemoration of occupying the city (according to the Hebrew calendar). These organizations published on social media leaflets calling on settlers to raid the al-Aqsa Mosque in groups commemorating the so-called Jerusalem Day. The organizations also called on the settlers in the leaflets to achieve Record numbers this year through the number of settlers, who raid the mosque. In the afternoon, thousands of Israeli people participated in the annual “Flag Dance March” amid tight security measures that isolated the Old City, several neighborhoods and streets of the city to secure the demonstration. The Israeli settlers started their demonstrations from the West Jerusalem streets, passing through al-Khalil and al-Jadeed Gates and then to the Old City shops and neighborhoods via al-‘Amoud Gate, reaching al-Buraq Wall. A group of them were walking towards al-Sahira Gate, Sultan Suleiman Street, and al-Asbat Gate, passing through Silwan village and reaching the Buraq wall, where the rituals and celebrations of the so-called “Day of Jerusalem Unification” were held. During the demonstration, the participants raised Israeli and American flags and banners of the alleged temple, in addition to dancing and singing in circles. They also cursed the Arabs, Palestinians, and Prophet Muhammad and tried to harass the press crews by provocatively raising the flags in front of their cameras or standing in front of them.
Jerusalem Streets were almost empty of Palestinians because of the closures and the intensive deployment of the Israeli forces. Moreover, the Israeli police announced the closure of Wadi al-Joz Road from Abu Zahra intersection, al- Asbat Road from the cemetery road intersection, al- Sawwanah Road from al-Etfa’iyah intersection, Bab al-Amoud and al-Sahirah Gates area, Sultan Suleiman Street, and all the roads leading to Asbat Gate and the Old City, and al-Jadeed, al-Magharibah and al-Khalil Gates. At approximately 14:00, the Israeli forces set up metal detectors and closed streets with the police vehicles and buses, in addition to flying a helicopter in the village sky. The Israeli forces also chased anyone attempting to approach the streets adjacent to the Old City and prevented anyone from approaching in the vicinity of al-‘Amoud Gate.
Hours before the demonstration, the Israeli forces vacated Bab al-‘Amoud yard and then arrested the secretary of Fatah movement in Jerusalem, Shadi Mutawer, while a group of women were attempting to be present near al-Mosrrarah Street, overlooking Bab al-‘Amoud. The Israeli forces beat and pushed them, in addition to confiscating Palestinian flags and forcibly dispersing them. Furthermore, the Israeli forces arrested over 10 Palestinians, including a woman and her daughter, from Jerusalem. Most of them were then released after detaining them for over 2 hours. Journalist Mohamed ‘Abed Rabbu, a reporter Voice of Palestine Radio, sustained bruises suffered a shoulder dislocation after beating and pushing him.
The Old City shops’ owners said that they were forced to close their shops for fear of settlers stealing and damaging their goods, as they have been always subject to such practices in the previous years. They pointed out that the Old City residents in general are partially denied access to their houses until the end of the Flag March, which continued from the afternoon until the evening.
It should be noted that the Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forces’ protection, cursed Palestinian civilians and press crews, who were present to encounter the settlers’ March despite their few numbers due to the Israeli measures and closures imposed by the Israeli police to secure the March.
- On Monday, 14 May 2018, a group of Israeli settlers damaged around 28 vehicles in Shu’fat village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, and wrote racist and hostile slogans expressing hatred and extremism against Palestinians as part of the crimes of the “Price Tag” organzations”. The settlers wrote slogans objecting the administrative orders, including deportation orders from West Bank, imposed by the Israeli forces on Israeli extreme right activists. They also punctured the tires of Palestinian vehicles in Shu’fat, sprayed vehicles with paint, and damaged the entrances of some houses. The Israeli police claimed that they opened an investigation, but they were dealing with extreme tolerance towards those terrorists and did not reveal the perpetrators of their crimes or bring them to the court.
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 11 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 this year 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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