This week, PCHR documented 149 violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory.
As part of the Israeli violations of the right to life and bodily integrity:
In terms of excessive use of force, IOF wounded 9 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, on the 84th Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege protest (GMR) in eastern Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile in the West Bank, 4 civilians were injured, including a paramedic and a child. IOF arrested the child, claiming that he attempted to throw a Molotov Cocktails in Bethlehem.
Under IOF incursions and house raids, 99 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, were reported. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, arresting and/or injuring many others. During this week’s incursions, 77 Palestinians were arrested, including 22 children and 5 women.
In the Gaza Strip, IOF carried out 2 limited incursions in northern Gaza Strip and eastern Khan Younis. A Palestinian civilian was arrested by IOF while travelling via Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.
Moreover, 6 shootings were reported by IOF at agricultural lands in the northern and eastern of the Gaza Strip; while 3 others were reported by the Israeli gunboats against the Palestinian fishing boats sailing off Gaza Shore.
Under the settlement expansion activities in the West Bank, PCHR documented 6 IOF violations that included demolishing 3 residential houses in occupied East Jerusalem and Bethlehem, 25 stalls in Jenin, 2 buses’ structures in Hebron, and a car showroom as well as 2 car washes in occupied East Jerusalem.
PCHR also documented 3 settler-attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, including attacking busses in Bethlehem; damaging road construction machines in Northern Jordan Valleys, and shootings in eastern Qalqiliyah, which caused material damage to a house and fear among its residents, but no injuries among them were reported.
In terms of the Israeli closure policy, the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, 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. During the reporting period, IOF arrested a Palestinian civilian, from Gaza City, while travelling to Turkey via Erez Crossing. Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted and they are subject to arrest as 5 Palestinians were arrested this week only.
Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the Gaza Strip
On the 84th Friday, 13 December 2019, weekly protests were launched in the Rafah, al-Buraij refugee camp in addition to Gaza City and were cancelled in Khan Younis and northern Gaza Strip, on the anniversary of the founding of Hamas Movement. This Friday’s protest titled: “Palestine Unites us and Jerusalem is our Capital”, resulted in the injury of 9 civilians, including 4 children.
Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
- At approximately 13:40 on Thursday, 12 December 2019, moved into Ramallah and stationed in ‘Ein Mesbah neighborhood in the center of the city. Dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers, who responded with live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. As a result, volunteer paramedic, Majd Omer (25), was shot with a rubber bullet in the foot. He was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex for treatment and his injury was classified as moderate. Meanwhile, an Israeli force raided and searched the house of Shatha Majed Hasan (20), a student at Birzeit University, and arrested her.
- At approximately 22:00 on Friday, 13 December 2019, IOF moved into al-Janiyah village, northwest of Ramallah. A number of young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli forces, who responded with live bullets and tear gas canisters. A live bullet hit the window of Mohammed Ahmed Nassar’s house and settled in the walls; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 08:00 on Saturday, 14 December 2019, IOF signed to guard the annexation wall gate, adjacent to Nazlet ‘Essa village, north of Tulkarm, opened fire at a group of civilians present at the area. As a result, 2 civilians, from western al-Nazlah village, were wounded while attempting to enter the gate to work in Israel. The wounded civilians were identified as Ahmed Hasan Katanah (26), who was shot with a live bullet in the right leg; while Darrar Rasem Katanah (28) was shot with a live bullet in the left foot.
- At approximately 13:30 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, adjacent to the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the agricultural lands in eastern Beit Hanoun. As a result, a tilling machine that was about 150 meters into the west of the border fence and dragged by a farmer was hit with 2 live bullets, causing its damage. The machine is owned by Mohammed Hasan Ahmed al-Za’anin (40). IOF also fired a number of sound bombs in the area, causing fear among farmers.
- At approximately 16:40 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and fired a number of tear gas canisters at the border As a result, farmers, whose lands are nearby the area, forced to leave it fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 15 December 2019, IOF stationed along the border north of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Beit Hanoun Municipality crews, who were adjacent to a land fill in the area. As a result, the municipality truck was hit with several live bullets; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 16:30 on the same Sunday, Israeli gunboats stationed in west of Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 21:30 on the same Sunday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Kahn Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired tear gas canisters adjacent to al-Najjar neighbourhood, east of Khuza’ah village; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 08:15 on Tuesday, 17 December 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed in northwest of Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within3 nautical miles. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 19:00 on the same Tuesday, IOF opened fire at a Palestinian civilian while being present on al-Anfaq Street, west of Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem. As a result, he was shot and injured in the thigh. He was arrested by IOF and taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel for treatment.
Abdul Halim Ja’afrah, Head of Emergency & Ambulance Services at Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), said to PCHR’s fieldworker that he received an information about a civilian shot and injured by IOF in al-Anfaq area. An ambulance headed to the area, but IOF banned it from reaching the wounded civilian, who was identified as Hamzah Khalid ‘Ayad al-Haremi (16).
Avichay Adraee, the spokesperson of the Israeli forces, claimed that IOF spotted a person throwing a Molotov Cocktail at Israeli vehicles near Beit Jala village. He added that IOF opened fire at him, wounding him. They then chased and arrested him, without revealing the nature of his injury.
According to local sources, PCHR’s fieldworker stated that IOF took the wounded child to “Ofer” military prison established on lands, west of Ramallah. After that, al-Haremi underwent a surgery at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel. An extension hearing will be held for the arrested child next Thursday in the Israeli Military Court.
- At approximately 02:30 on Friday, 18 December 2019, IOF moved into al-Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. A number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli vehicles. IOF chased the young men between house and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers arrested Yusuf ‘Ezzat Abu Diaya (21) and Yusuf Mohammed Sadouq (22) after they raided and searched their houses.
- At approximately 18:00, Israeli gunboats stationed, west of Jabalia, northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. They also fired flare bombs in the sky. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern Khuza’ah village, south of the Gaza Strip. As a result, farmers fled away fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
- On Saturday, 14 December 2019, Naser Za’atrah implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his tin-plate house willing of 25 square meters in al-Mokaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Za’atrah said that the Israeli authorities ordered him several times to demolish his house and threatened him if he did not demolish it, he would pay the demolition costs. Za’atrah added that the construction of his house cost NIS 90.000 and the Israeli Municipality imposed a construction fine on him of NIS 115.000, noting that he is still paying it. Lately, the Israeli Municipality escalated its self-demolition policy in occupied East Jerusalem and forced over 50 civilians to self-demolish their houses.
- At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 16 December 2019, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Hebron’s Dir Razzah area. They demolished two buses’ structures of Basel Rashid Suliman D’ais used as café and auto repair workshop. After that, IOF levelled and dug the plot of land to ban using it again, under the pretext of being in Area C. It should be noted that on 19 August 2019, IOF demolished D’ais’s barrack established on the mentioned plot of land.
- At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 16 December 2019, Israeli vehicles demolished Sameeh Ahmed Salah’s house in Kherbet ‘Alia, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Salah said that IOF accompanied with military construction vehicles raided his 120-sqaure-meter house, which sheltered 5 persons, and demolished it. Salah clarified that his plot of land is officially registered, but IOF prevented him from building on it, claiming that there was a military order banning any construction works in the area. He added that in 1996, IOF demolished his plot of land and agricultural rooms. In 2002, IOF demolished a house built there. Salah pointed out that he re-built the house for the 2nd time years ago, but IOF notified him that they would demolish it. After that, he requested help from St. Yves Society and headed to the Israeli Supreme Court that issued the demolition decision, but IOF did not recognize the court’s decision and demolished the house. It should be noted that IOF aims at evacuating Kherbet ‘Alia from all houses and seizing over 120 dunums in order to build a bypass road, which would be the northern entrance to “Afrat” settlement.
- At approximately 20:00, IOF accompanied with military construction vehicles moved into al-Jalma village, where they demolished at least 25 vegetable and fruit stalls roofed with sheds, under the pretext of being in Area C. These stalls were established near al-Jalma checkpoint due to the traffic jam at the checkpoint. PCHR keeps the names of stalls’ owners, who were deprived of the sole source of income.
- At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 17 December 2019, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished Hatem Hussain Aby Riyalah’s under construction house in al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Raied Abu Riyalah, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, said that Israeli special forces accompanied with military vehicles moved into Abu Riyalah neighborhood, where they imposed a tight security cordon near Hatem Hussain Abu Riyalah house and demolished the second storey of his house for the 3rd Raied Abu Riyalah pointed out that Hatem attempted to license his house, but in vain. It should be noted that Hatem’s house was built on an area of 180 sqaure meters and comprised of 2 stories; the first was inhabited while the second was under-construction.
- Around the same day, IOF accompanied with military construction vehicles moved into Sho’fat village in occupied East Jerusalem and demolished a car showroom and 2 car washes of Meswada, Bader and Abu Isninah families. Wadi al-Helwa Information Center stated that Israeli bulldozers demolished ‘Azzam Meswada’s car showroom built of tin plates and damaged walls surrounding it. In addition, IOF demolished Bashar Bader’s car wash, comprising of 3 tin-plate rooms, and another car wash belonging to Kamal Abu Isninah. IOF confiscated a container from Kamal’s car wash.
Israeli Settler Violence
- At approximately 23:00 on Friday, 13 December 2019, Diyab Mash’alah, Head of al-Jab’a Village Council, said that, dozens of Israeli settlers, from “Beit Ayin” settlement, which is established on Palestinians’ lands, moved into al-Jamjoum area in western Bethlehem. They attacked and threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles. As a result, the windshield, rear window and lights of Akrama Hamdan’s vehicle were broken as well as many vehicles sustained damage. Mash’alah added that settlers continued to carry out ongoing attacks against Palestinians and their properties years ago, clarifying that these attacks have recently increased. Mash’alah said that settlers from time to time threw Molotov Cocktails at Palestinian vehicles, causing incidents and injuries among them, without taking any measures by IOF to end and stop these attacks.
- On Monday, 16 December 2019, settlers from the “Price Tag” group damaged road construction machines of Salah al-Zayed in northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas, for the 2nd
- At approximately 20:00 on Monday, 16 December 2019, settlers opened fire at ‘Ali al-Sedaa’s house in the outskirts of Qalqiliyia’s Jeet village. As a result, the house sustained material damage and its residents were terrified, but no injuries among them were reported.
- On Tuesday, 17 December 2019, a group of Israeli settlers damaged road construction machines in northern Jordan Valley, north of the West Bank.
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