PCHR: Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (12 – 18 March 2020)

20 Mar
12:51 AM

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) issued its weekly report on Israeli human rights violations, documenting 112 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories over the past week.

As part of its excessive use of lethal force, Israeli troops killed a Palestinian child in Nablus and wounded others. Moreover, IOF continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protests organized against Trump’s Peace Plan for the Middle East known as the “Deal of Century” that violates the rights of the Palestinian people and is in conflict with the United Nations (UN) resolutions and international law. Meanwhile, settlers backed up by the Israeli military continued to seize more civilian property and attack civilians and their property.

It should be mentioned that the state of emergency declared by the Palestinian National Authority across the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as the Israeli measures and fears of the spread of Coronavirus had its implications on PCHR’s efforts to document human rights violations in the oPt.

I. Israeli shooting and violations of right to bodily integrity: in excessive use of force against protests in the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 3 Palestinian civilians, including a journalist; and used live bullets and tear gas canisters during raids into several Palestinian cities, causing several cases of suffocation.

In the Gaza Strip, 6 shootings by Israeli forces were reported against the agricultural lands in the southern and central Gaza Strip while 2 shootings were reported against Palestinian fishing boats off the northern Gaza Strip shore. No injuries were reported.

II. Israeli forces incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: Israeli forces carried out 60 incursions into the West Bank. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, inducing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 41 Palestinians were abducted, including 5 children. Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces abducted 2 Palestinians claiming they attempted to enter Israel through the border fence.

III. Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: PCHR documented 4 Israeli forces operations, including demolitions, land razing, and demolition notices: banning a Palestinian from access into his land in Hebron; demolition of 2 residential houses, and 2 barracks used for cattle in eastern Bethlehem under the pretext of non-licensing; and 1 self-demolition of a 4-storey residential building in Shu’fat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli forces construction vehicles commenced the construction of a cement wall that separates al-Shaikh Saad area from Surbaher village, southern East Jerusalem, as per the plans of the Annexation Wall. This would isolate more than 6,000 Palestinians from Surbaher from the rest of their village.

PCHR also documented 5 settler-attacks: cars and houses attacked in Nablus and Ramallah; 50 grape vines cut in al-Khader village, southern Bethlehem, and the assault of a Palestinian shepherd in Ramallah.

IV. Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement: 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.

These restrictions were declared on Wednesday, 11 March 2020, and still continue, with the exception of humanitarian cases will be allowed to pass through the crossing. 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 or goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

Furthermore, Israeli forces uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces 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

a) Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the West Bank

  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 13 March 2020, Israeli forces stationed at the northern entrance established at Kufur Qaddoum village’s land, north of Qalqilia, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated against Trump’s peace plan in the Middle East known as: “Deal of the Century”. Israeli forces chased the young men who gathered in the area. Israeli forces clashed with the young men and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them.
    As a result, Ja’far Eshtiyah (45), a photojournalist at the Agence France Press (AFP), was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg, and a 45-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg. The protests took part again at 15:00 on the same day and was suppressed by Israeli forces. As a result, a 20-year-old man was shot with a live bullet shrapnel in his back.
  • At approximately 15:00 on the same Friday, Israeli forces suppressed a protest called for by national factions in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to condemn Israel Nature and Parks Authority in the Israeli Municipality’s attempt to confiscate a land belonging to Mohammed al-‘Abasi in Wadi Rababah neighborhood in the village to turn it to public parks.
    Sa’eed al-‘Abasi, Mohammed’s grandson, said that the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority claim that this land belongs to Absentee Property Guard, though it is owned by his grandfather, who is 90 years old for hundreds of years.
    Al-‘Abasi added that the Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s crews raided the land several times last week and attempted to do excavation works to implement their settlement project, which aim at transferring lands of Wadi Rababah neighborhood to public parks. Each time, the village residents confront the Israeli crews though they might be killed or abducted. Al-‘Abasi also said that dozens of the village residents and dignitaries protested after Friday in Wadi Rababah neighborhood and implanted olive seedlings. After that, Israeli forces raided the area, uprooted the seedlings and abducted Khalid al-Zair, claiming that he did not obey the order of an Israeli policeman not to photograph. Al-‘Abasi pointed out that his family paid NIS 25,000 to the Israeli court to stop the Israeli Nature authority’s raids until the court issue its decision.

b) Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity

  • At approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 12 March 2020, Israeli forces gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. Fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:30 on the same Tuesday, Israeli forces soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 13 March 2020, Israeli forces soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands, west of the border fence. The shooting continued until the evening hours. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 05:50 on Saturday, 14 March 2020, Israeli forces gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles. Fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:30, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza strip, opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands, east of al-Farahin neighborhood in Abasan, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They established checkpoints at the entrances, prevented entering or leaving the village and searched the villages. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men protested at the entrance to Obeid neighborhood, east of the village, and threw stones, fireworks and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers and the latter responded with rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. Clashes between Israeli forces and the young men continued for 3 hours. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces abducted Shehab Ahmed Mahmoud (21).
  • At approximately 07:00 on Sunday, 15 March 2020, Israeli forces soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands, west of the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00 on Sunday, 15 March 2020, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They stationed in the vicinity of al-Arbaeen neighborhood in the center of the village, searched civilian passersby and maltreated them. A number of young men threw stones and, fireworks and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli forces, and the latter responded with live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces also abducted Majd Marwan Dari (19) and Karim Ahmed Obeid (21) after they beat them.
  • At approximately 20:00 on Monday, 16 March 2020, Israeli forces soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, fired flare bombs at the western border fence area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 05:30 on Tuesday, 17 March 2020, Israeli forces reinforced with several military SUVs moved into Beit Rema village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Anas Hasan al-Barghuthi’s (22) house and abducted him. In the meantime, a number of civilians gathered and threw stones at Israeli forces and the latter responded with rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Tuesday, Israeli forces soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Wednesday, 18 March 2020, Israeli forces soldiers stationed at the entrance to al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, indiscriminately fired tear gas canisters at houses adjacent to the Bypass road (60), claiming that they were stoned. Many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

II. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 12 March 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Tubas. They raided and searched Qusai Majdi Abdul Razik’s (22) house and abducted him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Howara, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Salah Wael Khamous (23) and Wa’d Ghazi Shehada (23) and abducted them.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Sa’eer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched (5) house and abducted (5) civilians: Samer Issa Farroukh (35), Bara’ Mohammed Farroukh (23), Fadel Adel Faroukh (27), Mohammed Adel Faroukh (19), and Zeyad Jabareen (33).
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved to al-Sa’deya neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Rawhi Mahmoud al-Kalghassi (23), and Mostafa Jamil al-Hashlamoun (23), and abducted them.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, south of al-Beira. They raided and searched several houses and abducted Mohammed al-Shamali (22), and Diab Mohammed Brash (20).
  • At approximately 04:05, Israeli forces moved into al-Fare’a refugee camp, south of Tubas. They raided and searched Zaidan Sawafta’s (20) house and abducted him.
  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli forces moved into Solwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Nasrallah Assi al-A’war’s (22) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in al-Qishla investigation center.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Wad neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Obada Samir Najeeb’s (22) house and abducted him.
  • At approximately 13:00, Israeli forces abducted Bassam Taroq Abu Sbaih (18), from al-Wad Street in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, while present near al-Ram village, north of the occupied city. Israeli forces took him to an unknown destination.
  • Israeli forces carried out (9) incursions in al-Shoyoukh, Beit Ummer, and Yatta in Hebron; Qalqilia, Azoun, and Jayyous in Qalqilia governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 13 March 2020:

  • At approximately 15:30, OF stationed in the border fence with Israel, east of Central Gaza Strip, abducted two civilians including a child while attempting to sneak through the border fence. The arrestees are: Saleh Kamel al-Te’ban (17), and Khaled Hosney al-Awdat (18), both are from al-Maghazi neighborhood. Salah’s father said to PCHR’s fieldworker that he received a phone call to inform him that his son is under arrest in Asqalan prison, and he has a court hearing after two weeks.
  • Israeli forces carried out (9) incursions in Ethna and al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron, Ya’bod and Kiferit villages in Jenin, Sabastya and Ma’dama in Nablus, Anabta and Kafr al-Lobad in Tulkarm, Kafr Na’ma and Sarda near Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 14 March 2020:

  • At approximately 15:00, Israeli forces abducted Mos’ab Mousa Hussain Shawaheen (14), while he was herding sheep east of Yatta, south of Hebron. Lately, Israeli forces released the child and brought him to the Palestinian military liaison.
  • Israeli forces carried out (2) incursions in Tarqoumeya and Abu al-Asja villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 15 March 2020:

  • Israeli forces carried out (6) incursions in Yatta and al-Sa’eer in Hebron; Anabta, east of Tulkarem; Azoun, Izbet al-Tabbeb, and Jayyous, east of Qalqilia. No arrests were reported.

III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank

a) Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian property for Settlement Expansion Activities

  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 12 March 2020, Israeli forces prevented Badawi Taha Jadallah (55) from working in his plot of land near “Negohout” settlement, south of Dura in Hebron, under the pretext of being a “State Land”. It should be noted that Jadallah’s land is located between “Negohout” settlement and “Nahal Nahuhot” outpost and Israeli authorities put pressure on him to evacuate his house.
  • On the same day, Israeli military construction vehicles demolished 2 houses and 2 livestock barracks in eastern Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles demolished Hazem Hashem Abu Muhaimed’s two 130-sqaure-meter houses in Beit Ta’mour and al-Badiyia al-Sharqiyh areas. As a result, the houses sustained severe material damage while the family comprising of 8 persons became homeless. Breijieh added that Israeli forces also demolished 2 livestock barracks belonging to Abu Muhaimed in Beit Ta’mour area.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 13 March 2020, Tareq Mohamed ‘Ali implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished his residential building in Shu’fat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mohamed’s residential building was comprised of 4 floors; 2 of them were inhabited and the others were under construction. He said that he received a demolition notice 2 weeks ago from the Israeli Supreme Court, so rented a bulldozer to implement the demolition and avoid paying the demolition costs to the Israeli Municipality staff. The Israeli authorities claimed that Mohamed’s building overlooks the ” Pisgat Zeev” settlement. It should be noted that after demolishing the building, 13 persons became homeless.
  • On Monday, 16 March 2020, Israeli military construction vehicles built a cement wall separating al-Shaikh Sa’d area from Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, within the annexation wall route. As a result, over 6 thousand Palestinians will be isolated from Surbaher village. The largest part of Surbaher village is located in the area that Israel annexed to its boundaries, despite the fact that its residents own at least 4 thousand dunums of land in Areas designated as A, B and C, under the Oslo Accords. It should be noted that since 2009, Israeli forces demolished 69 buildings in Surbaher village, or forced their owners to demolish them, under the pretext of non-licensing.

b) Israeli Settler Violence

  • At approximately 01:30 on Thursday, 12 March 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Price Tag group”, attacked the outskirts of ‘Ainabous village from the northern side and threw stones at ‘Awaad Ameen Hamad and Shokri Suliman al-Shaqour’s houses. As a result, the houses windows were broken. The settlers also broke the windows of a vehicle parked in Hani ‘Othman Rashdan’s house yard.
  • At approximately 00:30 on Sunday, 15 March 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Price Tag group”, attacked Kantry Hawarah Resort in Nablus, located in the western side of Hawarah village. The settlers threw stones at vehicles parked in the resort yard and broke the windows of 13 of them. They also punctured the tires of 3 vehicles with sharp tools. (PCHR keeps the list of material damage and the names of affected persons).
  • At approximately 01:50, Israeli settlers, from “Talmoun” settlement, which is located on al-Janiyia village lands, west of Ramallah, attacked the outskirts of al-Janiyia village from the western side and threw stones at Palestinians’ houses, under the Israeli forces protection. Meanwhile, Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at the settlers and Israeli forces, who responded with tear gas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • On Monday,16 March 2020, dozens of Israeli settlers cut down at least 50 grape vines from Mahmoud Sa’d plot of land in Beit Sakariyia area, which is surrounded by “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that Mahmoud Sa’d was shocked by uprooting and cutting his trees planted many years ago with saws and axes. Breijieh pointed out that said that Mahmoud Sa’d was shocked when he saw his trees planted many years ago were uprooted and cut with saws and axes. Breijieh pointed out that settlers’ attacks on Palestinians’ lands increased during the past 2 weeks, as at least 1200 olive and fruitful were cut in southern and western Bethlehem. It should be noted that settlers take advantage of the conditions of Bethlehem that is facing coronavirus to carry out large-scale attacks under the Israeli forces protection.
  • At approximately 16:15 on Monday, 09 March 2020, 5 Israeli settlers living in a settlement out post established on Kherbet Jbei’et lands in the eastern side of al-Moghair village, northeast of Ramllah, attacked and threw stones at Anees Mahmoud Abu ‘Alia and Fadel Abu ‘Alia while breeding livestock. Meanwhile, Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at the settlers and Israeli forces, who responded with tear gas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.

Read the full document at pchrgaza.org

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