Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 12 â 18 October, 2017.
20 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children, were wounded in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 20 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children; 4 of them including a child were in the West Bank while the 6 others, including 3 children, were in the Gaza Strip.Â In the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Sea and open fire at farmers and houses in the border areas.Â The fishermen in the Sea were subject to 12 shooting incidents during the reporting period.
In the West Bank, 15 October 2017, a 13-year-old Palestinian child sustained shrapnel wound to the left leg when Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at a group of youngsters and students, who threw stones at the soldiers after their incursion into Rojib village, southeast of Nablus.
On 16 October 2017, a young man was wounded to the foot when Israeli forces moved into al-Dheishah refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, and opened fire.Â On 18 October 2017, 2 civilians were wounded in Nablus and Ramallah following the Israeli forcesâ incursion into the cities and closure of 8 media offices.
In the Gaza Strip, the border areas witnessed protests against the on-going unjust closure on the Gaza population.Â During the protests, the Israeli forces used force against the protestors and opened fire in order to disperse them.Â As a result, 6 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded; Five were wounded in eastern Jabalia and the other in al-Brueij refugee camp.
In the pretext of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Sea, PCHR monitored that Israeli forces escalated their attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea although declaring fishermen are now allowed to fish until 9 nautical miles instead of 6.Â This proves that the Israeli forces continue their policy of targeting fishermen and their livelihood.Â During the reporting period, Israeli gunboats chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats 12 times; 11 of which were in the north-western Beit Lahia and western Soudaniyah, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip and one was off Kahn Younis shore in the southern Gaza Strip.Â On 15 October 2017, 4 fishermen were arrested off al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and 8 fishing nets were confiscated.Â The arrested fishermen were later released.
On 17 October 2017, Israeli gunboats fired shells at a Palestinian fishing boat sailing within 2.5 nautical miles.Â As a result, the boat was destroyed and drowned in the Sea.
It should be mentioned that the Ministry of Agriculture said that Israel informed the Ministry of Affairs that the allowed fishing area expanded from 6 to 9 nautical miles starting at 15:00 on Wednesday, 18 October 2017.
In the context of targeting the border areas, on 13 October 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of Khuzaâah village and al-Sunati area in âAbasan al-Kabirah.Â As a result, farmers and civilians panicked, but no casualties were reported.
On 15 October 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip opened fire at the lands and houses in the eastern areas.Â No casualties were reported.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 47 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 50 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children. Six of those, including a child, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.
As part of the Israeli attacks against media, on Wednesday, 18 October 2017, Israeli forces closed 8 branch offices of 3 media companies in the West Bank, providing media services in Nablus, Hebron and Ramallah. These companies are PalMedia, Ram Sat, and Trans Media, noting that the offices are rented by the channels of al-Quds, Al-Aqsa and Palestine Today.Â Israeli forces confiscated the broadcasting devices and equipment and closed the offices for 6 months without identifying the reasons in addition to arresting 2 journalists from Hebron.Â These attacks are part of systematic steps to silence the voice of truth and cover up the serious violations of human rights in the oPt.
Measures to Create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem
In the context of Israeli settlersâ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, dozens of settlers continued to raid al-Aqsa Mosque and its yards in East Jerusalemâs Old City under the Israeli forcesâ protection and provoking Palestinians there.
Settlement Activities and Settlersâ Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and their property:
As part of settlersâ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 12 October 2017, hundreds of settlers under the Israeli forcesâ protection moved into several neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalemâs Old City coinciding with the last days of the Jewish Sukkot Holiday.Â They attacked shops and damaged 4 vehicles and a motorbike in al-Wad neighbourhood in the Old City.Â They also moved into the African Community neighbourhood near the Council âal-Majlesâ Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosqueâs gates, and threw stones, sticks and chairs at the housesâ doors and windows in the neighbourhood.
On 16 October 2017, the Israeli authorities declared seizing dunums from al-Taâamrah lands, east of Bethlehem.
On 17 October 2017, the Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished 2 houses in Yasoul Valley neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalemâs Old City, without any prior warning under the pretext of building without a license.Â Meanwhile, the Israeli forces were preparing to demolish a third house but the demolition was delayed after its owner resorted to the Israeli court.
Restrictions on movement:
Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.Â The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people.Â The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Stripâs economy.Â They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Stripâs exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons.Â Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created âcantonsâ isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.
Demonstrations in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities
Note: PCHR Keeps the names of the wounded persons.
Efforts to Create 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:
Omar Abu Rajab said to PCHRâs fieldworker that the Israeli bulldozers demolished his house and his brotherâs house, Raied, after fully surrounding the houses. He added that the demolition was carried out although the judge has not yet considered the appeal submitted by the family lawyer. He also said that the family had a decision to delay the demolition, but the Israeli municipally staff refused it and carried out the demolition without a prior warning.
Abu Rajab said that the two houses were built 14 months ago, and the Israeli Municipality handed them the demolition decision in last April and from that time the demolition decision was delayed several times. Lately, a hearing was held to delay the demolition and the judge has not yet considered the decision, pointing out that the family submitted the documents requested by the court and began the licensing procedures.
Abu Rajab also pointed out that his family told him about raiding the house to demolish it when he was in his work. When Abu Rajab returned, he could not enter his house or helping his family in vacating the contents due to the closure imposed on the area. He added that they demolished the houses without vacating all the contents.
It should be noted that the house sheltered 9 persons, including 2 children, and after demolishing the house, Abu Rajab family set a tent in front of their house rubble. The family became homeless due to the demolition.
Israeli settlersâ attacks againstÂ Palestinian civilians and property:
On Thursday, 12 October 2017, hundreds of Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forcesâ protection, moved into many neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalemâs Old City, concurrently with the latest days of Jewish Sukkot Holiday. The Israeli settlers attacked shops and damaged 4 vehicles and a motorcycle in al-Wad neighborhood. They also moved into the African Community neighborhood and threw stones, chairs, and sticks at the housesâ doors and windows. Dozens of Palestinian young men gathered to stop the Israeli settlersâ attacks. As a result, 4 Palestinian civilians sustained wounds and fractures while Yaâqoub al-Dabbagh (13), was arrested. Eyewitnesses said to PCHRâs fieldworker that the Israeli settlers severely beat up Ibrahim al-Hashlamoun, raided his shop and damaged its contents in Al-âAmoud Gate area. They also raided a house belonging to Maher Abu Isneinah on al-Wad Street. Eyewitnesses added that the Israeli forces only moved the Israeli settlers away from al-Wad Street and when the settlers arrived at al-Amoud Gate area, they beat Ibrahim up after raiding his shop.
In next day morning, the Israeli settlers organized a demonstration on al-Wad Street, while the Israeli forces heavily deployed in the area. The Israeli settlers also established iron barriers on roads and obstructed the civilians and tradersâ movement.
Israeli forcesâ attacks:
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 10 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Councilâs 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.Â 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 Israelâs unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.Â PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israelâs obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.Â 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.
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Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.