Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 13 – 20 June, 2018.
A Palestinian civilian was killed, and 3 others, including a child, succumbed to their wounds. 8 Palestinian civilians were wounded in the Gaza Strip, while 3 Palestinians were wounded in the West Bank. Israeli warplanes carried out many air strikes against many targets belonging to armed Palestinian resistance. Israeli drones also targeted Palestinian civilians gathering in the peaceful demonstrations.
Israeli forces continued to use 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 for the 11th week in a row peaceful demonstrations along the eastern and northern Gaza Strip border area. During the reporting period in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and 3 others, including a child, succumbed to their wounds. They also wounded 7 other civilians in the Gaza Strip and 3 in the West Bank. The Israeli warplanes carried out several air strikes against targets belonging to the Palestinian armed groups and launched dozens of missiles, causing damage to the sites. The Israeli drones also targeted Palestinian civilians gathering in the peaceful demonstrations with many missiles.
In the Gaza Strip, on 18 June 2018, in use of lethal force, the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded another. On the same day morning, the Israeli warplanes launched one missile at 4 Palestinians who sneaked into the border fence between the Strip and Israel near the “Karny” Industrial Area in eastern Shija’iyah in eastern Gaza City. As a result, one of them identified as Sabri Abu Khader (23) from al-Tufah neighborhood was killed and another 19-year-old civilian was wounded with shrapnel to the leg.
In the same context, two civilians, including a child, succumbed to their wounds. On 14 June, medical sources in the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip declared death of Ahmed al-‘Aasi (21) from Khan Younis after succumbing to his serious wounds. According to investigations conducted by PCHR at that time, the abovementioned civilian was hit with a gas canister in the head during the demonstrations on Friday, 08 June 2018, east of the Return encampment in Khuza’ah in eastern Khan Younis.
On 18 June 2018, medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City declared the death of Zakariah Bushbush (14) from al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip succumbing to wounds he sustained on 30 May 2018. Zakaria was wounded during his participation in the Return March in eastern al-Bureij with a bullet that entered his chest and exited his back. His condition was very serious so he was transferred to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.
On 20 June 2018, Medical sources at St. Josef Hispital in occupied East Jerusalem declared the death of Mohammed Abu Farhanah (23) from ‘Abasan al-Kabirah in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip after succumbing to his serious wounds. The abovementioned was wounded with 2 bullets to the abdomen on 14 May 20118, after the Israeli forces opened fire at him during his participation in the Return March demonstrations in eastern Khan Younis. At that time, he was taken to Nasser Hospital and admitted to the intensive Care Unit (ICU) due to his serious condition. He was later referred to St. Josef Hospital in Jerusalem until his death was declared on the abovementioned day afternoon.
During the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 7 Palestinians, including 2 military police officers who were wounded when they were in their workplace at the time of targeting the nearby site belonging to the armed groups by the Israeli warplanes.
As part of the airstrikes, on 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 20 June 2018, the Israeli warplanes launched 15 missiles at the Palestinians participating in the Great March of Return in eastern al-Bureij and al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at those inside the encampment. As a result, two civilians sustained shrapnel wounds in their bodies.
On 17 June 2018, the Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at a site belonging to the Palestinian armed groups, southeast of al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip.
On 18 June 2018, Israeli drones fired 3 missiles, 3 minutes between each, at a border control point belonging to the Palestinian armed groups and an agricultural land in Eastern al-Qararah village, northeast of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. On the same day, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a Palestinian civilian grey Mitsubishi car parked near al-Murabeteen Mosque at the end of Baghdad Street in al-Shija’yah neighbourhood in eastern Gaza City. On the same day, the Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at The Navy Site near al-Shati’ refugee camp, west of Gaza City. In all the airstrikes, no casualties were reported. On the same day, the Israeli warplanes in 4 separate airstrikes launched 7 missiles at 2 sites belonging to al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas) in Tal al-Za’atar area in Jabalia and al-Safinah building, southwest of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.
On 20 June 2018, the Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at a site belonging to the Palestinian armed groups in western al-Maghazi; 2 missiles at another site in western Gaza City; 3 missiles at a military site, east of al-Shaikh Zayed Housing Project in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip; 6 missiles at Jerusalem Site belonging to al-Qassam Brigdaes, west of Khan Younis; 8 missiles at 2 sites belonging to al-Qassam Brigades, southwest of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip. It should be mentioned that the Israeli drones targeted gatherings of Palestinian civilians in the peaceful demonstrations several times, but no casualties were reported.
As part of targeting the border areas, on 14 June 2018, the Israeli forces along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence. However, no casualties were reported.
On 15 June 2018, Israeli forces fired shells at a border control point belonging to the Palestinian armed groups, east of al-Shokah village in eastern Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. However, no casualties were reported.
As part of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, pointing out to the ongoing Israeli policy of targeting their livelihoods. During the reporting period, PCHR documented 2 shooting incidents at the fishermen sailing off Rafah shore in the southern Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, during the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 3 Palestinian civilians. On 15 June 2018, two Palestinians were wounded when the Israeli forces stationed near the military watchtower established on the lands of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them while attempting to cross the main gate closed by the Israeli forces and established at the main entrance to the city.
On 19 June 2018, Israeli forces during the reporting period wounded a Palestinian civilian when they moved into the Western Farm village, north of Ramallah and a number of youngsters gathered to protest against their incursion. As a result, the Israeli soldiers opened fire wounding a 21-year-old civilian with a bullet to the abdomen.
Israeli Forces Continued their Measures to Create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem
As part of demolishing civilian facilities, on 20 June 2018, the Israeli military vehicles demolished a house in Qalendia village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. The 50-square-meter house which belonged to ‘Ali Mutair was comprised of a room, kitchen and bathroom; and Mutair, his wife and kids moved to live in it only 5 months ago.
On the same day, the Israeli municipality staffs carried out a campaign to raid, confiscate and demolish in many areas in occupied east Jerusalem under the pretext of non-licensing. The military vehicles demolished the outside walls, house doors, and removed the perimeter fences of the land belonging to the Islamic Endowments Department in al-Joz Valley neighbourhood. It should be noted that those houses are built on a land which the Israeli forces seek to confiscate in favour of building the Hebrew Biblical Gardens extended to Siwlan village, south of the Jerusalem’s Old City.
Israeli Settlement Activities and Settlers’ Attacks against the Palestinian Civivlians and their Property:
On 13 June 2018, the Israeli forces confiscated a GCB digger which was reclaiming a land located in Area C according to the 1993 Oslo Accords between ‘Aqraba and Majdal Bani Fadel villages, southeast of Nablus. The land belongs to Ayman Bani Fadel from ‘Aqraba village while the digger belongs to Mohammed ‘Abdel Razzaq Dawoud ‘Odah from nearby Qasrah village.
On 14 June 2018, the Israeli forces notified the residents of Qa’oun Plain near Bardala village in the northern Jordan Valley and located in Area C according to the 1993 Oslo Accords to stop working in the Solar Cells Project to supply artesian wells with electricity in the area. It should be mentioned that this project is funded by the Italian GVC.
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. The demonstrations were as follows during the reporting period:
- At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 15 June 2018, a group of Palestinian civilians moved from Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, to the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of the entrance to “Kedumim”settlement established on the village lands. The protestors chanted national slogans demanding end of occupation, condemning the U.S President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip within “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities. The protestors set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers. The soldiers fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. The Israeli forces arrested Hamam ‘Adnan ‘Ali (22) and Omer Walid ‘Ali (20). They also raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Mohammed Tahah ‘Amer and Abdul Rahim ‘Ali and later withdrew.
- At approximately 14:30 on Sunday, 17 June 2018, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel adjacent to the Return camp, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at a group of civilians who demonstrated near the border fence. The shooting continued for 3 hours. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet to the hand. He was transferred to Gaza European Hospital to receive medical treatment, and doctors classified his injury as moderate.
- At approximately 22:30 on the same Sunday, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, fired a number of tear gas canisters at civilians who were around 300-600 meters away from the west of the border fence. As a result, a 20-year-old civilian from Jabalia was hit with a tear gas canister to the hand.
Three Civilians, including a Child, Succumbed to Their Wounds:
- At approximately 07:30 on Thursday, 14 June 2018, medical sources at Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, announced the death of Ahmed Ziyad Tawfiq al-‘Asi (21) from Khan Younis refugee camp, succumbing to his wounds. According to PCHR’s investigations, Ahmed was hit with a tear gas canister to the head by Israeli forces during his participation in the Great Return March on 08 June 2018, east of Return camp in Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis. He was transferred to Gaza European Hospital where his health condition deteriorated until his death was announced. Moreover, Ziyad Jadallah Abdul Qader al-Braim (28) from Bani Suheila in Khan Younis was killed on the events of the same day after being hit with a live bullet to the abdomen. Moreover, 110 other civilians were wounded.
- At approximately 16:00 on Monday, 18 June 2018, medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza city announced the death of Zakaria Saied Mustafa Bashbash (14) from al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, succumbing to wounds he sustained on Wednesday, 30 May 2018. Zakaria was hit with a live bullet that entered the chest and existed from the back during his participation in the Return March, east of al-Buraij. He was admitted to al-Aqsa Hospital as his injury was serious. Zakaria was then transferred to al-Shifa Hospital where he stayed until his death was announced.
- At approximately 21:45 on Wednesday, 20 June 2018, medical sources at “Mar Youssef” Hospital in East Jerusalem announced the death of Mohammed Ghassan Mohammed Abu Farhanah (23) from ‘Abasan al-Kabirah in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, succumbing to his serious wounds, east of the city. Mohammed’s father said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Mohammed was hit with 2 live bullets to the abdomen on 14 May 2018 after Israeli forces opened fire at him during his participation in the Return March, east of Khan Younis. He was transfered to Nasser Hospital where he was admitted to the ICUdue to his serious health condition. Mohammed was then referred to “St. Josef” Hospital in Jerusalem where he stayed until his death was announced on the same day evening. According to PCHR’s investigations on the same day events, the Israeli forces killed 19 civilians, including a child, and wounded dozens of civilians, after they used the lethal and excessive force against thousands of peaceful protestors who protested in 3 areas near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Younis.
Patient Died at Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing after Being Summoned For Interview with Israeli Intelligence
- At approximately 11:20 on Tuesday, 19 June 2018, Patient Mas’oud ‘Abed al-Hai Mohamed Abu Saqer (49), from Beir al-Na’jah area in Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip, died at Erez Crossing. Mas’oud had suffered cancer in his right lung since December 2017 and died in Erez Crossing after being summoned for an interview with the Israeli Intelligence Service. Mas’oud Family was informed by the Coordination Department at the Ministry of Heath that Mas’oud should head to the interview in order to get a permit and access al-Motala’ Hospital in occupied Jerusalem.
- Mas’oud’s brother, Abdullah, said via a phone call that though his brother was asked many times for an interview with the Israeli Intelligence Service, his application was either refused or suspended under the so-called “security check”. As a result, on 21 February 2018, he managed to travel to Egypt, where his right lung was removed in Naser Medical Institute. After that, his health condition deteriorated, especially after returning to Gaza. His family was forced to submit an application to travel via Erez Crossing, but his application was either refused or suspended “under security check”. Mas’oud staued in the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia until his family was informed that he had an interview at the crossing. On Tuesday, 19 June 2018, he along with his wife headed to the crossing, where he died inside the security corridor connecting between the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the crossing. According to information by the Coordination Department at the Ministry of Health, Mas’oud submitted an application to travel on 02 January 2018, but the Israeli response was that the application is under security check. He went for the interview on 23 January 2018, but the Israeli response came on 30 January 2018 rejecting his application. He also submitted 2 other applications on 28 March 2018 and 23 May 2018, but both were rejected as well. On 06 June 2018, he was asked for an interview with the Israeli Intelligence Service, so he headed to the crossing. However, the Israeli response came on 11 June 2018 that he was under security check. On 19 June 2018, he was asked for an interview with the Israeli Intelligence Service again and headed to the crossing where died.
Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property
Israeli forces’ attacks
- At approximately 11:30 on Wednesday, 13 June 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Kafur ‘Atayiah area, south of ‘Aqrabah village, southeast of Nablus, classified as Area C according to the Oslo Accords. The Israeli forces confiscated a digger that was reclaiming a plot of land between ‘Aqrabah and Majdal Bani Fadel villages. The plot of land belongs to Ayman Bani Fadel, from ‘Aqrabah village, while the digger belongs to Mohamed ‘Abed al-Razeq Dawoud ‘Odah, from Qasrah village, southeast of Nablus.
- On Thursday, 14 June 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Qa’oun Plain near Bardlah village in Jordan Valley classified as Area C according to the Oslo Accords. The Israeli Civil Administration notified the village residents to stop working in the solar cells project in the area. It should be noted that the project is funded by the Italian Civil Volunteer Group (GVC).
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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