After Israel’s military aggression on the Gaza Strip last week, that caused dozens of civilian casualties, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued their violations of human rights and international law in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) this week as PCHR documented 157 violations by IOF and Israeli settlers.
In terms of Israeli violations of the right to life and bodily integrity, IOF continued their habitual excessive use of force, as Israeli police killed a Palestinian civilian in occupied East Jerusalem after chasing his vehicle, stopping him and having him step out of it, which proves he posed no danger to police officers. IOF also shot and injured 10 Palestinian civilians in separate incidents in the West Bank.
Meanwhile in the Gaza Strip, IOF shot and injured 3 Palestinians while protesting east of Khan Younis. It should be noted that the Supreme National Authority of Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege decided to cancel all scheduled activities for Friday 15 November 2019 due to last week’s Israeli military aggression on Gaza. Also during the aggression, IOF carried out 5 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, 4 near houses and agricultural lands causing damage; fortunately, no injuries were reported.
1. Violation of the Right to Life and to Bodily Integrity
1. Excessive Use of Force Against Protests in the Gaza Strip
At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 15 November 2019, a group of Palestinians approached the border fence adjacent to GMR camps in Khuza’ah’a village, east of Khan Younis. IOF fired live, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 3 civilians were wounded after being shot with tear-gas canisters, and were transferred to Gaza European Hospital. Moreover, a number of civilians sustained tear-gas inhalation. It should be noted that the young men that gathered in the area, despite the fact that the GMR’s Supreme National Authority cancelled the protests on the above mentioned day.
2. Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the West Bank
At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, 14 November 2019, IOF suppressed a protest organized by students against the IOF’s offensive on the Gaza Strip. The participants launched their protest at the northern entrance to Bethlehem. When they approached Bilal Ben Rabah Mosque, Israeli soldiers fired rubber coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters at them while chasing them. They arrested Yazan Mohammed Nawawrah, 18. Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS)’s branch in Bethlehem said that 30 civilians suffocated due to tear-gas inhalation receiving medical treatment in the field.
At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 15 November 2019, dozens of Palestinians from Surif village, northwest of Hebron, organized a peaceful protest against the confiscation of hundreds of agricultural dunams in favor of settlement expansion, west of the city. After Friday prayers, an Israeli police force (border’s guard) arrived at the area and fired sound bombs and tear-gas canisters at civilians. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear-gas inhalation. Meanwhile, a number of young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded with live and rubber bullets. As a result, a 23-year-old Palestinian was shot with a live bullet in the right foot. Journalist Mo’ath Ibrahim ‘Atiyah al-‘Amarnah, 30, from al-Duheishah refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, sustained serious wounds after being shot with a rubber bullet in his left eye. He was taken to Surif village where he was transferred via a PRCS ambulance to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron. Al-‘Amarnah was then taken to Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation Hospital where he underwent medical examinations and later was referred to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Al-‘Amarnah underwent a surgery to remove the metal shrapnel that settled in his eye cavity, but doctors could not remove it fearing it would cause a haemorrhage near the brain. Al-‘Amaranah completely lost sight in his left eye due to his injury.
At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 15 November 2019, IOF suppressed a protest organized by Students Council at Birzeit University against the IOF’s offensive on the Gaza Strip. When the protestors arrived at the northern entrance to al-Birah city, IOF used force to disperse them by firing live ammunition, rubber bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters at protestors. As a result, a 21-year-old was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head. Soldiers attempted to arrest him and denied him first aid. The PRCS ambulance crews were able to take him to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for treatment and his injury was classified as moderate.
At approximately 11:30 on Sunday, 17 November 2019, dozens of students from Palestine Technical University – Kadoorie, west of Tulkarm organized a peaceful protest in commemoration of the announcement of the Palestinian Declaration of Independence. When some students approached the Annexation Wall adjacent to university buildings, IOF fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a female Palestinian, 19, was shot with a rubber bullet ind the face; she suffered burns and fractured jaw, in addition to internal bleeding, and was transferred to Thabet Thabet Hospital in the city, and then to Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus; from there she was referred to Istishari Hospital, north of Ramallah where she underwent emergency surgery. Moreover, two 20-year-old Palestinians young men were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets: the first was shot in the left leg and the other was shot in the right knee.
3. Shooting and Other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity
On Thursday, 14 November 2019, Israeli warplanes launched a missile that fell on the yard of Hamdan Abdul Rahman Fayad’s 300-square-meter house in al-Qararah village, northeast of Kahn Younis. As a result, the house windows and doors were damaged. The house is comprised of 3 floors; each floor has 2 apartments, and inhabited with 3 families of 18 individuals, including 2 persons with disabilities. Fayad said to PCHR’s fieldworker that they had to leave the house after the missiles fell on their house yard. He added that the house sustained material damage; no casualties were reported. Fayad emphasized that he found difficulties in evacuating his 2 sons with disabilities.
At approximately 00:15 on the same Thursday, Israeli drones fired a missile at agricultural lands in Abu Hadaf area in al-Qarara village, east of Khan Younis. The bombardment caused minor material damage to nearby houses; no casualties were reported.
At approximately 00:30 on the same Thursday, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at agricultural lands near Gaza International Airport, east of al-Shoka village, east of Rafah; no casualties were reported.
At approximately 09:00 on the same Thursday, IOF stationed adjacent to the annexation wall, established in the north of Tulkarem, fired live and rubber bullets at Ahmed Abdullah Kahlil ‘Ammar, 25.s As a result, ‘Ammar was shot with a live bullet that penetrated his leg while attempting to sneak into Israel for work. He was referred to Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarem for treatment.
At approximately 06:45 on Saturday, 16 November 2019, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the area adjacent to the border fence. As a result, farmers, who were present in their agricultural lands panicked; neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
At approximately 14:00 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Jabalia, in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of civilians, who approached the border fence. The shooting continued for 10 minutes; neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
In a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, on Sunday, 17 November 2019, Israeli police killed a Palestinian civilian after they chased him on West Jerusalem streets. According to PCHR’s investigation, early on Sunday, Israeli police force chased a vehicle with an Israeli registration plate in West Jerusalem. When the vehicle arrived at a checkpoint on al-Nafaq Street, southwest of the city, the driver stopped and stepped out from his vehicle. A police officer shot him, causing severe wounds. The wounded civilian was transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center where he died a short time later. The deceased was identified as Fares Bassam Abu Nab, 23, from Ras al-‘Amoud neighbourhood, in Silwan village.
Following this crime, the Israeli police spokesperson claimed that: “During the chase, police officers opened fire towards the car, wounding the driver critically, and was declared dead after attempts to revive him in the hospital failed.” Police retracted their statement later, announcing that preliminary investigations indicated that the victim did not pose danger to police officers and he was killed after he stepped out of the vehicle, unlike their claims earlier in the morning. Investigations showed that the police officer targeted Abu Nab after both emerged out of their respective vehicles.
Abu Nab’s father stated that he went to Salah Eden police station, and then to al-Mascubiyah police detention centre, asking about his son, but inspectors refused to confirm his death/injury/medical condition orwhether or not he was arrested. Later, an Arabic-speaking police inspector said that the police officers suspected and opened fire at his son’s vehicle. Abu Nab’s father added that while being present in Rooms (4), he received a phone call from the investigation unite and the “Mahash” police informing him that his son was killed and asked him to attend and file a complaint, in addition to approve on referring his son’s body to the Forensic Medicine to investigate the incident circumstances, however, Abu Nab’s father refused. In the vehicle parking of Rooms (4), Abu Nab’s father was surprised that his son’s vehicle, which was being held by the Israeli police, did not have any bullet marks and the glass was not smashed, which contradicted the Israeli claims. The police could have used less force against him and arrested him, since he did not pose any threat on the lives of the police officers.
At approximately 14:30 on the same Sunday, Israeli soldiers stationed near “Beit Eil” settlement established on lands of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters at students of al-Jalazoun Elementary School for Boys while they were leaving. As a result, Amir Ihab Zubeidi, 13, and Rami Raji al-Tayeh, 14, were both shot in the hand with rubber bullet. The wounded children were transferred to Istishari Hospital, north of the city. Tayeh underwent a surgery in his left hand and his injury was classified as settled.
At approximately 06:40 on Monday, 18 November 2019, IOF stationed north of Tulkarem, fired live and rubber bullets at Mo’ath Kathem Shukri, 22. As a result, he was shot with a rubber bullet in the foot, while attempting to sneak into Israel .Shukri was referred to Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarem for treatment.
At approximately 08:00, Israeli gunboats stationed in western Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing from 3 to 6 nautical miles. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported. The shooting recurred at approximately 22:40; no casualties were reported.
At approximately 09:00 on the same Monday, IOF assigned to guarding the annexation wall, opened fire at Mohammed Tahseen Mobdee ‘Ardah, 22, from ‘Araba village, southwest of Jenin. As a result, ‘Ardah was shot with a live bullet in the thigh, while attempting to sneak into Israel through lands of Thaher al-‘Abed village. ‘Ardah was transferred to Khalil Suleiman hospital in Jenin for treatment.
At approximately 09:30 on the same Monday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, adjacent to Sofa military site, east of al-Shoka village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
At approximately 13:30 on Wednesday, 20 November 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Shoka village, east of Rafah, fired tear-gas canisters at a number of Palestinian farmers. As a result, they sustained tear-gas inhalation and were forced to leave their lands.
1. Settlement Expansion and Settler Violence in the West Bank
1. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 17 November 2019, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Ghzawi area in southern Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Mohamed Mousa Zain a notice to stop construction work on his 60-square-meter house, under the pretext of building without a licence.
On Sunday, 17 November 2019, IOF issued several military orders to seize 2975 dunams of Palestinian lands in Qalqilia and Salfit, under the pretext of security reasons and for constructing the annexation wall. The validity of extending these military orders continues until 31 December 2022. These orders included 7 houses belonging to ‘Abdullah Hasan ‘Assaf, Hussni Hasan ‘Assaf, ‘Aref Hasan ‘Assaf, Yousef Hasan ‘Assaf, Mohamed ‘Abed al-Qader Hussain Jaber, Jaber ‘Abed al-Qader Hussain Jaber, and Mostafa ‘Abed al-Qader Jaber in Kafur Laqef village in eastern Qalqilia. These orders mentioned that the home-owners have the right to challenge for 7 days, clearly not enough time to prove ownership.
On Monday, 18 November 2019, the representative of al-Baba Mount Bedouin Community, ‘Atallah Mazar’ah, said that IOF accompanied by a bulldozer moved into al-Baba Mount Bedouin Community in al-‘Izariyia village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and demolished a dirt road leading to the community. He added that one of the village’s main water lines was damaged. It should be noted that Israel seeks to displace the community residents in order to establish a settlement project, connect “Ma’aleh Adumim” settlement with Jerusalem and carry out the (E1) Settlement Plan.
At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 19 November 2019, IOF accompanied Israeli Municipality staff and military construction vehicles which moved into al-Mokaber Mount area, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem. IOF surrounded a house belonging to Fatema al-‘Abasi to demolish it. Her neighbors phoned her and told her that her house was surrounded by the IOF. She quickly returned home and IOF allowed her to enter and take some contents. Then, the 150-square meter house was demolished. The house sheltered 5 members and was built 10 years ago, during that time, the family attempted to license the house with no success. It should be noted that the Israeli Court imposed a construction fine on the family of NIS 130,000, to be paid in full by 2021.
Following that, IOF headed to the house of Mousa ‘Awwad Khalilah in al-Moukaber Mount area to demolish it. Wadi al-Helwa Information Center in Silwan village stated that Khalilah was forced to rent a bulldozer to demolish his own home to avoid paying a construction fine of NIS 100,000. Khalilah also said that the Israeli Municipality forced him to demolish his 130-year-old house, noting that he recently restored his house after getting a license from IOF. IOF gave him a few minutes to demolish his house, or the Israeli bulldozer would do it. Khalilah added that the municipality staff accompanied with IOF stationed near the house until it was completely demolished. Then, they handed me an order to transport the rubble, or pay a fine. Khalilah family clarified that they recently got a restoration license from the Israeli Municipality, but they were shocked when the Israeli Ministry of Interior ordered the demolition under the pretext of non-licensing. The family added that they began to fight in the Israeli Courts in order to cancel the demolition decision and managed to bring a map from Survey and Mapping Office in Tel Aviv, which proves the presence of the house. The Ministry of Interior claimed that they exceeded the restoration license.
In the morning, IOF accompanied Israeli Municipality staff and military construction vehicles which moved into Beit Haninah village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, and stationed in al-Ashqarieh neighborhood. IOF surrounded Majdi Mostafa ‘Elwan’s 120 square meter house and demolished it. The house was built 7 years ago and sheltered a family of 6. The family stated that the Israeli Municipality imposed a monthly construction fine of NIS 40,000 on them.
At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration, 2 excavators and a bulldozer moved into al-Bas area in northern Hebron. IOF were deployed in the area while the military vehicles demolished 2 under-construction houses, under the pretext of non-licensing. These houses belong to Khaled Mohamed Khannah (120 Sq.m) and Nabil Mohamed Khannah (180 Sq.m). It should be noted that on 18 November 2019, the Israeli authorities accompanied by the Israeli Civil Administration staff moved into the area and handed several civilians notices to stop construction work on their houses and shops, under the pretext of non-licensing.
At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied by an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle, and 2 bulldozers, moved into Shaqbah village, northwest of Ramallah. The bulldozers demolished a 250 square meter house of Mahmoud ‘Abed al-Jaber al-Masri, 33, which sheltered 14 members. IOF also demolished a 100 square meter livestock barn belonging to al-Masri. It should be noted that in October 2015, Israeli authorities handed al-Masri a demolition notice and in the morning he was shocked when IOF demolished his house without a prior warning.
2. Israeli Settler Violence
At approximately 04:50 on Thursday, 14 October 2019, Israeli settlers moved into Qarawet Bani Hasan village, northwest of Salfit, and punctured the tires of 21 vehicles. They vandalized houses and vehicles with racist slurs. These houses belong to Bahaa’ ‘Abed al-Kareem Samara, ‘Ali Hatem Rayan and Mostafa Ameen Mer’i.
On Thursday, at least 200 settlers, under tight IOF protection, raided al-Aqsa Mosque yards in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City from al-Maghareba Gate. The Islamic Endowment (Awqaf) Department stated that 99 settlers, 97 students from Israeli universities, 40 Israeli public servants, and 8 intelligence officers raided al-Aqsa Mosque yards in the morning. The Endowment department added that settlers provocatively wandered in the mosques yards and performed prayers.
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Photo credit: Muhammed Smiry on Twitter
Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam