Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory for the week of 8 – 24 July, 2019.
125 civilians were injured during the Great March of Return, in Eastern Gaza, including 53 children, 3 women, 5 journalists and 4 paramedics, by Israeli forces. In the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, 48 civilians were injured, including 5 children and 3 journalists.
Shootings and other threats to bodily integrity
- At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 18 July 2019, officers from the Israeli “Mista’arvim” undercover unit dressed like Palestinian civilians sneaked to al-Duheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, driving 2 civilian vehicles with Palestinian registration plate. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested Ismail Tawfiq al-‘Essah (19) and Fares Hasan Shamarkhah (35). Meanwhile, tens of children and young men gathered and threw stones, empty bottles and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers while the soldiers used live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a young man was shot with a live bullet to the right thigh. He was taken to al-Husein Hospital in Beit Jala for treatment.
- At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 20 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
- At approximately 18:00, Israeli forces raided a sit-in tent established by civilians protesting the Israeli authorities’ decision to demolish 16 residential building in Wadi al-Humus neighborhood in Sour Baher village, south of East Jerusalem, east of Bethlehem. The soldiers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, journalist Ayat ‘Arqawi (29), was hit with a tear gas canister to the waist and then taken to a medical point to receive treatment.
- At approximately 19:00 on Sunday, 21 July 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Issawiya village, north east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched al-Issawiyah Secondary School, blew up the doors and then confiscated flags of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and pictures of Mohammed Sair ‘Obaid, who was killed by Israeli forces in ‘Obaid neighborhood 20 days ago. Meanwhile, tens of Palestinian children and young men attempted to confront the Israeli raid. They threw stones, empty bottles and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers while the soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canister at them. As a result, a young man was shot with a rubber bullet to the abdomen. He was taken to al-Maqased Hospital in al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied Jerusalem, to receive treatment. Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Head of the Follow-up Committee in al-‘Issawiyah village, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli forces deliberately used live ammunition and rubber bullets in targeting buildings’ entrances and balconies as live ammunition penetrated houses belonging to al-‘Ajlouni and ‘Obaid families. Israeli forces also attacked and pepper-sprayed and used stun gun against Rami (34) and ‘Ala’a ‘Esmat Obeid (36), who were in front of their commercial shop. Abu al-Humus emphasized ambulances crews of Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) tried to offer first aid for the 2 young men, but Israeli soldiers prevented them and arrested the young men while unconscious and was on the stretcher.
- At approximately 22:00 on Sunday, 21 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed off Rafah shore in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles. They surrounded a fishing boat manned by ‘Essam Nabil Nayef al-Aqra’a (29) and his brother Riyad (23), from Deir al-Balah. The soldiers ordered them to take off their clothes, jump into water and swim towards the gunboat. The fishermen were detained and their boat was confiscated. At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 22 July 2019, the Israeli authorities released the fishermen through Beit Hanoun “Erez” checkpoint; their fishing boat is still confiscated.
- At approximately 21:35 on Monday, 22 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia, in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 – 5 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
- At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 23 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
- At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 24 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported. At approximately 22:30, Israeli forces sporadically opened fire at fishermen in the same area until 23:45, neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem
- At approximately 10:30 on Thursday, 18 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Kroum area in northern Nablus. An Israeli bulldozer then uprooted a steel fence surrounding a 750-sqaure-meter plot of land and belonging to ‘Adnan ‘Abed al-Razeq Yaseen ‘Ayyad. The Israeli forces also confiscated a caravan from the land under the pretext of being in Area C. ‘Adnan refuted the Israeli forces’ claims.
- At approximately 07:30 on Sunday, 21 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbit al-Hadidiyah in eastern Tubas. An Israeli bulldozer uprooted a residential tent and livestock barracks belonging to Naje’ Ka’abnah. The Israeli forces then confiscated 2 residential tents, 2 livestock tents, a tent used as a kitchen, a barn, and other contents.
- At dawn on Monday, 22 July 2019, hundreds of Israeli police officers backed by dozens of military construction vehicles moved into Wadi al-Humus neighborhood, in Sour Baher, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They declared it as a closed-military zone and prevented entering or exiting it in order to carry out a large-scale destruction operation in Jerusalem since occupying it in 1967. Israeli forces raided 3 residential buildings belonging to Isma’il Abu Sarhan , Belal al-Kasawani and Ghaleb Abu Hadwan and his son Monther in Wadi al-Humus neighborhood and vacated them for demolition. In the meantime, the Israeli police officers beat the residents and pepper-sprayed them, in addition to firing rubber bullets and sound bombs at many apartments after their inhabitants refused to exit. As a result, 10 persons of Abu Sarhan family sustained bruises and were then taken to hospitals. At approximately 06:00, Israeli bulldozers demolished 10 residential buildings; 3 were inhabited while the others, comprising of 72 apartments, were under-construction. Additionally, 4 floors of Mohamed Idreis Abu Tair building were blew up. It should be noted that the destruction operation was carried out within 18 hours. During the demolition, the Israeli forces detained the buildings’ owners and dozens of persons stood in solidarity with them after forcibly getting them out of the buildings and dispersing them few meters away. It should be noted that around 22 persons, including 14 children, became homeless after demolishing their houses and over 70 families were deprived of living in their under-construction apartments. The destroyed houses belong to:
- Ghaleb Hawan and his son Monther: a 2-story house built on 210 square meters and sheltering a 10-member family, including 6 children;
- Isma’il ‘Ebeidiyah: a 2-sotry house built on 250 square meters and sheltering a 7-member family, including 5 children;
- Belal al-Kiswani: a 1-story house sheltering a 5-member family, including 3 children;
- ‘Alaa’ ‘Amirah: a 2-story house built on 200 square meters (uninhabited);
- ‘Ali Khalil Hamadah: a 4-sotry building (under-construction);
- Ja’afar Abu Hamed: a 1-story house (under-construction);
- Akram Zawahrah: a 4-sotry building and a penthouse (under-construction);
- Na’eem Musallam: a 2-sotry building (uninhabited);
- Tareq Mahameed: his house was located behind the security street from the West Bank side;
- Ra’fat ‘Obaidat: (under-construction); and
- Mohammed Idris Abu Teir: a 7-story building comprised of 40 residential apartments (under-construction), where explosives were planted in 4 story in order to blow them up.
It should be mentioned that on 13 June 2019, the Israeli High Court approved the Israeli military’s decision to demolish 16 residential buildings comprised of 100 apartments in Wadi al-Humus neighborhood under the pretext of being near the annexation wall which was established on the village’s lands. On 20 June 2019, the Israeli forces handed tens of residents’ notices to self-demolish their property by 18 July or the Israeli forces will later do so. On 21 July 2019, the Israeli High Court rejected the appeal filed by the residents to freeze the demolition orders, and within hours the Israeli forces stormed the neighborhood and started the demolitions.
Wadi al-Humus neighborhood (area: 3,000 dunums; population: 6000) is located on the edge of Sour Baher, south of occupied East Jerusalem. The neighbourhood is not within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries and most of its lands are classified in Area A that is under full control of the Palestinian Authority according to the Oslo Accords; thus, the buildings’ owners obtained construction licences from the Palestinian Ministry of Local Governance. Following the construction of the annexation wall in 2003, the neighbourhood was split as some houses ended up in the Israeli side but not under jurisdiction of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem.
- Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods
As the Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip enters its 14th consecutive year this July, severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons and goods enhance the de facto separation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Moreover, Israeli naval forces imposed a blockade, chased fishermen, opened fire at them, and confiscated their fishing equipment. During the reporting period, 6 shooting incidents, chasing fishermen and their boats, arresting and releasing fishermen were documented.
- Note: No updates occured on the state of the crossing during the reporting
In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. Israeli forces established 34 temporary checkpoints, from which they arrested 8 civilians.
The military checkpoint were as follows:
On Thursday, 18 July 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Hijjah village, east of Qalqilyah; and at the eastern entrance to Qalqilyah. They then arrested a civilian.
At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 19 July 2019, a similar checkpoint was established at the eastern entrance to Qalqilyah.
At approximately 21:50 on Saturday, 20 July 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jeet village, northeast of Qalqilyah.
At approximately 21:30 on Saturday, 20 July 2019, a similar checkpoint was established at the entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village, east of Qalqilyah.
On Monday, 22 July 2019, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Jayyous village, northeast of Qalqilyah; between al-Nabi Iyyas and ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb villages; and at the entrance to al-Nabi Iyyas village, east of the city.
On Monday evening, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jayyous village, northeast of Qalqilyah, where they arrested 4 civilians.