Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 19 – 25 October, 2017.
A Palestinian child was wounded in the centre of Hebron, south of the West Bank, while Israeli forces conducted 67 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and a limited one into the central Gaza Strip.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian child from Hebron in the southern West Bank. 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.
In the West Bank, on 20 October 2017, a 14-year-old Palestinian child was wounded with a bullet to the right foot when Israeli soldiers stationed at the checkpoint at the entrance to al-Shuahdaa’ Street in the centre of Hebron, moved into Bab al-Zawiyah neighbourhood. A number of children and youngsters gathered in the neighbourhood and threw stones at the soldiers, who opened fire at the stone-throwers. As a result, the child was wounded.
In the Gaza Strip, as part of the Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen offshore, Israeli forces monitored the Israeli escalating attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea although the later were allowed to sail up to 9 nautical miles instead of 6. This proves that the Israeli forces continue their policy to target fishermen and their livelihood. During the reporting period, Israeli gunboats chased the fishing boats and opened fire at them 6 times; 3 were in the north-western Beit Lahia and 3 in the western Soudaniyah area in the northern Gaza Strip.
In the context of targeting the border areas, on 22 October 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the border area. Neither casualties nor damages to property were reported. The shooting recurred in the same area on 25 October 2017.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 67 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 95 Palestinian civilians, including 30 children. Fifty-four of those, including 23 children, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs. PCHR also documented that Israeli forces maltreated Palestinian civilians while raiding their houses. During many house raids, Israeli forces confiscated amounts of money claiming their owners obtained them from Hamas Movement.
During the reporting period, after the school day ended in Haji Ziad Hamoudah al-Rajabi School in al-Nasara Valley neighbourhood in the southern area of Hebron, Israeli soldiers along with a settler attacked the school students, claiming the latter threw stones at the soldiers. When the teachers intervened, the soldiers detained the Deputy Head of the school and threatened to arrest him under the pretext of inciting the students.
In the Gaza Strip, on 24 October 2017, Israeli forces moved 100 meters into the western side of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, northeast of al-Bureij, amidst the Israeli shooting towards farmers, who were forced to leave the area. The Israeli vehicles levelled and combed the lands adjacent to the border fence and later redeployed along the fence.
Measures to Make a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem
During the reporting period, on 23 October 2017, Israeli soldiers and Special Police and Intelligence officers backed by a helicopter moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of Hebbron from its entire main and sub entrances. They raided and searched dozens of houses and so terrified the residents. Before withdrawing, Israeli forces arrested 50 civilians from the village, including 23 children, and took them to the detention and investigation facilities in Jerusalem.
As part of targeting NGOs, on 25 October 2017, Israeli forces and Intelligence officers raided “Saint George” Hotel on Salah al-Deen Street in the center of occupied EJrusalem. They prevented a seminar titled as: “Islamic and Christian Endowments in Jerusalem” from being held under the pretext of being sponsored by the PA.
Settlement Activities and Settlers’ Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and their property:
On 19 October 2017, Israeli forces demolished a grow house belonging to Mohammed ‘Isa al-Yatimin al-Tawanah village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron.
On the same day, Israeli forces demolished a 60-square-meter country house comprised of 2 rooms in al-Halawah area, south of Yata. This house sheltered Younis Jamil Abu ‘Aram, his wife and 2 children along with his brother Mahmoud and his wife and 2 children as well. They also levelled a residential tent built of bricks on an area of 40 square meters. The tent sheltered ‘Ali Mohammed ‘Ali Abu ‘Aram, his wife and 2 children.
On the same day, Israeli forces confiscated a 50-square-meter barrack built of tin plates in Beit Z’atah area, northeast of |Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron after dismantling and putting it in a truck. The barrack was built by Saber Zamel Abu Mariah for stone and marble manufacturing and cost him 10,000 shekels. It should be mentioned that the Israeli authorities previously demolished a barrack built by Abu Mariah in the same place of bricks and tin plates on 25 September 2017. This workshop supports his family of 12 members, including 4 children.
On 24 October 2017, Israeli forces confiscated an excavator which was clearing a plot of land in the eastern area in Beit Dajen village, east of Nablus, and took it to an unknown destination.
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. 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. 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 Strip’s economy. They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s 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. 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 “cantons” 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.
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:
- Arrests and Incursions:
- At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 21 October 2017, Israeli forces arrested Mostafa Abu Sunienah (19) and ‘Alaa Najeeb (21) while walking on al-Wad Street in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They were then taken to al-Maskobiyia center for investigation.
- At approximately 00:30 on Monday, 23 October 2017, a large force of Israeli soldiers, special police and intelligence officers backed by a helicopter moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched dozens of houses and caused fear among civilians. In the evening, they arrested 50 civilians, including 23 children, and then took them to an investigation facility in occupied Jerusalem. Moreover, they handed summonses to Nour Sultan, Mahmoud ‘Awadallah Derbas and Shereen al-‘Isawiy to refer to the Israeli security services. Lawyer Mohamed Mahmoud said that the Israeli forces transferred the arrested persons to detention facilities and questioned them in others, including al-Mascobiyah, west of Jerusalem, a facility belonging to the Israeli Border Police on Salah al-Deen Street; al-Qashlah in Old Jerusalem; and a detention center in “Abu Ghunim” settlement, south of the city.
PCHR keeps the names of the arrested persons.
- At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 24 October 2017, Israeli forces moved into Abu Dis village, east of Occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Fayiz Quraie’ (29) and arrested him.
- At approximately 17:20 on Tuesday, Israeli forces arrested Iyad Hussni Buziegh (23), from Qalandia camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem, while he was in front of al-Ja’bah buildings in the center of Ramallah.
- Restrictions on Civil Society Activities
- At approximately 16:30 on Wednesday, 25 October 2017, Israeli forces and Israeli Intelligence officers raided “ George Hotel” on Salah al-Deen Street in the center of East Jerusalem. They prevented a seminar from being held titled as, “Islamic and Christian Endowments in Jerusalem”, under the pretext of being sponsored by the PA. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli Intelligence officers accompanied with Israeli Special forces surrounded St. George Hotel on Salah al-Deen Street and then raided it. They also hanged a decision to ban holding a seminar on Endowments in Jerusalem by the Scientific Library and the National Coalition for Palestinian Rights. The eyewitnesses also said that the Israeli forces took the attendees out of the hall while other Israeli soldiers were at the hotel entrance and prevented anyone from entering the hotel in addition to summoning many attendees and the event’s organizers for interrogation. According to the closure order signed by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Ardan, the seminar is sponsored by the PA and the prevention order was according to the Implementing Gaza-Jericho Agreement (Restriction on Activity), 1994. Mazen al-Ja’bari, one of those participating in the seminar, said that three academic papers were prepared to talk about the dangers that threaten the Islamic and Christian property by the Israeli authorities. He added that “we were surprised, before the seminar even begins, with the Israeli forces raiding the hall and confiscating the papers and identities.”
Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property
- At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 19 October 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into al-Tawanah village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The bulldozer demolished a 9-squre-meter grow house belonging to Mohamed ‘Isaa al-Yateem under the pretext of not being built within Area C without a license.
- Around the same time, Israeli forces accompanied with a truck carrying 2 diggers moved into al-Halawa area, south of Yatta. This area is part of Masafer Yatta villages whose residents are threatened of expulsion due to being military training areas. The two diggers demolished a 60-square-meter country house comprised of 2 rooms and sheltering Yunis Jameel Abu ‘Araam, his wife, and their 2 children, in addition to his brother Mahmoud, his wife, and their 2 children. The house was demolished under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that the house was built and donated by GVC. The Yatta Rural Services Council filed a petition to the Israeli court in order to stop the demolition, but in vain. The residents in Khirbet al-Halawa live in dwellings and residential tents built of bricks and tin plates, south of Yatta. Khirbet al-Halawa area is around 12 dumuns sheltering 9 families of 120 persons. Khirbet al-Halawa includes 4 tents, 6 barracks built of tin plates, 22 caves and many new dwellings. In the vicinity of these communities, “Raghavim” settlement organization, which is active in the field of observing buildings and facilities in the area, provides the Israeli Civil Administration with information to send notices and demolish these facilities. The organization also asks help from Israeli forces and uses a drone to take photos of the newly-built facilities.
- At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles, a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a truck-mounted crane moved into Beit Za’atah area, northeast of Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. The Israeli forces deployed on the Main Street, while the Israeli Civil Administration staff dismantled a 50-squre-meter barrack built of tin plates and used for manufacturing stone and marble. They then put the barrack in the truck and confiscated it. The abovementioned barrack belongs to Saber Zamel Abu Mariyah and cost him around 10,000 shekels. When Abu Mariyah family attempted to intervene, the Israeli soldiers forcibly dispersed them from the area. It should be noted that on 25 September 2017, the Israeli authorities demolished a barrack built by Abu Mariah in the same place under the pretext of non-licensing. Abu Mariyah said to PCHR’s fieldworker that he resorted to the Society of St.Yves to deposit a file there after he was handed a notice to stop the construction work there on 19 September 2017. Abu Mariyah obtained a non-demolition decision from the court giving him 2 months until he completes the legal documents. The barrack used to support 12 persons, including 4 children.
- At approximately 17:30 on Tuesday, 24 October 2017, Israeli forces in Beir Zablit area, 40 meters away from the eastern area in Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus, confiscated an excavator belonging to Iyad al-Sawadi, from al-Fari’ah village, south of Tubas. The excavator was working for al-Jara’iy contracting company in land reclamation. The Israeli forces took the excavator to Beit Fowreek checkpoint before taking it to an unknown destination.
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 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 in 2017 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.
Search IMEMC: “PCHR”