During the reporting period, PCHR documented 204 violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory.
As part of the Israeli violations of the right to life and bodily integrity, Israeli forces wounded 125 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, 112 civilians were wounded, including 39 children, 2 women, 2 paramedics and a journalist at the Great March of Return. Meanwhile, the Israeli forces wounded 13 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a journalist, in separate shooting incidents in the West Bank.
As part of the Israeli incursions and house raids, Israel carried out 110 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and raided civilian houses, attacking and enticing fear among residents in addition to shooting in many incidents. As a result, 124 Palestinians were arrested, including 14 children. As part of Israeli attacks against human rights organizations to hinder their work, Israeli forces raided the office of ADDAMEER Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association in Ramallah and sized a number of laptop and other equipment on Thursday, 19 September 2019. It should be noted that this is the 3rd time in the last years the Israeli forces raid the office.
In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces carried out 3 incursions into the eastern Gaza Strip and arrested a Palestinian at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing.
Under the settlement expansion activities in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 6 violations, including confiscating a construction vehicle in southern Bethlehem; destroying a house in al-Tour neighbourhood in Jerusalem; destroying the foundations and retaining wall of a house in Nablus and the walls of a house and an agricultural room in Hebron in addition to a court’s decision forcing a family to vacate their estate in Jerusalem. Further, the Israeli settlers carried out 6 attacks at the Palestinian civilians and their property in the West Bank.
In terms of the Israeli closure policy, the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation in the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods and ongoing isolation of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilians’ movement is restricted and others are arrested.
- Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
- Excessive Use of Force against the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip
The 75th Great March of Return took off in eastern Gaza Strip on Friday, 20 September 2019, titled “Refugee Camps of Lebanon”. The Israeli attacks resulted in the injury of 112 civilians, including 39 children, 2 women, 2 paramedics and a journalist.
The incidents were as follows:
- Northern Gaza Strip: At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 20 September 2019, hundreds of civilians marched towards the central tent of the Great March of Return (GMR) in Abu Safiyah area, northeast of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces stationed behind sand berms and in military vehicles along the border fence, fired live and rubber bullets as well as teargas canisters at a number of protesters, who threw stones at them. As a result, 24 civilians injured, including 11 children: 16, including 8 children, were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel; 6 , including 3 children, were hit with tear gas canisters; and 2 were shot with rubber bullets. Those wounded civilians were transferred via ambulances belonging to the Ministry of Health and Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) to the Indonesian and al-Awda Hospitals and their injuries were classified between minor and moderate. Hamada Suhail Mohamed Sa’d Ghabayin (21), from al-Tuffah neighborhood in Gaza City,sustained serious live bullet wounds in his abdomen.
- Gaza City: at approximately 17:00 on Friday, hundreds of civilians marched in eastern Malakah area, east of Gaza City. Speeches, theatrical performances and other segments were performed at the protest central encampment. Dozens of protestors approached the fence and threw stones with slingshots at Israeli soldiers. The activities continued until 19:00 on the same day. Despite the peaceful nature of the demonstrations, Israeli forces directly stationed along the border fence fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the participants. As a result, 24 civilians injured, including 2 children, a woman and a photojournalist: 6 were shot with live bullets and 18 were shot with rubber bullets. The wounded woman is Tahreer Sa’ed Abdul Razeq Baker (30) was shot with a live bullet to the left foot. Photojournalist Abdul Rahman Hani Abdul Qader al-Kahlout (23) was shot with a live bullet to the feet.
- Central Gaza Strip: at approximately 15:00, hundreds of civilians, including women, children and families, took part in the eastern Bureij refugee camp protests; tens of them gathered adjacent to the border fence at a range varying between 3 – 300 meters. A number of protestors approached the fence and threw stones with slingshots at Israeli soldiers. The Israeli soldiers, reinforced with several military SUVs, fired live and rubber bullets in addition to teargas canisters at them. As a result, 14 civilians were wounded, including 8 children: 4 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, 2 was shot with rubber bullets and 8 were hit with tear gas canisters.
- Khan Younis: hundreds participated in Khuza’ah protests. Tens approached the border fence, set tires on fire, attempted to throw stones and firecrackers, and raised Palestinian flags in addition to chanting national songs. Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at protesters, wounding 13 civilians, including 4 children, a woman and 2 paramedics: one of them was deemed critical; 3 were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel; 6 were hit with rubber bullets and 4 were hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded volunteer paramedics were identified as: Rabah al-Bayyouk (25),who was hit with a rubber bullet in his right arm; and Ghanem Mostafa al-Najjar (45), who was hit with a rubber bullet in his right arm as well, Al-Najjar is a volunteer with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. Furthermore, ‘Ali Mostafa Ferwanah (28) sustained serious live bullet wound in his thigh.
- Rafah: hundreds participated in the eastern Shokah protests, where folklore songs and speeches were held. Dozens approached the border fence and threw stones and fireworks at the shielded Israeli soldiers, who responded with live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters against the protestors. As a result, 37 civilians were injured, including 14 children: 23 were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel, 10 were shot with rubber bullets and 4 were hit with tear gas canisters.
- Excessive use of force in the West Bank:
- At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 20 September 2019, Palestinians from Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah launched their weekly peaceful protest and headed towards the village’s eastern entrance that has been closed by Israeli forces for the past 15 years in favor of “Kedumim” settlement. The demonstrators chanted national slogans demanding end of the occupation and protested the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The protestors threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand berms while the soldiers fired sponge-tipped bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 46-year-old civilian was hit with a rubber bullet to the hand, a 27-year-old young man was hit with a rubber bullet to the back. The wounded journalist, Ahmed Shawer (27) was hit with rubber bullet to the hand. (the names of the wounded civilians are available at PCHR)
- At approximately at approximately 14:00 on Monday, 23 September 2019, students at Birzeit University and a number of Palestinians in addition to international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration at the northern entrance to al-Birah in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prisons. When the protestors approached the checkpoint near “Beit Eil” settlement, north of the city, Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 10 students fainted and suffered tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment on the spot.
- Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
- At approximately 02:50 on Thursday, 19 September 2019, Israeli forces moved into Ramalah and stationed in al-Manarah Square in the center of the city. a number of Palestinian young men and children gathered and threw stones at Israeli forces. Israeli forces chased the protestors in the center of the city and fired rubber bulets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 5 Palestinian young men in their early twenties sustained rubber bullets in their lower extremities of their bodies and they received medical treatment on the spot by Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) crews. (The names of the wounded civilians are available at PCHR)
- At approximately 11:40 on Friday, 20 September 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed in northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3- 6 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
- At approximately 18:20 on Saturday, 21 September 2019, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah amidst firing rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians claiming that those civilians threw stones at them during their patrol. As a result, a 13-year-old child was shot with a rubber bullet in the leg; a 16-year-old child was shot with a rubber bullet in the thigh; a 17-year-old child was shot with a rubber bullet in the thigh; a 22-year-old young man sustained a rubber bullet wound in the abdomen and a 20-year-old young man sustained a rubber bullet wound to the leg. (The names of those wounded are available at PCHR)
- At approximately 07:20 on Sunday, 22 September 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles off al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
- Half an hour later, Israeli gunboats stationed in northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 07:30 on Monday, 23 September 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed in northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 07:20 on Tuesday, 24 September 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed in northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 09:20 on the same day morning, Israeli soldiers stationed in eastern al-Shoka village, east of Rafah, fired tear gas canisters at the farmers. As a result, farmers suffered tear gas inhalation and were forced to leave their lands.
Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem
- Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
- At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 20 September 2019, Israeli forces moved into Rakhma area within Taqou’a municipality boundaries in southern Bethlehem. The Israeli forces then confiscated a municipality bulldozer while constructing a water pipeline in al-Bariyia area, which belongs to the municipality boundaries. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces ordered the municipality staff to stop the construction works and then confiscated the bulldozer, claiming that the construction is illegal. Taqou’a Municipality condemned the Israeli attack on its staff and construction vehicles, noting that this attack shows the Israeli ambitions for Palestinian property and territories. The municipality added that this attack constitutes a strong support for the settlers and their greed to establish more settlement outposts on Palestinians’ lands and create Jewish majority. The municipality confirmed that it will defend its rights and thwart all Israeli plans.
- At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, 24 September 2019, Israeli Municipality bulldozer demolished an under-construction house belonging to ‘Isaa Khalil in al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Khalil’s father said that the Israeli forces accompanied with Israeli Municipality staff moved into al-Tour neighborhood, raided the building of Khalil family and completely surrounded it in order to demolish ‘Isaa’s house, which is located in the 3rd floor and built of tin plates on an area of 120 square meters. He added that the Israeli Municipality handed his son ‘Isaa a demolition notice to self-demolish his house and gave him until Monday, 23 September 2019. Khalil confirmed that his son started to self-demolish his house, but the municipality staff raided the house and completed the demolition. Khalil added that the Israeli forces attacked the family members while demolishing their houses and severely beat them. As a result, ‘Odai Khalil sustained bruises and wounds and was then taken to a medical center. Furthermore, Khalil two sons, Qusai (21) and ‘Isaa (29) were arrested.
- At approximately 15:00 on Tuesday, 24 September 2019, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer and a vehicle of Israeli Civil Administration moved into the northern entrance to ‘Urta village, east of Nablus. They stationed in al-Mazra’ah area, southeast of the city. The bulldozer demolished the concrete foundations of a 200-sqaure-meter an under-construction house, in addition to a retaining wall. The mentioned house and retaining wall belong to Akram Fawzan Ahmed Darawsha and their costs estimated at NIS 100.000. The demolition was carried out under the pretext of building in Area C without getting a prior permit from the Israeli forces.
- At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 25 September 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with a bulldozer, 3 excavators and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into al-Hejrah village, east of Dura, southwest of Hebron. The soldiers were deployed in the area while the military construction vehicles demolished the house walls of Sameer Nimer ‘Isaa Nimer Dodain (38), under the pretext of non-licensing. The under-construction house is comprised of 3 story and built on an area of 520 square meters. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities handed Sameer a notice to stop construction works in February 2019 and did not handed him a demolition notice. The house cost is estimated at NIS 800.000.
- Around the same time, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with an excavator and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into al-Baq’ah area, east of Hebron. The excavator demolished a 20-sqaure-meter agricultural room belonging to Nader ‘Odah Jaber, under the pretext of non-licensing.
- Israeli Settler Violence
- At approximately 02:30 on Thursday, 19 September 2019, dozens of Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forces’ protection, moved into Halhoul city, north of Hebron. The settlers attempted to raid al-Nabi Yunis Mosque to perform prayers, therefore, Palestinians closed its gates with iron locks to prevent the settlers from entering it. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinians gathered, threw stones at the Israeli vehicles and closed the main street with iron barriers. The Israeli soldiers responded with sound bombs, tear gas canisters, and rubber bullets. They also chased the stone-throwers between residential houses. The clashes continued until 04:00, during which, many Palestinian young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and no arrests among them were reported.
- At approximately 15:00 on Thursday, a group of Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forces’ protection, moved into Beir al-Sabie’ area in the central of Hebron, to perform prayers in Habron and ‘Atanaiel tombs. The Israeli forces closed Bab al-Zawiyia area and Beir al-Sabie’ Street, in addition to ordering the shops’ owners to close their shops. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinians gathered, threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who responded with sound bombs, tear gas canisters, and rubber bullets. They also chased the stone-throwers in Bab al-Zawiyia area and on Abu Humus Street. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. The mentioned area was closed until 20:00.
- On Friday, 20 September 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Beit Eill” settlement, attacked Sayil Darwish (40), from Barqah village, east of al-Birah, while present in his plot of land, according to eyewitnesses’ testimony. As a result, he sustained wounds and bruises in his face and head and was then taken to a medical center in Termas’iyia village. Meanwhile, a number of settlers threw stones at the residents’ vehicles and broke the windows of 3 vehicles.
- At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 23 September 2019, dozens of Israeli buses carrying settlers moved into Sabastiyia village, northwest of Nablus, under the Israeli forces’ protection. They then headed to the archaeological site to perform prayers.
- In evening, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, south of Nablus, attacked Palestinian civilians’ vehicles with stones while passing through the bypass road adjacent to the settlement. As a result, the windows of 2 taxi cars were broken. A taxi driver said that: “At approximately 18:10 on Momday, 23 September 2019, I was driving my taxi on Ramallah-Jenin road and then entering “Yatizhar” settlement road. Meanwhile, I was surprised with a number of settlers stayed on the top of a mount. The settlers threw stones at my taxi and broke the right window. I increased my speed and did not stop until arrive at the entrance to Jenin.”
- At approximately 22:30 on Monday, Israeli forces moved into Nablus to secure buses carrying Israeli settlers. The settlers headed to Joseph Tomb in Balata village, east of the city, where they performed prayers.
- Seizure of Palestinian civilians property in favor of settlement associations
On Monday, 23 September 2019, Israeli Magistrates Court issued a decision that orders Samareen family to evacuate their house in Wadi al-Helwa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of belonging to the Jewish National Fund. Wadi al-Helwa Information Center stated that the court gave the family 90 days to completely evacuate their house, while the latter confirmed that they would appeal the decision before the District Court. It should be noted that the family are fighting from 28 years in the Israeli Courts to protect their house, prove their ownership and refute the settlement association’s claims.
Ahmed Samareen, one of the heirs, said that the Israeli authorities transferred the house ownership to the (Custodian of Absentee Property) in 1983 after the death of his grandfather, Mousa ‘Abdullah Smareen, under the pretext that his sons are living in Jordan and there are no heirs in the oPt. The house are comprised of 4 residential apartments, sheltering 13 members.
(photo: Days of Palestine)
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