Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 21 – 27 June, 2018.
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful Palestinian protestors in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian civilian was killed, and 84 others were wounded, including 11 children, 2 women and a paramedic, in the Gaza Strip. 19 Palestinian civilians were wounded in the West Bank.
Israeli warplanes launched 13 missiles against a number of targets in the Gaza Strip.
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 12th 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 wounded 88 others, including 11 children, 2 women, a journalist and paramedic. Ten of those wounded sustained serious wounds. In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 19 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and a woman.
In the Gaza Strip, on 22 June 2018, the Israeli forces killed Usamah Abu Khater (29) with a bullet to the chest during his participation in the protests organized in eastern Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. After his injury, he was taken to the European Gaza Hospital in the city and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where he stayed until his death was declared on 24 June 2019.
During the reporting period, while using the excessive force against the peaceful protesters along the Gaza Strip borders, the Israeli forces wounded 84 Palestinians, including 11 children, 2 women, a paramedic, and a journalist. Ten of those wounded sustained serious wounds.
Collective Punishment Measures:
As part of the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian families of those accused of carrying out attacks against them and/or the settlers, on Thursday early morning, 21 June 2018, the Israeli forces demolished the external and internal walls of the apartment in Eastern Barta’ah village, southwest of Jenin, that is isolated behind the annexation wall. The 140-square-meter apartment belongs to Ratib Qabha and is inhabited by his daughter (35) and her child. It should be noted that the Israeli forces arrested the son of the abovementioned civilian, ‘Alaa’ (26), on 16 March 2018 after he was shot and wounded due to running over a number of soldiers stationed at the checkpoint near former “Mavo Dotan” camp, south of Jenin.
Israeli Forces Continued their Measures to Create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem
As part of demolishing civilian facilities, on 25 June 2018, the Israeli municipality vehicles demolished 5 agricultural dunums belonging to 5 Palestinian civilians in Hizmah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They demolished 3 glasshouse nurseries and a store for selling sheds under the pretext of non-licensing. The losses were estimated at hundred thousands of shekels, which is the only source of income for the owners. It
In the same context, the Israeli Municipality forced al-Showaki Family to self-demolish their house in Was Yasoul neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City under the pretext of non-licensing. Wael al-Showaiki said to PCHR’s fieldworker that his family and he were forced to demolished 2 under-construction houses to avoid paying NIS 90,000 as the municipality staff told them. Wael said that the 2 houses cost him around NIS 40.000.
In the same context, Ibrahim ‘Amirah self-demolished his house in Sur baher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. The house was built 2 years ago and comprised of 4 rooms, kitchen and bathroom sheltering 6 individuals, including 4 children. He said that when the demolition decision was issued, he immediately headed to the Israeli Courts, but unfortunately all courts decided to demolish the house. Thus, he was forced to self-demolish his house to avoid paying fines that may reach over NIS 90,000.
On Tuesday, 26 June 2018, the Israeli Municipality vehicles demolished a house belonging to ‘Izzat ‘Abed al-Qader in Tal’et Hizmah area in Beit Huninah neighbourhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. The 90-square-meter house was built near his family house in 2000 and was sheltering his wife and 1-year-old child. In the same context, the Israeli Municipality vehicles levelled an iron fence in al-Hardoub area in al-Tour neighbourhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and a parking in Silwan, south of the city, in addition to an agricultural road in al-Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.
House Demolitions and Notices:
At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 25 June 2018, Israeli vehicles demolished 5 agriculural dunums belonging to 5 Palestinian civilians in Hizmah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. The Hizmah village’s mayor Samar Salah al-Deen said that the Israeli Municipality staff accompanied with many Israeli forces and vehicles moved into the village in the morning. These forces closed all streets leading to ‘Anatah village and declared it as a closed military zone. Following that, the Israeli vehicles demolished 3 glasshouse nurseries and a shop for selling sheds established on an area of 5 dumuns under the pretext of non-licensing. Those facilities belonged to Ibrahim Salem, Ghaleb Salem, Mohamed al-Sewari, Mohamed Fayiz, and Mohamed ‘Askar. The mayor said that the Israeli vehicles not only demolished but also intentionally damaged the glasshouse nurseries to prevent civilians from reusing them again. The losses of those facilties’ owners were estimated at thousands shekels, noting they are the only source of income for the owners. It should be noted that the Israeli forces previously demolished those facilities several times.
In the same context, the Israeli Municipality forced al-Showaki Family to self-demolish their house in Was Yasoul neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City under the pretext of non-licensing or the municipality “will impose fines on them and force them to pay the municipality demolition costs. Wael al-Showaki said to PCHR’s fieldworker that his family and he were forced to demolish 2 under-construction houses to avoid paying NIS 90,000 as told by the municipality staff while raiding their house twice during the past days. The municipality staff also handed him an administrative notice that allows the municipality to demolish the houses in anytime. The family said that they built the houses at the beginning of last May and when they were preparing for casting the concrete, the municipality staff raided the house and handed them the notice. On Friday, 22 June 2018, the municipality staff raided their house again, handed them another notice, and gave them 4 days to demolish what they built or they will pay a fine. Wael said that the 2 houses cost around NIS 40,000.
In the same context, Ibrahim ‘Omairah self-demolished his house in Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. The house was built 2 years ago, and when Ibrahim’s family finished its construction and lived there, the Israeli Municipality issued a decision to demolish the house. During the past period, Ibrahim attempted to license the house, but in vain. He said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“I received a phone call from the police, informing me that the Israeli Municipality will demolish the house on Tuesday morning or I immediately self- demolish it. I then vacated my house contents and self-demolished it. The house was comprised of 4 rooms, a kitchen and bathroom, sheltering 6 members, including 4 children. When the demolition decision was issued, I immediately resorted to the Israeli Courts, including the Supreme Court, but unfortunately all courts decided to demolish the house. Additionally, the component authorities refused to license the house, rendering my family and me homeless. I self-demolished my house to avoid paying fines that may reach over NIS 90,000.”
On Tuesday, 26 June 2018, the Israeli Municipality vehicles demolished a house belonging to ‘Izzat ‘Abed al-Qader in Tal’et Hizmah area in Beit Huninah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Izzat said that the Israeli forces surrounded his house and then completely demolished it. He also said that the municipality staff raided his house in the previous day and handed him a decision to vacate the house contents. The 90-square-meter house was built near his family house in 2000 and sheltering his wife and their child.
In the same context, the Israeli Municipality vehicles demolished a 100-meter steel fence in al-Hardoub area in al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. An eyewitness said that the plot of land belonging to Murad Abu Subitan and Hani al-Sayyad.
In Wadi Helwa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, the Israeli Municipality demolished a parking belonging to Eyad Ramadan. Eyad said that the Israeli Municipality forced him in last April to self-demolish the parking roof and parts of its walls. On the same day, Eyad was surprised with raiding the parking and completely demolishing it.
In al-Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, the Israeli Municipality demolished agricultural roads in the eastern area of the village, noting that those lands were threatened of confiscation in favor of “National Parks” projects.
Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property
Israeli forces’ attacks
At approximately 10:30 on Monday, 25 June 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Kherbit al-Dirat, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. A Civil Administration officer took photos of many houses and handed their owners notices to stop construction works under the pretext of non-licensing. The notices were as follows:
- A 200-square-meter inhabited house built of concrete and 70-square-meter barrack. Both of them belong to ‘Isaa Mahmoud al-‘Adrah.
- An 80-square-meter inhabited house built of concrete and belongs to Mohamed Ahmed al-‘Adrah.
- An 80-square-meter inhabited house built of concrete and belongs to Jabreen Mahmoud al-‘Adrah.
- A 100-square-meter inhabited house built of concrete and belongs to Ibrahim Mohamed Ibrahim al-‘Adrah.
- A 443-meter road leading to al-Safa School.
On Tuesday, 26 June 2018, Israeli forces established a military watchtower in al-Bowairah area, east of Hebron, which is near Beit ‘Aynoun area on Palestinian lands belonging to al-‘Eidah Family. It should be noted that Israeli settlers established a settlement outpost on an area of 40 dunums on the Palestinian confiscated lands. On 05 March 2018, the Israeli settlers under the Israeli forces’ protection leveled the plot of land and placed the Israeli flags on it. They also brought a water tank and installed banners on them. In the afternoon, trucks brought 4 mobile homes from “Kriyat ‘Arba’” settlement and put them in the land. The Israeli forces denied Palestinian civilians and the lands’ owners’ access. The new settlement outpost is opposite to “Kiryat Arba” and “Kharsina” settlements.
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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