Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 23 – 28 November, 2017.
4 Civilians, including 2 children and international activist, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israeli forces conducted 68 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 5 similar incursions in Jerusalem.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and an interntional activist in the West Bank while wounded a child in the Gaza Strip. In the Gaze Strip, They also continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Sea.
In the West Bank, on 24 November 2017, A German activist was wounded with a bullet to the right side of his back while participating in Ni’lin weekly protest, west of Ramallah.
On 26 November 2017, 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded when Israeli forces opened fire at dozens of students in al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, as the latter organized a peaceful protest in commemoration of the killing of child Khalid al-Jawabrah near the bypass road in the civinty of the refugee camp.
In the same context, Israeli forces continued to use force against the protests organized by Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders against the annexation wall, confiscation of lands and crimes of settlement expansion. During the reporting period, dozens of Palestinian civilians, international human rights defenders and Israelis organized protests in Ni’lin and Bil’in villages, west of Ramallah, al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, and Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests. As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers.
In the Gaza Strip, the border areas with Israeli witnessed protests against the ongoing and unjust Israeli closured against the Gaza population. During those protests, the Israeli forces used forces against the protesters. as a result, a child was wounded, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.
In the Gaza Strip, as part of targeting fishermen in the sea, PCHR monitored the Israeli naval forces’ escalation against fishermen in the Gaza Sea although it was announced that the Gaza fishermen are allowed to sail to 9 nautical miles instead of 6. This proves that the Israeli forces continue their policy of targeting fishermen in their livelihoods. During the reporting period, Israeli gunboats chased fishing boats and opened fire at them 3 times; 1 of them in the north-western Beit Lahia and the others in the western Soudaniyah area, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.
Measures to Make a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem
As part of the house demolitions, on 23 November 2017, Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished a house belonging to the family of ‘Issam al-Rajabi in al-Ashaqriyah neighbourhood in Beit Hanina, north of occupied East Jerusalem, rendering its residents homeless during the cold and rainy weather. The above-mentioned civilian said that he built his house in 2010 on an area of 140 square meters, and the Israeli Municipality fined him with 20,000 shekels in instalments. He paid 43 instalments but there are 7 instalments left. During this year, he added a 30-square-meter structure to the house, but the Municipality notified him that they will demolish it. On the abovementioned date, the house sheltering a family of 10 members along with the additional structures was demolished.
On 25 November 2017, Israeli forces forced Jamal Abu Teir from Um Touba, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, to self-demolish his house, upon a decision by the Israeli Municipality. Abu Teir said that he self-demolished his house after evacuating it to avoid paying the very high demolition expenses for the municipality. The house was built on an area of 40 square meters and used to shelter a family of 5 members.
As part of the strangulation policy against the residents of Beit Xa village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem, the Israeli forces confiscated 8 vehicles belonging to civilians from the village. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces aimed at confining the besieged village residents and restricting their movement. They added that the Israeli forces stationed at the sole entrance to the village spare no effort to maltreat the residents, particularly young men, while crossing the checkpoint. The Israeli forces have recently prevented the entry of construction materials and fuels, particularly cooking gas, into the village except in coordination with the civil administration.
Settlement Activities and Settlers’ Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and their property:
As part of the demolition of houses and other civil facilities, on 27 November 2017, Israeli forces demolished a barrack built of tin plates in Beit ‘Aynoun area, east of Hebron. The 120-square-meter barrack belongs to Mohammed Meswadeh (45) under the retext of builing without a license and is used for ferrous metals.
As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 28 November 2017, Israeli settlers from “Mtsa Ya’ir” and “Yitir” settlements attacked Palestinian farmers and shepherds from Kherbet Um Hanitah adjacent to Mneizel village to the east of Yata, south of Hebron, while the latter were grazing their sheep and ploughing their lands to plant winter crops. The settlers attacked them with stones, batons and hands and when the farmers and shepherds tried to defend themselves, the Israeli soldiers attacked them without stopping the settlers and moving them away. The Israeli soldiers then arrested 4 civilians, including a mother of 5 children.
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.
Demonstrations in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities
- Following Friday Prayer on 24 November 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians, international human rights defenders and Israelis organized protests in Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. As a result, an International protester holding the German passport sustained a metal bullet wound to the right side of his back. He received medical treatment on the spot by the ambulance crews that were in the area.
- Following the same Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians, international human rights defenders and Israelis organized protests in Bil’in villages, west of Ramallah, al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, and Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased the protesters into the olive fields and between houses. As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers.
- Following the same Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinians from Kherbet Qalqas, east of Hebron organized a protest at the southern entrance to the village, which has been closed by the Israeli forces for 17 years, restricting the movement of the village residents. Large force of Israeli soldiers arrived at the area. When civilians attempted to move towards the sand barriers which close the road while raising the Palestinian flags and banners, the Israeli soldiers threatened to fire tear gas canisters at them. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities informed the Hebron Municipality their approval to open the road. After opening the road for 14 days, an Israeli force accompanied with a bulldozer arrived at the area and closed the road again.
- At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, 26 November 2017, dozens of Palestinian students organized a protest in al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, on the second anniversary of murdering Khalid al-Jawabrah near the bypass road in the vicinity of the refugee camp. A number of students gathered near the UNRWA distribution center, while a number of them headed to the street leading the camp where there were several Israeli patrols stationed in the area. The students threw stones at the soldiers, who stepped off their military vehicles. The soldiers then moved towards the camp and sporadically fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the students and houses. As a result, a number of students suffered tear gas inhalation. Later, a number of soldiers topped several house roofs in the neighborhood and sporadically fired lived bullets at the stone-throwers and civilians, who were on the street. As a result, Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah Abu Dayyah (22) sustained shrapnel wound to the right thigh and was transferred via a civilian car to a medical complex in Beit Fajjar, which is about 1.5 kilometers away from the abovementioned camp. Ahmed received first aid at one of the private clinics. Following that, Ahmed was transferred via an ambulance of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to a hospital in Bethlehem. When the ambulance arrived at “Gush Etzion”intersection, the Israeli soldiers stopped it, arrested Ahmed and took him to “Shaare Zedek” Medical Centre, where he received medical treatment. Ahmed was released at approximately 22:00 in front of the camp. In a separate incident, Israeli forces fired live bullets at a 16-year-old child when he was near a bakery. As a result, the child sustained shrapnel wounds to the lower part of his body and was transferred to Hebron Government Hospital.
- At approximately 13:30 on the same Friday, 24 November 2017, dozens of Palestinian youngsters made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Shuhada’a Cemetery, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, in protest against the Israeli closure imposed on the Gaza Strip. The youngsters approached the security fence and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers along the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, a 16-year-old child from al-Remal neighborhood was hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg. He was transferred by a PRCS ambulance to the Indonesian Hospital. His injury was classified as minor.
(PCHR keeps the name of the wounded child)
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 00:00 on Thursday, 23 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, and indiscriminately fired sound bombs. They then raided and searched houses from which they arrested Khaled Samer Adkidek (10) and Rammah Abed al-Hadi ‘Odah (25).
- At approximately 01:00 on Friday, 24 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They then raided and searched a house belonging to Qusi Husam Zaytoun (13) and arrested him.
- On Saturday, 25 November 2017, Israeli forces arrested Mohamed ‘Adel Soweity (13), from Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. Mohammed surrendered to al-Qashla Police Center after the Israeli forces summoned him in the previous day.
- At approximately 02:000 on Monday, 27 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into Abu Tayieh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They then raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Arafat Abu al-Hamam (45) and arrested him along with his sons Mohamed (19) and Shadi (21). They also arrested ‘Arafat’s brother, ‘Amir (37). ‘Arafat’s wife, Shereen Abu Hamam, said that the Israeli forces raided their house and arrested her husband, two sons, and brother-in-law after severely beating them up. She added that the Israeli forces locked her in the balcony and denied her access to the house. During which, Shereen heard her detained sons shouting in the house. When the Israeli forces withdrew from the house and arrested her husband and sons, Shereen found blood on the wall.
- In the same context, Israeli forces moved into al-A’awar neighborhood in Silwan village. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Abed al-Men’im al-A’awar (19) and arrested him after beating him up.
- On Monday, Israeli forces seized 8 Palestinian vehicles from Beit Xa village, west of occupied East Jerusalem. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces stationed at the checkpoint established at the entrance to the village seized 8 vehicles belonging to the village residents. The eyewitnesses also said that the Israeli forces aim at confining the village residents and obstructing their movement. They also added that the Israeli forces spare no effort to maltreat the Palestinian civilians while crossing the checkpoint, especially young men. Lately, the Israeli forces prevented the entry of construction materials and fuels, especially cooking gas, to the village, except in coordination with the Israeli Civil Administration, but the residents reused so. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities seized most of Beit Xa village lands, which are about 10 thousands dumuns, and around 360 dumuns are left. The Israeli forces also prevent paving the village main street under flimsy pretexts.
- At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 28 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Sari Sami Abu al-Hawa (14), Na’iem Ibrahim ‘Ashayier (11), and Mahmoud Mohamed al-Hidrah (13).
- At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, 23 November 2017, Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished a house belonging to al-Rajabi family in al-Ashqariyia neighborhood in Beit Huninah, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They expelled the house residents during the cold and rainy weather.
‘Esam al-Rajabi (43), the house owner, said that the Israeli bulldozers, under the Israeli police’s protection, raided his house in al-Ashqariyia neighborhood and demolished it under the pretext of non-licensing. He also said that the Israeli forces ordered him and his family to get out of the house and did not allow them to vacate the house contents. Al-Rajabi said the Israeli District Court in Jerusalem held a session on 08 November 2017, in order to extend the demolition decision, but the court rejected the lawyer’s demand. Few days later, the lawyer headed to the Jerusalem Municipality Court to obtain an order to stop the demolition, but he did not get any response. ‘Esam also said that a police officer in al-Nabi Ya’qoub Police Station in Beit Haninah contacted him yesterday informing him that the house will be demolished next week. As a result, the lawyer submitted an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court. Al-Rajabi pointed out that the Israeli District Court’s decision, which was issued at the beginning of this month, ordered to demolish a 30-square-meter structure added to the old house. He also said that he was surprised with the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolishing the 140-square-meter house. Although he objected to the demolition of the old house, the Israeli Municipality officers insisted on demolishing the whole house. ‘Esam said that he built the house in 2010, and the Israeli Municipality imposed a construction fine on him of NIS 20,000 in installments. He paid 43 installments while there are still 7 payments left. He had to add a 30-square-meter structure to his old house 5 years ago for his son Kamel, who wanted to get married. ‘Esam applied for a license few years ago, but the Jerusalem Municipality did not respond. The abovementioned house used to shelter 10 persons and was comprised of 4 rooms, kitchen, bathroom, and 2 other rooms for Kamal.
- On Saturday, 25 November 2017, Israeli forces ordered Jamal Omar Abu Tair to self-demolish his house in Um Tuba village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Jamal said that he self-demolished his house after vacating it to avoid paying costly municipality demolition fees. He also said that his 40-square-meter house was comprised of 2 rooms, kitchen, and bathroom, and sheltering 5 persons.
- Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property
- Israeli forces’ attacks
- At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 27 November 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles, a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration, and a bulldozer moved into Beit ‘Aynoun area, east of Hebron. They then stationed on the road leading to Biet ‘Aynoun area. The bulldozer demolished a 120-square-meter barrack belonging to Mohamed Suliman Zakaria Moswada (45) and built of tin plates. The barrack was used for ferrous metals and demolished under the pretext of non-licensing.
Israeli settlers’ attacks
- At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 28 November 2017, a group of Israeli settlers from “Mitzpe Yair” and “Yatir” settlements, attacked Palestinian farmers from Kherbit Um Hunitah adjacent to Manizel village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Palestinian farmers were breeding their livestock and ploughing their lands. The Israeli settlers threw stones at the farmers and beat them with batons. When the framers attempted to defend themselves, the Israeli forces attacked them as well without taking the settlers away from the area. After that, a large force of Israeli soldiers arrived at the area and declared it as a closed military zone. They then arrested Hanan Mousa Ali Harizat (37), Karam Mohamed Harizat (20), Saleh Ahmed Mohamed Harizat (21), and Ali Mohamed Harizat (21). Moreover, ‘Emad Irsheed, the Manizel School’s cleaner, and ‘Aziza Salem Harizat (45), were detained, claiming that they took photos without get a permit. The arrested persons were taken to an investigation center in “Karyit ‘Aba’” settlement, east of Hebron. The arrested persons were released few hours later.
- 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 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.
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