Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (01 – 07 September 2016).
Israeli forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Shu’fat refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem, and wounded 6 others, including a woman; 5 of whom in the West Bank and the 6th in Jerusalem. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli navy forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen and chase them in the sea, while Israeli land troops continued to target the border area.
In the West Bank, on 05 September 2016, in excessive use of lethal force, Israeli forces killed Mostafa Nemer (27) and wounded and arrested his kinsman Ali Nemer (25).
On 02 September 2016, Nidal Ishtaya (42), from Salem village, east of Nablus, was hit with a gas bomb to the back of his head. As a result, his helmet was smashed and he sustained wounds to the head. The aforementioned person was covering Kufor Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqilya.
On 04 September 2016, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded in Sebastya village, northwest of Nablus, when Israeli forces moved into the village. A number of Palestinian youngsters gathered and threw stones at the Israeli forces that immediately opened fire in response. As a result, a 25-year-old male sustained a bullet wound to the leg and a 24-year-old male sustained a shrapnel wound to the leg as well.
On 05 September 2016, an 18-year-old male sustained a shrapnel wound to the leg when Israeli forces moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. As a result, a number of youngsters gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who opened fire in response.
On 06 September 2016, Nahla al-Emour (55), from Rumana village, west of Jenin, sustained a bullet wound to the shoulder. The aforementioned woman was wounded while she was in her house yard that is a kilometre away from the annexation wall, northwest of the village. Medical sources at Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin to which she was admitted that the bullet that was taken out of her shoulder was fired from an M16 that is used by Israeli forces.
In the Gaza Strip, in the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea, on 02 September 2016, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles. On the same day, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniya shore, west of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles. Neither casualties nor material damage were reported. However, the fishermen fled back to the shore.
In the context of targeting border areas, on 04 September 2016, Israeli forces stationed at the border fence fired an artillery shell at “Falasteen” military training site of al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas movement), northeast of Um al-Nasser village. No casualties were reported.
On 06 September 2016, the Israeli artillery targeted the northern Gaza Strip with 5 shells. Three of them landed in al-Qassam military site, northeast of Um al-Nasser village, north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, the site sustained damage. The two other shells landed on a house belonging to the family of Rashid Suhail Mohammed al-Shanti (54) in Beit Hanoun village, north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, the house sustained damage and 2 other houses sustained damage because of the scattered shrapnel.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 78 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 8 ones in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 60 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children. Seventeen of them, including 5 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
Among the arrested was Osama Shaheen (34), Director of Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies. He was arrested from his house in Emreish village, southeast of Doura, southwest of Hebron. Moreover, journalist Samer Sha’abna (26) was arrested as well from his house in Zabouba village, southwest of Jenin, along with lawyer Omer Khaled Jamal (29). Israeli forces released the last 2 arrested persons on the next day.
In the Gaza Strip, on 07 September 2016, Israeli forces moved about 100 meters into the east of al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip. They leveled lands for few hours after which they withdrew later.
Creating Jewish Majority in Occupied East Jerusalem:
Concerning house demolitions, on 06 September 2016, Nabeeh al-Basti self-demolished his house in al-Wad neighbourhood in East Jerusalem’s Old City under the pretext he has not obtained a building permit from the municipality.
On 31 August 2016, Israeli forces confiscated asphalt paving equipment that were on bypass road (60) near Sousia village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. They claimed that the company that owns the equipment had paved a road in area (C) according to Oslo Accords without a prior permit from the Israeli competent authorities. The equipment were transported to “Gosh Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
On the same day, Israeli forces confiscated a digger that was used in paving an agricultural road for the interest of Beit Dajan village council, east of Nablus.
On 05 September 2016, Israeli forces cut off about 250 olive trees in Ras Atiya village, south of Qalqilya.
On 07 September 2016, Israeli forces accompanied by a Civil Administration crew moved into the eastern side of al-Aqaba village in the northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. They demolished dwellings, livestock barns and barracks.
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 1.8 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 38.8%, 21.1% of which suffer from extreme poverty. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 44%, which reflects the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.
- Use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall
- At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 02 September 2016, Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized a protest in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliya, and then made their way to the eastern entrance of the village in protest against closing that entrance since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada with an iron gate. When the protesters approached the entrance, Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, journalist Nidal Shafeeq Tahir Ishtaih (42) from Salem village, east of Nablus, was hit with a tear gas canister to the back of the head. Moreover, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.
- Following the Friday prayer, on 02 September 2016, dozens of Palestinians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized protests against the annexation wall and settlement activities in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah, al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, and Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliya. Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters and chased them into the agricultural fields and between houses. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.
Continued closure of the oPt
Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.
Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.
Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.
Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested.
Israel has imposed a tightened closure on the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians:
Israeli forces established (15) checkpoints all over the city.
On Thursday, 01 September 2016, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Kharsa, al-Thaheriyah and al-Samou’.
On Friday, 02 September 2016, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Bani Na’im village and the southern entrance to Halhoul.
On Saturday, 03 September 2016, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awa village, Tarusah road and the entrance to Beit Ommar village.
On Sunday, 04 September 2016, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the entrances Ethnah, al-Kum, Sa’ir villages and the entrance to al-Nabi Yunis village, north of Halhoul.
On Tuesday, 06 September 2016, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Ommer and Sa’ir villages and al-Fawar refugee camp.
At approximately 19:00 on Saturday, 03 September 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ein Sena village, north of Ramallah.
At approximately 09:30 on Monday, 05 September 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Turmus’aya village, east of the city.
On Sunday morning, 04 September 2016, Israeli forces used sand barriers to close main and sub roads in the vicinity of Hawarah, Awdalah, Awrta, Beta villages, southeast of Nablus. They closed Beta main crossroad in Nablus-Ramallah Street, Kuza Street that links Beta and Hawarah, Hawarah road that leads to ‘Inabus village, Awdalah road that leads to Luna Park, the road that links Beta and Hawarah and passes near al-Salihin mosque, north of Hawarah, the sand road that links Awdalah and Awarta villages near Ebn Sina Nursing College, northeast of Hawarah village. They also used sand barriers to close the entrance to Burin main Street branching from Ramallah-Nablus Street and archway of Madma village near Burin village that leads to a number of nearby villages and Nablus.
At approximately 18:00 on Monday, 05 September 2016, Israeli forces stationed at the checkpoint of Hawarah, south of Nablus, closed the checkpoint and prevented the cars from passing through the checkpoint in both ways until late night.
Israeli forces established (6) checkpoints all over the city.
At approximately 19:50 on Thursday, 01 September 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the crossroad of Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. On Friday, 02 September 2016, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the crossroad of Jeet village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, the entrance to Azoun village and the entrance to Hejah village, east of the city.
At approximately 09:50 on Saturday, 03 September 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near Kafer Qadoum settlement, northeast of Qalqiliyah. They checked the civilians ID cards, searched their cars and then arrested Ahmed Wasfi Qaderi from Qalqiliyah but released him later. It should be mentioned that Ahmed is an officer of the Palestinian Intelligence Service. At approximately 11:55, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyah.
At approximately 10:30 on Sunday, 04 September 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the crossroad of Jeet village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. At approximately 21:15, they established a similar checkpoint at the crossroad of Ezbet al-Tabib village, east of the city.
Israeli forces established (5) checkpoints all over the city.
At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 02 September 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Qarawet Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit. At approximately 18:30, they established a similar checkpoint at the entrance to al-Zawiyah village, west of the city
On Sunday, 04 September 2016, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafer al-Deek village, west of Salfit, near the bridge of Eskaka village, east of the city and the entrance to Kafel Hares village, north of the city.
At approximately 13:30 on Monday, 05 September 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near Hadad village, south of Jenin. They stopped and searched the cars and checked the civilians ID cards. At approximately 15:00 they removed the checkpoint and no arrest were reported.
Arrests at military checkpoints
- At approximately 22:00 on Friday, 02 September 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near the crossroad of ‘Arabah village, south of Jenin. They stopped the cars and checked the civilians ID cards. They then arrested Ezzidin Adnan Abdul Karem Mahmud Abu Na’sah (19) when he was in his car along with his friends. The soldiers got him out of the car and arrested him.
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:
- At approximately 02:20 on Monday, 05 September 2016, Israeli forces opened fire at a vehicle in the centre of ‘Anata Street in Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of Jerusalem. The vehicle was travelled by 2 Palestinians, who were on their way to their relative’s home in the camp. As a result, one of the 2 Palestinians died while the driver sustained several wounds after which he was arrested. The Israeli forces stated that after Israeli police and Border Guard officers raided Shu’fat refugee camp and withdrew from the area, a vehicle travelled by 2 Palestinians was speeding towards the Israeli forces in an attempt to run over them, but the Israeli soldiers opened fire at the vehicle in response. As a result, one of the 2 Palestinians died while the other sustained minor wounds.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR’s fieldworker and statements of eyewitnesses, at approximately 02:00, Mustafa Tala Nemer (27) and Taiseer Nemer (25) were traveling by a car on ‘Anata Street in Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of Jerusalem. Around the same time, Israeli soldiers raided the camp to arrest Alaa’ Taha. As a result, clashes erupted between young men and the Israeli soldiers, who surrounded the area. When the vehicle driven by Ali passed through the area, the Israeli forces heavily opened fire towards the windshield of the car. As a result, Mustafa died while Ali was wounded. Moreover, the Israeli forces arrested Ali.
Eyewitness (N. Gh.), who lives in a house near the place of the incident, said that at approximately 02:25, she went to her house balcony when she heard sound of gunshots. The soldiers surrounded a vehicle and opened fire at it. They then forced the driver to leave the car as they pulled him on the ground amidst screams, insults and threats to shoot him in the head. The soldier forced him to take off his pants. Ali did not receive first aid and was left on the ground until a military jeep came and took him towards the camp checkpoint. Ali was shouting: “I did nothing”. As for the other young man, he was left in the car and did not receive first aid until a jeep came and took him towards the checkpoint as well.
Another eyewitness said that Israeli forces fired around 50 live bullets at the vehicle though it was far from the place where the soldiers were stationed. He also said that the vehicle was passing normally in the street when the soldiers were stationed on the main street.
Arrests and Incursions:
- At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 01 September 2016, Israeli forces moved into Ras al-Amoud neighbourhood, east of the Old City in Jerusalem. They raided a number of houses after which they arrested Ahmed Yusuf Nasser (17) and Abed Ezidin Barbar (18).
- At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 02 September 2016, Israeli forces moved into al-Issawiyya village, northeast of Jerusalem. The soldier deployed in the streets, provoked the inhabitants and checked their ID cards. They then arrested Mohammed Khalil Edris (13).
- At approximately 18:00, Israeli forces summoned Jawad Siam, Head of Wadi Helwa Information Centre, and a civilian namely Kahled al-Zair to interrogate them in Salah Eden Street police station in East Jerusalem. The investigation with the 2 summoned persons was about them removing concrete cubes set by the Israeli forces on the main street in Wadi Helwa neighbourhood in Silwan under the pretext of maintenance works. As a result the main roads were closed in the neighbourhood causing traffic jam.
Siam and al-Zeer said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli intelligence service summoned them on Friday to Salah Eden Street police station to interrogate them, confiscated their vehicles and accused them of incitement for opening Wadi Helwa Street through removing the concrete cubes off the road. They assured that the municipality promised to remove the cubes on Friday and Saturday on 26, 28 and 27 August 2016. However, after the municipality kept the road closed, the inhabitants removed the cubes and opened the road with their personal vehicles. It should be mentioned that the closed road in Wadi Helwa is vital for the inhabitants of the village and the southern villages near Silwan when going to Jerusalem. The neighbourhood was isolated from the village due to the closure of the road. After hours of investigation, Siam and al-Zeer were released on bail, but the Israeli forces kept their vehicles under custody.
- At approximately 19:00, Israeli forces arrested Jamal al-Za’tari (16) while he was in al-Tur village, east of Jerusalem’s Old City. They severely beat, pepper-sprayed and insulted him. Al-Za’tari said to PCHR’s fieldworker:
“On Friday, 02 September 2016, when I was on a street in al-Tur village, Israeli special officers came toward me, checked my ID card and intended to subject me to question me during which they cursed and insulted me. When I objected to the soldiers orders, they surrounded and beat me on my face and back and then pepper-sprayed me. The soldiers took me to “Beit Orot” settlement in al-Suwanah neighbourhood where they hit me on my face and feet, where I had a surgery. They left me after I told them I suffer from health problems. The soldiers moved me to the opposite street where I was subjected to naked search. After that, I was taken to Salah Eden police station where the officers accused me of obstructing the police work and assaulting a police officer, but I denied this charge. I was then transported to al- Mascobiya detention centre. On Saturday 03 September 2016, I was released”.
- At approximately 07:00 on Sunday, 04 September 2016, Israeli forces moved into Shu’fat neighbourhood, north of the Old City in East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Majd Sa’id Abu Khdair (15) and Alaa’ Mohammed Abu Khdair (16).
- At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 06 September 2016, Israeli forces moved into Qalandiyah refugee camp, north of East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses. They then arrested 3 civilians namely Thaer Farhan, Adnan Lafi Abu latifah and his son Yusuf.
- At approximately 10:00, Israeli Intelligence Service handed Hamzah Nemer, one of al-Aqsa Mosque guards, a decision to deny him access to the mosque until 29 November 2016. It should be mentioned that Nemer was arrested on previous day morning, but the Israeli authorities released him few hours later.
- At approximately 15:00 on Tuesday, 06 September 2016, Israeli forces moved into Abu Riyalah neighbourhood in al-Issawiyya village, northeast of Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested 3 civilians namely Mahdi Ahmed Masudah (18), Motasem Salah (19) and Khalil Naser Abu Sbaitan (19).
- On Tuesday evening, Israeli forces summoned Jawad Abu Mayalah (50) and his wife Dalal to interrogate them in Salah Eden Street police station about a post they published on the Facebook for suspecting they had intent to carry out an attack.
Abu Mayalah said to PCHR’s fieldworker that he published a post on Saturday, 03 September 2016, on his Facebook account reading, “My beloved ones and friends, good-bye…) and attached it with a photo that had Quranic verses as follow, “Surly we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return”, “Every soul will taste death”. He then left his house to take some rest alone in a hotel in Hebron due to the life pressure. In the next morning, he called his daughter’s husband to inform him that he would not return to his house. After Abu Mayalah finished the call, he received a call from the Israeli police that summoned him for investigation and demanded him to turn himself in to the nearest police station. Abu Mayalah refused to go to the police stations near Hebron, he rather went to Salah Eden police station. He learnt that the Israeli Intelligence Service raided his house in al-Tur village, east of the Old City, and summoned his wife to question her also about what she published. The Israeli forces thought that Abu Mayalah intended to carry out an attack against them, but he denied it. The interrogator warned Abu Mayalah if he published similar posts on his Facebook account, he would pay a fine around NIS 30,000. The inspector told him, “The Israeli police mobilized to catch you”.
- At approximately 02:00 on Wednesday, 07 September 2016, Israeli forces moved into Qalandiyah refugee camp, north of Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses. At approximately 05:00, Israeli forces arrested Yusuf Mazen Shuhadah (28).
- At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Abu Dees village, east of East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses. At approximately 05:00, they arrested Mohammed Afanah (27).
- At approximately 12:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Issawiyya village, northeast of Jerusalem. They raided and searched several shops, checked the workers’ ID cards and then arrested Loai Essa Bader (25) while at work. They took him to an unknown destination.
Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property
Israeli forces Attacks:
- At approximately 15:00 on Thursday, 31 August 2016, Israeli forces accompanied within the Civil Administration crew confiscated road paving equipment on the bypass road (60) near Susiya village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. They claimed the company owning the equipment paved a road in area (C) according to Oslo Accords without prior permission from the Israeli authorities. They transported the equipment to “Gush Etzion”settlement, south of Bethlehem.
- At approximately 17:30, Israeli forces accompanied with several military jeeps and a Civil Administration vehicle moved into al-Masiaf, east of Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus, in area (C) according to Oslo Accords. They confiscated a digger that was paving an agricultural road in favour of village council of Beit Dajan. The digger belongs to Raslan Hanani from Beit Furiq village.
- At approximately 06:00 on Monday, 05 September 2016, Israeli forces cut off around 250 olive trees from Ras Atiyah village, south of Qalqiliya, belonging to Banan Mohammed Mansour Shubaki from al-Nabi Elyas village, east of the city. They did not also allow Banan to enter his land. Moreover, around 15 of 70 dunums were cut off as the Israeli forces claimed they were Israeli lands.
Banan al-Shubaki said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“At approximately 06:00 on Monday, 05 September 2016, I received a call from owners of houses adjacent to my land which I bought in Ras Atiyah village to inform me that Israeli forces had cut off the olive trees in my land. I went to the land along with my brother. The Israeli forces cut off the trees and then uprooted them. We tried to enter the land, but the soldiers prevented us by force and told us that this land has been registered in their name though there were no problems on the land and the area in general when I bought the land. They suddenly raided the land and said that the 15 of 70 dunums belong to them although my brother and I bought it. A year ago, we started renewing the registration measures, but the Israeli forces suddenly took over the land”.
- At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 07 September 2016, Israeli forces accompanied with 6 military jeeps, 2 bulldozers and the Civil Administration crew moved into the eastern side of al-Aqabah village in the northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The bulldozers demolished civilians’ houses, livestock barns and barracks belonging to 3 families of the abovementioned village.
- The demolition was for 3 houses, 6 livestock barns, 3 facilities and 2 water tanks. The affected persons were as follows:
- Family of Daifallah Abed Oudah al-Faqir comprised of 9 members. The Israeli forces demolished 60-square-meter residential tent, 50-square-meter livestock barrack, 60-square-meter livestock tent, 60-square-meter barrack made of tin plates and bricks, 60-square-meter fodders’ store, a water tank, 300-square-meter livestock barn, a bathroom built and an oven.
- Yusuf Diafallah Abed al-Faqir comprised of 2 members. The Israeli forces demolished 60-square-meter residential tent, 60-square-meter sheep tent, mobile bathroom, and a water tank and 20-sqaure-meter tent used as a kitchen.
- Jaber Hamdan Husain Jaber. The Israeli forces demolished a 450-sqaure-meter livestock barrack.
House demolitions and demolition notices:
- At approximately 11:00 on Saturday, 03 September 2016, Israeli municipality crews moved into Silwan village, south of the Old City in East Jerusalem. They distributed demolition notices and municipality notifications to a number of families in the village under the pretext of building without a licence.
According to a statement of an eyewitness, the municipality crews protected by Israeli forces moved into several neighbourhoods in Silwan village and took photos of them. They then distributed demolition notices and municipality notifications for many residential buildings to refer to the municipality. One of the buildings’ owners named Mousa al-A’war lives in his 150-square-meter house with his family comprised of 7 members for 19 years. Moreover, the municipality crews handed Esam ‘Atah al-Abasi a notice to refer to them relating one-storey house belonging to his son that is around 65 square meters. The house is under construction and located in the central neighborhood in the village.
- At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, 06 September 2106, Nabih al-Baseti self-demolished his house that is located in al-Wad neighbourhood, in the Old City in East Jerusalem. The house is opposite to the Hospice Hotel because he failed to obtain the necessary permits from the municipality.
Nabih said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli Court forced him to demolish his house until 20 September 2016. In case he did not implement the decision, he will be sentenced to imprisonment and pay a fine estimated around NIS 40,000 though he paid a fine previously estimated around NIS 56,000. He mentioned that he built his 60 square-meter house in 1996 for his family comprised of 3 members. Nabih was surprised when he received the demolition notice and was summoned by the municipality. Nabih added that the case was referred in 1997 to the Israeli court that issued an administrative decision against him to self-demolish his house. Because he rejected the decision, the Israeli court imposed fines estimated around 100,000 in the past 20 years. Nabih paid around NIS 56,000 and appeared before the Israeli court more than 20 times. He also mentioned that the municipality issued a final decision on 01 April stating that in case Nabih abstained from self-demolishing his house, he will be imprisoned and pay expensive financial fine in addition to paying the demolition costs.
Recommendations to the International Community
PCHR emphasizes the international community’s position that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation, in spite of Israeli military redeployment outside the Gaza Strip in 2005. PCHR further confirms that Israeli forces continued to impose collective punishment measures on the Gaza Strip, which have escalated since the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, in which Hamas won the majority of seats of the Palestinian Legislative Council. PCHR stresses that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and the international humanitarian law, especially the Hague Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land and the Geneva Conventions. Israel is bound to apply the international human rights law and the law of war sometime reciprocally and other times in parallel in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for victims.
In light of continued arbitrary measures, land confiscation and settlement activities in the West Bank, and the latest 51-day offensive against civilians in the Gaza Strip, PCHR calls upon the international community, especially the United Nations, the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention and the European Union – in the context of their natural obligation to respect and enforce the international law – to cooperate and act according to the following recommendations:
- PCHR calls upon the international community and the United Nations 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 United Nations to provide international protection to Palestinians in the oPt, and to ensure the non-recurrence of aggression against the oPt, especially the Gaza Strip;
- PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to compel Israel, as a High Contracting Party to the Conventions, to apply the Conventions in the oPt;
- PCHR calls upon the Parties to international human rights instruments, especially the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to pressurize Israel to comply with their provisions in the oPt, and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the concerned committees;
- PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfil their obligation to ensure the application of the Conventions, including extending the scope of their jurisdiction in order to prosecute suspected war criminals, regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator and the place of a crime, to pave the way for prosecuting suspected Israeli war criminals and end the longstanding impunity they have enjoyed;
- PCHR calls on States that apply the principle of universal jurisdiction not to surrender to Israeli pressure to limit universal jurisdiction to perpetuate the impunity enjoyed by suspected Israeli war criminals;
- PCHR calls upon the international community to act in order to stop all Israeli settlement expansion activities in the oPt through imposing sanctions on Israeli settlements and criminalizing trading with them;
- PCHR calls upon the UN General Assembly to transfer the Goldstone Report to the UN Security Council in order to refer it to the International Criminal Court in accordance with Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute;
- PCHR calls upon the United Nations to confirm that holding war criminals in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a precondition to achieve stability and peace in the regions, and that peace cannot be built on the expense of human rights;
- PCHR calls upon the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council to explicitly declare that the Israeli closure policy in Gaza and the annexation wall in the West Bank are illegal, and accordingly refer the two issues to the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Israel to compel it to remove them;
- PCHR calls upon the international community, in light of its failure to the stop the aggression on the Palestinian people, to at least fulfil its obligation to reconstruct the Gaza Strip after the series of hostilities launched by Israel which directly targeted the civilian infrastructure;
- PCHR calls upon the United Nations and the European Union to express a clear position towards the annexation wall following the international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, as the annexation wall seizes large parts of the State of Palestine;
- PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that both sides must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel, and the EU must not ignore Israeli violations and crimes against Palestinian civilians;
Fully detailed document available at PCHR’s official website.