During the week ofÂ 03 â 09 November 2016, Israeli forcesÂ killed a Palestinian civilian at the entrance to the âOfraâ settlement, northeast of Ramallah and al-Bireh. Additionally, 6 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a photojournalist, were wounded in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt), during the reporting period, were as follows:
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 and wounded 6 others, including a child and a photojournalist, in the West Bank.
In the West Bank, in excessive use of lethal force, on 03 November 2016, Israeli forces guarding âOfraâ settlement, northeast of Ramallah, killed Maâan Abu Qareâ (23) and kept his corpse in custody.Â The spokesperson of the Israeli forces claimed the aforementioned person attempted to stab Israeli soldiers at âOfraâ intersection, as a result, they opened fire at him. No local eyewitness was present in the scene to confirm or negate the Israeli claims.
In the context of excessive force used in peaceful protests against the annexation wall and settlement activities, 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a photojournalist, were wounded. Four of them, including the photojournalist, were wounded in Kufor Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqilya, while the child was wounded in Niâlin weekly protests, west of Ramallah.
On 09 November 2016, one of the Israeli soldiers patrolling Howarah main street, south of Nablus, opened fire at Mohammed Amer (32), from Tulkarm. As a result, he sustained 2 serious bullet wounds to the back and right hand. Israeli forces claimed that Amer attempted to stab an Israeli soldier.
In the Gaza Strip, in the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen offshore, on 03 November 2016, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. A similar attack took place on 06 November 2016, however, no casualties were reported.
On 07 November 2016, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniya shore, west of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. They chased a bout while spraying it with wastewater in an attempt to get it drowned. As a result, Mahmoud Abu Riyala (18) fainted because of the wastewater and the boat sustained damage. A similar shooting attack took place at approximately 06:30 on Wednesday, 09 November 2016, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 72 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 11 others in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 83 Palestinian civilians, including 23 children and 4 women. Twenty-eight of them, including 13 children and 2 women, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem. Among the arrested was a whole family consisting of 8 members from al-Amari refugee camp, south of Ramallah.
On 06 and 07 November 2016, Israeli forces raided Dozan and al-Manar publishing houses in Hebron respectively. They also confiscated some of the contents and withdrew later.
In the Gaza Strip, on 09 November 2016, Israeli forces moved about 100 meters into the east of al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip. They levelled lands along the border fence and withdrew later.
Creating Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem:
In the context of house demolitions, on 08 November 2016, the Israeli municipality demolished a house belonging to Eid family in Wad al-Jouz neighbourhood in occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing.
On the same day, the Israeli municipality demolished a house belonging to Ghanem Mostafa in al-Eisawiya village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that the house was built 3 years ago.
Also on the same day, the Israeli municipality demolished parts of a house belonging to Mahmoud al-Hadra while al-Hadra self-demolished a garage he built in front of his house in al-Tour neighbourhood, east of Jerusalemâs Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing as well.
On 09 November 2016, the Israeli municipality demolished a carwash belonging to Maraqa family in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied Jerusalem. The family said the carwash belongs to 2 brothers and was built 4.5 years ago. The financial loss is estimated at NIS 200,000.
In the same context, on 04 November 2016, Israeli municipality crews and forces moved into Selwan village, south of East Jerusalem. They photographed a number of residential and commercial facilities. They took photos also of streets in Wad Helwa neighbourhood in the village.Â Wad Helwa committee stated that Israeli forces distributed summonses to owners of certain facilities under the pretext of non-licensing.
In a serious development violating the right to practice religious rituals, Israeli forces informed the Muaâzzins of 3 mosques in Abu Dees village, east of occupied Jerusalem, to stop the Fajr Prayerâs call (Adhan) via loudspeakers. Moreover, they denied residents of western areas of the village access to Saladin mosque to perform the Fajr Prayer on 04 November 2016.
Settlement activities and settlersâ attacks against Palesitnian civilians and their property:
On 03 November 2016, Israeli forces demolished 3 commercial and industrial stores at the entrance to Beita village under the pretext of building with no license in area (C) according to Oslo Accords.
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.Â 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.Â 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 Stripâs economy.Â They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Stripâs 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.
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 âcantonsâ 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.
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.
Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property
Israeli Settlers Attacks:
According to investigations conducted by PCHRâs fieldworker, at approximately 08:30, 5 Palestinian civilians from al-Janiyah village arrived at the abovementioned land they own to harvest the olives. The 5 persons were identified as Saber Barakat Ali Abu Fakhidah (35), Saiel Barakat Ali Abu Fakhidah (60) and his son Saâad (34), Hasan Barakat Ali Abu Fakhidah (41) and Mohammed Ahmed Ali Abu Fakhidah (25). At approximately 12:35, they were surprised by around 15 to 20 settlers aging between 20 and 30 years old wearing civilian clothes and masks around them. They were holding sticks and iron pipes. A settler said in Hebrew to the farmers:âWe will kill you.â They then attacked the farmers and beat them until Saber and Hasan Abu Fakhidah fainted. The settlers fled away. The injured were transferred to Palestine Medical Complex to receive medical treatment. Examinations showed that Saber sustained deep wounds in the head due to which he needed 20 stiches. As for Hasan, he suffered a fracture in four of the lower front teeth, wounds in the mouth, and bruises in the right leg in addition to a wound to the right hand that needed 5 stiches.
Recommendations to the International Community
PCHR emphasizes the international communityâs 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 Israelâs 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 â in the context of their natural obligation to respect and enforce the international law â to cooperate and act according to the following recommendations:
Fully detailed documentÂ available at the official PCHR website.