In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 09 – 15 March 2017, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in occupied Jerusalem. 11 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded by Israeli troops in the West Bank.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, in new crime of using excessive force, on Monday, 13 February 2017, Israeli officers killed Ibrahim Mahmoud Matar (25), from al-Mukaber Mount, southeast of occupied Jerusalem. Israeli forces claimed that Ibrahim entered the Israeli police office in Lions Gate (al-Asbat), took a knife out and then stabbed 2 Israeli soldiers. After that, Ibrahim was shot dead by another Israeli soldier.
On 10 March 2017, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian civilians, who were at the western entrance to Selwad village, northeast of Ramallah, and wounded 2 of them.
On 11 March 2017, a 16-year-old male was hit with a tear gas canister at his head, when Israeli forces raided Birzeit, north of Ramallah. Moreover, the Israeli forces fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians.
On 11 March 2017, a Palestinian civilian was hit with a live bullet to the leg, when Israeli forces moved into Sabastiyia village, northwest of Nablus. During which, a number of Palestinian young men protested against them.
On 15 March 2017, 5 civilians, including 2 siblings, were wounded, when Israeli forces moved into al-Duhaisha refugee camp and al-Dawha village nearby, south of Bethlehem. One of whom was wounded as he was at the roof of his house in al-Dawhah village. when the wounded’s brother along with his 3 friends rushed to take him to the hospital, the Israeli forces opened fire at the car carrying them. As a result, 4 other civilians were wounded.
On the same day, a Palestinian worker, from al-‘Obaidiya village, east of Behtlthem, was wounded while he was near ” Mazmouriya” checkpoint, east of the city, attempting to go to his work in occupied Jerusalem.
On the same day, Fatmah Jabrin ‘Aye Abdul ‘Aziz Taqatqah (16) from Sahlet ‘Eid neighborhood in al-Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem, was shot by the Israeli forces. The Israeli forces claimed she attempted to carry out a run-over attack in the intersection of “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of the city, but she was abducted. After that, Fatama was taken to “Shaare Zedek” Medical Centre in Jerusalem. Fatmah’s family denied the Israeli claims and said that she lost control of her vehicle.
Concerning house demolitions, on Saturday, 11 March 2017, the Israeli Municipality obliged ‘Arafat Qara’een to self-demolish part of his family house in Wadi Helwa neighborhood, south of the Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Al-Qara’een said that the part, which was demolished comprised of a 20-square-meter room used as a store built 2 years ago.
On 14 March 2017, Israeli forces accompanied demolished an under-construction residential building in al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. The 250-square-meters building, which was comprised of 2 floors, belongs to Majdi Mostafa.
On the same day, Israeli forces demolished a house in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City. The house belongs to Mohamed Abu Saleh and was comprised of 2 rooms built in an area of 50 square meters. It should be noted that Mohamed along with his family comprised of 3 members, were intending to live in the house soon.
In the context of imposing restrictions on Palestinian associations, on 14 March 2017, Israeli forces raided the Mapping and Survey Office of the Arab Studies Society- Orient House in Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of occupied Jerusalem. The police officers abducted the Office Director and maps and settlement expert, Khalil Tufakji, and took him to an unknown destination after confiscating his cell phone and some contents of the office. The Israeli police closed the office for 6 months upon an order from the Israeli Interior Minister, Gelad Ardan.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 80 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and its suburbs, and conducted 11 raids in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces abducted at least 80 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children and 4 women. Thirty five of them, including 5 children and 2 women, were abducted in occupied Jerusalem. Among those abducted was a Member representing Hamas in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) identified as Samira al-Halyqa (53).
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, in the context of targeting border areas, On 09 March 2017, , Israeli forces stationed in the vicinity of “Kissufim” military site established along the border fence between the Gaza Strip an Israel, northeast of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, fired several artillery shells and opened fire at agricultural lands in al-Qararah and al-Salqa Valley areas, west of the abovementioned border fence amidst firing several flare bombs, but no arrests were reported.
In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea, On 14 March 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor material damages were reported.
Also in the Gaza Strip, on 15 March 2017, Israeli forces moved into the east of Gaza Valley (Johr al-Deek) in the central Gaza Strip. They leveled the lands adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel after which they re-deployed along the border fence.
Israeli settlement activities:
On 14 March 2017, Israeli forces confiscated a mobile house in Farosh Beit Dajan village. The house belongs to Tawfiq Abed al-Raheem Haj Mohamed, who works as Headmaster of the village’s school. The abovementioned house was built on an area of 25 square meters and shelters 8 members, including 3 children. Moreover, the bulldozer demolished a vegetable stall located in the village’s main street. The 30-square-meter stall belongs to Yaser Ibrahim Aub Murtada.
In the same context, on 10 March 2017, Israeli settlers, from “Rhalim” settlement, uprooted 143 olive trees from al-Sawiyia villages’ lands, south of Nablus. The land belongs to Haytham Ahmed Mohamed Abu Kafanah and Suhail Abed al-Raheem Suliman. Both of them are from the abovementioned village.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli troops engaged in the use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall.
Following the Friday prayer on 10 March 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, west of Ramallah and al-Nabi Saleh, northwest of the city; at the entrance to al-Jaalzone refugee camp, north of the city; and in Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, protesting 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 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.
At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 10 March 2017, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. They gathered into the east of al-Shuja’iya neighborhood, east of Gaza City, and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at them. No casualties were reported.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the international community act in order to stop all Israeli settlement expansion activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories through imposing sanctions on Israeli settlements and criminalizing trading with them.
In addition, PCHR calls upon the United Nations to confirm that holding war criminals accountable 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.