Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 3 – 29 May, 2019.
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protesters in the Gaza Strip. 11 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, a paramedic, and a journalist, were injured. A Palestinian child was wounded in the West Bank.
- In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 59th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. They also continued to use force as well during the incursions into the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 11 civilians, including 3 children, a paramedic, and a journalist, while participating in the Return March. Moreover, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded after being targeted in the border area of the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian child.
- In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 11 civilians, including 3 children, a paramedic and a journalist, while participating in the 59th Friday of the Return March.
- As part of targeting the border areas, on 26 May 2019, Israeli forces opened fire and fired an artillery shell at 2 Palestinian civilians, who were about 250 meters into the east of Um al-Mahd area, east of ‘Abasan al-Jadidah village, east of Khan Younis. As a result, they sustained shrapnel wounds. The injured civilians stayed in the area for an hour after which a number of farmers arrived and transferred them to Gaza European Hospital.
- In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian child during the reported period.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 54 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 47 Palestinians, including 4 children, from the West Bank, while 25 other civilians, including 8 children and a woman, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs.
Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
Despite their claims to provide facilities for Palestinian civilians in Ramadan and allow them to perform prayers in al-Aqsa Mosque yards in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli forces continued to impose restrictions on them, including the city residents. During this week, and for the second consecutive week, large forces of Israeli soldiers raided al-Aqsa Mosque after al-‘Isha and al-Taraweeh prayers and forcibly ordered al-Mo’takefeen, who are staying in the al-Aqsa Mosque for a certain number of days to perform prayers, to leave the mosque.
Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property
- As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 23 May 2019, Israeli bulldozers demolished an under-construction house in Khalyil al-Louz area near al-‘Abayyat village, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. The house, which is comprised of 40 square meters belongs to a person from Surbaher village in occupied East Jerusalem.
- On 27 May 2019, Israeli forces destroyed an agricultural facility in Shoshahla village near al- Khadir village, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. The 40-sqaure-meter agricultural room belongs to Mohamed Ahmed Salah.
Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:
Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:
During the 58th week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 48, including 11 children, two women, two journalists, and two paramedics. The incidents were as follows:
- Northern Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting, at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of Mos’ab Ahmed Mustafa Zaghloul (12), who was hit with a rubber bullet to the head, and Wala’a Ibrahim Nasser al-Najjar (15), who was hit with a rubber bullet to the shoulder
- Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued from 16:00 until 18:00, resulted in the injury of 2 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children. one of the children ( 15), who is from al-Nuseirat, was hit with a tear gas canister to the upper limbs while the other civilian (22), who is from al-Maghazi, was hti with a live bullet to the pelvis.
- Khan Younis: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 16:30 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 5 civilians, including a paramedic and a journalist. The wounded paramedic was identified as Dalia Bassam Ahmed Abu Raidah (20), a volunteer paramedic at El-Salam Medical Team, was hit with a tear gas canister to the foot; and the wounded journalist was identified as Fahed ‘Ata Basam Hadayed (24), who was wearing “a Blue Helmet and Vest clearly Marked Press”, was hit with a rubber bullet to the right hand.
- Rafah: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 17:00 until 18:30, resulted in the injury of 2 civilians
- Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property
Israeli forces’ attacks:
- On Thursday, 23 May 2019, Israeli bulldozers demolished an under-construction house in Khalyil al-Louz area near al-‘Abayyat village, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Hasan Barijiyah, Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission in Bethlehem, said that the Israeli bulldozers moved into Khalyil al-Louz area and demolished an under-construction house, which was comprised of 2 story. The house belongs to a person from Surbaher village in occupied East Jerusalem.
- On Monday, 27 May 2019, Israeli forces destroyed an agricultural facility in Shoshahla village near al- Khadir village, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Eyewitnesses said that at approximately 11:00, the Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer moved into Shoshahla village. The bulldozer demolished a 40-sqaure-meter agricultural room without a prior warning. The room belongs to Mohamed Ahmed Salah.
- 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.
Detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).
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