Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 28 September – 04 October 2017.
6 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 6 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Sea.
In the West Bank, 28 September 2017, a Palestinian child in Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem, was hit with several bullets. However, his condition is so far unknown as the Israeli forces arrested him.
On 29 September 2017, A Palestinian civilian was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet when Israeli forces moved into the areas of Jabal al-Mawaleh and Wadi Shahin in Bethlehem. Meanwhile, dozens of children and young men gathered in Shahin area and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli vehicles. The Israeli soldiers in response opened fire at them.
On 03 October 2017, 3 civilians, including a child, were wounded when Israeli forces moved into Sho’afat refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem, to arrest some of the camp’s residents. A number of children and young men gathered to throw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers, who chased them and then randomly fired sound bombs, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets in the area. As a result, the three civilians were wounded.
In the Gaza Strip, the border areas witnessed protests against the ongoing unjust closure on the Gaza population. During the protests, the Israeli forces used force against the protestors and opened fire in order to disperse them. As a result, a child sustained shrapnel wounds to the neck.
In the pretext of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Sea, on 01 October 2017, Israeli gunboats sporadically opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip and chased them. The shooting recurred in the same area in the morning.
On 29 September 2017, Israeli gunboats sporadically opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats, west of al-Soudaniya, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, and chased them. The shooting recurred in the same morning and on 30 September. During all those incidents, no casualties were reported; however, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of being wounded, arrested or their boats being confiscated.
Collective Punishment Measures:
For the second consecutive week, Israeli forces continued to close the northwestern side of occupied Jerusalem, by closing all the roads to this area. The closure included 16 Palestinian villages. Those restrictions came after Nemer al-Jamal carried out a shooting attack at the entrance to “Har Adar” settlement and killed 3 Israeli soldiers. The closure disrupted the school year in around 50 schools with 4000 students in addition to completely hindering the daily life in the area. The Israeli forces also denied ambulances, journalists, and international organizations access to the area. Moreover, Israeli forces totally isolated Beit Iksa village from the nearby villages and banned all civilians from leaving or entering the village.
On 03 October 2017, Israeli forces handed Nemer al-Jamal’s family a house demolition notice and gave them 72 hours to implement the demolition. The notice included evacuating their house and submitting an appeal before the Israeli court within this period.
Settlement Activities and Settlers’ Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and their property:
As part of restrictions imposed on Palestinian farmers during the olive harvest season, on 01 October 2017, Israeli forces forced farmers from ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqilya, to go home when the later were on their way to harvest olives from their lands near “Ma’ale Shomron”settlement, north of the abovementioned village. A number of farmers said that when they headed to Khelet al-Romanah and Khelet Abu Zeinah areas, Israeli soldiers arrived at the areas and expelled them so that they return to their lands after 16 October 2017.
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 the Friday prayer, 29 September 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized protests in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah; al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protesters, firing live and rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased protesters into olive fields and between the houses. As a result, some of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.
- At approximately 14:30 on Friday, 29 September 2017, about 30 Palestinian youngsters made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij refugee in the central Gaza Strip, in protest against the Israeli closure imposed on the Gaza Strip. The youngsters gathered near the security fence and set fire to tires. They also raised banners and flags and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence. The soldiers sporadically fired live bullets and tear gas canisters for an hour and a half at the protestors and agricultural lands located to the west of the abovementioned border fence. As a result, a 16-year-old child sustained a live bullet shrapnel wound to the neck while others suffered tear gas inhalation. The wounded child was transferred to Shuhadaa’ al-Aqsa hospital in Deir el-Balah. His wounds were classified as minor.
(PCHR keeps the name of the wounded child)
- On Thursday, 28 September 2017, for the third consecutive day, Israeli forces continued to close the northwestern area of occupied Jerusalem, which includes 16 Palestinian villages. They closed all roads to the area after the attack in “Har Adar” settlement carried out by Nemer Mahmoud al-Jamal, killing 3 Israeli soldiers.
The closure included the Tunnel Road that leads to Badou village, Beit ‘Anan-Beit Laqia Road in addition to the internal roads between the villages. The Israeli forces continued their incursions, suppression and detention of families in Beit Surik village, which is Nemer al-Jamal’s hometown. They also distributed a statement to the village residents, ordering them not to move outside their homes, “and whoever does so, he will be shot.” Moreover, the Israeli forces arrested Rami al-Jamal from Beit Surik village in the morning. They also raided the condolences house of al-Jamal and fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They then confiscated dozens of vehicles from Beit Surik and Badou villages.
The closure disrupted the school year in about 50 schools that include more than 4000 students in addition to hindering the daily life in general in the area. In the same time, the Israeli forces issued several orders to stop construction-works and threatened to demolish the unlicensed buildings. They also permanently seized houses belonging to al-Jamal family in Beit Surik village. They banned ambulances, media crews and international organizations from entering the area. Beit Eksa village was also isolated from the nearby villages, and the Israeli forces prevented civilians from entering and leaving the village.
On Thursday evening, the Israeli forces raided and searched several houses in Badou village amidst an intensive firing of live bullets. They arrested 3 children namely Hamadah Jamal Abu ‘Eid (17), Walid Reyad al-Dali (14), and Yazid Hamdan (15).
In the early hours on Tuesday, 03 October 2017, Israeli forces moved into Beit Surik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Nemer al-Jamal, who carried out the “Har Adar” settlement attack. They handed the family a demolition notice and gave them 72 hours to carry out the demolition. The notice included evacuating the house or filing an appeal to the Israeli court within the mentioned period.
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 06:00 on Monday, 02 October 2017, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Fo’ad Ahmed al-Qaq (20) and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in Salah al-Deen police center in the center of occupied East Jerusalem.
- At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ameer al-Ghazawi and arrested him.
- At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 03 October 2017, Israeli forces moved into Sho’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched dozens of houses from which they arrested Sa’ied al-Dabit, Mo’min al-Debis, Khadir al-Debis, ‘Odai al-Dabit, Tahseen al-Rajbi, and Iyyas al-Rajbi. A group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli forces, who indiscriminately fired sound bombs, tear gas canisters, and rubber-coated-metal bullets at them. As a result, an 11-year-old child was hit with a metal bullet to the eye, while another young man and an elderly man were hit with 2 rubber-coated metal bullets to the limbs. They were then taken to hospital to receive medical treatment.
- At approximately 01:00 on Wednesday, 04 October 2017, Israeli forces moved into Hizmah village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Kifah Saleh Badran al-Khatib and arrested him.
- At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Loai Sami al-Rajabi (22) and arrested him.
- At approximately 07:00 on Wednesday, Israeli forces moved into occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Abed al-Rahman al-Hashlamoun (13) and arrested him.
- Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property
Israeli forces’ attacks:
- At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, 01 October 2017, Israeli forces ordered Palestinian farmers from ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyia, to go back to their houses while harvesting olives near “Ma’ale Shamron” settlement, north of the village. The heirs of late Khalil Amer, late Abdul Rahman Amer Suwaidan and Rafiq Rashid Suwaidan went to Khellet al-Rummaneh area. The Israeli forces then arrived at the area and expelled all of them, telling them that they are allowed to come to the area after 16 October 2017. The Israeli forces also expelled Hasan Rasem Shubitah, Adam Ahmed Badwan, Mahmoud Yousef Abu Zahra, Ali Wajeeh ‘Odwan, Monther Hasan Jadou’, and Sa’ied Mahmoud Badwan from their lands in Khellet Abu Zinah.
Hasan Rasen said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, 01 October 2017, on my holiday, I headed to my agricultural land in Khellet Abu Zinah in order to pick olives along with my relative and farmers, who own agricultural lands in the same area. We usually go together to our lands as they are located near settlements. We try as fast as we can to pick the olives due to the security situation in the area. In the first day when we arrived, a group of Israeli forces came and expelled us. In the next day, we came back, and a large force of Israeli soldiers came and expelled us as well. An Israeli officer told us that we are allowed to come to the area after 16 October 2017.”
Israeli settlers’ attacks:
- At approximately 01:00 on Thursday, 28 September 2017, dozens of buses carrying Israeli settlers entered Joseph’s Tomb in Balatet al-Balad village, east of Nablus, under the Israeli forces’ protection. Dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in the vicinity of Joseph’s Tomb and at the entrances to Balatah and ‘Askar refugee camps. The youngsters threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers, who fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. The Israeli forces also chased them in the camps’ streets and alleys. In the morning, after the Israeli settlers performed their Talmudic prayers, the Israeli forces withdrew and no casualties were reported.
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 10 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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