Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, continued during the reporting period (28 July â 03 August 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 and wounded 13 others, including 3 children and a young woman. Nine of them were wounded in the West Bank while the 2 others, including a young woman, were wounded in the Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continue to target Palestinian fishermen and chase them in the Sea.
In the West Bank, in excessive use of force on 31 July 2016, Israeli forces stationed at Howarah checkpoint, south of Nablus, shot dead Rami âAwertani (31) from the same city when he stepped out of his car at an observation point in the track allocated for the cars coming out of the city.Â The Israeli forces claimed that âAwertani attempted to stab a soldier and his corpse was detained and taken to an unknown destination.Â It should be mentioned that âAwertani owns a barber shop on Annajah National University Street and a father of 3 children.
On 30 July 2016, 7 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded when Israeli forces moved into Jenin and its refugee camp to carry out an arrest campaign.Â Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian civilians gathered where the Israeli vehicles were stationed to throw stones at them.Â The Israeli soldiers in response fired live bullets, sound bombs and gas canisters at the stone-throwers. As a result, 7 civilians were wounded with live bullets to the lower limbs and then taken to Dr Khalil Soliman Governmental Hospital in the city for medical treatment.
On 02 August 2016, two civilians, including a child, were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets to the limbs.Â This happed after Israeli soldiers protecting settlers, who raided Joseph Tomb, east of Nablus, fired live and rubber-coated bullets and gas canisters at civilians who threw stones at the settlers.
On 03 August 2016, two civilians were wounded to the limbs when Israeli forces moved into al-Farâah refugee camp, southeast of Toubas.Â They patrolled the camp streets, and a number of Palestinian youngsters and children then gathered to throw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli vehicles.Â The Israeli soldiers fired for around two hours live and rubber-coated bullets at the stone-throwers, wounding two of them.
In the Gaza Strip, on 29 July 2016, Samah al-Naâami (38) was sustained a superficial bullet wound to her left shoulder while Mohammed al-âIssawi (22) was hit with a bullet to the left foot.Â This happened when Israeli soldiers opened fire at dozens of Palestinian children and young men who headed to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip in order to throw stones at the Israeli soldiers.Â The aforementioned young woman was wounded when she was on her way to a field belonging to her husband near the border fence.
In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Sea, on 01 August 2016, Israeli gunboats stationed off Khan Younis shore in the southern Gaza Strip heavily opened fire in the vicinity of Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed area for fishing.Â As a result, the fishermen fled away for fear of being killed or wounded.Â However, no casualties were reported.Â On 03 August 2016, the same incident recurred in the northern and central Gaza Strip, damaging a fishing boat and losing fishing net.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 78 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, 6 ones in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs and limited one in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 81 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children.Â Nineteen of them, including 3 children and 3 women, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
Creating Jewish Majority in Occupied East Jerusalem:
On 29 July 2016, âIzzat Kiswani closed down his coffee shop with steel plates in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in Jerusalem to avoid closing it by the municipality that would also confiscate the contents. Kiswani explained that the court ordered him to close the coffee shop and gave him until the beginning of August to implement the order or its crews will close it and confiscate its contents. It should be mentioned the 180-square-meter coffee shop was built many years ago, and three families lived off the coffee shop.
On 31 July 2016, Walid Shweiki self-demolished his house in Al-Thawri neighbourhood, south of East Jerusalemâs Old City, in execution of the municipalityâs order and to avoid paying a 50-thousand NIS fine in addition to demolition costs.Â He added that he built his house in 2014 and moved in with his 3-member family. The municipality crews previously raided the house several times under the pretext of building without a permit until a demolition order was issued by the court.Â It should be mentioned that the house was built from âreinforced sheetsâ and comprised of two rooms and their facilities.
On 02 August 2016, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished a 600-square-meter car shop belonging to Mohammed âElian under the pretext of building on a land confiscated for the interest of âIsraeli Lands Administration (ILA)â.
On 03 August 2016, Israeli bulldozers demolished 3 barracks belonging to âEid Mohammed âEid Barakat in al-Nabi Samoâeel village, northwest of East Jerusalem.Â One of these barracks was used as a womenâs organization.
On the same day, The Civil Administration crews along with Israeli forces demolished a residential caravan in Wad al-Dam area Beit Hanina neighbourhood, north of Jerusalem owned by Izz Eddin Abu Nijmeh under the pretext of building without a permit.
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 (KeremShaloum) 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.
Note: PCHR keeps the names of the injured persons in the aforementioned demonstrations.
Rubber-coated metal bullets are lethal if they hit the head of victim from a close range.
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:
On 02 August 2016, Israeli forces established (3) checkpoints in Ramallah villages, including, al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, Ein Yabrud village, northeast of Ramallah, the entrance to Deir Abu Meshâal village and the crossroad of al-TaibahÂ village ( the road that link between Ramallah and Jericho). The aim of these checkpoints was to search the cars and check the civilians ID cards.
Israeli forces established (15) checkpoints all over the city.
On Thursday, 28 July 2016, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to al-al-Nabi Yunis, Tarama and Ethna villages.
On Friday, 29 July 2016, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the eastern entrances to Surif, Beit Ommar villages and al-Aroub refugee camp.
On Saturday, 30 July 2016, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Dora village and the southern entrance to Halhoul.
On Sunday, 31 July 2016, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Kharsah and Tarama villages.
On 01 August 2016, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ommar, Saâir and the northern entrance to Halhoul villages.
On 01 August 2016, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ommar, Saâir villages and the northern entrance to Halhoul.
On 02August 2016 Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Dora and al-Thaheriyah villages.
Israeli forces continue to close the western entrance to al-Shuhadaâ street in the center of Hebron leading to Tal al-Ramidah and prevented civilians who are not residents of the city from entering the abovementioned area, claiming that it is within the closed military zone declared on 09 July 2016. While the Israeli soldiers are protecting settlers, who cause fear among the residents due to their attack, the Israeli settlers attacked Abu Shamsah family under the leadership of the extremist female settler Anat Cohen. A PCHRâs fieldworker then went to Hebron to document the incident, but when he arrived, the soldiers prevented him for passing through the checkpoint established at al-ShuhadaâÂ street. Although the fieldworker showed the soldiers his ID card and explained the nature of his work, they refused to allow him to enter, as well as Mousa Abu Hashahash, BâTselemâs fieldworker and Hisham al-Sharbati, al-Haq fieldworker.Â It should be mentioned that the residents of the area complain about the Israeli soldiersâ and settlersâ harassments as well as preventing human rights organizations from entering the area to publish their complaints.
Israeli forces established (6) checkpoints all over the city.
At approximately 18:55 on Friday, 29 July 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyah. At approximately 20:00, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jeet village, northeast of the city.
At approximately 18:50, on Saturday, 30 July 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance Bab al-Hatab village, east of Qalqiliyah. At approximately 19:35, they established a similar checkpoint under the bridge of Azoun village at the bypass road that links between Qalqiliyah and Tulkarm.
At approximately 12:10 on Tuesday, 02 August 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Ezbet al-Taieb village, east of Qalqiliyah. The soldiers checked the civilians ID cards and searched the cars.
Israeli forces established (3) checkpoints all over the city.
At approximately 21:15 on Thursday, 28 July 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint under the bridge of Eskakah village, west of Salfit.
At approximately 15:40 on Sunday, 31 July 2016, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Deir Balout village, west of Salfit.
At approximately 0:30 on the same day, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Kafer al-Deek village, west of Salfit.
Arrests at military checkpoints:
Efforts to Create a 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 —
An eyewitness said that Israeli forces arrested Hamzah al-Nabali (27) and Hamzah al-Desi (31) and summoned Raed Zughair, an employee in the Reconstruction Committee and, and Feras al-Debs, Head of Media and Public Relation Department in the Islamic Endowments (Awqaf). Dozens of worshipers and guards of al-Aqsa mosque prevented 4 settlers from raiding the mosque from al-Magharbah Gate along with a group of tourists. The settlers then attacked the worshippers. The mosque guards intervened, but the settlers cursed and pushed them.
It should be mentioned that the Israeli police escalated its attacks against the Islamic Endowments (Waqf) Department and its employees because they have done some repairs and maintenances inside the mosque. The Israeli forces arrested and summoned 15 workers and guards since the end of lastJune in addition to the obstacles they impose on the repairs in the mosque; the last of which was preventing the restoration of water pipeline near the platform of Burhan Eddin.
In the same context, dozens of Israeli settlers protected by the Israeli forces and Special Forces raided al-Aqsa mosque yards from al-Magharbah Gate. Eyewitnesses said that three settlers sat on the ground and began performing their rituals inside the mosque, but the Israeli police moved them out of the mosque after al-Aqsa Mosque guards pressurized them to.
House demolitions and demolition notices:
Kiswani explained that the court ordered him to close the coffee shop and gave him until the beginning of August to execute the order or they will close it and confiscate its contents. He added that the 180-square-meter coffee shop was built many years ago. Part of it is built from stones and the other is a âbarracksâ; three families lived off the coffee shop.
Mohammed said to a PCHRâs fieldworker that the municipality crews raided the shop without his presence at 04:00 and surrounded the place. They then demolished it, confiscated some contents and levelled the land without a prior warning. Mohammed also said that the 600-square-meter shop made of wood and has has a 30-square meters room (bus on wheels) which does not need any permits according to the Israeli law. Mohammed Alayan added that the dealership has been established for a year and a half and 6 individuals live off it. He had submitted the required documents to obtain a license.
He also said that the municipality confiscated a car and an air condition during the demolishing process. Mohammed estimated that the losses are about NIS 320, 000.
It should be mentioned that the municipality crew left a banner in the land saying: âState of Israel- Israeli Lands Department- No Entrance- Violations are on your own responsibilityâ.
Mohammed Eid Barakat, owner of the barrack said to a PCHRâs fieldworker that the Israeli forces surrounded the place and began demolishing three livestock barracks with an area of 220 square meters. One of these barracks was used as a womenâs organization while the other for storing agricultural equipment.Â Both were established in 2011. As for the third barrack, which was used for raising sheep, was established before 1967.
Mohammed also said that the Israeli forces prevented him from approaching the place or taking the organizationâs contents out of the barrack. He also mentioned that he legally follows the barracks case in the Israeli court, so no demolition order or even a warning was issued against him.
Abu Nejmah said that the Israeli bulldozers demolished the caravan which is about 40 square meters where he, his wife and two of his children live.
Abu Nejmah also said that the caravan was established in 2014 and since then; he has been trying to obtain a building permit. He lately added wheels to the caravan as the Israeli law stipulate that any facility on wheels does not require a building permit.
Abu Nejmah added that âdespite that the caravan was on wheels, the municipality bulldozers demolished it without a prior warrantâ.
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 document available at PCHR’s official website.