Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (26 Jan. – 01 Feb. 2017)
Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
(26 January – 01 February 2017)
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (26 January – 01 February 2017).
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Jenin refugee camp, north of the West Bank. Ten civilians, including 2 children, were wounded in the West Bank. the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea and open fire at farmers in the border areas.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed Mohammed Abu Khalifah (16) and wounded 4 others, including a child whose wound is serious and his brother. This happened when the Israeli forces moved into Jenin refugee camp to carry out an arrest campaign. A number of gunmen and civilians confronted the Israeli forces who in response heavily opened fire at them, killing the child and wounding other civilians.
In addition to the above-mentioned wounded persons, on 26 January 2017, two civilians, including a child, were wounded in ‘Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus, when the Israeli forces moved into the camp and a number of children and youngsters protested against them.
On 27 January 2017, 3 civilians, including a child, were wounded in Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin when Israeli forces moved into the camp and a number of children and youngsters protested against them.
On 30 January 2017, Israeli soldiers stationed at Jubarah Military checkpoint, south of Tulkarm, opened fire at Yahiya Sarhan (19) and wounded him to his right foot. Sarhan was in his workplace which is nearby the checkpoint.
In the Gaza Strip, in the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, on 31 Janaury 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off the north-western Gaza Strip shore heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats, but no casualties were reproted.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 74 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 43 Palestinian civilians, including a child. Six of them were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
Efforts to create Jewish majority
In the context of house demolitions and notices, On 26 January 2017, Israeli forces demolished two Bedouin communities belonging to the family of ‘Arab al-Jahalin in al-‘Eizariyah village, east of Jerusalem. As a result, 8 houses and 5 barns were demolished, rendering 62 persons, including 39 children, homeless, in light of the cold winter weather.
On the same day, the Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem handed Nihad al-‘Ababsi a summons to appear before its court. al-‘Abbasi said that it was the third time he received a summons to appear before the Municipality Court to issue decisions concerning a 70-square-meter structure he added to his house established 17 years ago. He added that he made the house wider 2 years and a half ago to add a bedroom for his children.
Settlement activities and Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property:
On 26 Janaury 2017, Israeli forces uprooted 300 olive trees in Kharas village lands, west of Hebron. The 20-dunum land belongs to the heirs of Mousa Hamdan; around 200 members. They make their living from the olive corps. However, the Israeli authorities claimed that those trees were uprooted as the land is near the annexation wall in the area.
In the context of escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, on Tuesday, 31 January 2017, the Israeli government approved building 3,000 new settlement units on grounds of evacuating “‘Amouna” settlement outpost. This came upon a statement published by the office of the Israeli Defence Minister, Avigador Liberman, in coordination with the Israeli Prime Minister revealing the approval on new settlement units.
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.
[Photo: People carry the body of 24 year old Palestinian Abu Gus, who was shot dead by the Israeli soldiers on January 25, during a funeral ceremony in Qalandiya refugee camp in Ramallah, West Bank on February 5, 2017. Photographer: Issam Rimawi/AA]