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Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights violations in Occupied Palestinian Territory (15-21 Feb)

25th Feb 2018
Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights violations in Occupied Palestinian Territory (15-21 Feb)

 

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights:

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) – (15 – 21 February 2018)

Israeli forces killed 2 children and wounded 2 others in the Gaza Strip without endangering the soldiers’ life.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

A Palestinian youngster succumbed to his injuries he sustained few days before, east of al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip.

53 Palestinian civilians were wounded, including 16 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israeli warplanes launched 21 missiles at different military training sites belonging to the Palestinian Armed Groups and vacant lands in the Gaza Strip

Shooting at the border areas in the Gaza Strip was reported without causing any casualties.

Israeli forces conducted 81 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 12 similar ones into Jerusalem.

81 civilians, including 17 children, were arrested.

24 of them, including 12 children, were arrested in Jerusalem.

A Palestinian civilian was arrested in the northern Gaza Strip after attempting to cross the border fence.

12 shooting incidents targeting the Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza Strip Shore.

A fisherman was wounded, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli authorities continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.

A 2-dunum land and water well were levelled, east of Hebron, in addition to uprooting trees.

Settlers broke windows of 2 cars and wrote anti-Palestinian slogans on 3 others in Nablus.

Settlers from “Yitsihar” wounded a shepherd, killed 20 sheep, wounded 17 others and stole dozens others.

Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

A watchtower and detention rooms were established at the entrance to Bab al-‘Amoud

A house, barrack for sheltering sheep and commercial facility were demolished in Sho’fat neighbourhood.

Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 11th consecutive year.

Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.

9 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and a girl, were arrested at the checkpoints in the West Bank.

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (15 – 21 February 2018).

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, in the Gaza Strip. They also wounded 56 others, including 18 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip as well, the Israeli forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, target the border areas and carry out airstrikes against sites belonging to the Palestinian Armed Groups and vacant agricultural lands.

In the Gaza Strip, in a new war crime and without any justification or reason endangering soldiers’ life, on Saturday afternoon, 17 February 2018, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian children and wounded 2 others after the Israeli forces fired artillery shells at them near the border fence with Israel in al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City. Investigations conducted by PCHR emphasize that the shelling violates the principle of distinction and military necessity, and use of force was unjustifiable, especially that the two killed children and the other wounded were only unarmed civilians who did not carry out any act that would endanger the life of Israeli soldiers.

On Wednesday morning 21 February 2018, official sources in the Palestinian Ministry of Health declared that Ahmed Abu Helou (19) succumbed to his wounds after being hit with a bullet to the head during a protest organized east of al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip on 16 February 2018 and described his wounds as serious.

As part of targeting the border areas in addition to the abovementioned shelling crime that caused the death of 2 children and injury of 2 others, on 17 February 2018, Israeli forces fired artillery shells at a watchtower belonging to al-Quds Brigades (military wing of Islamic Jihad Movement.) The watchtower is 300 meters west of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. On the same day, Israeli forces fired an artillery shell at a control point belonging to al-Qassam Brigades (military wing of Hamas Movement). The control point is in an area located to the east of al-Burah area, northeast of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip and 800 meters away from the border fence. Though no casualties were reported, civilians living near the sites panicked.

On 19 February 2018, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands, east of al-Bureij and Gaza Valley Village. However, no casualties were reported.

Moreover, 21 Palestinian civilians were wounded, including 5 children, after the Israeli forces fired bullets and tear canisters at them during protests where the protestors threw stones at the soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. These demonstrations are organized in protest against the U. S. President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and against the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip for the eleventh year.

As part of targeting fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against fishermen in the Gaza Sea, indicating to the on-going Israeli policy of targeting their livelihoods. On 21 February 2018, a fisherman was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head when the Israeli gunboats opened fire at the fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, west of Beit Lahia. In addition to this, PCHR monitored 11 other incidents; 6 in north-western Beit Lahia and 5 others in Western Soudaniyah, west of Jabalia.

As part of the airstrikes, Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes against military training sites and control points belonging to the Palestinian Armed Groups and vacant agricultural lands. PCHR’s fieldworkers monitored that the Israeli warplanes launched 21 missiles between 17 and 19 February 2018.

In the West Bank, on 15 February 2018, 3 civilians were wounded; 2 with live bullets and one with a rubber bullet when Israeli forces moved into Nablus to carry out an arrest campaign in the city and a number of children and youngsters gathered to throw stones and empty bottles at the soldiers. On 16 February 2018, 4 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded with live bullets in Nablus in similar circumstances.

On 20 February 2018, a civilian was hit with a bullet to the left thigh when Israeli forces moved into al-Duhaishah refugee camp, south of Bethlehem and civilians protested against them. On the same day, a civilian was hit with a rubber bullet to the head when Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, amidst direct firing of rubber bullets and sound bombs. On 20 February 2018, a 13-year-old child was hit with a bullet to the thigh when Israeli forces moved into al-Janiyah village, northwest of Ramallah and a number of children and youngsters protested against them.

Moreover, 22 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children, were wounded after the Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrances to the Palestinian residential areas in the West Bank fired live bullets and tear gas canisters directly at them during protests and stone-throwing. These demonstration are organized by Palestinian civilians in protest against the American President’s decision tor recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and against the Israeli settlement activities and land confiscations.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 81 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank while they conducted 12 incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 57 Palestinians, including 5 children, in the West Bank. Twenty-four of them, including 12 children, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs. Those incursions happen in light of the cold and rainy weather as the Israeli soldiers force children, women and elderly people to stay outside their houses for hours or locked families in one room, preventing them to move in addition to other acts of harassment and use of police dogs in house raids.

In the Gaza Strip, on 21 February 2018, Israeli forces arrested a Palestinian civilian after he crossed the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Efforts to Create Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem:

As part of settlement activity crimes, on 15 February 2018, Israeli forces established a security watchtower in the eastern side of Bab al-‘Amoud Square at the entrances to East Jerusalem’s Old City. Eyewitnesses said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli forces started unloading steel plates and equipment in the area to build a watchtower for the soldiers adjacent to Bab al-‘Amoud. They also started building 3 rooms on the stairways leading to the entrance of al-Bab al-‘Amoud as the rooms will be used for investigation, detention and to observe and control Palestinian civilians’ movement while coming in and out of Bab al-‘Amoud.

On 21 February 2018, the Israeli municipality using hevy vehicles demolished ahouse and barrack for sheltering sheep in Sho’afat neighbourhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They belong to Saleh Abu Khudeir as the house was built on an area of 115 square meters, sheltering 6 family members while the farm was built on an area of 215 square meters. In the same context, they demolished a commercial facility “a beauty salon for women” belonging to Dawoud Muheisen.

Settlement Activities, Demolitions, and Settlers’ Attacks against Palestinian civilians and their Property:

As part of house demolitions and notices, on 21 February 2018, Israeli forces levelled a 2-dunum land in al-Buq’ah area, east of Hebron, in the vicinity of a house belonging to ‘Atah Jaber (58). They also uprooted trees, levelled stone chains, damaged the winter crops, and levelled a 100-cubic-meter water well. The demolition came without any prior warning.

On 20 February 2018, the Israeli issued orders to demolish and stop construction works in 3 houses in Ethna village, south of Hebron, and a barrack built of tin plates and used for sheltering sheep in Beit Z’etah area, east of Beit Ummar village, north of the city. They also confiscated a JCB Crane to transfer fodders and a 1500-cubic-meter agricultural pond used for irrigation.

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinian civilians and their property, on 15 February 2018, a group of settlers from sneaked into Yitma village, south of Nablus. They carried out riots on the streets and attacked 3 vehicles parked in front of the owners’ houses and wrote racist slogans in Hebrew and singed by the “Price Tag” organization on the vehicles and punctured their tires.

On the same day, a settler stationed at Za’atarah Checkpoint, south of Nablus, threw a stone at a car belonging Hussein Zain al-Deen (53) when he was on his way back home from the city to Majdal Bani Fadel village, southeast of the city, breaking the windshield. The Israeli soldiers who were guarding the settlers did not intervene to deter the settlers.

On 20 February 2018, settlers broke the windshield of a car belonging to human rights activist in The Israeli Rabbis for Human Rights organization, Zakariah al-Sedah, who finished documenting the evacuation of “Avatar” settlement outpost in Abu Sbeih Mount, south of Bita village, south of Nablus.

On 21 February 2018, around 15 settlers from “Yistihar” settlement established in the northern side of ‘Einabous village, south of Nablus, attacked Thafer Rayyan (27) who was grazing his 110 sheep in the outskirts of the village. One of the settlers hit him with a metal pipe on the back of his head and arms. They killed 20 sheep and wounded 17 others in addition to stealing dozes others.

[Photo:  Israeli security forces intervene Palestinians during a protest, organized by Palestine Committee Against the Wall and Settlements on February 21, 2018. Photographer: Issam Rimawi/AA]

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