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Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights violations in Occupied Palestinian Territory (3 – 9 May)

11th May 2018
Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights violations in Occupied Palestinian Territory (3 – 9 May)

Gaza, The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights:

 

Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against Palestinian peaceful civilians in the Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian civilian succumbed to wounds he sustained in the March of Return and Breaking Siege demonstrations.

3 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip territories, and the body of one of them was detained.

189 Palestinian civilians, including 39 children, 3 women, 4 journalists and 4 paramedics, were wounded in the peaceful protests.

11 Palestinian civilians, including 1 child and 1 paramedic, were wounded in the West Bank.

Israeli forces continued to open fire at the border areas in the Gaza Strip:

A Palestinian farmer was wounded in eastern Shuja’iyah neighbourhood, east of Gaza City.

Israeli forces conducted 70 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 2 limited ones in the Gaza Strip.

100 civilians, including 22 children and a woman, were arrested.

34 of them, including 10 children and a woman, were arrested in Jerusalem.

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

Two commercial facilities were demolished in Beit Safafa and al-issawiyah, and 2 civilians were forced to self-demolish a house and commercial warehouses.

“‘Ateret Cohnim” settlement association handed Abu Sneinah Family a house eviction order in Silwan village, claiming ownership of the building.

Israeli forces continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.:

42 dunums were confiscated in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, for security reasons.

5 residential rooms and 5 sheep barns were demolished while 4 solar cells were confiscated in Masafer Yatta.

Israeli settlers cut 14 olive trees, south of Nablus, and levelled lands, west of Salfit.

10 Shooting incidents were reported against the Palestinian fishing boats in the Gaza Sea, but no casualties were reported.

A fishing boat engine was damaged in the northern Gaza Strip after Israeli forces heavily pumped water at it.

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.

6 Palestinian civilians were arrested at the military checkpoints in the West Bank.

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (03 – 09 May 2018).

Shooting:

Israeli forces continued to use excessive lethal force against Palestinian civilians, who participated in peaceful demonstrations organized on the 42nd anniversary of the Earth Day, particularly in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed peaceful demonstrations along the eastern Gaza Strip border area, where ten thousands of defenseless Palestinian young men, women, children, and elderlies participated.

On Friday, 04 May 2018, the Gaza Strip witnessed peaceful demonstrations where ten thousands of Palestinian civilians participated.

As a result, 169 Palestinian civilians, including 31 children, 3 women, 4 journalists and 4 paramedics, were wounded on the above-mentioned Friday.

During the reporting period, the Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians in a new crime of excessive use of force while another civilian succumbed to wounds he sustained while participating in the March of Return Demonstrations, which sporadically and peacefully occurred during this week.

During the demonstrations, 189 Palestinian civilian, including 38 children, 3 women, 4 journalists and 4 paramedics, were wounded; the injury of 5 of them is serious. In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 11 Palestinian civilians, including 1 child and 1 paramedic, in separate incidents.

In the Gaza Strip, in a new crime of using lethal forces, on 06 May 2018, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians and detained the body of one of them. This occurred 10 meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

One of those killed was attempting to reach two wounded persons when the Israeli soldiers opened fire at him and he fell.

Following this, on his twitter account, the spokesperson of the Israeli forces tweeted that “After investigating the attempt to sneak incident, it turned out that a cell comprised of 4 persons arrived at the security fence to sneak into Israel and carry out “a sabotage attack!””

PCHR’s investigations emphasize that those four civilians did not cross the border fence contrary to the spokesperson’s claims and were targeted at least 50 meters away from the border fence. The investigations added that one of those killed came from his house after hearing the gunfire and attempted to rescue and evacuate the targeted civilians. Thus, the Israeli forces could have used a less-lethal force specially that that those civilians were unarmed.

Medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City declared on 03 May 2018 that Anas Abu ‘Aser (19) from al-Sabrah neighborhood succumbed to wounds he sustained on Friday 27 April 2018, while participating in the March of Return and Breaking Siege demonstrations in eastern al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City.

This high number of casualties in the Gaza Strip proves that the Israeli forces continue to commit crimes and use excessive force against Palestinian civilians in disregard for their lives and upon an official political decision.

PCHR indicates that according to Israeli forces’ spokesperson on his Facebook page following the declaration of organizing these demonstrations commemorating the 42nd anniversary of the Land Day, the Israeli forces prefigured the demonstrations, whose organizers previously declared they would be peaceful, sending threatening messages to intimidate the organizers and Gaza Strip residents and deploying Israeli snipers along the border fence.

According to investigations and field observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers for the Fifth Friday of the March of Return and Breaking Siege demonstrations:

Dozens of Israeli Forces’ snipers continued to position on the hills, behind the sand barriers and in military jeeps along the border fence in front of the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip.

The number of those participating in the demonstrations decreased in the main 5 points as the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return chose not to gather large crowds due to school exams and called this Friday ” Friday of Palestine’s Workers.” However, thousands of civilians, including women, children and elderlies within entire families participated in the demonstrations.

According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, the number of youth gatherings near the border fence augmented to reach dozens who set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli forces, east of Khuza’ah village and the northern Gaza Strip, particularly in eastern Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia, adjacent to the Memorial Statute, southeast of Beit Hanoun, and east of the central Gaza Strip. Those gatherings extended to reach the east of al-Buraij refugee camp, east of Juhor al-Deek and to two points in eastern Rafah; one was adjacent to the March of Return encampment and the other was near Karm Abu Salem crossing in addition to the usually organized demonstrations, east of al-Shuja’iya neighborhood in Gaza City.

The Israeli snipers deliberately and selectively opened fire at the participants in the peaceful demonstrations which included thousands of civilians in 5 areas in the eastern Gaza Strip. As a result, 169 civilians, including 31 children, 3 women, 4 journalists and 3 paramedics, one of them was seriously injured, were wounded with live bullets and direct hits of tear gas canisters, noting that most injuries occur in the demonstrating area that is around 30-300 meters away from the border fence.

The Israeli forces widely used bursts of tear gas canisters targeting the center of the demonstrations and beyond away from the demonstrators near the border fence. As a result, hundreds, including PCHR’s fieldworkers who were documenting the incidents, suffered tear gas inhalation and seizures; some of them were transferred to hospitals as some of them so far receive medical treatment.

Teargasing hysterically intensified after the demonstrators dropped 2 small drones flown by the Israeli forces in the sky of the demonstration area, east of Khan Yunis as the 2 drones were flying very low.

The demonstrations were as always fully peaceful, and PCHR’s fieldworkers did not witness weapons or armed persons even dressed in civilian clothes among the demonstrators, who were thousands of elderlies, women, children and entire families. Those demonstrators moved forward until in certain instances, particularly in eastern Gaza City, Jabalia and Khan Younis, reached the border fence raising flags, chanting slogans and national songs, flying kites in high and burning tires and setting fire to tires.

PCHR fieldworker’s observations undoubtedly refute the Israeli government and some media’s claims that children are used as human shields by the demonstrators. This refusal was based on the totally peaceful nature of the demonstrations, participation of entire families, including their children, and some women and children’s offering water for the demonstrators and raising flags with no influence from any political party encouraging them to do so.

A tear gas canister landed on a tent used by volunteer paramedics belonging to Isnad Community in the Return encampment in Khuza’ah village. Dozens of medical crews’ members in Khan Yunis and Rafah suffered tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces heavily fired tear gas canisters in their vicinity or the wind carried the gas towards the medical points though they were hundreds of meters away from the demonstration areas. Moreover, 2 paramedics were wounded, east of Rafah and Jabalia and one of them was seriously wounded, after being directly hit with tear gas canisters while they were offering first aid to and transferring the wounded civilians from the incidents areas, east of Gaza, Khan Yunis and al-Buraij.

Journalists were again directly targeted resulting in the injury of 5 of them (2 in Khan Yunis, 2 in al-Buraij and one in east of Gaza City) as many tear gas canisters fell in the vicinity of the journalists’ encampment in Khuza’ah. As a result, many journalists suffered tear gas inhalation.

The Israeli incitement against the peaceful demonstrations and encampments continues as extension of previous statements by Israeli political and military officials threatening to inflect deaths and injuries among the demonstrators in addition to perceiving the demonstration itself as danger. This hereby violates the right to peaceful assembly codified in all International instruments.

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.

During the reporting period, PCHR’s fieldworkers monitored 10 shooting incidents; 3 in north-western Beit Lahia, 5 in western al-Soudaniya, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip; 1 in western Rafah City; and 1 in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. During the shooting incidents, the Israeli forces damaged a fishing boat engine after they heavily pumped water at it.

As part of targeting the border areas, on 04 May 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, and Johr al-Deek village opened fire and fired flare bombs in the eastern borders. However, no casualties were reported.

On 09 May 2018, a Palestinian farmer was hit with a bullet to the right foot when Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at a group of Palestinian farmers in their agricultural fields near “Nahal Oz” Crossing in eastern Shuja’iyah in eastern Gaza City. The Israeli soldiers also opened fire at the Palestinian farmers who were in their agricultural lands in eastern Bureij in the central Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported.

On the same day, the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire at a border control point belonging to the Palestinian armed groups. The Israeli soldiers opened fire at a similar point in eastern al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported in both incidents.

In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 4 civilians, including a child and a paramedic. On 03 May 2018, the Israeli forces wounded a child with sound bomb shrapnel when they moved into al-‘Issawiyah villae, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem to carry out an arrest campaign.

On 04 May 2018, a paramedic was wounded at the northern entrance to al-Bireh while on 06 May 2018 a civilian was wounded when he was in a petrol station he works in at the entrance to Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. On 08 May 2018, another civilian was wounded when Israeli forces moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin.

On 09 May 2018, 7 demonstrators were wounded; 2 of them with live bullets and 5 with rubber bullets, when Israeli forces moved into Abu Dis village, east of East Jerusalem and dozens of young men and children protested against them, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the soldiers.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 70 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 12 similar ones into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 66 Palestinians, including 12 children; (4 of them were arrested while the Israeli forces were protecting the settlers who attacked Madma village, south of Nablus) in the West Bank. Meanwhile, 34 civilians, including 10 children and a woman, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

In the Gaza Strip, on 08 May 2018, Israeli forces moved into eastern alBureij in the central Gaza Strip, to level lands and set sand barriers in the lands adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel before redeploying along the border fence.

On 09 May 2018, Israeli forces moved 70 meters into the area opposite to Abu Reidah neighborhood, east of Khuza’ah, southeast of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. They leveled along the border fence and repaired the malfunction in the border fence. They then moved to the south along the border fence until they reached opposite to the Return encampment and leveled lands there. They then set new barbed wires replacing those parts removed in the previous demonstrations.

Efforts to Create a Jewish Majority in East Jerusalem:

As part of the Israeli settlement expansion, house demolition notices and demolitions, on 07 May 2018, the family of Rami Yousif ‘Awadallah self-demolished a floor comprised of rooms, a kitchen and bathroom in Qalendia village, north of occupied East Jerusalem upon a decision issued by the Israeli Municipality. The above mentioned civilian established those rooms above his already built house. In the same context, the family of Hasan Shahham self-demolished their warehouses in the above-mentioned village on the same grounds to avoid paying high fines imposed by the Israeli municipality in case its vehicles carried out the demolition.

On the same day, Israeli forces demolished a commercial facility for construction materials in Beit Safafa village, south of East Jeursalem, under the pretext of building without a license. The facility was built on an area of 60 square meters belonged to Ahmed al-‘Abbasi.

On 08 Mary 2018, Israeli municipality vehicles demolished a commercial facility (petrol station) in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of illegal construction. Member of the Local Follow-up Committee said that the Israeli forces moved into the village and demolished the facility belonging to Khalil Mahmoud without having a judicial demolition order. They then arrested the owner after he objected to the demolition saying he has legal papers proving the facility is licensed.

As part of seizure of Palestinian civilians’ property in favor of the settlement associations, on 05 May 2018, “‘Atarit Cohanim” settlement association handed the family of Jawad Abu Sneinah a house eviction order in the central neighborhood in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City, claiming their ownership of the building.

Zuhair al-Rajabi, Head of the Central Neighbourhood Residents Committee, said that a group of Israeli settlers from “Ateret Cohanim” association raided a house belonging to Jawad Abu Suninah, handed his family an eviction order and gave him until 25 June 2018 to implement the order, in addition to paying NIS 19,000 as a rent allowance for 3 years. He added that Abu Suninah Family house is in a 5-storey building, which was sold to the “Ateret Cohanim” association by Jamal Sarhan in August 2015. At that time, all the building was seized, except the apartment where tenant Abu Suninah lived as he refused to leave. Abu Suninah renewed the rent for a year before the building was seized. Al-Rajbi added that Sarhan Family filed a lawsuit against Jamal Sarhan after selling the building in an attempt to return it. al-Sarhan Family clarified that this building belongs to Jamal’s father, so Jamal does not have the right to sell and buy. At that time, the judge delayed issuing a final decision in this case and the building remained for settlers, except Abu Suninah’s apartment.

As part of restrictions imposed on the Jerusalem-based organizations’ work, on 05 May 2018, the Israeli police confiscated equipment used by al-Aqsa Society in an attempt to obstruct an activity organized by the society to clean al-Aqsa Mosque and Islamic Cemeteries in Jeurslem’s Old City. The police searched the Palestinian civilians at al-Aqsa gates and confiscated the equipment provided by the society for the cleaning. Despite all of this, the Palestinian volunteers cleaned al-Aqsa Mosque yards and al-Yousifiyah and al-Rahmah cemeteries in addition al-Makaqsed Cahrity Hospital.

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

As part of the settlement expansion and house demolitions and demolition notices, on 03 May 2018, Israeli forces closed an agricultural road used by Palestinian farmers to access their lands, south of Bethlehem, before detaining them and their vehicles. The Israeli forces also closed with rocks a road leading to al-Shoshhala village, south of al-Khadir village, south of Bethlehem.

On the same day, Israeli forces confiscated a barrack built of tin plates and a 250-square-meter agricultural greenhouse used for selling seedlings and fertilizes, under the pretext of non-licensing in Beit Za’tah area, east of Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. This property belongs to Ramzi Nabil Abed al-Rahman Abu ‘Ayyiash.

On 04 May 2018, the Israeli authorities notified ‘Isaa al-Atrash to stop the construction works in his 120-square-meter house in ‘Ein Jouwaizah area, northeast of the village, under the pretext of non-licensing and aiming at seizing lands and annexing them to the Municipal boundaries of Jerusalem.

On 08 May 2018, the Israeli forces confiscated heavy construction equipment in al-Balou’a area in al-Khadir village, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. They also confiscated a concrete mixer and bulldozer in a residential building in al-Balou’a area.

On 09 May 2018, Israeli forces demolished a 70-square-meter house, which was comprised of 2 rooms and a living room built of tin plates, in Bab al-Sha’ab area. The house belongs to Mahmoud Ibrahim Mohamed Mahmoud, from al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. Mahmoud built the house to live with his wife and two brothers with disabilities after he incurred losses as well shortly before due to the demolition campaign targeting al-‘Issawiyah village.

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property, on 07 May 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar “settlement established in the southern side of Madama village, south of Nablus, attacked under the Israeli forces’ protection Palestinian civilian houses. A number of the village residents then confronted the settlers while the Israeli forces arrested 4 children after chasing them in the area. When A ‘Abeer Mousa Abed al-Kareem Ziyada (39) attempted to rescue her son, the Israeli forces pepper-sprayed her face, so she fell on the ground. ‘Abeer was then taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus to receive medical treatment.

[Photo:  Palestinians at the Gaza border demonstrating on the “right of return” to their land in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel, on April 27, 2017 in Gaza Strip. Photographer: Ali Jadallah/AA]

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