Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against the State of Palestine

PCHR Weekly Report: 4 wounded, 30 abducted by Israeli troops this week

author Friday March 29, 2013 02:33author by PCHR Gaza
 
FULL REPORT

In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 21- 27 March 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protests in the West Bank. 4 protesters were wounded in the center and south of the West Bank, including a Norwegian human rights defender and a Palestinian one.

Trucks stopped at Beit Hanoun crossing, which was closed by Israeli forces this week (PCHR photo)
Trucks stopped at Beit Hanoun crossing, which was closed by Israeli forces this week (PCHR photo)
In addition, Israeli forces conducted 37 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. 26 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children, were abducted in the West Bank, and a Palestinian child was abducted while attempting to cross the borders into Israel in the Gaza Strip. 3 Palestinian children were abducted at checkpoints.

The Israeli forces closed Karm Abu Salem and Beit Hanoun (Eirez) crossings into the Gaza Strip for seven consecutive days.

Israeli attacks in the West Bank:

During the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 4 protestors, including a Norwegian human rights defender and member of the board of directors of Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center, in the West Bank.

During the reporting period, the Israeli forces continued to systematically use excessive force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinians and Israeli and international activists against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank and other protests in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in the Israeli jails. As a result, dozens of protesters suffered from tear gas inhalation and other sustained bruises.

During the reporting period, the Israeli forces conducted at least 37 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, the Israeli forces abducted at least 26 Palestinians, including 6 children. In one example of this week’s 37 incursions, on Wednesday, 27 March 2012, at approximately 01:00, the Israeli forces moved into Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and abducted 3 civilians affiliated with Hamas movement and a Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member.

The Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.

The Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank.

Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:

The Israeli forces have continued to attack the Palestinian fishermen in the sea. Israeli forces fired at Palestinian fishing boats, but no casualties were reported. The Israeli forces reduced the allowed fishing area to 3 nautical miles. PCHR’s fieldworkers documented 4 shooting incidents on Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing 3 nautical miles off al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the north of the Gaza Strip. As a result of the attacks, the fishermen were obliged to flee back to the shore fearing of being wounded or abducted. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

It should be noted that on Thursday, 21 March 2013, the Israeli forces announced reducing the allowed fishing area from 6 to 3 nautical miles. Israel had allowed the Palestinian fishermen to sail 6 nautical miles off the Gaza Strip’s shore following the cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel last November.

In the Gaza Strip, on 24 March 2013, the Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of al-Musaddar village to east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, abducted Zeyad Sami Abu Ghuraba, 17, from al-Mussader village, when he attempted to cross the border into Israel.

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to chase the Palestinian fishermen in the sea. PCHR’s fieldworkers documented 4 shooting incidents on Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing 3 nautical miles off al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the north of the Gaza Strip. As a result of the attacks, the fishermen were obliged to flee back to the shore fearing of being wounded or abducted. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

It should be noted that on Thursday, 21 March 2013, the Israeli forces announced reducing the allowed fishing area from 6 to 3 nautical miles. Israel allowed the Palestinian fishermen to sail 6 nautical miles off the Gaza Strip’s shore following the cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel last November.

The illegal Israeli-imposed closure of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. The illegal closure has caused not only a humanitarian crisis, but a crisis of human rights and human dignity for the population of the Gaza Strip. Recently-declared measures to ease the closure are vague, purely cosmetic and fail to deal with the root causes of the crisis; the root causes can only be addressed by an immediate and complete lifting of the closure, including lifting the travel ban into and out of the Gaza Strip and the ban on exports. Palestinians in Gaza may no longer suffer from the same shortage of goods but, as long as the closure is allowed to continue, they will remain economically dependent, unable to care for themselves, and socially, culturally and academically isolated from the rest of the world.

During the reporting period, the Israeli forces completely closed the commercial border crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel. They closed Karm Abu Salem crossing from Sunday, 24 March 2013 – Wednesday, 27 March 2013, because of the Jewish holidays. This closure negatively affected the entry of goods, construction materials and medical consignments in the Gaza Strip. It also had a negative impact on the living conditions of the Palestinian civilians. The Israeli forces also imposed comprehensive security restrictions due to the Jewish Holiday of Passover. As a result, dozens of thousands of Palestinian workers were denied access to their work in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem. Moreover, the Palestinian traders were denied access to Israel and/or travel via the border crossings between the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Israeli settlement activities:

The Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

On 21 March 2013, dozens of settlers, coming from a number of settlement outposts established in the center of the old city of Hebron in the center of the town, erected big tents and amusement park games in the Ibrahimi Mosque’s garden in the center of the old city, for celebrations of the Jewish holiday, Passover.

On the same day, Israeli forces started bulldozing tracts of land of approximately 550 dunums in area, belonging to members of Salah family in Batten al-Ma’si area, southern of al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. The Israeli forces issued a decision two months ago ordering that 114 settlement units be built in the area in order to expand “Tel Hitamar” settlement outpost, established on lands of al-Khader village.

On 22 March 2013, Israeli forces issued a decision confiscating approximately 3 dunums of the lands of al-Jalama village, northern Jenin, approximate to the commercial crossing between the West Bank and Israel, under pretext of expanding the crossing and also for security necessities. The land is the property of Saleh Abu-Farha.

On 23 March 2013, Israeli forces, accompanied by military vehicles, raided the agricultural lands surrounding “Susiya” settlement, established on Palestinian civilians’ lands eastern of Yatta, southern of Hebron. The soldiers were deployed in the area and banned Palestinian farmers from accessing their lands under pretext that these areas are closed military zones. The Israeli forces assaulted Palestinian civilians after they refused to leave their lands, and abducted one of them.

On the same day, a number of settlers from “Havat Gilad” settlement outpost, established on Palestinian civilians’ lands western of Nablus, gathered by Nablus – Qalqilya road. The settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles as they were passing by the aforementioned road.

On Sunday, 24 March 2013, dozens of settlers, coming from a number of settlement outposts established in the center of the old city of Hebron, central Hebron, raised Israeli flags on historical monuments and ancient ruins in the old city as well as al-Sahla, al-Shuhada Street and the Ibrahimi Mosque’s playground.

On Sunday, 24 March 2013, the Israeli authorities issued a military decision ordering that dozens of dunums in Kherbat al-Dair area, southwestern of Bethlehem, be confiscated. The goal of the confiscation of these lands is for the construction of 70 new housing units, in order to link “Betar Illit” settlement, established on lands of Housan, Nahalin and Foukein valley villages, to “Jfot” settlement, which would lead to an almost comprehensive closure of the village, depriving dozens of families from accessing their agricultural lands in Kherbat al-Dair area.

On 26 March 2013, the Israeli forces prohibited Palestinian civilians from reconstructing the eastern entrance to Yatta village, south of Hebron, which is linked to bypass road (60), under pretext that it falls under area (C) which goes under Israeli jurisdiction according to the Oslo Accords of 1993 and it is forbidden to make any changes in these areas without obtaining prior permission from the concerned Israeli authorities.

Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:

Following the Friday Prayer on 22 March 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Bil’ein village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the annexation wall and in solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike inside Israeli jails. The demonstration was held in commemoration of Mohammed ‘Assfour, who had died of his wounds, sustained on 22 January 2013 in the clashes between Palestinian civilians and the Israeli forces at the eastern entrance of ‘Aboud village, on 07 March 2013. The demonstrators marched in the streets of the village, chanting slogans calling for national unity. The protesters aimed to stress the need to adhere to national principles and the right of return, to resist the occupation and to call for the release of all Palestinian prisoners. The protesters raised Palestinian flags and pictures of prisoners and made their way towards the lands adjacent to the annexation wall. The Israeli forces closed all ways and entrances to the village since early morning hours, to prevent Palestinians, journalists and international activists from joining the protest. The protesters raised Palestinian flags and made their way towards the wall. They called through megaphones for Israeli settlers in “Mitityahu” settlement to leave Palestinian land. Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, Norwegian solidarity activist, Harold Hawka, 64, was hit by a tear gas canister to the right leg, and dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.

Also following the Friday Prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The demonstrators moved towards areas of the annexation wall. Immediately, Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.

Around the same time on Friday, 22 March 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders gathered in the Martyrs Square in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, to organize a weekly peaceful protest against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities and in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails. The protesters walked towards the gate erected by Israeli forces near the entrance of the village, which leads to Palestinian lands that Israeli settlers from the nearby “Halmish” settlement are trying to seize. Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.

Following the Friday Prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians from ‘Aboud village, international and Israeli human rights gathered in the center of ‘Aboud village, northwest of Ramallah, for a demonstration in protest to the construction of the wall, settlement activity and in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike inside Israeli jails. The demonstrators marched in the streets of the village, raised the flag of Palestine and headed towards the western entrance of the village, approximate to the annexation wall. The demonstrators threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli forces, who were deployed at the entrance of the village and across the adjacent settlers street. In response, the forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators, sprinkled them with waste water and chased them inside of the village. As a result, two Palestinian civilians sustained wounds, and others suffered tear gas inhalation; others sustained bruises. The wounds’ of the two civilians were as follows: the first, a 25-year-old civilian sustained a bullet wound to the chest; and the second, a 31-year-old civilian sustained three bullet wounds in both legs.

At approximately 12:15 on Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in the center of Kufor Kadoum village, northeast of Qalqilya, in protest to the continuous closure of the eastern entrance of the village since the outbreak of al-Aqsa Intifada. The demonstrators chanted against the occupation and raised flags before the Israeli forces, who unusually, did not fire any sound bombs or tear gas canisters. The demonstrators found a number of ambushes set by the Israeli forces to arrest them, as a number of Israeli soldiers hid behind bushes and between houses. The demonstration ended at approximately 14:00; no abductions were reported.

At approximately 13:00 on Thursday, 22 March 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians, activists of the Popular Committees against Settlement Activity and the Hebron Defense Committee and international human rights activists gathered in al-Haraiek area, southeast of Hebron, for a peaceful demonstration calling for opening the route linking Hebron to it southern villages, which has been closed for the past 12 years. These villages are, al-Rayhia, al-Thaheria, Doura and al-Fawar Refugee Camp. Upon their arrival to the steel gate which closes the road leading to bypass road (60), the Israeli forces surrounded the area and declared it a closed military zone, ordering the demonstrators to leave immediately. The soldiers fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstration. A number of protesters fainted as a result of tear gas inhalation. As a result, Amin Abdel-Majid Ahmed al-Bayed, 50, was hit by a tear gas canister to the right side of his face; the canister was shot by an Israeli soldier from a distance of less than 30 meters, this resulted in damaging the bones of his jaw. Mr. al-Bayed was evacuated al-Ahly Hospital in Hebron where he underwent three surgeries, it should also be mentioned that he is a board member of Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC). In his testimony to a PCHR fieldworker, Mr. al-Bayed said, “We went to al-Haraiek area to participate in the weekly demonstration demanding that the routes, closed by cement blocks and steel gates, be opened. We were surprised to find a large unit of the Israel forces stationed in the area. These forces started to fire tear gas canisters and sound bombs indiscriminately at us and the civilian houses in the area. In the meantime, I was standing close to the scene and an Israeli soldier was standing less than 30 meters from me. When I looked at him, he fired a tear gas canister directly at me and it hit me in the jaw and I fell to the ground. I was taken via a private car to al-Ahly Hospital in Hebron for treatment, where I underwent three surgeries because I sustained damages to the arteries and the jaw bones.”

At noon on Friday, 22 March 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians and dozens of prisoners’ families demonstrated in front of “Ofer” prison, southwest of Ramallah, in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. The demonstration moved towards the prison gate. The Israeli forces closed the gate before the demonstrators could enter and started shooting live fire, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises after being severely beaten.

Also following the Friday Prayer, dozens of Palestinian boys and teenagers gathered near the annexation wall, established on the southern side of Beit Loqia village, southwest of Ramallah. The demonstrators threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind the wall, who in response fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them and chased them across the olive fields. As a result, a number of Palestinian civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation; others sustained bruises.

Following the Friday Prayer on 15 March 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in Um Rokba area, at the southwestern entrance of al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, for a demonstration in solidarity with the prisoners inside Israeli prisons. The demonstrators set fire to rubber tires and threw stones at the Israeli forces stationed at the aforementioned entrance. Immediately, the Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstration and civilian houses; as a result, some fainted due to tear gas inhalation. Also, Israeli soldiers used the roofs of a number of civilian houses in the area as military watchtowers.

Recommendations to the international community:

Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the international community act in order to stop all Israeli settlement expansion activities in the West Bank through imposing sanctions on Israeli settlements and criminalizing trading with them.

The PCHR calls upon the UN General Assembly to transfer the Goldstone Report to the UN Security Council in order to refer it to the International Criminal Court in accordance with Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
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