PCHR Weekly Report: 2 civilians killed, 6 wounded, 41 abducted by Israeli troops this week
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 28 Mar. to 03 Apr. 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians and wounded a third one in Anabta village, east of Tulkarem. Two youth were wounded during an incursion into Hebron.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, in an excessive use of lethal force, the Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians and wounded a third one in Anabta village, east of Tulkarem. This happened when the Israeli forces stationed at Annab checkpoint, east of the said village, opened fire at a group of boys protesting in the vicinity of the checkpoint.
On 29 March 2013, an 18-year-old boy was wounded by a bullet to the right leg and another 13-year-old child was wounded by a bullet to the right side of his head when an Israeli infantry unit moved into the center of Hebron.
During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 65 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. 30 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a woman, were abducted.
The Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. 5 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were abducted at checkpoints.
During peaceful protests organized in the West Bank, the Israeli forces abducted 6 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and Abdul Hafiz al-Hashlamoun, a photojournalist at the European agency. However, they were all released later.
Israeli has continued its efforts to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem. A Jerusalemite was obliged to demolish a room attached to his house.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to fire at the Palestinian fishing boats in order to minimize the allowed fishing area to 3 nautical miles instead of 6 nautical miles. Moreover, the Gaza Strip witnessed 2 airstrikes on an agricultural facility and an open land.
PCHR’s fieldworkers documented 2 shooting incidents on 28 and 30 March 2013 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 forced 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 declared minimizing the allowed fishing area from 6 to 3 nautical miles, as the Israeli forces allowed fishermen to sail up to 6 nautical miles following the cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel in November 2012.
Additionally, 2 airstrikes were launched on Gaza City and the north of the Gaza Strip targeting an open land, a green house and a water well. No casualties were reported, but the residents of the 2 areas were frightened as a result.
Israel has continued to impose a total closure and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world. During the reporting period, the border crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel were completely closed for 4 days.
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 Thursday, 28 March 2013, a group of settlers, under the protection of the Israeli forces and military vehicles, raided the lands of Palestinian civilians from Silat al-Thaher village, southern of Jenin, where the evacuated “Homesh” settlement was established. According to local sources, dozens of settlers arrived at the scene in a number of buses, accompanied by large units of the Israeli forces, where they practiced some Talmudic rituals before withdrawing from the scene; no other incidents were reported.
On Friday, 29 March 2013, dozens of settlers coming from “Daniel” settlement outpost established southern of al-Khader village, southern of Bethlehem, uprooted 200 olive seedlings from al-Mustafy area, adjacent to the settlement outpost. The attacked land is the property of a 65 year old man.
On Sunday, 31 March 2013, approximately 230 settlers, some of them armed, from “Efrat” and “Gush Etzion” settlements, southern of Bethlehem, raided Solomon pools area, western of Artas village, southwestern of the city. The settlers performed some Talmudic rituals in the area, under the protection of Israeli forces. Before withdrawing, the settlers threatened that they will come back to the area on daily basis.
On Sunday, a group of settlers from “Yitzhar” settlement, established on Palestinian civilians’ lands southern of Nablus, threw stones at school buses boarding students from Ramon School for Girls while on their way back to the village, northeastern of Qalqilya, from a fieldtrip to the city. As a result, an 11-year-old girl sustained cuts in the right side of her face after a stone hit her in the face. Also, many others sustained scratches because of the scattered glass.
On Monday, 01 April 2013, a group of settlers from “Ovijal” settlement , established on Palestinian lands eastern of Yatta, southern of Hebron, attacked Palestinian farmers and shepherds in Um al-‘Arayes area, eastern of the city. As a result, a 45-year old farmer sustained minor bruises after he fell while the settlers were chasing the farmers.
Also on Monday, a group of settlers from “Mitzpe Yair” and “Ovijal” settlements, established on Palestinian lands in Be’r al-Ad area, eastern of Yatta, attacked shepherds of al-Nawa’ja family and beat them. The Israeli forces intervened when the shepherds attempted to defend themselves and abducted a 55-year old shepherd) and transported him to an unknown destination.
On Tuesday, 02 April 2013, dozens of settlers from “Havat Maon” settlement, established on Palestinian lands eastern of Yatta, attacked Palestinian farmers while in their farms, eastern of al-Twana village and addressed them with profane language and anti-Islam slogans. The settlers expelled the farmers and shepherds from the area, under the protection of the Israeli forces.
Also on Tuesday, a number of settlers from “Maon” settlement, established on Palestinian lands southern of Yatta, raided the farmlands in al-Hamra area, eastern of Yatta and burned a number of olive trees belonging to a 45-year old farmer.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
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. As a result, Tommy, 70, an Irish journalist, was wounded by a bullet to the right hand in al-Nabi Saleh protest, northeast of Ramallah. Besides, a protestor was hit by a gas canister to the pelvis in Kofur Qaddoum protest, northeast of Qalqilia. Dozens of protesters also suffered from tear gas inhalation and other sustained bruises.
In the same context, the Palestinian civilians organized many peaceful protests in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, especially those on hunger strike. Other protests were organized to mark the 37 anniversary of the Land Day. Further, many protest were organized following the death of the Palestinian prisoner Maysara Abu Hamdiya, who suffered from cancer, at Soroka hospital in Beersheba in Israel. The Israeli forces used excessive force, as a result, a 20-year-old young man was wounded by a bullet to the right leg. Besides, many civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
On Wednesday April 3rd, Israeli forces attacked residents of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, during the funeral procession of a person to a nearby cemetery near the bypass road (60). The Israeli forces fired sound bombs and gas canisters, due to which, many persons suffered from tear gas inhalation. Following the funeral, a number of boys gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli forces stationed at the entrance of the village. The Israeli forces in response fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, some gas canisters fell into a house and a store.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of attacks this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the international community and the United Nations use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination, through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
The PCHR calls upon the United Nations to provide international protection to Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and to ensure the non-recurrence of aggression against the Occupied Palestinian Territories, especially the Gaza Strip.
For the full text of the report, click on the link