In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 03- 09 October 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded in the northern and central West Bank. In addition, 4 Palestinian civilians, including a reporter of Palestine TV were wounded during Bil’in weekly protest.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 51 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank this week, during which they abducted at least 41 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 7 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank. Four of them, including reporter of Palestine TV, were wounded during Bil’in weekly protest, west of Ramallah, while the 5th one was wounded when Israeli forces moved into al-Bireh town in the centre of the West Bank. The child was wounded when Israeli forces moved into Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus, and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters into Beit Dajan high school for girls. The 7th person was wounded when Israeli forces moved into Jenin.
On 05 October 2013, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when Israeli forces moved into al-Bireh. Some boys gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers who fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters in response. As a result, the civilian was wounded by a bullet to the back of his head and others suffered tear gas inhalation.
On 08 October 2013, a child was hit by a sound bomb in the hand when Israeli forces moved into Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus. Israeli forces stationed around the village’s school and fired sound bombs into the school yards.
On the same day, a civilian (23) was hit by a gas canister in the left leg when Israeli forces moved into Jenin.
Israeli forces maltreated a family in Hebron and attacked a number of civilians in Burin village, south of Nablus.
Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. At least 6 Palestinian civilians were abducted at checkpoints in the West Bank.
In one example of this week’s 51 incursions, on Friday, 04 October 2013, at approximately 00:00, Israeli forces moved into Khellet Hadour in the centre of the Old Town of Hebron. They patrolled the streets and stationed near the building of Hebron Rehabilitation Committee. They also raided a 5-storey building belonging to the family of al-Syouri. They searched the house and damaged its content. Moreover, Israeli forces damaged the doors and kept the occupants of the house outdoors for 5 hours. They abducted Isma’il Salim al-Syouri (34) and Basem Salim al-Syouri (36).
Hazem al-Syouri (55) said to PCHR’s fieldworker: “I live with my mother and brothers in a 5-storey building in the centre of the Old Town in Hebron. At approximately 00:00 on Thursday, 03 October 2013, I woke up as I heard knocks on the front door. I opened my apartment’s door, which overlooks the yard and found a number of Israeli soldiers trying to open the gate from inside while other soldiers were doing the same from outside. I realised then that some soldiers had jumped over the wall. I tried to talk to them but they did not listen to me. In the meantime, Israeli forces raided my apartment while I was trying to open gate that got stuck because they hit it from outside. A large number of Israeli soldiers raided the yard after the gate was open. They deployed in my apartment while other soldiers climbed the stairs leading to other apartments belonging to my brothers and mother. The soldiers were yelling and ordered me to go out. In the meantime, Israeli soldiers raided the whole building. They forced my mother, brothers and children, who were asleep, to go out as well. They kept searching the house until 04:30. We heard the sounds of smashing glass and destroying doors. Children were crying all the time. When I tried to talk to the Israeli soldiers to allow me in, a soldier pushed me away and prevented me from talking to them, during which, two female soldiers arrived. Israeli soldiers ordered women and children to get inside to be personally searched with the metal detector. Furthermore, an Israeli soldier searched my niece Joud (17 months) and took all her clothes off. As a result, my mother fainted. At approximately 04:00, Israeli soldiers took my 2 brothers Isma’il (34) and Basem (36) to the street, handcuffed them and made them stop by the military vehicles. Israeli forces withdrew later, so I went home and saw heavy damage. The Israeli soldiers destroyed the doors and electric appliances, damaged the furniture and closets, mixed the foodstuffs in the kitchen together and took off some of the building bricks on the roof. The damage caused to my brothers’ apartments and mine are above NIS 100,000.”
Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces carried out 3 limited incursions. Two incursions were carried out on 03 October 2013 in the central and southern Gaza Strip. They levelled lands along the border fence and withdrew later. Neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence opened fire thrice in the northern Gaza Strip. On 07 October 2013, Israeli forces stationed north of the landfill, north of Beit Hanoun, opened fire at an open area. On 08 October 2013, Israeli forces stationed in the east of Beit Hanoun opened fire at open area as well. On 09 October 2013, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers. As a result, the farmers fled for fear of being wounded. Neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the oPt and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces have continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. This week, Israeli forces issued notices to demolish houses, and Israeli settlers damaged 189 olive trees in the West Bank.
On 03 October 2013, Israeli forces handed residents of Kherbet Safi al-Fouqa, east of Yatta, south of Hebron, a notice to halt work in solar power cells that would provide the Palestinian families living in that area with power. The notice was given to them under the pretext the solar power cells were being installed without a prior permit from the Israeli Civil Administration. It should be noted this area is threatened to be evacuated, as it is located in area (918), which is a military training zone according to the Israeli Ministry of Defence.
On the same day, a group of Israeli settlers from “Mitzpe Yair” settlement, east of Yatta, south of Hebron, damaged 45 olive trees in Khellet ‘Azeiwah, near Kherbet Qweiwis, east of Hebron.
On 04 October 2013, Israeli settlers attacked a vehicle belonging to Abdul Rahman Awad, from Jama’in village, southwest of Nablus, while the vehicle was parking in Hara’eq al-’Awil area.
On 05 October 2013, Israeli forces handed the family of Ayman Jamil Mahdawi (28) in Shweika suburb, north of Tulkarm, a notice to halt construction works in their 150-square-meter house under the pretext it is close to the annexation wall.
On the same day also, settlers from “Shavei Shomron” settlement damaged 120 olive trees and stole the olives from Deir Sharaf village, northwest of Nablus. The trees belong to Yasser Abdul Rahman Faqha, Sedqi Abdul Ghani Faqha, Mostafa Mer’i Faqha and Mostafa Ibrahim Faqha.
On the same day, a group of settlers from “Beit Eil” settlement, attacked Palestinian houses in the agricultural area, south of Doura al-Qare’, northeast of Ramallah. They also threw stones at the houses.
On 06 October 2013, a group of settlers from “Niria” settlement, northwest of Ramallah, damaged 12 fruitful olive trees in al-Nabi ‘Anir area, north of the village. The trees belong to the family of Azmi Saleh Samhan (37).
On 08 October 2013, a group of settlers from “Kerot Shomron” settlement, east of Qalqilia, attacked lands in Kofur Laqef. They cut 12 olive trees with electric saws. The olive trees belong to Suleiman Saleh Jaber, from the said village.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces continued the systematic use of excessive force against peaceful protests organised by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 4 civilians, including a journalist, were wounded during Bil’in weekly protest, dozens suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Following the Friday prayer, 04 October 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Bil’in village, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities and marking the 13th anniversary of the al-Aqsa Intifada. The demonstrators raised the Palestinian flag and made their way towards the annexation wall. Israeli forces closed the wall gate with barbwire and when the demonstrators attempted to access the lands behind the barbwire, they were stopped by Israeli soldiers. The demonstrators threw stones at the Israeli soldiers who responded with live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters, and chased them across olive fields as far as the outskirts of the village. As a result, 4 civilians, including a journalist, were wounded. Moreover, dozens of protestors suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises. The first (45) was hit by a gas canister to the right leg, the second (23) was wounded by a bullet to the back, the third (19) was wounded by a bullet to the upper part of the left thigh and Ali Dar Ali (29), reporter of Palestine TV, was hit by a gas canister to the right leg.
Also following the Friday Prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The demonstrators made their way towards the annexation wall. Israeli forces closed the wall gate with barbwire and, when the demonstrators attempted to access the lands behind the barbwire, they were stopped by Israeli soldiers. The demonstrators threw stones at the Israeli soldiers who responded with live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters, and chased them across olive fields as far as the outskirts of the village. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Around the same time on Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians, Israeli and international human rights activists gathered at the Martyrs Square in al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, to hold a weekly peaceful protest against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The protesters walked towards Palestinian lands that Israeli settlers from the nearby “Halmish” settlement are trying to seize. From the morning, Israeli forces had closed all entrances to the village to prevent Palestinians, international activists, and journalists from joining the demonstration. Upon their arrival in the area, Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters, chased the demonstrators into the village and sprayed them and civilian houses with waste water. As a result, dozens of Palestinians suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
At approximately 12:30, dozens of Palestinian civilians from Kofur Qaddoum, northeast of Qalqilia, and international activists gathered and made their way through the eastern entrance of the village in protest at closing that entrance with an iron gate since the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada. Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters indiscriminately. As a result, dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday prayer, dozens of civilians from al-Ma’sarah village, south of Bethlehem, and a number of international activists and popular resistance activists organized a peaceful protest against settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall. They gathered in front of al-Shomou’ cultural centre in the centre of the village and made their way through the village streets raising the Palestinian flag. When they approached the annexation wall, Israeli forces fired sound bombs to disperse them. As a result, dozens of protestors suffered tear gas inhalation.
Around the same time on Friday, 04 October 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in front of Ofer Prison, southwest of Ramallah. The demonstrators headed towards the gate of the prison before Israeli forces closed it and fired live bullets, rubber coated-metal bullets and sound bombs at them. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces abducted Jamal Hosni Hreish (12), when he was in front of his house and took him to Ofer Prison, south of the village. However, he was released 2 hours later.
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 Palestinian leadership to sign and accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Geneva Conventions, and calls upon the international community, especially the United Nations, to encourage the State of Palestine to accede to international human rights law and humanitarian law instruments. In addition, the PCHR called on States that apply the principle of universal jurisdiction not to surrender to Israeli pressure to limit universal jurisdiction to perpetuate the impunity enjoyed by suspected Israeli war criminals.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: