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Friday, 26 February 2016

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (18- 24 February 2016)


Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
(18 – 24 February 2016)
 Hebron: Masalmah Family in Front of their House Demolished by Israeli Forces in Tarousa Village



Hebron: Masalmah Family in Front of their House Demolished by Israeli Forces in Tarousa Village

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed in the West Bank. One of them was killed in occupied Jerusalem.
  • 21 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children and a photojournalist, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli forces continued to target the border areas along the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
  • House demolitions continued on grounds of collective punishment.
  • 2 houses in Tarousa and Deir Samet villages in Hebron were demolished.
  • Israeli forces conducted 75 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • 86 Palestinian civilians, including 19 children, were arrested.
  • 19 of them, including 12 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem; while 13 others, including a child, were arrested during their participation in peaceful protests.
  • Settlement activities continued in the West Bank.
  • Israeli forces issued more house demolition notices in the southern West Bank.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 9th
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 7 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and a young woman, were arrested at military checkpoints.
  • Israeli forces banned journalist Mohammed Fayadh from traveling via Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing to the West Bank.

Summary
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (18 – 24 February 2016).

Shooting:

Israeli forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank; one of whom was killed in occupied Jerusalem. Moreover, they wounded 21 civilians, including a child and a photojournalist. Eighteen of them, including 5 children, were wounded in the West Bank, while 3 others, including a child, were wounded in the Gaza Strip. Concerning the nature of injuries, 18 civilians were hit with live bullets, 2 others were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets and a photojournalist was hit with a sound bomb.

In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 18 others, including 5 children and a photojournalist. Sixteen of them were hit with live bullets, one was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet and the photojournalist was hit with a sound bomb.

Killings committed by Israeli forces in the West Bank were as follows:

On 19 February 2016, in employment of lethal force, Israeli forces killed Mohammed Abu Khalaf (20), from Kufor Aqeb village, north of occupied Jerusalem. The aforementioned person was killed at al-Amoud Gate, the northern entrance to the Old City, when Israeli Border Guard officers fired over 50 bullets at him. Even according to the Israeli story, Israeli forces could have used less force and arrested him. The Israeli police stated that a Palestinian young man hurried towards a police officer and stabbed him in the head, but to the wound was minor. While the young man was fighting with another police officer, Israeli soldiers shot him dead.

On the same day, Israeli forces killed Khaled Taqatqah (21) while participating in a protest in solidarity with journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq, who is on a hunger strike. The protest was organized at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. Taqatqah was hit with 2 live bullets to the chest, after which Israeli forces beat him up, dragged and handcuffed him. In addition, they prevented the Palestinian medical crews from offering him first aid. The aforementioned person was left like that for half an hour until a Magen David Adom’s (MDA) ambulance arrived and took him to Hadassa-Ein Karem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 17:30.

Also on the same day, Israeli forces killed Abed Hamed (19), from Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah.  They opened fire at him after he ran over a number of Israeli soldiers, who were opening fire at Palestinian protestors at the western entrance to the village. An eyewitness said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli MDA crew arrived at the scene and offered medical assistance to the soldiers, but left the Palestinian wounded person bleeding for about an hour, after which he passed away.

On 21 February 2016, in employment of lethal force, Israeli forces stationed in their military site at the intersection of Beita village, south of Nablus, killed Qusai Abu al-Rub (16), from Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They claimed that he was holding a knife and heading towards Israeli soldiers that shot him dead even before he approached them. PCHR’s investigations highlights that Israeli forces could have used less force and arrested him, especially as the military site is fortified with cement cubes.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, during their participation in protests organized adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, northwest of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip.

In the context of targeting border areas along the Gaza Strip, on 20 February 2016, Israeli forces stationed at the said fence, east of al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian farmers on their lands. Similar attack recurred on 23 February 2016, but no casualties were reported among farmers.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 75 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 9 ones in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 86 Palestinian civilians, including 19 children.  Nineteen of them, including 12 children, were arrested in East Jerusalem and its suburbs, while 13 others, including a child, were arrested in peaceful prtests.

During the reporting period, Israeli forces cordoned Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin, following the killing of Qusai Abu al-Rub (16), near Beit village, south of Nablus, whom was accused of carrying out a stabbing attack against Israeli soldiers. Nablus and its suburbs and refugee camps witnessed a wide-scale military operation that is the largest in Nablus in years. In the operation, large numbers of infantry soldiers and Intelligence officers were involved.

In the Gaza Strip, on 18 February 2016, Israeli forces conducted a limited incursion in the east of al-Qararah village, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip. They levelled lands and dug some area, after which, they were re-deployed behind the border fence.

House demolitions on grounds of collective punishment

In the context of house demolitions on grounds of collective punishment, on 23 February 2016, Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to prisoner Ra’ed Mahmoud Khalil (36), in Tarousa village, west of Doura, southwest of Hebron. It should be noted that Khalil is accused of carrying out a stabbing in Tel Aviv in Israel on 19 November 2015, which resulted in the killing of 2 Israelis.

Around the same time, Israeli forces demolished an apartment belonging to the family of prisoner Mohammed al-Hroub (21), from Deir Samet village, southwest of Doura. It should be mentioned that Israeli forces accused the aforementioned person of opened fire at “Gosh Etzion” settlement’ intersection on 19 November 2015, which resulted in the killing of 2 Israelis.

Restrictions on movement:

Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 1.8 million people.  The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy.  They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 38.8%, 21.1% of which suffer from extreme poverty. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 44%, which reflects the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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