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Friday, 25 March 2016

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (17– 23 March 2016)

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
(17 – 23 March 2016)
Jerusalem – Israeli Forces Demolish Commercial Store Belonging to Khader Ebeidat in al-Mukaber Mount.
Jerusalem – Israeli Forces Demolish Commercial Store Belonging to Khader Ebeidat in al-Mukaber Mount.
  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed in the West Bank.
  • 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded in the Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli forces continued to target the border areas along the Gaza Strip, due to which, a shepherd was wounded.
  • Israeli forces conducted 69 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 limited ones in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • 61 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and a woman, were arrested. Thirty of them, including 2 children and the woman, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces raided the Zakat Committee office in Qabatya and the Arab American University in Jenin.
  • Israeli forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces suspended the financial allocations (national insurance) of 3 Palestinian prisoners, whom were accused of the killing of a settler.
  • 2 underconstruction houses were demolished by Israeli forces and a family was obliged to self-demolish its house.
  • Settlement activities continued in the West Bank.
  • 6 commercial stores in the central market in Beita village, south of Nablus, were demolished.
  • The house of the only eyewitness to the arson attack against Dawabsha family in Douma village, southeast of Nablus, caught fire too.
  • Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea.
  • 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.
  • 5 Palestinian civilians were arrested at military checkpoints.
  • Israeli forces closed Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, north of the Gaza Strip, for Jewish Holidays.

Summary
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (17 – 23 March 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 and 4 others in the Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child. Two of them were killed at “Ariel” settlement intersection, north of Salfit; one was killed at “Gosh Etzion” settlement intersection, south of Bethlehem; while the child was killed at Abu al-Reesh military checkpoint in the centre of Hebron.

Killings committed by Israeli forces in the West Bank were as follows:
On 17 March 2016, Israeli forces opened fire at Ali Taqatqah (19) and Ali Thawabtah (20), both from Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem, who were present at “Ariel” settlement intersection, north of Salfit. As a result, they were immediately killed for alleged stabbing attack against a female settler in that area.
On 18 March 2016, Israeli forces deployed at “Gosh Etzion” settlement intersection, south of Bethlehem, killed Mahmoud Abu Fanouna (21), from Khellet al-Nafisah area, southeast of Hebron. The aforementioned person sustained several bullet wounds and was left bleeding to death for over an hour without being offered first aid. He was then transported by an Israeli military ambulance to an unknown destination. Israeli forces claimed that he attempted to carry out a stabbing.
On 19 March 2016, Israeli forces stationed at Abu al-Reesh military checkpoint at the western entrance to al-Shuhada Street, in central Hebron, killed Abdullah Ajlouni (16), from Jabal Johar area, south of the city. The child was left bleeding to death. Israeli forces claimed that the child was holding a knife and tried to attack an Israeli border Guard officer at the checkpoint. The family stated that their son had been shot with other 20 live bullets throughout his body.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians; 3 of whom had participated in peaceful protests near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and the 4th was wounded when Israeli forces opened fire at the border area.
In the context of targeting border areas along the Gaza Strip, on 18 March 2016, Israeli forces stationed behind a sand barrier at the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Wasim al-‘Emour (18), who was grazing the sheep to the west of the said fence. As a result, he sustained a bullet wound to the left leg and was then taken to the European Gaza Hospital in the city. His wound was moderate.
As part of shooting incidents against peaceful protests, on 18 March 2016, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian youngsters, who headed towards the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Shuja’iya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City. The Palestinian youngsters threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed at the border fence; as a result, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded.
In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip sea, on 19 March 2016, Israeli gunboats stationed off Khan Yunis shore, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire sporadically at Palestinian fishing boats for over an hour. As a result, the fishermen were frightened and sailed back towards the shore, but no casualties were reported.

Incursions:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 79 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 ones in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 61 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and a woman.  Thirty of them, including 2 children and the woman, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
As part of the collective punishment measures taken against Palestinians carrying out attacks against Israelis, on 17 March 2016, Israeli forces moved into al-Jildah area in Hebron. They raided groceries, in which Ameer Jo’ba and Qasem Abu Ouda used to work before they were killed by Israeli forces on 14 March 2016 for a shooting attack at “Givat Kharsina” settlement, east of the city. Israeli forces destroyed the doors and then welded them. They then fixed military order shutting the stores down.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces raided the Arab American University’s campus in al-Zababda village, southeast of Jenin. They then raided the building of the Student Affairs and searched the offices of the student blocs. Moreover, Israeli soldiers confiscated some flags and posters. In addition, Israeli forces raided the central Zakat Committee in Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They destroyed the main gate and confiscated a PC set, a number of printers and some documents relevant to bank accounts and names of families receiving aid from the Committee.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces carried out 3 limited incursions in the north and center of the Gaza Strip. On 21 March 2016, Israeli forces moved about 100 meters to the east of al-Ahmar area, east of Beit Hanoun village, north of the Gaza Strip. On 22 March 2016, they moved about 200 meters into Boret Abu Samrah, north of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip. Besides, on the same day, Israeli military bulldozers moved about 150 meters into the east of al-Salqa Valley, east of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. They levelled lands along the border fence and redeployed later.

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.

Jewish Majority:
In the context of collective punishment measures, on 17 March 2016, 3 families from Sour Baher village, southeast of Jerusalem, received official letters from the Israeli National Insurance Institute informing them that national insurance allocations for their imprisoned sons were suspended. In last January, the Israeli Minister of Interior decided to withdraw the Israeli IDs from the 3 Palestinians, whom were accused by Israeli forces of the killing of a settler by throwing stones at his car in September 2015. It should be noted that the Israeli Home Front Command had issued a decision in February to close and confiscate the houses of the 3 prisoners’ families.
As part of house demolitions, on 21 March 2016, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished the foundation of a building belonging to Sohaib Ja’abees in al-Mukaber Mount village, southeast of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing.
On the same day, Abu Qalbain family was obliged to self-demolish its house in Ras al-Amoud neighbourhood, east of Jerusalem’s Old City, upon an order from the Israeli municipality. Asem Abu Qalbain said that the abovementioned house had been still under-construction.
In the same context, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished on the same day also a house belonging to Ali Abu Soy in Ras al-Amoud neighbourhood, east of Jerusalem’s Old City without warning. The family said it was surprised by the demolition of their under-construction house.

Settlement activities:
On 17 March 2016, Israeli bulldozers demolished 6 commercial stores built of tin plates and a toilet that were located at the western entrance to Beita vllage, south of Nablus. Israeli forces surrounded the central market, after which, the bulldozers started demolitions under the pretext of non-licensing.
Concerning settler attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 20 March 2016, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the bedroom of Ibrahim Dawabsha (23) in Douma village, southeast of Nablu, while he and his wife Yaqin Dawabsha (20) were asleep. Their house is close to the house of Sa’d Dawabsha, whom along with his wife and baby were killed due to an arson attack by settlers on 31 July 2015. As a result, the house was set on fire and Ibrahim and his wife suffered smoke inhalation before they could get out of the house. A finger is pointed at the settlers regarding this arson attack, because Ibrahim is the only eyewitness of the previous arson against Dawabsha family.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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