In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 29 Nov.- 05 Dec 2012, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli Forces killed a Palestinian civilian in the southern Gaza Strip. In addition, a member of a Palestinian armed group died of wounds he had sustained in the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Forces also killed a Palestinian civilian in the east of Tulkarem.
Mosque demolished by Israeli forces this week in Hebron (PCHR photo)
In the Gaza Strip, on 30 November 2012, the Israeli Forces killed a Palestinian civilian in the east of al-Shouka village, east of Rafah. The abovementioned civilian was killed when the Israeli soldiers along the border fence to the east of Rafah opened fire at dozens of Palestinians. As a result, a civilian was wounded by a bullet to the pelvis and was transported to Abu Yusef al-Najjar hospital. Due to his serious injury, he was transported to Gaza European hospital in Khan Yunis. However, he was pronounced dead on Saturday morning, 01 December 2012.
On 29 November 2012, medical sources in al-Salam hospital in Egypt pronounced declared that Husam al-Hams, 36, died of serious wounds he had sustained during the latest Israeli offensive on Gaza, when an Israeli warplane launched a missile at 2 members of an armed group near a playground, west of Rafah. As a result of that attack, one of them was immediately killed and al-Hams was seriously wounded.
During the reporting period, the Israeli Forces wounded 14 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, along the border fence while they were near the fence to challenge the Israeli decision to impose a buffer zone in the area.
On 29 November 2012, a 17-year-old boy was wounded when the Israeli Forces stationed along the border fence in the east of Beit Hanoun opened fire at group of Palestinian civilians and farmers near the fence.
On 30 November 2012, 10 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded when the Israeli Forces stationed along the border fence opened fire at them.
On 01 December 2012, 3 civilians were wounded when the Israeli Forces along the border fence opened fire at them.
On 03 December 2012, a Palestinian child was wounded when the Israeli Forces along the border fence opened fire at him in the east of al-Bureij refugee camp.
In the context of other shooting incidents, the Israeli Forces stationed along the border fence in the east of Beit Hanoun and Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian civilians and farmers, who headed to the border area to challenge the Israeli decision to impose a 300-meter buffer zone along the borders. It should be noted that hundreds of Palestinian farmers have been denied access to their lands in the mentioned area. These farmers decided to go to the border area in light of the announcement of the cease-fire agreement between Israeli and the Palestinian resistance groups.
In the context of targeting fishermen in the Gaza Strip, on 29 November 2012, the Israeli gunboats stationed off Beit Lahia shore in the northern Gaza Strip intercepted a fishing boat boarded by 6 fishermen, including a child, which was 5 nautical miles off the shore. The Israeli Forces abducted and questioned the 6 fishermen on board the gunboat.
On 01 December 2012, the Israeli gunboats surrounded and opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat that was 3 nautical miles off Gaza City shore. They abducted 5 fishermen, including 2 children, and transported them to Ashdod Port, where they were questioned and then released.
On the same day, an Israeli gunboat attacked 2 fishing boats 2.5 nautical miles off the shore. The Israeli naval forces opened fire at the 2 boats and damaged the engine of one of them. None fishermen on board fishing boat were abducted and transported to Ashdod Port for questioning. Moreover, the 2 boats were kept in custody.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli Forces conducted 47 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and abducted 34 Palestinians, including 2 children and a woman with her son, in the West Bank.
In the West Bank, on 03 December 2012, the Israeli Forces killed a Palestinian civilian when his car hit an Israeli military jeep on Nablus-Ramallah road.
On 01 December 2012, a Palestinian child was wounded when the Israeli Forces moved into Dora village, southwest of Hebron, amidst firing sound bombs.
In the same context, the Israeli Forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders. As a result, dozens of Palestinians were wounded, suffered from tear gas inhalation or sustained bruises.
The Israeli Forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. At least 2 Palestinians were abducted at checkpoints in the West Bank.
In one example of this week’s 47 incursions, on Thursday November 29th, At approximately 02:30, the Israeli Forces moved into Beit Leqia village, southwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses using sniffer dogs amidst firing bullets and sound bombs. They intentionally damaged the doors and contents of the houses. The Israeli Forces obliged the residents to leave their houses and stay out. An Israeli intelligence officer questioned Mohammed Rabah Shokri Asi, 27, under the pretext that he is wanted. They wrote down the names of the residents and their mobile numbers. The Israeli Forces raided a house belonging to Mohammed Ibrahim Qeddis Dar Qeddis, and damaged its contents. They also occupied the roof of the house and turned it into a military lookout. At approximately 06:30, the Israeli Forces withdrew and no arrests were reported. Dar Qeddis said that soldiers took his wife’s jewelry that is estimated at approximately 60,000 NIS.
In his testimony to a PCHR fieldworker, Mohammed Ibrahim Dar Qeddis, 33, said:
“At approximately 03:30 on Thursday, 29 November 2012, while I was sleeping with my 4 children, whose ages range between 4 and 11, on the second floor of our 2-storey house which is in the western part of Beit Leqia, I was surprised by having my door broken. I stood up and tried to reach the door, and found 10 Israeli soldiers. When they saw me, they asked in Arabic who was at home. I told them I had my wife and 4 children, who woke up at that moment. They ordered me to take everybody out, and more than 5 soldiers then came into the house and started searching. They asked many questions about my job and about Mohammed Rabah Assi. The Israeli Forces kept me and my children in the external storage room and continued searching the house. At approximately 04:20, the Israeli Forces withdrew. My wife checked the house and the bedroom and found that her jewelry that was in the wardrobe was not there. The jewelry is estimated at NIS 60,000.”
Israel continued efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem. The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem demolished a commercial building and forced a Palestinian civilian to demolish his own house.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest at the construction of the wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded, and a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Following the Friday Prayer on 30 November 2012, 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. The demonstrators gathered 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 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, a 21-year-old Palestinians was wounded by a bullet to the right hand, and a 40-year-old man was hit in his right leg with a gas bomb. A number of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 30 November 2012, 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, some demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Around the same time on Friday, 30 November 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders gathered in the Martyrs Square in 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 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. Israeli forces also abducted two Israeli human rights defenders and transported them to an unknown destination.
Also following the Friday Prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in the center of al-Ma’sara village, south of Bethlehem, in protest at the ongoing construction of the annexation wall. The protesters raised banners saying, “In accordance with General Assembly resolution issued on 29 November 2012, you are in the State of Palestine, and occupation must be ended immediately.” As the protestors moved towards the gate of the village, the Israeli forces closed it to prevent the demonstration from gaining access to the confiscated lands. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters. Hassan Braijiya, coordinator for the Popular Movement against the Wall and Settlement Activities, said that a unit of the Israeli forces moved into the village in the early morning before the beginning of the demonstration and hid behind the school awaiting for the gathering to start. He also added that an intelligence officer accompanied the unit and questioned children present in the area about the persons who threw stones at the Israeli forces.
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 04 December 2012, the Israeli Forces demolished a mosque in Kherbet al-Mafqara area, south of Hebron.
On the same day, the Israeli Forces demolished a 20-square-meter room in the southeast of Nablus, in addition to a 50-square-meter barrack in the same area.
On 29 November 2012, dozens of settlers closed road linking Dora village, southwest of Hebron, with the bypass road (60) and prevented Palestinians from movement.
On 02 December 2012, a group of settlers in the east of Yatta, south of Hebron, set fire to a 306 Peugeot vehicle and wrote racist slogans on a house south of Dora.
At early morning hours on Monday, 03 December 2012, a group of settlers stormed a Palestinian five-storey building in Jabal al Mukaber, southeast of Occupied east Jerusalem. The settlers claimed that “Al’ad” association bought the building, located in al-Farouq neighborhood, two years ago. According to Israeli daily Haaretz, it is seemingly intended to build a new settlement outpost in the heart of the Palestinian neighborhood. It should be mentioned that the building, which was built many years ago, remained vacant of residents except for a family residing in the upper floor until a group of “guards” came in, changed the locks of the main gate and ceased the house. This building is several meters away from a building the settlers ceased in 2010 and changed it to a settlement outpost. Peace Now, an Israeli organization, described the settlers’ action as dangerous and provocative, as seizing houses in the heart of the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem raises tension in the city.
On 04 December 2012, Israeli forces bulldozed a commercial building in Jabal al-Tour, and forced a civilian to demolish his house by himself in Beit Safafa in occupied East Jerusalem.
At early morning hours on Tuesday, 04 December 2012, a group of the Israeli “Border Guards” and the Israeli police, accompanied by officers from the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem and a bulldozer, moved into Jabal al-Tour, east of the old city. They surrounded a commercial building, belonging to Mohammad Abul-Hawa, and started demolishing it. The 2-storey building was established on a 45-square-meter area. The first floor was used as a car rental office and the second one was used as a dentist clinic. According to Abul-Hawa, he had built the first floor in 2000 and added the second floor in 2009. He added that nearly a month and a half ago, he received a demolition notice from the Israeli municipality in the city, following that he started preparing the necessary paperwork to obtain a building license, but the municipality hastened in the demolition.
In the same context, the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem forced Moussa ‘Elian to destroy his house in Beit Safafa village, following an order issued by the mentioned municipality. ‘Elian said that he built his one-storey house on a 220-square-meter area six years ago, and he received a notice from the Israeli municipality to stop the construction and demolish it. Nearly a month ago, he dug a hole in the roof, but the Municipality refused to allow it and threatened him that they would demolish his house on his expense and force him to pay NIS 250,000 as a fee; therefore, he had to demolish it by himself to avoid paying the demolition fees.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of this week’s attacks, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention comply with their legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.
The PCHR calls for the immediate implementation of the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice, which considers the construction of the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank illegal.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: