PCHR Weekly Report: 4 civilians wounded, 29 abducted by Israeli forces this week

Tear gas fired at non-violent demonstrators in Nabi Saleh village (PCHR photo)

By Saed Bannoura – IMEMC

In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 05- 11 January 2012, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that a Palestinian woman was wounded by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, and 3 civilians were wounded in the West Bank.

In addition, Israeli forces abducted 29 Palestinian civilians, including four fishermen, a woman, two children and a university professor.

Israeli attacks in the West Bank:

Israeli forces conducted 68 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West this week, during which they abducted 20 Palestinians. In addition, Israeli soldiers abducted 6 Palestinian civilians, including two children, at various checkpoints in the West Bank.

On 05 January 2012, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Eizariya village, east of occupied Jerusalem. They demolished a 100-square-meter workshop of stone cutting belonging to Sameer Mohammed Taqatqa. They destroyed stones whose value is 30,000 ILS, and confiscated stones whose value is 95,000 ILS. Israeli forces demolished also a 30-square-meter workshop of stone cutting belonging to Mohammed ‘Ayad. They destroyed stones whose value is 15,000 ILS. Additionally, Israeli forces demolished a 200-square-meter shop of junks belonging to Majed Abu Ghalia, a 30-square-meter fence and parking yard belonging to Ibrahim Abu Dhaim.

On 05 January 2012, Israeli forces moved into al-Qassab area in the south of al-Dyouk village, northwest of Jericho. They demolished 3 winter houses belonging to Palestinians from Jerusalem claiming that they were built without licenses. They also handed notices of demolition of houses to a number of Palestinian civilians. They also informed of their intention to destroy a number of electricity towers and an electric transmitter.

On 10 January 2012, Israeli forces razed large areas of Palestinian land in the southeastern part of al-‘Eissawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem, to establish a biblical garden. According to local sources, Israeli forces confiscated hundreds of dunums[1] of land in al-‘Eissawiya and al-Tour villages to establish a biblical garden. By the establishment of the garden, al-‘Eissawiya village would be completely isolated by Israeli settlements.

Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:

Israeli forces have continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces abducted 4 fishermen and confiscated their boat.

Israeli forces have continued to impose total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

The cooking gas crisis which has erupted over a year ago has continued to affect the Gaza Strip. This crisis was created when the Israeli occupation authorities totally closed, on 04 January 2010, Nahal Oz crossing, which used to be dedicated for the delivery of fuel and cooking gas supplies to Gaza, and shifted fuel and cooking gas supplies to Karm Abu Salem crossing which is not technically equipped to receive Gaza’s needs of fuel. Karm Abu Salem crossing, with its maximum absorptive capacity, can receive only 200 tons of cooking gas per day.

Approximately 80% of Gaza civilians have continued to depend on alimentary aid provided by UNRWA and other relief agencies, rates of families who are living below poverty line have continued to be on the rise and approximately 40% of Gaza’s manpower has continued to suffer from permanent unemployment as a result of shutting down the majority of Gaza’s economic establishments.

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the exportation of Gaza’s products, especially industrial products, leading to undermining any real chances to rebuild the economy of Gaza. The situation has been aggravated especially after the Israeli government made Karm Abu Salem crossing Gaza sole commercial crossing and the repeated closure of this crossing which negatively affected the quantity of Gazan products which were allowed to be exported during last April.

Israeli settlement activities:

Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

On 11 January 2012, a number of Israeli settlers burnt 3 cars in Deir Estia village, northwest of Salfit. The cars belong to Palestinian civilians living in the village. The settlers also wrote hostile words on the walls of Imam Ali Mosque near the burnt mosques, such as “paying the price, lion group and Joseph’s sons.” A number of eyewitnesses reported that saw a car with an Israeli registration plate leaving the village after the attack.

Israeli Annexation Wall:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest to the construction of the Wall and settlement activities in the West Bank, and in protest of the establishment of a buffer zone in the Gaza Strip. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded. Additionally, dozens of Palestinian civilians and human rights defenders suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Following the Friday Prayer on 06 January 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders, including Louisa Morgantini, former Speaker of the European Parliament, organized a peaceful demonstration in Bil’ein village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the annexation wall and support for efforts to achieve national reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah movements. They raised the Palestinian flag and called for ending political division. They then moved towards areas of Palestinian land, which the Israeli High Court ordered to be returned to their Palestinian owners. Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded by rubber-coated steel bullets. Additionally, a number of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Also following the Friday prayer on 06 January 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders gathered in the center of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, to start the 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 and leading to Palestinian lands that Israeli settlers from the nearby “Halmish” settlement are trying to seize. Israeli soldiers who had been extensively deployed in the area and near all the entrances of the village since the morning, began to confront the protesters who wanted to walk towards the affected lands. Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters. A result, dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Also following the Friday Prayer on 06 January 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest against the construction of the annexation wall. They clashed with Israeli troops positioned near the annexation wall. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.

On Saturday noon, 07 January 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in the center of Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, in protest to planned expansion of “Karmi Tsur” settlement. They moved towards agricultural land close to the settlement. Immediately, Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, a number of demonstrators sustained bruises or suffered from tear gas inhalation.

At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, 10 January 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders gathered in the center of Jericho to organize a peaceful car march calling for ensuring the right to freedom of movement. The car march moved towards Ramallah through a road designed for the use of Israeli settlers only. Israeli forces closed the southern entrance of the town to prevent the march from moving forward. They also abducted 5 participants, including a 62-year old man and a 19-year old woman.

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 international human rights organizations, bar associations, unions and NGOs continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel’s respect for human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to demand Israel end its attacks on Palestinian civilians.

The PCHR also calls upon the international community to pressure Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupation forces on access for international organizations to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

PCHR, Full Report : http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8046:weekly-report-on-israeli-human-rights-violations-in-the-occupied-palestinian-territory-05-11-january-2012&catid=131:new

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