PCHR Weekly Report: 10 Civilians Wounded in 50 Incursions by Israeli Forces this Week.
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC. In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 24– 30 May 2012, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that 10 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded by Israeli forces this week and there were 50 separate incursions into Palestinian areas.
While dispersing peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, 8 demonstrators, including two children, were wounded by Israeli troops. In addition, a Palestinian civilian was wounded by Israeli forces in the central Gaza Strip and a Palestinian civilian was stabbed by Israeli soldiers at Kfar Etzion checkpoint near Bethlehem.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 50 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 13 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children. In addition, Israeli forces summoned 12 Palestinian civilians for interrogation.
In one example of this week’s 50 invasions, on Sunday, May 27th, at approximately 07:00, Israeli forces moved into Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilya. They stormed the secondary school in the village and searched the classrooms. They fired tear gas canisters at the students to prevent them from entering their classrooms. Half an hour later, a number of Israeli settlers attempted to enter the school, but the students and villagers threw stones at them. Following these incidents, Israeli forces and the settlers withdrew from the village and no casualties were reported.
On 28 May 2012, Israeli forces, accompanied by bulldozers, moved into Hazma village, northeast of Jerusalem. They demolished some civilian facilities.
On 29 May 2012, the Israeli Haaretz daily reported on its website that the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem, in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, would allocate 4 million ILS for a new settlement project in Silwan village to the south of the old town of Jerusalem, allegedly to encourage tourism in “David Town” settlement outpost in the context of the so-called “National Park Project.”
Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted two limited incursions into Palestinian areas, during which they leveled areas of land which they had already razed. During these incursion, Israeli forces opened fire at cultivated land and burned some areas.
Israeli forces continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces abducted 5 Palestinian fishermen and confiscated two fishing boats.
Israel has continued to impose a total closure and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world. The illegal Israeli-imposed closure of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. The illegal closure has caused not only a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of human rights and human dignity for the population of the Gaza Strip. Measures declared recently to ease the blockade are vague, purely cosmetic and fail to deal with the root causes of the crisis, which can only be addressed by an immediate and complete lifting of the closure, including lifting the travel ban into and out of the Gaza Strip and the ban on exports. Palestinians in Gaza may no longer suffer from the same shortage of goods, but they will remain economically dependent and unable to care for themselves, and socially, culturally and academically isolated from the rest of the world.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israel has continued its settlement activities in the West Bank in violation of international humanitarian law, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On 24 May 2012, Israeli forces delivered a military order to the Palestinian liaison according to which they would seize 29 dunums of Palestinian land in Deir Istia village, northwest of Salfit, for security and military purposes and to combat “terrorist attacks.” According to the order, the land would be seized until 31 December 2014.
On 24 May 2012, Israeli forces moved into Hijja village, east of Qalqilya. They handed a notice to Halim Na’im Da’as ordering the demolition of his two-storey, under-construction house. They also ordered Maher ‘Abdul Rahim Khalifa to stop the construction of his house. They claimed that the two civilians did not obtain licenses for buildings.
On the same day, a number of Israeli settlers from “Yits’har” settlement, which stands on the lands of Madama village, south of Nablus, set fire to some area of land in the south of the village. A number of Palestinian civilians gathered and attempted to extinguish fire. They and fire fighters were able to extinguish fire. In the meantime, Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli forces, attacked Palestinian civilians. Israeli soldiers also abducted two Palestinian civilians.
On 25 May 2012, a number of Israeli settlers from “Yits’har” settlement set fire to wooden areas in the southeast of ‘Ourif village, south of Nablus. Large wooden areas were burnt and fire extended to cultivated lands. Dozens of Palestinian civilians arrived at the area and were able to extinguish fire.
On 29 May 2012, Israeli forces moved into al-Baq’a area in the east of Hebron. They razed at least 30 dunums of cultivated land and destroyed their irrigation infrastructure, which belong to the al-Rajabi and Jaber families. It is worth noting that there is a plan to expand the nearby “Kharsina” settlement as 500 new housing units will be built in the settlement.
On the same day, an Israeli settler from “Qedoumin” settlement, northeast of Qalqilya, violently beat Nihad Mofeed Yamin, 19, from Jeet village northeast of the town. As a result, Yamin was injured in the right eye.
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, 8 demonstrators, including two children, were wounded, and dozens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.
Following the Friday Prayer on 25 May 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 at the construction of the annexation wall. They raised the Palestinian flag and called for ending political division. They then moved towards areas of annexation wall. They called through megaphones on 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 number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 25 May 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders gathered in the center of 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. As a result, some demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 25 May 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders gathered in the center of Nouba village, southwest of Ramallah. They organized a peaceful demonstration in protest of the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. They moved towards the annexation wall. Israeli soldiers positioned in the area immediately fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
At approximately 13:15 also on Friday, Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilya, in protest of the continued closure of the eastern entrance of the village. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators. As a result, 5 demonstrators were hit by tear gas canisters (PCHR keeps their names) and a number of others suffered from tear gas inhalation.
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 international community recognize the Gaza disengagement plan, which was implemented in September 2005, for what it is – not an end to occupation but a compounding of the occupation and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
Also, in recognition of the International Committee of the Red Cross as the guardian of the Fourth Geneva Convention, PCHR calls upon the ICRC to increase its staff and activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including the facilitation of family visitations to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: