PCHR Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (05 – 11 November 2015)

West Bank, Occupied Territories (IMEMC) – Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (05 – 11 November 2015).

Israeli attacks in the West Bank & Gaza:

Shootings   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. Occupied East Jerusalem witnessed similar attacks. During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 7 Palestinian civilians, including a child and 2 women; one of whom is elderly, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Moreover, they wounded 124 Palestinian civilians, including 49 children, 3 young women and a paramedic; 19 of whom were in the Gaza Strip and the remaining others were wounded in the West Bank. Concerning the nature of injury, 90 Palestinian civilians were hit with live bullets, 28 ones were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets and 6 others were hit with sound bombs and tear gas canisters.

In the West Bank, killings committed by Israeli forces were as follows:

On 05 November 2015, Israeli forces deployed in the vicinity of “Gosh Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem, opened fire at Malek al-Sharif (24), from Hebron, while being present near a bus stop on bypass road (60), due to which, he was killed. Israeli forces claimed that the aforementioned person attempted to carry out a stabbing attack.v On 06 November 2015, Israeli forces opened fire at a vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate while passing by a gas station at the northern entrance to Hebron. As a result, the driver namely Sarweh al-Sha’rawi (72), from the city, was killed. She was taken to an unknown destination and was pronounced dead later.

On 08 November 2015, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, shot dead Suleiman Shaheen (22), from al-Bireh. Israeli websites stated that once a Palestinian, who was driving a vehicle, approached a bus stop at Za’tara checkpoint, he drove fast towards a group of settlers at the bus stop. As a result, 3 of them were wounded. Wounds of 2 of them were serious. However, Israeli forces shot him dead.

On 09 November 2015, Israeli forces stationed at “Eliyahu” crossing, southeast of Qalqilya, shot dead Rasha Ewaisi (23), from the city. Israeli forces declared, “A young woman approached the aforementioned crossing. When Israeli forces asked her to stop several times, she refused, due to which she was shot dead.”

On 10 November 2015, Israeli settler security guards opened fire at Mohammed Nemer (37), from al-Eisawiya, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, while walking on al-Mesrara Street, opposite to al-Amoud Gate in the Old City. As a result, he sustained several bullet wounds, due to which he was taken to Hadassa-Ein Kerem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Israeli forces claimed that Nemer was following the guards and hurried up trying to stab one of them, but both of them directly responded. They opened fire at him and neutralized him. Owners of stores in al-Mesrara neighbourhood refuted the Israeli story.

At approximately 15:50, Israeli forces stationed at the “Container” military checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, opened fire at Sadeq Gharbiya (16), from Sanour village, south of Jenin, under the pretext that he hurried up towards the Israeli soldiers trying to stab someone. As a result, he fell to the ground covered in blood before he passed away.

During the reporting period, 105 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, including 49 children; two of whom were wounded in occupied East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian civilians wounded in the West Bank were as follows:

In peaceful protests against Israeli policies: 76 Palestinian civilians, including 30 children, were wounded. Fifty-four of them were hit with live bullets and 22 others were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets. In peaceful protests against Israeli incursion: 24 Palestinian civilians, including 17 children and a woman, were wounded. Twenty of them were hit with live bullets, 2 others were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets and 2 were hit with sound bombs and tear gas canisters.

In peaceful protests against the annexation wall and settlement activities: 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded. One of whom was hit with a live bullet and 2 others were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets. Palestinian civilians wounded in occupied Jerusalem: 2 children were wounded. One of whom was hit with live bullets and a second was hit with sound bomb shrapnel.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilians and wounded 19 others; including a paramedic. Fourteen of them were hit with live bullets, 2 were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets and 3 others were hit with tear gas canisters. Moreover, dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.

On 06 November 2015, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at dozens of Palestinian youngsters throwing stones at the Israeli soldiers. As a result, Salama Abu Jame’ (23), from Bani Suhaila village, was killed with a live bullet to the chest.

The Palestinian civilians wounded in the Gaza Strip were as follows:

North of the Gaza Strip: 7 civilians were wounded; 3 of whom sustained live bullet wounds, 2 sustained rubber bullet wounds and 2 others were hit with tear gas canisters.
Central Gaza Strip: 9 Palestinian civilians were wounded; 8 of whom sustained live bullet wounds and a paramedic was hit with a tear gas canister to the head.
Khan Yunis: 3 Palestinian civilians sustained live bullet wounds.

In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen, on 08 November 2015, Israeli gunboats stationed off Khan Yunis shore, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishermen, but no casualties were reported.

On 11 November 2015, Israeli gunboats opened fire around Palestinian fishing boats sailing of al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia village, north of the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.

Concerning airstrikes, on 09 November 2015, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at a training site for al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas movement), near al-Hashash neighbourhood, northwest of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.

Incursions

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 57 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 17 ones in occupied East Jerusalem. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 118 Palestinian civilians, including 27 children and 2 women. Twenty-seven of these civilians, including 17 children and the 2 women, were arrested in East Jerusalem.

During the reporting period, Israeli forces raided houses belonging to families of Palestinian accused of carrying out stabbing and run-over attacks. They verbally threatened the families to demolish their houses within a week. Moreover, they raided the office of the Islamic Charitable Association in al-Shyoukh village, east of Hebron, and confiscated its contents.

In the Gaza Strip, on 05 November 2015, Israeli forces moved about 100 meters to the west of the border fence, east of al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip. They levelled lands for few hours and withdrew 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.

Efforts to create a Jewish majority

Concerning house demolitions, on 05 November 2015, Israeli bulldozers demolished a room in al-Mukaber Mountain village, southeast of East Jerusalem, belonging to Yasser Bashir, under the pretext of non-licensing.

On 08 November 2015, Israeli municipality crews moved into Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the protection of Israeli forces. They delivered 9 administrative demolition notices in al-Bustan village.

Settlement activities

Israel has continued its settlement activities in the oPt, a direct violation of international humanitarian law, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

Israeli forces’ attacks

· At approximately 06:30 on Tuesday, 10 November 2015, Israeli forces accompanied by bulldozers and diggers moved into agricultural lands adjacent to Te’nek village, northwest of Jenin, which are part of Marj Ebn Amer plain. They deployed in the fields, where the bulldozers and diggers started bridging water wells under the protection of Israeli forces. An hour later, Israeli forces withdrew and no further incidents were reported. The water wells that were demolished belong to Emad Isma’il Jaradat (53), Suleiman Salman Zyoud (37), No’man Yusef Ahmed Jaradat (44). The aforementioned persons are all from Silet al-Harithiya village, northwest of Jenin.

· At approximately 10:00, on the same day, Israeli forces accompanied by Civil Administration officers moved into al-Qarn area, south of Beit Ommer village, north of Hebron. They confiscated 1,000 bricks from a house belonging to Zeyad Mohammed Yusef Abu Ayash under the pretext of non-licensing.

Recommendations to the International Community:

PCHR emphasizes the international community’s position that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation, in spite of Israeli military redeployment outside the Gaza Strip in 2005. PCHR further confirms that Israeli forces continued to impose collective punishment measures on the Gaza Strip, which have escalated since the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, in which Hamas won the majority of seats of the Palestinian Legislative Council. PCHR stresses that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and the international humanitarian law, especially the Hague Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land and the Geneva Conventions. Israel is bound to apply the international human rights law and the law of war sometime reciprocally and other times in parallel in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for victims.

In light of continued arbitrary measures, land confiscation and settlement activities in the West Bank, and the latest 51-day offensive against civilians in the Gaza Strip, PCHR calls upon the international community, especially the United Nations, the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention and the European Union – in the context of their natural obligation to respect and enforce the international law – to cooperate and act according to the following recommendations:

1. PCHR calls upon the international community and the United Nations to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination, through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine;

2. PCHR calls upon the United Nations to provide international protection to Palestinians in the oPt, and to ensure the non-recurrence of aggression against the oPt, especially the Gaza Strip;

3. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to compel Israel, as a High Contracting Party to the Conventions, to apply the Conventions in the oPt;

4. PCHR calls upon the Parties to international human rights instruments, especially the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to pressurize Israel to comply with their provisions in the oPt, and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the concerned committees;

5. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfil their obligation to ensure the application of the Conventions, including extending the scope of their jurisdiction in order to prosecute suspected war criminals, regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator and the place of a crime, to pave the way for prosecuting suspected Israeli war criminals and end the longstanding impunity they have enjoyed; 6. PCHR calls on States that apply the principle of universal jurisdiction not to surrender to Israeli pressure to limit universal jurisdiction to perpetuate the impunity enjoyed by suspected Israeli war criminals;

7. PCHR calls upon the international community to act in order to stop all Israeli settlement expansion activities in the oPt through imposing sanctions on Israeli settlements and criminalizing trading with them;

8. PCHR calls upon the UN General Assembly to transfer the Goldstone Report to the UN Security Council in order to refer it to the International Criminal Court in accordance with Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute;

9. PCHR calls upon the United Nations to confirm that holding war criminals in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a precondition to achieve stability and peace in the regions, and that peace cannot be built on the expense of human rights;

10. PCHR calls upon the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council to explicitly declare that the Israeli closure policy in Gaza and the annexation wall in the West Bank are illegal, and accordingly refer the two issues to the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Israel to compel it to remove them;

11. PCHR calls upon the international community, in light of its failure to the stop the aggression on the Palestinian people, to at least fulfil its obligation to reconstruct the Gaza Strip after the series of hostilities launched by Israel which directly targeted the civilian infrastructure;

12. PCHR calls upon the United Nations and the European Union to express a clear position towards the annexation wall following the international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, as the annexation wall seizes large parts of the State of Palestine;

13. PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that both sides must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel, and the EU must not ignore Israeli violations and crimes against Palestinian civilians;

Fully detailed document, including info on protests, patrols and border crossings available at the official PCHR website.

Image Source: Albert White, Flickr, Creative Commons Gaza Demonstartion in Dublin

Image Source: Albert White, Flickr, Creative Commons
Gaza Demonstartion in Dublin

This report made available by IMEMC.