Occupied Territories (IMEMC) – Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (22 – 28 October 2015).
Israeli attacks in the West Bank & Gaza:
Shootings In view of the continuing international policy of silence over grave crimes and violations committed by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Israeli forces have continued to flagrantly commit more crimes and violations against the Palestinian civilians. The reporting period witnessed bloody days and exposed the Israeli forces’ disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians. Israeli forces have continued the use of 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 shooting incidents against everyone who is suspected to carry out a stabbing against Israeli forces or settlers. During the reporting period, Israeli forces and police killed 10 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, in the West Bank, while 2 others succumbed to their injuries in the Gaza Strip. In addition, 202 Palestinian civilians, including at least 36 children, 6 journalists, a human rights activist and 9 paramedics were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 83 of whom, including 12 children, 5 journalists and 9 paramedics, were wounded in the Gaza Strip and the remaining others were wounded in the West Bank. The injuries were distributed as follow: 110 civilians sustained live bullet wounds, 87 ones sustained rubber bullet wounds and 5 others were directly hit by tear gas canisters and sound bombs.
In the West Bank, killings committed by Israeli forces were as follows:
On 22 October 2015, Israeli forces opened fire at 2 Palestinian civilians from Sourif village, west of Hebron, working in the construction sector in “Beit Shemesh” area in Israel. The 2 Palestinians were standing on the side of the road and willing to ride the a bus when they were fired at. As a result, Mahmoud Ghnaimat (20) was killed and his colleague Meqdad al-Heeh (20) sustained serious wounds. Al-Heeh was taken by an Israeli ambulance to Hadasa Hospital in Jerusalem, but Ghnaimat’s corpse was kept in custody. Israeli forces claimed that the 2 aforementioned civilians were willing to carry out a stabbing once they ride the bus.
On 23 October 2015, in excessive use of force, private security guards serving the interests of the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child while running towards the first barrier at al-Jalama crossing, northeast of Jenin. According to PCHR’s investigations and statements of eyewitnesses, on the abovementioned day, Ahmed Mohammed Sa’id Kmail (17) was present along with other peddlers in the place where they used to stay. At approximately 11:00, Kmail suddenly ran towards the first barrier at al-Jalama crossing. The security guards noticed him, so some of them escaped but others opened fire at him. Kmail fell to the ground, however, the Israeli forces denied the Palestine Red Crescent Society’s (PRCS) paramedics access to the area.
On 25 October 2015, in a new cold-blooded crime, Israeli Border Guards officers stationed at the entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque, south of Hebron’s Old City, killed Dania Jehad Ersheid (17), from al-Hawooz area. They opened fire at her when she stopped to have her school bag searched. Ersheid’s corpse was taken to an unknown destination. According to PCHR’s investigations, Ersheid entered the Ibrahimi Mosque’s yard through a metal detector gate fixed between the aforementioned yard and the old market in the city. She obeyed the soldiers’ orders to be searched in the place where she was asked to stay, but Israeli soldiers shot her dead. It should be noted that the girl did not pose any threat to the security and lives of Israeli soldiers. She was even putting her hands up when the soldier was talking to her and accused her of having a knife.
On 24 October 2015, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians from Hebron. At approximately 14:50, Israeli forces deployed around the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City killed Sa’d al-Atrash (20), from south of Hebron. They shot him from a range of less than 2 meter. Israeli forces claimed that al-Atrash attempted to stab an Israeli soldier. It should be noted that the area were al-Atrash was killed is closed and no one can enter it without passing via the iron detector gates.
At approximately 21:00, Israeli forces stationed at the entrance to Biet Aynoun village, east of Hebron, killed Ra’ed Jaradat (22), from Ras al-Aroudh neighbourhood, west of Sa’ir village, east of the city. They opened fire at him after he stabbed an Israeli soldier.
In the evening, confrontations erupted between Palestinian young men and Israeli forces at the entrance to Sa’ir village and Beit Aynoun area. As a result, Eyad Jaradat (19) was hit by bullet to the head. As a result, he was taken to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron, where he succumbed to his wounds.
On 25 October 2015, Israeli forces killed 3 other Palestinian civilians in Hebron, including a child. At approximately 18:00, Israeli forces stationed on the main road in front of “Gosh Etzion” settlement compound, south of Bethlehem, killed Shadi al-Qudsi (21) and Ezz el-Din Abu Shakhdam (17), both were from Hebron. The 2 aforementioned persons were waiting for a bus at a bus stop when they were shot dead. Israeli forces claimed that they stabbed a settler.
At approximately 22:30, Israeli forces deployed in Tal al-Rumaida neighbourhood, in the centre of Hebron, killed Hamam Eseid (22), from the city, when he was passing by few meters to the west of “Gilbert” checkpoint established in the aforementioned neighbourhood. A video posted by the Israeli authorities showed Eseid lying on the ground with a knife next to him. The corpse was taken by a Red Star of David’s ambulance to an unknown destination.
On 22 October 2015, Israeli forces deployed in Tal al-Rumaida neighbourhood also killed Islam Ebeido (23), from the same neighbourhood, while passing by few meters to the west of “Gilbert” checkpoint established in the aforementioned neighbourhood. The corpse was taken by a Red Star of David’s ambulance to an unknown destination.
During the reporting period, 119 Palestinian civilians were wounded in the West Bank, including 24 children. 28 of whom were wounded in occupied East Jerusalem and the others were wounded in the Were Bank.
The injuries were as follows:
In peaceful protests against Israeli policies: 82 Palestinian civilians, including 20 children were wounded. Fifty-five of them sustained live bullet wounds, 26 others sustained rubber bullet wounds and one was hit by a sound bombs. Among the wounded were a journalist and a human rights activist. In peaceful protests against Israeli incursion: 7 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were wounded. Four of them sustained live bullet wounds and the 3 others sustained rubber bullet wounds. Peaceful protests against the annexation wall: a Palestinian child sustained a live bullet wound. Settler attacks: a Palestinian civilian was wounded when a settler opened fire at him. Palestinian civilians wounded in occupied Jerusalem: 28 Palestinian civilians were wounded with rubber-coated metal bullets.
In the Gaza Strip, 2 Palestinian civilians succumbed to their injuries and 83 others, including 12 children, 5 journalists and 9 paramedics were wounded. Seven paramedics suffered tear gas inhalation and the 2 others were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR in the Gaza Strip, on Friday, 23 October 2015, medical sources at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City pronounced Yehya Karira (20), from al-Tuffah neighbourhood, dead as he succumbed to his injuries. Karira was wounded on 16 October 2015, when Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Gaza City, opened fire at Palestinian protestors. As a result, he sustained a bullet wound to the head.
On 24 October 2015, medical sources declared that Khalil Abu Ebeid (26), from Khan Yunis, succumbed to his injuries when Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian protestors in the east of al-Bureij refugee camp, on 11 October 2015.
Concerning airstrikes, on 26 October 2015, Israeli warplanes carried out 2 airstrikes on training sites belonging to Palestinian armed groups in the centre and south of the Gaza Strip. There was material damage, but no casualties were reported.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 88 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 26 ones in occupied East Jerusalem. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 183 Palestinians, including 29 children and 6 women. Fifty-five of these civilians, including 11 children and 5 women, were arrested in East Jerusalem.
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 (KeremShaloum) 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.
As part of the collective punishment policy carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians, since Thursday, 01 October 2015, Nablus has been cordoned in a way similar to the cordon imposed on the same city in the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada. PCHR’s fieldworker said that “Yetshar” bypass road, south of Nablus, and Beit Foreik checkpoint, east of the city, were completely closed. Moreover, they redeployed at the checkpoints of Howara, Jeet, al-Naqoura village, and Deir Sharaf valley around the city. Israeli forces stationed at those checkpoints humiliate the Palestinian civilians passing through the checkpoints.
Efforts to create a Jewish majority
In the context of house demolition, on Saturday, 24 October 2015, al-Rajabi family demolished their own house located in Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, in application of the decision taken by the Israeli municipality court under the pretext of non-licensing. Elias al-Rajabi said to Elias al-Rajabi said that his family demolished a house belonging to Abeer al-Rajabi, which was built 15 years ago, under the pretext of non-licensing.
On Monday morning, 26 October 2015, the Israeli authorities handed an administrative demolition notice to the family of Ibrahim Dwayyat in Sour Baher village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. The house belongs to Ibrahim Dwayyat, the brother of the Jerusalemite prisoner Shorouq Dwayyat.
Under the pretext of security deterioration since early October, the Israeli authorities started imposing additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs and villages. These measures included fixing iron detector gates and police checkpoints inside the Old City neighbourhoods and at entrances leading to them. In a latest development, Israeli forces closed the entrances to a number of the city’s suburbs and villages.
In the context of collective punishment against families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli forces and settlers, on Thursday morning, 22 October 2015, Israeli authorities handed Dawood Abu Jamal an order to seize and demolish the house of his son Alaa under the instructions of the Israeli Home Front Commander. Dawood said that Israeli forces had summoned him to be questioned in “Oz” police station in al-Mukaber Mountain village. Once he arrived, an Israeli officer handed him the order to seize and demolish his son’s house.
On 23 October 2015, about 90 fruitful olive trees, south of Kufor Qaddoum village, north of Qalqilya, were burnt as Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters under the pretext of military training in “Kedumim” camp, near the said village.
On Saturday, 24 October 2015, settlers from ‘Mevo Dotan” settlement, south of Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, damaged a greenhouse belonging to Kayed Mohammed Tawfiq Abu Baker (46) and used to produce coal.
On Sunday, 25 October 2015, Azzam Ezzat Sha’ban Shalalda (20), from Sa’ir village, east of Hebron, was wounded after a settler opened fire at him in Sa’ir valley. The aforementioned person was taken by a private vehicle to the village, where an ambulance took him to al-Ahli hospital in Hebron. Medical sources stated that he sustained 7 live bullets to the right thigh, where his health condition was moderate.
On the same day, after a settler was stabbed near “Ariel” settlement, north of Salfit, and the attacker had escaped, 4 settlers stabbed a Palestinian civilian near the aforementioned settlement. The stabbed person could escape in spite of his injury.
On the same day also, a group of settlers attacked in presence of Israeli forces and liaison officers a vehicle belonging to Dr. Rani Marwan Abdul Hamid (32), from Aqraba village, southeast of Nablus, while going home. As a result, the car glass was smashed and scattered on the Rani.
On Monday, 26 October 2015, a group of settlers from “Alone Mowe” settlement, east of Deir al-Hatab village, east of Nablus, attacked Palestinian farmers, who were harvesting olives, east of the village. The settlers attacked with sticks Tawfiq Mohammed Bani Omer (75) on his head and left hand, due to which he sustained bruises. He could escape to the bypass road in the area to be protected by Israeli soldiers.
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.
This report made available by IMEMC.