PCHR Weekly Report: 3 civilians beaten, 17 abducted by Israeli forces this week
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 06 - 12 August 2009, 3 Palestinian civilians were beaten by Israeli troops this week. Dozens also suffered from tear gas inhalation when Israeli Forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized to protest the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank. Also this week, Israeli warplanes bombarded areas in the southern Gaza Strip allegedly to destroy smuggling tunnels.
Israeli Forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank. Israeli Forces conducted 17 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 limited ones into the Gaza Strip, and abducted 17 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children, in the West Bank and two fishers in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Forces have continued measures aimed at establishing a Jewish majority in occupied east Jerusalem. Israeli Forces forced a Palestinian family to demolish part of a structure added to their house in the Wad al-Jouz area. A road in Silwan village collapsed due to Israeli excavations. Israeli Forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian civilians injuring 4 civilians, including a woman.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
According to investigations conducted by PCHR and the victim's testimony, at approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 08 August 2009, Israeli soldiers forced him to jump from a height of 4.5 meters, when they caught him and other civilians attempting to climb the Annexation Wall in al-Ram town. He fell onto the ground, so he sustained two fractures to the left leg and one fracture to the right heel. Soon after, Israeli soldiers gathered around him and attempted to force him to stand up and accompany them to a military vehicle. They also released a bloodhound to attack him in order to force him to stand up. When all of these attempts failed, they forced him to creep towards the military vehicle, which was approximately 15 meters away. They handcuffed him and transferred him to the Hamashbir area to the northwest of al-Ram town. Jaradat attempted to go to Jerusalem to work in a boutique.
On Sunday morning, 09 August 2009, Israeli soldiers positioned at a military crossing established on al-Zahiriya – Bir al-Saba' road, south of Hebron. Harassed Mohammed 'Abdul Hai 'Asafra, 26, from Beit Kahel village northwest of Hebron. They forced him to stop while he was his way to work in a workshop in the area. The detained and violently beat him for more than two hours. He sustained bruises throughout the body.
At approximately 11:30 on Monday, 10 August 2009, Israeli soldiers patrolling in al-Sahla and Tariq Ben Ziad streets in the south of the old town of Hebron stopped Saleh Mohammed al-Rajabi, 20. They detained and violently beat him for nearly an hour. He sustained bruises throughout the body.
Israeli forces troops positioned at military checkpoints in the West Bank abducted two Palestinian civilians, including a child.
Israeli forces have continued arbitrary measures against Palestinian civilians in East Jerusalem in an attempt to force them to leave the city. On 6 August 2009, Israeli forces forced Mos'ab Abu Khalaf, 30, to demolish a part of his house in the Wdi al-Jouz neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem ordered Abu Khalaf to demolish a 45-square-meter structure added to his house no later than 01 September 2009, claiming that it was built without a license. On 10 August 2009, a road in Silwan village in East Jerusalem collapsed due to Israeli excavations in the area. According to eyewitnesses, the collapse occurred in the center of the Wadi Hilwa area, causing a hole, whose depth was estimated at 4.5 meters, in Wadi Hilwa Street. The place of the hole is only two meters away from excavations carried out by Israeli archaeologists and by Israeli forces. Due to the collapse, the road was closed for several hours. Israeli forces paved over the road to hide what occurred. On 11 August 2009, about 20-30 Israeli settlers broke into the yards of the al-Aqsa Mosque under Israeli police escort, where they conducted religious ceremonies.
In Nablus, Ramallah, Behthlehem and Hebron, Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. Israeli troops positioned at an iron gate established on the Nablus-Tulkarm road have continued to conduct prolonged checking on Palestinian civilians, especially in the morning. Israeli troops positioned at Shavi Shomron checkpoint on the Nablus-Jenin road, and at Za'tara checkpoint, south of the city, have also continued to restrict the movement of Palestinian civilians.
During the four days of the week, Israeli forces erected a number of checkpoints on roads leading to agricultural areas in Beit Ummar and Safa villages, north of Hebron. They prevented Palestinian farmers from reaching these areas. On Saturday morning, 08 August 2009, Israeli forces closed Khellat al-Natsha and al-Kassara roads, southeast of Hebron, with sand barriers and concrete blocks.
Israeli settlement activity:
On 6 August, at approximately 20:00, Israeli forces moved into Kufol Hares village, north of Salfit. They patrolled in the streets and closed the three entrances of the village. They forced Palestinian civilians to close their shops and stay at homes. At approximately 23:30, dozens of Israeli settlers moved into the village allegedly to visit historic tombs. They stayed in the village conducted some ceremonies until the following day dawn.
Following the Friday Prayer on 07 August 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in the center of Bourin village, southeast of Nablus. They moved towards Wad Suleiman areas between 'Iraq Bourin village and "Brakha" settlement to the north, where Israeli forces were razing large areas of Palestinian land to serve as agricultural fields for the aforementioned settlement. The demonstrators threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters. A number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
On Sunday, 09 August 2009, 3 Israeli settlers attacked Jawad Khader Abu Turki, 37, from Hebron, when he was on his way back home through a bypass road near Qalqis neighborhood. He sustained acute bruises throughout the body.
In the morning of Monday, 10 August 2009, 3 armed Israeli settlers attacked Jazia Jebril Nawaj'a, 42, when she was grazing animals about 150 meters away from Kherbat Sousia area, south of Hebron. They attempted to steel a number of sheep. When she attempted to stop them and defend herself, they violently beat her. She screamed and some Palestinian civilians arrived at the area and confronted the settlers. The women sustained bruises throughout the body. Another civilian, 27-year-old Nasser Mohammed Nawaj'a, also sustained bruises to the right hand.
At approximately 21:00 on the same day, at least 10 Israeli settlers attacked Younis 'Ata Abadat, 48, from 'Awarta village southeast of Nablus, when he was driving his car near Shilu intersection on Ramallah – Nablus road. They threw stones at the car, smashing the front window and injuring 'Abadat in the neck and the chest. 'Abadat was able to drive his car a head until he arrived at Za'tara checkpoint, south of Nablus. There, he told Israeli soldiers what happened with him. They offered him first medical aid, and he then traveled to Nablus.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
Israeli forces have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory. 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.
Following the Friday Prayer on 07 August 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in the center of Bal'ein village, west of Ramallah. They moved towards the Wall, and following provocation, threw stones at Israeli troops positioned in the area. Immediately, Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. Dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces also used an unknown substance against the demonstrators.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 31 July 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne'lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall. They clashed with Israeli troops positioned near the Wall. Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. Dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli warplanes bombarded the border strip between the Gaza Strip and Egypt allegedly to destroy smuggling tunnels. Israeli forces conducted 3 limited incursions into Palestinian communities in the Gaza Strip, during which they razed at least 60 donums of Palestinian agricultural land.
On 06 August 2009, Israeli forces abducted two Palestinian fishermen opposite Rafah. They interrogated the two fishermen for several hours and released them later.
On the same day, at approximately 07:00, Israeli forces moved nearly 350 meters into al-Shoja'eya neighborhood near al-Mentar (Karni) crossing, east of Gaza City. By 18:00, they had razed at least 60 donums of agricultural land belonging to the family of Jundiya and 'Ayad. A Palestinian farmer told PCHR that Israeli troops positioned along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israeli have denied them access to their lands located in this area.
Israeli forces have continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The 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.
1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education. The main concern of 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip is to obtain their basic needs of food, medicines, water and electricity supplies.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights made a number of recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice, which considers the construction of the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank illegal, be immediately implemented.
The PCHR also recommends international civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and NGOs to participate in the process of exposing those accused of grave breaches of international law and to urge their governments to bring these people to justice.
In addition, the PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel. PCHR further calls upon the EU states to prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.