Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (22 – 28 December 2016).
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian while a child succumbed to his wounds in the West Bank. Moreover, they wounded 14 civilian, including 3 children and a journalist. Thirteen of them were in the West Bank and one in the Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, on Thursday, 22 December 2016, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 3 others when the soldiers used force to disperse dozens of youngsters gathering around Qalandia refugee camp and Kufor Aqeb village, north of occupied Jerusalem, and attempting to prevent the demolition of Abu Sbaih house in the said village.
On the same day, Palestinian medical source pronounced Fares al-Bayed (15), from al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, dead because of wounds he sustained on 15 October 2016. The aforementioned child sustained a bullet wound to the forehead causing laceration and coma.
During the reporting period also, 10 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a journalist, were wounded during peaceful protests or Israeli incursions.
In the Gaza Strip, on 25 December 2016, a Palestinian civilian was wounded during a peaceful protest near the border fence, east of al-Shuja’iya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City. His wound was classified as moderate.
In the context of targeting the border areas, on 24 December 2016, Israeli forces stationed at the border fence opened fire at farmers digging a well, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported.
On 26 December 2016, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers in the east of al-Salqa valley, east of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported as well.
Collective punishment measures:
On 22 December 2016, Israeli forces demolished the walls of a house belonging to the family of Mosbah Abu Sbaih in Kufor Aqeb village, north of occupied Jerusalem, and closed it upon a decision from the Israeli High Court. The house is an apartment on the 7th floor of a building owned by Abu Sbaih’s father. It should be noted that Mosbah was killed on 12 October 2016 after he carried out a shooting attack in Shaikh Jarrah neighbourhood, north of East Jerusalem.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 60 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 6 others in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 52 Palestinian civilians, including 16 children and a woman. Sixteen of them, including 10 children and the woman, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
In the Gaza Strip, on 27 December 2016, Israeli forces moved about 50 meters around Sofa military site in al-Shouka village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. They levelled and combed lands and then withdrew.
Efforts to create Jewish majority
On 28 December 2016, the Israeli municipality demolished 5 agricultural and commercial facilities in Ein al-Louza neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Jamal Siyam said that Israeli forces demolished 3 agricultural containers and a barrack he own in addition to parts of a commercial store belonging to Abu Hawdan family.
In the same context, on 27 December 2016, the Israeli authorities opened a new tunnel in Wadi Helwa neighbourhood, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City that resulted in cracks in the houses and streets.
On 27 December 2016, Israeli forces demolished a well and an agricultural room in al-Bus area, west of Ethna village, west of Hebron. They issued also final demolition orders against 4 houses in Beit Awwa village, southwest of Hebron, and 18 notices to halt construction works in Masafer Yatta, south of the city.
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 2 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 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons. Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.