Weekly report: Israel’s systematic crimes in the oPt

PCHR/ Gaza/

During the reporting period (28 December 2017- 03 January 2018): 

  • Israeli forces escalated the excessive use of force in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
  • Two Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • 89 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • 53 of them were hit with live bullets, 23 were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets, and 13 were hit with tear gas canisters.
  • Nine civilians, including 7 children and a woman, were arrested in a protest in the West Bank.
  • Israeli forces conducted 69 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one was conducted in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • 79 civilians, including 10 children and a woman, were arrested.
  • 20 of them, including a child and a woman, were arrested in Jerusalem.
  • Israeli authorities continue to create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • A store was closed in addition to confiscating its contents in Silwan village.
  • Israeli warplanes launched 2 airstrikes at 2 military sites for armed groups, but no casualties were reported.
  • 3 shooting incidents targeting the Palestinian fishing boats occurred in the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
  • 4 shooting incidents targeting the Palestinian fishing boats occurred in the Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 11th
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 5 Palestinian civilians were arrested at the checkpoints in the West Bank.

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (28 December 2017-03 January 2018).

Shooting:

During the reporting period, in new crime of excessive use of force, Israeli forces kill 2 Palestinians, including a child, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They also wounded 59 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, in the Gaza Strip, while 30 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children, were wounded in the West Bank. The Israeli forces continued to chase fishermen in the Gaza Sea, target border areas, and carry out airstrikes against targets for armed groups in the Gaza Strip.

In the Gaza Strip, on 29 December 2017, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in the centre of the Gaza Strip. According to PCHR’s investigations, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered few meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Maghazi camp. The protestors set fire to tiers and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence. During the protests, the Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and live bullets at the protestors. As a result, Jamal Mosleh (20), from al-Maghazi Camp, was hit with a live bullet to the back that exited the abdomen from the right side. Jamal was then taken to al-Aqsa Hospital in Dir al-Balah, where he immediately underwent a surgery and then taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Jamal stayed in the ICU until medical sources declared his death on Saturday dawn, 30 December 2017.

The border areas with Israel witnessed protests against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to it.  During the protests, the Israeli forces used force against the protestors.  Due to opening fire to disperse the protests, 59 civilians, including 4 children, were wounded; 45 of them were hit with live bullets, one was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet, and 13 were directly hit with tear gas canisters.

As part of the Israeli airstrikes, on 30 December 2017, Israeli warplanes fired one missile at a Palestinian watchtower belonging to al-Qassam Brigades (the military armed wing of Hamas Movement), near Gaza International Airport, southeast of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. As a result, a transmission tower, which is near the watchtower, was damaged.

On 02 January 2018, Israeli warplanes fired 2 missiles at a military training site belonging to al-Qassam brigades, west of Khan Yunis. The bombing caused material damage to the site, but no casualties were reported.

As part of targeting fishermen in the sea, on 28 December 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. The Israeli gunboats surrounded a Palestinian fishing boat manned by Shawqi Baker (20) and Sameh al-Quqa (35), both are from al-Shati’ refugee camp, west of Gaza City. The Israeli naval forces then arrested the fishermen while the fishing boat was not confiscated. Meanwhile, a number of fishermen saw the boat and then dragged it to Gaza Seaport. They also saw blood on the boat board, which confirms the injury of one of the fishermen during the shooting. Opening fire at Palestinian fishing boats repeated on the same day.

On 28 December 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. Opening fire at Palestinian fishing boats repeated on 29 December 2017.

As part of targeting the border areas, on 29 December 2017, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at empty lands in the eastern areas. Opening fire at the abovementioned areas repeated on 30 December 2017 and 03 January 2018, but no casualties were reported.

In the West Bank, in new crime of excessive use of force, on 03 January 2018, Israeli forces killed Mos’ab al-Tamimi (17) and wounded 3 others while moving into Deir Netham village, northwest of Ramallah. According to PCHR’s investigation, at approximately 13:20, over 70 Israeli soldiers moved into Deir Netham village, northwest of Ramallah and closed the two main entrances to the village. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at the soldiers. The soldiers then arrested Mo’yad al-Tamimi, who suffers from a mental disability, and violently took him to a military jeep.  In the meantime, Mos’ab approached a military jeep to help Mo’yad, meanwhile an Israeli soldier, who was 300 meter away, fired a live bullet to Mos’ab neck. He then was to the al-Istishari Hospital in al-Raihan Suburb, north of Ramallah, where he underwent a surgery. Doctors’ efforts to save his life failed and then medical sources declared Mos’ab death. After that, the spokesperson of the Israeli forces claimed that the Israeli forces opened fire at a Palestinian during clashes that erupted near Deir Netham village on suspicion of carrying a weapon to justify this crime.

In the West Bank, all the cities witnessed protests against the U.S. President’s decision.  During those protests, Israeli forces used force against the protesters.  The shooting to disperse the protests resulted in the injury of 27 civilians, including 8 children; 8 of them were hit with live bullets, and 19 were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets.

 

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 69 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank while they conducted 6 incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 59 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children, in the West Bank.  Twenty others, including a child and a woman, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs. During peaceful protests, the Israeli forces arrested 9 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and a woman, in the West Bank. As a result, the number of arrested persons during this week increased to 88 civilians, including 17 children and 2 women.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces moved about 100 meters away from “Kissufim” military site, east of al-Qararah village, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. They patrolled the area and leveled the lands adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and headed to the north before redeploying along the border fence through the gate established into the east of al-Najjar neighborhood in Khuza’ah village

 

Measures to Create A Jewish Majority:

 

As part of the house demolitions, on 02 January 2018, the Israeli authorities confiscated a store contents in Wadi al-Helwa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City under the pretext of public utility. Abed Moahmed Abu Hadwan said that Israeli forces accompanied with the Israeli Municipality staff, Israeli Nature Authority staff, and other workers raided his store located in Wadi al-Helwa neighborhood, broke the locks, vacated all contents, and then took over the store. He added that the store existed years ago and he has documents that prove his ownership of the store, but the Israeli forces refused the documents and ordered the workers to vacate the contents and then closed it to prevent the family from using it.

In the same context, on 28 December 2017, the Israeli Magistrate Court issued a decision to prevent Sameer Shoqair from using his land in al-Rababah Valley neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, for 3 years. Sameer, member of the Defense Committee of al-Rababah Valley lands, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the court issued a decision preventing him from using his land, planting it, building fences around it, or rebuilding it for 3 years .If Sameer violates the court’s decision, he will pay a fine estimated at NIS 10.000 and sentenced with actual imprisonment for 2 weeks. Sameer also said that since 2013 the Nature Authority has been trying to prevent the lands owners in al-Rababah Valley from working in their lands, planting them, re-building them, or building retaining walls.