The weekly report by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza shows that during the reporting period of 17 – 23 May 2018, Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Those include:
- Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against Palestinian peaceful protesters in the Gaza Strip.
- Two succumbed to their wounds they sustained in the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip in addition to another child in the West Bank.
- 35 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and a journalist, were wounded in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
- A Palestinian Prisoner from al-Mukaber Mount died in suspicious circumstances
- Israeli warplanes targeted two boats prepared to welcome the anti-blockade flotilla in the Gaza Strip, causing damage to both of them
- Israeli forces continued to open fire at the border areas in the Gaza Strip.
- Israeli forces conducted 49 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 5 similar ones in Jerusalem
- 33 civilians, including 4 children and PLC Member, were arrested.
- 14 of them were arrested in Jerusalem.
- Israeli forces continued their settlement activities in the West Bank
- Israeli settlers cut 700 grapevines in al-Marjamah area, north of Hebron.
- Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 11th consecutive year.
- Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
- 3 Palestinian civilians, including a woman, were arrested at the military checkpoints in the West Bank.
- Israeli forces arrested a patient at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (17 – 23 May 2018).
Israeli forces continued to use excessive lethal force against Palestinian civilians, who participated in peaceful demonstrations organized within the activities of the “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed for the 8th week in a row peaceful demonstrations along the eastern and northern Gaza Strip border area. During the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 29 Palestinian civilians, including a journalist; 2 of those wounded are in serious condition. Meanwhile, 2 civilians succumbed to their wounds. In the West Bank, a child succumbed to his wounds while 6 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were wounded in separate incidents.
In the Gaza Strip, on 18 May 2018, thousands of Palestinian civilians participated in the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege activities along the northern and eastern borders of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli forces used force against them, wounding 27 protestors, including a journalist. Moreover, during the reporting period, 2 other civilians were wounded, increasing the total number of those wounded to 29 protestors.
In the same context, medical sources at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, on 18 may 2018, declared the death of Mo’een al-Sa’ie (59), from al-Shati’ refugee camp, west of Gaza City, after he succumbed to his wounds. On 19 May 2018, medical sources at al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City declared the death of Mohammed ‘Alian (18) from al-Nussairat in the central Gaza Strip, succumbing to his wounds. Al-Sa’ie was previously wounded with a bullet to the chest to the east of Malakah square, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood in eastern Gaza City while ‘Alian was wounded with a bullet to the head in eastern al-Bureij during their participation in the Great March of Return on Monday, 14 May 2018.
During the reporting period, Investigations and Field Observations by PCHR’s Fieldworkers Confirm the Following:
- Dozens of Israeli Forces’ snipers continued to position on the hills, behind the raised berms and in military jeeps along the border fence in front of the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip.
- The youth gatherings increased near the border fence to burn tires and attempt to throw stones at the Israeli forces.
- The Israeli snipers deliberately and selectively opened fire at the participants in the peaceful demonstrations which included hundreds of civilians.
- The Israeli forces widely fired bursts of tear gas canisters and from drones, targeting the center of the demonstrations. In many cases those canisters targeted and directly hit civilians, causing them injuries.
- The demonstrations were as always fully peaceful, and PCHR’s fieldworkers did not witness weapons or armed persons even dressed in civilian clothes among the demonstrators, who were thousands of elderlies, women, children and entire families. All of them demonstrated near the border fence raising flags, chanting slogans and national songs, flying kites and burning tires.
- Ambulances of the Health Minstry in Gaza City were targeted, causing damage to them.
- Journalists were targeted with tear gas canisters, causing injuries among them.
- The Israeli unjustified and fallacious incitement against the peaceful demonstrations and encampments, perceiving the demonstration itself as danger. This hereby violates the right to peaceful assembly codified in all International instruments.
As part of targeting the border areas, on 20 May 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Amal neighbourhood, northeast of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the border area. However, no casualties were reported.
On 22 May 2018, the Israeli fired an artillery shell at a border control checkpoint belonging to an armed group in eastern al-Bureij. However, no casualties were reported.
As part of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, pointing out to the ongoing Israeli policy of targeting their livelihoods. During the reporting period, PCHR documented 10 attacks against the fishermen, including 5 attacks in the north-western Beit Lahia and 5 in Western Soudaniya area, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.
As part of the airstrikes, on 17 May 2018, Israeli drones and warplanes launched 10 missiles in 4 airstrikes against ‘Askalan military site and al-Saifnah building belonging to al-Qassam Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip. On 23 May 2018, the Israeli warplanes launched 6 missiles at Ahmed al-Ja’abari military site in eastern Tofah neighbourhood, causing damage to the sites. However, no casualties were reported.
On 23 May 2018, the Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at 2 boats prepared to welcome the anti-blockade flotilla in the Gaza Seaport, west of Gaza City, causing damage to both of them.
In the West Bank, on 23 May 2018, medical sources at al-Najah University Hospital in Nablus declared the death of ‘Oday Abu Khalil (15) from ‘Ein Siniya village, north of Ramallah, succumbing to his wounds. According to PCHR’s investigations, on 15 May 2018, the abovementioned child was wounded during his participation in a peaceful protest at the northern entrance to al-Bireh in commemoration of Palestinian Nakbah Day, against the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip.
On 18 May 2018, Mohammed Abu al-Hummus was wounded when the Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and dozens of Palestinian young men protested against them. The Israeli soldiers immediately fired rubber-coated metal bullets at the young men, wounding Abu al-Hummus and arresting him.
On 19 May 2018, a Palestinian civilian was wounded during his participation in the weekly Kafr Qaddum peaceful protest, northeast of Qalqilya, against the closure of the eastern entrance to the village for 15 years in favour of “Kadomim” settlement established on the village lands.
On 21 May 2018, 3 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded when Israeli forces moved into Jenin and surrounded a house to carry out an arrest campaign. A number of civilians gathered and protested against the Israeli soldiers who opened fire at the civilians, wounding the 3 above-mentioned civilians. On 23 May 2018, a civilian was wounded in Nablus in similar circumstances.
During the reporting period, medical staffs in “Assaf Harofeh” Medical Center near al-Ramlah in Israel announced the death of Palestinian prisoner ‘Aziz Mousa Salem ‘Eweisat (53) from al-Mukkaber Mount village, southeast of East Jerusalem, in suspicious circumstances. ‘Eweisat who was serving a 30-year sentence in prison was taken from al-Ramlah Prison to “Assaf Harofeh” Medical Center on 09 May 2018 after he had a stroke and underwent an open heart surgery in the next day in Tal Hashomer Hospital. He was then returned to “Assaf Harofeh”, where he stayed until his death was declared. The Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies said to PCHR’s fieldworker that prisoner ‘Eweisat was beaten and maltreated by a group of jailers in “Eshel” Prison after the prison service claimed that he poured hot water on a jailer in the beginning of May. His family said that on 11 May 2018, they managed to visit ‘Aziz at Tel Hashomer Hospital for 2 minutes, where they noticed clear signs of exhaustion on him and that he was under the medication influence. They also noticed bruises and beating signs on his neck.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 49 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 5 similar ones into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 19 Palestinians, including a child, in the West Bank. Meanwhile, 14 civilians, including 3 children, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburb. Among those arrested during the reporting period was Khaled Tafesh (53), Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), who was arrested from his house in Za’atarah village, east of Bethlehem on 17 May 2018.
Israeli Settlement Activities and Settlers’ Attacks against the Palestinian Civivlians and their Property:
As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinian civilians and their property, on 23 May 2018, a number of settlers cut 700 grapevines planted 15 years ago in the lands adjacent to the Bypass Road 60 in al-Marjamah area, north of Hebron, using electric saws. Those grapevines were planted on 9 dunums belonging to four farmers from Halhoul. It should be mentioned that a week ago settlers cut 400 grapevines in the area near the watchtower established in the area.