PCHR: IOF continue systematic crimes in the oPt 

PNN/ Gaza/

Weekly report by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza (PCHR) shows   Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (24 – 30 May 2018). These include: 

  • Israeli forces continued to use force against Palestinian peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
  • Six Palestinian civilians succumbed to their wounds; 5 of them sustained their wounds during the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip.
  • 120 Palestinian civilians, including 19 children, 5 women and 2 journalists, were wounded in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
  • Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes against military sites belonging to the Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip.
  • The Israeli warplanes launched 64 missiles, and ‘Abdullah Ben Rowahah Elementary School sustained minor damage in the central Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli forces continued to open fire at the border areas in the Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli forces conducted 51 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 similar ones in Jerusalem
  • 67 civilians, including 7 children and 3 women, were arrested.
  • 25 of them, including a child and woman, were arrested in Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces continued their settlement activities in the West Bank
  • Israeli settlers cut 800 grapevines in Ramallah and al-Bireh.
  • 10 shooting incidents were reported against the fishing boats in the Gaza Sea, but no casualties were reported.
  • Two fishermen, who are also brothers, were arrested in the northern Gaza Strip, and their boat was confiscated.
  • 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.
  • 9 Palestinian civilians were arrested at the military checkpoints in the West Bank.

Shooting:

Israeli forces continued to use 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 9th week in a row peaceful demonstrations along the eastern and northern Gaza Strip border area. During the reporting period, in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces wounded 101 Palestinian civilians, including 16 children, 3 women, and 2 journalists; two of the wounded are in serious condition.  Meanwhile, 6 civilians succumbed to their wounds.  In the West Bank, 19 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and 2 women, were wounded.

In the same context, medical sources in the Palestinian Ministry of Health declared that 6 civilians succumbed to their wounds; 5 of whom were wounded during the Great March of Return on 14 May 2018, which was the bloodiest day since the beginning of the activities of “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” while the sixth was wounded on 18 March 2018.  Those killed were identified as:

  1. Ahmed ‘Ali Mustafa Qatoush (28) from al-Zawaydah was hit with a bullet to the knee in eastern al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip and succumbed to his wounds on 24 May 2018.
  2. Muhanad Baker Mohammed abu Tahoun (20) from al-Nussairat was hit with a bullet to the head in eastern al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip and succumbed to his wounds on 24 May 2018.
  3. Yaser Sami Sa’ed al-Deen Habib (25) from al-Shija’iyah was hit with a bullet to the neck in eastern al-Zaytoun neighborhood in eastern Gaza and succumbed to his wounds on 25 May 2018
  4. Hussein Salem Abu ‘Aweidah (41) from al-Sha’af neighbourhood was hit with a bullet to the back in eastern al-Zaytoun neighborhood in eastern Gaza and succumbed to his wounds on 26 May 2018.
  5. Naser ‘Aref ‘Abdel Ra’ouf al-‘Arini (27) from al-Twam neighborhood in Jabalia was hit with a bullet to the abdomen in eastern Abu Safiyah Hill in eastern Jabalia and succumbed to his wounds on 28 May 2018.
  6. Naji Maysarah ‘Abdullah Ghunaim (23) from al-Brazil neighborhood in Rafah City was hit with an explosive bullet to the right thigh and succumbed to his wounds on 30 May 2018.

During the reporting period, Investigations and Field Observations by PCHR’s Fieldworkers Confirm the Following:

  • The demonstrations have been entirely peaceful with an outstanding participation of women, elderlies and children, as the fieldworkers have not witnessed any armed manifestations.
  • The Israeli Forces unprecedentedly and heavily stationed along the border fence and inside the military sites surrounding the area along with intensive flight of the Israeli warplanes.
  • Tear gas canisters were intensively and unprecedentedly fired from the drones and by the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence or in the military sites. The tear gas has spared none, including PCHR’s staff that was in the field.
  • Ambulances, medical staff, and field medical points were deliberately and directly targeted and prevented from approaching those wounded in addition to causing injuries among them.
  • Journalists were directly targeted, causing injuries among them.
  • The Israeli fire deliberately targeted the upper part of the body as dozens sustained wounds to the head and chest and many are in critical condition; thus, the number of deaths is likely to increase.

Injuries in the Gaza Strip during this Week

GovernorateInjuries
TotalChildrenWomenJournalistsParamedicsCritical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip920001
Gaza City4232100
Central Gaza Strip1051001
Khan Younis2920000
Rafah1141100
Total101163202

As part of the airstrikes, on 26 May 2018, the Israeli warplanes launched 5 missiles at a military site belonging to al-Qassam Brigade, northwest of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.

On 29 May 2018, Israeli warplanes carried out many airstrikes against sites belonging to the Palestinian armed groups, launching 42 missiles.  On 30 May 2018, the Israeli warplanes carried out similar airstrikes, launching 17 missiles.  Though no casualties were reported, the airstrikes caused severe damage to the targeted places.  The explosions rocked the area, causing fear among civilians whose houses are near the targeted places.  The airstrikes in the central Gaza Strip caused damage to ‘Abdullah Ben Rawahah Elementary School where high school students were taking exams.

On 29 May 2018, Israeli warplanes targeted 3 border control checkpoints belonging to the Palestinian armed groups, east of al-Maghazi, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

On 30 May 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israeli, east of Beit Hanoun, opened fire at the border area.  They also targeted a border control checkpoint belonging to the Palestinian armed groups, east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip.  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 7 attacks against the fishermen, including one attack in the north-western Beit Lahia, 4 in Western Khan Younis, and 2 in western Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip.  As a result of these attacks, 2 fishermen were arrested and their boat was confiscated off al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia on 24 May 2018.

In the West Bank, Israeli forces during the reporting period wounded 19 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and 2 women.  On 24 May 2018, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded when the Israeli forces opened fire at dozens of civilians who were protesting against the Israeli forces’ incursion into Nablus to carry out an arrest campaign.  On the same day, 2 other civilians were wounded when the Israeli forces opened fire at them who were on their way back home from Madma village to Burin village without any previous warning or reason.

On 25 May 2018, a 23-year-old Palestinian civilian was hit with a bullet to the head while participating in the weekly report of Kafr Qaddoum, northeast of Qalqilya at the eastern entrance to the village that have been closed for 15 years.

On 29 May 2018, Khawlah Sbeih (43) was hit with a bullet to the foot and arrested when Israeli soldiers opened fire at her and she was walking near the light rail in Sho’afat neighbourhood in northern East Jerusalem.

On 28 May 2018, 12 civilians, including 3 children and a woman, were hit with live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters when the Israeli forces opened fire at dozens of civilians who were protesting against the Israeli forces’ incursion into al-Am’ari refugee camp, south of Ramallah, to carry out an arrest campaign.

On 30 May 2018, a 21-year-old civilian was hit with a rubber bullet to the foot whe the Israeli soldiers moved into N’ilin village, west of Ramallah, and a number of youngsters protested.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 51 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 similar ones into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 42 Palestinians, including 6 children and 2 girls, in the West Bank.  Meanwhile, 25 civilians, including a child and a woman, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburb.

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 27 May 2018, a number of settlers cut 700 grapevines in al-Fahs area, south of Hebron.  The settlers also wrote racist slogans in Hebrew on an agricultural barrack in the attacked lands.  It should be mentioned that this is the third time the settlers cut grapevines in Hebron within May only as 1100 grapevines were cut on 16 and 23 May 2018.  On 28 May 2018, settlers cut 100 fruitful grapevines in Kafr Malek village, northeast of Ramallah.