- Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in al-Nabi Saleh village weekly protest and another Jordanian in occupied Jerusalem.
- Palestinian fisherman was killed, and his cousin was wounded in the Gaza Sea.
- 40 Palestinian civilians, including 13 children and 2 women, were wounded in the West Bank.
- 3 ambulances were directly targeted and sustained damage.
Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (11 – 17 May 2017)
Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
(11-17 May 2017)
- Israeli forces conducted 62 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 2 limited ones in the Gaza Strip.
- 79 civilians, including 9 children and 2 women, were arrested in the West Bank. Thirteen of them, including 3 children a woman, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
- Israeli forces continued to target the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea.
- 6 fishermen, including 2 children, were arrested. A fishing boat was confiscated and another one was damaged.
- Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 10th
- Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
- 3 civilians were arrested at military checkpoints in the West Bank.
- A patient was arrested at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, north of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (11-17 May 2017).
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian while participating in al-Nabi Saleh weekly demonstration; a Jordanian civilian in occupied Jerusalem and a fisherman in the Gaza Strip Sea. They wounded 41 Palestinian civilians, including 13 children and 2 women. One of them was wounded in the Gaza Strip, while the others were wounded in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli naval forces continued to chase the Palestinian fishermen in the sea and opened fire at them.
In the West Bank, in new crime of the excessive use of force, on 13 May 2017, Israeli forces stationed at the main entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, killed Saba’ ‘Obaidi (23), from Salfit, while participating in a weekly demonstration organized at the village entrance. Saba’ was hit with a Two-Two bullet, which penetrated his abdomen and waist from his heart side. Eyewitnesses confirmed that shooting was from a distance of less than 20 meters, and the Israeli soldier directly opened fire. According to PCHR’s investigations, the Israeli soldiers could have used less lethal force against demonstrators, who did not pose any threat to the life of the Israeli soldiers.
On 13 May 2017, Israeli forces killed a Jordanian civilian, Mohamed al-Kasaji (57), after he carried out a stabbing attack against an Israeli officer near al-Silsilah Gate in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. According to PCHR’s investigations, the Israeli forces could have arrested the abovementioned civilian; especially that he was wounded and could not move. However, one of the settlers’ guards fired another bullet at him and finished him off.
In the same context, the majority of the West Bank cities witnessed protests in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in the Israeli jails. Israeli forces used force against these protests, wounding 40 Palestinian civilians, including 13 children and 2 women. Twenty four of them sustained live bullet wounds, 15 sustained rubber-coated metal bullet wounds and another one sustained shrapnel wounds. The injuries ocurred as follows:
- Protests in solidarity with the prisoners: 33 civilians were wounded, including 12 children and 2 women. Twenty two of them were wounded with live bullets, 10 others were wounded with metal bullets and another one sustained shrapnel wounds.
- Weekly protests against the annexation wall and settlement activities: 3 civilians were wounded with metal bullets.
- Incursions: 4 civilians, including a child, were wounded. Two of them were hit with live bullets and 2 others were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets.
Israeli forces directly targeted ambulances, 3 of them sustained damage at the western entrance to Foreek village, east of Nablus.
In the Gaza Strip, concerning Israeli attacks on fishermen in the Gaza Sea, Israeli naval forces killed a fisherman, Mohamed Baker, and wounded his cousin after opening fire at a fishing boat. This crime confirms the continuation of the Israeli policy to target the life and safety of Palestinian fishermen, depriving them of freely sailing, even in the allowed areas to fish, and targeting their livelihood.
On 12 May 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sundaniyia shore, north of the Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at fishing boats and chased them.
On 14 May 2017, the Israeli gunboats stationed off shore heavily opened fire at fishing boats sailing within the allowed area off Khan Yuins shore, south of the Gaza Strip, north of Gaza City and northwest of Beit Lahia. As a result, 6 fishermen, including 2 children, were arrested and a fishing boat was confiscated.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 62 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 4 others into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 79 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children and 2 women. Thirteen of them, including 3 children and a woman, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs, while another civilian was arrested while participating in a protest supporting the Palestinian prisoners.
Among the arrested in this week, were ‘Isaa al-Ja’bari (51), a leader in Hamas Movement and former Minister of Local Government in the 10th Palestinian Government; and Ahmed Qatamish (67), political writer and researcher in the Palestinian cause affairs.
In the Gaza Strip, on 14 May 2017, Israeli forces moved into the east of Wadi al-Salqah village, east of Deir al-Balah, where they levelled lands along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. On the same day, these forces also moved into the east of al-Qararah village, northeast of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, and levelled lands as well.
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.
Recommendations to the International Community
PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 10 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967. PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005. PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law. Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.
- PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
- PCHR calls upon the ICC in 2017 to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
- PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
- PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
- PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
- PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
- PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
- PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
- PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
- PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
- PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
- PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
- PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
- PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.