Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
(15 – 21 June 2017)
- Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians in occupied Jerusalem.
- 12 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
- Israeli forces conducted 42 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one in the southern Gaza Strip.
- 65 civilians, including 6 children and 2 women, were arrested in the West Bank.
- 23 of them, including 6 children, were arrested in Jerusalem.
- Israeli forces continued practicing the collective punishment policy.
- Collective punishment measures were imposed against the Palestinian civilians in Jerusalem and Deir Abu Mesh’al village.
- Israeli forces continued to target the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea.
- 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.
- 15 civilians, including 2 children and a fieldworker at B’Tselem, were arrested at military checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (15-21 June 2017).
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, 3 of them were killed in occupied Jerusalem, while the other was killed at Jaba’ military checkpoint, northeast of the City. Israeli forces wounded 12 civilians, including 3 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces chased the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip sea and opened fire at the farmers along the border area.
In the Gaza Strip, the border area witnessed peaceful protests against the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces used force against the protestors, as result, 7 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were wounded. Five of them were hit with live bullets and the two others sustained shrapnel wounds.
In the context of Israeli attacks against fishermen in the sea, on 17 June 2017, Israeli gunboats opened fire at and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip. The shooting recurred at the Palestinian fishing boats in the same area on 18 and 19 June 2017. As a result, the fishermen were obliged to sail back. Neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
In the West Bank, on 16 June 2017, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians from Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah, and wounded three by-passers when Israeli forces opened fire at the three civilians, who carried out a stabbing and shooting attack in Sultan Suleiman Street at the northern entrance to Bab al-Amoud (Damascus Gate) in occupied East Jerusalem.
On 20 June 2017, Israeli forces stationed at Jaba’ military checkpoint, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, killed Baha’ al-Herbawi (23), from al-Eizariya village, east of the city. Israeli forces claimed that the killed attempted to carried out a stabbing attack against Israeli soldiers during an ordinary check-up at the checkpoint. Therefore, they shot him dead.
In addition to the wounded persons mentioned above, on 17 June 2017, 2 other civilians were wounded during an Israeli incursion into Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 42 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 8 others into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 65 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children and 2 women. Twenty three of them, including the 6 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.
Among those arrested was Zainab Mohammed ‘Ankoush (41), the mother of Adel ‘Ankoush who was killed by Israeli forces in Jerusalem on 16 June 2017, as well as Enaya Abed al-Khair Saleh (45), the wife of prisoner Saleh Sulaiman Ata. Both of them are from Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah.
In the Gaza Strip, on 19 June 2017, Israeli forces moved about 100 meters into al-Shouka village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. They combed lands along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip and withdrew later.
Collective punishment measures:
Following the stabbing and shooting attack carried out in East Jerusalem on 16 June 2017 that resulted in the killing of 3 Palestinian youngsters and an Israeli female soldier, Israeli forces imposed a series of collective punishment measures against the Palestinian civilians in occupied Jerusalem and later in Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah, from which the youngsters come.
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.