Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

(18-24 April 2019)

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip.
  • 92 Palestinian civilians, including 22 children, 5 women, 5 journalists, and 5 paramedics, were wounded. Two of them sustained serious wounds.
  • Four Palestinian civilians, including two journalists, were wounded in the weekly Kafer Qaddum peaceful protest, north of the West bank.

 

  • Israeli forces continued their collective punishment policy
  • Israeli forces demolished two apartments belonging to al-Rifa’iyia family in Hebron, in addition to another apartment belonging to the family of Omar Abu Laila in al-Zawiyia village, west of Salfit.
  • Israeli forces conducted 59 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 other incursions into Jerusalem.
  • 52 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children and a woman, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • Eight of them, including 5 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
  • Shooting incidents were reported against Palestinian farmers and shepherds in the border areas of the Gaza Strip and no injuries were reported.

 

  • Israeli authorities continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • For the second time and only within 28 hours, a residential tent was dismantled and then confiscated in Kherbit Sosa, south of Hebron.

 

  • Two Shooting incidents were reported against the fishing boats 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 13thconsecutive year.
  • Israeli forces established 92 permanent checkpoints and 104 temporary checkpoints in the West Bank.
  • A Palestinian civilian was arrested at military checkpoint in the West Bank.
  • Israeli forces stationed at Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing arrested a patient’s companion while returning to the Gaza Strip.

 

 

Summary

 

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (18-24 April 2019).

 

Shooting:

 

  • In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 55th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. They also continued to use force as well during the incursions into the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 92 Palestinian civilians, including 22 children, 5 women, 5 journalists, and 5 paramedics. The injury of two of them was reported serious. In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians, including two journalists, in the weekly Kafer Qaddoum peaceful protest.

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip from 18 to 24 April 2019 According to the Governorate

 

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 9 2 1 0 0 0
Gaza City 32 6 1 1 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 15 4 1 1 2 2
Khan Yunis 19 4 2 1 3 0
Rafah 17 6 0 2 0 0
Total 92 22 5 5 5 2

 

 

  • As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods. During the reporting period, PCHR documented two incidents were as follows: 2 incidents off Rafah Shore and 1 off Khan Younis Shore.

 

 

  • As part of targeting the border areas, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agriculture lands, east of Khuza’a, and no injuries nor damage to property were reported. The Israeli shooting at the abovementioned agriculture lands recurred on 21 and 22 April 2019, and no injuries nor damage to property were reported.

 

  • On 21 April 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at civilians, who were collecting gravels near Sofa Site, and no injuries were reported. The Israeli shooting at the abovementioned area recurred on 22 and 24 April 2019, and no injuries were reported.

 

  • During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 journalists, in the weekly Kafer Qaddoum peaceful protest in northern West Bank.

 

  • Collective Punishment Policy

 

  • As part of the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against the families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers and/or settlers, on 19 April 2019, Israeli forces demolished two residential apartments belonging to the family of ‘Arafat Irfa’iyah in Dahiyat al-Balad area in southern area of Hebron. Each apartment was built on an area of 150 square meters; the first apartment sheltered his parents and two brothers while the second one was uninhabited. It should be noted that ‘Arafat was arrested by the Israeli forces on 09 February 2019, accusing him of killing an Israeli settler found on 07 February 2019 in forests near Jerusalem.

 

  • In the same context, on 24 April 2019, the Israeli forces blew up a house belonging to the family Omar Abu Laila in al-Zawiyah village, west of Salfit. It should be noted that the above-mentioned building was comprised of 2 floors; each had 4 apartments, sheltering 4 families comprised of 18 individuals, including 10 children and 2 elderly women. Each apartment was built on an area of 130 square meters. As a result of blowing up the apartment, the other 3 apartments in the building fully sustained material damage to their contents. In addition, the nearby houses sustained material damage as their windows glass broke down. It should be noted that the Israeli forces accused  Omar Abu Laila of carrying out stabbing and shooting attacks at the intersection of Ariel” settlement on 17 March 2019, in which a settler and a soldier were killed. On 19 March 2019, the Israeli forces killed Omar Abu Liala in an armed clash in Abuwin village, north of Ramallah, and his body is so far in the Israeli custody.

 

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 59 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 44 Palestinians, including 8 children and a woman, from the West Bank, while 8 other civilians, including 5 children, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

 

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

  • As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 18 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Sosiyia village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration staff dismantled a 30-sqaure-meter residential tent built of metal poles and sheds. The tent belongs to Hussain Radi Hussain Nawaj’ah (40). The Israeli forces leveled the area and then confiscated the tent. The Israeli authorities claimed that there was a decision issued by the Israeli Supreme Court to freeze the construction works in al-Sosiyia village and any new building will be demolished or confiscated without a prior notice. It should be noted that the Israeli forces dismantled a residential tent and demolished a barn belonging to Hussain Radi Hussain Nawaj’ah on 16 April 2019. The tent was later confiscated.

 

Details

 

  1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

 

 

Thursday, 18 April 2019:

 

  • At approximately 00:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Akaba village in Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ma’zouz Ahmad ‘Abdul Rahman ‘Amarna (38) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Qaffin village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Areej Majed Ahmad Hamed (34) and then arrested her, taking her to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched a house belonging to Kathem Mufeed Isma’eel Radwan (26) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested three civilians, including two brothers, taking them to an unknown destination. The arrestees were identified as Loai Nayeb Zuboun (26), Malek Nayeb Zuboun (27) and ‘Abdul Qader Raed Badair (29)

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Burqa village, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested two civilians, taking them to an unknown destination. The arrestees were identified as Mustafa Mohammad Hajjah (37) and his nephew Nour al-Deen Ma’in Nour al-Deen al-Sha’ir.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Surif village, northwest of Hebron and stationed in al-Muteena neighborhood. They raided and searched two houses belonging to ‘Odai Khaled Ghnimat (22) and ‘Omar Mahmoud ‘Elian (28) and then arrested them, taking them to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ziad ‘Abdul Jabbar al-Hassanat (25) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. After breaking the main door, they raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammad Shaher al-Najjar (26) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 07:30, Israeli forces moved into Haris village, north of Salfit. They raided and searched a house belonging to Shehada Isma’il Shehada Kulaib (43) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sebastia, northeast of Nablus; Dura and Beit Ula villages in Hebron.

 

 

Friday, 19 April 2019:

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Al-Tabaqa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Monther Mohammad Abu ‘Atwan (50) and Ahmad Salama Abu Ras (35) and then handed them summonses to refer to the Israeli Intellegence Service in “Gush Etzion”, south of Bethlehem.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Zawiya, west of Salfit. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ameen Abu Leila. A team of Israeli engineers surveyed, photographed, marked the house and took its measures, in addition to drilling its walls in order to blow it up or demolish it. A few days ago, the Israeli Supreme Court refused a petition to stop Israel’s decision to demolish the house and gave the family until Monday 22 April 2019 to evacuate the house. It should be mentioned that the Israeli forces accuse Ameen’s son of carrying out a stabbing and shooting attacks, in which an Israeli settler and soldier were killed, at “Ariel” settlement intersection on 17 March 2019. On 19 March 2019, the Israeli forces killed ‘Omar Abu Leila in an armed clash in ‘Abwein village, north of Ramallah. It should be mentioned that ‘Omar’s corpse is still in the Israeli forces’ custody. (See: Collective Punishment Policy).

 

  • At approximately 14:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Bireh and stationed at the industrial area, north of the city. They raided a grocery store belonging to Ossama ‘Awad ‘Alawy (35) and then confiscated the grocery’s DVR and cell phone.

 

  • Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (9) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Yatta, al-Majd and Tarqumiyah villages in Hebron; Beitunia, west of Ramallah.

 

Saturday, 20 April 2019:

 

  • At approximately 07:30, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agriculture lands, east of Khuza’a, and no injuries nor damage to property were reported.

 

  • Note:During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sebastia, al-Naqoura, Deir Sharaf, northwest of Nablus.

 

Sunday, 21 April 2019

 

  • At approximately 00:30, Israeli forces moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Abdul Rahman Mohammad Sa’eed Hammad (34) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Othman ‘Omar Nakhla (25). They hit him with the rifle’s barrel to the back and shoulder and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Jifna village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ya’qoub Mustafa ‘Omar Hussein (26) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 08:30, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agriculture lands, east of Khuza’a, and no injuries nor damage to property were reported.

 

  • At approximately 08:50, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at civilians, who were collecting gravels near Sofa Site, and no injuries were reported.

 

  • Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Bani Na’eem, al-Dhahiriya, and Abu al-‘Asja villages and Fawar refugee camp in Hebron; Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus.

 

 

Monday, 22 April 2019

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Shofa village in Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Murad Fathi Rashid Moussa (46) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched houses and then arrested Yazan Khaled ‘Ayesh (16), Feras Omar al-J’aide (28) and ‘Anan Ahmed Hmaida (18).
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Batir village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ibrahim Khaled Balassi (24) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub Refugee Camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two house belonging to Sameda Jehad J’ara (22) and Sami Mahmoud al-Titi (19) and then arrested them, taking them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 06:30, Israeli gunboats stationed in the sea, west of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 9 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee for fear of being wounded or arrested and no casualties among them or damage to their boats was reported.
  • At approximately 08:45, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of al-Shwaka, east of Rafah, opened fire and fired tear gas canisters at a number of Palestinian civilians while collecting aggregates near Sofa military base. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:30, an Israeli force sneaked into Qadri Mount from the northeastern side of Rojib village, east of Nablus. The Israeli force surrounded an under-construction house in al-Mraba’a area. The house belongs to Ashraf Mohammed ‘Abd al-‘Aal Qatawi (40), who was on the house’s rooftop. When Ashraf saw the Israeli force heading towards him, he tried to flee behind the house, but a number of Israeli soldiers on front of him surprised him. One of the Israeli forces opened fire in the air so that Ashraf stopped and raised his hands and then the Israeli soldiers arrested him. It should be noted that Ashraf is from Balata Refugee Camp, east of Nablus and Israeli forces claim that he is wanted for around a year.
  • At morning hours, Israeli forces arrested Malek Mahmoud ‘Ali Sabri (26) after he referred to Israeli Intellegence Service in Qalqilia, upon a prior referral.
  • At approximately 16:30, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khoza’a village and no casualties or damage to property were reported.

 

  • Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Tarqoumia village, Dura in Hebron; Sabastia village, northwest of Nablus; Jenin Refugee Camp, west of Jenin.

 

 

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Zawya village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Wael ‘Ali Bakr Shqair (28) and Hamza Ya’qoub Ahmed Radad (19) and then arrested them, taking them to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Deir Samet, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Khader Mohammed al-Haroub (29) and Hassan Yossri al-Haroub (30) and then arrested them, taking them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron, and stationed in Wad ‘Aziz. They raided and searched a house belonging to Hassan Zeyad ‘Awad (36) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Taqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Majd Naji Abu Mefreh (23) and La’ay Ahmed Abu Mefreh (21) and then arrested them, taking them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Qabatia village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched houses and then arrested ‘Alaa’ Belal Sa’id Kamil (24), Hareth ‘Ali Mustafa Abu Ma’la (21) and Mo’taz ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Youssof Abu Ma’la (20).
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Khader village, south of Bethlehm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Omar Hassan Salah (34) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Deir Nezam village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Yehya al-Tamimi and then arrested Mohammed’s sons, Ramez (13) and Rami (11) after beating them and their family by their weapons’ barrels causing bruises to their bodies. At approximately 04:30, the Israeli forces withdrew and took the two children with them.
  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mojahed Youssof Taqatqa (16) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Yatta and Beit Ummar village in Hebron; Sabastia village, northwest of Nablus.

 

 

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

 

  • At approximately 05:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Ahmed Hussain Salah (22), Akram Ibrahim Salah (26), Shehada Mahmoud Salah (22), and Khalil Khaled Salah (24).
  • At approximately 08:35, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of al-Shawka, east of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds, who were forced to flee for fear of their lives and no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli gunboats stationed in the sea, west of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing areas and chased them. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee for fear of getting wounded or arrested and no casualties of damage to their boats were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00, a number of Israeli soldiers moved into the northern entrance to al-‘Aroub Refugee Camp, north of Hebron, where a military checkpoint adjacent to the camp. Meanwhile, a number of children and boys gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers. After that, the Israeli soldiers randomly fired sound bombs, tear gas canisters. As a result, a number of Palestinian civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Hebron, Sorif, al-Samou’, al-Hadb, and Beit ‘Omra villages in Hebron.

 

 

 

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

 

Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

 

 

Gaza Strip:

 

During the 55th week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces wounded 92, including 22 children, four women, five journalists, and five paramedics. Two of them sustained serious wounds. The incidents were as follows:

 

  • Northern Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 22 Palestinian civilians, including two children and a woman. Three of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, three with a rubber bullet and three were directly hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • Gaza City: the Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 32 Palestinian civilians, including six children and a journalist. Sixteen of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, six were hit with rubber bullets and ten were directly hit with tear gas canister.

 

 

  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued from 15:00 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 15 Palestinian civilians, including four children, a woman, a journalist, and two paramedics. Two of them were transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza as their wounds were classified as serious. Six of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and nine were directly hit with tear gas canisters and rubber bullets. The wounded journalist was identified as Mohammad Baker Mahmoud al-Looh (31), from Nuseirat, who works at al-Watan Radio and was hit with a tear gas canister to the left knee. The wounded paramedics were identified as Mohammad Subhi Hassam al-‘Omari (54), from Deir al-Balah, who was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the left leg, and Ahmad Ibrahim Jameel Weshah (25), a volunteer paramedic, who was directly hit with rubber bullet to the head. Both of them work at Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

 

  • Khan Younis: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 16:00 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 19 demonstrators, including four children, two woman, a journalist, and three paramedics. Six of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, one with rubber bullets and 12 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedics were identified as Daila Bassam Ahmad Abu Rida (20), who is a member of Rowad el-Salam Medical Team and was hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg; Mohammad Subhi Abu Ta’ima (24), who is a member of Watan Medical Team and was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg; and Ahmad Saleh Ahmad al-Naqa (32), who works as a paramedic and a media officer at Civil Defense and was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the neck. The wounded journalist was identified as Yusuf Mohammad Qassem Mass’oud (27), who works as a freelance photojournalist and was hit with a shrapnel to the left thigh.

 

  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 16:00 until 18:30, resulted in the injury of 17 demonstrators, including six children and two journalists. Five of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and 12 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded journalists were identified as ‘Abdul Raheem Mohammad Deen al-Khateeb (42), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the left thigh, and Mo’ath Fathy Yusuf al-Hams (23), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the left leg. Both of them work as freelance journalists.

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 13:00, on Friday, 05 April 2019, on Friday afternoon, Palestinian peaceful demonstrators started from the center of Kufor Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of “Kedumim” settlement established on the village’s lands. The demonstrators chanted national slogans demanding end of occupation and condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip within “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities. The demonstrators threw stones at Israeli forces stationed behind sand berms. The Israeli forces immediately fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, four civilians, including two journalists, were wounded. The wounded journalists were identified as:

1- Nedal Shafeek Taher Eshtiah (50), who works as a photojournalist at Xinhua News Agency, was hit with a rubber bullet to the right leg.

2-Ayman Ameen al-Nobany (32), who works as a photojournalist at Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA), was hit with a rubber bullet to the thigh.

 

 

  1. Continued closure of the oPt

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Gaza Strip

 

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.

Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

 

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

 

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

 

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested.

 

 

Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing, in the north of the Gaza Strip, is designated for the movement of individuals, and links the Gaza Strip with the West Bank.

 

 

 Movement at Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing

(17-23 April 2019)

Category 17 April 18 April 19 April 20 April 21 April 22 April 23 April
Patients 96 42 80 62 70
Companions 71 35 63 55 67
Personal needs 23 30 2 1 1 3
Families of prisoners
Arabs from

Israel

12 11 2 5 14 2
Diplomats 10 1
Meetings in Erez
International workers 42 70 5 3 12
Travelers

Abroad

31
Business people+ BMC 390 370 2 1
Economic and agriculture    interviews
Security interviews 2 1
Death cases
Companions’ Deaths
Return to the West Bank 3 1 3
Christians’ Holidays 10
Conferences and Training courses 1
Permits’ renewal 6
VIPs
Ambulances

Patient

1 3 4
Ambulances

companion

1 1 5 4

 

 

 

  • Israeli Forces Arrest Patient’s Companion While Returning to Gaza Strip
  • At approximately 12:00 on Tuesday, 23 April 2019, Israeli forces stationed in Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing arrested Karam Mustafa Mohammed Tantawi (51), from al-Qal’a buildings, south of Khan Younis. Karam, who was accompanying his wife Safa’ ‘Abed al-Majeed Tantawi (47), a cancer patient, was arrested while returning to the Gaza Strip after his wife received treatment at al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem. Safa’ said to PCHR’s fieldworker that on 01 April 2019, she left the Gaza Strip along with her husband to al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem through Beit Hanoun “Erez” She added that she received treatment for 20 days and while she was returning to the Gaza Strip along with her husband, the Israeli authorities arrested him. She clarified that after around 15 minutes, Israeli soldiers ordered her to leave alone to the Gaza Strip, but she refused and waited until 18:00. After that, the Palestinian Civil Liaison informed her that she should return to the Gaza Strip because her husband was arrested.

 

  • Following table illustrates temporary and permanent checkpoints and arrests at these checkpoints in the West Bank from 18 to 24 April 2019:
Governorate Permanent temporary Temporary checkpoints Closed Roads Arrested persons
Jerusalem 13 5
Nablus 10 23 2
Jenin 5 6 1
Ramallah 11 14 4
Tulkarm 7 3 1
Tubas 2 3 1
Salfit 3 8 1
Qalqiliyia 5 5 4
Hebron 20 30 9
Bethlehem 11 7 2
Jericho 5
Al-Karama Crossing
Total 92 104 24 1

 

Arrests at Military Checkpoints:

 

  • At approximately 21:00 on Monday, 22 April 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near the Arab American University, southeast of Jenin. They then arrested Aisar Husam ‘Arqawi (27), from Jenin, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

 

  • Collective Punishment Policy:

 

  • As part of the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against the families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers and/or settlers, on Friday dawn, 19 April 2019, the Israeli forces demolished two apartments belonging to ‘Arafat Irfa’eya in al-Baladia Suburb area in the southern area of Hebron. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 21:00 on Thursday, 18 April 201, the Israeli forces backed by more than 20 military vehicles, armored personnel carriers, a military digger, a mounted-crane truck, and a small digger, moved into al-Baladia Suburb in the southern area of Hebron. The Israeli forces stepped out of their military vehicles, deployed between houses, topped a number of houses’ roofs, and closed the entrance leading to ‘Arafat ‘Atia Sliman Erfa’eya (29), who is arrested, amid the random firing of gas canisters at angry young men, who gathered in the area and threw stones at the Israeli forces. A large number of the Israeli forces raided ‘Arafat’s house comprised of 5 storeies containing 8 apartments to implement a demolition decision that the family received on 04 March 2019. They forced the house’s families comprised of 35 persons, including 20 children, to leave the building and they kept them away from it. Moreover, at approximately 01:00 on Friday, 19 April 2019, the Israeli forces started to demolish the external walls of a 150-square-meter apartment in the second floor, where ‘Arafat parents and brothers live. They also started to demolish another 150-square-meter apartment belonging to ‘Araft. After demolishing the external walls, the Israeli forces inserted a small digger by the mounted-crane truck inside the two apartments and then demolished their internal walls. At approximately 04:30, the Israeli forces withdrew from the area. It should be noted that ‘Arafat is arrested since 09 February 2019 on grounds of killing an Israeli settler, Ori Inspakher (19), in Jerusalem’s forests on 07 February 2019.

 

  • In the same context, Wednesday dawn, 24 April 2019, the Israeli forces blew up a house belonging to the family Omar Abu Laila in al-Zawiyah village, west of Salfit. According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 22:30 on the abovementioned day, the Israeli forces backed by more than 35 military vehicle, armored personnel carriers, a military bulldozer and two diggers moved into al-Zawiyah village, west of Salfit. They surrounded a house belonging to the family of Omar Abu Laila, which is an apartment in a 2-story building. The Israeli forces stepped out of their military vehicles, deployed between houses, topped a number of houses’ roofs, and closed the entrance leading to Omar Abu Laila house. The Israeli soldiers then forced neighboring families to leave their houses and locked them in the village school. A large number of Israeli soldiers raided the second floor of the abovementioned building where the Abu Laila family lived and made holes in the apartment’s interior walls using hammers and Congo electric drills. Meanwhile, the bulldozers made similar holes in the external walls. Following that, the soldiers planted explosives inside the apartment and at approximately 06:55, the apartment was blown up. At approximately 07:30, another explosion was carried out inside the apartment. It should be noted that the above-mentioned building was comprised of 2 floors; each had 4 apartments, sheltering 4 families comprised of 18 individuals, including 10 children and 2 elderly women. As a result of blowing up the apartment, the other 3 apartments in the building fully sustained material damage to their contents. In addition, the nearby houses sustained material damage as their windows glass broke down. It should be noted that the Israeli forces accused Omar Abu Laila of carrying out stabbing and shooting attacks at the intersection of “ Ariel” settlement on 17 March 2019, in which a settler and a soldier were killed. On 19 March 2019, the Israeli forces killed Omar Abu Liala in an armed clash in Abuwin village, north of Ramallah, and his body is so far in the Israeli custody.

 

 

  • Efforts to Create A Jewish majority

 

 

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

 

Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • At approximately 04:00 on Thursday, 18 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested five civilians, including three children, and then took them to Salah al-Deen Police Station in the center of the village. The arrested civilians were identified as Mohamed Sameeh ‘Oliyan (13), Mo’tasem Mohamed Abu Nab (17), Ziyad Khalil al-Rajbi (19), Anas al-Khatib (19), and Mohamed al-Khatib (14).

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Monday, 22 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Ras Shehada neighborhood in Sho’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Malek Naser Hoshieh (15) and Saleh Mohamed al-Sharqawi (14).

 

  • At approximately 03:00 on Monday, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mostafa Jameel al-Hashlamoun (22) and then handed him a notice to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in al-Maskobiyia investigation center, west of Jerusalem, on 30 April 2019.

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Tuesday, 23 April 2019, Israeli police stationed at al-Majles Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque gates, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, arrested the director of the Islamic museum of the mosque, ‘Arafat ‘Amri (54), after detaining his ID card. He was then taken to “ Beit al-‘Aho” investigation center in the Old City.

 

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 18 April 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a bulldozer and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Sosiyia village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration staff dismantled a 30-sqaure-meter residential tent built of metal poles and sheds. The tent belongs to Hussain Radi Hussain Nawaj’ah (40). The Israeli forces leveled the area and then confiscated the tent. The Israeli authorities claimed that there was a decision issued by the Israeli Supreme Court to freeze the construction works in al-Sosiyia village and any new building will be demolished or confiscated without a prior notice. It should be noted that the Israeli forces dismantled a residential tent and demolished a barn belonging to Hussain Radi Hussain Nawaj’ah on 16 April 2019. The tent was later confiscated.

 

  • 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 11 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.

  1. 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.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. 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.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.

 

 

 

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Public Document

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