Ref: 63/2014

 

In the context of implementing the collective
punishment policy in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Israeli forces have
imposed a series of arbitrary measures in violation of the international
humanitarian and human rights laws against Palestinian civilians.  Following their declaration of the
disappearance of 3 Israeli settlers in Hebron in the south of the West Bank,
since Thursday evening, 12 June 2014, Israeli forces carried out a large-scale arrest
campaign in the West Bank and launched airstrikes on many targets in the Gaza
Strip, in addition to imposing a comprehensive security closure on the West
Bank and Gaza Strip and restrictions on the border crossings between Israel and
the Gaza Strip.  Only a limited number of
patients and companions have been allowed to pass through Beit Hanoun “Erez”
Crossing, and only fuels have been allowed to enter via Kerm Abu Salim
Crossing.  Moreover, residents of Hebron,
who are less than 50 years old, have been prevented from travelling outside the
West Bank.



 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces launched
dozens of house raids and arrest campaigns in all governorates, during which,
they arrested 64 Palestinian civilians, including 5 members of the Palestinian
Legislative Council (PLC) representing “the Hamas Change and Reform Bloc”, two
former ministers as well as political leaders and academics affiliated with
Hamas.  The arrest campaigns were as
follows:

· Hebron: Israeli forces arrested 17 Palestinians,
including Usamah Hussein Yousif Shahin (38), Director of Palestine Prisoners
Center;

· Nablus: Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians,
including Husni Mohammed Ahmed Yasin al-Burini (58), Member of the PLC, and Dr.
Mohammed ‘Azzam Subhi Husni Ghazal (58), a university professor;

· Ramallah: Israeli forces arrested 6 Palestinians,
including Hasan Yousif Dar Khalil (59) and Dr. Ibrahim Sa’id Hasan Abu Salem
(67), both are PLC Members;

· Jerusalem: Israeli forces arrested 5 Palestinians,
including Mohammed ‘Omran Totah (45), Member of the PLC, and Khaled Abu ‘Arafah
(53), Former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, who were both arrested from their
houses in Ramallah to which they had been deported from Jerusalem;

· Jenin: Israeli forces arrested 5 Palestinians,
including Wasfi Qabaha (54), Member of the PLC;

· Tulkarm: Israeli forces arrested 5 Palestinians,
including ‘Abdel Rahman Zidan (54), former Minister of Public Works;

· Bethlehem: Israeli forces arrested 5 Palestinians;

· Tubas: Israeli forces arrested 5 Palestinians;

· Qalqilya: Israeli forces arrested 5 Palestinians;
and

· Salfit: Israeli forces arrested 5 Palestinians.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on Saturday moring, 14
June 2014, Israeli forces launched two air strikes on Khan Yunis and Rafah towns
in the Southern Gaza Strip.  The first
one targeted a site for an armed group; and the second one targeted a vacant
area.  Moreover, on the same day evening,
6 other airstrikes were carried out. 
During the airstrikes, Israeli warplanes targeted greenhouses in the
west of Rafah causing damages to the place. 
Moreover, a woman, who was present in her house near the Saudi neighborhood,
was wounded.  Damages were caused to an
UNRWA clinic overseeing the aforementioned neighborhood.  Meanwhile, another airstrike targeted a tin-made
room attached to a house in Rafah resulting in the destruction of it and
partial damages to 13 nearby houses.  The
rest of the airstrikes targeted sites for armed groups in the Central and
Southern Gaza Strip.  The airstrikes were
as follows:

· At approximately 11:15, an Israeli drone
launched a warning missile at a military site of the Izziddin al-Qassam
Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in Ermeidah area in Bani Sheilah village,
east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. 
Minutes later, an Israeli helicopter gunship launched a missile at the
site.  As a result, it was partially
destroyed and the windows of the nearby houses were broken.  No injuries were reported.

· At approximately 11:30, Israeli warplanes fired
at least one missile at a vacant land near a site of the Palestinian Popular Resistance
Committees in the west of Rafah.  No
injuries were reported.

· At approximately 23:00, Israeli warplanes
launched at least one missile at a tin-made room in the yard of a house
belonging to Yunis Salem Abu Jleidan in al-Salam neighborhood in the south of
Rafah.  As a result, the room was
completely destroyed, and 13 nearby houses were partially damaged.  No injuries were reported.

· At approximately 23:15, Israeli warplanes
launched at least one missile at “Martyr Mohammed Jebril” Site belonging to
al-Qassam Brigades in Tebet Zare’a area in the east of Rafah. As a result, damages
were caused to the site, and no injuries were reported.

· At approximately 23:20, Israeli warplanes
launched at least one missile at a land and greenhouse in the former
settlements area in the west of Rafah. 
As a result, damages were caused to the place, and Islam Mohammed
‘Aweidah (27) sustained a deep injury and a fracture in the left thigh when she
was at her house in the Saudi neighborhood near the targeted greenhouses.  Moreover, damages were caused to an UNRWA
health clinic overseeing the aforementioned neighborhood.  The wounded woman was taken to Abu Yousif al-Najjar
Hospital in Rafah and then transferred to the European Gaza Hospital in Khan
Younis to receive the medical treatment. 
Her condition was described as moderate.

· At approximately 23:28, Israeli warplanes
launched at least one missile at “al-Qadisyah” site belonging to al-Qassam
Brigades in the west of Khan Yunis.  As a
result, damages were caused to the site, but no injuries were reported.

· At approximately 23:35, Israeli warplanes
launched at least one missile at a paramilitary site of Palestinian armed
groups in the former “Nitser Hazani” settlement, northwest of Khan ounis.  As a result, damages were caused to the
place, but no injuries were reported.

· At approximately 23:45, Israeli warplanes
launched at least one missile at a paramilitary site of armed groups, north of
Nussairat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.  As a result, damages were caused to the
place, but no injuries were reported.

 

PCHR stresses that the measures taken by the Israeli forces
in the oPt are part of the collective punishment policy and reprisals against Palestinian
civilians in violation of Article 33 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention
Relative to Protection of Civilians in Times of War which provides that: “No
protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally
committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of
terrorism are prohibited.” PCHR calls upon the international community to take
immediate and effective actions and reiterates its call for the High
Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their
obligations under Article 1; to respect and to ensure respect for the
Convention in all circumstances. PCHR also calls upon the international
community to fulfill their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons
alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  These
grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention
and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions.