Ref: 50/2010


 

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns
aggressive measures taken by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in East
Jerusalem, which are part of a series of measures aimed at ethnic cleansing and
creating a Jewish majority in the city. Recent
measures with this aim have included: bulldozing activities in northern
Jerusalem to build 600 new settlement units; a decision by the Israeli
Municipality in Jerusalem to demolish 22 houses in al-Bustan neighborhood in
Salwan village in order to establish “King David’s Garden” on the former
location of these houses; a Israeli Supreme Court ruling upholding a decision
to deport a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Mohammed Abu
Tir; and the closure of Ilaf Association for Education Support in
Jerusalem. PCHR
holds Israel responsible for the escalation of the situation in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory (OPT).  PCHR also confirms that East Jerusalem
constitutes an integral part of the OPT, to which international humanitarian
law and international human rights law is applicable.  PCHR calls upon the
international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the
Fourth Geneva Convention, to fulfill their legal and moral obligations, and to
ensure Israel’s respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention in the OPT in
accordance with article 1 of the Convention.  PCHR believes that if the
international community does not make clear its position that it will no longer
accept Israel acting as a State above the law, Israel will be encouraged to
continue violating international human rights and humanitarian law.
.

 

According to PCHR’s daily investigation of Israeli violations in
occupied Jerusalem, IOF have taken the following measures during the past two
days:

 

On
Sunday, 20 June 2010, the Israeli police closed Ilaf Association for Education
Support on Haron al-Rashid Street in
Jerusalem on an order issued by Israeli Police General Inspector Dodi Kohen.
The pretext given for the closure was that meetings for Hamas were held in
offices of the Association. The closure
order stated: “In accordance with the powers granted to me and in accordance
with Law no. 6a on the Prevention of Terrorism for the Year 1948, I hereby
order the closure of Jerusalem Association for Education Support which is known
as Ilaf Association, 19, ground floor, Haron al-Rashid street, until 01 July
2010, because it belongs to a terrorist organization and is being used by
Hamas. Having reviewed reliable
confidential documents proving that the Association is employed by Hamas, we
inform you that we are considering the issuance of an additional order to close
the Association for one year. Any one
who thinks that he/she may be hurt by this order can submit a written appeal to
me within 15 days from the publication of this order.” Mustafa Abu Zahra,
Chairman of the Association’s Board of Directors, denied the Israeli allegations,
explaining that they are false, fabricated and unfounded. Ilaf Association for
Education Support in Jerusalem was established seven months ago. Since its establishment, the Association has provided
financial assistance in the form of loans to be repaid after graduation to
approximately 160 students in different specializations. The value of loans given to students enrolled
in medicine, pharmacy and engineering faculties is 400 Jordanian Dinars, and
the value of loans given to students enrolled in other faculties is 200
Jordanian Dinars. 

 

Also on Sunday, 20 June 2010, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld an order
issued by the Israeli police to deport from Jerusalem Mohammed Abu Tir, a PLC member
from the Hamas-affiliated  Change and
Reform Bloc, until next September when the Court will consider his petition. In
its decision, the Court held that this deportation order is valid until the
consideration of the petition filed on his behalf in the Court, explaining that
if the decision on the petition is in the interest of the deportee, then he
will be able to return home.  It should
be noted that there are another two deportation orders against PLC Members,
Ahmed Atwan and Mohammed Totah, and a third one against Eng. Khaled Abu Arafa, former
Palestinian Jerusalem Affairs Minister. (For
more information, please see PCHR’s press release published on 07 June 2010,
Ref: 45/2010)
. 

 

On
Monday morning, 21 June 2010, IOF implemented large-scale bulldozing activities
on Palestinian lands between “Pisgat Ze’ev” and “Neve Ya’kov”
settlements in the north of occupied Jerusalem in preparation for the
construction of 600 new settlement units. The construction of these new settlement units was approved one year ago
in order to establish a link between the aforementioned settlements. 

 

Also on Monday, 21 June 2010, the “District Committee of
Organization and Construction” in the Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem
approved a plan to establish the “King David’s Garden” (a Biblical
garden) on the former location of houses in al-Bustan neighborhood in Salwan,
according to a press release issued by the Israeli Municipality in
Jerusalem. The Garden will include
restaurants and a public hotel. The
demolitions will affect 22 houses in the northwestern part of al-Bustan
neighborhood. It should be noted that the Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem
revealed last year that there was a plan to demolish 88 houses and displace
1,500 individuals. (For more
information, please see PCHR’s press release published on 24 February 2009,
Ref: 30/2009)
.

 

PCHR strongly condemns all forms of settlement activities and other
arbitrary actions in East Jerusalem, and:

 

1- Confirms that East Jerusalem, which has been occupied since 05 June
1967, is an integral part of the OPT.

2- Contends that settlement activities in occupied Jerusalem constitute
a war crime in accordance with the provisions of the International Humanitarian
Law. 

3- Argues that the Israeli Supreme Court is one of the tools employed by
the Israeli occupation; in its rulings, this Court does not take into
consideration the provisions of the international humanitarian law and the international
human rights law. 

4- Further contend that measures taken by Israel following the
occupation of the city, primarily the Israeli Knesset’s decision on 28 June 1967
to annex the occupied city to the Israeli territories, the Knesset’s decision
on 30 July 1980 stating that “the whole united Jerusalem is the capital of
Israel,” and the decision of expanding the Jerusalem’s municipal
boundaries, constitute grave violations of the international law and United
Nations Resolutions.

5- Declares all decisions taken and plans implemented by Israel in the
occupied city of Jerusalem will not change its legal status.

6- Alerts all parties that the actions taken by IOF in Jerusalem may serve
to escalate the situation in the OPT. 

 

In light of the above, PCHR calls upon:

 

A – The High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention,
individually or collectively, to fulfill their legal and moral obligations, and
ensure Israel’s respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention in the OPT, in
accordance with Article 1 of the Convention. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the
international community encourages Israel to act as a State above law and to
commit more violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian
law, including continued efforts to create a Jewish majority in occupied East
Jerusalem. 

B – The international community to immediately intervene to compel the
government of Israel to stop all settlement activities in the OPT, especially
the occupied East Jerusalem.

C – The European Union (EU) and/or its Member States to activate article
2 of the Euro-Israeli Association Agreement, which puts Israel’s respect for
human rights as a condition for economic cooperation, and to act to ensure
Israel’s respect for human rights. PCHR
also calls upon the EU Member States to stop all forms of dealing with Israeli
goods, particularly those produced by the Israeli settlements in the OPT.