PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations against Palestinians (09 – 15 January 2020)

Source

January 18, 2020 4:20 AM

Summary

This week, PCHR documented 179 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory. They were as follows:

As part of the Israeli shooting and excessive use of force:

In terms of excessive use of force, IOF suppression of 4 peaceful protests in the West Bank resulted in the suffocation of dozens of Palestinian civilians. Furthermore, 4 IOF shootings were reported at agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip and 3 at fishing boats at Gaza Sea; no casualties were reported.

This week, IOF aircrafts sprayed herbicides along the Gaza Strip’s eastern border fence with Israel from its north to its Central Governorate. According to PCHR’s fieldworkers, Israeli aircrafts were flying at a low altitude over the border fence while spraying the herbicides, which reached a distance of 700 to 1200 meters into the Gaza Strip, depending on wind speed and direction. IOF’s herbicide-attack on agricultural lands is repeated twice annually (the end of December and the begging of January and April), which are the beginning of the cultivation of winter and summer crops. It should be noted that spraying herbicides caused damage to leafy crops at lands adjacent to the border fence, which caused heavy losses. Some farmers are deterred from planting their lands that are located near the border fence in fear of such attacks. IOF claim that they intend to eliminate grass and crops that impair vision in the areas adjacent to the border fence.

Under IOF incursions and house raids in addition to arresting Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 96 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, arresting and/or injuring many others. During this week’s incursions, 69 Palestinians were arrested, including 10 children and a woman. Also during their raids, IOF confiscated Palestinian civilians’ money, equipment and other properties under various excuses. In the Gaza Strip, IOF arrested 4 Palestinians, 2 while attempting to cross into Israel via the border fence and 2 at Beit Hanoun Crossing.

In a move unprecedented for more than 25 years, Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett issued a decision on 15 January 2020 establishing 7 new natural reserves and expanding 12 others in the West Bank. Under the Minister’s decision, the Area “C” lands were put under the authority of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. It should be noted that Area “C” lands constitute over 60% of the West Bank and falls under the Israeli military and civil control. It is no secret that Israel intends to annex Area “C” lands; this decision came a few day after Minister Bennett announced his intent to annex Area “C” to Israel and to enhance settlement activity.

Under the settlement expansion activities in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, PCHR documented 8 demolitions, land razing and demolition notices by IOF, including confiscating a barracks used for livestock and a construction vehicle in Ramallah. IOF also distributed 9 demolition notices and orders to stop construction vehicles in Hebron. Additionally, a blacksmith workshop was destroyed in Jerusalem.

On 15 January 2020, IOF issued a military order to confiscate 350 dunums of agricultural land in Bethlehem in order to expand Bypass road (60), which ties settlements near Bethlehem with Jerusalem, including “Gush Etzion,” “Beitar Illi,” “Eilya,” “Efrat” and “Tzur Hadassah;” as well as “Kiryat Arba” in Hebron.

PCHR also documented 3 settler-attacks that included cutting 80 olive trees and assaulting Palestinian civilians in Nablus.

In terms of collective punishment policy, IOF gave demolition notices to the families of 4 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails targeting their houses in Jenin, Ramallah and Hebron. IOF alleged that their imprisoned sons carried out attacks against IOF and settlers.

In terms of the Israeli closure policy, the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.  Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted and they are subject to arrest. This week, IOF arrested 7 Palestinians, including a child and a woman, at temporary military checkpoints.

  1. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
  2. Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the West Bank
  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday afternoon, 10 January 2019, a peaceful protest took off in Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, and marched towards the village’s eastern entrance, which has been closed for 15 years allegedly for the security of “Kedumim” settlement. The protestors chanted national slogans, demanded an end of the occupation and the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinians. The protestors threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand berms and the latter responded with sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a few people suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • A similar protest launched on the same day in the same village. The protestors threw stones at IOF, who responded with rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, several civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 16:00 on Thursday, 09 January 2020, Dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-Zawiyah area in the center of Hebron and threw stones at the Israeli military checkpoint established at the entrance to al-Shuhada’a Street, which is closed. Israeli soldiers stationed at the abovementioned checkpoint deliberately opened fire at stone-throwers. As a result, a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 10 January 2020, a number of Palestinian young men gathered at the western entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They threw stones at the Israeli military watchtower established at the main road to the camp. Israeli soldiers chased the young men between houses and fired sound bombs and tear gas canister at them. The confrontations, which continued until 17:00, resulted in several civilians suffocating due to tear gas inhalation. No other incidents were reported.
  • At approximately 14:50, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 11 January 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern ‘Abasan area, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 12 January 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Jabalia shore in northern Gaza Strip, chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:10 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed at Beit Hanoun crossing in northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area and fired dozens of flare bombs in the sky of the area. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 13 January 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Jabalia shore in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. The shooting recurred at 09:00 on the same day. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:20 on Tuesday, 14 January 2020, Israeli aircrafts sprayed herbicides on the agricultural lands along the border fence, northeast of al-Buraij, and headed north to Gaza Valley and southeast of Gaza City, claiming to eliminate the grass for security reasons in the area. The spraying process continued until 10:30 on the same day morning. These pesticides caused damage to the leafy crops in the area adjacent to the border fence.
  • At approximately 09:30 on the same Tuesday, Israeli aircrafts sprayed herbicides on the agricultural lands along the border fence, from northeast of Beit Hanoun to Beit Hanoun Crossing, northwest of the village. The Spraying process continued until 10:30 on the same Tuesday.
  • At approximately 08:50 on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, Israeli aircrafts sprayed herbicides on lands adjacent to the border fence, east of al-Buraij refugee camp and headed to the east of Deir al-Balah. The spraying process continued until 11:00 on the same day morning.

According to PCHR’s fieldworkers, Israeli aircrafts were flying at a low altitude over the border fence while spraying the herbicides, which reached a distance of 700 to 1200 meters into the Gaza Strip, depending on wind speed and direction. IOF’s herbicide-attack on agricultural lands is repeated twice annually (the end of December and the begging of January and April), which are the beginning of the cultivation of winter and summer crops. it should be noted that spraying herbicides caused damage to leafy crops at lands adjacent to the border fence, which caused heavy losses. Some farmers are deterred from planting their lands that are located near the border fence in fear of such attacks. IOF claim that they intend to eliminate grass and crops that impair vision in the areas adjacent to the border fence.

It should be noted that in 2016, Israeli authorities revealed that the used substances in the air spraying are Glyphosate, Oxygal, and Durex. One of these substances at least are classified as Carcinogenic substances. In 2015, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), affiliated with the World Health Organization (WHO), classified Glyphosate substance as carcinogenic and causes birth defects. Therefore, a number of states prohibited some of these substances.

  • At approximately 14:10 on the same Tuesday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of Palestinian shepherds, east of al-Qararah. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:30 on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, Israeli aircrafts sprayed herbicides on the agricultural lands along the border fence, from southeast of Beit Hanoun to the east of al-Amal neighborhood, northeast of the village. It should be noted that the spraying process target the buffer zone ranging between 200 – 300 meters in an attempt to burn the grass that is adjacent to the border fence.
  • At approximately 14:30, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, southeast of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at agricultural lands in eastern al-Fukhari village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  1. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem
  1. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
  • At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 09 January 2020, IOF accompanied with workers of Israeli special companies moved into Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah, and stationed on the main street. They dismantled and confiscated a 30-sqaure-meter barrack of ‘Emad Ghanem Sayis, from Kafur Ni’meh village, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • On Saturday, 11 January 2020, Sayil Ibrahim Ja’abees and Sami Mansour Mashahra implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished their houses in al-Mukaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Ja’abees said that his 80-sqaure-meter house built 4 years ago and sheltered 5 members, including 3 children. He added that on last Thursday, he was shocked by raiding his house by the Israeli Municipality staff to hand him the Israeli court’s decision that gave him until Sunday morning to self-demolish his house, and if he will not be implemented the decision, the municipality staff will do so and impose a fine on him. Ja’abees also said that his house was comprised of 2 caravans and a bathroom built on his father’s land, because he could not afford construction costs. Ja’abees pointed out that he and his family became homeless in the cold weather.

Regarding Mashahra, he said that his 65-sqaure-meter house built in 2014 and sheltered his wife and their child. Masharhra added that during the past years, the Israeli Municipality staff raided his house many times and handed him several demolition notices. He clarified that the self-demolition of his house was so difficult.

  • At approximately 07:00 on Sunday, 12 January 2020, a force of IOF accompanied with the Israeli police officers surrounded itinerant vendors and owners of stalls, which were placed in Metar Checkpoint, west of al-Dahiriyia village in southern Hebron. The bulldozer demolished the stalls, damaged the goods and confiscated them, under the pretext of causing a traffic jam at the checkpoint. It should be noted that in 2019, the Israeli authorities damaged the stalls of itinerant vendors 9 times.
  • At approximately 09:30 on Monday, 15 January 2020, IOF accompanied with a driver from “Shillo” settlement, which is established on al-Moghair village’s lands, moved into agricultural lands in al-Sahel area, 500 meters away from the mentioned settlement. IOF expelled Salem al-‘Asi, a bulldozer driver, and confiscated his bulldozer. Al-‘Asi was building an agricultural road on Palestinians’ lands to facilitate their access to their lands. It should be noted that this agricultural work is part of a project to rehabilitate and reclaim agricultural lands funded by the Agricultural Development Association, “Agricultural Relief”. IOF claimed these agricultural lands are classified as Area S, despite the existence of a land registry owned by the Palestinian farmers.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 13 January 2020, IOF accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers and backed by military construction vehicles moved into Eghziwa area in southern Nablus. The Israeli Civil Administration officers distributed notices to stop construction works and demolish some facilities, under the pretext of non-licensing. The notices included:
  1. Demolishing a 120-sqaure-meter under-construction house property of ‘Anan Mohamed ‘Abed Rabbu.
  2. Demolishing a 12-sqaure-meter residential room and 50-sqaure-meter barrack property of Belal ‘Issa al-Yateem.
  3. Demolishing a 140-sqaure-meter house property of Belal ‘Issa al-Yateem.
  4. Demolishing a 150-sqaure-meter house property of Mohamed Khalil ‘Issa Abu ‘Arram.
  5. Stop Construction works in a 80-sqaure-meter house property of Qasem Mohamed Abu Tuhffa.
  6. Demolishing a 140-sqaure-meter house property of Mohamed Mousa Makhamrah.
  7. Demolishing an 1800-sqaure-meter barrack property of Ahmed Isma’il Dababsah.
  • At approximately 11:00, Hisham Dari self-demolished a retaining wall surrounding his plot of land located at the eastern entrance to al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. He implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and levelled his land. Dari added that the Israeli Municipality prevented him from using his land and imposed fines on him. The municipality also closed the entrance of his land with concrete blocks and chains.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers and backed by military construction vehicles moved into Zaif area in southern Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed ‘Issa ‘Ali Abu ‘Arram a 96-hour- notice to demolish his 200-sqaure-meter barrack, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Tuesday, 14 January 2020, the Israeli Municipality bulldozer backed by IOF demolished Khaled Nimer Abu Kahlil’s blacksmith workshop built of tin plates and bricks near Hizmah military checkpoint, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and confiscated its equipment, under the pretext of non-licensing, according to the Mayor of Hizmah Village municipality, Musallam Abu Helou.
  • In a move unprecedented for more than 25 years, Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett issued a decision on 15 January 2020 establishing 7 new natural reserves and expanding 12 others in the West Bank. Under the Minister’s decision, the Area “C” lands were put under the authority of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. The project included the following areas: Soreek cave, al-Moqleq valley, Malha Valley, southern Jordan River, al-Fari’ah valley, and northern Jordan valley.

According to the statement, the 12 natural reserves that will be expanded are: Mountain peaks in western Dead Sea, southeast of Nablus, Fasayil in Jordan valley, Um Zoka in Jordan valley, an area in the Dead Sea, Kharouba village in eastern al-Ramlah, inside the West Bank, northern the Dead Sea, eastern Tubas, northern the Dead Sea, Malha valley, and in Jericho.

Bennett said about his decision to seize areas from the West Bank and establish settlement projects: “Today we are greatly strengthening the Land of Israel by developing Jewish settlement in Area C – with actions, not words,” Bennett said. “Judea and Samaria have natural sites with amazing views. We will expand existing sites and develop new ones…. I invite all Israeli citizens to get up and walk the land, to tour Judea and Samaria, hike, and discover new things and to continue the Zionist enterprise.”

It should be noted that Area “C” lands constitute over 60% of the West Bank and falls under the Israeli military and civil control.

The Minister’s decision came a few day after Minister Bennett announced his intent to annex Area “C” to Israel and to enhance settlement activity.

  • At approximately 14:00 on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, IOF accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers and backed by military construction vehicles moved into Kherbet Tuba in southern Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Huda ‘Isaa ‘Awad Najajrah a notice to stop construction works in a 35-sqaure-meter residential room, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • On Wednesday evening, the Israeli authorities issued military orders to seize 350 agricultural dunums from the lands of al-Khader and Artas villages, south of Bethlehem, according to Hasan Barijiyah, Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance in Bethlehem. Barijiyah pointed out that the Israeli decision aims at expanding Bypass Road (60) and denying Palestinians’ access to their lands.
  1. Israeli Settler Violence
  • On Thursday, 09 January 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Rihlem” settlement established in northern al-Sawiyia village, east of Nablus, moved into al-Wad area, which is classified as Area C. The settlers attacked agricultural lands, where they damaged Hamad Saleh Mahmoud Jazi’s olive trees (80) planted 8 years ago. Also, the settlers set fire to Nader ‘Abed al-Rahim Kafina land and burned 30 olive trees.
  • At approximately 06:00 on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, which is established on ‘Oreef, Hewarah, ‘Inabous and Ma’dama village’s lands, attacked with stones the outskirts of ‘Oreef village from the eastern direction. The Palestinian civilians confronted them and threw stones at them. After that, IOF intervene and secure the settlers’ withdrawal. No injuries among Palestinian civilians were reported.
  • At approximately 12:42 on Wednesday, Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, attacked the outskirts of Ma’dama village from the southern direction. They attacked Yehia Mohamed Sa’ied Qat’s house and broke the windows before the Palestinian civilians intervened and confronted them.
  1. Collective Punishment Policy
  • At approximately 02:30 on Thursday, 09 January 2020, IOF moved into Jenin and handed the family of prisoner Ahmed Jamal Ahmed al-Qumbu’, who has been arrested since 17 January 2018, a notice to demolish their 220-sqaure-meter house in al-Basateen neighborhood in northern Jenin for the 2nd time. It should be noted that the family house sheltering 8 members, including 2 children, was re-built 8 months ago. IOF blew-up the house of al-Qumbu’, who was charged with participation in the killing of an Israeli settler namely Arail Shefeh, from “Hefat Gilad” settlement, southwest of Nablus, on 09 January 2018.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Friday, 10 January 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Birzeit in northern Ramallah. They raided and searched a house of prisoner Yazan Hussaim Maghames (25), who was arrested on 11 September 2019. The soldiers handed Yazan’s father a demolition notice and no arrest among the family members was reported. It should be noted that Maghames was charged with participation in the attack at Ein Bubin near Deir Bzai’a village, west of Ramallah on 23 August 2019, which caused the killing of Israeli female settler and injuring her father and brother.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ramallah and stationed in al-Tirah neighborhood. They raided and searched the house of prisoner Waleed Mohamed Hanatsha and handed his family a demolition noticr. No arrest among the family members war reported. It should be noted that Hanatsha, the financial director at Union of Health Work Committees, was arrested on 03 October 2019. He was accused of participation in the attack at Ein Bubin near Deir Bzai’a village, west of Ramallah on 23 August 2019, which caused the killing of Israeli female settler and injuring her father and brother.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 10 January 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Beit Kahel village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched the house of Kamel Mohamed ‘Asafrah (63) and handed his daughter-in-law married to his son Mahmoud (40), who was arrested on 20 August 2019, a notice to demolish their 120-square-apartment located on the 2nd floor. It should be noted that ‘Asafrah was accused of participation in the killing of an Israeli soldier “ David Soreek” on 07 August 2019, near “Gosh Etizon” settlement, south of Bethlehem. The soldier photographed the house and later withdrew. On 20 November 2019, the Israeli authorities demolished 4 houses of Sa’ied ‘Atiyah Mahmoud Zhour (46), Saleh Khalil al-‘Asafrah (60), and Qasem ‘Aref Khalil ‘Asafrah (34) and his brother Ahmed (37) in Biet Kahel village. The Israeli Military Court handed the mentioned persons indictment, accusing their sons of participation in the killing of David Soreek.

Full document available at PCHR official.

Source Article from https://uprootedpalestinians.wordpress.com/2020/01/19/pchr-weekly-report-on-israeli-human-rights-violations-against-palestinians-09-15-january-2020/

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