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Dagelijks archief 3 mei 2018

Israelis strongly back shooting Palestinians at Gaza border

Back shooting

The Israelis overwhelmingly back the shooting of peaceful Palestinian protesters at Gaza border and the US President Donald Trump’s plans to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem, a new poll found out.

The poll, conducted by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute, shows that the majority of the Israelis strongly back the shooting attacks carried out by the occupation army against Palestinian protesters along Israel’s border with the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Eighty-three percent of Israelis say they support the shooting policy.

Since March 30th, 44 Palestinians were killed, among them 5 minors, and over 6,000 others have been left injuries in aggressive attacks by the Israeli military on the Great March of Return protests staged at Gaza’s border.

According to the new survey, more than two-thirds of Israelis back Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Occupied Jerusalem.

The poll shows that 63% of all Israelis say the embassy move benefits Israel.

Following Trump’s December 6th declaration, rioting broke out across the Muslim world, with leaders of Muslim-majority nations condemning the decision.

(Source / 03.05.2018)

60 Palestinian refugees arrested while fleeing Yarmouk camp

Yarmouk camp

Nearly 60 Palestinian refugees were detained after fleeing the embattled Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp as the Syrian government escalates its ongoing military operation in southern Damascus.

The Action Group for Palestinian Refugees in Syria affirmed that 60 Palestinians, mostly children and women, were arrested while trying to pass through Arouba checkpoint erected at the entrance to the refugee camp.

Yarmouk residents have appealed for the release of all the detainees who had refused to leave their homes despite the very difficult conditions.

The group also pointed out that violent clashes erupted yesterday in the camp following an intense campaign of air raids as well as missiles and shells.

Yarmouk, which has been besieged by the Syrian government and opposition groups since 2013, was once home to nearly 200,000 people, among them Palestinian refugees, Syrians and others.

(Source / 03.05.2018)

IOF shoots, arrests Palestinian near Gaza border

Pal arrested Gaza

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Thursday arrested a Palestinian young man and took him to a nearby investigation center after shooting him near Gaza border fence.

Local sources told Quds Press that Israeli forces used heavy live ammunition and teargas bombs before arresting the injured young man.

Earlier Thursday, another young man was hit and injured with a teargas bomb east of Khan Younis to the south of the Strip.

In addition to this incident, a group of Palestinian youths on Thursday morning dragged away the barbed wire set up by IOF back to their Awda camp, east of Khan Younis.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian youngster died on Thursday morning of wounds sustained on Friday after the Israeli army attacked protesters during the Great March of Return across Gaza’s eastern borders.

His death brings the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli military during the Great March of Return protests, initiated on March 30, to 50. Five casualties have had their bodies withheld by the Israeli occupation authorities.

(Source / 03.05.2018)

Human Rights Laws Do Not Apply for Great March

03 MAY
8:15 PM

Basic principles of using force and firearms do not apply, with regard to  incidents which have occurred during the Great March of Return along Gaza’s border, with the army claiming that the marches constitutes a state of war.

In response to a petition filed by human rights organizations against Israeli occupation forces’ orders to fire on peaceful demonstrators, the occupation claimed that the orders were consistent with Israeli law and international law.

The standing goals behind the incidents that were mentioned, in the petitions, are not subject to the international human rights laws, nor to law enforcement rules under international human rights.

The Israeli army claimed, according to Al Ray, that the Hamas movement exploits the marches in order to to carry out attacks against Israel.

The army alleged that it does not consider participation in marches, nor approaching the fence, a  hostile operation; instead, it considers each case separately.

According to the Haaretz newspaper, the prosecution differentiates  between law enforcement provisions related to demonstrations and cases of hostilities that include attempts to infiltrate Israel and carry out operations against soldiers and civilians.

It explained that, in the first incident, the army resorts to lethal force as a last choice ,while lethal force is used firstly in the second case.

Regarding shots fired, Israeli prosecution discussed the matter in closed sessions, in the presence of one party only, under the pretext of security classification, and other intelligence information.

(Source / 03.05.2018)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (26 April – 02 May 2018)

03 MAY
9:02 PM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 26 April – 02 May, 2018.

Israeli forces continued to directly target peaceful protests that did not pose any threat to the Israeli soldiers’ life. 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed on the fifth Friday of the March of Return and Breaking Siege.

Shooting:

 

Israeli forces continued to use excessive lethal force against Palestinian civilians, who participated in peaceful demonstrations organized on the 42nd anniversary of the Earth Day, particularly in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed peaceful demonstrations along the eastern Gaza Strip border area, where ten thousands of defenseless Palestinian young men, women, children, and elderlies participated. On Friday, 20 April 2018, the Gaza Strip witnessed peaceful demonstrations where ten thousands of Palestinian civilians participated.  Those non-violent demonstrations continued sporadically during the reporting period.  As a result, 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed, so the death toll has increased to 40 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children and 2 journalists, since the beginning of the demonstrations of the March of Return and Breaking the Siege on 30 March 2018 in the Gaza Strip only.  Moreover, two civilians were killed after the Israeli forces claimed they threw explosive devices at a military patrol but their families confirmed they were only civilians.  Further, a child was killed while attempting to sneak into Israel.  In the Gaza Strip as well during the reporting period, 389 Palestinian civilians, including 67 children, 8 women, 6 journalists and 4 paramedics, were wounded; condition of some of them was reported serious.  In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 10 Palestinian civilians, including 1 child, 1 paramedic and 1journalist, in separate incidents.

 

This high number of casualties in the Gaza Strip proves that the Israeli forces continue to commit crimes and use excessive force against Palestinian civilians in disregard for their lives and upon an official political decision. PCHR indicates that according to Israeli forces’ spokesperson on his Facebook page following the declaration of organizing these demonstrations commemorating the 42nd anniversary of the Land Day, the Israeli forces prefigured the demonstrations, whose organizers previously declared they would be peaceful, sending threatening messages to intimidate the organizers and Gaza Strip residents and deploying Israeli snipers along the border fence.

 

 

According to investigations and field observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers for the Fifth Friday of the March of Return and Breaking Siege demonstrations:

 

  • Dozens of Israeli Forces’ snipers continued to position on the hills, behind the sand barriers and in military jeeps along the border fence in front of the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip.

 

  • The demonstrations witnessed an increase in the number of participants during this day particularly after 16:00 as their number was estimated at ten thousands of participants, including women, children, elderlies and entire families, in 5 main points where the March of Return demonstrations were set.
  • According to the fieldworker’s eyewitnessing, at approximately 17:00, under a huge Palestinian flag and amidst the sound of Scouts’ drums, hundreds approached at a close range from the border fence in eastern Khan Younis, and the Israeli forces heavily targeted them with live fire and tear gas canisters. As a result, one of the civilians was killed while others were wounded. Moreover, dozens of women and civilians shouting national slogans were hit with tear gas canisters, noting they were standing on the sand barriers which are around 260 meters away from the border fence.
  • The Israeli snipers deliberately and selectively opened fire at the participants in the peaceful demonstrations which included thousands of civilians in 5 areas in the eastern Gaza Strip. As a result, 3 civilians were killed and a child succumbed to his wounds the next day while 373 others, including 65 children, 8 women, 6 journalists and 4 paramedics, were wounded only on the abovementioned Friday, noting that most injuries occur in the demonstration area that is around 30-300 meters away from the border fence while many injuries among the demonstrators were reported along the border fence, east of Gaza and Jabalia.
  • The demonstrations were as always fully peaceful, and PCHR’s fieldworkers did not witness weapons or armed persons even dressed in civilian clothes among the demonstrators, who were thousands of elderlies, women, children and entire families. Those demonstrators moved forward until in certain instances, particularly in eastern Gaza City, Jabalia and Khan Younis, reached the border fence raising flags, chanting slogans and national songs, flying kites in high and burning tires. Meanwile in other demonstrations, there were folklore, sportive and Scout performances in addition to women’s gatherings. However, the demonstrators were under the Israeli fire.
  • PCHR fieldworkers’ observations undoubtedly refute the Israeli government and some media’s claims that children are used as human shields by the demonstrators. This refusal was based on the totally peaceful nature of the demonstrations, participation of entire families, including their children, and some women and children’s offering water for the demonstrators and raising flags with no influence from any political party encouraging them to do so.
  • The Israeli forces widely used bursts of tear gas canisters targeting the center of the demonstrations and the demonstrators near the border fence. As a result, hundreds, including PCHR’s fieldworkers who were documenting the incidents, suffered tear gas inhalation and seizures; some of them were transferred to hospitals as a number of them still receive medical treatment.
  • The Israeli forces twice fired many tear gas canisters which fell near the field clinic in eastern al-Bureij refugee camp, noting the clinic is 450 meters away from the border fence. As a result, the medical crews suffered tear gas inhalation and their work was disrupted. Moreover, 5 paramedics were directly hit with tear gas canisters while on duty to rescue and evacuate those wounded in the demonstrations in eastern Gaza, Khan Younis and al-Bureij.
  • Journalists were again directly targeted resulting in the injury of 6 journalists with direct live bullets or tear gas canisters though most of them were wearing their PRESS-marked vests.

 

  • PCHR’s investigations point out that 2 of those killed were directly shot to the head and neck while the third was shot to the abdomen in addition to the other injuries that were mainly in the head, neck, back, chest, abdomen and limbs. Moreover, there are 13 civilians in critical condition, including a 15-year-old child from Khan Younis hit with a live bullet to the head, portending that the death toll would rise in any moment.
  • PCHR’s fieldworkers noticed that the Israeli shooting and teargasing at the protesters intensified randomly when dozens of demonstrators could approach or reach in some instances the border fence or even managed to pull parts of the second barbed wires placed inside the Palestinian territories around 50 meters away from the main border fence. As a result, many injuries were reported particularly in eastern Khan Younis, Gaza and Jabalia.
  • The Israeli incitement against the peaceful demonstrations and encampments continues as extension of previous statements by Israeli political and military officials threatening to inflect deaths and injuries among the demonstrators in addition to perceiving the demonstration itself as danger. This hereby violates the right to peaceful assembly codified in all International instruments.

 

In addition to the abovementioned, on 29 April 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Qararah village, northeast of Khan Younis shot dead 2 Palestinian civilians who attempted to sneak via the border fence.  On his Facebook page, the Spokesperson of the Israeli forces declared that 2 persons crossed the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip, claiming they “threw explosive devices at a military patrol, so the Israeli soldiers in response opened fire at the two saboteurs and killed them.”  However, the family of both civilians says that they were only civilians.

 

On the same day, the Israeli soldiers opened fire at Yousif Abu Jazar (16) from Bader refugee camp, west of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip after he managed to cross the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.  They arrested him and his friend who was later released.

 

On the same day, a civilian was wounded to the left leg when the Israeli forces moved into the area opposite to the March of Return encampments, east of Khuza’ah village, southeast of Khuza’ah, southeast of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip amidst shooting at the sit-in yard there.

 

As part of targeting fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against fishermen in the Gaza Sea, indicating to the on-going Israeli policy of targeting their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, PCHR’s fieldworkers monitored 3 shooting incidents in north-western Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

As part of the Israeli airstrikes, on 27 April 2018, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at boats prepared to receive ships for breaking the siege in the Gaza Seaport.  As a result, the boats sustained severe damage while no casualties were reported.

 

On the same day, the Israeli warplanes launched 4 missiles at a military site belonging to the Palestinian armed groups in Western Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.  The airstrike came after the Israeli gunboats fired 6 shells at the above-mentioned site.  Meanwhile, no casualties were reported, but the site sustained damage.

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 26 April 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at the Palestinian shepherds.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

On 27 April 2018, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Gaza Valley Village (Johr al-Deek) in the central Gaza Strip opened fire and fired canisters in the vicinity of the landfill.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

On 29 April 2018, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip opened fire at the farmers’ lands.  The shooting recurred on 30 April 2018 in the eastern side of the area and eastern Deir al-Balah.

 

In the West Bank, on 26 April 2018, two Palestinian civilians were wounded when Israeli forces stationed inside the military watchtower at the southern entrance to Halhoul, north of Hebron, opened fire at a Fiat Punto Car without any prior warning.

 

On the same day, a Palestinian civilian was wounded to his right hand with a bullet when the Israeli forces moved into al-Dheishah refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, to carry out an arrest campaign and some civilians protested against them.

 

On 27 April 2018, a civilian, who was arrested, and paramedic were wounded when an Israeli military force moved into Kabsah intersection between the villages of al-‘Izar’iyah and Abu Dis, east of occupied East Jerusalem, and dozens of youngsters protested near the area.

 

On 30 April 2018, a 21-year-old civilian was wounded from Balata refugee camp with a rubber bullet to the right foot during a protest against the Israeli soldiers who moved into Nablus to carry out an arrest campaign.  On the same day, a child was wounded with a rubber bullet to the foot and then arrested when the Israeli forces moved into Jabe’a village, south of Jenin, to carry out an arrest campaign.

 

On 01 May 2018, Wael al-Salaymah, a journalist, was wounded with a rubber bullet to the foot while covering the demolition of a building in al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. (See under the title of measures to creat a Jewish Majrotiy in occupied East Jerusalem)

 

In addition to the abovementioned injuries, during the reporting period, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded after Israeli forces opened fire at them and fired tear gas canisters directly during peaceful protests and stone-throwing at the Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrances to the Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Those demonstrations came in the light of demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians in protest at Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Israeli forces’ ongoing settlement crimes, confiscation of Palestinian lands, and Israeli forces’ crimes against the peaceful demonstrations organized by the Palestinians along the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip.

Efforts to Create a Jewish Majority in East Jerusalem:

 

As part of the Israeli settlement expansion and house demolition notices and demolitions, on 27 April 2018, Eyad Ramadan self-demolished a car parking he owns in Wadi al-Helwa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, to implement the Israeli Municipality’s decision. Eyad said that he self-demolished the parking to implement the Israeli Municipality’s decision and avoid paying the high fine and demolition costs he will forced to pay under the pretext of non-licensing. Eyad also said that the Israeli Municipality issued 3 months before a demolition decision against his parking under the pretext of non-licensing and he attempted to delay the decision but in vain.

 

On 29 April 2018, the Israeli Nature Authority conducted excavation works in Bab al-Rahma Cemetery adjacent to al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the Israeli forces’ protection. The Israeli Nature Authority crews excavate and exhume many graves and damaged their gravestones to fix steel poles as part of the Israeli plans in the cemetery lands.

 

On 01 May 2018, the Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished a building belonging to Jamal ‘Alian in al-Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing.  The abovementioned civilian said that the building was established 5 years ago and the municipality issued a decision to demolish it 2 years after it was built.  However, the decision was delayed and frozen many times until a fine of 230 thousands shekels was imposed.  The first floor of the 3-storey building includes a pizza shop, spices shop, and dry-clean” while the 2 other floors include 4 apartments of 200 square meters sheltering 4 families of 17 individuals, including 7 children.

 

Settlement Activities, Demolitions, and Settlers’ Attacks against Palestinian civilians and their Property:

 

As part of the settlement expansion and house demolitions and demolition notices, on 28 April 2018, the Israeli authorities notified 2 Palestinian families of seizing vacant areas of their lands in al-Khadir village, south of Bethlehem. Ahmed Salah, Coordinator of the Committee against the Wall and Settlements in al-Khadir village, said that the Israeli authorities notified to seize 42 dunums belonging to Salah and Subaieh Families for security purposes. He also said that this measure coincided with surveying lands in Um Rukba area by the Israeli Civil Administration officers, claiming that they want to establish a large square and build a road leading to Solomon’s Pools.

 

On 02 May 2018, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and bulldozers and accompanied with vehicles belonging to the Civil Administration moved into Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron, classified by the Israeli forces as military training areas.  The vehicles demolished many dwellings in Kherbet al-Fakhit and other facilities in Kherbet Janbah. Kherbet al-Halawah, Kherbet al-Markaz, and Kherbet al-Fakhit.  The demolition targeted 5 residential rooms, 5 sheep barns while 4 solar cells were confiscated.

 

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property, on 27 April 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar “settlement attacked the stone pits area, northwest of ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus. The Israeli settlers wrote hostile slogans against Arabs and Muslims on the vehicles and punctured with sharp tools the tires of 2 vehicles belonging to Sakhir Company.

 

On the same day, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar “settlement attacked a plot of land belonging to Jamila Abed al-Rahman Shehada, from ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus. The settlers cut about 12 olive trees with automatic saws.

 

On 29 April 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Eli Zahav” settlement levelled Palestinian civilians’ lands belonging to Kafur al-Deek Municipality, west of Salfit, in order to expand the above-mentioned settlement. While covering the leveling, the Israeli settlers attacked the reporter of Ma’an News Agency, ‘Ohoud ‘Aqail al-Khafsh (38), from Merda village, north of Salif. The settlers beat her to prevent her from taking photos and attempted confiscate her press equipment. As a result, ‘Ohoud sustained bruises to her hands and feet.

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

 

Continuing the demonstrations in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to it, Palestinian civilians organized protests against the decision throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They further organized peaceful demonstrations where ten thousands of civilians participated on the 42nd Anniversary of the Land Day in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The demonstrations were named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege.” The demonstrations were as follows during the reporting period:

 

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, 26 April 2018, dozens of Palestinian protestors gathered along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip, within the activities of the March of Return organized by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege in the Gaza Strip. They threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them. The clashes continued until the evening hours. As a result, 3 civilians, including a child were wounded and then transferred via ambulances belonging to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Doctors classified their injury as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 27 April 2018, ten thousands of civilians made their way to the March of Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, east of Malakah intersection, east of al-Zaitoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City, for the fifth consecutive Friday, which was called as the “Youth Rebels Friday”. The demonstrations’ organizers fixed posters of those killed in the March of Return demonstrations and prisoners in the Israeli jails. They also chanted slogans and national songs, set fire to tires and flew huge number of kites. Although the demonstrations were as always fully peaceful, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel deliberately and randomly fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. At approximately 16:30, a group of young men were able to cross the border fence. The Israeli forces immediately and heavily opened fire at them and the Israeli warplanes fired tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 civilians were killed namely:

 

  1. Mohammed Amin Ahmed al-Moqayad (21) from Sheikh Redwan neighborhood was hit with a bullet to the head.
  2. Khalil Na’im Mustafa ‘Atallah (22) from Shahabah neighborhood was hit with a bullet to the neck and shrapnel to the abdomen.

In addition, 155 civilians, including 25 children, 4 women, 2 journalists and a paramedic, were wounded. One hundred and thirty four of them were hit with live bullets, 3 civilians were hit with rubber bullets and 18 others were directly hit with tear gas canisters.

The 2 wounded journalists and paramedic were identified as:

 

  1. Abdul Rahman Hani al-Kahlout (22), a freelance photojournalist was hit with a live bullet to the right foot.
  2. Hashem Eyad Hamadah (23), a photojournalist at Hala Palestine News was hit with a tear gas canister to the head.
  3. Mazen Jebril Hasnah, a paramedic at the Military Medical Services, was hit with 2 live bullets to the legs. Doctors classified his injury as serious as he is so far in the ICU.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on the same Friday, Palestinian protestors swarmed to the camps established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege 700 meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip. Following the Friday prayer, the number of participants increased when thousands of civilians, including women, children and men, arrived at the area. Hundreds of them approached the border fence, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers 30 meters away from the border fence. The soldiers sporadically fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them and the protestors gathered at distances of more than 300 meters. The clashes continued until approximately 21:00 on the same day. As a result, 37 protestors, including 7 children and a woman, were wounded. Thirty six of them were hit with live bullets while one civilian was directly hit with a tear gas canister. They were transferred via PRCS ambulances to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Doctors classified the injuries of 3 civilians as serious and transferred them to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. In the evening, the Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters in the vicinity of the encampments and field clinics belonging to the Ministry of Health. As a result, the medical crews and dozens of the protestors suffered tear gas inhalation.

 

  • On Friday morning, 27 April 2018, hundreds of Palestinians swarmed to the sit-in yard in the March of Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Yunis. The encampments are surrounded with the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel from the eastern and northern side on distances averaged between 250-500 meters. Following the Friday prayer, at approximately 13:30, the numbers of the protestors increased, reaching to hundred thousands of men, elderlies, women and children. They spread inside and outside the encampments yards, raised flags, and chanted slogans and national songs as dozens of them approached the border fence, set fire to tires and managed to pull parts of the second barbed wires placed inside the Palestinian territories around 50-70 meters away from the main border fence, attempting to threw stones at Israeli forces.

According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, the Israeli forces stationed on huge sand barriers and hills and inside military vehicles, 30-50 meters away from the border fence continued deliberately firing live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. PCHR’s fieldworkers noticed that the demonstrations were as always fully peaceful, and PCHR’s fieldworkers did not witness weapons or armed persons even dressed in civilian clothes among the demonstrators. The numbers of the demonstrators, reaching to thousands of men, elderlies, women and children within entire families of different ages, increased, reaching its peak at approximately 16:00 in the evening. They raised Palestinian flags, chanted slogans and national songs, flew kites and set fire to tires. At approximately 17:00, under a huge Palestinian flag and amidst the sound of Scouts’ drums, hundreds approached at a close range from the border fence and the Israeli forces heavily targeted them with live fire and tear gas canisters. As a result, one of the civilians was killed while others were wounded.  Moreover, dozens of women and civilians shouting national slogans were hit with tear gas canisters, noting they were standing on the sand barriers which are around 260 meters away from the border fence. The Israeli forces widely used bursts of tear gas canisters targeting the center of the demonstrations and the demonstrators near the border fence. The Ministry of Health moved the Field clinic from its previous location to a new one far away from the encampments after the Israeli forces targeted the mentioned clinic with tear gas canisters in the 2 previous Fridays. The Israeli shooting sporadically and deliberately continued until 20:00.  As a result, Abdul Salam ‘Eid Zuhdi Baker (33) from Khan Yunis was killed after being hit with a live bullet that amputated part of his right hand finger and settled under the chest causing internal severe bleeding. Baker was taking photos of the incidents by his J7 cell phone while he was 100 meters away from the border fence, east of Khuza’ah.

Moreover, 64 civilians, including 13 children, 2 women, a journalist and 3 volunteer paramedics, were wounded. Eighteen of them were hit with live bullets, 45 were directly hit with tear gas canisters and one civilian was hit with a rubber bullet. all the wounded were taken to the field clinics in the encampments and then transferred to Nasser, Gaza European and Algerian Hospitals in the city. Doctors classified their injury of 2 of them as serious. At approximately 04:30 on 28 April 2018, ‘Azzam Helal Riyad ‘Ouweidah (15) succumbed to wounds he sustained after being hit with a tear gas canister to the back of his head at approximately 18:10 on Friday while he was 100 meters away from the border fence, east of Khuza’ah. The tear gas canister caused a 2.5-centemeter hole in ‘Ouweidah’s head and brain laceration and fractures in the head bones. Moreover, Hundreds of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and seizures as dozens of them were transferred to hospitals.

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on the same Friday, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Abu Safiya Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at dozens of civilians who were participating in the fifth Friday of the March of Return and Breaking Siege demonstrations organized by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege under the name of the: “Youth Rebels Friday”. The protestors set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind the sand barriers. The clashes, which continued until approximately 20:00, resulted in the injury of 84 civilians, including15 children, one woman, and 2 journalists, were wounded. Twenty seven of them were hit with live bullets and 57 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were transferred via ambulances belonging to the PRCS, Medical Services, General Union Committee and the Ministry of Health to the Indonesian, al-Awda and Kamal Edwan Hospitals. Doctors classified the injury of one of them as serious. The 2 wounded journalists were identified as:

 

  1. Nabil Eyad Nabil Darabaih (21), a photojournalist at Quds News from al-Nasser neighborhood in Gaza City, was hit with a tear gas canister to the head.
  2. Nihad Fou’ad Ibrahim Abu Ghalyoun (33), a journalist at Forsan Alerada Radio, was hit with a tear gas canister to the back.

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians, including women, children and elderlies within entire families swarmed to the March of Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah after they moved the camps to Jaker Street, 300 meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. They raised the Palestinian flags and chanted national slogans as some of them approached the first border fence, which is placed inside the Palestinian territories around 50-70 meters away from the main border fence. They also managed to pull parts of it and set fire to tires, flew kites and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers. The soldier fired live bullets and tear gas canisters. The clashes continued until approximately 19:00 on the same day. As a result, 33 civilians, including 5 children and a journalist were wounded. Twenty eight of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel, 3 civilians were hit with rubber bullets and 2 were directly hit with tear gas canisters, including photojournalist Abdul Rahim Mohammed Deeb al-Khatib (40).

 

  • On Saturday afternoon, 28 April 2018, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in eastern Malakah intersection, east of al-Zaitoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City, to participate in the activities of the “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege.” The protestors threw stones at Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them. In the evening, a 24-year-old civilian from al-Sheja’eya neighborhood was hit with a live bullet to the left foot.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Sunday, 29 April 2018, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east and northeast of the demonstration encampments, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at protestors who were in the area. Some of the protestors attempted to approach the border fence. The shooting continued sporadically for 2 hours. As a result, a civilian was hit with a live bullet to the right thigh and transferred to the Gaza European Hospital to receive medical treatment.

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Monday, 30 April 2018, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip to participate in “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities organized by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege in the Gaza Strip. They threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the abovementioned border fence. The soldier soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them. The clashes continued until the evening. As a result, a civilian was hit with a live bullet to the lower limbs.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on the same Monday, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, north and northeast of the demonstration camp, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors who were in the area. Some of the protestors attempted to approach the border fence. The shooting continued sporadically for 2 hours. As a result, a civilian was hit with a live bullet to the lower limbs and doctors classified his injury as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 19:00 on the same Monday, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in the eastern side of Malakah intersection, east of al-Zaitoun neighborhood, east of Gaza city to participate in the activities of “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The soldiers sporadically fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them. In the evening, a 25-year-old civilian from al-Sheja’eya neighborhood was hit with a live bullet to the left foot.

 

  • At approximately14:50 on Tuesday, 01 May 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, north of Buret Abu Samra, north of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian civilians who were near the border fence. As a result, a 27-year-old civilian from Jabalia was hit with a live bullet to the left thigh and doctors classified his injury as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 17:30 on the same Tuesday, Israeli forces stationed behind a sand barrier which is 50 meters away to the eastern side of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Abu Safiya Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at dozens of civilians who were 50-150 meters to the west of the border fence. The protestors set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers from far distances. As a result of the clashes, a 24-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet to the left leg and doctors classified his injury as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 12:00 on Wednesday, 02 May 2018, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip, fired live bullets at the Return encampments, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. As a result, a crane driver was hit with a live bullet to the upper limbs while he was working on moving containers inside the camp. He was transferred to Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah and doctors classified his injury as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 17:30, on the same Wednesday, Israeli forces stationed behind a sand barrier 50 meters away to the eastern side of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Abu Safiya Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at dozens of civilians who were 50-150 meters away to the western side of the border fence. The protestors set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers from far distances. As a result of the clashes, a 21-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet to the left thigh and a 15-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet to the thighs and testicles. One of the wounded civilians was transferred to the Return of March clinic belonging to the General Union Committee and doctors classified his injury as moderate while the other wounded civilian was transferred to the Indonesian Hospital and doctors classified his injury as serious and he is staying at the ICU because he severe bleeding in the thighs.

 

  • At approximately 18:00 on the same Wednesday, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east and northeast of the Return of March encampments, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors who gathered in the area. Some of the protestors approached the border fence. The shooting continued sporadically for 2 hours. As a result, 3 civilians were hit with live bullets shrapnel to the limbs. They were transferred to the Gaza European Hospital and doctors classified their injury as moderate. During sporadic hours of the day, young men gathered from time to time near the border fence, which is 250 meters into the north of the camp, and attempted to throw stones at the Israeli forces. They also managed to pull the security fence that the Israeli forces replaced inside the Palestinian territory, 70 meters away from the main border fence. The Israeli forces continued targeting the protestors by firing live bullets and tear gas canisters at them.

 

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the Friday prayer at approximately 13:30 on 27 April 2018, a group of Palestinian civilians moved from Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah into the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of the entrance to “Kedumim” settlement established on the village lands. The protestors chanted national slogans demanding to end occupation, condemning the U.S President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital Israel and condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors at the eastern border of the Gaza Strip within “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities. The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers. The soldiers fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 35-year-old child was hit with a rubber bullet to the right hand.

 

  • At approximately 15:30 on Saturday, 28 April 2018, a group of Palestinian civilians moved from Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah into the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of the entrance to “Kedumim”settlement established on the village lands. The protestors chanted national slogans demanding to end occupation, condemning the U.S President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital Israel and condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors at the eastern border of the Gaza Strip within “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities. The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers. The soldiers fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, Walid Kamel Omer Barham (52) was hit with a rubber bullet to the skull causing a fracture to it and  bleeding to the eye. It should be noted that Barham was working in his land near the demonstration area as he was wounded 10 meters away from it. He was transferred to the  Istishari Arab Hospital in Nablus and doctors classified his injury as serious.

Notices and House Demolition:

 

  • On Friday, 27 April 2018, Eyad Ramadan self-demolished a car parking he owns in Wadi al-Helwa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, to implement the Israeli Municipality decision. Eyad said that he self-demolished the parking to implement the Israeli Municipality decision and avoid paying demolition costs, under the pretext of non-licensing. Eyad also said that the Israeli Municipality issued before 3 months a demolition decision against his parking under the pretext of non-licensing and he attempted to delay the decision but in vain. The Israeli police raided his parking few days ago and ordered him to level it. They also gave him until 29 April 2018 to implement the decision or the Israeli Municipality vehicles will demolish the parking and he will pay the demolition costs in addition to a fine estimated at NIS 60,000. Eyad added that he built the parking because there was no other parking in the neighborhood and the Israeli Municipality and police usually issue fines against the residents’ vehicles if they park their vehicles in front of their houses.

 

  • On Sunday, 29 April 2018, the Israeli Nature Authority conducted excavation works in Bab al-Rahma Cemetery, which is next to al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the Israeli forces’ protection. The Israeli Nature Authority crews excavate and exhume many graves and damaged their gravestones to fix steel poles, upon the Israeli plans in the cemetery. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli Nature Authority crews excavated in the vicinity of graves belonging to al-‘Abasi and al-A’war Families and damaged some gravestones to fix steel poles in Bab al-Rahma Cemetery known as “al-Salwanah Cemetery”, under the Israeli forces’ protection. The Israeli forces provide a fully protection to the Israeli Nature Authority crews and prevented anyone from approach. The eyewitnesses also said that the excavation works continued for the next day in order to surround some graves with iron fences, despite confronting them by the village’s residents and prevented them from conducting excavation works and exhuming graves in Bab al-Rahma Cemetery. The eyewitnesses added that the Israeli police prevented the residents from approach or access to the area and forcibly kept them away. A wrangle erupted between the soldiers and residents. Meanwhile, Khaled al-Zair was arrested and beaten by the Israeli forces before taking him to a detention facility. Mustafa Abu Zahra, head of the committee for the preservation of Islamic cemeteries in Jerusalem, refused to surround graves with iron fences, clarifying that the Israeli Nature Authority sprayed chemical materials at trees and grasses. The Israeli Nature Authority claimed that they conducted excavation works in the cemetery upon a court’s decision. It should be noted that Bab al-Rahma Cemetery is one of the most famous cemeteries in Jerusalem, which extends from al-Asbat Gate to the end of al-Aqsa Mosque walls, near the Umayyad palaces from the southern side. Bab al-Rahma Cemetrey was built on an area of 23 dunums. The Israeli government seeks to confiscate parts of the cemetery and prevent burial in parts of it to implement settlement projects in the area, including “the paths of the biblical gardens,” in addition to the air train project that connects al-Zaytoun Mount with al-Buraq Wall passing through the cemetery.

 

  • At approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 01 May 2018, Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished a building belonging to Jamal ‘Ath ‘Eliyan in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and displaced 17 persons, including 7 children, under the pretext of non-licensing. The building owner, Jamal ‘Eliyan, said that Special Israeli forces and Israeli Border Guard officers accompanied with Israeli Municipality crews moved into al-‘Issawiyia village and stationed at the village main entrance. He added that the Israeli forces surrounded his building, closed all streets leading to the building, and then raided it after destroying its main door. The Israeli forces informed Jamal to vacate his building in order to demolish it. Jamal stated that the demolition was carried out without a prior warning, clarifying that few months ago the Israeli Municipality imposed a fine on him estimated at NIS 250,000 and he has been paying the fine as an attempt to complete the license procedures. He added that the building was built 5 years ago and the Israeli Municipality issued a decision to demolish it after 2 years of being built, but the demolition decision was delayed and frozen several times until imposing a fine on him. He also pointed out that the building was comprised of 3 floors, the first floor used as shops belonging to Abu Isninah, Tabakhi, and Far’oun Families; and the second and third floors included 4 apartments each one built on an area of 200 square meters. The apartments belong to Mohamed Jamal ‘Eliyan with his family, Jamal ‘Eliyan with his family, Rami al-Risheq with his family, and Thair ‘Obaid with his family. ‘Elyian clarified that his lawyer headed to the Israeli Municipality and despite the judge’s approval to postpone the demolition, but the demolition supervisor claimed that delaying the demolition constitutes a dangerous to the building, so the bulldozers demolished the building. ‘Eliyan also said that the families and shops’ owners were prevented from vacating the contents and the municipality staff vacated some contents while the demolition was carried out in the largest part of the building. Moreover, clashes erupted in the village, where dozens of Palestinian young men threw stones and fireworks at the Israeli soldiers, who indiscriminately fired sound bombs and rubber bullets in the area. As a result, a journalist Wael al-Salimah was hit with a rubber bullet to the leg while covering the demolition. In addition, Mohamed Kamal ‘Eliyan was arrested and beaten by the Israeli forces.

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

 Israeli forces’ attacks

 

  • On Saturday, 28 April 2018, the Israeli Authorities notified 2 Palestinian families to seize their plot of lands in al-Khadir village, south of Bethlehem. Ahmed Salah, Coordinator of the Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in al-Khadir village, said that the Israeli authorities notified to seize 42 dunums belonging to Salah and Subaieh Families for security purposes. He also said that this measure coincided with surveying lands in Um Rukba area by the Israeli Civil Administration officers, claiming that they want to establish a large square and build a road towards Solomon’s Pools. Ahmed pointed out that the Israeli authorities lately escalated its arbitrary measures against Um Rukba area and Kherbit ‘Alia, aiming at seizing Palestinian civilians’ lands for settlement purposes. He also said that the Israeli authorities notified to demolish a retaining wall surrounding Ratib ‘Omran Salah house in Kherbit ‘Alia area in the village.

 

  • At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 29 April 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Khilet Taha area, south of al-Tabaqa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. The Israeli soldiers deployed in an agricultural road, which was built by the Agriculture Ministry and Dura Municipality, and ordered workers to stop their work, claiming that the area is Area (C) that is under full Israeli control according to 1995. They also claimed that the workers are working without a prior permission. The Israeli forces also confiscated a bulldozer belonging to the Agriculture Ministry before withdrawing.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 02 May 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into al-Masafer villages in Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli military vehicles demolished many building and other facilities in Kherbit Jebnah, Kherbit Halawa, Kherbit al-Markaz, and Kherbit al-Fakheet. The demolished facilities were as follows:

Kherbit Jebnah:

  • A 25- square-meter residential room and a shed belonging to Khalil Mahmoud Hoshieh.
  • A shed and confiscating solar batteries and damaging water filters belonging to Ahmed ‘Isaa Yunis Abu ‘Arram.

Kherbit al-Halawa:

  • A residential room, a barrack built of tin plates, and a shed belonging to Khalil Abu ‘Arram.

Kherbit al-Markaz:

  • A residential room and solar cells and damaging water filters belonging to Mohamed Mahmoud ‘Ali al-Najjar.
  • A residential room and confiscating solar cells belonging to Yoused Mousa Abu ‘Arram.
  • A residential room, confiscating solar cells, and damaging water pipes belonging to Omar Mohamed al-Saree’.

Kherbit al-Fakheet:

A barrack built of tin plates belonging to the sons of the late Mohamed Salem Abu Dayyiah al-‘Amour.

 

Israeli Settlers’ Attacks:

  • At approximately 03:00 on Friday, 27 April 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar “settlement, attacked stone pits area, northwest of ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus. The Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian civilians’ vehicles parked in front of the stone pits between ‘Oreef and ‘Asirat al-Qabaliyia villages. They also wrote hostile slogans against Arabs and Muslims on the vehicles and punctured with sharp tools the tiers of 2 vehicles belonging to Sakhir Company.
  • On Friday, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar “settlement, attacked a plot of land belonging to Jamila Abed al-Rahman Shehada, from ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus. The settlers cut about 12 olive trees planted from 50 to 60 years ago with automatic saws.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 29 April 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Eli Zahav” settlement demolished Palestinian civilians’ lands belonging to Kafur al-Deek Municipality, west of Salfit, in order to expand the above-mentioned settlement. The plot of land, which was demolished, belongs to Ashraf ‘Ali Ahmed. The Israeli settlers also attacked a reporter of Ma’an News Agency, ‘Ohoud ‘Aqail al-Khafsh (38), from Merda village, north of Salif, while covering the incident. The settlers beat her to prevent her from taking photos and to confiscate her camera and cell phone. As a result, ‘Ohoud sustained bruises to her hands and legs.

 

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.

Full document available at the official website for the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

(Source / 03.05.2018)

Renewed Attacks on Health Facilities to Force Civilian Population out of Their Homes

Russian jets bombed a hospital in rural Hama, killing one medical worker and completely destroying the building as Russia is putting increasing pressure on the civilian population to force them out of their homes.

The Syrian Interim Government’s health directorate in Hama province said that Russian jets hit the Kafarzeita Specialist Hospital in northern rural Hama, killing a medical worker and putting the facility out of service.

In a statement, the directorate called on the international community to shoulder its legal responsibility to protect civilians and medical facilities from bombardment.

The Syrian Coalition said that the targeting of health facilities, public markets, and civilian homes comes within the framework of a systematic process to force the population to surrender and leave their homes.

The Coalition blamed the continued war crimes in Syria on the international community’s failure to take serious measures to enforce international resolutions on Syria.

The United Nations has earlier said that the Assad regime and its Russian ally were targeting medical facilities. In late January, Panos Moumtzis, UN regional coordinator for the Syria crisis, said that there were 112 verified attacks on health facilities in Syria in 2017 and at least 13 in 2018.

The Assad regime and Russian forces have recently escalated attacks on northern rural Hama and the adjacent southern rural Homs even though the area is covered by the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement. Russian has threatened it will burn the area if local residents refuse to leave just as it did in eastern Ghouta which was victim of the yet biggest mass forced displacement operation against the local population.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 03.05.2018)

Dareen Tatour convicted for poetry: Take action to demand justice and freedom for Palestine

Dareen Tatour

An Israeli court in Nazareth convicted Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour of “incitement” and “support for terror” for posting on Facebook and creating a poetry video on Thursday, 3 May. The conclusion of the trial – in an Israeli civil court – came after years of a lengthy trial and years of house arrest and confinement for the 36-year-old Palestinian poet. According to Yoav Haifawi, reporting from the court, “The judge wrote that if Tatour mentioned Palestinian innocent victims in her poetry ‘any reasonable person can only understand this as incitement to violent revenge.’”

She was first arrested in October 2015 after posting several Facebook statuses, including news information on the rising popular movement and intifada, a photo of Israa Abed and the words, “I am the next martyr,” and her poem, “Resist, my people, resist them.” (Abed is a Palestinian woman, also from ’48 Palestine, who was shot by Israeli police at a bus station; allegations against her were later dismissed.) She is one of hundreds of Palestinians – mostly from the West Bank and Jerusalem, but also from Palestine ’48 – arrested and imprisoned for posting their political positions and, in this case, their art, on Facebook and other social media.

Dareen Tatour in court, 3 May

Of couse, Dareen Tatour is far from the first Palestinian poet – including a number of poets from ’48 Palestine – targeted by the Israeli occupation for arrest and imprisonment. The jailing and trial of Dareen Tatour is an echo of the arrests and imprisonment of Mahmoud Darwish, Samih al-Qasim, Tawfiq Zayyad and many others, not to mention the assassination of Ghassan Kanafani, Wael Zuaiter, Kamal Nasser and other Palestinian poets and writers.

Indeed, at times, the trial has been somewhat surreal, as the meaning of words like “intifada” (uprising), “shahid” (martyr) and “qawem” (resistance) are debated in the courtroom between translators. Palestinian existence, expression and experience has become a subject for judicial debate about its inherent “violence.” The very act of a Palestinian writing poetry about her experience and the collective experience of her people is blatantly criminalized and labeled “terror” before the world.

After her arrest in October 2015, Tatour was jailed for three months before entering house arrest. Under the conditions of her house arrest, she has been barred from using the internet and communicating electronically. For months, she was restricted to an apartment in Tel Aviv and her brother and sister-in-law had to leave work to “guard” her before she was allowed to return to her home village of Reineh. She was monitored using an electronic ankle bracelet and was denied even visits to her family’s home for months.

Her case has drawn attention to the suppression of Palestinian literary and artistic voices. Hundreds of internationally renowned writers and artists, including Edwidge Danticat, Ahdaf Soueif, Alice Walker, Eve Ensler, Ariel Dorfman, Russell Banks and Barbara Hammer, have called for Tatour’s release and the dropping of charges against her, a call endorsed by PEN, the international freedom of expression association.

PEN Center USA joined with PEN International to issue a call to action and petition in support of Tatour and demanding the dropping of all charges against her. “After reviewing the charge sheet and the evidence against her, PEN has concluded that Dareen Tatour has been targeted for her poetry and activism and is calling for her immediate and unconditional release.” Jennifer Clement, president of PEN International, said that “Dareen Tatour is on trial because she wrote a poem. Dareen Tatour is critical of Israeli policies, but governments that declare themselves as democracies do not curb dissent. Words like those of Dareen Tatour have been used by other revolutionary poets, during the Vietnam war, during other liberation wars, and they can be found in the works of Sufiya Kamal of Bangladesh, of Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua, and so on.”

In an interview at Mondoweiss the day before the verdict, Tatour discussed her involvement with the marches of return inside Occupied Palestine ’48, especially now as the Marches of Return in Gaza are facing brutal repression and building worldwide support.  She noted that she had been involved in creating documentary footage tracing Palestinian history and remembering the Nakba as well as organizing events at the marches. “As the annual March of Return events evolved to draw tens of thousands participants, they now also include tents with special exhibitions. In the last marches before her arrest Tatour maintained her own tent, with an exhibition of more than 500 photos from the destroyed villages and towns, under the title’ tell me about my village.’ This was not a one time event–but an annual exhibition during the March of Return that ran for several years.”

Dareen Tatour participates in a Return March prior to her arrest

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces the unjust conviction of Dareen Tatour for her poetry and literary expression. The arrest, trial and conviction of Dareen Tatour once again exposes the nature of the Israeli court system and its role as a fig leaf at best for a systematic attack on Palestinian rights and existence. Whether facing the military courts that convict 99.74 percent of the Palestinians that come before them, the administrative detention hearings that send Palestinians to prison without charge or trial or the “civil” courts that criminalize poetry and impose extreme sentences on the children of Jerusalem, the entire Israeli system is based on the dispossession and denial of Palestinians and is fundamentally unjust and racist at its core.

The case also highlights the criminalization of Palestinian political expression as a shared experience of all Palestinians, including Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and occupied Palestine ’48, as well as Palestinians in exile and diaspora that face surveillance, visa denials, deportation and imprisonment for their own political expression – all too frequently labeled as “terror,” as in Tatour’s case. The targeting of Palestinian resistance includes the targeting of Palestinian creative and literary expressions of resistance – and so must its defense.

Freedom and justice for Dareen Tatour and all imprisoned and persecuted Palestinians!

TAKE ACTION!

Dareen Tatour has been involved for almost two decades in documentation and mobilizing to remember the Nakba and demand the right of return of Palestinian refugees expelled from their homes and lands. Today, the Great Return March in Gaza and the mobilization of tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees – and the brutal murder of 45 and the wounding of thousands while participating in these marches to the colonial “border” once again highlights the core demand of the Palestinian struggle.

15 May marks the 70th anniversary of the Nakba as well as a major occasion in the ongoing Great Return March. Take action for Dareen Tatour by joining, participating and mobilizing for Nakba rallies and marches and support and solidarity events for the Great Return March.

You can take action at these events to highlight Dareen’s case specifically:

1. Read Dareen’s poem, “Resist, my people, Resist them.” A translation was created for ArabLit.com by poet Tariq al-Haydar, reproduced below. Stop the Israeli state from silencing and criminalizing Dareen’s poetry by reading it around the world over the microphone at Nakba rallies and Great Return March solidarity events.

2. Create a “return tent” like Dareen’s at your local Nakba event or memorial. Put up photos and images of destroyed Palestinian villages and accompany them with signs calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees as well as a note honoring Dareen’s contribution to the struggle.

Dareen Tatour’s poem: “Resist, My People, Resist Them”

by Dareen Tatour (translated by Tariq al-Haydar)

Resist, my people, resist them.

In Jerusalem, I dressed my wounds and breathed my sorrows

And carried the soul in my palm

For an Arab Palestine.

I will not succumb to the “peaceful solution,”

Never lower my flags

Until I evict them from my land.

I cast them aside for a coming time.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist the settler’s robbery

And follow the caravan of martyrs.

Shred the disgraceful constitution

Which imposed degradation and humiliation

And deterred us from restoring justice.

They burned blameless children;

As for Hadil, they sniped her in public,

Killed her in broad daylight.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist the colonialist’s onslaught.

Pay no mind to his agents among us

Who chain us with the peaceful illusion.

Do not fear doubtful tongues;

The truth in your heart is stronger,

As long as you resist in a land

That has lived through raids and victory.

So Ali called from his grave:

Resist, my rebellious people.

Write me as prose on the agarwood;

My remains have you as a response.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Free Dareen Tatour campaign poster

(Source / 03.05.2018)

Israeli settlers bulldoze land in Salfit to expand settlement

Salfit bulldozers

Israeli settler bulldozers on Thursday morning have razed the lands of  Kafr El Deek town in Salfit, northern West Bank.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that the bulldozers razed lands west of Kafr El Deek, west of Salfit, in order to expand the settlement of “Aleh Zahav”, adding that they were used for herding poultry and had olive trees.

Researcher Dr. Khaled Maali said that the bulldozing was being carried out in favor of the expansion of the Aleh Zahav settlement and its industrial zone.

He pointed out that 25 settlements in Salfit have been expanding in different directions, starting from the Za’tara checkpoint south of Nablus and ending at Kafr Qasim, to separate the northern West Bank from its south and center, thus ending the dream of a Palestinian state.

(Source / 03.05.2018)

IOF continue to attack Islamic cemetery in Jerusalem

Islamic cemetery Bab al-Rahma

For the fourth consecutive day, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue to attack the centuries-old Bab Al-Rahma Islamic cemetery near Al-Aqsa mosque by digging up graves of Palestinians.

WAFA agency reported on Wednesday that a number of Palestinians were injured after being physically attacked by Israeli forces as the latter continued to desecrate  the cemetery an ancient Muslim cemetery just outside Jerusalem’s Old City wall.

IOF continued to dig up graves and land in the cemetery and to place metal fences on parts of land it, while soldiers assaulted a group of Palestinians who managed to access the cemetery and attempted to prevent the continuing violation of the cemetery.

Israel has been attacking the cemetery in order to build a “National Park” on its lands.

(Source / 03.05.2018)

Israel’s Secret Nuke Arms Program Biggest Threat to Middle East – Ex-UN Adviser

A picture taken on November 29, 2015 shows the Tel Aviv skyline from the neighbourhood of Jaffa

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Israel’s battle-ready nuclear weapons arsenal, not Iran’s alleged development program are the biggest threat in the Middle East, Veteran UN human rights adviser, author and Middle East analyst James A. Paul told Sputnik.

On Wednesday, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said that President Donald Trump will almost certainly pull the United States out of the 2015 international nuclear agreement with Iran this month if no changes are made to the agreement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a televised address on Monday said Tel Aviv had proof Iran maintained a nuclear weapons program despite signing the nuclear agreement, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

However, Paul said Netanyahu’s outrage over Iran was ironic and misplaced.

“To any well-informed observer, it is ironic that Israel, whose own secret nuclear arms program is by far the most dangerous in the region, would be complaining about the possibility of nuclear weapons in a neighboring state,” he said.

Unlike Iran, Israel had a well-documented large arsenal of nuclear weapons that were ready for use, Paul pointed out.

“Israel actually has real, battle-ready nuclear weapons and has possessed them for some time. Has Washington complained or threatened to take action? Of course not!” he said.

READ MORE: ‘Israel’s Nuclear Weapons Have a Stabilizing Effect on the Region’ — Scholar

Trump and Netanyahu’s arguments defied logic and common sense, Paul stated.

“We live in an Alice-in-Wonderland world where the nuclear arms of unfriendly states are considered a threat to world peace and nuclear arms of allies are seen as sensible and defensive,” he said.

Netanyahu’s presentation on Monday appeared designed to give political support to Trump if he pulled the United States out of the JCPOA, Paul commented.

“I find it difficult to predict what impact Prime Minister Netanyahu’s press conference will have on the future of the Iran nuclear deal, though his dramatic presentation probably will provide a certain amount of cover for President Trump’s expected decision to pull out of the deal,” he said.

Netanyahu’s remarks were likely to create doubt in the public mind about the reliability of the deal as a peacemaking instrument, Paul observed.

“Those in the know are well-aware that Netanyahu has long been beating the drum on Iranian nuclear weapons and so his claims are not anything new and certainly not surprising. Further, the evidence he has presented is about programs in the past, well before the nuclear deal was agreed,” Paul said.

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Netanyahu’s arguments and alleged documentation, according to many experts did not provide any new or game-changing evidence to the issue of Iran’s nuclear program that was resolved in the 2015 agreement, Paul pointed out.

“Nor, it seems, is there any evidence in this huge trove of documents to suggest that Iran has a nuclear arms program at present, in contravention of the deal,” he said.

Netanyahu had provided no credible new reason for scrapping the 2015 agreement, Paul noted.

“In the present case, there is an agreement with Iran in place, painstakingly negotiated, and there remains a very solid international backing for it. In spite of efforts from Washington, the other foreign powers that signed on are still sticking with the agreement and arguing in its favor,” he said.

The other signatories to the JCPOA had expressed support for the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) and not the Israeli secret intelligence services for providing the evidence of compliance, Paul added.Paul said the inaccurate evidence the United States and the United Kingdom had claimed about Iraq’s alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction program before the 2003 Gulf War provided more reason to be cautious and skeptical about Netanyahu’s claims on the Iranian nuclear issue now.

“In 2002 and 2003, we were assured by the CIA and MI6 that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction of all kinds and in great numbers. The US and its British allies fought a war to ‘disarm’ Iraq but found none of the weapons they said they would find,” Paul said.

The United States and Israel, backed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations, were likely to follow up scrapping the JCPOA by increasing the scale of their unsubstantiated claims against Tehran, Paul warned.

“If Trump leaves the deal, will Washington and Tel Aviv make further claims of the same type sometime in the near future? Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies will be cheering,” he said.

Such allegations could then prepare the ground for a full-scale war against Iran, Paul cautioned.”Might Trump and Netanyahu launch military strikes or even try to invade Iran, on grounds of disarmament? It is a frightening prospect,” he said.

James Paul served as Global Policy Forum Executive Director from its foundation in late 1993 through the end of 2012 and was the representative to the International Federation of Human Rights at the United Nations.

Paul has received the World Hunger Media Award and a “Peacemaker” award from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

(Source / 03.05.2018)