In New Crime of Excessive Use of Lethal Force against Peaceful Demonstrators in Gaza Strip, Israeli Forces Kill 2 Palestinian Civilians; One of Them is Child, and Wounded 124 Others, including 13 Children, 3 Women, 3 Paramedics, and Female Journalist

30 JUN
12:32 PM

The Palestinian Centre For Human Rights (PCHR): On Friday, 29 June 2018, using excessive lethal force against the peaceful protesters in eastern Gaza Strip for the 11th Friday in a row, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 124 other civilians, including 13 children, 3 women, 3 paramedics and a female journalist, in addition to dozens suffering tear gas inhalation.  Upon a Decision by the highest political and military echelons, the Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protesters, who posed no threat to the life of the soldiers.

Table of Civilian Casualties due to the Israeli Suppression since the Beginning of the Great March of Return on 30 March

Notes Medical Crews Journalists Women Children Total Casualties
Among those Killed, there are 3 Persons with Disabilities and a female child 2 2 2 15 110 Killed
Among those wounded, 312  in serious condition and 57 had their lower or upper limbs amputated 239 65 172 953 5793 Wounded


Investigations and observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers during this week emphasize the following:

  • 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.
  • According to PCHR’s fieldworkers, the number of youth gatherings near the border fence augmented to reach dozens who set fire to tires and attempted to throw stones at the Israeli forces.
  • The Israeli snipers deliberately and selectively opened fire at the participants in the peaceful demonstrations which included thousands of civilians in different areas in the eastern Gaza Strip.
  • The Israeli forces continued to target the medical personnel directly and deliberately as they wounded 3 of them this week, east of Jabalia and Khan Yunis.  Moreover, an ambulance was hit with a tear gas canister in eastern Gaza though the medical personnel members, means of medical transport, and field hospitals were distinctively marked and easily identified. The medical personnel was wearing their distinctive medical uniform, and the ambulances were 300 meters away from the border fence.
  • The Israeli forces widely used bursts of tear gas canisters and from drones, military jeep and soldiers’ rifles, targeting the center of the demonstrations and near the demonstrators near the border fence. As a result, many civilians were directly targeted and hit with tear gas canisters, causing serious injuries, while the gas coming of them made dozens suffer tear gas inhalation, fainting and seizures. Some of them were transferred to hospitals, including few so far receive medical treatment.
  • 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, demonstrating near the border fence and raising flags, chanting slogans and national songs, flying kites and burning tires.
  • Journalists were again targeted with tear gas canisters, wounding a female journalist in eastern Khan Yonus.
  • The Israeli unjustified and fallacious incitement against the peaceful demonstrations and encampments continues, perceiving the demonstration itself as danger. This hereby violates the right to peaceful assembly codified in all International instruments.

The incidents today, 29 June 2018, were as follows:

At approximately 15:00, hundreds of civilians, including women, children and entire families, started swarming to 5 encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege in eastern Rafah City; Khuza’ah in Khan Younis; al-Bureij in the Central Gaza Strip; Shija’eyah neighborhood in Gaza City; and eastern Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.

The number of participants gradually increased, reaching a peak at approximately 16:30, in the five demonstration areas, and they were estimated at thousands of men, elderlies, women and children.

They were inside and outside the encampment yards, raising flags, and chanting slogans and national songs in addition to flying kites, while hundreds of them, including children and women, approached the border fence, set fire to tires and attempted to throw stones at the Israeli forces.

Moreover, the protestors removed the barbed wire fence established by the Israeli forces inside the Palestinian territories around 50 meters away from the main border fence.

The Israeli shooting which continued until 19:30 resulted in the killing of 2 civilians, including a child, in eastern Rafah and Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip when they were among other protestors around 100-200 meters away from the border fence.

Those civilians killed were identified as:

  1. Yaser Amjad Mousa Abu al-Najjah (12) was wounded at approximately 18:53 with a live bullet to the head, causing a laceration to his brain in eastern Khuza’ah and immediately succumbed to his wounds; and
  2. Mohamed Fawzi Mohamed al-Hamiydah (24) was hit with a live bullet to the abdomen when he was in eastern Rafah.

Moreover, 124 civilians, including 13 children, 3 women, 3 paramedics and a female journalist, were wounded with bullets and directly hit with tear gas canisters.  In addition, hundreds suffered tear gas inhalation and seizures, including PCHR’s fieldworkers while covering the suppression of demonstrations, after Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters.

PCHR condemns this new crime committed by the Israeli forces, believing it is as a result of Israel’s enjoying impunity thanks to the U.S. and so encouraging the Israeli forces to commit further crimes upon an official decision by the highest military and political echelons.

PCHR emphasizes that continuously inflicting casualties, either killed or wounded, is unjustified and targeting and killing civilians, who exercise their right to peaceful assembly or while carrying out their humanitarian duty, using lethal force is a serious violation of the rules of intentional law and international humanitarian law.

PCHR emphasizes that ongoing attacks against the Palestinian medical personnel, especially those working in the field, constitute a serious violation of the international human rights and humanitarian laws and the international standards regulating the protection rules of medical personnel, including paramedics, their vehicles and medical facilities.  The serious violations and deliberate attacks against the medical personnel amount to war crimes according to the 1949 fourth Geneva Convention, particularly the scope of protection provided to them.

PCHR emphasizes that continuously inflicting casualties, either killed or wounded, is unjustified and targeting and killing civilians, who exercise their right to peaceful assembly or while carrying out their humanitarian duty, using lethal force is a serious violation of the rules of intentional law and international humanitarian law.

PCHR believes that continuously targeting journalists while on duty with bullets and tear gas canisters proves that there is an Israeli policy to target journalists in order to prevent them from covering the Israeli suppression of the peaceful protestors, in violation of the rule of international humanitarian law.

PCHR emphasizes that the demonstrations are fully peaceful and civilians have the right to raise their voices against the Israeli forces and closure and enjoy their right to return.  Thus, PCHR stresses that Israel shall be held accountable and prosecuted through investigating with it into these crimes.

PCHR also stresses that this ongoing policy by Israel violates the Rome STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) and Fourth Geneva Convention, and its practices qualify to war crimes. Thus, PCHR calls upon the ICC Prosecutor to open an official investigation into these crimes in addition to prosecuting and holding accountable all of those involved in issuing decisions and orders in the Israeli forces at the political and security level and those applying the orders.

PCHR asks for the presence of international observers from the United Nations (UN) bodies in the Gaza Strip to make sure that these demonstrations are totally peaceful and even if the Israeli authorities denied their access to Gaza, they can observe from the Israeli side of the borders.

PCHR calls for the prompt formation of an international commission of inquiry according to the UN Human Rights Council’s Resolution to investigate the crimes committed by the Israeli forces against unarmed civilians in the Return March activities.

PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

PCHR calls upon Switzerland, in its capacity as the Depository State for the Convention, to demand the High Contracting Parties to convene a meeting and ensure Israel’s respect for this Convention, noting that these grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the occupied territories.

(Source / 30.06.2018)

Israeli court orders PA to compensate collaborators

Person using an iPhone

An Israeli court has ordered the Palestinian Authority to compensate Palestinians detained by its security services over suspicions that they have collaborated with the occupation authorities, local media reported on Friday. According to the Times of Israel, the court has ordered the PA to pay a total of NIS13.2m ($3.5 million) in compensation to 52 collaborators.

The PA occasionally detains Palestinians in the occupied West Bank who are suspected of collaborating with the Israeli security services. Israel Hayom reported that five lawsuits involving dozens of plaintiffs have been filed against the authority over its crackdown on collaborators, noting that the oldest dates from 2004.

“We welcome the court’s landmark ruling,” said lawyers acting for the collaborators. “The judge saw the plaintiffs’ disabilities [resulting from torture], understood their distress and decided to grant them partial compensation immediately.”

The Palestinian Authority calls its own collaboration with the Israeli occupation authorities “security cooperation”. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has described this as “sacred”. Critics insist that the PA security services were created solely to protect Israel and its occupation, not the people of Palestine.

(Source / 30.06.2018)

Palestinian conference in Istanbul discusses ‘deal of the century’

Dr Salman Abu Sitta addresses the delegates at the Palestinians Abroad conference in Istanbul, Turkey on February 25, 2017 [Middle East Monitor]

Dr Salman Abu Sitta addresses the delegates at the Palestinians Abroad conference in Istanbul, Turkey on February 25, 2017

The Popular Conference of Palestinians Abroad launched its second gathering on Friday in Istanbul, Quds Press has reported. The agenda of the conference includes several aspects of the Palestinian cause, at the top of which is America’s “deal of the century”. The rights of Palestinian refugees, the UNRWA funding crisis and political consideration surrounding the refugee issue will also be discussed.

Salman Abu Sitta, the head of the general commission of the conference, said that the Palestinians abroad and the refugees, who number as many as 6 million, bear several responsibilities. He called for them to prosecute the Israeli occupation authorities in the international courts, and warned them about the procrastination of the Palestinian Authority in this regard.

The General Secretary of the conference movement, Moneer Shafiq, hailed the Great March of Return, which, he said, united the Palestinians. Describing the security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel as “shameful”, he accused the PA of living on paradoxes as it claims to be protecting the Palestinian people, while also cooperating with Israel to deter Palestinian resistance to the occupation.

The conference was launched in Istanbul in February last year with the objective of creating a popular movement to reinforce a real role for the Palestinians living abroad.

(Source / 30.06.2018)

Jewish settlers burn dozens of olive trees in occupied West Bank

A Palestinian policeman uses a flap to put out a fire in an olive grove and field, which according to the local Palestinian villagers was started by settlers from a near by Jewish settlement close to the West Bank village of Burin on September 5, 2011 [Wagdi Eshtayah / ApaImages]

A Palestinian policeman uses a flap to put out a fire in an olive grove and field, which according to the local Palestinian villagers was started by settlers from a near by Jewish settlement close to the West Bank village of Burin on September 5, 2011

Extremist Jewish settlers have burned dozens of olive trees on Palestinian farms in the neighbourhood of Beit Forik near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, Palestine Information Centre reported on Friday.

Local sources said that the settlers came from the illegal Israeli colony-settlement of Itmar. They were protected by a contingent of the Israeli occupation forces.

Palestinian farmers and fire fighters rushed to the farms to fight the fires which spread in three areas.

Meanwhile, 800 other Jewish settlers, also protected by Israeli occupation forces, invaded the village of Kafl Haris to the north of Salfit and performed mystical rituals near old tombs. They claimed that the tombs are those of Jewish rabbis.

(Source / 30.06.2018)

Labour Friends of Israel: Palestine refugees’ right to return is ‘extreme and illegitimate’

Palestinian protesters gather during clashes with Israeli security froces in a tent city protest where Palestinians demand the right to return to their homeland, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the "Nakba", and against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem at Israel-Gaza border at the Israel-Gaza border, in al-Bureij in the center of Gaza Strip on 14 May, 2018 [Mahmoud Khattab/Apaimages]

Palestinian protests the right to return to their homeland, on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba in Gaza on 14 May, 2018

Westminster-based lobby group Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) has described the Palestinian refugees’ right of return as “extreme and illegitimate”, in a letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn this week.

LFI’s letter came in response to remarks made by the Leader of the opposition on 25 June, during a recent visit to Jordan. In a Twitter post, Corbyn wrote:

“In Jordan, I went to Baqa’a, one of the largest Palestinian refugee camps. We must work for a real two state settlement to the Israel-Palestine conflict, which ends the occupation and siege of Gaza and makes the Palestinian right to return a reality.”

In the period 1947-1949, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from or fled their homes as Zionist militias and the Israeli army destroyed hundreds of villages in what became Israel. Refugees attempting to return were killed, and Israel passed laws to expropriate their properties.

Read: The UN disregard for Palestinians’ right of return colludes with Israeli violence

Corbyn’s expression of support for the Palestinian refugees’ internationally-recognised rights, prompted anger and concern from British pro-Israel groups, including LFI.

In a letter from LFI chair MP Joan Ryan, the pro-Israel group describes the Palestinians’ right to return (which is referred to in scare quotes) as “highly contentious”, and at odds with Israel’s insistence on retaining its Jewish majority of citizens.

Ryan added: “I do not believe that it does anything to encourage the compromises and concessions a future negotiated settlement will involve for foreign politicians to appear to endorse the most extreme and illegitimate demands of either side.”

#GreatMarchOfReturn

The LFI chair concluded by urging Corbyn to “immediately clarify” what he understands by a right to return, and to only use “language…[that] helps to advance, not hinder, the cause of peace, reconciliation and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.”

A spokesperson for the Labour party said: “These rights are inalienable and guaranteed by UN Resolution 194 of 11 December 1948. How the right of return is implemented is a matter for the negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

(Source / 29.06.2018)

‘A lab and a showroom’: New report looks at Israeli arms trade, Gaza crackdown

Israeli forces fire tear gas at protesters during the Great March of Return in Gaza on 23 June 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Israeli forces fire tear gas at protesters during the Great March of Return in Gaza on 23 June 2018

A new report by Israeli activists on the technology and weapons deployed by the Israeli army in repressing the Palestinian “Great March of Return£ protests charges that the Gaza Strip is seen as a “a lab and a showroom” for the country’s arms manufacturers.

The report was produced by Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) and the organisation’s Hamushim project, which “works to expose the true human price of the Israeli military industry and arms trade, as well as to mobilise actions against it”.

According to CWP:

Israeli military operations in Gaza in the past decade have been especially profitable for the country’s military industries.

“Both private companies and the Israeli government alike use Gaza as an opportunity to test new weapons, technologies and methods to be marketed based on their new operational success.”

The report states that “the Great March of Return provided an opportunity for Israel to present its advanced UAV technology in a new setting”, adding that “Israel has long been a major drone exporter”.

Remote control repression: Israel tested its latest weapons against the Great March of Return

In particular, “a new tear gas drone, ‘Sea of Tears’, named after a famous hit song, was introduced. It has been reportedly designed specifically for use in Gaza.”

Israeli forces’ “use of drones fits into a worldwide pattern”, states CWP. “Though today aimed primarily against Palestinians, similar technology will likely be marketed and sold to oppress others worldwide.”

In addition to tear gas drones, the report examines the Israeli military’s use of UAVs “to fire at groups of Palestinians as they organised to defend themselves against Israeli aggression”.

“Such reports are particularly noteworthy,” CWP states, because while the military “continues to deny its use of killer drones, it takes pride in the advancements of their ever-growing fleet of UAVs”.

Report: Israel army has plan to dissect and occupy parts of the Gaza Strip

According to research by Hamushim, “the weapon of choice in the Great March of Return was in fact the American Remington M24 rifle, which is known to shoot targets up to 800m away.”

In addition, “Amnesty International forensic pathologists and military experts also identified wounds caused by Israeli Weapons Industries (IWI) Tavor rifles, with 5.56mm caliber ammunition. Those bullets often leave exit wounds expanding up to 15 cm to inflict maximal tissue damage.”

In 2014, the report notes Eli Gold, an executive at IWI, told the Marker: “After every operation of the kind taking place in Gaza right now, we are seeing a big leap in the number of foreign customers. We market aggressively abroad as it is, but the IDF’s actions definitely effect our work.”

Meanwhile, Magal Security Systems “constructed the fence surrounding Gaza to enforce the brutal siege”. In a Bloomberg interview published 11 April, Magal’s then-CEO Saar Koursh gushed:

Gaza has become a showroom for the company’s ‘smart fences,’ as customers appreciate that the products are battle-tested.

The report concludes that the Israeli military “made deliberate choices to kill and permanently injure considerable numbers of Palestinian civilians”, with the crackdown on the march also providing “the military with a platform to introduce and showcase the use of drones as the strategic choice of the present and future”.

(Source / 29.06.2018)

Syrian Coalition Holds Several Meetings at UN & Human Rights Council to Expose Assad Regime’s Atrocities in Dara’a

A member of the Syrian Coalition said that the ongoing onslaught against civilians in Dara’a is part of a litany of war crimes being committed by the Assad regime with the help of Russia and Iran. He stressed that the Assad regime’s capture of new territory will not change the reality of the political process aimed at achieving full political transition in Syria in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.

At a meeting with members of the team of the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura and officials of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, member of the Coalition’s political committee, Yasser al-Farhan called for serious intervention by the United Nations to stop the Assad regime’s onslaught on Dara’a. He also called for the UN to shoulder its responsibilities and prevent the mass forced displacement of residents of Dara’a province.

Al-Farhan stressed that the Assad regime and its allies have never been serious about the political process as they insisted on pursuing a bloody military solution in Syria. “We made this point clear in all our meetings with the United Nations officials and our friends, but our calls and warnings have all fallen on deaf ears.”

Al-Farhan urged the UN officials to put an end to the ongoing violations by the PYD militia against civilians, stressing that the wholesale violations in Syria “must not be tolerated.”

Moreover, Al-Farhan highlighted the dangers of Law No. 10 which has been recently issued by the Assad regime. He called for preventing the implementation of the law as it represented “encroachment on the rights and property of the people who have been forcibly displaced from their areas of origin. He also strongly condemned all decrees and legislations issued by the Assad regime under request from Iran which seeks to serve its expansionist project in Syria.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 29.06.2018)

13-year-old Palestinian killed, more than 300 injured during 14th ‘Great March of Return’ protest

Spokesperson of the Ministry, Ashraf al-Qidra, said that 310 Palestinians were injured were injured or suffered tear-gas inhalation

A 13-year-old Palestinian boy was killed on Friday after being shot by Israeli forces during the “Great March of Return” in eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Gaza Ministry of Health confirmed that the 13-year-old boy succumbed on Friday evening to wounds he sustained in the head earlier during protests, pointing out that he was not yet identified.

More than three hundred other Palestinians were injured or suffered tear-gas inhalation as Israeli forces targeted protesters at the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip on the 14th Friday of the “Great March of Return.”Spokesperson of the Ministry, Ashraf al-Qidra, said that 310 Palestinians were injured were injured or suffered tear-gas inhalation.

Al-Qidra added that three of the injuries were reported to be critical.

Protesters gathered in “return camps” at the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip and set fire to tires. However, witnesses said that Israeli forces opened live ammunition at protesters in the Khuzaa town in eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

The “Great March of Return” protests were launched by thousands of Palestinian civilians in Gaza — which has suffered from a decade-long Israeli siege — who took to the borders to demand their right of return as refugees to their original homelands, now in present-day Israel.

(Source / 29.06.2018)

Journalists’ Syndicate Condemns Barring of Qena from Coverage of Royal Visit

29 JUN
4:57 AM

The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), on Thursday, condemned the Israeli barring of the Associated Press journalist, Nebi Qena, from covering the visit by Britain’s Prince William to the Israeli prime minister’s official residence, on Tuesday.

Nebi Qena, the AP’s chief television producer for Israel and the Palestinian territories, was held at the entrance to the residence for 45 minutes, forcing him to miss the event, while other journalists were allowed to enter.

PJS denounced, as well, the questioning that was conducted by the Israeli security agents with Qena, about his religion and ethnic background. PJS said it considers this questioning to be racism.

Over the years, PJS has noticed what it called disgraceful and indefensible behavior, in several incidents of Israeli security agents ordering international and Arab journalists to undergo strip searches at Netanyahu’s office, in addition to entering through metal detectors.

“This Israeli measure against Mr. Qena is added to the 740 Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists and media outlets during 2017; and to the Israeli occupation forces killing the cameraman for Palestinian Ain Media Yasser Murtaja and Ahmad Abu Hussein, who were covering a mass demonstration along the Gaza border with Israel in April 2018,” statement concluded, according to the PNN.

06/28/18 Prince William Takes ‘Non-political’ Tour through Israel and Ramallah

(Source / 29.06.2018)

Farhan in UN Human Rights Council: We Must Work to Release Detainees in Assad’s Prisons

Member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee Yasser al-Farhan said that the Assad regime is responsible for committing thousands of crimes against Syrian civilians through arbitrary detention, kidnapping, and torturing them to death.

Al-Farhan was speaking at a special session on arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances in Syria that was organized by the Euro-Syrian Democratic Forum and the No Peace Without Justice organization on the sidelines of the 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

Al-Farhan, who is also Head the Syrian National Commission on Detainees and Missing Persons (SNCDMP), recently formed by the Syrian Coalition, stressed that detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime are subjected to systematic, brutal torture claiming the lives of tens of thousands of political Syrian dissidents.

The Assad regime did not comply with international resolutions or international conventions calling for the prevention of arbitrary arrest, torture and ill-treatment, al-Farhan said. He added that the Assad regime continued the mass arrests and kidnappings despite the fact that almost all UN Security Council resolutions condemned arbitrary detention, torture, physical liquidation and enforced disappearance against civilians in Syria. They also called for the immediate cessation of such practices and the release of all arbitrarily detained persons.

Al-Farhan said that the formation of the SNCDMP aims to help independent human rights organizations and international organizations to take tangible, practical measures to ensure the release of detainees.

“The issue of detainees is one of the most essential issues. We will not accept that it is used as a bargaining chip. We must not forget this issue nor will we accept that it is postponed until after a political solution is reached.” Al-Farhan also stressed the need to ensure accountability and not to link it to obstacles to the political solution.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 28.06.2018)