PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (06 – 12 February 2020)

Summary

This week, PCHR documented 191 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory.  This was reflected in dealing with the peaceful protests organized against Trump’s declaration of Trump’s Peace Plan for the Middle East known as the “Deal of Century” that violates the rights of the Palestinian people and is in conflict with the United Nation (UN) resolutions and international law. They were as follows:

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: IOF shot dead 3 Palestinian civilians in Jenin and Tulkarm, in northern and central West Bank.  Two of them idneitified as Yazan Abu Tabikh (19), a university student, and Tariq Loay Ahmed Bedwan (24), a police officers, were killed in Jenin by IOF during the latter’s demolishing a prisoner’s house for the second time, as part of IOF collective punishment against the families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers and/or settlers.  Meanwhile, the third Palestinian, namely Bader Nafelah (20), was killed by an Israeli sniper in a protest in Tulkarm.

IOF injured 36 Palestinian civilians, including a child, a journalist and an Israeli activist, in the West Bank; 24 were injured in peaceful protests against Trump’s peace plan.

IOF warplanes carried out several airstrikes across the Gaza Strip  while 9 shootings were reported against the agricultural lands and civilian gatherings in addition to one shooting against Palestinian fishing boats; one attacked with water pumps, in western and eastern Gaza Strip.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 104 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 72 Palestinians were arrested, including 17 children and 2 women.  The incursions included confiscation of money belonging to prisoners and ex-prisoners in addition to a private vehicle under various pretexts. Meanwhile in the Gaza Strip, one limited incursion was reported into eastern Central Gaza Strip.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: PCHR documented 6 IOF operations, including demolitions, land razing and demolition notices. Repair works were stopped in a school; a wall of concrete surrounding a 12-dunum land was demolished in addition 2 agricultural rooms while 6 other agricultural rooms were notified of demolition; and a land was levelled.  All of those were reported in Hebron.  Meanwhile, in Nablus, two residential tents were confiscated, and a house was self-demolished in occupied Jerusalem.

PCHR also documented 2 settler-attacks, including an attack on a civilian car in Ramallah, and levelling agricultural lands in Salfit.

IOF collective punishment policy: IOF demolished prisoner Ahmed al-Qumbo’s family house for the second time in Jenin and gave a demolition notice to the family of prisoner Qassam al-Barghouthi in Ramallah.

Israeli closure policy and Restrictions on Movement: on 10 February 2020, IOF decided to ban the entry of all communication equipment and devices for the private sector companies into the Gaza Strip until further notice, under the pretext of accusing a Palestinian faction of stealing telecommunication equipment from a warehouse belonging to the Palestine Telecommunications Company-Paltel in the Gaza Strip. The next day, IOF banned the entry of 11 truckloads of telecommunication equipment and devices for private sector companies without clarifying the reasons, as stated by Raed Fattouh, Head of the Presidential Committee on Coordination of Goods.

This decision comes in a time when the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.  Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted and they are subject to arrest. This week, IOF arrested 10 Palestinians at temporary military checkpoints.

       I. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity

  1. Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the West Bank

       a. Peaceful Demonstrations Condemning Trump’s Peace Plan

IOF suppressed peaceful protests that took part in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, condemning the U.S President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace Plan known as “Deal of the Century” that was declared on 28 January 2020. In most of the protests, Palestinians gathered near seam zones and chanted national slogans as some of them threw stones at IOF. IOF responded with live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters, which resulted in several injuries. This week, PCHR documented (13) protests in which (24) civilians, including a child and a journalist and an Israeli activist, were shot and injured with live and rubber bullets. In addition, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

  • On Thursday, 06 February 2020, (2) protests took part and were suppressed by IOF. Dozens of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. The protests were as follows:
  1. Two protests took part at the northern gate established at entrance to ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. A number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  2. A protest took part at Jaljoulia entrance established in the south of Qalqiliyah. . Dozens of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • On Friday, 07 February 2020, (6) protests took part and were suppressed by IOF. Seventeen civilians, including a child and an Israeli activist, were shot and injured with live and rubber bullets. Furthermore, dozens of civilians suffocated due to tea gas inhalation. The protests were as follows:
  1. A group of civilians protested at the entrance to Beta village, branching from Ramallah-Nablus Street, southeast of Nablus. A number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  2. A protest took part in front of al-‘Arqah village gate and the fence that separates between the village and the annexation wall, west of Jenin. Many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  3. A protest took part at the northern gate established in north of ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. Clashes erupted between civilians and IOF resulted in the injury of 9 civilians: 3 of them with live bullets, and 6 with rubber bullets. Furthermore, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  4. A protest at the eastern entrance established at lands of Kafer Qaddoum village, north of Qalqiliyah. Clashes erupted between civilians and IOF resulted in the injury of 2 civilians with rubber bullets. In addition, an Israeli activist was shot with a sponge-tipped bullet in the right hand. Furthermore, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. They received medical treatment on the field.
  5. A protest took part at the southern entrance to Jericho. Many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. Hamdi Nasser Qasem Jalaitah (19) was arrested after he was chased and heavily beaten.
  6. A protest took part from the center of ‘Azzoun village, into the northern gate established at the entrance to ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. Five civilians, including a child, were shot and injured and a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • On Saturday, 08 February 2020, (4) protests took part and were suppressed by IOF. Two civilians were shot and injured with rubber bullets. Furthermore, dozens of civilians suffocated due to tea gas inhalation. The protests were as follows:
  1. A protest took part near the annexation wall gate established on lands of Qifin village, north of Tulkarm. Clashes erupted between civilians and IOF. As a result, a 25-year-old young man was shot and injured with a rubber bullet in the right leg and a 20-year-old young man was shot and injured with a rubber bullet in the right leg. Furthermore, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  2. A protest took off at the entrance to Jaljoulia established in south of Qalqiliyah. Many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation after clashes erupted between them and IOF.
  3. A protest took part at ‘Azzoun gate established in north of ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. A number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation after clashes erupted between IOF and civilians.
  4. A protest took part at the northern crossing established on lands of Qalqiliyah, and dozens of civilians participated in it. A number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. IOF arrested Mustafa Husam Eden Hantash (16), from Tulkarm. IOF also chased young men at al-Nabi Elyas Square, east of Qalqiliyah and arrested ‘Ala’a Eden Mustafa Duweiri (25) after they attacked him with their hands.
  • At approximately 14:30 on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, dozens of Palestinian young men took part at the northern entrance to al-Birah. They burned tires and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF soldiers stationed at “al-Mahkamah” Checkpoint established adjacent to “Beit Eil” settlement, north of the city. IOF soldiers fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. IOF also clashed with civilians. As a result, a 23-year-old young man was shot with a live bullet in the hand, causing amputation of one of his fingers; a 26-year-old young man was shot with a live bullet in the foot; a 28-year-old young man was shot with a rubber bullet in the foot; and a 21-year-old young man was shot with a live bullet in his jaw. In addition, photojournalist Mohammed Hamdan (29) was shot with a rubber bullet in the left hand. The wounded civilians were transferred to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for medical treatment. Furthermore, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, including 3 journalists.

         2. Great March of Return and Breaking the Closure protests

  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 07 February 2020, Dozens of Palestinian civilians took part in the GMR camp in Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis, without any official calls for protests. Some of the protestors approached the border fence with Israel and attempted to throw stones at IOF stationed along the border fence. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. They received medical treatment on the field.
  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 12:35 on Thursday, 06 February 2020, an Israeli drone fired 2 missiles at an empty land, east of al-Shokah village, east of Rafah. Ten minutes later, other Israeli drone fired 2 missiles at the same area. No casualties were reported.
  • In new crime of excessive use of lethal force, on Thursday, 06 February 2020, IOF killed 2 Palestinian civilians; one of them is a policeman, and wounded 7 others they during an IOF raid into Jenin to demolish a prisoner’s house, for the second time. This falls under the Israeli policy of collective punishment employed against families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers and/or settlers.

According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 1:30 on Thursday, 06 February 2020, IOF, backed by 20 military and construction vehicles, moved into al-Basateen neighborhood north of Jenin. The soldiers were deployed among civilian houses and topped the roofs of some while 30 of them raided Palestinian prisoner, Ahmed Jamal Ahmed al-Qumbo’s,  house (220 sqm, home to 8 persons, including 2 children) to execute a demolition order issued by an Israeli court 48 hours prior. Al-Qumbo’ has been arrested since 17 January 2018, and the house was built only 9 months ago following IOF’s earlier demolition. The soldiers did a thorough search of the house with a large number of police dogs; afterwards, the Israeli bulldozers proceeded to level the house to the ground. During the demolition, a number of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF military vehicles present at the scene. Immediately, IOF responded with live and rubber bullets and toxic tear gas canisters; the situation quickly escalated. As a result of the Israeli shooting, 2 Palestinians were killed, one on the spot and the other succumbed to his wounds hours later, and 7 were wounded. The two killed were identified as 1. Yazan Monther Khaled Abu-Tabykh (19), a university student from Wad Bourqin area west of Jenin, was shot with a live bullet in the chest and killed immediately; and 2. Tariq Loay Ahmed Badwan (24), a Palestinian police officer from Qalqiliyah, was shot with a live bullet in the abdomen while inside the police station. He was transferred to the hospital where his condition was classified as critical and he was pronounced dead at 11:40 on Thursday.

It should be noted that IOF detonated prisoner al-Qumbo’s house for the first time on 24 April 2019, under the pretext of being charged with involvement in the killing of an Israeli settler, Arail Shefeh, from “Hefat Gilad” settlement, southwest of Nablus, on 09 January 2018.

  • At approximately 06:50, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern al-Qararah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00 on the same Thursday, IOF backed by more than 30 military SUVs raided several sites in Bethlehem. They claimed to search for the person, who carried out a run-over attack on “David Remes” street, adjacent to al-Thawri neighborhood’s entrance, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The attack resulted in the injury of 14 soldiers. IOF moved into the center of Bethlehem, Beit Jala cities, al-Dawha and al-Khader villages. They raided commercial shops, confiscated the cameras that were installed in the area, especially after the Israeli police claimed that they found a vehicle with an Israeli registration plate alleged to be the attacker’s. in the meantime, a number of young men and children gathered in several areas and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF, who responded with rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, 4 civilians were shot and injured with rubber bullets; one of them was injured in the head. Furthermore, dozens of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 13:00 on the same Thursday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Kahn Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets at Palestinian shepherds and agricultural lands in al-Qararah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00, a number of Palestinian young men gathered at Bab al-Zawiyah area in the center of Hebron. They threw stones at the military checkpoint established at al-Shuhada’a Street classified (56). IOF fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors and chased them on Wad al-Tuffah Street and al-Sa’ah Square area. IOF clashed with the young men for 2 hours. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. No arrests were reported.
  • In a new crime of e excessive use of force, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian after they deliberately shot him in a protest organized by a group of young men in Qifin village, north of Tulkarm.

According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ statements, at approximately 16:00 on the same Thursday, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in front of a farm gate known as (416) established on lands of Qifin village, north of Tulkarm, and burnt tires. They also threw stones at the gate. An Israeli force suddenly arrived at the area and soldiers fired live bullets at the young men. At approximately 16:20, an Israeli sniper fired a live bullet at Nidal Abdul Qader Naflah (20) about 100 meters away. As a result, Naflah was shot and injured with a live bullet in neck and he fell on the ground. A number of young men managed to transfer him via an ambulance to Dr. Thabet Thabet Hospital. Doctors classified Naflah’s injury as serious after the live bullet penetrated his neck, causing a cut in the main artery. Doctors quickly conducted a surgery and stopped the bleeding, but Naflah’s health condition was still very serious. Half an hour later, Naflah’s death was declared.

  • At approximately 18:00, an Israeli force moved into al-Thaher area, south of Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They fired tear gas canisters at a number of Palestinian civilians, who were present adjacent to al-Hay Mosque. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF moved into Deir Baza’a village, west of Ramallah. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at IOF’s military vehicles stationed in the village neighborhoods. IOF fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at civilians. As a result, a 19-year0old young man was shot and injured with a rubber bullet in the foot. He was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex to receive medical treatment.
  • At approximately 21:30, IOF gunboats stationed off western Rafah Shore in southern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the fishing limited area and chased them. Fishermen were forced to flee fearing of being wounded or arrested. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 07 February 2020, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence in eastern Deir al-Balah, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:10, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence in eastern of al-Shokah village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported. At approximately 22:35 on Saturday, 08 February 2020, the shooting recurred at the same area; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:40 on Sunday, 09 February 2020, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Gaza Valley village (Johur Edeek), south of Gaza City, opened fire at agricultural lands in the area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence, adjacent to Sofa military site, east of al-Shoka village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the abovementioned site. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 12 February 2020, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern al-Sanati area, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.

III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

  1. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
  • At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 06 February 2020, IOF accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers and backed by military vehicles moved into Sosiyia village in southern Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed a school a notice to stop construction works in it, under the pretext of never getting a prior permission from the Israeli authorities and being in Area C, which constitutes over 60% of the West Bank and falls under the Israeli military and civil control.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers and backed by military construction vehicles moved into al-Mohajara village in southern Hebron. The construction vehicles demolished Khaled Subhi al-Kababji’s concrete wall surrounding 12 dunums and two 20-square-meter agricultural rooms, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities previously handed al-Kababji a 96-hour demolition notice and confiscated a 15-square-meter mobile store belonging to Akram Ibrahim Masharqah and his brothers. The Israeli authorities handed Masharqah a list of confiscated items and ordered him to refer to the Asset Forfeiture Department in “Gush Etizon” settlement in southern Bethlehem. It should be noted that on 07 January 2020, the Israeli authorities notified Masharqah to stop construction works in a 50-square-meter store and re-notified him on 22 January 2020 to demolish it.
  • On Sunday, 09 February 2020, Maha Abu Qalbeen implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished her house in al-Mokaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of being “State Lands”. Abu Qalbeen said that she has documents prove her ownership to the land, noting that the 70-square-meter house built 4 years ago and sheltered 5 members. She clarified that the Israeli Municipality notified the family a year after construction the house under the pretext of being State lands. She added that she was forced to implement the municipality decision and demolish the house within 12 days to avoid paying the demolition costs for the municipality and IOF accompanied it.  Abu Qalbeen attempted to license the house and paid the court and attorney fees, in addition to pay a construction fine estimated at NIS 45,000.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into al-Fahs area in southern Hebron. The soldiers were deployed in the area in addition to closing the northern entrance to Hebron. The Israeli bulldozer leveled a plot of land belonging to the municipality and using as a sheep market. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities has established a military watchtower adjacent to the land since 2000.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 12 February 2020, IOF accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers and backed by military vehicles moved into al-Towana village in southern Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers fixed 4 demolition notices on Palestinians’ houses, under the pretext of non-licensing. These notices were as follows:
  1. Hamza Rebhi Reb’i’s 25-square-meter room built of bricks and tin plates.
  2. Fadel Ahmed Reb’i’s two 50-sqaure-meter rooms built of bricks and tin plates.
  3. Mofdi Ahmed Reb’i’s two 50-sqaure-meter rooms built of bricks and tin plates.
  4. Sakher Suliman al-‘Amour’s 20-square-meter room built of bricks and tin plates.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into Kherbet Tana, northeast of Nablus. They confiscated two 12- square-meter residential tents donated by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS). These tents belong to Raied and Yousef Fayiz Hanini. It should be noted that IOF demolished and confiscated these tents on 23 December 2020 and rendered their inhabitants homeless.
  • Israeli Settler Violence
  • At approximately 19:30 on Sunday, 09 February 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Hallamish“ settlement, which is established on al-Nabi Salah village lands, west of Ramallah, attacked a vehicle travelling on the main street and carrying a Palestinian citizen near the settlement. The settlers threw stones at the vehicle’s windows and broke them. The vehicle belong to Salah Hamadallah ‘Ayash (37), from Rafat village in western Salfit. ‘Ayash said that “at approximately 19:30 on Sunday, 09 February 2020, I was on my way to Ramallah. When I arrived near Dir Nizam village, at least 30 settlers surrounded my vehicle and broke its windows with stones and sticks. I managed to escape later.”
  • At approximately 09:30 on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Ariel” industrial settlement, which is established on Hares village’s lands in northern Salfit, leveled 10 dunums lands from Khelet al-Jami’ area. These dunums belong to Islamic Endowment (Awqaf) Department. The settlers also leveled 130 dunums belonging to the heirs of the Abdel Hafez Fazaa’ family to expand “Ariel” industrial settlement and establish new factories, according to Head of Hares Village Council, al-Shaiekh Omar Qasem. As of writing this report, settlers razing activities were still in motion.
  • Collective Punishment Policy
  • As part of the collective punishment policy applied by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian families of those accused of carrying out attacks against the Israeli forces and/or settlers, IOF demolished the house of prisoner in Jenin and notified another prisoner’s family house in Ramallah of a demolition order.
  • On Thursday, 06 February 2020, IOF demolished for the 2nd time the house of Prisoner Ahmed Jamal Ahmed al-Qumbo in Jenin, north of the West Bank. (Detailed above under Section I).
  • At approximately 03:30 on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Kubar village in northern Ramallah. They raided and searched prisoner Qasem ‘Abed al-Kareem al-Barghouthi’s (26) house, causing damages to its contents. The IOF handed Qasem’s father a notice to demolish their 2-story-house built on an area of 200 square meters. It should be noted that the IOF verbally informed the family about the demolition, noting that on 07 November 2019 the family was verbally notified. Al-Barghouthi was arrested by IOF on 26 August 2019 after raiding his house and taking him to “’Ofer” prison, southwest of Ramallah. Later, he was interrogated in Moscovia Police Station in West Jerusalem. The Israeli authorities accused him of participation in the attack at Ein Bubin near Deir Bzai’a village, west of Ramallah on 23 August 2019, which caused the killing of Israeli female settler and injuring her father and brother.

Full document available at PCHR official.

(Source / 14.02.2020) 

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