Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

PCHR Weekly Report for July 29 – August 12, 2020


Israeli forces continued to commit crimes and multi-faceted violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. Israeli forces did not restrict its attacks during the days Palestinian Muslims celebrated Eid al-Adha holiday. During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian woman and wounded 19 others across the West Bank.

PCHR asserts that Israeli forces used excessive and lethal force when they withdrew from the area without the presence of any threat or danger to soldiers’ lives. This falls within the shoot first and justify later policy that the occupation forces have consistently implemented against Palestinian civilians. Furthermore, Israeli warplanes launched several airstrikes against the Gaza Strip, while they mainly bombarded agricultural lands that did not render human loss, the airstrikes terrorized and frightened the civilian population in targeted areas.

Ever since announcing its plans to annex West Bank territories, Israeli forces have continued systematic demolitions and land razing, establishing roads for settlements in an accelerated manner. The past two weeks witnessed wide-scale demolitions of houses and agricultural lands in the West Bank.

This week, PCHR documented 303 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli forces and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, including closure of certain territories, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information documented in this report are only part of the continued violations.

I. ISRAELI FORCES SHOOTING AND OTHER VIOLATIONS OF THE RIGHT TO BODILY INTEGRITY: On 07 August 2020, Israeli forces killed Dalia Ahmed Suliman Stiti (24) with a live bullet that hit her chest as she was shutting her window in Jenin, northern West Bank. Furthermore, Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 19 Palestinians: 9 injured in excessive use of force against the weekly peaceful protest in Kufur Qaddoum in Qalqilia; 7 others in Israeli forces’ suppression of a protest in Tarmesi’yah, northern Ramallah, including 2 paramedics. Two others were wounded in separate incidents: a Palestinian was shot and wounded as Israeli forces shot him directly before his arrest in Nablus; and another was shot during a shooting near the Annexation Wall in Tulkarem.

In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands 23 times and twice at fishing boats in eastern and western Gaza Strip. Israeli forces warplanes also launched several airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

II. INCURSIONS AND ARRESTS OF PALESTINIAN CIVILIANS: Israeli forces carried out 176 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, 160 Palestinians were arrested, including 9 children and 4 women. Israeli forces also conducted two limited incursions into eastern Khan Younis and northern Gaza Strip.

III. SETTLEMENT EXPANSION ACTIVITIES AND SETTLERS’ ATTACKS: The occupation continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 33 violations, including:

EAST JERUSALEM: agricultural room demolished, as well as 11 houses, including 7 self-demolished;

BETHLEHEM: cease-construction notices served to 2 houses and 100 olive tree seedlings uprooted

HEBRON: demolition of a wall and a 100 sqm floor; also, a tin-plated brick home demolished; 3 water pumps confiscated; military watchtower established on Palestinian civilians’ lands; tent and barn demolished;

NORTHERN JORDAN VALLEY: 2 tractors confiscated; and demolition notices served to several houses and facilities;

JENIN: 9 cease-construction and demolition notices served to over 200 year old buildings and caves; and other facilities, new housing buildings and water tanks;

SALFIT: 15 dunams of agricultural lands owned by Palestinians confiscated; and 18 cease-construction notices served to 7 houses, including 3 under-construction, an agricultural room, a plastic house and land rehabilitation;

 RAMALLAH: excavator confiscated in eastern Ramallah; two agricultural facilities demolished;

 TUBAS: excavator confiscated;

JERICHO: approximately 100 palm tree seedlings razed and uprooted;

KISAN VILLAGE: over 200 dunams of the village’s lands confiscated;

 QALQILIA: Agricultural lands razed as a prelude to their confiscation in Kafr Thulth village, eastern Qalqilia.

PCHR also documented 4 settler attacks: 10 sheep dead in Ramallah; 3 siblings, a woman and 2 children, wounded and bruised in settlers’ attack on Tel Rumeida neighbourhood in central Hebron; 2 cars set on fire and a vehicle assaulted and its windshield broken in Nablus.

IV. ISRAELI CLOSURE POLICY AND RESTRICTIONS ON FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: On Monday, 10 August 2020, Israeli authorities announced the closure of Karm Abu Salem crossing starting from Tuesday, 11 August 2020 and until further notice, except for the transportation of goods for vital humanitarian cases and fuel. According to Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the decision was taken “in response to the launch of incendiary balloons and breaching security calm.” On Wednesday evening, 12 August 2020, the occupation authorities announced reducing the Gaza Strip’s fishing area from 15 to 8 nautical miles.

This decision falls under the framework of the complete, illegal and inhumane closure policy imposed by the Israeli authorities on the Gaza Strip since June 2007, as the Gaza Strip crossings have witnessed tightened restrictions on the movement of goods and persons.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces continued to divide the West Bank 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.

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(Source / 14.08.2020)

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