Israel ‘whitewashed’ crimes against Palestinians during Gaza protests

14 Palestinians were injured during protests calling for the end of Israel's brutal siege on the Gaza Strip on 25 August 2021 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
14 Palestinians were injured during protests calling for the end of Israel’s brutal siege on the Gaza Strip on 25 August 2021

Israel failed to investigate shootings that killed more than 200 Palestinians and wounded thousands more during the Great March of Return protests in 2018, human rights groups have revealed in a joint report. The report has been published by the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) and B’Tselem with the title “Unwilling and Unable: Israel’s Whitewashed Investigations of the Great March of Return Protests”.

The protests along the Gaza-Israel nominal border called for the implementation of the Palestinians’ legitimate right to return to their homes inside what is now Israel, as well as an end to Israel’s siege of the territory.

“The report shows how Israel worked to whitewash the truth and protect the political and military officials responsible, instead of taking action against the individuals who devised and implemented the unlawful open-fire policy, which resulted in the killing of more than 200 Palestinians and the injury of some 8,000 others,” said the groups.Palestinians along the Gaza-Israel border reaffirm the 'Right of Return' and get shot by IOF - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Palestinians along the Gaza-Israel border reaffirm the ‘Right of Return’ and get shot by IOF – Cartoon

Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at protesters, using butterfly bullets — which explode upon impact, pulverising tissue, arteries and bone and causing severe internal injuries – to kill or maim anyone in their sights. According to Gaza’s Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights, this resulted in the killing of at least 215 Palestinians, most of them unarmed, including 47 people under the age of 18 and two women. The centre said that 20,000 more were wounded, the largest number recorded in the occupied Palestinian territories since the end of the Second Intifada in 2005.

As of April, out of 143 cases transferred to military prosecutors by an Israeli fact-finding mechanism, 95 were closed with no further action. Only one — the killing of a 14-year-old Palestinian — led to an indictment, with the remainder still pending, the report said. It cited figures obtained from the Israeli military through a freedom of information request. The indicted soldier was convicted of “abuse of authority to the point of endangering life or health” in a plea bargain and sentenced to one month of community service.

“Israel was quick to announce it is investigating the protests, primarily due to the proceedings underway at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague,” said the PCHR and B’Tselem. That announcement was made because the ICC will assert jurisdiction only when the state in question is “unwilling or unable” to carry out its own investigation. Once a state has investigated the incidents, the court will not intervene.

OPINION: The Palestinian resistance is still battling to end Israeli siege of Gaza

However, the two organisations added that declaring that an investigation is underway is not enough to stave off intervention by the ICC. The investigation must be effective, be directed at the higher-ranking officials responsible for devising and implementing the policy, and lead to action against them.

B’Tselem and the PCHR said that the state of Israel and the Israel Defence Forces misled the justices about the collective punishments inflicted on the Palestinians who took part in the Great March of Return protests. They added that the High Court somewhat knowingly looked the other way, not wanting to get into a debate about security issues relating to the Palestinians.

Israel is not a member of the International Criminal Court. The Palestinian Authority joined it in 2015.

(Source / 02.12.2021)

Palestinian girl follows in jailed father’s footsteps

Palestinian girls stand behind mock jail bars during a rally calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 20, 2014 [SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images]
Palestinian girls stand behind mock jail bars during a rally calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 20, 2014

Randa Rimawi was only 8 months old when her father was detained by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Her father, Abd Al-Karim Rimawi, was driving his car when he was stopped at the Halamish military checkpoint south of Ramallah in 2001.

He was sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of carrying out attacks against Israeli forces during the second Palestinian Intifada.

At the time of his detention, Abd al-Karim was in his last year of college at Birzeit University.

“I grew up without my father nearby,” Randa told Anadolu Agency. “He was never allowed by Israeli forces to attend my birthdays, my first school day, or my graduation from high school.”

The 22-year-old used to place her father’s photos around during her birthday celebration to feel that he was nearby.

“I celebrated my birthday 22 times without my father,” the Palestinian girl said. “My father, however, celebrates my birthdays in his own way.”

Same college

Two months before his daughter’s birthday, Abd Al-Karim used to write a letter from his jail and send it to his family.

“My father writes the letter two months before my birthday to ensure it arrives on time, as it takes a long time to arrive,” Randa said.

In every letter, a picture of Randa is drawn by her jailed father.

“One day, I returned from school to ask my mother about the reason for not having my father living with us like other children,” Randa recalled. “These questions are still in my head day and night.”

As she graduated from high school, the Palestinian girl decided to join the Faculty of Journalism at Birzeit University, the same college that her father was studying at when he was detained.

READ: Jailed by Israel, students pay heavy price in Palestine

“I’m in my last year at the college. I’m 22 years old now, the same age when my father was jailed,” Randa said.

“I have never imagined that my father would spend all these years in prison. Many times I have dreamed of me and my father graduating together.”

There are around 4,850 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, including 40 women, 225 children and 40 administrative detainees, according to institutions concerned with prisoners’ affairs.

Reunion

Recently, Abd Al-Karim received his bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Al-Quds Open University. His daughter received the graduation certificate on behalf of her jailed father during a graduation ceremony held in Ramallah.

The jailed father, however, still dreams of graduating from the Faculty of Journalism at Birzeit University, according to his daughter.

“I believe that I am a reflection of this struggling father, so I’m doing my best in my study to make him proud,” Randa said.

“I discuss with him every detail of my college projects and take his opinion into consideration all the time,” the defiant daughter said. “I’m trying to make some of his dreams come true until he is freed.”

In 2013, Rand’s only brother, Majd, was born by a smuggled sperm that her father successfully smuggled from prison.

After Majd’s birth, Abd Al-Karim was placed in solitary confinement for several months. His family was also banned from visiting him for a whole year.

“Majd’s birth has brought a new light into our life,” Randa said. “We are waiting for the day when we reunite with our father and live a normal life.”

OPINION: After killing Muslim women, the international community cannot teach us how to treat them

(Source / 02.12.2021)

PCHR: “International Day of Persons with Disabilities Breaches against Palestinians with Disabilities Continue”

The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR)Tomorrow, 03 December, marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities that was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly resolution (47/3) to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities at the end of the United Nations Conference for Persons with Disabilities (1983-1992).

This day was adopted to promote and respect the rights of persons with disabilities all over the world in accordance with the principles of human, aiming at entrenching equality between all human beings without discrimination for any reasons related to sex, race, color, disability, or any other type of discrimination.

This occasion coincides with the ongoing suffering of persons with disabilities in Palestine as the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed this year 4 persons with disabilities, including 3 during the latest offensive on the Gaza Strip in May 2021,[1] while another Palestinian with disability was killed at Qalandia Checkpoint, northeast of occupied Jerusalem.

Moreover, 50 persons have become with disabilities due to the offensive, including 10 amputations and 35 cases of hemiplegia and paraplegia, while 10 houses owned by persons with disabilities were either totally or partially destroyed.

In addition, 3000 persons with disabilities had to seek refuge at the UNRWA schools due to IOF’s continuous bombing on the Gaza Strip, noting that these schools are inaccessible and lack the basic services for those seeking refuge due to the offensive that lasted for 11 days.[2]

The Israeli-imposed closure ongoing for 15 years on the Gaza Strip has deteriorated the economic and social conditions in the Gaza Strip as the poverty, unemployment and food insecurity rates increased among the Palestinian population, negatively affecting the conditions of persons with disabilities and their families, who have lacked rehabilitation and social care services and health and educational services.

Moreover, Covid-19 pandemic and accompanying measures continued to impact persons with disabilities’ rights as they still face difficulties accessing the basic services adopted by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and guaranteed by the Palestinian Disability law No 4 for the year 1999.

Persons with disabilities still suffer from diminished quality of diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitation healthcare services as the Palestinian Law No. 4 of 1999, which was issued 21 years ago has not been entered into effect to this day.

The Palestinian internal division hinders implementing this law and deprives such a significant group of Palestinian society of their rights to basic services in the areas of health, rehabilitation,

training, and education.  The law stresses the importance of paying more attention to services aiming at the early diagnosis of disabilities and reducing the percentage of disabilities as well as providing medical devices and instruments necessary for their assistance and treatment.  The law also codifies that services that guarantee their equal and fair engagement in society should be provided in addition to the free healthcare services included in the governmental health insurance available for them and their families.

Despite Palestine’s accession to the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), on 02 April 2014, persons with disabilities in Palestine are subjected to difficulties and challenges that impede their integration into the society; most prominent of which are discrimination and social stigma.

Persons with disabilities are perceived as being powerless, unable to care for themselves or make their own decisions, which undermines the effectiveness of the rehabilitation programs designed for this important category in the society, especially that the number of persons with disabilities is increased over the past years due to Israeli violations in the Great March of Return protests and in the last aggression, which have inflicted hundreds of amputation and disability cases.

According to the data released in 2017 by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, there are 93,000 persons with disabilities in Palestine, i.e. 2.1% of the total population: 48% in the West Bank and 52% in Gaza Strip.

The mobility disability accounted for the highest proportion of disabilities; 47,109 persons with mobility disabilities constituted 51% of the total persons with disabilities. Also, 20% of persons with disabilities in Palestine are children under 18 years old.

The percentage of male children was higher than that of females in the same age group, reaching 21% and 18% respectively. The percentage was more prevalent in Gaza Strip (22%) than in the West Bank (17%).

Based upon the above-mentioned statistics, the need to update the statistical information of persons with disabilities in Palestine has become urgent to prepare plans that guarantee services for them.

Moreover, it is hoped that statistics results will create positive changes that will develop policies and laws relating to mental health, jobs, and transportation, based on the real numbers of disabled persons in Palestine.

On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights believes that all relevant parties should exert more efforts that guarantee the promotion of economic, social, cultural, political, and civil rights of persons with disabilities. Accordingly,

PCHR:

  • Calls upon the international and humanitarian organizations to exert pressure on Israeli government to respect conventions and put an immediate end to all human rights violations perpetrated against persons with disabilities in Palestine, including killing and injury, and to stop all forms of targeting of rehabilitation and educational institutions designed for them.
  • Demands Palestine to fulfill its obligations after its accession to the Convention on Persons with Disabilities, including harmonizing legislation, eliminating discrimination between different groups and correcting existing policies and procedures.
  • Calls on the Palestinian Authority to apply the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act and the regular provision of various services to persons with disabilities to provide a decent life for them and their families.
  • Calls upon international humanitarian organizations to provide technical and financial assistance to persons with disabilities and institutions providing various rehabilitation services to them, especially considering the deteriorating economic conditions in the Gaza Strip.

[1] Data Collected jointly by human rights organizations in Palestine, documentation of Israeli violations in the 2021 offensive.

[2] Statistics within a factsheet titled as “Violations against Persons with Disabilities due to the Israeli Offensive on the Gaza Strip” published by the National Society for Rehabilitation and Palestine Medical Relief Society on the NGO Network Website, 24 May 2021

For more information, please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893

Gaza- Jamal ‘Abdel Nasser “al-Thalathini” Street – Al-Roya Building- Floor 12, El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. E-mail: pchr@pchrgaza.org, Webpage http://www.pchrgaza.org

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(Source / 02.12.2021)

Israeli Colonizers Attack Home, Destroy Car And Uproot Saplings, Near Nablus

A group of illegal Israeli colonizers attacked, Thursday, a Palestinian home and destroyed the engine of a car in addition to puncturing its tires and cutting several olive saplings, and stealing equipment, near Nablus in the northern West Bank.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s colonialist activities in the northern part of the West Bank, said the colonizers came from the Ahiya colony which was built on stolen Palestinian lands.

He added that the colonizers attacked the home of Hisham Ahmad Hammoud, in Jaloud village, south of Nablus, in addition to puncturing the tires of his car and destroying its engine.

The colonizers also stole power generators and construction tools in addition to cutting many trees in Hammoud’s land.

Daghlas stated that several villages and towns in Nablus are subject to repeated violations by the colonizers, while the Israeli army continued to prevent the Palestinians from conducting any infrastructure work, or construction on their lands.

(Source / 02.12.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Demolish A Retaining Wall Near Bethlehem

Israeli soldiers demolished, on Thursday morning, a retaining wall in the al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

Hasan Breijiyya, the head of the Bethlehem office of the Wall & Colonization Resistance Commission, said dozens of soldiers, and employees of the City Council in occupied Jerusalem, invaded the village after surrounding it.

Breijiyya added that the soldiers demolished a retaining wall, owned by Ahmad Ibrahim al-A’raj, on his land in the Ein Jweiza area in the village, allegedly for being built without a permit from the so-called “Civil Administration Office,” the administrative branch of Israel’s illegal occupation.

Last month, the soldiers demolished three homes in the same area, allegedly for being built without permits.

It is worth mentioning that the village, especially the Ein Jweiza area, is subject to serious and ongoing Israeli violations, leading to the demolition of homes and structures, in addition to the destruction of infrastructure and the uprooting of farmlands.

The Israeli violations against al-Walaja started in the 1980s when Israel implemented its plans to annex the Palestinian lands to build its illegal colonies, by denying all construction permits filed by the Palestinians, in addition to dividing the lands, zoning and designating large areas as “green zones,” to prevent the Palestinians from using them, not to mention surrounding them with the illegal Annexation Wall.

Al-Walaja is already surrounded by the illegal colonies on Gilo, Har Gilo, Givat HaMatos, and Har Homa, which were all built on stolen Palestinian lands, in addition to the large areas of lands that were annexed when Israel paved roads leading to these colonies, installing railways, and designating lands as natural reserves, off-limits to the Palestinians.

(Source / 02.12.2021)

Palestinian Fighter Dies From Wounds Suffered A Year Ago

Palestinian medical sources have reported, Thursday, that a young man has died from serious wounds he suffered, a year ago, in an explosion near his home in Gaza city.

The sources identified the young man as Dia’ Kamal Dahdouh, 26, from Tal-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza city.

The Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, said Dia’ was one of its members, and added that he suffered serious wounds, a year ago, in an “accidental explosion” in Tal Al-Hawa.

Many Palestinian fighters have been killed in accidental explosions, or during training, in addition to the hundreds who were assassinated or killed by Israeli soldiers during the frequent invasions and bombings in the Gaza Strip.

Some have also been killed or seriously injured while dismantling explosives dropped by Israeli soldiers, in addition to unexploded ordnances that were fired by the Israeli army, or while manufacturing homemade shells.

It is worth mentioning that, on June 10, 2021, a Palestinian child, identified as Obeida Dahdouh, only nine years of age, was killed when an undetonated Israeli explosive that was dropped during the recent Israeli offensive on Gaza, exploded near him.

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that the Israeli explosive went off near the child, causing serious wounds before the medics rushed him to the Shifa Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds. His brother was also injured in the explosion.

During the eleven days of the Israeli offensive on Gaza in May of this year, the death toll reached 247, including sixty-six children and thirty-nine women, while 1416 Palestinians, including 277 women and 412 children have been wounded, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has confirmed.

(Source / 02.12.2021)

Soldiers Abduct International Peace Activist, Confiscate Car, Laptops, And Cameras In Hebron

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday evening, an international peace activist, and confiscated a car, two laptops, and cameras in the at-Tiwana village, south of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

Fuad al-‘Amour, the coordinator of the Protections and Steadfastness Committee in southern Hebron, said the soldiers invaded the village, in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron, before storming the home of Suleiman al-Adra, and abducted an international peace activist in addition to confiscating his car.

Al-‘Amour added that the soldiers also confiscated two laptops and several cameras that are used by the locals and international peace activists to document the violations committed by the soldiers and the colonizers against the locals and their properties in the area.

He stated that a group of international peace activists are constantly present in the area due to the repeated attacks by the soldiers and the colonizers.

(Source / 02.12.2021)

Palestinian Hospitalized After Israeli Soldiers Assaulted Him Near Jenin

Palestinian medical sources have reported, on Wednesday evening, that a young man was rushed to a hospital in Jenin, in northern West Bank, after Israeli soldiers detained him and moved him to a military base where they repeatedly assaulted him before leaving him unconscious on the side of the road.

The sources said the soldiers invaded Ya’bad town, southwest of Jenin, before detaining Raja Ahmad Abu Safat, 23.

They added that the soldiers took the young man to the Dotan Israeli military base, which was installed on stolen Palestinian lands near Ya’bad town, before repeatedly assaulting him.

The soldiers then took the injured young man to the eastern entrance of the town and left him unconscious on the ground.

The locals saw the young man and rushed for his aid, before calling for an ambulance that transferred him to a hospital in Jenin.

(Source / 02.12.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Demolish Two Agricultural Sheds Near Bethlehem

Israeli soldiers demolished, Wednesday, two agricultural sheds in Nahhalin town, west of Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

Hani Fannoun, deputy mayor of Nahhalin, said the soldiers invaded the an-Nassaba area, in the northern part of the town, before demolishing two agricultural sheds, owned by Majdi Jamil Shakarna and Ala’ Mohammad Fannoun.

He added that the army claims the two rooms were constructed without permits from the so-called Civil Administration Office, run by the occupation authorities, although the local town council licensed them.

Fannoun also said that the army has recently delivered demolition orders targeting twenty sheds in the an-Nassaba area, Banias, Ra’wanta, Waad Salem, and Qurnat ad-Da’mas, in the town.

(Source / 02.12.2021)

Hundreds of Settlers Invade Joseph’s Tomb, Dozens of Palestinians Injured

Israeli soldiers shot three Palestinians, Tuesday night, and caused dozens more to suffocate on tear gas during a settler invasion into Joseph’s Tomb in the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, according to local sources.

Israeli forces opened fire with tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel rounds at Palestinians who protested the invasion of hundreds of illegal Israeli colonists into the archeological site known as Joseph’s Tomb.

Ahmad Jibril, the Director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s (PRCS) Emergency Department stated that Israeli soldiers shot three protesters with rubber-coated steel bullets, including one in the chest, all of whom were transferred to hospital for treatment.

Furthermore, Jibril said that medics provided treatment for 33 Palestinians who suffered the toxic effects of tear gas inhalation.

(Source / 02.12.2021)