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PCHR: Israel continues systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory

PCHR: Israel continues systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory

  • Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in al-Bireh.
  • 5 civilians, including a child and journalist, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • An Israeli drone targeted a military observation point belonging to Hamas Movement and completely destroyed it.
  • Israeli forces continued to target the border areas in the Gaza Strip.
  • Two Palestinian civilians were wounded in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea.
  • Israeli forces conducted 62 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and four limited ones were conducted in the central and southern Gaza Strip.
  • 4577 civilians, including 2 children and 2 PLC Members, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • 10 of them, including a child, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.
  • Israeli forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Two events to celebrate the International Women’s Day were cancelled in Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • Two houses were demolished in Khelet al-‘Idah neighbourhood, south of Hebron.
  • Israeli settlers uprooted and damaged 22 olive seedlings while they sprayed with toxic herbicides 3 dunums planted with grain, south of Hebron.
  • Israeli settlers attacked a farmer and his wife, northeast of Qalqilya.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 10th
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 5 Palestinian civilians were arrested at military checkpoints.

 Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (02 – 08 March 2017).

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli settlers killed a Palestinian civilian in al-Shorfah neighbourhood in al-Bireh.  Meanwhile, the Israeli forces wounded 7 Palestinian civilians, including a child and journalist.  Four of them, including the journalist, were wounded in the West Bank while the 3 others, including the child, were wounded in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea and open fire at farmers in the border areas in addition to targeting an observation point belonging to Hamas.

In the West Bank, On 06 March 2017, Israeli forces killed Basel Mahmoud Ibrahim al-A’raj (33) from al-Waljah village, west of Bethlehem, and living in al-Shorfah neighbourhood in al-Bireh.  The Israeli media claimed that al-A’raj opened fire at the Israeli soldiers, who raided his house, so the latter opened fire at him.  As a result, he was immediately killed and his body was taken to an unknown destination.  The Israeli forces also claim that al-A’raj had been wanted for them for months. While carrying out the operation, the Israeli forces wounded 2 Palestinian civilians who gathered in the area to throw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers.

On 03 March 2017, Journalist Ahmed Shawar (30) was hit with a metal bullet to the forehead and an 18-year-old young man was hit with a metal bullet as well in the left knee while the former covering the weekly Kafr Qaddoum protest, northeast of Qalqilya, and the latter participating in the protest.

In the Gaza Strip, On 03 March 2017, two Palestinian civilians were wounded when Israeli forces stationed along the coastal fence, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at them.  The two civilians were walking in the area and then approached the border fence.  One of them sustained serious wounds while the other sustained moderate wounds.

On the same day, a Palestinian child was wounded while participating in a protest organized near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, north of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.  He sustained moderate wounds.

In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, on 05 March 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats and chased them.  However, neither casualties nor damages to the boats were reported.  The shooting recurred at approximately 07:00 on Sunday, 03 March 2017, and at approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 08 March 2017.

In the context of targeting the border areas, on 02 March 2017, Israeli forces stationed in the military watchtowers along the northern borders sporadically opened fire at the border area opposite to the Agriculture School, east of al-Burah area.  Meanwhile, the Israeli force fired 4 artillery shells at an observation point belonging to al-Qassam Brigades, north of Beit Lahia.  As a result, the site sustained material damages.

On 06 March 2017, Israeli soldiers stationed in the military watch tower opened fire at the Palestinian farmers, east of Gaza Valley village, east of Deit al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.  However, no casualties were reported.

In the context of airstrikes, on 02 March 2017, an Israeli drone launched one missile at an observation point belonging to al-Qassam Brigades, north of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.  As a result, it was completely destroyed, but no casualties were repoted.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 62 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 57 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children. Ten of them, including a child, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.  Six others, including a child, were arrested in a protest organized against the killing of Basel al-A’raj in the vicinity of ‘Ofer Prison, west of Ramallah.  Among those arrested were also two Members representing Hamas in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) identified as Khaled Tafesh al-Zoweib (53) and Anwar Zaboun (48).

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted 4 limited incursions into the central and southern Gaza Strip. On 02 March 2017, 4 Israeli bulldozers moved into the eastern side of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.  They levelled lands adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.  On 05 March 2017, Israeli forces moved into the eastern side of al-

Fokhari village, southeast of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.  On 06 March, Israeli forces moved into Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.  On 07 March 2017, Israeli forces moved into the northern Gaza Strip and levelled lands as well.

Settlement Activities and settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property:

On 06 March 2017, Israeli forces destroyed a house belonging to Taghrid Abu Mayalah in Khelet al-‘Eidah neighbourhood, south of Hebron.  The under-construction house is established on an area of 120 square meters.  On the same day, Israeli forces handed Hasan Shehdah ‘Amr a notice to stop construction works in his house in Beit Marsan village, west of Dura.

In the same context, On 04 March 2017, a group of settlers uprooted 15 olive seedlings and sprayed 7 others and 3 dunums planted with grain with toxic herbicides.  Those seedlings and dunums belong to al-Herini family near “Havat Ma’aoun” settlement established on Palestinian lands confiscated from Yata, south of Hebron.

On 06 March 2017, a group of settlers attacked farmer ‘Abdullah Salman (53) and his wife Mariam Salman (53) while ploughing their land near “Havad Jel’ad” settlement established on Far’eta village, northeast of Qalqilya.

Restrictions on movement:

Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people.  The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy.  They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons.  Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.

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