The shame of it! UK’s failure to back UN investigation into israel’s (apartheid state) shoot-to-kill-or-cripple policy in Gaza

The shame of it! UK’s failure to back UN investigation into Israel’s shoot-to-kill-or-cripple policy in Gaza

Israeli use of butterfly bullets on Gaza civilians

By Stuart Littlewood

The UK failed to back a UN investigation into Israel’s shoot-to-kill-or-cripple policy against Gaza’s caged civilians. Will the Foreign Office also fail to adopt its findings?

Open letter to Alister Jack, MP for Dumfries and Galloway

cc: Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Dear Alister,

Here’s something to take your mind off Brexit.

You’ll have heard of Dr Swee Ang. She is the first female Orthopaedic Consultant appointed to St Bartholomew (‘Barts’) and the Royal London Hospitals.

In the 1980s and 1990s Dr Swee worked as trauma and orthopaedics consultant in the refugee camps of Lebanon and later for the United Nations in Gaza, and the World Health Organisation in the West Bank and Gaza. She is Founder and Patron of the British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

She also treated the victims of the Pakistan (Kashmir) earthquake, and as consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon operated on and looked after the victims of the 7 July 2005 suicide bombing at the Royal London Hospital.

Dr Swee is co-author of War Surgery and Acute Care of the War Wounded; she also wrote From Beirut to Jerusalem documenting her experience in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Gaza.

Last summer she was aboard the ship Al-Awdasailing to Gaza with urgently needed medical supplies when the vessel was violently assaulted and hijacked in international waters by our so-called friend and ally which, we’re repeatedly told, shares our values and whose enemies are our enemies. The Al-Awdawas dragged to an Israeli port and her passengers and crew were roughed up (some seriously injured) and abused, thrown in an Israeli jail and had their possessions and money stolen. The precious cargo, as far as we can ascertain, never reached the desperate wounded.

Dr Swee has just emailed:

The UN Commission for Human Rights will be concluding its investigation on the shooting of thousands of Palestinian civilians demonstrating within the borders of Gaza. At least 189 were killed (more now) and thousands shot with live ammunitions – with loss of limbs and still needing multiple surgeries if they were to keep their legs and arms. It is estimated that with conventional limb salvaging surgeries at least £39 million has to be found to prevent further amputations (figures put out by MAP).

Last year the UK abstained from supporting the UN conducting such an investigation. However, it went ahead and I was fortunate enough to attend the meeting at Amnesty International two days ago to hear the personal testimonies of Dr Tarek Loubani who was shot on 14 May 2018, and Dr Mahmoud Matar the head of the Limb Reconstruction Service in Gaza. They will be testifying to the UN Commissioner coming Monday in Geneva. There is an urgent request for us to write to Jeremy Hunt [UK foreign secretary] with copy to our local MP asking the UK government to adopt the findings and recommendations of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights. In fact the concern is that UK might vote against it since last year we abstained.

Please do so urgently. This is something we all can do. Email for Jeremy Hunt is:

jeremy.hunt@fco.gov.uk

Even if you are not a UK national but are Palestinians you have the right to email him on behalf of your people. Please also ask your friends to support the UN Commissioner for Human Rights.

Thank you all and God bless, Swee.

Wounds “the size of a fist” causing lifelong disability

According to Medecins Sans Frontieres(MSF), which operates in Gaza, the Israelis have been using “dum-dum”- type rounds that cause wounds of “unusual severity”. This sort of ammunition is understood to be outlawed in warfare. Last year MSF surgeons in Gaza reported “devastating gunshot wounds” among hundreds of people injured during the protests, the huge majority – mainly young men, but also some women and children – having unusually severe wounds to the lower extremities.

MSF medical teams note the injuries include an extreme level of destruction to bones and soft tissue, and large exit wounds that can be the size of a fist. “Half of the more than 500 patients we have admitted in our clinics have injuries where the bullet has literally destroyed tissue after having pulverized the bone,” said Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, Head of Mission of MSF in Palestine. “These patients will need to have very complex surgical operations and most of them will have disabilities for life.”

She hadn’t seen these kind of injuries before. The wounds appeared to be caused by ammunition with an expanding “butterfly” effect. “Mass lifelong disability is now the prospect for young Gazans who merely gathered in unarmed protest”

Writing in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) the head of plastic and reconstructive surgery in Gaza, Dr Nafiz Abu-Shaban, said that the hundreds of high energy compound tibial fractures from Israeli live fire are the most difficult of all open fractures to treat. They may require between five and seven surgical procedures, each operation taking three to six hours. “Even with state-of-the-art reconstruction, healing takes one to two years. Most of these patients will develop osteomyelitis. A steadily increasing toll of secondary amputations is inevitable. They will also need intensive rehabilitation, but the only rehabilitation hospital in Gaza was destroyed by Israeli bombing in 2014…”

UK favours “whitewash toolkit” instead

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC ) in Geneva adopted a resolution to set up an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of humanitarian and international human rights law in the occupied Palestinian territory, with particular focus on recent events in Gaza. The resolution was passed with only two states opposing (the USA and another of Israel’s poodles, Australia), 29 in favour and 14 abstentions. The UK was among the abstainers.

Trying to explain its pathetic stance, the UK Mission in Geneva called the resolution “partial and unhelpfully unbalanced” for not explicitly demanding an investigation into the action of non-state actors such as Hamas. But why should it? Hamas is not the invader, illegal occupier, aggressor and blockader. It governs the besieged Gaza Strip as best it can after being democratically elected in 2006. The UK government then called on Israel to “make clear its intentions and carry out what must be a transparent inquiry into the IDF’s [Israel Defence Forces – a misnomer for the Israeli army] conduct at the border fence and to demonstrate how this will achieve a sufficient level of independence.” In other words, investigate itself.

However, Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem condemned the already-announced internal Israeli military probe as “part of the whitewashing toolkit”. The British government was criticised in parliament for its limp-wristed attitude and reminded of Israel’s self-exoneration over the killing of four boys playing on a beach during its 2014 military offensive on Gaza.

The preamble to the UNHRC resolution states the reasons for a proper investigation brilliantly. It’s worth repeating here:

  • Convinced that the lack of accountability for violations of international law reinforces a culture of impunity, leading to a recurrence of violations and seriously endangering international peace,
  • Noting the systematic failure by Israel to carry out genuine investigations in an impartial, independent, prompt and effective way, as required by international law, into the violence and offences against Palestinians by the occupying forces, and to establish judicial accountability for its actions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,
  • Emphasising the obligations of Israel as the occupying power to ensure the safety, well-being and protection of the Palestinian civilian population under its occupation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,
  • Emphasising also that the intentional targeting of civilians and other protected persons in situations of armed conflict, including foreign occupation, constitutes a grave breach of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and poses a threat to international peace and security,
  • Recognising the importance of the right to life and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association to the full enjoyment of all human rights…<<

Despite all that, Theresa May and Boris Johnson (foreign secretary at the time) still couldn’t bring themselves to back the UN resolution.

In recent years this country has so abandoned it moral compass that failing to support a perfectly legitimate investigation into the Israeli military’s brutal behaviour towards the Palestinians they have robbed and abused and murdered for 70 years – a scenario we engineered — is unsurprising.

But many see no difference between the racist thugs who command the Israeli army and the degenerate responsible for the New Zealand mosque massacre. Let us hope Her Majesty’s Government eventually discovers its backbone and adopts the report and findings of the UN Human Rights Council lest we all die of shame.

Kindest regards,

Your constituent Stuart Littlewood

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MSM Blackout: Colluding in war crimes: Britain’s unreported military alliance with israel (apartheid state)

MSM Blackout: Colluding in war crimes: Britain’s unreported military alliance with Israel

MSM Blackout: Colluding in war crimes: Britain’s unreported military alliance with Israel

By TruePublica: The rapidly declining living conditions in the Gaza Strip and occupied territories has endangered the most basic of internationally recognised of human rights, as children continue to be collateral damage in what can be boiled down to a political standoff. The difference to almost all modern countries is that Israel uses extreme force to break the deadlock.

It is now sadly a fact that more children than Palestinian fighters are being killed in the offensive on Gaza by the state of Israel. This in itself should be shocking until you see the numbers.  28 per cent killed are five years and under, 92 per cent are sixteen and under with 8 per cent aged 17 and 18 – but still classed as minors. More babies aged under 24 months die than those aged over 16 years.

Then there are the incarcerations. The Isreali Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories records them. It shows that in the ten years from 2008 to 2018 – a staggering 2,370 children have been sent to Israeli prisons. At the end of January 2019, 209 Palestinian children were held in Israeli prisons as security detainees and prisoners.

In January this year, the General Federation of Palestinian Trade Unions (PGFTU) warned that the poverty rate in the Gaza Strip has exceeded 80 per cent for the wider population. The numbers for mental health problems, access to health care or the basics such as access to clean water, electricity and sanitation are dire.

It shames Britain, that a country, ranked by the World Justice Project as the 8th most law-abiding country in the world actively supports a regime with weapons of death and destruction, described by organisations such as War on Want and the United Nations as an apartheid state. Others, including Human Rights Watch, accuse Israel of war crimes against defenceless Palestinians.

To enable that support, a media blackout is required in Britain. Here, Mark Curtis unravels the grizzly truth of Britain’s involvement in this ghastly and illegal aggression and what is really going on behind the scenes.

 

By Mark Curtis: Britain’s international trade secretary, Liam Fox, recently visited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pledging to increase trade and investment between the two countries, which already stands at a record $9bn.

While more than 230 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured by Israeli forces since March, London’s ties with Tel Aviv are growing ever stronger.

Yet, I cannot find a single article in the British “mainstream” media noting the depth of supportive UK policies towards Israel. This media blackout is allowing Britain to continue backing Israeli aggression in the occupied territories with impunity.

 

Arms as usual

In the two years 2016 and 2017, when Theresa May has been prime minister, the UK sold £402m worth of military goods to Israel, including components for combat aircraft, tanks, drones and military communications. As Prince William visited Israel in late June, the UK approved export licences for 34 types of military-related equipment.
These arms exports have been authorised while Palestinians risk their lives in the Great March of Return demonstrations on the perimeter fence between Gaza and Israel. Some 33 children were among those killed, alongside more than 24,000 Palestinians injured. Dozens of people have had limbs amputated, including 15 children, while the UN reports that 1,200 patients will require long-term limb reconstruction.

But many services are unavailable in Gaza as the healthcare system grapples with the massive influx of casualties. By the end of October, only 74 of 335 exit-permit applications had been approved by Israeli authorities for injured Palestinians needing attention outside of Gaza.

Documents revealed by Edward Snowden in 2014 showed that the US National Security Agency was providing to its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU, also known as Unit 8200) data used to monitor and target Palestinians.

A key partner of the NSA and ISNU was shown to be Britain’s spy centre, GCHQ, which was feeding the Israelis selected communications data it collected. In 2009, during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza that left nearly 1,400 people dead, included 344 children, this involved sharing information on Palestinians.

 

A ‘strong partnership’

Is the UK doing this now? Last year, Robert Hannigan, the outgoing director of GCHQ, said that his organisation had a “strong partnership with our Israeli counterparts in signals intelligence” and that “we are building on an excellent cyber relationship with a range of Israeli bodies”.

Earlier this year, Hannigan became chair of BlueVoyant Europe, a global cybersecurity firm whose operations are managed by, among others, a former deputy commander of Unit 8200, and a former division head in the Israeli security agency Shin Bet. Another key player in the firm is former British minister Lord Mandelson, who chairs BlueVoyant’s European Advisory Group.

Cybersecurity has become a key area of UK-Israeli cooperation. A recent report by the British Israeli lobby group, Bicom, notes that “government-to-government cooperation between the UK and Israel in cybersecurity is strong and has been described by a senior UK official as a ‘first-order partnership’”.

It added that “there are close working relationships between the countries’ national cybersecurity agencies and acknowledged cross-fertilisation in the development of their national security strategies”.

Indeed, the report notes that “it is perhaps no coincidence” that the former UK ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, returned from his posting in Tel Aviv in 2015 to become director of cybersecurity at the UK Cabinet Office.

In striking evidence of Britain’s reliance on Israel’s cybersecurity sector is the report’s claim that since major British banks are clients of many Israeli cyber companies, “the vast majority of digital transactions and credit card e-commerce in the UK is essentially protected by Israeli technologies”.

 

Deepening military relations

As I documented in an article for Middle East Eye in June, the UK’s military relationship with Israel is extensive, covering areas such as naval cooperation and the provision of components for Israeli nuclear-armed submarines. But the lack of journalistic investigations means that few details have emerged on many programmes.

In September, the government revealed that it was providing military training to Israel. This followed news in 2016 that British military pilots were due to be trained by a company owned by Israeli arms firm Elbit Systems.

 

Training is longstanding: in 2011, it was revealed that British soldiers were being trained in Israel in the use of drones that had been “field-tested on Palestinians” during the 2009 war in Gaza.

 

The contracts keep coming. Earlier this year, the UK’s Ministry of Defence agreed to a contract worth up to $52m to purchase a battlefield management application from Elbit Systems UK, while Israel’s armour specialist, Plasan, was selected by the UK Ministry of Defence to design and produce armour protection for Britain’s new Type 26 frigates being built by BAE Systems in Glasgow.

At the Conservative Party conference in October, senior government figures queued up at an event hosted by Conservative Friends of Israel to defend Israeli actions in the occupied territories. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson stated: “In terms of defence, Britain and Israel are working increasingly closely together. There’s a real bond.”

 

Facilitating Israeli violence

Similarly, Liam Fox told Netanyahu last week: “I am looking forward to an enhanced and even more ambitious trade and investment relationship with Israel as we work closer together going forward into the future.” Netanyahu replied: “Britain is in fact our largest trade partner in Europe … we value the friendship, we value the prospects for the future.”

Fox and Williamson are continuing the strategy of their boss, Theresa May, who has said of Israel: “I want to build the strongest and deepest possible relationship between our two countries.”

Yet, the reality of what this means in practice – especially in terms of British military and intelligence support for Israel, and how this facilitates Israeli aggression – is simply not being reported in the British media. The longer that continues, the easier it will be for Israel to continue to act with impunity for its crimes

 

“Endless Trip to Hell”: “Israel” Jails Hundreds of Palestinian Boys a Year. Here are Some Testimonies

By Staff, Haaretz

They’re seized in the dead of night, blindfolded and cuffed, abused and manipulated to confess to crimes they didn’t commit. Every year “Israel” arrests almost 1,000 Palestinian youngsters, some of them not yet 13.

It was a gloomy, typically chilly late-February afternoon in the West Bank village of Beit Ummar, between Bethlehem and Hebron. The weather didn’t deter the children of the Abu-Ayyash family from playing and frolicking outside. One of them, in a Spiderman costume, acted the part by jumping lithely from place to place. Suddenly they noticed a group of “Israeli” soldiers trudging along the dirt trail across the way.

Instantly their expressions turned from joy to dread, and they rushed into the house. It’s not the first time they reacted like that, says their father. In fact, it’s become a pattern ever since 10-year-old Omar was arrested by troops this past December.

The 10-year-old is one of many hundreds of Palestinian children whom “Israel” arrests every year: The estimates range between 800 and 1,000. Some are under the age of 15; some are even preteens. A mapping of the locales where these detentions take place reveals a certain pattern: The closer a Palestinian village is to a settlement, the more likely it is that the minors residing there will find themselves in “Israeli” custody. For example, in the town of Azzun, west of the Karnei Shomron settlement, there’s hardly a household that hasn’t experienced an arrest. Residents say that in the past five years, more than 150 pupils from the town’s only high school have been arrested.

At any given moment, there are about 270 Palestinian teens in “Israeli” prisons. The most widespread reason for their arrest – throwing stones – does not tell the full story. Conversations with many of the youths, as well as with lawyers and human rights activists, including those from the B’Tselem human-rights organization, reveal a certain pattern, even as they leave many questions open: For example, why does the occupation require that arrests be violent and why is it necessary to threaten young people.

In 2013, UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children, assailed “the ill treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system, [which] appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized.” A report a year earlier from British legal experts concluded that the conditions the Palestinian children are subjected to amount to torture, and just five months ago the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe deplored “Israel’s” policy of arresting underage children, declaring, “An end must be put to all forms of physical or psychological abuse of children during arrest, transit and waiting periods, and during interrogations.”

About half of the arrests of Palestinian adolescents are made in their homes. According to the testimonies, “Israeli” soldiers typically burst into the house in the middle of the night, seize the wanted youth and whisk him away (very few girls are detained), leaving the family with a document stating where he’s being taken and on what charge. The printed document is in Arabic and Hebrew, but the commander of the force typically fills out the details in Hebrew only, then hands it to parents who may not be able to read it and don’t know why their son was taken.

About 40 percent of the minors are detained in the public sphere – usually in the area of incidents involving throwing stones at soldiers. That was the case with Adham Ahsoun, from Azzun. At the time, he was 15 and on his way home from a local grocery store. Not far away, a group of children had started throwing stones at soldiers, before running off. Ahsoun, who didn’t flee, was detained and taken to a military vehicle; once inside, he was hit by a soldier. A few children who saw what happened ran to his house to tell his mother. Grabbing her son’s birth certificate, she rushed to the entrance to the town to prove to the soldiers that he was only a child. But it was too late; the vehicle had already departed, headed to an army base nearby, where he would wait to be interrogated.

In many cases the children’s hands are handcuffed from behind. An “Israeli” soldier from the Nahal infantry brigade admits that his unit arrested a boy “of about 11,” but the handcuffs were too big to bind his small hands.

The next stage is the journey: The youths are taken to an “Israeli” army base or a police station in a nearby settlement, their eyes covered with flannelette. “When your eyes are covered, your imagination takes you to the most frightening places,” says a lawyer who represents young Palestinians. Many of those arrested don’t understand Hebrew, so that once pushed into the army vehicle they are completely cut off from what’s going on around them.

In most cases, the handcuffed, blindfolded youth will be moved from place to place before actually being interrogated. Sometimes he’s left outside, in the open, for a time. In addition to the discomfort and the bewilderment, the frequent moving around presents another problem: In the meantime many acts of violence, in which “Israeli” soldiers beat the detainees, take place and go undocumented.

Once at the army base or police station, the minor is placed, still handcuffed and blindfolded, on a chair or on the floor for a few hours, generally without being given anything to eat. It is the “endless trip to hell”.
Young Palestinian detainees under guard. Soldiers typically burst into the house in the middle of the night, seize the wanted youth and leave the family with a document stating where he’s being taken.

The nightmare can be of differing duration, the former detainees relate. Three to eight hours after the arrest, by which time the youth is tired and hungry – and sometimes in pain after being hit, frightened by threats and not even knowing why he’s there – he’s taken in for interrogation. This may be the first time the blindfold is removed and his hands freed. The process usually starts with a general question, such as, “Why do you throw stones at soldiers?” The rest is more intense – a barrage of questions and threats, aimed at getting the teen to sign a confession. In some cases, he’s promised that if he signs he’ll be given something to eat.

According to the testimonies, the interrogators’ threats are directed squarely at the boy [“You’ll spend your whole life in jail”], or at his family [“I’ll bring your mother here and kill her before your eyes”), or at the family’s livelihood [“If you don’t confess, we’ll take away your father’s permit to work– because of you, he’ll be out of work and the whole family will go hungry”].

Whether the young detainee has signed a confession or not, the next stop is prison. Either Megiddo, in Lower Galilee, or Ofer. Khaled Mahmoud Selvi was 15 when he was brought to prison in October 2017 and was told to disrobe for a body search [as in 55 percent of the cases]. For 10 minutes he was made to stand naked, along with another boy, and in winter.

The months in detention, waiting for trial, and later, if they are sentenced, are spent in the youth wing of the facilities for security prisoners. The children don’t speak with their families for months and are allowed one visit a month, through glass.

Far fewer Palestinian girls are arrested than boys. But there is no facility especially for them, so they are held in the Sharon prison for women, together with the adults.

The courtroom is usually the place where parents have their first sight of their child, sometimes several weeks after the arrest. Tears are the most common reaction to the sight of the young detainee, who will be wearing a prison uniform and handcuffs, and with a cloud of uncertainty hovering over everything. “Israel” Prisons Service guards don’t allow the parents to approach the youth, and direct them to sit on the visitors’ bench.

At a recent remand hearing for several detainees, one boy didn’t stop smiling at the sight of his mother, while another lowered his eyes, perhaps to conceal tears. Another detainee whispered to his grandmother, who had come to visit him, “Don’t worry, tell everyone I’m fine.” The next boy remained silent and watched as his mother mouthed to him, “Omari, I love you.”

While the children and their family try to exchange a few words and looks, the proceedings move along. As though in a parallel universe.

The vast majority of trials for juveniles ends in a plea bargain – safka in Arabic, a word Palestinian children know well. Even if there is no hard evidence to implicate the boy in stone-throwing, a plea is often the preferred option. If the detainee doesn’t agree to it, the trial could last a long time and he will be held in custody until the proceedings end.

According to data of collected by the British-Palestinian NGO, 97 percent of the youths arrested by the “Israeli” army live in relatively small locales that are no more than two kilometers away from a settlement.

In the case of reported stone-throwing incidents, he says, the commander’s assumption is that the Palestinians involved are young, between the ages of 12 and 30, and that they come from the nearest village. Often the officer will turn to the resident collaborator in the village, who provides him with the names of a few boys.

“I was arrested when I was 14, all the boys in the family were arrested that night. A year later, I was arrested again, with my cousin. They said I burned tires. It happened when I was sleeping. My mother woke me up. I thought it was time for school, but when I opened my eyes I saw soldiers above me. They told me to get dressed, handcuffed me and took me outside. I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and it was cold that night. My mother begged them to let me put on a jacket, but they didn’t agree. Finally, she threw the jacket on me, but they didn’t let me put my arms in the sleeves.

“They took me to the Karmei Tzur settlement with my eyes covered, and I had the feeling that they were just driving in circles. When I walked, there was a pit in the road and they pushed me into it, and I fell. From there they took me to Etzion [police station]. There they put me in a room, and soldiers kept coming in all the time and kicking me. Someone passed by and said that if I didn’t confess, they would leave me in jail for the rest of my life.

“At 7 A.M., they told me the interrogation was starting. I asked to go to the toilet before. My eyes were covered and a soldier put a chair in front of me. I tripped. The interrogation went on for an hour. They told me that they saw me burning tires and that it interfered with air traffic. I told them it wasn’t me. I didn’t see a lawyer until the afternoon, and he asked the soldiers to bring us food. It was the first time I had eaten since being arrested the night before.

“At 7 P.M., I was sent to Ofer Prison, and I remained there for six months. In that period, I was in court more than 10 times. And there was also another interrogation, because a friend of mine was told while being questioned that if he didn’t confess and inform on me, they would bring his mother and shoot her before his eyes. So he confessed and informed. I’m not angry at him. It was his first arrest, he was scared.”

Khaled’s story is told by his father, Murad Shatawi: “On the night he was arrested, a phone call from my nephew woke me up. He said the house was surrounded by soldiers. I got up and got dressed, because I expected them to arrest me, on account of the nonviolent demonstrations I organize on Fridays. I never imagined they’d take Khaled. They asked me for the names of my sons. I told them Mumen and Khaled. When I said Khaled, they said, ‘Yes, him. We’re here to take him.’ I was in shock, so many soldiers showed up to arrest a boy of 13.

“They handcuffed and blindfolded him and led him east on foot, toward the settlement of Kedumim, all the while cursing and hitting him a little. I saw it all from the window. They gave me a document showing that it was a legal arrest and I could come to the police station. When I got there, I saw him through a small hole in the door. He was handcuffed and blindfolded.

“He stayed like that from the moment they arrested him until 3 P.M. the next day. That’s a picture that doesn’t leave me; I don’t know how I’ll go on living with that picture in my head. He was accused of throwing stones, but after four days they released him, because he didn’t confess and there was no other evidence against him. During the trial, when the judge wanted to speak to Khaled, he had to lean forward in order to see him, because Khaled was so small.

“What was it like to see him like that? I am the father. That says it all. He hasn’t talked about it since getting out, three months ago. That’s a problem. I’m now organizing a ‘psychology day’ in the village, to help all the children here who have been arrested. Out of 4,500 people in the village, 11 children under the age of 18 have been arrested; five were under the age of 15.”

Omar looks small for his age. He’s shy and quiet, and it’s hard to talk to him about the arrest, so members of his family recount the events in his place.

Omar’s mother: “It happened at 10 A.M. on Friday, when there is no school. Omar was playing in the area in front of the house, he threw pebbles at birds that were chirping in the tree. The soldiers, who were in the watchtower across the way here, picked up on what he was doing and ran toward him. He ran, but they caught him and knocked him down. He started to cry, and he wet his pants. They kicked him a few times.

“His grandmother, who lives here below, immediately went out and tried to take him from the soldiers, which caused a struggle and shouts. In the end, they left him alone and he went home and changed into dry pants. A quarter of an hour later, the soldiers came back, this time with their commander, who said he had to arrest the boy for throwing stones. When the other children in the family saw the soldiers in the house, they also wet their pants.”

Omar’s father takes up the story: “I told the commander that he was under 12 and that I had to accompany him, so I rode with him in the jeep to the Karmei Tzur settlement. There the soldiers told him not to throw stones anymore, and that if he saw other children doing it, he should tell them. From there they took him the offices of the Palestinian Authority in Hebron. The whole story took about 12 hours. They gave him a few bananas to eat during those hours. Now, whenever the children see a military jeep or soldiers, they go inside. They’ve stopped playing outside since then. Before the incident, soldiers used to come here to play soccer with the children. Now they’ve stopped coming, too.”

“It was around 2 P.M. I had a fever that day, so Dad sent me to my cousin next door, because that’s almost the only place in the village with a heating unit. Suddenly soldiers showed up. They saw me watching them from the window, so they fired shots at the door of the building, knocked it down and started to come upstairs. I got scared, so I ran from the second floor to the third, but they stopped me on the way and took me outside. The soldiers wouldn’t let me take my coat, even though it was cold and I was sick. They took me on foot to Kedumim, handcuffed and blindfolded. They sat me on a chair. I heard doors and windows being slammed hard, I think they were trying to scare me.

“After a while, they took me from Kedumim to Ariel, and I was there for five-six hours. They accused me of throwing stones a few days earlier with my friend. I told them I hadn’t thrown any stones. In the evening they moved me to the Hawara detention building; one of the soldiers told me I would never leave there. In the morning I was moved to Megiddo Prison. They didn’t have prisoners’ uniforms in my size, so they gave me clothes of Palestinian children who had been there before and left them for the next in line. I was the youngest person in the prison.

“I had three court hearings, and after 12 days, at the last hearing, they told me that it was enough, that my father would pay a fine of [$525] and I was getting a three-year suspended sentence. The judge asked me what I intended to do after getting out, I told him I would go back to school and I wouldn’t go up to the third floor again. Since my arrest, my younger brother, who’s 7, has been afraid to sleep in the kids’ room and goes to sleep with our parents.”

“On my 15th birthday, I went to the store in the village center to buy a few things. Around 7:30 in the evening, soldiers entered the village and children started to throw stones at them. On the way home with my bag, they caught me. They took me to the entrance of the village and put me in a jeep. One of the soldiers started to hit me. Then they put plastic handcuffs on me and covered my eyes and took me like that to the military base in Karnei Shomron. I was there for about an hour. I couldn’t see a thing, but I had the feeling that a dog was sniffing me. I was afraid. From there they took me to another military base and left me there for the night. They didn’t give me anything to eat or drink.

“In the morning, they moved me to the interrogation facility in Ariel. The interrogator told me that the soldiers caught me throwing stones. I told him that I hadn’t thrown stones that I was on my way home from the store. So he called the soldiers into the interrogation room. They said, ‘He’s lying, we saw him, he was throwing stones.’ I told him that I really hadn’t thrown stones, but he threatened to arrest my mother and father. I panicked. I asked him, ‘What do you want from me?’ He said he wanted me to sign that I threw stones at soldiers, so I signed. The whole time I didn’t see or talk to a lawyer.

“My plea bargain was that I would confess and get a five-month jail sentence. Afterward, they gave me one-third off for good behavior. I got out after three months and a fine of 2,000 shekels. In jail I tried to catch up with the material I missed in school. The teachers told me they would only take into account the grades of the second semester, so it wouldn’t hurt my chances of being accepted for engineering studies in university.”

“At 3 A.M., I heard knocking on the door. Dad came into the room and said there were soldiers in the living room and wanted us to show ID cards. The commanding officer told my father that they were taking me to Etzion for questioning. Outside, they handcuffed and blindfolded me and put me in a military vehicle. We went to my cousin’s house; they also arrested him. From there we went to Karmei Tzur and waited, handcuffed and blindfolded, until the morning.

“In the morning, they only took my cousin for interrogation, not me. After his interrogation, they took us to Ofer Prison. After a day there, they took us back to Etzion and said they were going to interrogate me. Before the interrogation, they took me into a room, where there was a soldier who slapped me. After he hit me in one room, he took me to the interrogation room. The interrogator said I was responsible for burning tires, and because of that the grove near the house caught fire. I said it wasn’t me, and I signed a document that the interrogator gave me. The document was also printed in Arabic, but the interrogator filled it out in Hebrew. I was taken back to Ofer Prison.

“I had seven hearings in court, because at the first hearing I said I hadn’t intended to confess, I just didn’t understand what I signed and it wasn’t true. So they sent me back for another interrogation. Again I didn’t confess. Then they sent me to interrogation another time and again I didn’t confess. That’s what it was like in three interrogations. In the end, my lawyer did a deal with the prosecutor that if I confessed in court – which I did – and my family would pay 4,000 shekels, they would release me.

“I’m a good student, I like soccer, both playing and watching it. Since the arrest I hardly wander around outside.”

“Around 2 A.M. someone knocked on the door. I woke up and saw a lot of soldiers in the house. They said we should all sit in the living room sofa and not move. The commander called Uday, my big brother, told him to get dressed and informed him that he was under arrest. It was the third time they arrested him. My father was also once under arrest. Suddenly they told me to put my shoes on too and go with them.

“They took us out of the house and tied our hands and covered our eyes. We went like that on foot to the base in Karmei Tzur. There they sat me on the floor with hands tied and eyes covered for around three hours. At about 5 A.M., they moved us to Etzion. On the way there in the jeep they hit us, they slapped me. In Etzion, I was sent to be checked by a doctor. He asked if I had been beaten and I said yes. He didn’t do anything, only checked my blood pressure and said I could stand up to an interrogation.

“My interrogation started at 8 A.M… They asked me to tell them which children throw stones. I said I didn’t know, so the interrogator gave me a slap. The interrogation went on for four hours. Afterward, they put me into a dark room for 10 minutes and then took me back to the interrogation room, but now they only fingerprinted me and put me into a detention cell for an hour. After an hour, Uday and I were moved to Ofer Prison. I didn’t sign a confession, neither about myself nor about others.

“I got out after nine days, because I wasn’t guilty of anything. My parents had to pay 1,000 shekels for bail. My little brother, who is 10, has been really afraid ever since. Whenever someone knocks at the door, he wets his pants.”

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (07 March – 13 March 2019)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (07 – 13 March 2019)

 

15 Mar  7:50 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 07 – 13 March, 2019.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian civilian was killed and 3 others, including a child, succumbed to their wounds. 150 civilians, including 43 children, four women, three journalists, and three paramedics, were wounded. The injury of four of them were reported serious. Three Palestinian civilians were killed; one of them was killed by the Israeli forces in the West Bank. Five Palestinian civilians sustained wounds in different incidents in the West Bank.

Shooting:

 

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 50th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. They also continued to use force as well during the incursions into the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and 3 other civilians, including a child, succumbed to their wounds. Moreover, 150 civilians, including 43 children, 4 women, 3 journalists, and 3 paramedics, were wounded while participating in the Return March. The injury of four of them was reported serious.  Furthermore, four Palestinian fishermen were wounded.  In the West Bank, the Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians; one of them was shot dead by the Israeli police. Moreover, five civilians were wounded in different shooting incidents in the West Bank.

 

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed Tamer Khaled Mustafa ‘Arafat (23) while participating in the Return and Breaking Siege March, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. Tamer was hit with a live bullet to the head at approximately 17:25, while he was around 150 meters away from the border fence, east of al-Shoka, east of Rafah. Tamer’s death was declared at approximately 18:40.

 

In the same context, three civilians, including a child, succumbed to wounds they sustained while participating in the Return and Breaking Siege March. On 07 March 2019, medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza City, declared the death of Saif al-Deen Abu Zaid (14), from al-Zaytoun neighborhood, after he succumbed to his wound he sustained. Saif was hit with a live bullet to the head when the Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel opened fire at Palestinian young men and children present in Malaka area, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City.

 

On 11 March 2019, medical sources at the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, declared the death of Bassam Safi (22), from Khan Yunis Camp. Bassam succumbed to wounds he sustained after being hit with a tear gas canister at the head on 22 February 2019  while participating in the Return and Breaking Siege March in eastern Khuza’ah, east of the city.

 

On 11 March 2019, the medical sources at al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah, declared the death of Mussa Mohammed ‘Abd al-Karim Mussa (23), from Deir al-Balah, who succumbed to his wounds. On Friday, 01 March 2019, Mussa was hit with a live bullet to the abdomen while he was participating in the Great March of Return, east of al-Buraj in the central Gaza Strip. Mussa was taken to al-Aqsa Hospital, where he underwent a surgery and then admitted to the ICU until he succumbed to his wounds.

 

In excessive use of lethal force against the peaceful protesters in eastern Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 150 civilians, including 43 children, 4 women, 3 journalists, and 3 paramedics, while participating in the Return March. The injury of four of them was reported serious.

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip from 28 February to 06 March 2019 According to the Governorate

 

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 14 7 0 0 0 0
Gaza City 59 5 1 0 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 36 18 1 1 0 1
Khan Yunis 26 8 1 2 3 0
Rafah 15 5 1 0 0 3
Total 150 43 4 3 3 4

 

  • As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods. During the reporting period, PCHR documented 9 incidents were as follows: 7 incidents adjacent to al-Waha Resort, 1 incident adjacent off Dir al-Balah Shore, and  1 incident off Rafah Shore. The Israeli naval forces’ attacks on Palestinian fishing boats resulted in the arresting of 7 fishermen and the injury of 4 others, in addition to confiscating 2 fishing boats and damaging another one.

 

  • As part of targeting the border areas, on 07 March 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds and agricultural lands, east of Deir al-Balah in the Central Gaza Strip. At approximately 14:00, the Israeli shooting recurred in the area.

 

  • On 09 March 2019, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Maghazi Camp in the Central Gaza Strip.

 

  • On 10 March 2019, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli shooting recurred at approximately 15:40 and no injuries were reported.

 

  • As part of airstrikes, on 09 March 2019, an Israeli drone fired one missile at a land, east of Gaza Valley village (Johr al-Dik), southeast of Gaza City, and no casualties or damage to property were reported.

 

  • On 10 March 2019, an Israeli drone fired two missiles at a seaport in the vicinity of a building belonging to the General Union of Fishing Workers in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, three fishing boats were damaged and three windows were broken in the building of the General Union of Fishing Workers, and no casualties were reported.

 

  • On the same day, an Israeli drone fired two missiles at a seaport in Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip. As a result, a building belonging to the General Union of Fishing Workers and a fishing boat sustained damage and no casualties were reported.

 

In the West Bank, in a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, Israeli police officers killed a Palestinian civilian, from Fassayel village, north of Jericho. “Yedioth Ahronoth” published that Israeli security sources said that a Palestinian civilian was driving his car and while passing through a police checkpoint, he passed a parked vehicle and refused to stop, so that the Israeli police officers opened fire and killed him. It should be noted that the Israeli forces could have used less lethal force against him, arrest him and reffer him to investigation.

 

In a new crime of excessive use of force, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian while passing by al-Rajaby building, which the settlers took over several years ago, in al-Ras neighborhood, east of Hebron, and his corpse was taken to an unknown destination. He was killed under the pretext that he intended to carry out a stabbing attack, but PCHR’s investigations refuted those allegations.

 

In a similar crime, Israeli forces killed Mohammed Jamil ‘Abdel Fattah Shahin (24), from Salfit. Mohammed was killed when the Israeli forces moved into the village. Dozens of Palestinian young men gathered to confront the Israeli soldiers, who opened fire at the protestors.

 

In the same context, the Israeli forces wounded 5 Palestinian civilians in different shooting incidents in the West Bank.

 

  • Collective Punishment Policy:

 

  • As part of the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers or/and settlers, on Thursday, 07 March 2019, the Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to the family of ‘Asem ‘Omer al-Barghouthi in Cooper village, north of Ramallah.It should be mentioned that the Israeli supreme court refused on 04 March 2019 the petition submitted by al-Barghouthi family against the house demolition decision. Thus, the court proved again its violation of the international humanitarian law and international human rights law and being one of Israel’s mechanisms to punish the Palestinian civilians and take revenge from innocents.  It is noteworthy that on 08 January 2019 the Israeli forces arrested ‘Asem al-Barghouthi and  accused him of shooting at Israel soldiers near “Givat Asaf” settlement outpost, north of Ramallah on 13 December 2018 and killing at the time 2 Israeli soldiers and seriously wounded 2 others.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 82 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 10 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 45 Palestinians, including 3 children and a woman, from the West Bank, while 43 other civilians, including 11 children and 7 women, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs. Moreover, the Israeli forces mal-treated the families whose houses were stormed, in addition to confiscating their money. Among those arrestees was the PLC member, Mohamed Hasan Abu Tair (68).

 

 

Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

  • As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, 08 March 2019, ‘Atallah ‘Eliwat self-demolished his house in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to implement the Israeli Municipality decision. ‘Atallah said that the Israeli Municipality issued a decision to demolish the house, despite his attempts to license it and paying fines estimated at NIS 100.000. He added that on Friday evening, he self-demolished parts of his 80-sqaure-meter house built 8 years ago. It should be noted that the house sheltered 7 members, including 5 children.

 

  • On 09 March 2019, Elham Ja’abees self-demolished her house in al-Mokaber Mount area, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, to impellent the Israeli Municipality decision. Elham’s brother ‘Ali said that the municipality notified his sister on 03 March 2019 to demolish her house under the pretext of non-licensing. He pointed out that she paid a lot of money as a fine building, but the municipality insisted to demolish it or the municipality will demolish the house and force her to pay the demolition costs, which is estimated at NIS 30.000. The mentioned house was built on an area of 130 square meters and sheltered 9 members, including 7 children.

 

  • On 12 March 2019, the Israeli authorities confiscated a caravan used as an agricultural facility in al-Walajah village, southwest of occupied East Jerusalem. The caravan belongs to Waleed Abi ‘Ali.

 

  • In the same context, 07 March 2019, the Israeli Municipality handed Ayman Rezeq Zarinah and his sons notices to demolish two residential buildings; one of them is under-construction, in Bir ‘Onah area, southwest of occupied East Jerusalem. The Israeli Municipality gave the family until 10 April 2019 to demolish the buildings or it will demolish them and force them to pay the demolition costs. Moreover, the Israeli forces handed Basema ‘Isaa, from Bir ‘Onah area, southwest of occupied East Jerusalem, a notice to demolish her an under-construction building comprised of 2 floors. She said that the Israeli forces raided her house and handed her husband Ibrahim ‘Abdullah ‘isaa a notice issued by the court to demolish their building on 01 April 2019. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities targeted the buildings of Bir ‘Onah area, which are located near al-Nafaq Road, in order to expand this road.

 

  • As part of seizing Palestinian civilians’ property in favor of settlement associations, on 11 March 2019, the Israeli Execution and Procedure Department handed the heirs of the late Maryam Abu Zowair a notice to evacuate their facility in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem in favor of El’ad” Settlement Association. The Israeli Court gave the family until the end of March to implement the eviction decision for the facility located in Wadi al-Helwa neighborhood. The facility is a house, where Elham Siyam and her four children live in, in addition to 1.5- dunum plot of land.  The sons of Monirah and Fatemah Siyam, the heirs of the late Zowair, are fighting from 22 years in the Israeli Courts to protect their facility, prove their ownership and refute the settlement association’s claims. The settlement association did all its efforts to seize the facility during the past years.

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

  • As part of house demolitions, on 07 March 2019, Israeli forces demolished an under-construction house belonging to Mosheer Suliman Mahmoud Saif, from the mentioned village. The house was comprised of 2 floors; the first one built on an area of 150 square meters while the second built on an area of 250 square meters. The demolition was carried out under the pretext of non-licensing in area classified as Area C, noting that the house built on the land classified as Area B, according to the Palestinian classification.

 

On the same day, Israeli forces moved into Kherab al-Sakinah in al-Masafer area in Yatta, south of Hebron, and confiscated 4 residential tents and 3 other tents used for breeding livestock in (al-Fakhit- al-Majaz- al-Dakikah) areas, under the pretext of building without a prior permission.

 

  • On 13 March 2019, Israeli forces demolished a 120-sqaure-meter barrack used for breeding livestock and a 12-sqaure-meter agricultural room attached to it. The barrack and agricultural room, which were built 2 years ago, belong to Basem Zait.

 

  • As part of levelling lands and uprooting trees, on 10 March 2019, Israeli forces leveled a 800-sqaure-meter plot of land, demolished stone chains and uprooted 80 trees. The trees were as follows: 40 olive trees, 3 almond trees and 10 grapes. The plot of land belongs to Khaled Mohamed Salman al-Samaheen.

 

  • On 12 March 2019, Kastro was surprised with cutting and damaging 30 olive trees planted in 12-dunum-plot of land. Kastro said that the Israeli settlers cut the trees 2 days ago. It should be noted that this is not the first time that Israeli settlers attack the plot of land, but this is the fifth time during the past 5 years.

 

  • As part of Israeli settlers’ attacks, Israeli settlers levelled 10 dunums in Jaloud village, southeast of Nablus. The dunums belong to the heirs of the late Ibrahim ‘Abed al-Haji Mohamed.

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

 

Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

 

 

Gaza Strip:

 

In the 50th week of the Return and Breaking Siege the March activities, Israeli forces wounded 150 civilians, including 43 children, 4 women, 3 journalists and 3paramedics.  The injury of four of them was reported as serious. The incidents were as follows:

 

  • Gaza City: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 59 civilians, including five children and a women. 30 of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, 19 were directly hit with tear gas canisters and ten were hit with rubber bullets.

 

  • Northern Gaza Strip: the Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 14 civilians, including seven children. Four of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, eight were directly hit with tear gas canisters and two were hit with rubber bullets.
  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued until 18:00, resulted in the injury of 36 civilians, including 18 children, a woman and a journalist. Twenty-three of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and 13 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The injury of one of them was classified as serious. The wounded journalist identified as Hussain Jamal Mohammed Mansour (27), from al-Buraij Refugee Camp, was hit with shrapnel to his hands. Hussain works as a freelance journalist.

 

  • Khan Younis: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued until 18:00, resulted in the injury of 26 civilians, including eight children, a woman, three paramedics, and two journalists. Thirteen of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and 13 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedics are:

 

  • ‘Ali Bahjat al-Qassas (36), a volunteer paramedic at the PRCS, who was hit with a tear gas canister to the face.
  • Ghaleb Samir Abu Khater (29), a volunteer paramedic at the PRCS, who was hit with a tear gas canister to the hand.
  • Mohammed Rajab Abu Jazar (21), a volunteer paramedic at PMRS, who was hit with a tear gas canister to the neck.

 

The two wounded journalists were identified as:

  • Yasser Mamdouh al-Qadi (32) who was hit with a live bullet to the right foot and works at Kan’an Agency.
  • Hussam Saleh Ahmed al-‘Adlony (30) who was hit with a tear gas canister to the left thigh and works as a freelance journalist.

 

 

  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 14:00 until 17:00, resulted in the killing of Tamer Khaled Mustafa ‘Arafat (23) and the injury of 15 civilians, including five children and a woman. Nine of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and six were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The injury of three of them was classified as serious. Moreover, Tamer was hit with a live bullet to the head at approximately 17:25, while he was around 150 meters away from the border fence, east of al-Shoka, east of Rafah. Tamer’s death was declared at approximately 18:40.

 

  • Three civilians, including a child, succumbed to their wounds:

At approximately 00:40 on Thursday, 07 March 2019, the medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City declared the death of Saif al-Din ‘Emad Nasser Abu Zaid (14), from al-Zaytoun neighborhood, who succumbed to his wound. It should be noted that at approximately 21:40 on Wednesday, 6 March 2019, Saif al-Din arrived at al-Shifa Hospital after being hit with a live bullet to the head when Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence with Israel fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian children and young men in Malaka area, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City.

 

 

  • At approximately 03:50 on Monday, 11 March 2019, the medical sources at the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, declared the death of Bassam Sami ‘Othman Safi (22), form Khan Younis, who succumbed to his wound. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 16:00 on Friday, 22 February 2019, Bassam was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the head while he was around 150-200 meters away from the border fence with Israel, southeast of Return Camp in Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis. Bassam was standing among a group of demonstrators doing nothing. He was then taken to a medical field point then to the European Gaza Hospital. Bassam was admitted to the ICU due to his serious health condition until he succumbed to his serious wound.

 

  • At approximately 10:30 on Monday, 11 March 2019, the medical sources at al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah, declared the death of Mussa Mohammed ‘Abd al-Karim Mussa (23), from Deir al-Balah, who succumbed to his wounds. On Friday, 01 March 2019, Mussa was hit with a live bullet to the abdomen while he was participating in the Great March of Return, east of al-Buraj in the central Gaza Strip. Mussa was taken to al-Aqsa Hospital, where he underwent a surgery and then admitted to the ICU until he succumbed to his wounds.

 

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the Friday prayer, on 08 March 2019, dozens of Palestinian civilians headed to Beit Sira village’s entrance, west of Ramallah, and gathered near an Israeli military watchtower established in the area, calling for returning the bodies of Amir Daraj and Youssof ‘Enqawi, who were killed on 04 March 2019 by the Israeli forces in Kafur Ni’mah village, and their bodies were detained. After the demonstrators arrived at the area, the Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, and sound bombs at them. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian was hit with a rubber bullet to the head and then taken via a PRCS ambulance to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive treatment.

 

  • Collective Punishment Policy:

 

  • As part of the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers or/and settlers, on Thursday, 07 March 2019, the Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to the family of ‘Asem ‘Omer al-Barghouthi in Cooper village, north of Ramallah. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 01:30 on the abovementioned day, Israeli forces backed by 20 military vehicles and armored personnel carriers in addition a Volvo military bulldozer moved into Cooper village, north of Ramallah.  The soldiers got off their vehicles and deployed in the center of the village and between the houses.  A number of them topped the roofs and closed the entrances leading to the vicinity of the family house belonging to detainee ‘Asem ‘Omer al-Barghouthi (33). Many Israeli soldiers then raided the abovementioned house to implement the demolition order which the family previously was informed of.  Dozens of Palestinian youngsters and young men then gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers deployed in the center of the village and set fire to tires.  The Israeli soldiers then in response heavily fired teargas canisters at them; as a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and fainted.  Meanwhile, the Israeli military bulldozer was demolishing the walls of the 2-storet house built on an area of 280 square meters.  At approximately 04:00, the Israeli forces completely demolished the house and later withdrew from the village. It should be mentioned that the Israeli supreme court refused on 04 March 2019 the petition submitted by al-Barghouthi family against the house demolition decision.  Thus, the court proved again its violation of the international humanitarian law and international human rights law and being one of Israel’s mechanisms to punish the Palestinian civilians and take revenge from innocents.  It is noteworthy that on 08 January 2019 the Israeli forces arrested ‘Asem al-Barghouthi by officers from the Yamam Unit, which is part of the Israeli “Mista’arvim” units and dressed like Palestinian civilians, when he was in Abu Shkeihdem village, north of Ramallah.  The Israeli authorities accused al-Barghuthi of shooting at Israel soldiers near “Givat Asaf” settlement outpost, north of Ramallah on 13 December 2018 and killing at the time 2 Israeli soldiers and seriously wounded 2 others.  Further, the Israeli authorities accused him of participating with his brother Saleh, who was assassinated by the Israeli soldiers on 12 December 2018, in a shooting incident near “‘Ofra” settlement, east of the city.

Closing Roads:

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 11 March 2019, the Israeli authorities closed 6 dirt roads in the southern area of Hebron. The residents used these roads to access their houses and agricultural lands. The Israeli Civil Administration officer did not clarify the closure reasons. The closure included the following roads: the road connects between Ma’een village and Kherbit Sha’b al-Baten, southeast of Yatta; the sub-raod leading to Kherbit Wad Jehish, south of Yatta; the road of Khelet al-Mayiah leading to Yatta’ the road connects between Kherbit Ghowain and al-Kharabah area; the road leading to Kherbit Raffat, southwest of Samou’a; and the road leading to Kherbit Maqtal Musallam, south of Samou’a.

 

 

  • Efforts to Create A Jewish majority

 

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

 

 

  • Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • At approximately 13:00, on Thursday, 07 March 2019, Israeli police raided al-Rahma Gate Mosque, east of al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City in occupied east Jerusalem, and took pictures for those who were there. In addition, eyewitnesses said that the Israeli police raided the mosque and took photos for the worshipers who were there, resulting in an altercation between both the Israeli police and the Palestinian worshipers. This tension came after the Israeli police sealed with chains the door on the top of the stairway leading to “al-Rahma Gate” building last month, outraging the worshipers who broke the door after performing their prayers near the mosque. The events continued to escalate as the worshipers were attacked and arrested in addition to denying them entry to al-Aqsa Mosque as well as attacking al-Aqsa guards. As a result, the worshipers, in cooperation with Islamic Endowment Department (Awqaf), were able to open the mosque, which has been closed for 16. After that, the Israeli police conducted a two-week arrest campaign targeting religious figures, activists, women, and children, who were able to break the steel gate and participated in opening al-Rahma Gate Mosque. Moreover, they denied more than 130 Palestinian civilians to enter al-Aqsa Mosque for period ranging from weeks to months.

 

  • On the same day evening, Israeli forces arrested seven Palestinian women and a man when they were on their way out of al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem, taking them to al-Qashala police station in west Jerusalem to interrogate them. Lawyer Khaled Zabarqa said that Israeli police extended the women’s detention on charges of disturbing public order. The arrested women were identified as Nehad Mahajna, Islam Mahameed, Nour Mahameed, Montaha Emara, Samah Mahameed, Raeeda Sa’eed, and Sou’ad in addition to sheikh Nour al-Deen Ishaq al-Rajabe (57), who was released several hours after being arrested. Eyewitnesses said that the arrests were carried out at al-Asbat (Lion), Hata and al-Majles gates. That coincided with settlers raiding al-Rahma Cemetery, adjacent to al-Aqsa Mosque, performing their religious rituals and violating the sanctity of the graves by stepping over them. It should be mentioned that on the same day evening the settlers organized the monthly “Gates March”, in which they dance, sing and perform their rituals while raising the Israeli flags. The March started from al-Buraq Wall and passed by al-Aqsa gates. Moreover, eyewitnesses said that the Israeli police provided settlers full protection and closed the roads leading to al-Maghariba (Dung Gate).

 

  • At approximately 20:00, on Thursday, 07 March 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Qanater Khdeir neighborhood in the Old City in occupied east Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses from which they arrested ‘Abdul Rahman Taher al-Sharbati (14) and Ihab Sa’eb Taha (15), taking them to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 00:00, on Friday, 08 March 2019, Israeli forces moved into Al-Issawiya village, northeast of occupied east Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Fady ‘Ali Mohammad ‘Elayan (33) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination. It should be mentioned that ‘Elyan was one of al-Aqsa guards, who were denied access to al-Aqsa Mosque in last January for six months. Moreover, he was arrested several times and spent a whole year in Israeli jails.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, on Friday, 08 March 2019, Israeli forces moved into several neighborhoods in the Old City in occupied east Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses from which they arrested three civilians namely ‘Obada Sameer Yusuf Najeeb (20), Waheed Marwan Waheed al-Bakry (19) and Mahmoud ‘Abdullah Najeeb (21).

 

  • At approximately 14:00, on Friday, 08 March 2019, Israeli forces moved into Jabal al-Mukabir neighborhood, southeast occupied east Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested three civilians namely ‘Amer Mahmoud Mash’al (33), Loai Mohammad Salama (27) and Hassan Yusuf Salama (45).

 

  • At approximately 09:00, on Sunday, 10 March 2019, ‘Omar Ramzy ‘Omar al-Za’neen (18) turned himself in to the Prison Service in al-Ramla to serve his eight-month sentence. Amjad Abu ‘Assab, Head of the Prisoners’ Families Committee in Jerusalem, said that al-Zaneen was arrested many times, denied access to his place of residence in the Old City in al-Ramla and stayed in house arrest for months. Furthermore, the Israeli court sentenced him to eight months of imprisonment, thus he turned himself in. It should be mentioned that al-Za’neen is the goalkeeper of Helal al-Quds Club and plays also for Palestine Junior National Team.

 

  • At approximately 19:00, on Sunday, 10 March 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Sa’dya village in the Old City in occupied east Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Nedal Abu Diab. Before they withdrew, they arrested his child Nassrallah (13), taking him to Moscovia Detention Center in west Jerusalem. It should be mentioned that the Israeli forces arrested the aforementioned civilian and released him few hours later under the condition of being under house arrest for three days. Later on the same day, they raided the house again and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 22:00, on Monday, 11 March 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Sa’dia neighborhood in the Old City in occupied east Jerusalem. They raided a house belonging to Bahjat Mohammad ‘Ali al-Razem (26) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 01:00, on Tuesday, 12 March 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied east Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmad ‘Abdullah Abu Ghannam (15) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, on Tuesday, 12 March 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Eizariya village, southeast of occupied east Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammad Hassan Mattar (40) and then arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • Following the midday prayer, on Tuesday, 12 March 2019, Israeli authorities imposed a tightened siege on al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied east Jerusalem, closed the gates and completely evacuated it after the police station, which is located in the mosque, was set on fire. Eyewitnesses said that the fire was set to al-Asbat’s Gate Police Station following the midday prayer. Moreover, Israeli forces opened fire at the worshippers and completely locked down the vicinty of the police station. Furthermore, the Israeli forces backed by special forces, police and intelligence officers raided the mosque and closed its gates and then raided the Dome of the Rock and carried out arrests, which included children and women. The eyewitnesses added that the Israeli forces severely beat everyone at the mosque, including Islamic endowment “Awqaf” employees, worshippers, women, children, and young men and women, evacuated it and started searching the rooms and offices. Sheikh Wasif al-Bakri, acting chief justice of Jerusalem’s Islamic courts, said that the Israeli forces, upon the order of Jerusalem’s Police Chief, emptied the mosque of Islamic endowment “Awqaf” employees and worshippers. He also said that he along with a group of Islamic endowment “Awqaf” employees attempted to stay in the Dome of al-Nahawiyah, but the Israeli police raided it twice and threatened to get them out by force. PRCS reported that, during those events, their staff offered treatment for six persons injured after being beaten and sustained fractures. Five of them were taken to al-Makassed Hospital. Lawyers Mohammad Mahmoud and Rozan al-Jo’ba said that the Israeli forces arrested 17 civilians, including six children, and that they visited the arrestees in al-Qishla police station in Jerusalem’s Old City and Moscovia Detention Center in west Jerusalem. They added that the arrestees told them that they were hit against the wall and some of them were prevented from wearing their shoes at the moment they were arrested from al-Aqsa Mosque. Moroever some of them were hit on the head and suffocated. PCHR keeps the names of the arrestees.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, on Wednesday, 13 March 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Issawiya, northeast of occupied east Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested four civilians, including a child. The arrested civilians were identified as Wassem Iyad Dari (17), Saleh Bader Abu ‘Assab (19), Majd ‘Ali ‘Ata (20), and Khaled ‘Awny Abu Gosh (19).

 

Notices and House Demolitions:

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 07 March 2019, the Israeli Municipality handed Ayman Rezeq Zarinah and his sons notices to demolish two residential buildings; one of them is under-construction, in Bir ‘Onah area, southwest of occupied East Jerusalem. The Israeli Municipality gave the family until 10 April 2019 to demolish the buildings or it will demolish them and force them to pay the demolition costs. Waleed Zarinah said that the Israeli authorities handed him a notice issued by the court to demolish a building belonging to his brother Ayman and his sons Rezeq, Mohamed and Salah, or the municipality will demolish it and force him to pay the demotion costs, in addition to confiscating NIS 230.000, which the family was forced to pay as a bail to release Ayman who refused to sign the demolition notice. Ayman’s building is comprised of two floors, including four apartments. Waleed added that the Israeli Court, which belongs to the Ministry of the Interior, detained Ayman after he refused to sign the self-demolition notice, so the family was forced to pay the mentioned money as a bail to release him and implement the demolition by himself before the specified date. Waleed pointed out that the family appoint an Israeli lawyer a year ago after the Israeli authorities threatened to demolish the mentioned building and paid a lot of money to him, but the court decided to demolish the building. He added that the Israeli authorities threatened the family to demolish the rest of the house, which belongs to his borthers Khaled and Ried.

 

  • In the same context, the Israeli forces handed Basema ‘Isaa, from Bir ‘Onah area, southwest of occupied East Jerusalem, a notice to demolish her an under-construction building comprised of 2 floors. She said that the Israeli forces raided her house and handed her husband Ibrahim ‘Abdullah ‘isaa a notice issued by the court to demolish their building on 01 April 2019. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities targeted the buildings of Bir ‘Onah area, which are located near al-Nafaq Road, in order to expand this road.

 

 

  • At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 08 March 2019, ‘Atallah ‘Eliwat self-demolished his house in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to implement the Israeli Municipality decision. ‘Atallah said that the Israeli Municipality issued a decision to demolish the house, despite his attempts to license it and paying fines estimated at NIS 100.000. He added that on Friday evening, he self-demolished parts of his 80-sqaure-meter house built 8 years ago. It should be noted that the house sheltered 7 members, including 5 children.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 09 March 2019, Elham Ja’abees self-demolished her house in al-Mokaber Mount area, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, to impellent the Israeli Municipality decision. Elham’s brother ‘Ali said that the municipality notified his sister on 03 March 2019 to demolish her house under the pretext of non-licensing. He pointed out that she paid a lot of money as a fine building, but the municipality insisted to demolish it or the municipality will demolish the house and force her to pay the demolition costs, which is estimated at NIS 30.000. The mentioned house was built on an area of 130 square meters. It should be noted that the Israeli Municipality forced around 7 civilians, from Jerusalem, to self-demolish their shops in late February, under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, 12 March 2019, the Israeli authorities confiscated a caravan used as an agricultural facility in al-Walajah village, southwest of occupied East Jerusalem. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces moved into the entrance to al-Walajah village and then seized a caravan without a prior warning. The caravan belongs to Waleed Abi ‘Ali.

 

  • Seizing Palestinian Civilians’ Property in Favor of Settlement Association:

 

  • On Monday, 11 March 2019, the Israeli Execution and Procedure Department handed the heirs of the late Maryam Abu Zowair a notice to evacuate their facility in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem in favor of El’ad” Settlement Association. According to PCHR’s investigations, the Israeli Court gave the family until the end of March to implement the eviction decision for the facility located in Wadi al-Helwa neighborhood. The facility is a house, where Elham Siyam and her four children live in, in addition to 1.5- dunum plot of land. The Israeli authorities’ decisions came before looking for the land’s ownership in the Israeli Supreme Court, which emphasizes that the land, where the house is established, belonging to the late Jameel Siyam not to the late Zowair. Mahmoud Khalil, from Chicago, in collaboration with a broker forged the documents to facilitate the transferring of the facility to the association. The sons of Monirah and Fatemah Siyam, the heirs of the late Zowair, are fighting from 22 years in the Israeli Courts to protect their facility, prove their ownership and refute the settlement association’s claims. The settlement association did all its efforts to seize the facility during the past years.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

  • At approximately 06:20 on Thursday, 07 March 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with 3 bulldozers moved into al-Mas’oudiyia area in Burqah village, northwest of Nablus. The bulldozers demolished an under-construction house belonging to Mosheer Suliman Mahmoud Saif, from the mentioned village. The house was comprised of 2 floors; the first one built on an area of 150 square meters while the second built on an area of 250 square meters. The demolition was carried out under the pretext of non-licensing in area classified as Area C, noting that the house built on the land classified as Area B, according to the Palestinian classification. Saif said that he did not receive demolition notice, but he received a notice to stop construction work and granted a chance to refer to the competent bodies in the Israeli Civil Administration. Following that, he headed to the al-Quds Center for legal aid and human rights in order to follow-up his case, but no any court session held to consider the case.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Kherab al-Sakinah in al-Masafer area in Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers confiscated 4 residential tents and 3 other tents used for breeding livestock in (al-Fakhit- al-Majaz- al-Dakikah) areas, under the pretext of building without a prior permission. The confiscation was carried out without a prior permission or handing decisions to stop construction works or demolition notices. The confiscated tents belong to:
    • Isma’il Ibrahim al-‘Adrah (a 40-sqaure-meter tent in Kherbet al-Fakhith).
    • ‘Isaa Mohamed Abu ‘Arram (a 40-square-meter tent and a 50-square-meter tent used for breeding livestock(.
    • Mohamed ‘Eliyan ‘Awad (2 residential tents built on an area of 40 square meters and 2 other tents built on an area of 60 square meters and used as barns.)

 

  • On Thursday, the Israeli authorities notified the owners of 4 agricultural dwellings in Shoshhalah area in al-Khadir village, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. The notified persons were identified as Mahmoud Salah, Monther Salah, Mousa Ahmed Salah, and Habbas Khalil Salah. The head of the office of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee in Bethlehem, Hassan Brejiya, said that the houses’ owners recently restored their houses in order to confront the Israeli forces’ plans aim at seizing the land in favor of settlement projects. He pointed out that the Israeli forces raided al-Rashidah village, southeast of the city and confiscated a truck carrying construction materials. They also handed the village residents notices to evacuate their lands under the pretext of being military areas.

 

  • On Friday, 08 March 2019, Israeli forces attacked the Agricultural Relief Society in Nahaleen village, west of Bethlehem, and forced the workers to stop working in the project. Ziyad Salah, the coordinator of the Agricultural Relief Society, said that the Israeli forces forced the workers to stop working in the project and confiscated the tools using in implementing the project of agricultural roads. The project, which is implemented by the Agricultural Relief Society, aims at serving the Palestinian farmers. Ziyad also said that the Israeli forces arrived at the area, stopped the work and then confiscated the tools by loading them on military vehicles. He pointed out that this project is implemented in cooperation with Nahaleen’s municipality.

 

  • At approximately 09:30 on Sunday, 10 March 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration, a bulldozer and a digger moved into Abu Sdodah Mount, north of al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. The Israeli vehicle leveled a 800-sqaure-meter plot of land, demolished stone chains and uprooted 80 trees. The trees were as follows: 40 olive trees, 3 almond trees and 10 grapes. The plot of land belongs to Khaled Mohamed Salman al-Samaheen.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a mounted-crane truck moved into the western area of Samou’a village, south of Hebron. The Israeli soldiers deployed between houses and the Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Ya’qoub Mostafa Abu ‘Oqail a notice to stop construction works in his an under-construction house built on an area of 80 square meters. The Israeli Civil Administration officers confiscated 8 pallets built of bricks where in the vicinity of the house. The confiscation and stop working came under the pretext of non-licensing in area classified as Area C, according to Oslo agreement.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 12 March 2019, according to the security coordination previously declared by the Palestinian Liaison that allows Palestinians enter their lands in Bureen village, south of Nablus, Kastro Rezeq Mahmoud Qadous headed to a plot of land belonging to the heirs of the late Nimer Jaber, where he works. When he arrived at the land, he was surprised with cutting and damaging 30 olive trees planted in 12-dunum-plot of land. Kastro said that the Israeli settlers cut the trees 2 days ago. It should be noted that this is not the first time that Israeli settlers attack the plot of land, but this is the fifth time during the past 5 years.

 

  • On Wednesday, 13 March 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a bulldozer moved into Wadi al-Makhrour area, west of Beit Jalah, west of Bethlehem. The Israeli bulldozers demolished a 120-sqaure-meter barrack used for breeding livestock and a 12-sqaure-meter agricultural room attached to it. The barrack and agricultural room, which were built 2 years ago, belong to Basem Zait.

 

 

Israeli settlers’ attacks:

 

  • On Saturday, 09 March 2019, the residents of Jaloud village, southeast of Nablus, were surprised with leveling agricultural lands in Khelet Sahal Abu Shabraqah by Israeli settlers, from “Ahiya” settlement and “Ayish Kodesh” settlement outpost, east of Jaloud village. The agricultural lands belong to the heirs of the late Ibrahim ‘Abed al-Hajj Mohamed. The levelled land were around 10 dumuns. It should be noted that Palestinain farmers are only allowed to enter their lands for plowing them after getting a prior permission from the Israeli forces.

 

  • At approximately 23:00 on Sunday, 10 March 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “ Shafi Shamroun” settlement, west of Nablus, carried out riots in the square of Dir Sharaf village, west of the city. They also threw stones at Palestinian civilians and their vehicles and shops, but no injuries among them or damages were reported.

 

  • Recommendations to the International Community

 

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 11 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

Faces of Gazan Children Killed by israeli (apartheid state) Soldiers Appear in Tel Aviv

Faces of Gazan Children Killed by Israeli Soldiers Appear in Tel Aviv

By Haim Schwarczenberg,

Thursday March 7th 2018 Tel Aviv- Jews for Return, hung pictures of six of the children who were shot dead by Israeli soldiers while participating in the return demonstrations that began on the 30th of March 2018 on the streets of Tel Aviv.

Israeli security forces killed 266 participants in the Great March of Return since Refugees for Gaza began protesting last march. This staggering number includes 42 children. Israeli forces killed seven children who participated in the protests since the beginning of 2018.

Santiago Canton, the Chairman of the international investigation that was launched by the United Nations determined last week that there are: “established facts that indicate that the Israeli security forces, committed serious violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law.”

Sarah Hussein, a member of the special committee, declared that, “the shooting was deliberately aimed at children, people with disabilities, and journalists. Most of the demonstrators were not involved in any form of violence.”

An Israeli sniper killed 15 Year old Saif Adin Zaid from Gaza on Wednesday the 6th of March after the conclusions of the committee were made public.

Posters were hung of: Ahmad Abu ‘Abed, 4, from Gaza; Shot in his father’s arms. Abdel Raouf Salha, age 14, a refugee from Majdal; Hassan Shalabi, age 14, a refugee from Isdod Yosef Aldia, 14, a refugee from Yafa; Hassan Nofal 17 years old a refugee from Yafa; Hamza Ishtawi, 17, from a refugee from Aljia The six children were shot in the past three months without endangering anyone.

The Jewish Israeli, Anti Zionist, activists responded to a call from Gazan organisations who, hoped that the faces of the children killed would awaken the Israeli conscience. The reactions of the passersby were mixed, some expressed shock at the deaths of innocent children, and some slashed the children’s pictures erasing most of their faces and the text describing who they are.

“We are bringing the posters of the faces of the children killed by Israeli soldiers to the streets of Tel aviv to show Israelis the crimes committed in their name in Gaza. The fact that some of the pedestrians erased the children faces is a reflection of the ongoing attempt by Zionist society to erase the existence of Palestinians since 1948.” stated a spokesperson for Jews for Return.

Pictures of Gazan children killed by Israeli soldiers were pasted below the home of Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv.

Pictures of Gazan children killed by Israeli soldiers pasted around the Military base “Hakirya” and the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv

An hour after the posters of the Gazan children killed by Israeli soldiers were hung by activists under the home of Ehud Barak they were slashed by pedestrians who tried to erase the children’s faces and identities.

 

A Peek into the Horrific Findings of the UN Report on israel’s (apartheid state) Massacre of Gaza Protesters

A Peek into the Horrific Findings of the UN Report on Israel’s Massacre of Gaza Protesters

The commission found serious human rights violations that may constitute crimes against humanity and called on Israel to “Lift the blockade on Gaza with immediate effect.

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council have released a powerful report, on the Gaza ‘Great Return March’ demonstrations, stating that they have grounds to believe Israel committed International War Crimes against demonstrators during “large-scale civilian protests”.The 22-page document has been condemned by the Israeli government, as there is talk of Israel being brought to the International Court of Justice and tried for war crimes and violations of International Law against demonstrations that “were civilian in nature”.

The commission conducted 325 interviews and meetings with victims, witnesses, government officials and members of civil society, from all sides, and gathered more than 8,000 documents, including affidavits, medical reports, open source reports, social media content, written submissions and expert legal opinions, video and drone footage, and photographs.”

Here are the most important points concluded in the report:

  • The commission found in the killings of 189 demonstrators between 30 March and 31 December 2018, 183 were killed with live ammunition, including 35 children, 3 health workers and 2 members of the Press. Only 29 of those killed were members of Palestinian armed groups.
  • Only 4 Israeli snipers were lightly injured, none were killed by demonstrators.
  • 23,313 Palestinian demonstrators were injured during the 2018 demonstrations, 6106 with live ammunition, “contributing to the highest toll of injuries recorded in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 2005.
  • On the killing of child demonstrators, the commission found “reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot them intentionally, knowing that they were children”.
  • On the killing of health workers, “the commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers intentionally shot health workers, despite seeing that they were clearly marked as such”.
  • On the killings of journalists, “the commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot journalists intentionally, despite seeing that they were clearly marked as such”.
  • The commission found that both male and female protestors were shot in the groin. The female victims told the commission they are now “unlikely to be able to have children”.
  • The policy of the Israeli Minister of Defense, was to deny passage to any person injured during demonstrations, causing unnecessary deaths and life changing injuries.
  • According to the commission, except in two possible cases, “the use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces against demonstrators was unlawful”.
  • Israel used a “disproportionate use of force”.
  • The “demonstrators were shot in violation of their right to life or of the principle of distinction under international humanitarian law”.
  • The commission found “reasonable grounds to believe that the excessive use of force by Israeli security forces violated the rights” of thousands of demonstrators who were peaceful.
  • The commission found “reasonable grounds” to believe that Israel violated “The Convention on the Rights of the Child”.
  • “Violations of international law, such as those committed by Israeli security forces and set out in this report, give rise to State responsibility…”.

The commission found serious human rights violations that may constitute crimes against humanity and called on Israel to “Lift the blockade on Gaza with immediate effect.

The often repeated Israeli claims of the protests being inspired and organized by “Hamas terrorists”, were also addressed in the report, which stated that the demonstrations were inspired by the internet posts of 34-year-old Palestinian poet and journalist, Ahmed Abu Artema, with the demonstrations being organized by “A higher national committee and 12 subcommittees.”

The report went on to say, that “while the members of the committee held diverse political views, they stated that their unifying element was the principle that the march was to be “fully peaceful from beginning to end” and demonstrators would be unarmed”.

Activities such as the use of incendiary kites, cutting barbed wire or tire burning were organized by “self-declared” units. The report further states “the commission found no evidence to suggest that they were directed or coordinated by armed groups”.

The commission interviewed what it called an international journalist who said, “I have covered wars in Syria, Yemen, Libya. I have never seen anything like this. The slow methodical shooting. It was just shocking…”

The commission also noted that Israel refused to assist with the UN investigation and did not “cooperate or provide information.”

The following is a sample of the cases investigated by the commission.

 

March 30 demonstrations

Palestine Israel | Gaza Protest&amp;amp;lt;img class=”size-full wp-image-256004″ src=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited.jpg&#8221; alt=”Palestine Israel | Gaza Protest” width=”1400″ height=”942″ srcset=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited.jpg 1400w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited-300×202.jpg 300w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited-768×517.jpg 768w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited-800×538.jpg 800w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited-1145×770.jpg 1145w” sizes=”(max-width: 1400px) 100vw, 1400px” /&amp;amp;gt;

Palestinian protesters carry a wounded youth who was shot by Israeli troops during a March 30, 2018 demonstration on the Gaza Israel border. Khalil Hamra | AP

Injury of 17 Mohammed Ajouri (17 years old)

      • “Israeli forces shot Mohammad, a student-athlete, in the back of his right leg as he gave onions to demonstrators to relieve tear-gas symptoms, approximately 300 m from the fence. His leg had to be amputated.”

The murder of Abdel Fatah Nabi (18 years old)

      • “Israeli forces killed Abed, from Beit Lahia, when they shot him in the back of the head as he ran, carrying a tyre, away from and about 400 m from the separation fence.”

The murder of Bader Sabagh (19 years old)

      • “Bader, from Jabaliya, was killed by Israeli forces when they shot him in the head as he stood smoking a cigarette 300 m from the separation fence.”

Injury and murder of schoolgirl (13 years old) and Marwan Qudieh (45 years old)

      • “Israeli forces injured a schoolgirl with bullet fragmentation. As she lay on the ground, four men attempted to evacuate her. The forces shot three of them, killing Marwan Qudieh (45) from Khuzaa village and injuring a potato seller and another man in the legs. One of the rescuers had to have a leg amputated.”

Injury of Alaa Dali (21 years old)

      • “Alaa, a member of the Palestinian cycling team, was shot by Israeli forces in the leg as he stood holding his bicycle, wearing his cycling kit, watching the demonstrations, approximately 300 m from the separation fence. His right leg had to be amputated, ending his cycling career.”

 

May 14 demonstration, seven children killed

Israel Palestine | Gaza Protest&amp;amp;lt;img class=”size-full wp-image-241991″ src=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988.jpg&#8221; alt=”Israel Palestine | Gaza Protest” width=”1600″ height=”901″ srcset=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988.jpg 1600w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988-300×169.jpg 300w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988-768×432.jpg 768w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988-800×451.jpg 800w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988-1145×645.jpg 1145w” sizes=”(max-width: 1600px) 100vw, 1600px” /&amp;amp;gt;

Palestinian children suffering from teargas inhalation recover in a medical tent during a protest near Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, May 14, 2018. Dusan Vranic | AP

      • “On 14 May, Israeli security forces shot and killed seven children: a girl, Wisal Khalil (14), and six boys: Izzedine al-Samak (13); Said al-Kheir (15); Ahmad al-Sha’ar (15); Talal Matar (15); Saadi Abu Salah (16); and Ibrahim al-Zarqa (17).”

The murder of Mohammad Najar (33 years old)

      • “Israeli forces shot Mohammad, a naval police officer, in the chest, killing him, as he sat on a hill with a friend, around 500 m from the separation fence.”

The murder of Yasser Abu Naja (11 years old)

      • “On 29 June, Israeli forces killed Yasser from Khan Younis with a shot to the head as he was hiding with two friends behind a bin, approximately 200 m from the separation fence. The children had been chanting national slogans at Israeli forces.”

The murder of Nasser Mosabeh (11 years old)

      • “Nasser was from Khan Younis. On 28 September, Israeli forces shot him in the back of the head as he stood 250 m from the separation fence. He died the same day.”

The murder of Razan Al-Najar (20 years old)

      • “On 1 June, an Israeli sniper bullet hit Razan, of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society and who at the time was wearing a white paramedic vest and standing with other volunteer paramedics approximately 110 m from the separation fence, in the chest at the Khuzaa site, east of Khan Younis. She died in hospital.”

The murder of Yasser Murtaja (30 years old)

      • “On 6 April, Yasser, a journalist from Gaza City, was shot in the lower abdomen by Israeli forces at the Khan Younis site while he was filming the demonstrations for a documentary. He was wearing a blue helmet and a dark blue bulletproof vest clearly marked “Press”. He died the following day.”

Amputation of Abed Nofal (11 years old)

      • “On 17 April, Abed, a schoolboy from the Bureij refugee camp, was shot by Israeli forces while he was playing football near the separation fence. His leg had to be amputated.”

The extended version of the report is set to be released on March 18, 2019. The commission recommended that UN members consider imposing individual sanctions, such as travel bans or an asset freezes on those responsible.

Top Photo | A relative reacts to the lifeless body 15-year old Palestinian boy, Azzam Hillal (Owidah), at the family home during his funeral in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, April 28, 2018. The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza says a boy has died a day after being shot in the head by Israeli soldiers. Khalil Hamra | AP

Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, political analyst and human rights activist who specializes in delivering insight into the geopolitical scene of the Middle East, specializing in the political and humanitarian situation in Palestine.

From Qana to Gaza, israel (apartheid state) issues denials and smears investigations of its crimes

From Qana to Gaza, Israel issues denials and smears investigations of its crimes

By Professor Kamel Hawwash | MEMO | March 5, 2019

I wrote recently about an EU report on the growth of illegal Israeli settlements and argued that the EU was diligent in documenting Israel’s-breaches of international law but that it has singularly failed to bring it to account, even when it has demolished EU-funded projects.

A more recent report commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) investigated the actions of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) at the nominal border with Gaza since 30 March last year, which marked the beginning of the Great March of Return protests. For almost 50 weeks, Israeli snipers have gunned down, with deliberate, chilling precision, Palestinian men, women and children.

The “Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory – A/HRC/40/74” acknowledges that the peaceful protests “were civilian in nature, with clearly stated political aims.” The protesters asked to be allowed to return to the homes from which they have been expelled from 1948 onwards, and for a lifting of the siege on Gaza. Instead of meeting their peaceful and legitimate demands from the outset, Israel has killed over 200 Palestinians, including journalists and medics, and maimed dozens of young men, who now have to face life as amputees, rather than sportsmen.

The irony here is that Israel complained about Malaysia’s decision to ban the Israeli Paralympics team from competing in the country, while the IDF was making its own sickening contribution to future Palestinian Paralympics teams.

The UNHRC’s report makes for gruesome reading. Israeli soldiers are accused of “intentionally firing on civilians, who were neither directly participating in hostilities, nor posing an imminent threat.” The report warns that, “These serious human rights and humanitarian law violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.”

Israel’s reaction was predictable and follows a long line of denial and smearing of any report which accuses it of wrongdoing. According to a Foreign Ministry spokesman, “This report was born in sin, in a politically biased, one-sided resolution that determined the outcome before the investigation even started.” He went on to lay the blame on Hamas: “[Hamas] has declared war on Israel and calls to kill Jews. Hamas is orchestrating the attacks and using civilians in Gaza as human weapons to assault Israel and Israeli civilians. Hamas exploits the civilians in Gaza as human shields for terrorists.” As usual when such allegations are made, no evidence is produced to back them up, nor is the legitimate right to resist military occupation ever mentioned.

The spokesman went on to smear the UNHRC and the report’s three authors: “The HRC becomes an accomplice of a terrorist organisation, supporting Hamas’s aggression against Israel and the oppression of the people of Gaza.” The three individuals, he alleged, lack any understanding in security matters, without a relevant professional background.

Israel’s apologists came out in force to condemn the report, including US President Donald Trump’s Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt. “This COI report is another manifestation of the UNHRC’s clear bias against Israel,” he tweeted, “which remains the only country that the Council dedicates an entire standing agenda item to targeting.”

Such condemnation of investigations into Israel’s crimes and smearing of investigation teams and the bodies that form them is not new. The UNHRC set up an investigation into Israel’s 2014 military offensive against the Gaza Strip which lasted for 50 days, resulting in over 2,000 Palestinians being killed and causing extensive destruction.

The Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict – A/HRC/29/52 accused both Hamas and Israel of committing war crimes. “Israel does not commit war crimes,” claimed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he rejected the report. “Israel defends itself against a terrorist organisation that calls for its destruction and carries out many war crimes.” He accused the commission of being “notoriously biased” against Israel.

Following an escalation of violence in November 2012, a UN report criticised armed Palestinian groups and the IDF. The latter, it insisted, “did not consistently uphold the basic principles of conduct of hostilities, namely, the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions.” The report documented a number of cases, including one which took place on 18 November, in which an Israeli air strike targeted without prior warning a three-storey house belonging to the Al-Dalou family in Al-Nasser neighbourhood, in central Gaza City. The strike killed 12 people, including five children and four women. Again, Israel brushed aside criticism and no individual Israeli was held accountable.

Following the 2008/9 Israeli military offensive on Gaza, the UN published the Goldstone Report on the devastating events which took place between 27 December 2008 and 17 January 2009 and which resulted in over 1,300 Palestinians being killed. The report accused both Israel and Palestinian armed groups of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Israel’s reaction was predictable. The Foreign Ministry said that, “Israel rejects the one-sided resolution adopted in Geneva by the UN human rights council and calls upon all responsible states to reject it as well… [The resolution] provides encouragement for terrorist organisations worldwide and undermines global peace.” It also accused the UNHRC of anti-Israel bias.

Israel’s siege and attack on the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002, which lasted for 10 days and killed dozens if not hundreds of Palestinians (the figures are disputed) again brought accusations of war crimes against Israel. The Israeli government refused to allow a UN team to carry out a field investigation, resulting in the UN producing a report based on available evidence. “In sum, the Israeli occupying forces have, without a doubt, committed serious violations of international humanitarian law,” the report concluded. “Also, without a doubt, war crimes, including grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, have been committed by Israel, the occupying Power, in several Palestinian cities, including in the Jenin refugee camp.” However, the report disputed the Palestinian claim of a massacre, a decision which was welcomed by the Israeli government. Furthermore, the report was judged as “seriously flawed” by human rights organisations and Britain’s Independent newspaper, which were able to corroborate many of the allegations against the occupation state. No Israeli has ever been held accountable for any violations.

It is possible to go back further in time to another Israeli atrocity to demonstrate the lack of accountability for crimes committed by the IDF. On 18 April 1996, Israeli forces shelled a UN compound in Qana, in Southern Lebanon, where 800 Lebanese civilians had taken refuge; 106 people were killed in the attack. Israel claimed that this was due to technical issues rather than deliberate targeting of a UN facility. However, the subsequent UN investigation concluded, “While the possibility cannot be ruled out completely, it is unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of gross technical and/or procedural errors.” The UN also found that “Contrary to repeated denials, two Israeli helicopters and a remotely piloted vehicle were present in the Qana area at the time of the shelling.” Amnesty International called for an independent investigation arguing, “It is not enough that the Israeli army investigates themselves. Israel has a history of either not investigating civilian deaths, or conducting similarly flawed inquiries.”

Now here we are, 23 years on and the UN’s most recent report again calls on Israel to investigate its own crimes, even though everyone knows that Israel never finds its own people guilty; always dismisses reports carried out by independent investigators as biased and one-sided; denies entry to the investigation teams; and refuses to cooperate. It claims to apply the highest standards of self-regulation but no one has ever been held fully accountable for any crimes, despite the thousands of deaths, the tens of thousands of injuries and the tens of thousands of homes that have been destroyed by Israelis since Qana, never mind the other massacres which have occurred since 1948.

It is time for Israel to be held to account for its actions, for the sake of those who have suffered at its hands. If international law is to have any credibility at all, we need to ensure that all UN member states pay due respect to human rights and the quest for justice through due legal process.

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