What I Saw in Gaza Changed Me Forever

What I Saw in Gaza Changed Me Forever
By Ned Rosch

My true liberation as a Jewish person is bound up with the liberation of Palestinian people.

gaza.jpg

The city of Gaza during a dust storm.

Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism is a powerful collection of 40 essays by Jews from diverse backgrounds. Each describes a personal journey from a Zionist worldview to activism in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis striving to build a society founded on justice, equality, and peaceful coexistence. In this excerpt from the essay “Palestine and my Journey of Self-Discovery,” Ned Rosch describes the deep impact of a visit to Gaza in 2014, shortly after the intensive bombings of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge.”


The great Indian writer Arundhati Roy wrote, “The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There’s no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.” There were numerous times in my life when I “saw” it and felt the strongly reinforced foundations of my Zionist upbringing eventually crack wide open and ultimately turn to dust, but perhaps nothing more deeply touched me and cemented my perspective than a trip to Gaza in November 2014.

For a brief but remarkable week and a half, I had the amazing privilege of being part of a health delegation to this small strip of historic Palestine that is one of the most crowded places on earth because its population is literally sealed in by the Israelis—with the assistance of the Egyptians. To be there just two months after Israel’s murderous 2014 war on the people of Gaza was to catch a glimpse—through the painful stories I heard and the overwhelming destruction I witnessed—of the grotesque horror of that 51-day war. The bombed-out structures were everywhere, the grief universal, the trauma intense.

Rawya, who translated for a training that I did in Gaza with 15 school counselors, shared with me over a hot cup of tea, “Scared our turn might be next, my husband and I sat our four children, ages nine through fifteen, down, and we and our kids each talked about what we would do if a bomb hit and we were the only survivor of our family. I felt I needed to have that conversation because the possibility seemed so real, and as a mother, I needed to know that our children had a plan.” She, the counselors, the children they see, and—according to the counselors, it’s safe to say—everyone in Gaza is traumatized. When Israeli jets were heard overhead one evening while we were in Gaza City, the restimulated fear was palpable. 

On the way into Gaza City, we saw haunting skeletons of homes, people living in bombed-out buildings, and mosques, hospitals, and factories reduced to rubble. Etched in my mind probably forever will be what we witnessed in heavily bombed civilian neighborhoods. It’s hard to find words that even begin to describe the utter devastation.

Palestinian people were living in makeshift structures of cardboard and blankets, surrounded by rubble. Even though I’d seen these images online, somehow the impact of witnessing families squatting next to what was everything they had owned and what in a matter of seconds had been absolutely wiped out took my breath away, as did a large busted-up slab of concrete with names spray-painted on it of family members buried under the mounds of debris, a woman sitting on the rubble staring vacantly off into the distance, and a wedding party celebrating amid ravaged buildings.

In a refugee camp, a vivacious Palestinian woman named Reem told me she just couldn’t think about the future any more. “All I have,” she said, “is today and that’s OK as it’s filled with opportunities to help people.” Reem was opening centers in some of Gaza’s most destroyed areas, centers where children play, read, sing, learn French, plant seeds in paper cups—to maybe get a taste of what a “normal” childhood might be like. Nothing is normal in Gaza. A decade of siege and three wars has ravaged the economy, snuffed out the lives of thousands of people, wrecked the environment, and ripped apart people’s hopes that things will someday get better, that maybe there is a future.

Yasser, a gentle soul and the executive director of Gaza’s Community Mental Health Program, lost 28 members of his extended family in the 2014 war. No one in Gaza was spared from knowing someone who was killed or injured in the brutal and relentless Israeli assault. Yasser said his family speaks of 28 empty chairs.

Mohammed’s family is now 10 people fewer. One of the deceased was a young girl who was rescued after somehow surviving for 10 days under a massive pile of concrete and rebar, only to die in the hospital two days later. Her name was Yasmin. “I can’t get Yasmin and the thought of what her last days were like out of my mind,” Mohammed said, tears wetting his shirt.

Everyone yearns for the borders to open so they might be able to breathe, work, travel, study abroad, or get medical care not available in Gaza due to the shortage of everything caused by the Israeli siege. Still, most assert they would return. “Just like a fish can’t survive out of water, we can’t live out of Gaza for too long. At some point, we need to return,” said Walaa, a young woman with two graduate degrees who was unemployed in Gaza’s shattered economy.

Imad, a nurse who works full time and had not been paid for over a year, invited me to meet his wife and eight children in their extremely modest but comfortable apartment. When asked how they survive with no income and so many mouths to feed, Imad explained that everyone in Gaza does what they can to help others out, since they are all pretty much in the same boat. He then shrugged his shoulders and pensively posed the question we heard so often: “What can we do?” It’s striking that 2 million Palestinians in Gaza are imprisoned in an area that is only 25 miles long and 5 to 8 miles wide—smaller than the Portland metro area.

A marvelous facilitator, who does support groups for children in Gaza, invited me to a group she runs for 5-year-olds who lost their homes, family members, their innocence—and so much more—in the bombings. I sat in the circle with the children as they chose happy or sad faces to represent how they felt. One girl said she took a sad face because her grandfather was killed by a bomb. Others took sad faces because they had bad dreams. The facilitator told me that her own 10-year-old daughter pleaded with her during the war, “Don’t leave me alone. I want to die together.”

 

So, there’s more than enough stress, grief, pain, and sadness to go around, but there is also a remarkable amount of love, generosity, and determination. Ramadan, who translated for one of my workshops and who is working on a Ph.D. in psychology, pointed out that just as lots of folks may only appreciate their health when they become sick, Palestinians may feel the lack of a homeland more intensely, having so brutally lost it. “Others have a physical homeland, a place they live in or visit. Our homeland lives in our hearts,” Ramadan told me over coffee to the sound of the waves beating on the shore.

While walking through an area of Gaza that was heavily bombed by the Israelis, witnessing homes, apartment buildings, and a school totally leveled, I was approached by a middle-aged man who politely offered me a large manuscript covered with the dust of a blown-up neighborhood. When I asked him what it was and why he wanted to give it to me, he motioned for me to follow him across the street to a huge mound of debris. As we climbed up the pile, avoiding broken glass, twisted rebar, and busted up concrete, he pulled out his phone and showed me a picture of quite an attractive and well-maintained home—his home. He explained that we were standing on that home and that absolutely everything had been destroyed except for the manuscript, his doctoral dissertation, which was a literary critique of the works of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot.

This professor, who had lost it all, was insisting that I take what remained of a life. I will never know for sure why. Maybe it was Palestinian hospitality that required him to give this guest something, and that was all he had to give. Perhaps he wanted me to take it to a safe place, as he well knew that nothing was safe in Gaza. Possibly this professor was saying that in spite of all the destruction the Israelis could unleash at will, there is one thing they can never destroy: ideas—not only about Pound and Eliot, but also about the restoration of justice to a people who have suffered unimaginable brutality and dispossession.

I continue to struggle with many things now, not the least of which is finding words to adequately express the intensity of the experience of getting to know, in some small but profoundly meaningful way, a number of unforgettable and beautiful people in Gaza, and catching a glimpse into the unbelievably harsh reality of their lives. It’s difficult to make sense of how the occupation and siege of Gaza, which is slowly but very steadily crushing the life of 2 million people, can be happening, and how the world is doing so little to stop it. Imad’s question, “What can we do?” echoes in my head. Some of what I can do is clear: a stronger commitment to, as Arundhati Roy says, speaking out, asserting the Palestinian struggle more broadly and more often, as we Americans are so deeply complicit in the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. More of what I can do will surely emerge with time as I continue to think about the people I met who want nothing more than to live. In Gaza, I left behind friends and a piece of my heart—a heart that was broken many years earlier by the conflict between what I had been raised to believe about Israel and what I had learned was the darker reality of Israel.

Years ago, I sincerely believed I was being more than open-minded when I tried to hold to the conviction that there were two legitimate and distinctly different narratives—one Jewish and one Palestinian, two fundamentally irreconcilable claims to the same piece of land, and that was why the conflict was so unresolvable. But what was really unresolvable was the battle that thunderously raged in my head and even more vigorously in my heart. You see, I had become a progressive on every issue, except one. I marched for civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, everyone’s rights, and an end to war. But when it came to Israel-Palestine, I was extraordinarily torn up. Even if what my Palestinian friends were telling me were true, how could I turn my back on my own people and my own upbringing, especially after the thousands of years of suffering that Jews had endured? Wasn’t the Jewish history of pogroms, anti-Semitism, and the horrors of the Holocaust at least as compelling, if not more so? After all, as someone named after a Holocaust victim, I was a link in a long chain. How could I contribute to undermining the Jewish struggle to reconstruct a post-Holocaust decimated people and the state of Israel that had so recently come into existence?

With time and introspection, my dual narrative world began to fray at the edges, and eventually completely unravel. Probably the crushing blow came when a Palestinian friend asked me why Jews have such a hard time incorporating the Palestinian experience into the Jewish understanding of history. I didn’t quite grasp his question and, with trepidation, asked him to explain. He challenged me to see not two separate conflicting narratives, but one history—one history of what actually happened. That question and challenge—and exploring and reexploring their answers— took me on one of the deepest and most rewarding journeys of my life. It was the struggle of fundamentally wrestling to reconcile my politics around Israel-Palestine with my bottom-of-my-heart core values, and ultimately understanding, in the very essence of my being, that my true liberation as a Jewish person is now intrinsically bound up with the authentic liberation of the Palestinian people. My sense of freedom and wholeness will only be achieved when every Jew—and every Palestinian—is free. Zionism imprisons not only Palestinian bodies but Jewish minds as well.

I came to comprehend that the wonderful Jewish tradition of “Justice, justice thou shalt pursue” required me to take a stand with others of goodwill, including many Jews, to support my Palestinian sisters and brothers in their pain, struggle, and resistance. The breakthrough for me was the ultimate realization that standing up for the Palestinian people was not turning my back on my own people. Rather, in supporting the Palestinian struggle for freedom, I was upholding Judaism’s highest values and reclaiming them for myself, in—for me—a profoundly new and personally meaningful way. Nelson Mandela said, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

Excerpted from “Palestine and my Journey of Self-Discovery,” an essay by Ned Rosch in Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation, edited by Carolyn L. Karcher. Published 2019 by Olive Branch Press, an imprint of Interlink Publishing Group. Copyright Carolyn L. Karcher and contributors.

This article was originally published by Yes” –

 

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (25 April – 01 May 2019)

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

(25 April – 01 May 2019)

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip.
  • 115 civilians, including 40 children, 3 women, 4 paramedics and a journalist, were wounded. The injury of 2 of them was reported serious.
  • A Palestinian civilian was wounded in the West Bank.
  • Israeli forces conducted 75 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 4 other incursions into Jerusalem.
  • 37 Palestinian civilians, including 4children, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • 9 of them, including 3 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
  • Shooting incidents continued against Palestinian farmers and shepherds in the border areas of the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
  • Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • 5 houses and 18 other facilities were demolished in addition to forcing a civilian to self-demolish his house and another to self-demolish his balcony.
  • Israeli authorities continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • A house was demolished, and 4 dunums were leveled in al-Dirat village, south of Hebron in addition to uprooting dozens of olive trees in Beit Jala.
  • 3 civilians sustained wounds and bruises after being attacked by settles, west of Ramallah.
  • 8 Shooting incidents were reported against the fishing boats in the Gaza Strip Sea.
  • The allowed area for fishing decreased to 6 nautical miles. A fisherman was wounded, 2 others were arrested, and a fishing a boat was confiscated.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 13th consecutive year.
  • Israeli forces established 92 permanent checkpoints and 136 temporary checkpoints in the West Bank.
  • Two Palestinian civilians were arrested at military checkpoints in the West Bank.

 

Summary

 

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (25 April – 01 May 2019).

 

Shooting:

 

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized within the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 56th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. They also continued to use force against Palestinians protesting against the incursions into the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, During the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege protests, Israeli forces wounded 115 civilians, including 40 children, 3 women, 1 journalist and 4 paramedics. The injury of 2 of those wounded was reported serious.  Moreover, a fisherman was wounded by the Israeli forces in the Gaza Sea. In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian civilian in a shooting incident.

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip from 25 April – 01 May 2019 According to the Governorate

 

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 31 12 0 0 1 0
Gaza City 13 1 1 0 1 0
Central Gaza Strip 38 16 1 0 1 0
Khan Yunis 12 4 0 0 1 0
Rafah 21 7 1 1 0 2
Total 115 40 3 1 4 2

 

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.  On 30 April 2019, the Israeli authorities informed the Palestinian side of reducing the allowed area for fishing to 6 miles after weeks of allowing the fishermen to fish in the Gaza Sea up to 15 nautical miles.  As a result, the Israeli naval forces opened fire and chased the fishermen sailing within more than 6 nautical miles off the Gaza Shore, overwhelming many fishing nets.  During the reporting period, PCHR documented 8 shooting incidents against the Palestinian fishermen off al-Waha resort shore in the northern Gaza Strip.  As a result, a fisherman was wounded, 2 were arrested and their fishing boat was confiscated.

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 25 April 2019, Israeli soldiers opened fire at the farmers in eastern Shokah village, east of Rafah City.  The shooting recurred at the farmers in the same area on the same day.

 

On 30 April 2019, Israeli forces fired live ammunition and teargas canisters at the shepherds in northern Bouret Abu Samrah area in the northern Gaza Strip.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 2 Palestinian civilians in separate shooting incidents while a child was wounded after being shot by settlers.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 75 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 4 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 28 Palestinians, including a child, in the West Bank, while 9 other civilians, including 3 children, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

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

As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, On 29 April 2019, the Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished a number of residential and agricultural facilities in the villages of Sour Baher and al-Mukaber Mount in addition to the Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a license.  According to PCHR’s investigations, 3 residential houses and 15 other civil facilities were demolished in al-Mukaber Mount village and a shed in Sour Baher village.  Moreover, a Palestinian was forced to self-demolish his house balcony in the latter village while another was forced to self-demolish his house in Qaddoum Valley neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of building without a license.

On 30 April 2019, the Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished 2 houses and 2 barracks in Yasoul Valley neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of building without a license.  It should be mentioned that those facilities belonged to Anas and Qosai Burqan and used to shelter 11 family members, including 7 children.

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

 

  • As part of house demolitions and notices, on 29 April 2019, the Israeli forces leveled an agricultural land belonging to Walid Zarinah in Beit Jala and uprooted dozens of olive trees. Zarinah said that his land was uprooted with 200 fruitful olive trees as the Israeli bulldozers uprooted dozens of them.

 

  • On 01 May 2019, the Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to the family of Jabrin al-‘Adrah in al-Dirat village, east of Yata, south of Hebron. The 1-story house was built of bricks on an area of 130 square meters and sheltered a family of 7 members, including 5 children.

 

  • As part of Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 28 April 2019, a group of settlers attacked 3 Palestinian civilians, who were in their agricultural lands in al-Risan Mount area in the western side of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. The settlers managed to catch the 3 civilians and beat them up.  As a result, they sustained bruises in the chest and lower limbs.
  • On 01 May 2019, a group of Israeli settlers from “‘Itsaf” settlement established on the lands of Barwa village, east of Ramallah, cut and destroyed 120 olive trees in the eastern area lands of the village.   Those trees belonged to Ibrahim Hasan Kan’an, ‘Abdullah Barakat, and Yousif Kan’an.

 

 

Details

 

  1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

 

Thursday, 25 April 2019:

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Kefah Ahmed Abu ‘Ayash (22) and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Birzeit village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Anas Mahmoud Sa’ed (19) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 08:50, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian farmers. As a result, the farmers were forced to leave the area fearing for their lives, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 14:50, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al- Shawkah village, east of Rafah, opened fire and fired tear gas canisters at Palestinian farmers near the March of Return encampment. As a result, the farmers were forced to leave the area, but no casualties were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (11) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Deir al-‘Asal, Karza villages and Halhoul in Hebron; Safa, ‘Ein ‘Arik and Betunia villages in Ramallah; Qifin, Ertah and Far’oun villages in Tulkarm; Hares village, north of Salfit; and ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyah.

 

 

Friday, 26 April 2019:

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Abdul Qader Haroub (33). They then withdrew from the area and no arrests were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (9) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Bani Na’im and al-Samou’a villages in Hebron; Nablus and Tal village, southwest of the city; Sebastia village, northwest of the city; Qabatiyah village, southeast of Jenin; Hares village, north of Salfit; ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyah; and Seniriya village southeast of the city.

 

Saturday, 27 April 2019:

 

  • At approximately 06:45, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (8) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Dura, al-Majd, Beit Ummer and al-Fawar refugee camp in Hebron; Baqa western village, north of Tulkarm; al-Zawiyah village, west of Salfit; ‘Azzoun and Kufor Qaddoum villages, east, northeast of Qalqiliyah.

 

Sunday, 28 April 2019

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 3 civilians namely Mohammed Taha ‘Adarbah (23), Rani Ahmed Hadeeb (18) and ‘Obaid Akram Jawabrah (22).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Zohair Khairi Eskafi (40). They withdrew and no arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 02:15, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Osamah Nathir Hamed (26) and Abdul Hafith Wasel ‘Azzam (25) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Wahah Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Yatta, Tarqumiyah and al-Thaheriyah villages in Hebron; Kufor Sour and al-Ras villages, south of Tulkarm.

 

 

Monday, 29 April 2019

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Atil village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Zaher Abdul Rahman As’ad Daqqah (43) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Balatah refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Majdi Jamal ‘Awad Hasan Salem Hashash (20) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Batir village, west of ‘Askar al-Jadeed refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Yusuf Amjad al-Ashqar (23) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Balatah refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested 4 civilians, including 2 brothers, namely Yusuf ‘Ali Yusuf al-Safadi (23), Abdullah Jehad Theeb Shehadah (21); Mohammed (23) and Saif Eden Mustafa Ahmed al-Safadi (23).

 

  • At approximately 03:15, Israeli forces moved into Kufor Dan village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ayman Rajeh ‘Abed and then arrested his sons Ehsan (20) and Osamah (22).

 

  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Zawiyah village, west of Salfit. They raided ad searched a house belonging to Yusuf Sofian Abu Laila (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 08:15, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (10) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Tarqoumia village, Dura in Hebron; Sabastia village, northwest of Nablus; Jenin Refugee Camp, west of Jenin.Zawata and Agnesina villages, northwest of Nablus; Hebron, Surif, al-Thaheriyah and Hadab villages in Hebron; Qalqiliyah, Ezbet al-Ashqar, Kufor Thuluth and ‘Azzoun villages in Qalqiliyah.

 

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

 

  • At approximately 04:40, Israeli forces moved into Kufor Ne’mah village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 3 civilians, including a child, namely Ahmed Nazih Abu ‘Ali (14), Ramzi Medhat ‘Abdoh (22), and Yusuf Hasan Abu ‘Adi (19).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Zeyad Hamed (20) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 05:00, Israeli forces informed the Palestinian competent authorities of their decision to reduce the fishing area to 6 nautical miles after weeks of allowing fishermen to freely fish in the Gaza Strip sea at a distance of 15 nautical miles. Therefore, the Israeli forces chased the fishermen, who sailed at a distance of more than 6 nautical miles off the Gaza Strip shore, and opened fire at them. As a result, a number of fishing nets sank into the sea after the fishermen left them fearing for their lives.

 

  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles and chased them. The shooting recurred at approximately 19:55 on the same day. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 14:45, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, opened fire and fired flare bombs at Palestinian Shepherds, north of Buret Abu Samrah, north of Beit Lahia. As a result, the shepherds were forced to leave the area fearing for their lives, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces moved into Kufor Thuluth village, in Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Ali Kamel Ahmed Shawahnah (69) and then arrested him.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Emrish and Beit ‘Awa village in Hebron; Howarah and Beta villages, south of Nablus.

 

 

Wednesday, 01 May 2019

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Taqou’a village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Ibrahim al-‘Amour (22) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Bani Na’em village, east of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they handed summonses to 4 civilians to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. The civilians were identified as Bilal Mohammed Tarirah, Sabri al-Khodour, Mohammed Sa’ed Barakat and Mohammed ‘Ali Manasrah.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Nablus. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Mojahed Waddah al-Qutob (28) and ‘Asem Gunaim (27) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Yatta, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Khalid Yusuf ‘Ali Jabrin (19), who is arrested. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported. It should be noted that the Israeli forces demolished the family house on 16 December 2018, claiming that Khalid carried out a stab attack.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Marah Rabah village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed ‘Ali Qasem al-Shaikh (22) and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.

 

  • At approximately 07:15, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. The gunboats surrounded a fishing boat belonging to Saleh Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Ryalah (48), from al-Shati’ refugee camp, west of Gaza City. The board was manned by Saleh’s son Hazem (28) and Khalid Rajab Abu Ryalah (24). The Israeli soldiers ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into water and swim towards the gunboats. The fishermen were arrested and their boat was confiscated. As a result, of shooting, fisherman Mohammed Bashir Sha’ban Abu Ryalah (24), who was sailing in another boat, was hit with a rubber bullet to the back. He received medical treatment at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and doctors classified his injury as minor.

 

  • At approximately 19:30, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles and chased them. The shooting recurred in the area at approximately 23:50. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-Samou’, Nuba, Kharas, Deir Samet and Tarousah villages in Hebron; Beit Liqya village, south of Ramallah; al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city.

 

 

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:

 

During the 55th week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces wounded 92, including 22 children, four women, five journalists, and five paramedics. Two of them sustained serious wounds. The incidents were as follows:

 

  • Northern Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 31 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children and a paramedic. Twenty five of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, 2 with rubber bullets and 4 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedic was identified as Mohammed Nabil Ibrahim al-Bes (28), who is a volunteer paramedic at “Volunteer Nurse Team” from Beit Lahia, was hit with a tear gas canister to the right foot.

 

  • Gaza City: the Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 13 Palestinian civilians, including a child, a paramedic an a woman. Seven of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, 3 were hit with rubber bullets and 3 were directly hit with tear gas canister. The wounded paramedic was identified as Husain Mohsen, who works at the Military Medical Services, was hit with a live bullet to the left hand.

 

 

  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued from 15:00 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 38 Palestinian civilians, including 16 children, a woman and a paramedic. Eighteen of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel and 20 of them were directly hit with live bullets. The wounded paramedic was identified as Ahmed Husain Mohammed Kafinah (32), who works at the Civil Defense, was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the neck.

 

  • Khan Younis: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 12 demonstrators, including 4 children, and a paramedic. The wounded paramedic was identified as Mohammed Sobhi Abu Ta’aimah (24), who works at Medical Top Team. It should be noted that on 19 April 2019, Mohammed was hit with a tear gas canister to the foot.

 

  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 16:30 until 18:30, resulted in the injury of 21 civilians, including 7 children, a woman and a journalist. Nine of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, 12 were directly hit with tear gas canisters and 2 were seriously injured. The wounded journalist was identified as Ramadan Ibrahim Khalil al-Sharif (30), who works at Shehab News Agency, was hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg.
  1. Continued closure of the oPt

 

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

 

Gaza Strip

 

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.

Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

 

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

 

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

 

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested.

 

 

Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing, in the north of the Gaza Strip, is designated for the movement of individuals, and links the Gaza Strip with the West Bank.

 

 Movement at Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing

(24-29 April 2019)

Category 24 April 25 April 26 April 27 April 28 April 29 April
Patients 74 34 87 86
Companions 62 30 77 74
Personal needs 2 2 24 20
Families of prisoners 26
Arabs fromIsrael 23 3 30 13
Diplomats 5
Meetings in Erez
International workers 30 20 9 14
TravelersAbroad 1
Business people+ BMC 1 875 397
Economic and agriculture    interviews
Security interviews 3 8
Death cases
Companions’ Deaths
Return to the West Bank
Christians’ Holidays 45 23 35 34
Conferences and Training courses 2
Permits’ renewal
VIPs
AmbulancesPatient 3 3 3
Ambulancescompanion 3 2 3

 

 

  • Following table illustrates temporary and permanent checkpoints and arrests at these checkpoints in the West Bank from 25 April to 01 May 2019:  
Governorate Permanent temporary Temporary checkpoints Closed Roads Arrested persons
Jerusalem 13 9
Nablus 10 27 2 1
Jenin 5 8 1
Ramallah 11 17 4
Tulkarm 7 7 1
Tubas 2 3 1
Salfit 3 9 1
Qalqiliyia 5 12 4
Hebron 20 30 15
Bethlehem 11 11 2
Jericho 5 3
Al-Karama Crossing
Total 92 136 30 2

 

Arrests at Military Checkpoints:

 

  • At approximately 21:30 on Friday, 26 April 2019, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Hamid Ghazi al-Sirawan (33), from the Old City of Nablus.
  • At approximately 22:30 on Friday, Israeli forces stationed at a military checkpoint established at the entrance to al-Jamala village near the Power Plant of Jenin, arrested Mohamed Ahmed Fayiz Frihat (25), from al-Yamoun village, west of the city.

 

 

  • 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 03:00 on Thursday, 25 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Beit Iksah village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Shihab Husam Gharib (24) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces arrested Ameer Moneer Zaghir (35|) while getting out of al-Asbat Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque gates, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 19:00 on Saturday, 27 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mo’taz ‘Abdullah Zaytoun (14) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Sunday, 28 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested 4 civilians, including 2 children. The arrested civilians were identified as Ayoub ‘Ali Abu al-Humus (19), Yunis Ayman ‘Olayan (23), Moneer Mo’amer ‘Olayan (17), and Mahmoud Naser Mostafa (17).
  • At approximately 14:00 on Wednesday, 01 May 2019, Israeli forces moved into Sho’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Ziyad Yousef Motawer (34) and Adham Motawer (28) and then arrested both of them.

 

  • Notices and House Demolitions:

 

  • On Monday, 29 April 2019, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished many residential and agricultural facilities in Surbaher village, al-Mukaber Mount area, and al-Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. According to PCHR’s investigation, the demolished facilities were as follows:

 

In al-Mukaber Mount area:

1- A residential house built of tin plates and belongs to Ahmed Khalaf Ja’abees.

2- A 150-sqaure-meter residential house comprised of 3 rooms; a 140-sqaure-meter barrack; and a 40-sqaure-meter store belong to ‘Emad Abu Sharifa.

3-Two sheds used for breeding livestock and belongs to Jamal Shoqairat.

4- A 40-sqaure-meter shed used as a store; and a 50-sqaure-meter container belong to Mohamed ‘Adel Shoqirat.

5- Two sheds used for breeding livestock and belongs to Fawzi Masouda.

6- Twi sheds used for agriculture and belongs to Ya’qoub Abu Isninah.

7- Five caravans belonging to ‘Awni Othman.

8-An agricultural shed belonging to Isma’il ‘Obaidiyia.

9- Wall built with bricks belonging to Salah Shoqirat and Khalil Shoqirat.

 

In Surbaher village, south of occupied Jerusalem, Mahmoud ‘Abed Rabbo self-demolished his balcony in order to implement the Israeli Municipality decision. The demolition was under the pretext of non-licensing. Moreover, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished a shed used for breeding livestock and belongs to Abu Kaf Family.

 

  • On Monday evening, Mohamed Sa’ied Ahmed al-Salimah self-demolished his house located in Wadi Qaddoum neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mohamed said that on Saturday, 27 April 2019, he demolished parts of his house, which was still under-construction, but the Israeli Municipality staff raided his house along with the Israeli police, demanding him to demolish all the house or the municipality staff will demolish it and fine him. Mohamed said that his lawyer managed to delay the demolition until Thursday morning, 02 May 2019, on one condition that he will pay NIS 10.000. Thus, he was forced to immediately demolish the house by using a bulldozer. Mohamed pointed out that he demolished his house on last Saturday with manual demolishing tools. He added that on Saturday evening he demolished his house by using a bulldozer, which caused damage in nearby building. It should be noted that Mohamed’s house located in the 3rd floor of the abovementioned building and built on an area of 130 square meters.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 30 April 2019, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished 2 houses and 2 barracks in Wadi Yasoul neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. The neighborhood’s residents said that the municipality bulldozers accompanied with dozens of soldiers and special focus moved into Wadi Yasoul neighborhood. The Israeli soldiers surrounded the neighborhood, topped the houses and buildings roofs, and then forcibly raided two houses belonging to the siblings Anas and Qusai Burqan to demolish their houses under the pretext of non-licensing. The residents said that the Israeli forces threw a sound bomb inside a house to disperse the residents and forcibly get them out. The soldiers then severely beat Anas with gun butts, pushed and beat his mother and threatened him to beat his pregnant sister. During which, the soldiers indiscriminately sprayed pepper-spray inside and outside the house. The residents pointed out that the Israeli forces also attacked other residents, who were outside the house, fired rubber bullet at them, and pushed and beat them to deny their access to the demolition area. As a result, a 71-year-old elderly sustained wounds to his hand which received 30 stitch. Moreover, Mohamed Abu ‘Eidah sustained wounds to his head after being hit with a sound bomb shrapnel and his head received 10 stitch. Hamza Maragha also sustained wounds to his ear, which received 12 stitch, after being hit with gun butts. The house owner, Anas Burqan, sustained wounds and bruises and then detained until the next day under the pretext of assaulting an Israeli police officer. Moreover, Mahdi and Suhaib Burqan sustained various bruises. Burqan family said that the Israeli forces left 11 family members, including 7 children, homeless after demolishing his house. The family clarified that Anas’s house was built 29 years ago and Qusai’s house was built 27 years ago. Both of the houses were built of tin plates and bricks. The family added that the demolition decision issued against 2 houses only, but the Israeli bulldozers demolished 2 barracks used for breeding livestock, a store, and walls surrounding the land. Moreover, the bulldozers levelled olive, lemon and palm trees. In mid-April, the Israeli Supreme Court dismissed the appeal applied by the house owner against demolishing their houses and allowed to demolish 4 houses. It should be noted that the Israeli Municipality and Courts refused all construction works in Wadi Yasoul neighborhoods under the pretext of being green areas. Around 84 houses were threatened to be demolished.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

  • On Monday, 29 April 2019, the Israeli authorities’ vehicles demolished an agricultural land belonging to Waleed Zarinah in Beit Jala. They also uprooted dozens of olive trees. Waleed said that his land planted with around 200 fruitful olive trees, which the Israeli forces uprooted dozens of them. He added that the Israeli forces declared the area as a “closed military zone” and prevented Palestinian civilians from approaching the area. The Israeli forces also arrested his brother Ayman while he was in the plot of land.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 01 May 2019, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles, a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into al-Dirat village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli forces surrounded a house belonging to Jabreen Mahmoud al-‘Adrah (40) while the Israeli Civil Administration officers vacated the house contents. The 130-sqaure-mketer house was comprised of one floor and built with bricks. It sheltered 7 members, including 5 children. The family members were prevented from approaching the house after vacating it and then the Israeli bulldozers started to demolish it under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

Israeli settlers’ attacks:

  • On Thursday, 25 April 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forces’ protection, moved into Wadi al-Qut site, south of Beit Ummer, north of Hebron. The Israeli settlers performed their rituals and Talmudic prayers and no more events were reported.

 

  • At approximately 17:30 on Sunday, 28 April 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, some of them were armed, attacked 3 Palestinian civilians while they were in their agricultural lands in al-Risan Mount area in the western area of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. The settlers caught the 3 Palestinians identified as Wesam Ibrahim Matar (49), Zahid Jobran Mohamed Ishtaih (42), and Omar Suliman al-Deek (53). The settlers then beat them, causing bruises to their chest and lower limbs. Meanwhile, the village residents gathered and forced the settlers to leave. The wounded were then taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive medical treatment.

 

  • At approximately 05:00 on Wednesday, 01 May 2019, a large number of Israeli settlers, from “Assaf” settlement established on Burqa village lands, east of Ramallah, cut and damaged around 120 olive trees. Ibrahim Hasan Kan’an (55), one of the affected persons, said that at approximately 05:00, around 30 Israeli settlers cut the olive trees and their branches after damaging barbed wires and stone chains surrounding them. The settlers then leave the area and headed to the abovementioned settlement. The settlers cut around 120 olive trees planted 5 years ago and belong to Ibrahim Kan’an, ‘Abdullah Barakat and Yousef Kan’an.

 

  • 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.

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………

Public Document

For further information please visit our website www.pchrgaza.org or contact PCHR’s office in Gaza City, Gaza Strip by email pchr@pchrgaza.org or telephone +972 08 282 4776 – 282 5893

israeli rabbi: Notre Dame fire divine retribution? Church-burning can be ok

Israeli rabbi: Notre Dame fire divine retribution? Church-burning can be ok

Israeli rabbi: Notre Dame fire divine retribution? Church-burning can be ok

Debris inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 16, 2019, a day after a fire that devastated the iconic building. (Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool/AFP)

A prominent Israeli rabbi suggests that the Notre Dame Cathedral fire may have been divine retribution, indicates that the burning of churches in Israel may be problematic only in that they may be rebuilt.

by Kathryn Shihadah

Times of Israel reported in Radical rabbi says Notre Dame fire retribution for 13th-century Talmud burning that a prominent extremist rabbi believes the Notre Dame Cathedral fire may have been “divine retribution for the mass-burning of Talmud volumes by French Catholic priests” in 1242.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, the rabbi of the illegal Beit El settlement, instructs Jews that they need not feel saddened by the fire that devastated the 12th century cathedral, priceless artifacts, and works of art.

Ancient animosity

Aviner said: “Christians must be punished.”

[Christianity] is our number one enemy throughout history. [They] tried to convert us by arguments and by force, carried out an inquisition against us, burned the Talmud, expulsions, pogroms. Western anti-Semitism draws from Christianity’s hatred of the ‘murderers of God.’ It also had a role in the Holocaust.

The first great Talmud burning happened in Paris, right there at the Notre Dame Cathedral square. It was the result of the Paris trial in which Jewish sages were forced to debate Christian sages, and the result was the burning of the Talmud. Volumes of Talmud were brought in 20 carts and burned there, 1,200 Talmud volumes. So [the fire demonstrates] ‘there is justice and there is a Judge.

The 1240 Disputation of Paris, in which rabbis were forced to defend accusations that the Talmud was anti-Christian, was remembered by medieval Jews as a traumatic event. The public “trial” culminated in the burning of some 1,200 volumes of Talmud and other Jewish holy texts in Paris in 1242.

The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports that the burning of Talmuds had been triggered by a Jewish man named Nicholas Donin who had converted to Christianity. Donin traveled to Rome and presented the pope with a list of complaints about the Talmud. Among them the fact that a number of its passages “blasphemed Jesus and Mary, and attacked non-Jews.” During the French disputation about the Talmud, it was Donin who argued against it,* ultimately resulting in the pope’s decree that the books be “burned at the stake.”

Modern directive

In an online discussion as the Notre Dame Cathedral burned, Avner was unwilling to take a definite stand on the “divine retribution” theory. He conceded that “we do not know the secrets of God”; yet he dismissed the possibility that several recent fires in Israel could be punishment.

Aviner does not encourage the burning of churches in general – “for the time being.” However, he hesitated to condemn the practice inside Israel, stating that the  “issue is more complicated” in the Jewish State. When a church is destroyed, it will likely be rebuilt, and building a church in Israel “is a greater transgression than leaving one intact.”

Mondoweiss reports that, far from being a fringe figure, Aviner is “considered to be one most important rabbis of the religious nationalist sector. He is a prolific writer, having published more than 200 books.”

It points out that Aviner does not merely state his own opinion about church-burning, but quotes two sources (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kasher and the Satmar Rabbi), a fact which “says volumes about the discourse among his followers and students.”

Mondoweiss notes: “Several churches have been burnt in Israel in the last few years, and the police have been spectacularly useless in capturing the arsonists. In several cases, the arson was accompanied by slogans familiar from ‘price tag’ attacks in the West Bank (mostly along the lines of Jewish vengeance).”

The targeting of homes, vehicles, and Palestinian individuals have also been a daily occurrence.


*Editor’s note:

A number of authors have discussed anti-Christian passages in the Talmud. Peter Schäfer’s book Jesus in the Talmud, published by Princeton University Press, notes that the Talmud referred to Jesus as a bastard and his mother Mary as an adulteress; he is depicted as “sitting forever in boiling excrement.”

Israeli author Israel Shahak’s informative book, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, also addresses this, as well as other aspects of the Talmud, stating:

According to the Talmud, Jesus was executed by a proper rabbinical court for idolatry, inciting other Jews to idolatry, and contempt of rabbinical authority. All classical Jewish sources which mention his execution are quite happy to take responsibility for it; in the talmudic account the Romans are not even mentioned.

Shahak reports in another book on the subject that a 1996 Ha’aretz article stated the following (bracketed phrases inserted by Shahak]:

A check of main facts of the [Jewish] historiography of the last 1500 years shows that the picture is different from the one previously shown to us. It includes massacres of Christians [by Jews]; mock repetitions of the crucifixion of Jesus that usually took place on Purim; cruel murders within the family; liquidation of informers, often done for religious reasons by secret rabbinical courts, which issued a sentence of “pursuer” and appointed secret executioners; assassinations of adulterous women in synagogues and/or the cutting of their [the women’s] noses by command of the rabbis. Rosen included in his long article many well-documented cases of massacres of Christians and mock repetitions of the crucifixion of Jesus on Purim, most of which occurred either in the late ancient period or in the Middle Ages. (Some isolated cases occurred in sixteenth-century Poland.)

Shahak added: “Rosen included in his long article many well-documented cases of massacres of Christians and mock repetitions of the crucifixion of Jesus on Purim, most of which occurred either in the late ancient period or in the Middle Ages.”


Kathryn Shihadah is staff writer for If Americans Knew. She blogs at Palestine Home


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Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (18 April – 24 April 2019)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations  (18 – 24 April 2019)

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 18 – 24 April, 2019.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. 92 Palestinian civilians, including 22 children, 5 women, 5 journalists, and 5 paramedics, were wounded. Two of them sustained serious wounds. Four Palestinian civilians, including two journalists, were wounded in the weekly Kafr Qaddoum peaceful protest, north of 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 55th 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 wounded 92 Palestinian civilians, including 22 children, 5 women, 5 journalists, and 5 paramedics. The injury of two of them was reported serious. In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians, including two journalists, in the weekly Kafer Qaddoum peaceful protest.

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip from 18 to 24 April 2019 According to the Governorate

 

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 9 2 1 0 0 0
Gaza City 32 6 1 1 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 15 4 1 1 2 2
Khan Yunis 19 4 2 1 3 0
Rafah 17 6 0 2 0 0
Total 92 22 5 5 5 2

 

 

  • 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 two incidents were as follows: 2 incidents off Rafah Shore and 1 off Khan Younis Shore.

 

 

  • As part of targeting the border areas, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agriculture lands, east of Khuza’a, and no injuries nor damage to property were reported. The Israeli shooting at the abovementioned agriculture lands recurred on 21 and 22 April 2019, and no injuries nor damage to property were reported.

 

  • On 21 April 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at civilians, who were collecting gravels near Sofa Site, and no injuries were reported. The Israeli shooting at the abovementioned area recurred on 22 and 24 April 2019, and no injuries were reported.

 

  • During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 journalists, in the weekly Kafer Qaddoum peaceful protest in northern West Bank.

 

  • Collective Punishment Policy

 

  • As part of the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against the families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers and/or settlers, on 19 April 2019, Israeli forces demolished two residential apartments belonging to the family of ‘Arafat Irfa’iyah in Dahiyat al-Balad area in southern area of Hebron. Each apartment was built on an area of 150 square meters; the first apartment sheltered his parents and two brothers while the second one was uninhabited. It should be noted that ‘Arafat was arrested by the Israeli forces on 09 February 2019, accusing him of killing an Israeli settler found on 07 February 2019 in forests near Jerusalem.

 

  • In the same context, on 24 April 2019, the Israeli forces blew up a house belonging to the family Omar Abu Laila in al-Zawiyah village, west of Salfit. It should be noted that the above-mentioned building was comprised of 2 floors; each had 4 apartments, sheltering 4 families comprised of 18 individuals, including 10 children and 2 elderly women. Each apartment was built on an area of 130 square meters. As a result of blowing up the apartment, the other 3 apartments in the building fully sustained material damage to their contents. In addition, the nearby houses sustained material damage as their windows glass broke down. It should be noted that the Israeli forces accused  Omar Abu Laila of carrying out stabbing and shooting attacks at the intersection of Ariel” settlement on 17 March 2019, in which a settler and a soldier were killed. On 19 March 2019, the Israeli forces killed Omar Abu Liala in an armed clash in Abuwin village, north of Ramallah, and his body is so far in the Israeli custody.

 

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 59 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 44 Palestinians, including 8 children and a woman, from the West Bank, while 8 other civilians, including 5 children, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

 

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

 

  • As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 18 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Sosiyia village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration staff dismantled a 30-sqaure-meter residential tent built of metal poles and sheds. The tent belongs to Hussain Radi Hussain Nawaj’ah (40). The Israeli forces leveled the area and then confiscated the tent. The Israeli authorities claimed that there was a decision issued by the Israeli Supreme Court to freeze the construction works in al-Sosiyia village and any new building will be demolished or confiscated without a prior notice. It should be noted that the Israeli forces dismantled a residential tent and demolished a barn belonging to Hussain Radi Hussain Nawaj’ah on 16 April 2019. The tent was later confiscated.

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:

 

During the 55th week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces wounded 92, including 22 children, four women, five journalists, and five paramedics. Two of them sustained serious wounds. The incidents were as follows:

 

  • Northern Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 22 Palestinian civilians, including two children and a woman. Three of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, three with a rubber bullet and three were directly hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • Gaza City: the Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 32 Palestinian civilians, including six children and a journalist. Sixteen of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, six were hit with rubber bullets and ten were directly hit with tear gas canister.

 

 

  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued from 15:00 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 15 Palestinian civilians, including four children, a woman, a journalist, and two paramedics. Two of them were transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza as their wounds were classified as serious. Six of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and nine were directly hit with tear gas canisters and rubber bullets. The wounded journalist was identified as Mohammad Baker Mahmoud al-Looh (31), from Nuseirat, who works at al-Watan Radio and was hit with a tear gas canister to the left knee. The wounded paramedics were identified as Mohammad Subhi Hassam al-‘Omari (54), from Deir al-Balah, who was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the left leg, and Ahmad Ibrahim Jameel Weshah (25), a volunteer paramedic, who was directly hit with rubber bullet to the head. Both of them work at Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

 

  • Khan Younis: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 16:00 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 19 demonstrators, including four children, two woman, a journalist, and three paramedics. Six of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, one with rubber bullets and 12 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedics were identified as Daila Bassam Ahmad Abu Rida (20), who is a member of Rowad el-Salam Medical Team and was hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg; Mohammad Subhi Abu Ta’ima (24), who is a member of Watan Medical Team and was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg; and Ahmad Saleh Ahmad al-Naqa (32), who works as a paramedic and a media officer at Civil Defense and was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the neck. The wounded journalist was identified as Yusuf Mohammad Qassem Mass’oud (27), who works as a freelance photojournalist and was hit with a shrapnel to the left thigh.

 

  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 16:00 until 18:30, resulted in the injury of 17 demonstrators, including six children and two journalists. Five of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and 12 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded journalists were identified as ‘Abdul Raheem Mohammad Deen al-Khateeb (42), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the left thigh, and Mo’ath Fathy Yusuf al-Hams (23), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the left leg. Both of them work as freelance journalists.

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 13:00, on Friday, 05 April 2019, on Friday afternoon, Palestinian peaceful demonstrators started from the center of Kufor Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of “Kedumim” settlement established on the village’s lands. The demonstrators chanted national slogans demanding end of occupation and condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip within “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities. The demonstrators threw stones at Israeli forces stationed behind sand berms. The Israeli forces immediately fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, four civilians, including two journalists, were wounded. The wounded journalists were identified as:

1- Nedal Shafeek Taher Eshtiah (50), who works as a photojournalist at Xinhua News Agency, was hit with a rubber bullet to the right leg.

2-Ayman Ameen al-Nobany (32), who works as a photojournalist at Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA), was hit with a rubber bullet to the thigh.

  • 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 04:00 on Thursday, 18 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested five civilians, including three children, and then took them to Salah al-Deen Police Station in the center of the village. The arrested civilians were identified as Mohamed Sameeh ‘Oliyan (13), Mo’tasem Mohamed Abu Nab (17), Ziyad Khalil al-Rajbi (19), Anas al-Khatib (19), and Mohamed al-Khatib (14).

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Monday, 22 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Ras Shehada neighborhood in Sho’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Malek Naser Hoshieh (15) and Saleh Mohamed al-Sharqawi (14).

 

  • At approximately 03:00 on Monday, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mostafa Jameel al-Hashlamoun (22) and then handed him a notice to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in al-Maskobiyia investigation center, west of Jerusalem, on 30 April 2019.

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Tuesday, 23 April 2019, Israeli police stationed at al-Majles Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque gates, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, arrested the director of the Islamic museum of the mosque, ‘Arafat ‘Amri (54), after detaining his ID card. He was then taken to “ Beit al-‘Aho” investigation center in the Old City.

 

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 18 April 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a bulldozer and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Sosiyia village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration staff dismantled a 30-sqaure-meter residential tent built of metal poles and sheds. The tent belongs to Hussain Radi Hussain Nawaj’ah (40). The Israeli forces leveled the area and then confiscated the tent. The Israeli authorities claimed that there was a decision issued by the Israeli Supreme Court to freeze the construction works in al-Sosiyia village and any new building will be demolished or confiscated without a prior notice. It should be noted that the Israeli forces dismantled a residential tent and demolished a barn belonging to Hussain Radi Hussain Nawaj’ah on 16 April 2019. The tent was later confiscated.

 

  • 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).

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (11 April – 17 April 2019)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations (11 – 17 April 2019)

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 11 – 17 April, 2019.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian child was killed and another succumbed to his wounds. 98 civilians, including 26 children, 6 women, 3 paramedics and a journalist, were wounded. The injury of 1 of them was reported serious. 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded 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 within the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 54th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. They also continued to use force against Palestinians protesting against the incursions into the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, During the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege protests, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 98 civilians, including 26 children, 6 women, 1 journalist and 3 paramedics. The injury of 1 of those wounded was reported serious.  Another child succumbed to his wounds in the Israeli hospitals as he was previously wounded when attempting to sneak into Israel to work there.  Moreover, a fisherman was wounded. In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 3 Palestinian civilians while another a child was wounded after Israeli settlers opened fire at the child.

In the Gaza Strip, on 12 April 2019, Israeli forces killed Maysarah Abu Shallouf (15) from ‘Ezbet Beit Hanoun after being wounded with a bullet to the left waist while participating in the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.  At approximately 17:00, Maysarah was few meters away from the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip. He was left bleeding for 20 minutes as the Israeli forces denied the medical personnel’s access to him. At approximately 17:40, he was then referred to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit in the Emergency Department, where his death was declared at approximately 17:55.

In the same context, on 13 April 2019, the Palestinian liaison declared the death of Ishaq Ishteiwi (16) from al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City, after succumbing to wounds he sustained on 03 April 2019 while sneaking into Israel and arresting him along with 2 of his friends, east of the village.  His father said that one of his relatives received a call from the Palestinian Liaison at approximately 17:30 on the abovementioned Sunday and informed him of Ishaq’s death.

Collective Punishment Measures:

As part of the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against the families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers and/or settlers, on Wednesday early morning, 17 April 2019, the Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to the family of Saleh ‘Omer al-Barghouthi from Cooper village, north of Ramallah. The one-story house was built on an area of 280 square meters and sheltered his wife and 3-year-old son.  In a crime of extra-judicial execution, Saleh al-Barghouthi was killed by the Israeli forces on 12 December 2018 when he was accused of carrying out a shooting attack on 09 December 2018 at a bus stop near “‘Ofra” settlement in northeaster Ramallah and wounding 7 settlers.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 71 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 5 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 58 Palestinians, including 4 children, from the West Bank, while 14 other civilians, including 5 children, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs.  Among those arrested was ‘Adnan Ghaith, Jerusalem’s Governor, who was arrested from his family house in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

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

As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, 13 April 2019, Shadi and Fadi al-‘Ajlouni self-demolished their houses in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.  Shadi al-‘Ajlouni said that the Israeli municipality issued a decision to demolish the 40-square-meter residential apartment where he lived with his brother.  The Muncipality gave the family till the end of the monst to apply the demolition decision or its staff will do so and the family has to pay the demolition costs in addition to a financial fine.  The house was built 2 years ago of “reinforced gypsum, tin plates, and bricks” on the family house roof as a third floor comprised of 2 rooms and a joint kitchen, sheltering 8 members; half of them are children.

On 15 April 2019, ‘Awad al-‘Abbasi self-demolished his house in al-Sweih neighborhood in Silwan, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City.  He said that he demolished his under-construction house after the Israeli municipality issued a decision to demolish the house under the pretext of unlicensed building.  He added that in the last days, he went to a lawyer and an engineer attempting to obtain a license for the house but in vain.  Thus, he was forced to self-demolish his house to avoid paying the fine and the demolition expenses for the municipal staffs.  al-‘Abbasi said that the Israeli muncipality demolished his house in 2007 and rebuilt it last year to shelter his family.

On 17 April 2019, Israeli forces demolished a residential room and storehouses belonging to ‘Ezz al-Deen Burqan and a horse farm belonging to Mohammed al-Qaq in Yasoul Valley neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.  They also demolished a house belonging to ‘Omran al-Masri in al-Ashqariyah neighborhood in Beit Hanina, north of occupied East Jerusalem.

In the same context, on 14 April 2019, the Israeli Supreme Court dismissed a challenge filed by Palestinian families living in Yasoul Valley neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City to stop the demolition of their houses that are partially built on a land where “Elad” Settlement Organization tries to build Jewish tourism projects.

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

  • As part of house demolitions and notices, on 16 April 2019, the Israeli forces dismantled and confiscated a residential tent in Susiya village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron, in addition to leveling where it was set. The Israeli authorities claimed that the 30-square-meter tent belonging to Hussein Nawaj’ah (40) was confiscated and leveled under the pretext of non- licensing.
  • On the same day, the Israeli authorities issued a military order to ban Palestinian farmers from entering their lands in al-Nabi Noun Mount, east of Yanoun village, southeast of Nablus and transfer them to a natural reserve in preamble to confiscate them. Rashed Marar, Head of the Village Council, said to PCHR’s fieldworker, said that the mountain which is of hundreds dunums is planted with olive trees and some dunums are used for agricultural purposes and for grazing sheep.
  • On 17 April 2019, Israeli forces demolished an under-construction house built on an area of 200 square meters belonging to Shehadah ‘Azem from Tibah in Israel. This house is one of 5 houses that were threatened to be demolished upon notices distributed to their owners earlier this year to halt construction works.
  • As part of Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, PCHR’s fieldworkers during the reporting period 4 incidents carried out by settlers Most prominent incidents were as follows:
  • On 12 April 2019, under the protection of the Israeli forces, a group of settlers attacked the northeastern outskirts of the Burin village, south of Nablus. a settler opened fire from his gun and wounded ‘Obadah al-Najjarah (17) with a bullet to his buttock.
  • On 13 April 2019, a group of settlers attacked the eastern outskirts of ‘Orif village, south of Nablus, and broke the windows of 2 vehicles parked in front of a house. In the afternoon, the settlers came back again to attack the abovementioned village, wounding Naji Sabbah (17) with a stone to the right shoulder.
  • On the same day, a group of settlers attacked a Palestinian car with stones on Ramallah-Nablus Road and caused damage to it.

A Palestinian Child Succumbed to his Wounds in Israeli Hospitals

  • On Sunday evening, 13 April 2019, the Palestinian Liaison declared the death of Ishaq ‘Abdul M’oti Sweilem Eshteiwi (16), from al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, in Israel’s hospitals. Is’haq was wounded when two of his friends and he sneaked into Israel and were arrested, east of al-Shawka. Is’haq’s father said that one of his relatives received a phone call from the Palestinian Liaison at approximately 17:30, on Sunday, 13 April 2019, telling him that Is’haq died. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 21:00 on Wednesday, 03 April 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at three Palestinian children, during their attempt to sneak into Israel to work there. As a result, they were hit with live bullets. The wounded children were identified as Mohammad Mousa Ramadan al-Bahabsa (16), Manssour Fawwaz Moussa al-Shawi (16) and Is’haq ‘Abdul M’oti Sweilem Eshteiwi (16). Mohammad al-Bahabsa, who was released via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing on the next day, north of the Gaza Strip, said that the Israeli forces opened fire at them after they crossed the border fence. As a result, Manssour al-Shawi was hit with a live bullet to the left leg and Is’haq Eshteiwi was hit with several live bullets to the abdomen and upper limbs and then fainted. Both of them were then taken to Israeli hospitals to receive treatment. On Monday, 08 April 2019, Manssour al-Shawi was released via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing after he received treatment in Israeli hospitals, while Is’haq Eshteiwi stayed for treatment until his death was announced.

 

Collective Punishment:

  • As part of the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against the families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers and/or settlers, on Wednesday early morning, 17 April 2019, the Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to the family of Saleh ‘Omer al-Barghouthi from Cooper village, north of Ramallah. At approximately 03:00 on the abovementioned day, the Israeli forces backed by 20 military vehicles and armored personnel carriers in addition to a military bulldozer moved into Cooper village, north of Ramallah. The Israeli forces stepped out of their vehicles and deployed on the village streets and between houses.  They also topped some of the house roofs and closed the entrance to the family house of Saleh ‘Omer al-Barghouthi amidst Israeli firing of teargas canisters directly at the windows of the nearby houses. Large numbers raided the abovementioned house to apply the demolition decision which the family was informed of previously.  At approximately 03:30, the Israeli forces demolished the 1-storey house that was established on an area of 280 square meters and sheltered his wife and 3-year-old son.  After the house was completely demolished, the Israeli forces withdrew from the village at approximately 05:30 amidst heavily firing of teargas canisters.  As a result, Nabil Diaa’ al-Barghouthi (26) was hit with teargas canister shrapnel to the head. It should be noted that  ‘Asem is the brother of Saleh, who was assassinated by Israeli forces in an crime of extra-judcial execution on 12 December 2018 when he was accused of carrying out a shooting attack on 09 December 2018 at a bus stop near “‘Ofra” settlement in northeaster Ramallah and wounding 7 settler.

 

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 54th week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces wounded 98 civilians, including 26 children, 6 women, a journalist and 3 paramedics. The incidents were as follows:

  • Gaza City: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 31 of them, including a child and two women. Twenty of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, one was hit with a rubber bullet, and ten were directly hit with tear gas canisters.
  • Northern Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the killing of a child and the injury of 20 civilians, including 9 children, 2 women and a paramedic. Eleven of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, two were hit with rubber bullets and seven were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The injury of one of them was reported serious. According to PCHR’s fieldworker, at approximately 17:00, Mayssara Moussa Slaiman Abu Shalouf (15), from ‘Ezbet Beit Hanoun, was hit with a live bullet to the left waist and settled in the pelvis. Mayssara was wounded while being few meters away from the border fence with Israel. Moreover, the Israeli forces prevented the medical personnel from reaching Mayssara for around 20 minutes and then the medical personnel took him to a field medical point in the vicinity of the Return Camp, where he received first aid. At approximately 17:40, Mayssara was taken to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia, where he was admitted to the ICU and at approximately 17:55, medical resources officially declared Mayssara’s death. Meanwhile, the wounded paramedic, Belal ‘Abd al-Bari al-‘Abed Abu Foul (30), form Jabalia Camp, who works as a volunteer paramedic with PRCS, was hit wth a tear gas canister to the left hand. 
  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting, which continued until 18:30, at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 20 civilians, including 4 children, a woman and a journalist. Eight were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and 12 were directly hit with tear gas canisters and rubber bullets. Moreover, Israeli forces targeted the vicinity of a field medical point and ambulances with tear gas canisters. As a result, a number of paramedics suffered tear gas inhalation. The wounded journalist, Ahmed Saber Mahmoud al-Zri’i (21), from Deir al-Balah, who works with Palestine al-Hadath Agency, was hit with a rubber bullet to the pelvis.
  • Khan Younis: The Israeli shooting, which continued until 19:00, at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 10 civilians, including 7 children. Two were hit with live bullets and shrapnel; one of them had his below right knee amputated, and eight were directly hit with tear gas canisters.
  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting, which continued from 16:00 until 18:30, at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 17 civilians, including 5 children, a woman and 2 paramedics. Three of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and 14 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedics were Identified as: 
  • Mahmoud Shafiq Hussain al-Khatib (28) was hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg.
  • Fadi Eyad Salman al-hamayda (22) was hit with a tear gas canister to the left keen.

It should be noted that both of the wounded paramedics work for Emergency Youth Team.

 

West Bank: 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 12 April 2019, a number of children and boys gathered in Bab al-Zawya area in the center of Hebron and threw stones at the so-called 56 Military checkpoint, established at the entrance to the closed al-Shuhada Street. Israeli forces chased demonstrators between shops and randomly fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a number of stone-throwers suffered tear gas inhalation. Moreover, the Israeli forces prevented journalists from performing their duty in the area and beat a journalist, Mos’ab Shawer al-Tamimi (28), and cursed him. The clashes continued until the evening and no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00, a number of Palestinian children and youngsters gathered in al-Naqar neighborhood adjacent to the annexation wall, west of Qalqilia and threw stones at Israeli forces stationed in the area. The Israeli forces immediately fired sound bombs, tear gas canisters and rubber bullets at the demonstrators and chased them. Moreover, they arrested Samer Sufian Hassan Selmi (18).

Notices and House Demolitions:

  • On Saturday afternoon, 13 April 2019, Shady and Fadi al-‘Ajlouni started to self-demolish their house in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, implementing the Municipality’s decision and avoiding paying the demolition costs and a financial fine. Shadi al-‘Ajlouni said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli municipality issued a decision to demolish the 40-square-meter apartment where his brother Fadi and him lived in. the municipality gave the family a period until the end of the current month to implement the demolition decision or the municipality crews will do it and the family have to pay the demolition costs in addition to a financial fine. Shadi added that the house, which was built 2 years ago of gypsum, bricks and tin plates, is a third floor comprised of 2 rooms only and a kitchen and is inhabited by 8 individuals, half of them are children. Shadi emphasized that the municipality crews and the police raided the house after the family lived in it and ordered to demolish it. After deliberations, the municipality ordered to demolish the house and not to use it and then closed the staircase that leads to it, until the municipality issued a final demolition decision. In addition to that, the family will demolish a balcony, which was built years ago, in the second floor that was used as a bed room and laundry room under the pretext of building without a license.
  • On Monday evening, 15 April 2019, ‘Awad Mohammed al-‘Abasi started to self-demolish his house in al-Suwaih neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, implementing the Municipality’s decision under the pretext of building of without a license. Al-‘Abasi said to PCHR’s fieldworker that he self-demolished his house, which is under construction, after the Israeli municipality issued its decision to demolish  his house under the pretext of non-licensing. He said to Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan that the municipality crews raided the house in late March several times and banned al-‘Abasai from continuing the construction works. Early this month, the Israeli municipality issued the demolition decision. Al-‘Abasi also said that in the last days he went to a lawyer and an engineer in an attempt to obtain a license for the house, but both confirmed that the area had no “building line”  and the demolition decision entered into force. Al-‘Abasai emphasized that he had to self-demolish his house to avoid paying the financial fine and demolition expenses to the municipality. Al-‘Abasi mentioned the Israeli municipality demolished his house in 2007 and he rebuilt the house last year to live in it.
  • Earlier on Wednesday, 17 April 2019, Israeli forces accompanied with several military vehicles and heavy bulldozers and municipality crews moved into Yasoul Valley neighborhood in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City. They surrounded a residential room and stores belonging to ‘Ezz Eden Barqan and demolished them without allowing him to remove their contents. The stores and the room were designated for the fish restaurant supplies and there are fridges, equipment and special tools inside them. Following that, the Israeli forces raided and searched “al-Roqy and al-Osoul” Horse Farm belonging to Mohammed al-Qaq and then demolished it. It should be noted that the 200-square-meter farm was built of bricks 5 years ago. 
  • On the same Wednesday morning, Israeli forces accompanied with several military vehicles and heavy bulldozers and municipality crews moved into al-Ashqar neighborhood in Beit Haninah village, north of East Jerusalem. They surrounded a house belonging to ‘Omran al-Masri and then demolished it. ‘Omran said that the municipality crews and Israeli forces raided and searched his house when he was not there. When he arrived, he attempted to inform the municipality officer that he managed to freeze the demolition decision for a month, but the municipality ignored that and started to demolish the house without a prior warning. Omran added that he lived in the house for 11 years and attempted to license it several times. However, the municipality refused that claiming that it’s an area where construction is prohibited and imposed fines of about NIS 40,000 on Omran. He mentioned that the Israeli police raided and searched his house on Sunday, 14 April 2019, and informed him with the demolition decision. Omran’s lawyer was managed to delay the demolition decision for a month, but he was surprised when the municipality crews raided the house and implemented the demolition decision. It should be noted that house was inhabited with 7 individuals, including 5 children. 
  • In the same context, on Sunday afternoon, 14 April 2018, Israeli Supreme Court refused an appeal submitted by Palestinian families that live in Wadi Yasoul neighborhood, in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City to ban demolishing their houses. It should be noted that the houses are partially built on a land where Israeli “Elad Association” seeks to build Jewish tourism projects on it. Khalid Shuweiki, Member of the Defense Committee in Wadi Yasoul neighborhood, said that the Israeli Supreme Court, which is the highest judicial body, dismissed the appeal submitted by the houses’ owners in the abovementioned neighborhood to the Israeli District Court’s decision to demolish 4 houses in the neighborhood. That means the Supreme Court approved to demolish the houses and displace around 20 individuals. Shuweiki mentioned that the neighborhood residents submitted an appeal for the Supreme Court 3 days ago. The response was quick as the Supreme court refused the appeal and approved the District Court’s decision. He added that the refusal of the appeal means that the decisions of the 4 houses, belonging to Barqan, al-Qaq and Kashour families, entered into force and the demolition will be carried out at any time. This demolition is a preamble to completely demolish and ease Wadi Yasoul neighborhood, which is comprised of 84 houses and inhabited with 400 individuals. It should be noted that all the families are struggling in courts to license their houses, which are built years ago during which they managed to freeze the demolition decisions several times. Shuweiki emphasized that the demolition decision to demolish Jerusalemites’ houses in the area came after approval of building settlement units in a land that was seized by Elad Association. Residents of Wadi Yasoul confirmed that they had all the documents that prove their ownership of the 50-dunum land where their house are built. However, the Israeli authorities intend to implement their plan of the so-called ” Peace Forest”. Israeli daily, Haaretz Newspaper mentioned that the Israeli Court approved the demolition of houses inhabited with hundreds of Palestinians houses claiming that they are partially built on “Peace Forest” land where Elad Association seek for building Jewish tourism projects in it supported by the Israeli municipality in occupied Jerusalem.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

Israeli forces continued to target the areas in the West Bank classified as C according to Oslo Accord signed by the Israeli government and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the areas located in the vicinity of settlements and route of the separation wall in order to expel them from the Palestinian residents for the sake of settlement expansion.

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

  • At approximately 10:30 on Tuesday morning, 16 April 2019, an Israeli force backed by several military vehicles and accompanied with a bulldozer and a vehicle belonging to the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Susiya village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. The civil Administration staff removed a30-square-meter residential tent belonging to Husain Radi Nawaj’ah (40). The tent is built of steel pillars, shed and rubber tires. The place of the tent was leveled after it was confiscated. The Israeli authorities claim that the tent was confiscated and leveled under the pretext of non- licensing. 
  • During this week, the Israeli authorities issued a military order to ban Palestinian farmers from entering their lands in al-Nabi Noun Mount, east of Yanoun village, southeast of Nablus and transfer them to a natural reserve in preamble to confiscate them. Rashed Marar, Head of the Village Council, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that at approximately 16:30 on Tuesday evening, 16 April 2019, he was informed by a farmer that a vehicle with Israeli registration plate belonging to the Environmental Protection Department in the Civil Administration fixes a metal banner with the following text: “No Entry… Natural Reserve” in al-Noun Mount, east of Yanoun village, southeast of Nablus. Rashed mentioned the mountain have a distance of hundreds of dunums planted with olive trees; some of them are used for agriculture and for grazing sheep. The mount top belongs to Bushnnaq family from Nablus and farmers from ‘Aqraba village serve in it. Rashed added that the military decision will deny the shepherd from grazing at the area. He also mentioned that this decision is preamble to expand settlement outposts, which are extended from “Itmar”settlement established on ‘Owerta, Beitfurik, and Yanoun lands:
  • (Hill 777) established in the eastern side of Yanoun village.
  • ( Gideon) established in the northern side of the village.
  • (Givot Olam) established in the western side of the village.

It should be noted that these outposts control over 80% of the village land.

  • At approximately 07:30 on Wednesday, 17 April 2019, large Israeli force accompanied with heavy vehicles bulldozers moved into Tulkarm, closed its entrances and prevented civilians from entering or leaving it. The bulldozers leveled an under construction house built on an area of 200 square meters at the eastern entrance to the village. The house belongs to Shehadah ‘Azem from al-Taibah City in Israel. According to statement of the Head of the Village council, this house is one of 5 houses that are threatened to be demolished in which the Israeli forces notified their owners earlier this year to halt construction works. The Israeli forces then notified them with the demolition decision. Thus, 4 other houses located in the eastern side of the village are threatened to be demolished. PCHR’s fieldworker didn’t manage to speak with the house owner because he is in Turkey. It should be noted that since the Second Intifada, Jbarah village is isolated from its vicinity by the annexation wall since early May 2013.

 

Israeli settlers’ attacks:

  • At approximately 18:00 on Friday evening, 12 April 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, protected by the Israeli forces, from “Givat Ronim” settlement outpost extended from “Bracha” settlement in the northern side of Burin village, south of Nablus, moved into the northern outskirts of the abovementioned village. A number of civilians gathered and threw stones at the settlers to keep them away from the village. The Israeli forces immediately fired tear gas canisters to disperse them. Meanwhile, a settler opened fire from his gun, causing wounds to Obadah Rashed al-Najar (17) with a superficial wounds. Obadah was taken to Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus to receive medical treatment.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 13 April 2019, a group of Israeli settlers under from “Yitzhar” settlement established in the east northern side of ‘Orif village, south of Nablus, moved into the eastern outskirts of the village. They smashed the glass of 2 cars. In one of cars, which belongs to Loai Mazen Hafeth Shehadah, the glass was fully smashed and the structure damaged. In the second car, which belongs to Ziyad Abdul ‘Aziz Shehadah, the glass and the front lights of the care were smashed. It should be noted that the 2 cars were parked in front of  Ziyad’s house as his family was getting into the car when the settlers attacked the neighborhood.
  • At approximately 19:00 on the same day, Israeli settlers from the abovementioned settlement, escorted by a number of Israeli soldiers,  moved into ‘Orif villages for the second time and stationed in the vicinity of the water tank that feeds the village in al-Safair area in the northern outskirts of the village. A number of them civilians gathered and threw stones at the Israeli settlers and soldiers. The soldiers fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors, who were hiding behind the water tank. As a result, Naji ‘Aref Naji Sabbah (17) was hit with a stone to the right shoulder, causing its fracture. He was taken to Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus to receive medical treatment. Moreover, many civilians suffered severe tear gas inhalation and received medical treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 18:45 on the abovementioned Saturday, a group of Israeli settlers stationed a hill between Tirms’eya village and Shilo settlement’s intersection on Ramallah-Nablus Road, attacked a car and broke the windshield caused damage to the structure. The car belongs to Bruce Lee Dakhil Abdul ‘Aziz ‘Aid from Burin village, south of Nablus, who was driving back from Ramallah as he works in the police. He was accompanied with his sons Leza (20), a student at the Faculty of Law at Birzeit University; Lenda (19), a journalism student at the Modern University College; Qusai (10), and Sema (9). Bruce Lee continued driving for around 200 meters when he saw  an Israeli vehicle. He stopped and informed the soldiers of the incident and their response was: ” What should we do to you?! Go!”

 

  • 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).

israel Bans Gaza Christians from Visiting Holy Sites for Easter

Israel Bans Gaza Christians from Visiting Holy Sites for Easter

Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. (Photo: via Social Media)

Israeli occupation authorities refused to issue travel permits for hundreds of Palestinian Christians from Gaza who planned to visit holy sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem during Passover, Safa news agency reported yesterday.

Reporting Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Safa said that Israel allowed only 200 Christians from Gaza, who are over 55 years old, to travel to Jordan only and did not issue permits for those wishing to visit the Church of Nativity in occupied Bethlehem or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in occupied Jerusalem.

 

Israeli rights group Gisha reported complaints against the Israeli occupation regarding the restrictions imposed on people who want to travel during the Jewish Passover holiday which coincides with Easter.

“This is a flagrant violation of the freedom of movement, freedom of worship and freedom of enjoying family life for the Christians in Gaza,” Gisha said, noting that Gaza is an example of a “wider Israeli racist policy”.

 

According to Haaretz, Gisha said that this measure aims to deepen the division between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Jewish terrorists attack farmers in Nablus

Jewish settlers attack farmers in Nablus

settlers
A horde of Jewish settlers on Wednesday attacked Palestinian farmers as they were working their land in the southeast of Nablus.

According to local sources, the settlers assaulted and brutalized several Palestinian farmers as they were cultivating their lands inside the illegal settlement of Eli, which was established on lands annexed from Qaryut village in Nablus.

Local activist Bashar al-Qaryuti said that dozens of farmers went to their lands that are located within the boundaries of Eli settlement after obtaining access permits from the Israeli occupation authority (IOA).

Qaryuti affirmed that Israeli soldiers provided protection for the settlers during their assault on the farmers and detained 25 farmers until police officers arrived and took their statements.

He pointed out that the IOA allows the local farmers to reach their lands inside the settlement twice a year, warning of Israeli intents to annex these agricultural lands to build more housing units for settlers

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