Council for the National Interest

PCHR Weekly Report: 2 elderly men dead, 9 civilians wounded by Israeli troops this week

Jan 3 2014 / 7:52 pm

PCRH Gaza, January 3, 2014 – In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, for the week of 26 Dec. 2013 – 01 Jan. 2014, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that an elderly Palestinian man died due to tear gas inhalation in Kofur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilia, and a second elderly Palestinian man died as Israeli forces hindered his passage at a military checkpoint at the entrance of Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin.

Palestinian car built by Israeli settlers in Al Jalazoun village (PCHR photo)

Israeli forces have continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank. 8 demonstrators were wounded in Bil’in, an-Nabi Saleh and Selwad weekly protests, in Ramallah. Of the wounded were 3 children, 2 women and 2 photojournalists. A child was wounded in Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. Israeli forces launched 2 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.

Israeli attacks in the West Bank:

During the reporting period, an elderly Palestinian man from Kofur Qaddoum, northeast of Qalqilia, died due to tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces moved into the village and fired tear gas canisters. In addition, another elderly passed away in Jenin when Israeli forces stationed at a military checkpoint at the entrance of Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, hindered his passage to a hospital in the city. Also during the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 9 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, 2 women and 2 photojournalists, 8 of whom were wounded during peaceful protests, while the 9th was wounded during a protest organized at the northern entrance of Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, but he did not participate in the protest.

On 26 December, 2013, Israeli forces stationed on top of a building around the Ibrahimi Mosque fired 2 tear gas canisters at a house belonging to “Mohammed Jaber” Abdul Salam al-Karaki (67) in Qaitoun neighbourhood. As a result, contents of the house were burnt and 4 members of the family suffered severe tear gas inhalation. It should be noted that no clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians were reported at the time. Ashraf “Mohammed Jaber” al-Karaki said to a PCHR fieldworker: “I live in Qaitoun neighbourhood, south of the Ibrahimi mosque in the southern Hebron, in a house that is about 120 meters to the north of my father’s house, which is 100 meters away from Abu al-Reesh checkpoint. Israeli forces were deployed on top of buildings around the checkpoint, where they erected observation sites, there. My family’s 2-storey house shelters my father (67), my mother Hayat (54), and 2 brothers Hotheifa (22) and Basel (26). At approximately 09:30 on Thursday, 26 December, 2013, I headed to my father’s house to have coffee with them as usual and then go to my work in a grocery. I entered the house and sat on a sofa overlooking the balcony, where my grandmother was. My brother Basel brought the coffee to me and, then, to my grandmother. In the meantime, I looked at the balcony’s glass that was broken. A tear gas canister fell near my mother and the gas spread quickly, so I started screaming ‘gas, gas’. I went out with my father, mother and siblings. My mother could not breathe because she inhaled the gas directly. I could not breathe well, either. I went to my mother because her health condition was bad and she was lying on the stairs. I went with my family to my uncle Mohammed Khader’s house, which is in front of my father’s. A few minutes later, my uncle, father and I went out and saw white smoke going out of the house, then it turned into black. The windows were being broken, so we realized that the house caught fire. I called the civil defence and emergency services that reached the area 3 minutes later. They put out fire. The civil defence members found another tear gas canister inside the house, but it had not exploded. When we entered the house, we found everything was burnt. In addition, JD 1,800, NIS 900 and a cheque were burnt and a gold ring was missing. In the meanwhile, Israeli soldiers were around. My uncle talked to an Israeli officer, who said, ‘Go to Ja’bara police station and file a complaint.’ It should be noted that Israeli soldiers fire sound bombs and tear gas canisters at students going to their schools on daily basis. My mother was taken to the Health Work Committees’ centre and received the necessary medical treatment, as she suffered from hypertension. I also received medical treatment due to gas inhalation. My mother went home an hour later. My father and brothers have no place to go, as I live in a small rented house. Moreover, we have not received aid at all.”

On 31 December, 2013, a 14-year-old child from Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, was wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right leg while he was playing around. He was taken to Beit Jala Hospital, where his wound was described as moderate.

Israeli forces conducted 53 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. At least 40 Palestinians, including 18 children, were abducted.

The contents of a house, in the old town of Hebron, were completely burnt as a tear gas canister fell inside.

Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. At least 16 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were abducted at checkpoints in the West Bank.

On 26 December, 2013, Israeli forces levelled lands in Ras ‘Attiyah village, south of Qalqilya.

On the same day, Israeli forces, backed with 3 military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the Israeli Civil Administration (the construction and organization department), handed 4 notices to halt construction works near 4 water collection wells under the pretext of not obtaining a construction license.

On 27 December, 2013, an Israeli Infantry force moved into the farmlands surrounding Um al-Kheir area, east of Yatta and adjacent to “Avigal” settlement established on al-Hathaline family lands. They deployed in the area and denied civilians access to their lands and prevented them to approach the water wells used by civilians in the area to provide them with water by attacking some of them.

On the same day, Israeli forces, backed with two military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the Israeli Civil Administration (the construction and organization department), moved into Um al-Kheir area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They deployed between the houses. The Civil Administration officer informed civilians not to approach the taboon oven and light it up under the claim that its smoke affects the settlers’ houses in “Kermaeil” settlement, near the civilian houses.

On 30 December, 2013, Israeli forces, backed with military vehicles and bulldozers, moved into Dotan camp, which was previously evacuated, southwest of Jenin. They levelled the camp lands without stating the reasons.

Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces launched 2 airstrikes, opened fire at the east of Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip, and also opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats, but no casualties were reported.

On Thursday, 26 December, 2013, at approximately 22:25, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural land belonging to Muqat family, to the east of al-Nafaq Street, in the north of Gaza City. However, no casualties were reported.

The same night, at approximately 22:30, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at Bader military training site, belonging to al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas movement) near al-Shuhada’ intersection, south of Gaza City. However, no casualties were reported.

Israeli settlement activity:

Israeli forces have continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. 3 dunums of agricultural lands were levelled and 450 guava, lemon and pomegranate trees were uprooted, south of Qalqilia.

A child from Deir Istiya village, northwest of Salfit, was run down by a settler’s vehicle. On 26 December, 2013, while a settler was driving near the intersection of Deir Istiya village, northwest of Salfit, he ran down Ibrahim Yaser Yaser Hatem Abu Zaid (7), from Deir Istiya village. As a result, he was seriously injured.

On 27 December, 2013, a number of settlers from “Havat Jal” settlement outpost established on Palestinian lands, east of Hebron, cut down 12 olive trees which were older than 30 years, by a chainsaw, and smashed branches of another 30 trees belonging to Rashid al-Zaro al-Tamimi (56).

On 28 December, 2013, a group of settlers from “Karmi Tsour” settlement established on Palestinian lands, east of Hebron in Haskah area, east of Halhoul. They performed religious rituals near water springs in the area under the Israeli forces’ heavy guard.

Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:

Israeli forces continued the systematic use of excessive force against peaceful protests organised by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 8 protestors, including 3 children, 2 women and 2 photojournalists, were wounded.

In spite of the cold weather, following the Friday Prayer, 27 December, 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Bil’in, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities, supporting al-Aqsa mosque and other Islamic and Christian religious sites. Demonstrators took the streets raising the Palestinian flags and headed to the liberated territories near the annexation wall. Israeli forces had closed all the entrances of the village since morning, to prevent the Palestinian and international activists and journalists from participating in the demonstration. Demonstrators marched adjacent to the cement wall and tried to cross the fence before Israeli forces stationed behind the wall, in the western area, and a large number of soldiers deployed along it fired live bullets, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs and skunk water at them and chased them into the olive fields. As a result, a 20-year-old civilian sustained a bullet wound to the right hand. Moreover, dozens of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation. Others sustained bruises as they were beaten up by Israeli soldiers.

On the same day, dozens of Palestinian civilians organised a peaceful demonstration in the center of Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. Demonstrators took the streets and headed to the annexation wall. Israeli forces closed the gates of the wall with barbed wire and prevented the demonstrators from passing to the land behind it before they responded by throwing stones. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and bruises as they were beaten up by Israeli soldiers.

Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities, in Nabi Saleh village, southwest of Ramallah. Demonstrators took the streets raising the Palestinian flags and chanting slogans against the occupation and in support of the Palestinian unified resistance and, then, they headed to the lands that the settlers are trying to rob by force, near “Halmish” settlement. Israeli forces closed all the entrances of the village, since morning, to prevent the Palestinian and international activists and journalists from participating in the demonstration. When they arrived at the land, demonstrators were met by live bullets, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs and skunk water, and were chased into the village. As a result, 4 civilians, including 2 women and 2 photojournalists, were wounded, and many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and bruises, due to being beaten up by Israeli soldiers. A 40-year-old woman sustained 3 rubber-coated metal bullet wounds to the legs and the 37-old-year woman sustained a bullet wound to the left leg.

Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Ma’assara village, in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. The demonstration started in front of the Candles Cultural Centre, in the centre of the village. Demonstrators moved in the streets raising the Palestinian flag. When they arrived at the area where the annexation wall is established, Israeli forces started firing tear gas canisters in an attempt to disperse them, and prevented them reaching the annexation wall. They also detained a 33-year old activist for 2 hours.

At approximately 12:30 on the same day, Palestinian civilians and international activists organised a peaceful demonstration in the centre of Kufor Qaddoum village, northwest of Qalqilia, and headed towards the eastern entrance of the village, in protest at the continued closure of the entrance with an iron gate since the beginning of the Aqsa Intifada. Clashes erupted between the demonstrators and Israeli forces, who fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters to prevent them from reaching the aforementioned gate. As a result, a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces also put Morad Ishtiwi, coordinator of the popular committee, under house arrest on Friday. Ishtiwi was abducted on 20 December, 2013 and released on 25 December, 2013.

At approximately 15:00, a group of boys and young men gathered at the western entrance of Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah, on Silwad-Yabroud road near road (60). They threw stones at the said road. In response, Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters, due to which a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. 3 children were wounded: A 16-year-old child sustained a bullet wound to the right leg, a 15-year-old child sustained a bullet wound to the right leg and a 16-year-old child sustained a bullet wound to the right leg.

Recommendations to the international community:

Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the UN General Assembly transfer the Goldstone Report to the UN Security Council, in order to refer it to the International Criminal Court in accordance with Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute;

The PCHR calls upon the United Nations to confirm that holding war criminals in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a precondition to achieve stability and peace in the regions, and that peace cannot be built at the expense of human rights.

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For the full text of the report, click here:  http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_…d=183.

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