Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (03 -09 August 2017)
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 10 Palestinian civilians, including 9 civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Five of them were in the West Bank while the 5 others were wounded in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip continued to chase the Palestinian fishermen in the sea. Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes against military training sites belonging to the Palestinian armed groups.
In the West Bank, on 28 July 2017, Israeli forces wounded 5 Palestinian civilians. Three of them were hit with metal bullets during Kafr Qaddoum weekly demonstration, northeast of Qalqilya, in protest against the closure of the eastern entrance to the village with an iron gate. The 2 others were hit with bullets when the Israeli forces raided Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, to arrest them.
In the Gaza Strip, border areas witnessed protests against the continued and unjust closures imposed on the Gaza population. The Israeli forces used force against the participants. Due to the shooting used to disperse the protestors, 4 Palestinian civilians were wounded; 2 of them with live bullets while the other 2 with tear gas canisters and sound bombs that directly hit them.
In the context of airstrikes, on 09 august 2017, Israeli warplanes targeted in separate air strikes a military training site and checkpoint belonging to Al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas Movement) in the northern Gaza Strip. The first airstrike resulted in the injury of a Member of Palestinian armed groups with shrapnel to the head. The 2 airstrikes caused damage to the site and checkpoint.
Concerning attacks on fishermen, on 04 August 2017, Israeli gunboats sporadically opened fire at the Palestinian fishermen, northwest of Beit Lahia village, north of the Gaza Strip, and chased them. Similar attacks recurred against the Palestinian fishing boats in the same area on 05, 07 and 08 August 2017.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 64 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 710 ones in Jerusalem. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 106 Palestinian civilians, including 21 children and 4 women. Thirty-six of them, including 8 children and a woman, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.
In the Gaza Strip, on 03 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into east of Khuza’ah village, northeast of Khan Younis. They levelled lands along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Efforts to create Jewish Majority
In the context of house demolitions, on 08 August 2017, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished a house belonging to Hamzah al-Shaloudi in al-Rabay’ah neighbourhood in al-Mukaber Mount village, south of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of no licensing. The wife of the house’s owner said that she lived with her husband and 2 children for 3 months in the 65-square-meter house. She added that the Israeli Municipality demolished the house without any prior warning. When the Municipality staff arrived to demolish the house, she called the lawyer who headed to the Municipality and managed to get a decision to delay the demolition. However, the bulldozers had already demolished the house.
On 09 August 2017, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished an under-construction room belonging to Siyam family in Beit Hanina neighbourhood, north of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of no licensing. The family said that the 45-square-meter room was built of wood as the family started building it 2 months ago.
Settlement activities and settler attacks
In the context of demolition notices and house demolitions, the Israeli authorities notified 14 residential, commercial and industrial facilities in Silwad village, east of Ramallah, to be demolished under the pretext of no licensing although the facilities are located within Area B according to Oslo Accords. The Head of the municipality said that among those notified facilities is a private school located within Silwad Municipality. This school was built 10 years ago and is the only private school in the eastern Ramallah villages.
Concerning settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 04 August 2017, dozens of settlers from “Karayat Arba’” settlement, east of Hebron, attacked Palestinian houses in Jaber neighbourhood to the east of al-Ibrahimi Mosque with stones. They also attacked Palestinian civilians under the protection of the Israeli police and forces, who did not lift a finger to prevent them. As a result, Tariq Rebi’ie Tamimi (40) was wounded to the left hand and sustained fracture in the palm of his hand. Moreover, Menwer Jaber (40) was wounded to the head and transferred to Hebron Governmental Hospital to receive medical treatment.
Restrictions on movement:
Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people. The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy. They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons. Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.