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Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (15- 21 December 2011)

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

23pchr49w49.jpg

A mosque in Burqa village near Ramallah which was burnt by Israeli settlers

December 23, 2011


Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

 

A Palestinian civilian was killed when he fell down from his bicycle as he was attempting to escape Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian civilian was wounded by Israeli gunfire in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

IOF continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian fisherman was wounded by Israeli gunfire.

IOF arrested 4 Palestinian fishermen and confiscated a fishing boat.

 

IOF have continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank.

A Palestinian civilian was wounded and another one was arrested.

 

IOF conducted 33 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one into the Gaza Strip.   

IOF arrested 9 Palestinians, including 2children.

A dog belonging to IOF bit a Palestinian woman in Hebron.

 

Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

Israeli soldiers arrested 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, at various checkpoints in the West Bank.

 

IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

IOF approved the construction of 1,000 settlement units in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Israeli settlers set fire to a mosque and 5 civilian vehicles.

 

Summary

 

Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (15 – 21 December 2011):

 

Shooting:

 

During the reporting period, a Palestinian civilian was killed when fell from his bicycle as he was attempting to escape Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip.  Two Palestinian civilians, including a fisherman, were wounded by IOF in the Gaza Strip, and a third civilian was wounded in the West Bank.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 16 December 2011, a Palestinian civilian was killed as he fell from his bicycles as he was attempting to escape Israeli gunfire in al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

 

On the same day, a Palestinian fisherman was wounded by Israeli gunfire in the northern Gaza Strip. 

 

On 21 December 2011, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when IOF fired at a number of Palestinian workers in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

During the reporting period, IOF arrested 4 Palestinian fishermen and confiscated a fishing boat in the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank, during the reporting period, IOF used excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall in the West Bank.  As a result, a Palestinian civilian was wounded.  Dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders suffered from tear gas inhalation.  IOF also arrested a Palestinian civilian.  

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 25 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they arrested 9 Palestinian civilians, including two children.  The detainees include a leader of Islamic Jihad who was arrested in Jenin.     

 

During house raids, a dog belonging to IOF bit a Palestinian woman in Hebron.

 

Restrictions on Movement:

 

Israel had continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Gaza Strip

 

Israel has continuously closed all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for over three years. The illegal Israeli-imposed closure of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  

 

IOF have tightened the closure of the Gaza Strip and practically made Karm Abu Salem crossing as the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip although it is not proper for commercial purposes in terms of its distance and operational capacity.

 

IOF have continued to apply their policy aimed at tightening the strangulation of the commercial movement in the Gaza Strip, including imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

 

The total closure of al-Mentar "Karni" crossing on 02 March 2011 has created a bitter situation that has seriously affected the Gaza Strip.  Following this closure, all the economic and commercial establishments in Gaza Commercial Zone were shut off.  It should be noted that al-Mentar crossing is the biggest crossing in the Gaza Strip in terms of its operational capacity to absorb the flow of imports and exports.  The decision of al-Mentar crossing was the culmination of a series of decisions to totally close Sofa crossing, east of the Gaza Strip, in the beginning of 2009, and Nahal Oz crossing, east of Gaza City, which was dedicated for the delivery of fuel and cooking gas to the Gaza Strip, in the beginning of 2010.

 

These statistics which were made available to PCHR by the Border and Crossings Department indicate a continued drop in the number of truckloads of Gaza imports and exports.

 

IOF have continued to impose 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 in the Gaza Strip.

 

The cooking gas crisis which has erupted last November has continued to affect the Gaza Strip.  This crisis was created when the Israeli occupation authorities totally closed, on 04 January 2010, Nahal Oz crossing, which used to be dedicated for the delivery of fuel and cooking gas supplies to Gaza, and shifted fuel and cooking gas supplies to Karm Abu Salem crossing which is not technically equipped to receive Gaza's needs of fuel.  Karm Abu Salem crossing, with its maximum absorptive capacity, can receive only 200 tons of cooking gas per day.

 

Approximately 80% of Gaza civilians have continued to depend on alimentary aid provided by UNRWA and other relief agencies, rates of families who are living below poverty line have continued to be on the rise and approximately 40% of Gaza's manpower has continued to suffer from permanent unemployment as a result of shutting down the majority of Gaza's economic establishments.

 

IOF have continued to impose a total ban on the exportation of Gaza's products, especially industrial products, leading to undermining any real chances to rerun economic establishments.  The situation has been aggravated especially after making Karm Abu Salem crossing as Gaza sole commercial crossing and the repeated closure of this crossing which negatively affected the quantity of Gazan products which were allowed to be exported during last April.

 

IOF have continued to prolong the implementation of their decision to allow 60 cars into Gaza weekly although more than 11 months have passed since they announced this decision after three years of ban imposed on the delivery of cars to Gaza.  As a result, the prices of cars in Gaza have been on the rise and local markets experience serious shortage in spare parts.

 

For approximately four consecutive years, IOF have continued to ban the delivery of construction materials to Gaza. During the reporting period, IOF approved the delivery of limited quantities of construction materials for a number of international organizations.

 

Israel has continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for Palestinian civilians from the Gaza Strip.  IOF only allow the movement of limited groups amidst severe restrictions, including long hours of waiting in the majority of cases.  IOF have also continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and Jerusalem.  IOF denied new categories of Gazan patient permission to have access to hospitals via the crossing.

 

Israel has imposed additional access restrictions on international diplomats, journalists and humanitarian workers seeking to enter the Gaza Strip.

 

For approximately 54 months, IOF have continued to deny approximately 700 Palestinian prisoners from Gaza detained in Israeli jails their visitation rights without providing any justification to this measure, which violates the rules of the international humanitarian law.

 

West Bank

 

IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.

 

IOF have established checkpoints in and around Jerusalem, severely restricting Palestinian access to the city. Civilians are frequently prevented from praying in the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

 

There are approximately 585 permanent roadblocks, and manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank.

 

When complete, the illegal annexation wall will stretch for 724 kilometers around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population. 350 kilometers of the wall have already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, confiscating more Palestinian land.

 

At least 65% of the main roads that lead to 18 Palestinian communities in the West Bank are closed or fully controlled by IOF.

 

There are approximately 500 kilometers of restricted roads across the West Bank. In addition, approximately one third of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, is inaccessible to Palestinians without permits issued by IOF. Such permits are extremely difficult to obtain.

 

IOF continue to harass and assault demonstrators who hold peaceful protests against the construction of the annexation wall.

 

Palestinian civilians continue to be harassed by IOF in Jerusalem, and across the West Bank, including being regularly stopped and searched in the streets by IOF.

 

Settlement Activities:  

 

Israel has continued its settlement activities in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. 

 

During the reporting period, the Israeli government approved the construction of 1,000 housing units in settlements in the West Bank, as a part of wider plan to construct 6,000 units in 44 settlements in the West Bank.  The Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot reported on Sunday, 18 December 2011, that the Israeli Ministry of Housing and "Israel’s Land" office invited bids for the construction of 1,000 units in 3 settlements in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, as part of a wider settlement plan to construct 6,000 units. 

 

On 15 December 2011, a number of residents of Burqa village, east of Ramallah, arrived at al-Nour Mosque, in the north of the village, for the Dawn Prayer.  The residents noticed smoke evaporating from the third floor of the mosque, which is designed for women.  The residents immediately went to the third floor where they found that a fire had broken out and so extinguished it.  According to sources of the local village council, carpets, lights, ceiling fans, walls and windows were heavily damaged.  Palestinian civilians found statements written in Hebrew on the wall saying: "War, Death." 

 

On 18 December 2011, a number of Israeli settlers from "Moshe Zouhar" settlement outpost, east of Qalqilya, placed a rock on the road in front of a private car, which was traveling on Qalqilya-Nablus road.  The car was damaged.  

 

On 19 December 2011, a number of Israeli settlers, believed to be from "Kfar Assaf" settlement outpost that stands at crossroads leading to "Beit Eil" settlement, east of Ramallah, set fire to 5 Palestinian civilian vehicles in Bitin village, northeast of Ramallah.  According to eyewitnesses, about 4 settlers moved into the village through a dirt road.  They set fire to 5 civilian vehicles.  As a result 4 vehicles were completely burnt, and the southern façade of the building was damaged. 

 

On 21 December 2011, IOF, accompanied by two bulldozers, moved into Kufor al-Dik village, west of Salfit.  They demolished two rooms and two water wells.

 

 

Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (15 – 21 December 2011)

 

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

 

Thursday, 15 December 2011

 

At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mohammed Khaled Abu Rabei’, 25.

 

At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron.  They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Samer 'Eissa 'Awadh, 26, and arrested him.  'Awadh was released from Israeli jails on 01 December 2011 after serving about 8 years of imprisonment.  During the house raid, a dog accompanying Israeli soldiers bit the hand of 'Awadh’s mother.

 

At approximately 08:35, IOF moved into the area located to the north of 'Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya.  They searched the area for some time and withdrew later.  No arrests were reported.

 

At approximately 10:20, IOF moved into Nabi Elias villafe, east of Qalqilya.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into Jayous village, northeast of Qalqilya.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Maithaloun village, south of Jenin.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Sanour village, south of Jenin.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

Also at approximately 15:00, IOF moved into al-Zawia village, south of Jenin.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into al-Jalama village, north of Jenin.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

At approximately 23:30, IOF moved into Bir al-Basha village, south of Jenin.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

Friday, 16 December 2011

 

At approximately 10:45, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat that was sailing opposite to al-Sudaniya beach in the northern Gaza Strip.  As a result, a fisherman, Zaki Mustafa Froush, 45, from the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya, was wounded by a bullet to the left hand and shrapnel to the left leg.  Frosuh was together with his son fishing nearly two nautical miles from the seashore.

 

In the evening, IOF arrested Mohammed 'Adnan al-Karaki, 17, and Zaid Ayoub Futaiha, 17, from Wadi Hilwa quarter in Silwan village to the south of the old town of Jerusalem.  IOF claimed that the two children threw stones at Israeli settlers, but local sources indicated that the two children were arrested because of a quarrel that erupted between them Israeli settlers who were swimming in a pool in the area.

 

At approximately 23:30, IOF moved into Bir al-Basha village, south of Jenin.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

At approximately 23:40, Israeli soldiers stationed at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian agricultural land in the vicinity of sewage basins in the east of the camp.  Due to the intense shooting, the guard of basins, Majed Mahmoud al-Nabahin, 39, attempted to escape on motorcycle towards the west.  While he was driving the motorcycle, he fell down and died, as he suffered from hemorrhage.

 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

 

At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Ertah suburb, south of Tulkarm.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Far’oun village, south of Tulkarm.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

In the early morning, an IOF undercover unit moved into 'Arraba village, south of Jenin.  Israeli soldiers surrounded a house belonging to the family of Khader 'Adnan Mousa, 33, a leader of Islamic Jihad.  At approximately 03:30, Mousa’s father got out of the house on his way to his work in the market of Qabatya, south of Jenin.  He was surprised by at least 50 Israeli soldiers around the house.  Some soldiers were masked and wearing civilian clothes.  Once they saw Mousa’s father, an intelligence officer who introduced himself as Captain Mike asked the father about Khader.  Soon after, Israeli soldiers stormed the house and arrested Khader.  It should be noted that IOF stormed the house nearly seven months ago and confiscated some documents from it.

 

At approximately 21:30, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats opposite to Beit Lahia seashore in the northern Gaza Strip.  Palestinian fishermen were forced to sail back to the beach and no casualties were reported.

 

At approximately 23:30, IOF moved into Bir al-Basha village, south of Jenin.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

Also at approximately 23:30, IOF moved into 'Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.   

 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

 

At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.  They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Tha’er Hani Thawabta, 21, and arrested him.

 

At approximately 08:00, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats opposite to al-Shati refugee camp seashore in the west of Gaza City.  As a result, a boat belonging to Mahmoud Mustafa Murad was damaged.  Israeli gunboats chased two boats and arrested 4 Palestinian fishermen:  Hassan 'Ali Murad, 25; Mahmoud Mustafa Murad, 27; Emad Mahmoud Siam, 46; and Anas 'Emad Siam, 16.  IOF released three of the fishermen at approximately 23:00, while transferred the fourth one, Mahmoud Murad, to an Israeli hospital as he suffers from renal failure.

 

At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into Jenin.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya.  The established two checkpoints near al-Sa’diya School and al-Quds Open University.  They held two officers of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service, Fadi Daoud and 'Abdul Latif Daoud, but released them later.  They also summoned Nidal Zuhair al-Jaua’idi, 20, for interrogation.  

 

At approximately 14:30, IOF moved into Zabbouba village, northwest of Jenin.  A number of Palestinian boys gathered and threw stones at Israeli military vehicles.  Immediately, Israeli soldier fired tear gas canisters.  IOF withdrew later and no arrested were reported.

 

At approximately 18:50, IOF moved into Qarawat Bani Hassan village, northwest of Salfit.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

At approximately 23:40, IOF moved into Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilya.   They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

Monday, 19 December 2011

 

At approximately 09:00, Israeli gunboats stationed opposite to Beit Lahia seashore in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats.  Palestinian fishermen were forced to sail back to the beach and no casualties were reported.

 

At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

At approximately 09:30, IOF moved into Ibn Rushod Square in the center of Hebron.  They raided a money exchange shop and forced the owner, Hamdi Na’im al-Natsha, 42, to open the safe and confiscated its contents.  They then arrested the owner.  

 

At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into al-'Araqa village, west of Jenin.  They raided and searched a number of houses and summoned 7 Palestinian civilians for interrogation. 

 

At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into Jeet village, northeast of Qalqilya.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

 

At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Douma village, southeast of Nablus.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Ja’far 'Abdul Ghani Dawabsha, 20, and his sister, Fatima, 22.

 

At approximately 01:45, IOF moved into al-Yamoun village, north of Jenin.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp.  They patrolled in the streets for some time and withdrew later.  Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

 

At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, claiming that there were fired at near the eastern entrance of the village.  A number of Palestinian boys gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at the boys.  Immediately, Israeli soldiers fired at them, but no casualties were reported.

 

At approximately 08:00, Israeli gunboats stationed opposite to Beit Lahia seashore in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats.  Palestinian fishermen were forced to sail back to the beach and no casualties were reported.

 

At approximately 16:20, Israeli soldiers positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of Beit Hanoun town opened fire at open areas to the east of al-Farta area, nearly 800 meters from the border.  No casualties were reported.

 

At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm town and refugee camp.  A number of Palestinian boys gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at the boys.  Immediately, Israeli soldiers fired at them, but no casualties were reported.

 

At approximately 23:30, Israeli soldiers positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of Beit Hanoun town opened fire at open areas to the east of al-Boura area, nearly 700 meters from the border.  No casualties were reported.

 

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

 

At approximately 09:30, Israeli soldiers stationed on observation towers at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired at a number of Palestinian civilians who were collecting wood, iron and scraps of construction materials in Hammouda area in the northern Gaza Strip.  As a result, Hamza Jamal Barakat, 19, from al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the southeast of Gaza City, was wounded by two bullets to the left shoulder and foot. 

 

2. Use of Excessive Force against Peaceful Demonstrations Protesting Settlement Activities and the Construction of the Annexation Wall

 

During the reporting period, IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest to the construction of the Wall and settlement activities in the West Bank, and in protest to the establishment of a buffer zone in the Gaza Strip.  As a result, a Palestinian civilian was wounded.  Additionally, dozens of Palestinian civilians and human rights defenders suffered from tear gas inhalation.  IOF also arrested a Palestinian civilian. 

 

Following the Friday Prayer on 16 December 2011, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Bil'ein village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the annexation wall and support for efforts to achieve national reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah movements.  They raised the Palestinian flag and called for ending political division. They then moved towards areas of Palestinian land, which the Israeli High Court ordered to be returned to their Palestinian owners.  Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators.  As a result, a number of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation, including Eyas Rateb Abu Rahma, 20, a photojournalist.

 

Also following the Friday prayer on 16 December 2011, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli  and international human rights defenders gathered in the center of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, to start the weekly peaceful protest against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities.  The protesters walked towards the gate erected by IOF near the entrance of the village and leading to Palestinian lands that Israeli settlers from the nearby "Halmish" settlement are trying to seize.  Israeli soldiers who had been extensively deployed in the area and near all the entrances of the village since the morning, began to confront the protesters who wanted to walk towards the affected lands.  Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters.  A result, dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.

 

Also following the Friday Prayer on 16 December 2011, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne'lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest against the construction of the annexation wall.  They clashed with Israeli troops positioned near the annexation wall.  Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators.  As a result, a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.  

 

Also following the Friday Prayer on Friday, 16 December 2011, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilya, in protest to continued closure of the eastern entrance of the village.  They moved towards the entrance, but IOF stopped them.  Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators.  As a result, Ahmed Saqer 'Obaid, 18, was hit by a tear gas canister to his body, and a number of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.  IOF also arrested Mohammed Rushdi 'Aamer, 27.

  

3. Continued Closure of the OPT

 

Israel has continued to impose a tightened closure of the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Gaza Strip

 

Israel has continuously closed all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for over three years. The illegal Israeli-imposed closure of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. The illegal closure has caused not only a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of human rights and human dignity for the population of the Gaza Strip. Measures declared recently to ease the blockade are vague, purely cosmetic and fail to deal with the root causes of the crisis, which can only be addressed by an immediate and complete lifting of the closure, including lifting the travel ban into and out of the Gaza Strip and the ban on exports. PCHR is concerned that the new Israeli policy is simply shifting Gaza to another form of illegal blockade, one that may become internationally accepted and institutionalized. Palestinians in Gaza may no longer suffer from the same shortage of goods, but they will remain economically dependent and unable to care for themselves, and socially, culturally and academically isolated from the rest of the world.

 

Movement at Border Crossings during the Reporting Period:

 

Movement at Rafah International Crossing Point

14 – 20 December 2011

 

Day

Date

Traveling abroad

Coming into Gaza

Returned into Gaza

Wednesday

14 December 2011

494

518

27

Thursday

15 December 2011

694

708

34

Friday

16 December 2011

--

2

--

Saturday

17 December 2011

674

723

25

Sunday

18 December 2011

371

440

36

Monday

19 December 2011

492

515

18

Tuesday

20 December 2011

486

561

27

 

Movement at Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) Crossing

13 – 20 December2011

 

Imports:

 

Date

Imports

Category

Amount

Tons

Number

Liters

13 December 2011

Foodstuffs

491

Agricultural materials

445

Various goods

Cartons of clothes

Refrigerators

Car tires   

1,167

 

483

110

430

Humanitarian aid

Trucks

3,912

6

cooking gas

179.930

14 December 2011

Foodstuffs

647

Agricultural materials

1,876

Various goods

Cartons of clothes

Cartoons of shoes

Refrigerators

Washing machines

Cars  

Water tanks

1,132

749

982

170

211

20

180

Humanitarian aid

3,592

Cooking gas

179.980

15 December 2011

Foodstuffs

607

Agricultural materials

1,808

Various goods

Cartons of clothes

Cartoons of shoes

Refrigerators

Electricity generators

Car tires    

1,314

 

2,354

1,374

134

380

625

Humanitarian aid

3,276

Cooking gas

183.970

18 December 2011

Foodstuffs

310

Agricultural materials

1,404

Various goods

Cartons of clothes

Cartons of shoes

Refrigerators

900

2,384

1,489

74

Humanitarian aid

3,226

Cooking gas

114.880

19 December 2011

Foodstuffs

702

Agricultural materials

1,484

Various goods

Cartons of clothes

Refrigerators

Cars  

Washing machines  

Water tanks

Electricity generators  

1,231

 

225

124

20

286

116

20

Humanitarian aid

4,043

cooking gas

156.810

20 December 2011

Foodstuffs

657

Agricultural materials

1,569

Various goods

Cartons of clothes

Cartoons of shoes

Refrigerators

Washing machines

Car tires 

Electricity towers

1,353

210

1,338

44

530

946

129

Humanitarian aid

3,134

Cooking gas

179.220

 

Exports:

 

On Tuesday, 13 December 2011, IOF allowed the exportation of 14.4 tons of strawberries and 42,000 roses.

On Wednesday, 14 December 2011, IOF allowed the exportation of 4.9 tons of strawberries, and 6.5 tons of sweet peppers.

On Thursday, 15 December 2011, IOF allowed the exportation of 16.3 tons of strawberries, 2.25 tons of sweet peppers and 1.25 ton of tomatoes.

On Sunday, 18 December 2011, IOF allowed the exportation of 29.1 tons of strawberries and 35,240 roses.

On Monday, 19 December 2011, IOF allowed the exportation of 9.1 tons of strawberries.

On Tuesday, 20 December 2011, IOF allowed the exportation of 17.3 tons of strawberries and 28,000 roses.

 

Notes:

 

On Tuesday, 13 December 2011, IOF allowed the entry of 320 tons of cement, 1,820 tons of construction aggregate and 160 construction steel for UNRWA; 1,120 tons of construction aggregate  for al-Quds Hospital; 80 tons of cement for the Palestinian Water Authority; and 210 tons of construction aggregate and 36 tons of construction steel for USAID.  They also allowed the entry of 1,326 tons of wheat.

 

On Wednesday, 14 December 2011, IOF allowed the entry of 400 tons of cement, 2,800 tons of construction aggregate and 38 tons of construction steel for UNRWA; and 350 tons of construction aggregate for USAID.  They also allowed the entry of 1,716 tons of wheat.

 

On Thursday, 15 December 2011, IOF allowed the entry of 334 tons of cement, 2,800 tons of construction aggregate and 90 tons of construction steel for UNRWA.  IOF also allowed the entry of 1,677 tons of fodders.

 

On Sunday, 18 December 2011, IOF allowed the entry of 360 tons of cement, 2,660 tons of construction aggregate and 21 tons of construction steel for UNRWA.  They also allowed the entry of 1,404 tons of fodders.

 

On Monday, 19 December 2011, IOF allowed the entry of 534 tons of cement, 3,010 tons of construction aggregate and 18 tons of construction steel for UNRWA; and 420 tons of construction aggregate for USAID.  They also allowed the entry of 1,326 tons of wheat.

 

On Tuesday, 20 December 2011, IOF allowed the entry of 200 tons of cement, 2,800 tons of construction aggregate and 118 tons of construction steel for UNRWA.  They also allowed the entry of 1,365 tons of wheat. 

 

Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing: Israel has continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the movement of Palestinian civilians. IOF have allowed only diplomats, a number of international journalists, employees of international agencies and a limited number of patients who suffer from serious diseases to pass through the crossing. They have continued to prevent Palestinian civilians from visiting their relatives who are detained in Israeli jails. The small number of patients permitted to pass through the crossing is only able to do so under severe restrictions that include prolonged checking. 

 

Movement at Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing

14 – 20 December2011

 

Date

14 December

15  December

 16 December

17  December

18 December

19 December

20 December

Patients

16

23

1

Nil

45

39

31

Companions

16

21

1

Nil

38

35

29

Arabs from Israel

16

1

3

Nil

7

9

24

Diplomats

Nil

12

Nil

Nil

1

7

Nil

International Journalists

1

8

3

Nil

3

7

1

International Workers

14

75

15

Nil

21

22

15

Travelers abroad

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Business People

60

70

22

Nil

102

96

99

Economic Meetings

1

4

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

10

Security Interviews

1

1

Nil

Nil

Nil

1

Nil

VIP's

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Ambulances to Israel

2

1

Nil

Nil

2

3

3

Ambulances from Israel

1

1

Nil

Nil

3

3

Nil

 

The West Bank

 

Israel has imposed a tightened closure on the West Bank. During the reporting period, IOF imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.

 

Jerusalem: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the city. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have been denied access to the city. IOF have established many checkpoints around and inside the city.  Restrictions of the movement of Palestinian civilians often escalate on Fridays, preventing Muslim Palestinians from praying at al-Aqsa Mosque. 

 

Qalqilya:  IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.  On Saturday, 16 December 2011, IOF established 8 checkpoints around Qalqilya.  On Monday, 18 December 2011, IOF established 4 checkpoints around Qalqilya.                                   

 

Tulkarm: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.  At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 15 December 2011, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Jaroushiya village, north of Tulkarm.  At approximately 19:00 on the same day, they established a checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Leed village, east of the twon.  At approximately 18:30 on Friday, 16 December 2011, Israeli soldiers positioned at Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.  At approximately 11:30 on Saturday, 17 December 2011, IOF imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians through Ennab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm.  At approximately 09:30 on Tuesday, 20 December 2011, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance of Ramin village, northeast of Tulkarm.        

 

Jenin: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.  At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, 15 December 2011, IOF established a checkpoint on Sirris – al-Jadida road, south of Jenin.  At approximately 10:00 on Friday, 16 December 2011, IOF established a checkpoint at Ya’bad intersection, south of Jenin.  At approximately 11:30 on Saturday, 17 December 2011, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance of Zibda village, southwest of Jenin.  At approximately 09:30 on Tuesday, 20 December 2011, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance of Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin. 

 

Salfit:  IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.  On Thursday, 15 December 2011, IOF established 4 checkpoints around Salfit.  At approximately 10:50 on Friday, 16 December 2011, IOF established a checkpoint between Kufol Hares and Hares villages, north of Salfit.  On Saturday, 17 December 2011, IOF established 5 checkpoints around Salfit.  On Sunday, 18 December 2011, IOF established 3 checkpoints around Salfit.      

 

Arrests at Military Checkpoints

 

At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 16 December 2011, Israeli soldiers patrolling the western entrance of 'Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya, arrested Saher Khaled Badwan, 15, claiming that he threw stones at Israeli settlers’ cars traveling on the main road near the village. They released the child at approximately 23:15.

 

At approximately 20:00 on Saturday, 15 December 2011, Israeli soldiers positioned at a checkpoint in al-Fahes area in the south of Hebron arrested Mohammed Ibrahim 'Obaidu, 22, from Hebron, when he was on his way back home, claiming that they found a knife in his vehicle. 

 

At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, 18 December 2011, Israeli soldiers positioned at the main entrance of Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, arrested Bakr Farah al-Tamimi, 24.

 

4. Settlement Activities and Attacks by Settlers against Palestinian Civilians and Property

 

Israel has continued its settlement activities in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

 

During the reporting period, the Israeli government approved the construction of 1,000 housing units in settlements in the West Bank, as a part of wider plan to construct 6,000 units in 44 settlements in the West Bank.  The Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot reported on Sunday, 18 December 2011, that the Israeli Ministry of Housing and "Israel’s Land" office invited bids for the construction of 1,000 units in 3 settlements in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, as part of a wider settlement plan to construct 6,000 units.  The Israeli government approved the construction of 348 units in "Beitar Elite" settlement, west of Bethlehem; 500 units in "Har Homa" (Jabal Abu Ghunaim) settlement; and 180 units in "Pisgat Ze’ev" settlement, north of Jerusalem.   The newspaper indicated that the Israeli government attempted to postpone settlement activities in light of criticism by the European Union and the United States, but on the other hand it continued settlement activities covertly. 

 

At approximately 04:30 on Thursday, 15 December 2011, a number of residents of Burqa village, east of Ramallah, arrived at al-Nour Mosque, in the north of the village, for the Dawn Prayer.  The residents noticed smoke evaporating from the third floor of the mosque, which is designed for women.  The residents immediately went to the third floor where they found that a fire had broken out and so extinguished it.  According to sources of the local village council, carpets, lights, ceiling fans, walls and windows were heavily damaged.  Palestinian civilians found statements written in Hebrew on the wall saying: "War, Death."  It should be noted that the first floor of the mosque serves as an elementary school, the second one is designed for male prayers and the third one is designed for female prayers.  "Kfar Assaf" settlement outpost is located nearly 500 meters to the north of the mosque, while "Kfar Magharon" settlement outpost is located nearly one kilometer to the east of the mosque.   

 

At approximately 16:30 on Sunday, 18 December 2011, a number of Israeli settlers from "Moshe Zouhar" settlement outpost, east of Qalqilya, placed a rock on the road in front of a private car belonging to Mohammed Jamal Qaddoumi, 24, from Baqat al-Hatab village northeast of Qalqilya, which was traveling on Qalqilya-Nablus road.  The car was damaged.   

 

On Monday morning, 19 December 2011, a number of Israeli settlers, believed to be from "Kfar Assaf" settlement outpost that stands at crossroads leading to "Beit Eil" settlement, east of Ramallah, set fire to 5 Palestinian civilian vehicles in Bitin village, northeast of Ramallah.  According to eyewitnesses, about 4 settlers moved into the village through a dirt road.  They set fire to 5 civilian vehicles that were parked in front of a 5-storey apartment building belonging to Rabih Hammad.  As a result 4 vehicles were completely burnt, and the southern façade of the building was damaged. 

 

At approximately 10:30 on Wednesday, 21 December 2011, IOF, accompanied by two bulldozers, moved into Kufor al-Dik village, west of Salfit.  They demolished two rooms and two water wells:

 

1. An agricultural room belonging to Basheer Zhaher Sa’id;

2. An agricultural room belonging to Najiya Mahmoud Ahmed;

3. A water well belonging to Jamal Taqfiq Ahmed;  and

4. A water well belonging to Mohamme’Afif Ahmed.

 

………………………………………………………

 

Recommendations to the International Community

 

 

1. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure Israel's respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.

 

2. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel's respect of the Convention in the OPT and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.

 

3. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to comply with their legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.

 

4. PCHR calls for the immediate implementation of the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice, which considers the construction of the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank illegal.

 

5. PCHR recommends that international civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and NGOs, participate in the process of exposing those accused of grave breaches of international law and urge their governments to bring the perpetrators to justice.

 

6. PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel.  PCHR further calls upon the EU states to prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the OPT.

 

7. PCHR calls on the international community to recognize the Gaza disengagement plan, which was implemented in September 2005, for what it is - not an end to occupation but a compounding of the occupation and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. 

 

8. In recognition of ICRC as the guardian of the Fourth Geneva Convention, PCHR calls upon the ICRC to increase its staff and activities in the OPT, including the facilitation of family visitations to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

 

9. PCHR appreciates the efforts of international civil society, including human rights organizations, bar associations, unions and NGOs, and urges them to continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel's respect for human rights in the OPT and to demand Israel end its attacks on Palestinian civilians.

 

10. PCHR calls upon the international community to pressure Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupation forces on access for international organizations to the OPT.

 

11. PCHR reiterates that any political settlement not based on international human rights law and humanitarian law cannot lead to a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian question.  Rather, such an arrangement can only lead to further suffering and instability in the region.  Any peace process or agreement must be based on respect for international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.

 

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………

 

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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or telephone (+972 (0)8 282 4776 – 282 5893).

 

Source


:: Article nr. 84194 sent on 24-dec-2011 03:33 ECT

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