Three Palestinians, including a paramedic, wounded by Israeli forces that used force against a peaceful demonstration in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah.
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
Israeli warplanes fired 9 missiles at a Palestinian resistance group and civilian targets, but no injuries were reported.
Two camels died and a greenhouse was destroyed.
A Palestinian civilian died out of his wounds in Khan Yunis, north of the Gaza Strip. He was wounded in the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada.
A Palestinian was wounded and arrested by IOF at Qalandya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem.
IOF have continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank.
Three civilians, including a paramedic, were wounded during al-Nabi Saleh weekly demonstration.
IOF conducted 60 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
IOF arrested 25 Palestinians, including a child and 2 women.
Among those arrested by IOF, there were PLC Members Khaled Tafish and Abdul Jabbar Foqaha
Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
IOF arrested at least 3 Palestinians at military checkpoints in the West Bank.
Dr. Aziz Dweik, PLC Speaker, was among those arrested at military checkpoints, and he was placed under administrative detention.
A patient from the northern Gaza Strip was arrested at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing while he was going to the West Bank for treatment.
Israel has continued efforts to create a Jewish majority in East Jerusalem.
IOF stormed ICRC's head office in Jerusalem and arrested PLC Member Toutah and former Minister Abu 'Arafa.
IOF demolished a house and leaving 20 individuals homeless, and ordered the demolishing of another house.
IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
Nine stores were demolished in Jericho.
IOF demolished a house and ordered the demolition of an under construction school and another three houses in Hebron.
Hundreds of settlers stormed Joseph Tomb in Nablus.
IOF continued targeting the Palestinian Legislative Authority, as they arrested the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Dr. Aziz Dweik, and PLC Member, Khaled Tafish, from the Change and Reform Bloc affiliated to Hamas movement. IOF also stormed the head office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem and arrested PLC Member Mohammed Toutah, from the Change and Reform Bloc affiliated to Hamas, and the former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Khaled Abu 'Arafa. PCHR believes that these actions are a continuation of targeting the elected PLC Members following the Palestinian legislative elections of 2006. PCHR views such detentions as a retaliatory act and a form of collective punishment prohibited under Article 33 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949.
Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (19 – 25 January 2012):
During the reporting period, Israeli warplanes launched a number of air strikes against members of the Palestinian resistance and civilian targets, while the artillery bombarded several areas in the Gaza Strip, but no injuries were reported. Additionally, four Palestinian civilians were wounded in the West Bank. One of them was wounded when IOF positioned at Qalandya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, opened fire at him, while the three others, including a paramedic, were wounded in Nabi Saleh weekly demonstration, northwest of Ramallah.
In the Gaza Strip, on 21 January 2012, Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at a Palestinian resistance group in al-Shouka village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Members of the group survived the attack, but two camels died as a result of the attack.
On 23 January 2012, IOF positioned at watchtowers to the west of Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the northwest of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily fired at open areas in the industrial zone. They also fired an artillery shell at the same area, but no injuries were reported.
On the same day, IOF fired 4 artillery shells at Abu Samra farmland in the north of Hamdoush area, north of Beit Lahia. No injuries were reported.
On 24 January 2012, Israeli warplanes fired 3 missiles at a greenhouse inside a land belonging to Mohammed Shehda Hamdouna, 45, northeast of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. The attack resulted in completely destroying the greenhouse. However, no injuries were reported.
On the same day, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at an empty land belonging to Sa'eed Mohammed Salem al-Da'our, in al-Sayafa area, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. Neither injuries nor damages to civilian property were reported.
Also on the same day, Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at greenhouses in ex-settlements, northwest of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported. Approximately 15:00 minutes later, warplanes fired a third missile at a farmland in al-Zanna area, east of Khan Yunis.
In the West Bank, on 22 January 2012, a Palestinian civilian was wounded by a bullet to the foot when IOF positioned at Qalandya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, fired at him. IOF arrested him and transported him to receive the necessary medical treatment and to be questioned. They claimed that he was holding an iron bar and was running towards the Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint to attack them. IOF then raided his family’s house in al-Basha village, south of Jenin, damaged its contents and questioned some of the family members.
In the context of excessive use of force against peaceful protests in the West Bank, two Palestinian demonstrators and a paramedic from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) were wounded in Nabi Saleh demonstration, northwest of Ramallah. Moreover, a number of Palestinian civilians and human rights defenders suffered from tear gas inhalation as in demonstration throughout the West Bank.
During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 60 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they arrested 25 Palestinian civilians, including a child two women. In addition, a PLC Member, former Minister and other two Palestinians were arrested from a sit-in tent at ICRC's head office in Jerusalem.
The detainees included 3 PLC Members: Khaled Tafish, who was arrested from his house in Za'tara village, south of Bethlehem, on 20 January 2012; Mohammed Toutah, who was arrested from the sit-in tent at ICRC's head office in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in the center of East Jerusalem, on 23 January 2012; and Abdul Jabbar Foqaha', who was arrested from his house in Ramallah on 24 January 2012. Moreover, the Speaker of PLC Dr. Aziz Dwaik was arrested at Jaba' checkpoint, northeast of Jerusalem; and former Minister Khaled Abu 'Arafa, was arrested with Toutah. With the detention of PLC Speaker and the three other PLC Members, the number of PLC Members detained in the Israeli jails has mounted to 27 members; 24 of whom are from the Change and Reform Bloc affiliated to Hamas. Additionally, the number of former ministers detained by IOF has mounted to three, all of whom served in the tenth Palestinian government: Khaled Abu 'Arafa, former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs; Wasfi Qabha, formers Minister of Prisoners' Affairs; and Isa al-Ja'bari, former Minister of Local Government.
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.
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 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 continue to depend on elementary aid provided by UNRWA and other relief agencies, rates of families who are living below the poverty line continue 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 run local business. 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 55 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.
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.
Efforts to Create a Jewish Majority in East Jerusalem
On 23 January 2012, an IOF undercover unit comprised of 30 members stormed the yard of ICRC’s head office in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. They attacked the sit-in tent in which PLC Member Mohammed Omran Saleh Toutah, 43, and former Minister Khaled Abu 'Arafa, 51, were staying and arrested both men. They further arrested Toutah's brother, Mo'tassim, 48, and Amr Abu 'Arafa, 26, who were in the tent as well. Israeli police spokeswoman for the Arab media, Loba Samri, stated that with the assistance of the General Security Service "Shabak," interrogators of the Minorities Department of the Central Investigations Unit, Jerusalem District, arrested PLC Member Mohammed Toutah and former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Khaled Abu 'Arafa, from East Jerusalem at ICRC’s head office in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Samri said: "They have been hiding in that place for about a year and a half after their Israeli ID’s had been canceled by the Israeli Ministry of Interior following their activities and work in an illegal terrorist organization," as described by Samri. She also claimed that there is no diplomatic status in the ICRC’s office.
On 24 January 2012, IOF demolished the house belonging to Ahmed Omar al-Lahalyah in the east of 'Anata village, northeast of East Jerusalem. Al-Lahalya said that IOF surrounded his house in the early morning and ordered him and his family, comprising of 20 members to leave that house, whose area is 100 square meters, in order to demolish it. Israeli staff started to get the furniture out of the house to allow the bulldozers demolish it
On 21 January 2012, the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem sent Inad Abu Sarhan a notice to demolish his house in Emlisoun area near Ras al-'Amoud neighborhood, south of al-Aqsa Mosque. The notice was issued under the pretext of building the house without obtaining a license. Nine members live in the house that was built in 1999. The Israeli municipality issued fines and financial irregularities that mounted to 100,000 NIS.
On 23 January 2012, IOF supported by two bulldozers and "Civil Administration" officers moved into the northern area of al-Oja village near road (90), northeast of Jericho. They closed the area and prevented Palestinians and journalists from moving in. At approximately 09:30, two bulldozers started demolishing 9 under-construction stores, claiming that they had been established without obtaining a license from the Israeli "Civil Administration". The stores belong to seven Palestinians.
On 25 January 2012, IOF demolished a house in Kherbet Om al-Kheir, east of Yatta in the far south of Hebron. The house belong Salem Eid Yamin al-Hadaleen. It consists of two rooms and was resided by a family comprising of eight members, including six children. It should be noted that the said house is 20 meters far from the fence of “Carmiel” settlement and it was demolished without a prior notice.
On 24 January 2012, IOF sent three Palestinians notices to demolish an under-construction school and three houses in Khelet Abu Beida area, west of Bani N'aim, under the pretext of "not licensed buildings".CLICK HERE FOR FULL REPORT>>Palestinian Center for Human Rights