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Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign

Life under occupation and apartheid - June 1-10 2015

This report gives a summary of growing colonization and ethnic cleansing and ongoing repression of Palestinian resistance during the first ten days of June. A particular increase in the use of 'flying' temporary checkpoints in order to disrupt Palestinian life is highlighted, along with 121 Israeli raids and operations in the West Bank.

 

Summary

 

•   The occupation forces killed Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp, north of the West Bank. Seven Palestinians were injured, amongst them children, during popular protests.

•   Israeli military continued shooting towards the border and the prosecution of fisherman in the Gaza Strip. 3 rounds of fire were fired towards the Southern Gaza Strip border, leading to the injury of a farmer. 7 rounds of fire were fired at fishing boats, which led to the injury of four fishermen, amongst them a minor. Israeli occupation forces arrested 14 Palestinians, including children and detained 3 fishing boats. Additionally, warplanes carried out three raids on the Gaza Strip.

•   The Israeli occupation forces carried out 121 operations in the West Bank and a limited number of operations in the Gaza Strip where 91 civilians were arrested, amongst them 13 children.

•   Measures to colonize the West Bank: 1) The bulldozing of homes, production plants and wells in addition to the uprooting of 70 trees 2) The construction of settlement units and settler attacks are continuing in the West Bank 3) The bulldozing and closing of three artesian wells, two agricultural plantations measuring 30 dunums; the uprooting of 400 olive and almond seedlings as well as the evacuation of a residential tent 5) The bulldozing of five homes, eight kitchens and bathrooms and 14 civilian facilities that are used as pens for sheep in the northern Jordan Valley 6) Settler activity which involved throwing stones at a doctor’s car, smashing the windshield

•   Israeli occupation forces continue its unjust and illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip as well as tightening procedures in the West Bank. This is achieved by the implementation of many ‘flying’ (temporary) checkpoints in the West Bank, which prevents Palestinians from being able to move freely. Six Palestinian citizens, amongst them minors, were arrested at internal checkpoints/barriers in the West Bank.

 

Details

 

1) Killings, shootings and injuries

Israeli military continued to violently repress Palestinians who take part in protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and use military force against fisherman in the Gaza Strip during the period covered by this report.

 

West Bank

Israeli military killed Palestinian civilians in the Jenin refugee camp, north of the West Bank. Furthermore, seven other civilians were wounded, amongst them minors in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israeli occupation forces continued targeting fisherman by firing at their boats, as well carrying out three Israeli warplane raids on the Gaza Strip.

On Wednesday, June 10 2015 during dawn, the Israeli occupation forces killed Izz Al-Din Walid Hassan Bani Gara (23 years of age) in the Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, West Bank. He was killed by a bullet fired by an Israeli soldier during the withdrawal of forces from the camp after completing a raid under the pretext of arresting ‘wanted’ men.

The Israeli occupation forces have continued to repress the anti-wall, anti-settlement and anti-occupation demonstrations in the West Bank, which in turn has led to the injuring of seven civilians, amongst them a minor. During the weekly protest in Kafr Kadoum, north-east of the city of Qalqilyah, a civilian aged 46 was injured by a bullet to his right foot. Similarly, a civilian aged 19 was left injured in his left knee at the entrance of Al-Jazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. 

During the march organised at the entrance of the town of Silwad, northeast of the city of Ramallah, a child of 13 years, Sarhan Akram Jummah Hamad, was wounded by a metal bullet to his left leg. Also injured were two civilians aged 22 and 25 who were both wounded by live bullets to their right leg.

At a march in the area surrounding the Ofar prison, southwest of the city of Ramallah, two civilians were injured, the first civilian, 40 years of age, was wounded by a metal coated bullet in his right thigh and a tear gas canister which hit his abdomen; the second civilian, 25 years of ages, was injured by a live bullet which hit him in the right leg.

 

The Gaza Strip

On June 1 2015 the Israeli occupation forces positioned in the ‘seam zone’ instituted by Israel at the border of the Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian agricultural land, east of the town of Al Fukhari and Khan Yunis in southern Gaza. The day after, on June 2 2015, the Israeli occupation forces opened fire at Palestinian agricultural land east of the Al-Farrahin district in Abasan, East of Khan Yunis. On June 3 2015, troops opened fire for a third time against a group of Palestinian farmers whilst they were harvesting wheat east of the town of Khuza’a, east of Khan Yunis, which led to the injury of farmer Farid Mohammad Suleiman Al-Najjar, 29 years of ages, who was hit by a live bullet in the abdomen, resulting in him being taken to hospital.

In a separate military attack on June 1 2015, Israeli occupation forces opened fire using automatic weapons directly towards fishing boats in front of the shipping port, north of Gaza City. Bullets were fired directly at a boat owned by Bahjat Subhi that was carrying five fisherman onboard, each of the fishermen were injured with the owner Bahjat Subhi, 31 years of age, hit by five metal coated bullets in the legs and fisherman Mohammed Mahmoud Hajazi Al-Looh, 23 years of age, hit by two live metal bullets in his left leg. During the same period, the Israeli naval forces arrested five fishermen, including a minor, whilst they were out at sea, five nautical miles of the coast of Gaza; four of them were released at a later date with the fifth fisherman still under arrest. In another incident that took place on June 3 2015 Israeli gunboats opened fire at fishing boats that were sailing at a speed of six nautical miles off the coast of Deir Al-Balah, central Gaza. The Israeli military boats surrounded the fishing boats and troops arrested four civilians and detained the fishing boats. On June 4 2015 Palestinian fishermen, including a minor, were wounded by metal bullets when Israeli gunboats opened heavy gunfire at a fishing boat in the northern Gaza Strip. Onboard were five Palestinian fishermen, all from the Al-Shati refugee camp (west of Gaza City), who were arrested and their boat was confiscated and taken to the Ashdod Port (Israel); however at a later date they were released. During the period covered by this report, Israeli naval forces opened fire a further three times at fishing boats that were sailing in offshore areas that are permitted for fishing in accordance with the latest Israeli-Palestinian understandings.

In other attacks, Israeli warplanes carried out three air strikes against a Palestinian resistance training site. Two raids were carried out on June 4 2015 targeting the Yarmouk site, north of Gaza City, and the Abu Jarad site, south of Gaza City. On June 7 2015 a further raid targeted a training site south-west of Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, north of the Gaza Strip. This bombardment led to damage within those sites but no casualties were reported.

 

2) Invasions and Raids

 

In the West Bank, the occupation forces carried out 121 incursions which are broken down as follows: 35 in Hebron, 21 in Ramallah and Al-Bireh, 15 in Jenin, 14 in Jericho and the Jordan Valley, 12 in Tulkharam, 10 in Nablus, 9 in Qalqilyah and 5 in Bethlehem. These operations resulted in the arrest of 91 Palestinians, amongst them 13 minors, which is broken down as follows: 21 arrested in Jerusalem including 7 minors, 19 in Hebron with 1 minor amongst them, 13 in Ramallah and Al-Bireh including 4 minors, 10 from Nablus, 8 in Jenin, and 5 arrests in each of the following districts: Tulkharem, Qalqilya, Jericho and Bethlehem. One minor was arrested in these districts.

On June 5 2015, the Israeli occupation forced carried out a ‘controlled’ invasion in the Gaza Strip, where tanks and four bulldozers moved approximately 150 meters east of Jabalia, north Gaza Stip. The occupying forces began razing settlement-free lands located along the border of the Gaza Strip. They progressed northwards until they reached the Abu Safiya area, east of the town, before redeploying behind the border. On June 10 2015, the Israeli occupation forces moved 150 meters east of Al-Qarara, northeast of Khan Yunis (southern Gaza Strip).

 

3) The procedures of Judaization in occupied East Jerusalem

 

The Israeli occupation forces continued their frantic procedures to Judaize occupied East Jerusalem. These measures continue to confiscate the land of Palestinian civilians as well destroying residential homes. These procedures are carried out in order to expel Palestinians for the benefit of settlers, who will build settlement units in their place, and encourage settlers to perpetrate their crimes against Palestinian civilians and their property, against the holy sites in the city. Finally, they consolidate the isolation of the city from its Palestinian surroundings in the occupied land.

 

The destruction of homes and facilities

The Israeli occupation authorities, accompanied with great military force eliminated a municipality building in occupied East Jerusalem as well as two houses under construction and two apartments (each one measuring 70m2) belonging to Izz Nidal Abu Khaled and Hashem Imad Abu Khaled. On June 2 2015 in the Wadi Hilweh neighbourhood, south of the old city (Jerusalem), under the pretext of building without permit, the occupation forces began destroying two homes. When doing so, a number of family members tried to resist. Occupation forces sprayed the family members with pepper spray into their faces in order to stop their resistance. Hashem Abu Khaled, aged 22, was injured in the head and face in this way, before being arrested and then finally taken for treatment. Additionally, Noureddine Abu Khaled, aged 22, was wounded in the face, Izz Al-Deen Abu Khaled, aged 24, was also injured and bruised in the area surrounding his eyes and the elderly Fatima Abu Khaled, aged 70, suffocated after gas was sprayed inside her home.

In a similar context, the Israeli occupation forces demolished part of a house belonging to the citizen Rafiq Ahmed Al-Salaymeh on Salahudin Street in occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without permit. The house had existed for many years, but in order to allow the expanding family to find living space, they were forced to add more floors with iron roofing, before the municipality surprised them and broke into their home and tore it down using manual demolition equipment, without any prior warning. Their house was 140 m2 and home to 10 people, most of whom are children.

In a separate attack on Palestinian housing rights, the Israeli occupation forces demolished three industrial facilities on June 9 2015 in Al-Khalayleh, north-west of occupied East Jerusalem. Bulldozers raided the neighbourhood and began demolishing the industrial facilities, which are owned by Abdu Allah Kiswani, two car-repair garages, one owned by Nour Al-Madari and the second owned by Mohanad Mansour.

On June 10 2015, the Israeli Occupation forces razed agricultural land in the village of Issawyiya belonging to the Darwish family. In northeast occupied Jerusalem, the Israeli forces demolished existing structures. An agricultural facility was bulldozed, including a kitchen and bathroom, measuring around 60m2, wells, land and 70 trees. The total land destroyed measures around 8 acres and 500m2.

 

4) The construction of settlements and settler attacks in the West Bank, outside East Jerusalem

 

Settlement expansion, bulldozing and notification of house demolitions

Israeli occupation forces and settlers continue to target areas in the West Bank, particularly Area C, which in accordance with the Oslo agreement between Israel and the PLO is under full Israeli control. They are also targeting areas close to settlements and the route of the Wall in order to expel Palestinians from their land and to use it for settlement expansion projects.

 

Examples of violations and attacks during the period in question

Israeli occupation forces, reinforced by several military vehicles including a bulldozer, stormed the village of Romana, north-west of Jenin. On June 2 2015 the forces closed an artesian well and two plantations owned by Fayyad Riyad Sabihhat, aged 35, claiming that his agricultural production did not have a license. In a separate attack on Palestinian land rights on June 4 2015, the Israeli occupation forces razed a plot of land belonging to Ahmad Abd-Alaziz Ghaneima, 86 years old, in the Sha’ab Saif area, west of the town Surif (northwest Hebron). An area of 30 dunums was destroyed by the Israeli occupation forces that bulldozed 500 meters of stone walls and barbed wire, closing wells with a capacity of 80m3 and confiscated 200 olive seedlings and 200 almond seedlings.

The Israeli occupation forces handed out notifications due on August 31 2015 that announce the confiscation of 4,000 dunums of land from the town of Bad’awa claiming it to be property of the state.

On June 2 2015, the Israeli occupation forces bulldozed and uprooted five homes, four kitchens, four bathrooms and 14 civilian facilities that are used to shelter sheep in Thar’a Awad in the northern Jordan Valley. The property was owed by four Bedouin families comprised of 29 members. In the process disappeared a gold bracelet weighing 350g.

On June 10 2015, the Israeli occupying forces uprooted residential tents owned by Khalil Mohammad Abu-Qabeita in an area measuring 30m2, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in the Asitar area, southeast of the city of Yatta (south Hebron).

In a settler attack, settlers near the Ma’ale Efraim settlement threw stones at the car of Mujahid Dawabesh, 28 years of ages, while he was driving home from veterinary work. His windscreen was smashed by the stones. Although Dawabesh attempted to file a complaint to the Israeli police, the police or ‘guard’ of the settlers blocked this procedure from being filed.

 

5) The criminal blockade and restrictions on the freedom of movement

 
In the Gaza Strip

The Israeli occupation authorities have continued imposing since 2006 a full land and naval blockade on the Gaza Strip to separate it completely from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and the outside world. The connected economic, social and cultural violations have resulted in deteriorating living condition for the 1.8 million population. The occupation authorities closed all commercial borders several years ago with the exception of one crossing "Kareem Abu Salem/Kerem Shalom“, southeast of the Palestinian town of Rafah. The blockade aims at increasing control of the economy, which naturally has suffered for years due to the lack of necessary resources. The occupation authorities have imposed a near-total embargo on all kind of raw materials, with the exception of a limited variety, from entering the Gaza Strip. Also blocked are building materials, with international projects or UN reconstruction mechanisms being severely limited in what they can import. These limitations were strengthened after the recent aggression on Gaza last year. There is also a ban on almost all exports from the Strip, with the exception of the exportation of some light products such as flowers, strawberries and spices, more recently allowing the exportations of a small amount of vegetables, furniture and fish. Furthermore, the occupation forces continue to impose full control of the Erez crossing ‘Beit Hanoun’ in the northern Gaza Strip. This crossing controls the movement of people, preventing them from entering or exiting the Strip. Only individuals who fit into specific categories are allowed to pass, those including journalists, members of international organisations and certain business people. Those passages are tightly restricted and in most cases imply long waiting hours. The occupation forces use the passage of people as well to conduct investigations, detain people and extort information at the control point. Hundreds of students are prevented from attending universities in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem. The blockade has led to the poverty rate rising to 38.8% with 21.1% suffering from extreme poverty. At the same time, the unemployment rate rose to 44%. These statistics are an indication of unprecedented economic decline for the population of the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank

The fixed checkpoints constitute an obstacle to the freedom of the movement of goods and people, and lead as well to an increase in the cost of transportation. This, in turn, is reflected in rising prices and as a result in a growing financial burden on the consumer.

Recently, there is a trend of the occupation forces to erect flying checkpoints at any moment and anywhere to control the movement on Palestinians on the streets of the West Bank. They are used as traps for Palestinian population, where dozens of them are arrested each year, as well as being subject to crimes of torture, humiliation and degrading treatment.

 

"Flying" checkpoints

The Israeli occupation forces set up 45 flying checkpoints on Palestinian roads, demanding arbitrarily more documentation in order to allow people passage. This severely disrupted Palestinian movement and traffic. These checkpoints were distributed as follows: 17 checkpoints in Hebron, followed by 9 in Qalqiliya, 8 in both Ramallah and Al-Bireh, 4 in both Jenin and Jericho and 3 in Tulkarem.

 

Arrests at military checkpoints and border crossing within and outside the West Bank

Israeli occupation forces arrested the following people during the period covered by this report: 6 Palestinians, amongst them a minor at military checkpoints and border crossings which they use as a pretext to arrest Palestinians. These arrests were carried out with the excuse that they were wanted or that they are accused of throwing stones in the vicinity of military checkpoints, or on the main roads.

On June 4 2015 the occupation forces arrested Moaz Mohammad Amin Sheikh Hussein, 21 years of age, a resident of the village Kafr Abbush, south of Tulkarem, at a ‘flying’ checkpoint on the road between Tulkarem and Qalqilya near the eastern entrance to the village of Jabara. On the same day, Israeli forces arrested Saleh Mohammad Abdul Rahman Diriya, 39 years of age, from Beit Fajar whilst he was on the junction by the settlement “Gush Etzion”, south of Bethlehem.

On June 5 2015, the Israeli occupation forces deployed in the neighbourhoods of the old city, the center of Hebron, arrested Mohammed Nader Kufausheh, 14 years old, claiming that he did not obey orders from the soldiers and was transferred to a police station in the the ‘Kiryat Arba’ settlement, east of the city. On the same day, troops stationed at tunnel, west of Bethlehem, arrested Ahmad Mahmoud Abdelsalaam, 24 years old, a resident of Beit Ummar village (north of Hebron) on his way back from work.

On June 7 2015, the Israeli occupation forces arrested Omar Walid Oman Brahim, 30 years of age, from the village of Kafr Kaddoum whilst he passed through a ‘flying’ checkpoint at the entrance of the village Hajjah, east of Qalqilyah.

On June 10 2015 the Israeli occupation forces arrested Ahmad Yasser Al-Zaaqiq, 24 years of ages, whilst at a ‘flying’ military checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. 

Ernesto Moreno
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