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PCHR Weekly Report: One Palestinian killed, three wounded by Israeli forces this week

12:00 Dec 23 2011 West Bank and Gaza

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In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 15- 21 December 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that one Palestinian civilian was killed and three wounded by Israeli troops this week.

A Palestinian civilian was killed when he fell down from his bicycle as he was attempting to escape Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip, and a Palestinian civilian was wounded by Israeli gunfire in the northern Gaza Strip.

In addition, Israeli forces have continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank. A Palestinian civilian was wounded and another one was abducted.

Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:

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 Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.

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 Israeli forces fired at a number of Palestinian workers in the northern Gaza Strip. 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.

During the reporting period, Israeli forces abducted 4 Palestinian fishermen and confiscated a fishing boat in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for Palestinian civilians from the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces only allow the movement of limited groups amidst severe restrictions, including long hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israeli forces 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. Israeli forces 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, Israeli forces 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.

Israeli attacks in the West Bank:

Israeli forces conducted 33 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 9 Palestinians, including 2 children.

The detainees include a leader of Islamic Jihad who was abducted in Jenin.

During house raids, a dog belonging to Israeli forces bit a Palestinian woman in Hebron. On Thursday, 15 December, at approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Samer ‘Eissa ‘Awadh, 26, and abducted 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.

In another example of this week’s abductions, on Friday December 16th, in the evening, Israeli forces abducted 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. Israeli forces claimed that the two children threw stones at Israeli settlers, but local sources indicated that the two children were abducted because of a quarrel that erupted between them Israeli settlers who were swimming in a pool in the area.

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

Israeli settlement activities:

Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank 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, Israeli forces, accompanied by two bulldozers, moved into Kufor al-Dik village, west of Salfit. They demolished two rooms and two water wells.

Israeli Annexation Wall:

In the West Bank, during the reporting period, Israeli forces 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. Israeli forces also abducted 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 Israeli forces 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 Israeli forces 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. Israeli forces also abducted Mohammed Rushdi ‘Aamer, 27.

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…

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