PCHR Weekly Report: 1 Palestinian killed, 4 wounded, mosque burned by settlers this week
Friday December 18, 2009 17:13 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News
Mosque damaged by arson (PCHR photo)
Mosque burned by arson (PCHR photo)
In the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights' Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, during the week of 10- 15 Dec 2009, a Palestinian civilian was killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, and 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank.
During the last week, Israeli forces abducted an elderly Palestinian woman to put pressure on her five sons who are detained in Israeli jails. Israeli forces conducted 16 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and one into the Gaza Strip, during which they abducted 17 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, in the West Bank and two children in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
In the West Bank, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded when Israeli forces used force to disperse peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders to protest the construction of the Annexation Wall.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 16 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Israeli forces abducted 17, including 3 children and one woman. The detainees included 'Abdullah Abu Rahma, 39, Coordinator of the Public Committee against the Wall and Settlement in Bal'ein village. During these incursions, Israeli forces confiscated 4 tractors in Kherbat Tana area, southeast of Nablus.
In one example of the 17 abductions this week, on Sunday evening, Israeli troops stationed at al-Karama International Crossing Point on the Jordanian border abducted Dr. Mohammed 'Ali al-Slaibi, 58, a professor at an-Najah National University in Nablus, when he was on his way back to the West Bank after a pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca. Al-Slaibi suffers from a number of chronic diseases.
Israeli forces have continued measures aimed at creating a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Israeli forces conducted excavations to the south of the al-Aqsa Mosque. Many Israeli workers and archaeologists were seen in the area conducting excavations using hand tool and heavy machines. According to Israeli sources, the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem approved the establishment of a Jewish center for education and archaeology in the area.
On 13 December 2009, two Israeli policemen stationed on the yards of the al-Aqsa Mosque in the old town of East Jerusalem violated the sanctity of the site and entered it with their shoes on. When a guard, Samer Siam, attempted to stop them, they insulted and violently beat him. He sustained bruises throughout the body.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
Israeli naval troops have continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces detained 5 Palestinian fishermen for several hours. On 12 December 2009, Israeli troops positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of al-Boreij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian houses located almost 700 meters away from the border. As a result, Sami Shihda Abu Khousa, 48, was seriously wounded by several gunshots to the thighs. He was evacuated to the hospital, but medical efforts to save his life failed and he was pronounced dead two hours later.
In the Gaza Strip, on 10 December 2009, Israeli forces moved into al-Sikka Street in the north of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip. They abducted two Palestinian children, when they were collecting stones and iron from destroyed buildings, nearly 500 meters away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Israeli forces violently beat and interrogated the two children, then released them at approximately 21:30 on the same day.
Israeli Annexation Wall:
Israeli forces have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory. During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders to protest the construction of the Wall.
Following the Friday Prayer on 11 December 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders gathered in the center of Bil'in village, west of Ramallah. They moved towards the Wall and following altercations threw stones at Israeli troops positioned in the area. Immediately, Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. Dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 11 December 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne'lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall. They clashed with Israeli troops positioned near the Wall. Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded by gunfire.
Also following the Friday Prayer on 04 December 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in al-Ma'sara village, south of Bethlehem. Israeli troops closed the entrance of the village and attacked the demonstrators. They fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators and violently beat a number of them. As a result, Khaled Mohammed Zawahra, 30, and 'Ali Mousa 'Alaa' al-Din, 25, sustained bruises throughout the body.
Also this week, Israeli forces abducted a main organizer of the non-violent protests against the Wall. On Thursday Dec. 10th, at approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Teera neighborhood in Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to 'Abdullah Mohammed Abu Rahma, 39, Coordinator of the Public Committee against the Wall and Settlement in Bil'in village, and abducted him. Thus, the number of Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces in Bil'in village since June 2009 has mounted to 34.
Israeli settlement activity:
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On 15 December 2009, extremist Jewish groups organized celebrations throughout East Jerusalem for the Jewish Hanukah. According to eyewitnesses, at least 70 Israeli settlers carrying a candlestick, which is a symbol of the Jewish Hanukah, broke into the yards of the al-Aqsa Mosque and attempted to conduct Jewish rituals. The administration of the al-Aqsa Mosque intervened and requested the Israeli police to take the settlers out. During their celebrations, the settlers attacked a number of Palestinian civilians and shops in the old town.
At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 10 December 2009, Majd Mohammed 'Aziz, 13, from Qarawat Bani Hassan village northwest of Salfit, went out of his house to check his family's land in Wad 'Abbas area in the north of the village. In the evening, his father was surprised that Israeli forces summoned him to "Rafafa" settlement, where he was informed that a number of settlers attacked and violently beat his child. The child sustained bruises and cuts and he was evacuated to an Israeli hospital.
A number of Israeli settlers launched an arson attack against a mosque in Yasouf village, east of Salfit. As a result, the walls and some contents of the mosque were burnt.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 04:30 on Friday, 11 December 2009, while dozens of worshippers were performing the Dawn Prayer in Hassan Khader Mosque in the center of Yasouf village, they smelled fire. When they finished the Prayer, they searched for the source of fire, and they found that it was in the mosque's library. A large part of the library, walls and some carpets of the mosque were burnt. The library included at least 100 copies of the Holy Qur'an and books on Prophet Mohammed. Soon, an Israeli military jeep arrived at the area. Israeli officers asked about the reason of fire and denied any involvement of settlers in the attack. However, a statement in Hebrew was written on the walls and ground of the mosque saying: "Prepare to pay the price… with regards from Avi."
At approximately 12:00 on Sunday, 13 December 2009, a number of Israeli settlers who were present near Mafia checkpoint at the entrance of al-Salaima quarters to the southeast of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the old town of Hebron intercepted Nabeel 'Abdul Rahman Abu Rajab, 13, when he was on his way back home from his school. They insulted and attacked him with stones and a stick. He was injured in the left eye, the nose and the right knee, and he was evacuated to Hebron Hospital. Israeli troops were present in the area, but did not intervene to stop the attack.
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made a number of recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the international community pressure Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupation forces on access for international organizations to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The 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 agreement or process must be based on respect for international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below: