PCHR Weekly report: 28 abducted, including 12 children, in 20 Israeli invasions this week
Saturday December 26, 2009 09:32 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News
According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights' Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, during the week of 16- 22 Dec 2009, Israeli forces Israeli forces conducted 20 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 23 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children. Israeli naval troops have continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.
In addition, Israel has continued to impose a total closure and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world. Israeli troops positioned at military checkpoints in the West Bank abducted 5 Palestinian civilians, including one child.
Also this week, Israeli occupation forces ordered the demolition of a mosque and 9 houses in Jabal al-Mukabber village.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the reporting period, Israeli occupation forces conducted at least 20 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Israeli forces abducted 23, including 7 children. During the reporting period, Israeli troops stationed in the center and south of Hebron attacked members of the Abu Haikal family in Tal al-Rumaida neighborhood. Five members of the family were injured, and Israeli occupation forces abducted 4 others.
On 17 December 2009, officials from the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem and Ministry of Interior handed demolition notices to owners of 9 houses in Jabal al-Mukabber neighborhood in the south of Jerusalem. They also posted an order to demolish the neighborhood mosque within 10 days.
On Thursday noon, 17 December 2009, Israeli occupation forces attacked Palestinian civilians participating in a public gathering at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem in the conclusion of the celebration of Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture in 2009. They violently beat the participants. Three children and one woman sustained bruises. Israeli occupation forces also abducted 6 Palestinian civilians: 'Omar Shalabi; Saleh Na'im; Malek Haddad; Mousa al-'Abbassi; and 'Omar al-Barqaqi. They released the detainees on the following day. In the same context, Israeli occupation forces surrounded the French Cultural Center in Saladin Street. They checked identity cards of people entering and exiting the center, claiming that they were searching for persons who released balloons in the colors of the Palestinian flag. Additionally, Israeli occupation forces handed notices to 6 schools ordering them not to participate in these celebrations.
At least 65% of the main roads that leads to 18 Palestinian communities in the West Bank are closed or fully controlled by occupation forces (47 out of 72 roads). There are around 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 a permit issued by Israeli occupation forces. These permits are extremely difficult to obtain.
Israeli annexation Wall:
Israeli occupation forces used forced to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized to protest the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank.
On Sunday, 20 December 2009, at approximately 02:30, Israeli occupation forces moved into Bil'in village, west of Ramallah. They raided two houses belonging to Mohammed 'Ali Yassin and 'Abdul Fattah Bernat and forced the two families out. They searched the two houses and asked about Ibrahim Bernat and Yassin Yassin who were not at home at the time. Israeli troops confiscated art collages made by Ibrahim Bernat from rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs used by occupation forces against demonstrations in the village. Israeli forces have been searching for the two civilians for more than 5 months for participating in peaceful demonstrations against the construction of the Annexation Wall.
On Thursday, 17 December, at night, Israeli occupation forces moved into Rummana village, west of Jenin. They patrolled near the Annexation Wall and abducted two Palestinian children who were near the Wall.
Israeli settlement activity:
Israel has continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On 16 December 2009, Israeli settlers from "Shilo" settlement, north of Ramallah, attacked a number of Palestinian farms who were working on their lands. According to eyewitnesses, dozens of Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli occupation forces, attacked the farmers and prevented them from farming their lands. Israeli forces then forced the farmers away from the area.
On 19 December 2009, dozens of Israeli settlers from "Shilo" settlement, north of Ramallah, gathered at the entrance of the settlement on the Nablus-Ramallah road and threw stones at Palestinian civilian vehicles traveling on the road. Israeli troops were present in the area and did not intervene to stop the attack.
On the same day, an Israeli settler from the "Gush Etzion" settlement bloc, southwest of Bethlehem, fired at 5 Palestinian farmers who were working on their lands in Safa village, north of Hebron. Israeli troops arrived at the area, but did not intervene to stop the settler. It is worth noting that Israeli settlers attempt to seize more areas of Palestinian land in the village to be annexed to nearby Israeli settlements.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, on 10 December 2009, Israeli occupation forces moved into al-Sikka Street in the north of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip. They abducted two Palestinian children, as they were collecting stones and iron from destroyed buildings, approximately 500 meters away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Israeli forces violently beat and interrogated the two children, and released them at approximately 21:30 on the same day.
Israel has continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two and a half 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.
1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.
The main concern of 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip is to obtain their basic needs of food, medicines, water and electricity supplies.
Israel has not allowed fuel supplies into the Gaza Strip, excluding limited amounts of cooking gas, since 10 December 2008.
The Rafah International Crossing Point has been opened for a few days for a number of patients who received medical treatment abroad and needed to return home to the Gaza Strip.
Israel has continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to Palestinian civilians wishing to travel to the West Bank and Israel for medical treatment, trade or social visits.
Poverty and unemployment rates stand at approximately 80% and 60% respectively in the Gaza Strip.
Israel has continued to prevent the entry of spare parts form water networks and sewage systems. Losses incurred to this sector are estimated at US$ 6 million.
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 High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention 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.
The 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 Occupied Palestinian Territories and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.
For the full text of this week's PCHR Report, click on the link below: