Israeli violations of international law (17 – 30 September 2015)
Shooting: Israeli forces escalated their use of force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including an 18-year-old girl and a deaf young men, and wounded 28 others, including 12 children. Israeli forces also continued to open fire at border areas in the Gaza Strip and chase Palestinian fishermen in the sea. Moreover, they carried out 2 airstrikes on paramilitary training sites and civilians objects.
In the West Bank, on 22 September 2015, Israeli forces stationed at a military checkpoint at the western entrance of al-Shuhada Street used lethal force and killed Hadeel al-Hashlamoun (18) from a range of 3 meters under the pretext that she was holding a knife. As a result, she sustained 10 bullet wounds throughout her body. She was taken to Tsha’ari Tsediq Hospital in West Jerusalem, but she was pronounced dead in the evening.
On 22 September 2015, 22-year-old Diya’ al-Talahma, from Kharsa village, south of Doura, southwest of Hebron, was killed due to the explosion of an explosive device he was holding near the security road between bypass road 60 and “Nigohot” settlement. It was not obvious whether the explosive device exploded because Israeli forces fired at it or not. However, Israeli forces prevented a Palestinians ambulance from approaching or transporting him for over 3 hours and 40 minutes. They left him bleeding to death.
On 24 September 2015, medical sources at Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus declared Ahmed Khatatba (25), from Beit foreik village, east of Nablus, died of wounds he sustained earlier. According to PCHR’s investigations, on 18 September 2015, Israeli forces stationed at Beit Foreik checkpoint, east of Nablus, opened fire at Palestinian civilian car crossing the checkpoint. As a result, the driver, al-Khatatba. sustained 2 bullet wounds.
On 20 September 2015, Israeli forces opened fire near al-Zahra’ gas station in Jenin at Mohammed al-Alaqma (21). They wounded him in the left leg and then arrested him. This happened during an Israeli incursion into Jenin city and refugee camp.
On 25 September 2015, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when Israeli forces opened fire at a group of Palestinian youngsters who were protesting around Beit Foreik checkpoint, east of Nablus. On 26 September 2015, a Palestinian boy was wounded during a similar protest around the iron gate leading to “Etamar” settlement, southeast of Beit Foreik village.
In occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli forces wounded Mohammed Ibrahim Essa (13) in his head when they moved into al-Eisawiya village, northeast of the city. Therefore, he was taken to al-Maqased Hospital for medical treatment, where medical sources stated that he sustained fractures to the skull. His health condition was described as serious
In the same context, Israeli forces continued to use excessive and systematic use of force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights activists in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli policies in the oPt. As a result, 17 civilians, including 10 children, were wounded.
During other protests organized in the vicinity of Ofer Prison, southwest of Ramallah, on 18 September 2015, 8 civilians, including 6 children, were wounded.
On 29 September, 7 civilians, including a child, were wounded during a peaceful protest at the northern entrance of al-Bireh city in support for al-Aqsa Mosque.
In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen, on 19 September 2015, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire sporadically around fishing boats. Similar shooting incidents occurred on 20 September 2015 within 3 nautical miles. On 26 September 2015, Israeli navy forces drowned a fishing boat off Khan Yunis shore in the south of the Gaza Strip.
On 19 September 2015, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a training site belonging to the Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas movement), east of Jabalia in the north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, 2 Palestinian civilians sustained bruises throughout their bodies and a telecommunication signal tower was destroyed.
Also on the same day, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a water tower in Beit Hanoun town in the north of the Gaza Strip, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
On 30 September 2015, Israeli warplanes carried out 3 airstrikes on training sites belonging to Palestinian armed groups, but no casualties were reported.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 67 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 25 ones in East Jerusalem. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 135 Palestinians, including 46 children and 5 women. One hundred and nine of these civilians, including the 44 children and 4 women, were arrested in East Jerusalem.
In the Gaza Strip, on 21 September 2015, Israeli forces conducted 2 limited incursions in the Gaza Strip. They levelled lands along the border fence and withdrew later.
Restrictions on movement:
Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world.
This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 1.8 million people. The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (KeremShaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy. They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 38.8%, 21.1% of which suffer from extreme poverty. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 44%, which reflects the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.
On 21 September 2015, Israeli forces demolished an under-construction house in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem, under the pretext of the lack of a building license.
In the same context, Israeli forces levelled a farm belonging in al-Eisawiya village, northeast of East Jerusalem, as it was located within lands threatened to be confiscated for the interest of “the National Park”.
For the third consecutive week, Israeli forces continued to raid al-Aqsa Mosque in the old city in East Jerusalem and used excessive force against Palestinian civilians defending al-Aqsa Mosque against the settlers’ raids on the eve of the Jewish Sukkot Holiday. PCHR denounces the deliberate damage caused by Israeli forces to the contents of al-Aqsa Mosque, including burning carpets, and smashing widows and umbrellas that protect worshipers in summer time.
PCHR also warns against the Israeli government’s plans to apply the physical and time division of al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore, PCHR calls upon the international community to promptly intervene and assume its legal and moral responsibilities to protect the Palestinian civilians and their holy sites in the oPt. PCHR believes that the silence of the international community regarding these crimes encourages the Israeli government to continue its policies in violation of the international humanitarian law.
On 19 September 2015, a group of settlers ambushed Palestinian civilian cars coming from and to Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus. They opened fire at a Palestinian vehicle, but no casualties were reported.