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Israeli violations of international law & humanitarian law (30 May – 05 June 2013)

Israeli violations of international law & humanitarian law (30 May – 05 June 2013)

Shooting: During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 7 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children; 6 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded during peaceful protests in the West Bank, while the 7th civilian was wounded in the Gaza Strip

In the West Bank, on 30 May 2013, a child was wounded when Israeli forces moved into al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, and opened fire.

Israeli forces continued the systematic use of excessive force against peaceful protests organised by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank.  As a result, 4 civilians, including a freelance photojournalist, were wounded and others suffered tear gas inhalation.  Moreover, dozes sustained bruises due to attacks by Israeli soldiers.  The 4 civilians were wounded in Bil'in weekly protest, west of Ramallah, on 31 May 2013

Palestinian civilians also organized protests in support to Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, especially those on hunger strike.  Israeli forces used excessive force against the protestors.  As a result, a child was wounded at the northern entrance of Bethlehem on 31 May 2013.

In the Gaza Strip, on 02 June 2013, Israeli forces stationed on watchtowers along the border fence, east of Abu Safiya area in the north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of workers and bird hunters.  As a result, Ahmed al-Hamadeen (21) was wounded by a bullet to the right thigh.

Israeli navy forces continued to pursue Palestinian fishermen in Gaza sea.  On 02 June 2013, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing within the 6 nautical mile limit off al-Waha resort in the north of the Gaza Strip.  Neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

Incursions: During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 70 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 24 Palestinians, including 6 children.

Restrictions on movement: Israel continued to impose a tightened 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 steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. The illegal closure has not only caused a humanitarian crisis, but also a human rights crisis and the erosion of human dignity for the people of the Gaza Strip. Recently-declared measures to ease the closure are vague, purely cosmetic, and fail to deal with the root causes of the crisis. The root causes can only be addressed by an immediate and complete lifting of the closure, including lifting the travel ban into and out of the Gaza Strip and the ban on exports. Palestinians in Gaza may no longer suffer from the same shortage of goods but, as long as the closure is allowed to continue, they will remain economically dependent on Israel, unable to care for themselves, and socially, culturally, and academically isolated from the rest of the world.

Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.

Efforts to Create a Jewish Majority in the occupied East Jerusalem: On Sunday, 02 June 2013, crews of the Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem handed administrative orders to demolish two houses in Silwan village in the south of the old city.  The demolition orders were distributed to houses that were built many years ago, and a fine was imposed on them after their owners had been handed several administrative demolition orders times.

On Friday, 31 May 2013, settlers wrote anti-Christian graffiti on the back wall of the Church of Zion near the southern wall of the old city of occupied East Jerusalem. The graffiti written on the wall of the church included various vulgar and racist statements, including “Christians are slaves,” “Christians are Monkeys,” in addition to “Price Tag”.

Also on Friday, a group of settlers attempted to seize an apartment in Jaber family's building in Sho'fat neighbourhood in the north of Jerusalem by manipulating an order of the Israeli Magistrate's Court.  According to sources from Sho'fat neighbourhood, approximately 15 settlers raided the apartment in the evening in an attempt to seize it, but the Israeli police arrived at the scene and forced them to leave; however, 1 settler stayed in it.

Settlement activities: Israel has continued its settlement activities in the oPt, a direct violation of international humanitarian law, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

Violations committed by Israeli forces: On Thursday, 30 May 2013, Israeli forces closed the dirt road connecting Tafouh and Ethna villages, west of Hebron, with sand barriers and rocks in the context of an Israeli policy to confiscate farmlands in favour of settlement expansion in "Tailm" settlement.  Also, farmers from Barquin village were surprised to find notices placed on their farmlands, ordering them to evacuate 22 dunums of land within 45 days, in order to confiscate them for the purpose of the expansion of "Ariel" settlement. Furthermore, a map showing the location and area was attached to the notices.

On Saturday, 01 June 2013, the locals in Jinasafout village, east of Qalqilya, were informed that the Israeli authorities decided to "transfer title" of 573 dunums from the residents of the village; thus, confiscating the entire western side of the village's lands.  The confiscated lands belong to the Eid, Bashir, Sabra and Ayoub families from Jinasafout, and other families from the neighbouring Hajja village

On Monday, 04 June 2013, Israeli forces, moved into Kherbat Um Neir area in the south of Yatta village, south of Hebron, and destroyed and confiscated a tent that is used for storing grains, which is the property of Omar Mohammed Ahmed al-Jabour

Attacks Carried out by Settlers: On Friday, 31 May 2013, dozens of armed settlers closed the entrance of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. This incident took place under the protection of Israeli forces, claiming that a protest was attacked with stones while driving through bypass road no. (60), which is located near the village.

On Sunday, 02 June 2013, a group of settlers from "Nahalial" settlement, established in the eastern side of Betello village, northwest of Ramallah, set fire to dry herbs.  The fire expanded and reached some forest trees in "al-Thohour" agricultural area in the east of the village, near the afore-mentioned settlement, before the Civil Defence crews could control it.

On Sunday, 02 June 2013, dozens of settlers from "Tafouh" settlement, south of Nablus, closed the main street of Yassouf village, east of Salfit, and banned Palestinians from passing through it.


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