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Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (13– 18 August 2020)

 

Israeli Violations of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

13 – 18 August 2020

 

  • 18 Palestinian civilians shot and wounded in IOF excessive use of force:
    • 9 injuries documented near the Annexation Wall in Tulkarm and Ramallah;
    • 6 injuries were documented in IOF suppression of protests in Kafr Qaddum and Ramallah;
    • 2 injured in occupied East Jerusalem, including a person with disability; and another wounded in Bethlehem.
  • IOF warplanes launch multiple airstrikes on Gaza Strip, and shells an UNRWA school in al-Shati refugee camp;
    • Pregnant woman and her baby, and two other children wounded with debris
  • 7 shootings reported at fishing boats western Gaza Strip;
  • In 66 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 45 civilians arrested, including 5 children;
  • Israeli collective punishment policy: IOF harden closure restrictions over the Gaza Strip
    • Karm Abu Salem crossing closed; fuel entry ban results in power plant shutdown; sea closed denying fishermen work
  • 3 houses demolished, including 2 self-demolished, and 3 commercial facilities self-demolished in occupied East Jerusalem;
  • +200 dunums razed in Tulkarm for settlement-road construction;
  • Settler-attacks in the West Bank: excavator set on fire, car windows broken, 5 vehicles assaulted in Salfit; and tent destroyed, and property stolen in Hebron;
  • IOF established 29 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 4 Palestinians on said checkpoints

 

Summary

 

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. This week, IOF escalated its attacks on the Gaza Strip with multiple airstrikes, one of which landed on a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school in Gaza city. Additionally, IOF tightened its closure restrictions on the Gaza Strip, closing Karm Abu Salem, banning en try of fuel that resulted in the Gaza Power Plant shutdown, and closing the sea. These decisions is a continuation of the collective punishment policy, and inhumane and illegal retaliatory actions adopted by Israel against the Gaza Strip civilian population since 2007. PCHR fears for the lives of Palestinian civilians as the attacks continue and warns of their repercussions on the collective economic and social rights of Palestinians. Additionally, IOF continued its attacks in the West Bank, including excessive use of force, demolition of houses and facilities and settlement expansion.

 

This week, PCHR documented 145 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, including closure of certain territories, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information documented in this report are only part of the continued IOF violations.

 

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: IOF shot and wounded 18 Palestinians in IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank: 9 injuries were documented near the Annexation Wall in Tulkarm and Ramallah; 6 injuries were documented in IOF suppression of protests in Kafr Qaddum and Ramallah; 2 injured in occupied East Jerusalem, including a person with disability; and another wounded in Bethlehem.

 

In the Gaza Strip, 4 Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her child, as well as 2 other children, sustained injuries caused by debris fallen due to Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, one of which targeted a an UNRWA school in the densely populated al-Shati refugee camp, and caused material damage and suspended school. Additionally, IOF opened fire 7 times at fishing boats in western Gaza Strip and once at agricultural lands in the east.

 

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 66 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 45 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children. IOF also conducted two limited incursions into eastern Khan Younis and northern Gaza Strip.

 

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 7 violations, including:

  • East Jerusalem: 3 houses demolished (2 self-demolished)l; and 3 commercial facilities self-demolished;
  • Tubas: barracks removal notice served;
  • Tulkarm: wide-scale land razing for construction of a settlement road;
  • Nablus: barracks demolition notice

 

PCHR also documented 5excavator set on fire, windows broken in 3 houses; vandalization; and lands set on fire in Nablus; 5 vehicles assaulted and vandalization in Salfit; a tent destroyed, and property stolen in Hebron.

 

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

 

On Sunday morning, 16 August 2020, Israeli authorities announced a complete closure of the Gaza sea in a manifestation of its collective punishment policy and measures announced since last week, which included Karm Abu Salem crossing closure and ban on entry of fuel and construction materials.

 

This decision followed the Israeli authorities’ former decisions (3 days prior) to reduce the fishing area from 15 to 8 nautical miles and to close Karm Abu Salem crossing (five days prior), except for the transportation of goods for vital humanitarian cases. Due to the suspension of fuel entry, the Gaza Power Plant announced its shutdown starting from Tuesday morning, 18 August 2020, which carries endless repercussions on the basic services provided to the Gaza Strip population, especially health and sanitation services, as well as commercial, industrial and agricultural facilities.

 

This decision falls under the framework of the complete, illegal and inhumane closure policy imposed by the Israeli authorities on the Gaza Strip since June 2007, as the  Gaza Strip crossings have witnessed tightened restrictions on the movement of goods and persons.

 

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

 

 

  1. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity

 

  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity

 

  • At approximately 02:10 on Thursday, 13 August 2020, Israeli military warplanes launched a missile at al-Shati Joint Primary School (D, Z) run by the UNRWA agency, adjacent to al-Shati Clinic, west of Gaza City. The missile exploded in the third floor in the school’s southern side, causing damage in teachers’ room and a number of classrooms’ doors, and smashing a number of windows. As a result of that, the educational process was suspended. The targeted area is a densely populated area with no military objects and does not pose any threat at the lives of Israeli soldiers.

 

  • At approximately 07:10 on the same Thursday, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gate on lands of Far’un village, south of Tulkarm, fired rubber bullet, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians who attempted to enter the gate. As a result, 3 civilians were shot with a rubber bullet to their lower extremities.

 

  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 14 August 2020, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest in which dozens of civilians protested, demanding to open the street, which is closed since 2003 and condemning the Israeli settlement expansion. IOF chased the young men who gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 4 civilians were injured, 3 of them with rubber bullets in the back and lower extremities, and one with a tear gas canister in his shoulder.

 

  • At the same time, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gate established at lands of al-Midya village, west of Ramallah, fired tear gas canisters at agricultural lands, adjacent to the annexation wall. A number of young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers while the latter immediately responded with live and rubber bullets at the protestors and clashed with them. As a result, a 22-year-old was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg and a 19-year-old young man was  shot with a rubber bullet in his foot. Both wounded civilians were transferred to Palestine Medical Complex for medical treatment.

 

  • After Friday prayer, IOF suppressed a set-in organize by dozens of worshipers in front of the Dome of the Rock Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, in protest against the peace agreement between Israel and UAE. The protestors chanted slogans and raised banners condemning the normalization of UAE-Israel relations. Few minutes later, Israeli police attacked the protestors, confiscated their banners, forcibly dispersed them, and arrested journalist Mustafa Abu Romouz (43) while on duty in al-Aqsa Mosque.

 

  • At approximately 22:20 on the same Friday, Israeli military warplanes launched a missile and a drone fired 2 missiles at agricultural land, east of al-Buraij in central Gaza Strip. the bombardment caused a large hole in the land and 7 nearby houses sustained damage. Two children further were wounded as a result of the rubble and shattered glass. They were transferred to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah and their injuries were classified as minor. the wounded children were identified as:

 

  1. Bara’a Hasan Mohammed Husein (11) was hit in his head.
  2. Ahmed Mohammed Husein (3), sustained bruises and swelling in his right face side and a scratch in his right foot.

 

  • At approximately 23:10, an Israeli drone fired a missile at an empty land in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip. five minutes later, Israeli military warplanes launched 2 missiles at the same area, causing a 4-meter hole in the ground. Asma’a Marzouq Hasan Abu Jarad (33), who is a nine month pregnant, and her child Mariam Hejazi (two and half years) suffocated due to the smoke resulting from the bombardment. They were transferred via Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCE) ambulance to al-Awdah Hospital and their injuries were classified minor. The bombardment also lifted damage in a number of the nearby houses.

 

  • At approximately 08:25 on Saturday, 15 August 2020, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gate established at lands of Far’un village, south of Tulkarm, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians, who attempted to pass through the gate. As a result, 2 civilians were shot with 2 live bullets in their lower extremities.

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 15 August 2020, a number of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-Zawya area in the center of Hebron and set tires on fire at the entrance to al-Shallah street, adjacent to military checkpoint (56) established at the entrance to al-Shuhada’a street. The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the abovementioned checkpoint while a number of soldiers chased stone-throwers and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. Clashes that erupted between IOF and the protestors continued until 18:00, in which Israeli soldiers closed the road in the center of the city and prevented civilians’ vehicles from movement. No arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Saturday, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya in which dozens of civilians protested to demand opening the street, which has been closed since 2003, and to condemn the Israeli settlement expansion. IOF chased the young men, who gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, an 18-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet under his eye, and a 23-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh.

 

  • At approximately 20:30, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gate established at lands of al- al-Midya village, west of Ramallah, opened fire at a 31-year-old civilian, from Deir Abu Masha’al village, northwest of the city, while passing through the gate. As a result, he was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot. He was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex for medical treatment.

 

  • At approximately 23:00 on the same Friday, Israeli military warplanes launched 3 missiles at an empty land, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, the land sustained damage; no casualties were reported.

 

  • At the same time, IOF stormed al-Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They deployed the village neighborhoods, established checkpoints at its entrances, prevented civilians from entering or exiting it, and searched the vehicles before allowing them to exit the village. In the meantime, a number of young men protested at the entrance to Obeid neighborhood, north of the village, and threw stones, fireworks, and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers. A large Israeli force immediately stormed the neighborhood and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. Clashes that erupted between IOF and the young men continued for more than 2 hours. As a result, dozens of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. IOF also arrested Motasem Hamzah Obeid (17).

 

  • At approximately 23:30, Israeli soldiers stationed in a military watchtower established in the vicinity of Rachel’s Tomb, north of Bethlehem, opened fire at an 18-year-old civilian. As a result, he was shot with a live bullet in his foot. The wounded civilian was transferred to Beit Jala Hospital for medical treatment. His health condition was classified as stable. IOF claimed that they opened fire at a Palestinian, who attempted to throw a Molotov Cocktail at the military watchtower, north of Bethlehem.

 

  • At approximately 04:00 on Sunday, 16 August 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia, west of al-Sudaniya area, and west of Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 1- 4 nautical miles). Israeli gunboats also fired dozens of artillery shells in the vicinity of the fishing boats and pumped water at them. IOF’s attack continued for the same day morning. As a result, 18 fishermen lost their fishing nets in the sea. The shooting caused fear among fishermen, who sailed back to the shore.

 

  • At approximately 07:00, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gate established at lands of Far’un village, south of Tulkarm, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at civilians, who attempted to pass through the gate. As a result, a 35-year-old civilian, from Qalqilya, was shot with a rubber bullet in his left leg. He was transferred to Dr. Thabet Hospital in Tulkarm.

 

  • At approximately 07:30, on the same Sunday, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Deir al-Balah shore in the central Gaza Strip, chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (1 – 3 nautical miles). Israeli gunboats also fired artillery shells at the vicinity of the fishing boats, forcing fishermen to leave the see. Nizar ‘Ayash, Head of the General Union of Fishing Workers in the Gaza Strip, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli gunboats chased fishermen along the Gaza Strip shore and forced them to leave it in order to impose closure on the sea. Ayash mentioned that they were not informed  officially of closing the sea because coordination with Israeli authorities has stopped since last May.

 

  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli gunboats stationed adjacent to Rafah and Khan Younis shores, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and sailed back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 01:00, on Monday, 17 August 2020, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles stormed Hebron’s southern area and deployed al-‘Ajouri square area. The soldiers raided and searched a commercial shop owned by Sa’di Abdul Rahman al-Ja’bari (35). In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones  at Israeli soldiers and closed the road with rocks and metal barricades. Israeli soldiers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the young men. As a result,  a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalations. IOF also arrested Sa’di al-Ja’bari.

 

  • At approximately 08:45 on the same Monday, Israeli gunboats stationed west of al-Nuseirat shore in the central Gaza Strip, chased 2 Palestinian fishing boats and opened fire around them. They also pumped water at the two fishing boats. The attack continued for 2 hours. No casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 08:55 on the same Monday, IOF that was leveling lands in Shufa village, east of Tulkarm, suppressed a protest in which dozens of civilians participated in protest against leveling their lands. IOF fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the civilians while attempting to confront IOF’s bulldozers and banning them from leveling. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. IOF also arrested Omer Tahsin Hamed (40). Due to that, Tahsin’s father fainted and fell on the ground.

 

  • At approximately 09:00, on the same Monday, Israeli soldiers stationed at Qalqilya military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem, opened fire at Walid Abu Nasser (50), who is disabled (he suffers from deafness and hearing loss) from Nablus, while attempting to bypass the checkpoint through the vehicles lane. As a result, Abu Nasser was shot with a live bullet in his leg. He was transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in West Jerusalem for medical treatment.

Israeli police claimed in a statement they published on the social media that one of the Israeli security service officers at Qalqilya checkpoint, noticed that a Palestinian civilian  arrived at the vehicles lane. They ordered him to stop several times, but he did not respond, so they opened fire at his lower limb of his body and arrested him. The Israeli police stated later that  the civilian, who sustained minor and moderate wounds  turned out to be a disabled person as he suffers from deafness and hearing loss. The police added that wounded civilians were transferred to the hospital and his health condition is stable.

 

  • At approximately 15:00, a number of Palestinian outraged young men gathered at Bab al-Zawiyah area in the center of Hebron and threw stones at Israeli military Checkpoint (56) established at the entrance to al-Shuhada’a closed street. Israeli soldiers indiscriminately fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the young men. As a result, a number of civilians, who were present in the market, suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. In the meantime, an Israeli infantry unit stormed al-Shalah Old street’s market. They chased the young men between commercial shops and fired rubber bullets at them. At approximately 17:00 on the same day, Israeli soldiers withdrew from the area towards the checkpoint. No arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 01:05 on Tuesday, 18 August 2020, Israeli military warplanes launched 3 missiles at an empty land, in eastern al-Shoka village, east of Rafah. No casualties were reported.

 

  • At the same time, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Jabalia and northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 2 nautical miles). Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore. No casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 10:30 on the same Tuesday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (2 nautical miles). They also fired a number of sound bombs and pumped water at the fishing boats. Fishermen as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore. No casualties were reported. It should be noted that fishermen lost their fishing nets due to the Israeli attack on them.

 

  • At approximately 10:30 on the same Tuesday, IOF that was leveling a residential building in al-Mokaber Mount village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, suddenly and indiscriminately fired live and rubber bullets at a group of Palestinian civilians, who gathered in the area to protests against IOF’s leveling  process. As a result, Mohammed Mo’ammer Khader Abu Osba’a (24) was shot with a live bullet in his chest and abdomen. He was transferred via a civilian vehicle to Al-Makassed Hospital in al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.  Medical sources classified his health condition as serious as the bullet penetrated his spleen and liver. After Abu Osba’a arrived at Al-Makassed Hospital where was admitted to the surgery room, an Israeli “Yasam” special patrol unit stormed the hospital and stationed at its entrance near the Emergency Department for hours and withdrew later after it failed of arresting Abu Osba’a .

 

Israeli police claimed that while IOF were demolishing a residential building in al-Mokaber Mount village, they opened fire at a young Palestinian man who threw fireworks at them and fled from the area after he was injured. After tracking him down, IOF found him at Al-Makassed Hospital.

 

  • At approximately 22:55, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Shoka village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.

 

  1. Incursions and arrests:

 

Thursday, 13 August 2020:

  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Faqqua village, northeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Mohammed Nazeeh Massad’s (26) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Rujeib village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Obada Mohammed Rawajba’s (20) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:40, IOF moved into Kafr al-Dik village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched three houses belonging to Zahi Ibrahim al-Dik (24), Majd Fayez Damra (22), and Hussam Mazen al-Ahmed (22), and arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Kafr Ni’ma village, west of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Na’eem Mohammed Ramadan (30) and Ra’ed Abbas Nassar (29) and arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Issaweya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Eyas Hussain Obaid (19) and Mahmoud Mohammed Obaid (16) and arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 03:10, IOF moved into Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Nasser Abdullah “Mohammed Ali” Daraghma’s (43) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 04:50, IOF moved into Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched Naser Abdul Latif al-Barghouthi’s (24) house and arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Deir Ghassana village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Salah Bassam al-Barghouthi’s (24) house and arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Deir Qudais village, west of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched Hamad Zeid Abu Zeid’s (27) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Salah Ahmed Staiti’s (25) house and arrested him. It should be noted that Salah is Dalia Staiti’s brother, who was shot killed by the IOF last week.

 

  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into al-Wad village, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Nehad Bader Zughaiar’s (42) house and took him to al-Maskoubeya investigation center, west of the city. IOF released him after several hours of interrogation on condition that banning his entry to the Aqsa Mosque for a week.

It should be noted that IOF arrested Zughaiar on 05 June 2017, while returning from Saudi Arabia, as he spent 35-months in the Israeli prisons when they accused him of belonging to “Shabab al-Aqsa Organization”, and released on 04 May 2020.

 

  • At approximately 16:20, IOF stationed at Hawara military checkpoint, on the eastern entrance of Nablus, north of the West Bank, arrested Mohannad Yousef Kan’an (19), from Burin village, southeast of the city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 21:30, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on Nablus Ramallah Road, north of the West Bank. IOF arrested Sanad Mohammed Staiti (23), from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, and took him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 23:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the Arab American University’s rotary, north of the West Bank. IOF arrested Tareq Sa’eed Zakarna (22), from Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

 

  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Hebron and Surif, in Hebron governorate; Deir Estiya, Yasouf, in Salfit governorate. No arrests were reported.

 

Friday, 14 August 2020:

  • At approximately 03:40, IOF moved into Anabta village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Abdul Rahim Fathi Abu Kamla’s (25) house and arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Ama’ari refugee camp, southeast of al-Beira, north of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Nael Yousef Abu Kwaik (30) and Yousef Hammad (27).

 

  • At approximately 10:30, IOF moved into Kafr al-Dik, west of Salfit. They raided and searched several houses and took photos for several old houses in the city; they withdrew, and no arrests were reported.

 

  • IOF carried out (7) incursions in Ya’bad and Qabatya, in Jenin governorate; Nuba, Deir al-Asal, and Dura in Hebron governorate; Beit Amin, southeast of Qalqilya; Biddya, west of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

 

Saturday, 15 August 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Halhul village, north of Hebron governorate, and stationed near Hahul Gas Station, near the northern entrance of the city. IOF raided and searched the station and confiscated surveillances devices before they withdrew. No arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They arrested Islam Mahmoud al-Jarboua’ (20) and took him to an unknown destination.

 

  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Beit Ula and Yatta, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

 

Sunday, 16 August 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Taqu’ village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Jamal al-Sabbah’s (23) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Saddam Aqel Dar al-Haj (28), from Ayda refugee camp, west of Bethlehem, while present near a stadium in al-Khader village, south of the city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 15:00, IOF summonsed Jerusalem Governor, Adnan Adel Tawfiq Ghaith (46), via phone to refer to al-Maskoubeya police station, west of the occupied East Jerusalem. As soon as he arrived, IOF handed him a decision issued by the Israeli Central Commander, to extending the ban on his entry to the West Bank for an additional 6 months.

This decision came after a few days of releasing Ghaith, who was arrested and interrogated under inhuman conditions for more than 17 days in Ashkelon prison. This arrest is the 18th of its kind since his inauguration as Governor.

 

  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Hamada Nimir (37) and arrested him.

 

  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Yatta, Dura, and Fureidis villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

 

Monday, 17 August 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Doha village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Hamza Ibrahim Malash (29) and Hasan Mohammed Shehada (31) and arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Sahour village. They raided and searched Ahmed Ridwan Hamamera’s (27) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Kharsa village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Jaser Kamel Qutait’s (32) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Othman Khalil Qatanani’s (17) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:40, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Sajed Yousef Qur’an (17) and Lewa’ Faisal Nofal (24) and arrested them.

 

  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Zawiya village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched Firas Abdul Karim Mwaqadi’s (36) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:45, IOF moved into Duma village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses including two houses belonging to Fadel Abdul Sattar Salaweda and Ibrahim Nour al-Dein Salaweda. No arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Anata village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Emad Jom’a al-Silwadi’s (23) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 14:50, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint near al-Nabi Elias village’s rotary, east of Qalqilya, arrested Abdul Ra’ouf Tayseer Yasine (20), from Qalqilya. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

 

  • IOF carried out an incursion in Deir Estiya, north of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

 

Tuesday, 18 August 2020:

  • At approximately 12:15, IOF moved into Burin village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Tamim Mohye al-Dein Emran (22).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Ayda refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Jalal Darwish’s (19) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Tayaseer village, east of Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Amer Ahmed Dabak (29), the secretary of Fatah Movement in Tubas.

 

  • At approximately 03:00 IOF moved into Azza refugee camp, west of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Aysar Nawwaf al-Qaisi’s (19) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:20, IOF moved into Oqbat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. They raided and searched Nader Mohammed Qatam’s (40) house and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Zububa village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested two civilians including a child; Qusai Mohammed Taleb (17) and Mohammed Adnan Jaradat (22).

 

  • IOF carried out an incursion in Telfit village, southeast of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

 

  • Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property
  • On Thursday, 13 August 2020, Mohammed Doyyat implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished a part of his house in Sur Baher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. Mohammed Doyyat said that in 2006, he built access ramp for his son, who suffers from cerebral palsy, instead of carrying him up to their home on the second floor. Doyyat added that he built a small brick-roofed kitchen near his son’s room. Doyyat clarified that he hired a lawyer to license the ramp and kitchen, but the municipality refused and issued a demolition decision in 2008, in addition to imposing a fine of NIS 25,000 on him. Doyyat added that he managed to delay the demolition for 5 years, but the municipality issued an immediate demolition order against the roof of the annexed building in 2015, so he removed it. Doyyat pointed out that Israeli municipality staff raided his house 2 weeks ago and handed him a notice to demolish the ramp, destroy the walls of the annexed building (kitchen) and remove the sheds and wood placed after demolishing the roof in 2015.

 

  • On Friday, 14 August 2020, Ihab Hasan Khalil ‘Oqail implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his under-construction house in Karm al-Shiekh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Oqail said that he started to build his tin-plate house in April 2019 in order to live in it with his family comprised of 4 persons. ‘Oqail clarified that the municipality staff raided his house few months ago and summoned him for investigation. When he headed to the municipality, he was informed that the municipality would appoint a session to consider his house case. On Sunday, he was shocked when municipality staff raided his house and informed him about the final demolition order. The municipality staff gave him 4 days to implement the demolition. ‘Oqail pointed out that he and his family members dismantled the walls and roof of his 80-square-meter house to avoid paying demolition costs for the municipality.

 

  • At approximately 13:00, Mahdi al-‘Abasi implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his house in ‘Ein al-Louza neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Al-‘Abasi said that he built his tin-plate house ( 40 sqm) 7 months ago. He pointed out that the land on which the house was built belongs to him and his two brothers Mohammad and Mo’tasem. He added that about a year ago, the municipality staff demolished 6 commercial and residential facilities, properties of him and his 2 brothers, built on the land and forced them to pay the demolition costs. Al-‘Abasi clarified that few months later, he was forced to rebuilt the house in order to shelter his family, because he was unable to buy or even rent a licensed house. Al-‘Abasi said that last month, the municipality issued a final demolition decision against his house and gave him until 20 August 2020 to implement the order, or it will do so.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 16 August 2020, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into ‘Atouf village, southeast of Tubas in northern Jordan Valley. Israeli authorities hanged a 96-hour notice on Khalil Khalaf Ahmed Bani ‘Odah’s 150-square-meter barrack’s gate used for breeding sheep, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 17 August 2020, IOF moved into Kafr al-Labad village in eastern Tulkarm, where they leveled Palestinians’ lands (200 dunums) in Ras al-Maseed and al-Hafasi areas in order to build a road for “Avnei Hefetz” settlement, which is established on these lands. These lands belong to Khattab, Marzouq and Foqahaa’ families. It is expected that IOF will level other 600 dunums to complete the construction of the settlement road according to the Israeli plan. Mayor of  Kafr al-Labad Municipality, Ihab Ghazalah, said that during the past years, IOF prevented Palestinians from reclaiming or working in their lands, in addition to attacking the farmers and forcing them to leave their lands at gunpoint. It should be noted that these lands are registered in the Land and Water Settlement Authority, and the settlers’ seizure of this road would close the village and isolate it from its western side.

 

  • At approximately 11:30 on Monday, 17 August 2020, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Sahel area in Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus. IOF hanged a demolition notice on Mostafa ‘Ali Mostafa Salama’s 400-square-meter barrack’s gate used for breeding sheep, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.

 

  • On Monday, 17 August 2020, Ahmed Yousef Shoqirat implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished his 3 commercial shops in al-Sal’ah neighborhood in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Shoqirat said that 3 years ago, he rebuilt his shop established in 2000 and built 3 others small shops ( 90 sqm) beside it. Shoqirat clarified that he received a demolition notice 4 months ago in favor of establishing the American Street Project in the area, despite the fact that Shoqirat’s shops are located 10 meters away from the plan supposed to be established. Shoqirat added that he managed to delay the demolition, but on 13 August 2020, the court issued a self-demolition order against his 3 shops, in addition to refusing the appeal against the demolition decision. Shoqirat pointed out that the Israeli Municipality threatened him to pay NIS 100,000 for the municipality staff, if they demolish the shops. Shoqirat said that his shops were used for selling foodstuff, and he was forced to vacate the shops’ contents before demolishing them and place them out, causing  spoilage of foodstuff. Shoqirat’s losses were estimated at NIS 10,000.

 

  • On Tuesday, 18 August 2020, Israeli Municipality bulldozers backed by special forces demolished an under-construction residential building, property of ‘Aziz Jameel Ja’abees and his 3 sons, in al-Sal’ah neighborhood in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mohammed Ja’abees, one of the building owners, said that at approximately 06:00, at least 500 Israeli soldiers backed by 100 military construction vehicles moved into Jabel Mukaber village and surrounde al-Sal’ah neighborhood to implement an immediate demolition order issued by the Israeli court against their residential building. He added that IOF declared the area as closed military zone and denied Palestinians’ access to it. IOF demolished the 4-storey residential building, which was supposed to shelter 8 families. Ja’abees pointed out that his family paid more than NIS 250,000 as fines and attorneys’ fees to freeze the demolition order, but in vain. Ja’abees clarified that during the demolition, which lasted for over 8 hours, dozens of the villagers gathered in the area to console them.

 

 

  • Israeli Settler Violence

 

  • At approximately 00:05 on Thursday, 13 August 2020, Israeli settlers, from ” Price Tag ” group, attacked al-Hariqah area between ‘ Urif and ‘Asira al-Qibliya villages, southeast of the city. The settler set  Mohammed ‘Abed al-Kareem Hamdan and ‘Ali ‘Issa Makhlouf’s digger on fire. They also vandalized a rock, which was placed near the digger, with racist slogans. The settlers withdrew before the village residents arrived and put out the fire.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli settlers, from ” Price Tag ” group, attacked ‘Asira al-Qibliya village and threw stones at ‘Abed al-Baset Mohammed ‘Abed al-Rahman Ahmed’s house windows. As a result, the house windows were broken. Meanwhile, the village residents confronted the settler who withdrew later.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli settlers moved into Yasuf village, east of Salfit, where they attacked 5 vehicles and punctured their tires. The settlers also vandalized the kindergarten’s walls with racist slogans.

 

  • At approximately 19:30, Israeli settlers, from ” Price Tag ” group, attacked ‘Asira al-Qibliya village and threw stones at Qasem Mohammed Hsan Salah and Majdi Ibrahim Mohammed Makhlouf’s houses windows. As a result, the houses windows were broken. The settlers also set Palestinians’ agricultural lands planted with olive and almond trees on fire. Meanwhile, the village residents confronted the settler who withdrew later.

 

  • On Tuesday, 18 August 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Havat Ma’on” settlement outpost, which is established on Palestinians’ confiscated lands in eastern Yatta city, south of Hebron, attacked Palestinians’ lands in Wad al-Sawi area in Yatta and demolished ‘Ali Suliman Abu Hadeed’S (50) tent. The settlers also stole steel pipes and punctured rubber tires for a water tank. It should be noted that the eastern side of Yatta city is exposed to ongoing IOF and settlers’ attacks; the latest of which was about two weeks ago when IOF established a military watchtower on Palestinians’ lands near At-Tuwani village in Hebron.

 

  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

 

Gaza Strip:

  • On Sunday morning, 16 August 2020, Israeli authorities announced a complete closure of the Gaza sea within a series of collective punishment measure issued last week, including closing Karm Abu Salem Crossing and stopping the entry of fuel and construction materials into the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Kamil Abu Rukun, stated that “pursuant to security consultations, it was decided to immediately close the Gaza Sea until further notice”.

 

  • On Wednesday, 12 August 2020, Israeli authorities announced new restrictions on the movement of goods entering the Gaza Strip and reduced the fishing area, in alleged response to the launch of incendiary balloons towards Israeli settlements adjacent to the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Kamil Abu Rukun, stated that pursuing to security consultations, it was decided to immediately stop the entry of fuel into the Gaza Strip and reduce the permitted fishing area from 15 to 8 nautical miles until further notice. Abu Rukun added that “These decisions were made in light of the ongoing violence and launch of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory.”

 

This decision followed the Israeli authorities’ former decision to close Karm Abu Salem crossing issued two days ago (starting from Tuesday, 11 August 2020) except for the transportation of goods for vital humanitarian cases and fuel.

 

Due to the Israeli authorities’ suspension of fuel entry into the Gaza Strip, Gaza Power Plant declared its decision to suspend the power plant at full capacity starting on Tuesday morning, 18 August 2020.

 

The decision suspending the entry of fuel into the Gaza Strip deepens its electricity crisis and increases its 64% power deficit (pre-suspension decision). In the best case scenario, the Gaza Strip available power reaches 180 Megawatts (120 MW from Israel, and 60 MW from the Gaza power plant), a far cry from its 500 MW minimum need.

 

In light of the Israeli decision, it is expected that the power deficit would reach 76% after the power plant shuts, raising the hours of power outages to 16 – 20 hours per day.

This development bears warning to the impact on the lives of the 2 million Gaza residents, as their homes and workplaces will turn into hell, preventing them from leading normal lives due to the high heat and humidity. Most significantly, as the electricity crisis intensifies, basic services are expected to rapidly deteriorate, particularly health and sanitation services, including drinking water sources and sanitation services.

 

Furthermore, reducing the fishing area negatively affects and undermines the livelihoods of 4,160 fishermen and 700 workers in professions associated with the fishing sector i.e. the main providers for their families (a total of 27,700 persons). Even before this decision,  Gazan fishermen already suffered an inability to fish and sail freely in the allowed fishing area due to the recurrent Israeli attacks at sea, the entry ban of equipment and necessary supplies for fishermen. Consequently, hundreds of fishermen are effectively unable to provide their families’ basic needs, such as food, medicine, clothing, and education.

The impact of the new Israeli decisions would deepen the humanitarian and living crises in the Gaza Strip, especially raising unemployment, poverty and food insecurity.

 

West Bank:

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 29 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 4 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals movement at military permanent checkpoints.

 

Ramallah and Al-Bireh:

 

Hebron:

    • On Thursday, 13 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Arroub refugee camp and at the entrance to Beit ‘Awwa village.
    • On Friday, 14 August 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Idhna village, at the eastern entrance to Dura, at the southern entrance to Hebron, and at the western entrance to Hebron.
    • On Saturday, 15 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints on Beit Einun road and at the entrance to Ash-Shuyukh village.
    • On Sunday, 16 August 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the western entrance to Hebron, on Abu Risha road, at the entrance to Rabud village, and at the entrance to al-Fawwar refugee camp.
    • On Monday, 17 August 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Idhna village, at the entrance to al-Fawwar refugee camp and at the entrance to Kurza village.
    • On Tuesday, 18 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Fawwar refugee camp and at the entrance to Beit Ummar village.

 

 

Nablus:

 

    • On Saturday, 15 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at al-Moraba’a intersection, south of Nablus.

 

Jenin:

 

    • On Saturday, 15 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at Ti’inik village intersection, southeast of Jenin.

 

Salfit:

 

  • On Friday, 14 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Salfit.
  • At approximately 12:45 on Friday, IOF closed a metal detector gate established at the entrance to Haris village, north of Salfit, and re-opened it at 14:00.

 

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 13 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kafr Laqif village, east of Qalqilya.
  • On Friday, 14 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to ‘Izbat al-Tabib village and between Qalqilya and Hableh village.
  • On Sunday, 16 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints between Jayyous and Nabi Ilyas, and at the entrance to ‘Izbat al-Tabib village in eastern Qalqilya.

 

Tulkarm:

  • On Friday, 14 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Tulkarm.
  • On Sunday, 16 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Qaffin village, north of Tulkarm.
  • On Monday, 17 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Lid village, east of Tulkarm.