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Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15

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Israeli Violations of Palestinian Human Rights in Jerusalem in May 2011

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Israeli Violations of Palestinian Human Rights in Jerusalem

Monthly report

May 2011

Prepared by: Research and Documentation Unit

Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights

June 5, 2011

Introduction:

The report documents Israeli violations of Palestinian social and economic rights in occupied Jerusalem during May 2011. The monitoring process covered the major Israeli violations such as: killing and harassments that were perpetuated by settlers and Israeli security guards against Palestinian civilians in the Holy City. The main infringements exemplified the killing of the Palestinian boy Milad Sa'id Ayyash from Silwan; the approval of further settlement housing projects in various parts of the city; demolition of more Palestinian houses; desecration of holy sites in addition to the restriction on the freedom of movement of Palestinian individuals including a travel ban.

Summary of the report:

An Israeli security guard killed the Palestinian boy Milad Sa'id Ayyash, 16, from Ras al-Amoud, while 25 Palestinians injured during the clashes which erupted while marking the Palestinians Nakba (the catastrophe). During the confrontations, Israeli security men who were disguised as Arabs (musta'ribeen) arrested 6 youth from Qalandia. Clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli police erupted also in Issawiyeh, Mount of Olives and Silwan during which some arrests were conducted. Israeli security officials also raided Iben Qudama Mosque in Wadi al-Jouz and arrested two worshipers.

May also observed tight restrictions on the entry of worshippers to al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City.

However, as part of settlement activities, Israeli bulldozers uprooted Olive trees in Beit Haninah and Hizmah. Israeli authorities also published announcements to appropriate Palestinian lands to the west of Sheikh Jarrah. Nevertheless, Palestinians were able to thwart Jewish setters attempt to take over a piece of land in al-Thouri. On its part, Israeli government decided to build 1500 news settlement units, in addition of approving a project to build 294 settlement units south of Jerusalem. The authorities also inaugurated a new settlement in Ras al-Amud. On its part, Israeli cabinet allocated a budget of NIS 400 millions for investments in Jerusalem. It even drafted a law to change the names of Arab neighborhoods into Hebrew. The Likud led government also began implementing the project of building parking lot for tourism buses outside Damascus Gate.

As for the right of Palestinians to housing, Israelis authorities ordered two Palestinians to demolish their houses in Wadi al-Jouz and Jabal al-Mukaber. The authorities fined three other Palestinians from al-Issawiyeh on claims that they have built their houses without licenses. Meanwhile, Israeli courts adjourned looking into the demolition of 4 houses in Silwan after fining their owners. Three other Palestinians were also fined on claims of building without licenses.

In regards to physical abuses, Israeli soldiers attacked two workers from Obeidiya and a Palestinian youth from Issawiyeh. On their parts, extremist settlers attacked Palestinian properties in the Old City, while a Palestinian family was attacked inside the Magistrate Court. The settlers also attacked three students of al-Thouri School. In another incident, three Palestinian medics were attacked while on mission. In Silwan, one house set on fire after shooting a teargas canister inside it. In Jerusalem, one Palestinian boy was arrested and his father being attacked.

Moreover, the authorities renewed the deportation order of Secretary of Fatah Movement from his house in Silwan. Also, the authorities banned from travel Khalil Tufakji, Director of the Mapping Department of the Arab Studies Society. In the mean time, the authorities decided to close till further notice the headquarters of Heritage Committee which locates in Wadi al-Jouz.

First: breaching the right to life and arrest campaigns

May observed an escalation of attacks committed by the settlers and Israeli police. In this regard, the Palestinian youth Milad Sa'id Ayyash was shot dead by a settlers' security guard. On May 14, during the clashes between Palestinian youth and Jewish settlers, one of Beit Yonatan's security guards shot dead the Palestinian youth according to eyewitnesses. Their reported to JCSR that they have seen the window of the third floor opened and later heard gun shots. Afterwards, Ayyash fell on the ground and nobody was able to approach him for a quarter of an hour due the extensive tea gas which was fired by Israeli police who were stationed on top of the settlers building. Later, Ayyash was transferred him to Makassed hospital on Mount of Olives. There, he underwent surgery operation for 7 hours where he was believed clinically dead and was officially announced dead early next morning.

Ayyash was a tawjihi student in Sikhnin School and part of a five - members family. His father was released from prison in 1985 after serving ten years in prison, as part of the prisoners exchange between the PFLP General Command and Israel.

According to JCSER's Research and Documentation Unit, which scrutinized the circumstances of Ayyash murder, it could be noted that:

  1. The presence of settlements enclaves amidst Arab neighborhoods causes tension and incites more clashes that may leave more victims among the Palestinian population because of the excessive use of force by setters against unarmed Palestinians.
  2. Regardless to the circumstance of the murder, Ayyash, 16, could have been arrested and there was no need to open fire by setters whose lives were not under direct threat. Nevertheless, denying the youth of his right life constitutes a flagrant violation of international law.
  3. Israeli police could easy besiege the site of the crime. However, in light of the lack of a deterring policy against perpetrators of such crimes, they dont hesitate to open fire against Palestinians even in absence of any kind of threat to their lives.
  4. Eyewitnesses reported to JCSER that they saw blood traces on the ground when they transferred Ayyash to hospital; however his family said that according to medical reports, the bullet penetrated the right side of his abdomen, causing damage to his intestines and cutting the vein that feed the heart with blood. The issue requires intensive interrogations to find out the kind of bullets which were used and whether if they are permitted, in additional to revealing the identity of the perpetuator and bring him to justice..
  5. JCSER sees that Ayyash was been killed in cold blood.

In another incident, the extensive firing of tear gas canisters against Palestinian homes in Silwan ignited fire in big parts of Yasin Abu Madi's home in addition of injuring the owner of the house, his wife and two sons Muath and Isma'il.

In Qalandyia, the Musta'aribeen (police unit disguised as Arabs) arrested on May 14, 2011 fifteen youth during the fierce confrontation which took place at Qalandyia Crossing on the occasion of marking Nakba (catastrophe). Thirteen other youth were injured during the confrontations which erupted in Mount of Olives, Silwan and Jabal al-Mukaber. On May 5, Israeli authorities arrested five youth including a female from Silwan during the police house-to-house raids. Among the detained: the two brothers Muhammad and Thaer al-Abbasi, Yousef Daoud al-Abbasi, Oday Sawalhah, Amar Zaytoun and Su'ad al-Shyoukhi.

Second: settlements and land appropriation

The month observed an increase in the Israeli settlement activities in occupied Jerusalem. On May 3, a group of settlers razed Palestinian lands in Shu'afat and uprooted tens of Olive trees. The land was razed in order to expand Rekhes Shu'fat settlement by adding more settlement units.

In another incident, Palestinian residents of al-Thouri neighborhood frustrated an attempt by Jewish settlers on May 17 to take over 4-dunums of land near a room which was appropriated by Elad Organization which engaged in settlement activities.

Wael Abu al-Dab'at, a resident in the area, told JCSER that a group of settlers erected barbed wires around the land, but before that, they attacked the neighboring al-Aytam School during which Israeli police which rushed to the area arrested the school director and his deputy. On May 19, the Israeli government approved plans to build 1500 new housing units in Har Homa and Pisgat Ze'ev settlement. The government also approved on May 22 the construction of 294 settlement units and a trading center in Bitar Elite and Afrat settlements.

On his part, Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced the annexation of new land to Jerusalem Municipality in order to expand the settlement of Ramat Rahel by constructing new 600 settlement units from among 50,000 units to be established in the area until 2020. In another act, some of the Israeli ministers participated in the ceremony of lightening a Jewish synagogue as part of inaugurating 67 settlement units in Ras al-Amud to be added to 132 units that form what is termed as Maale Hazetim Settlement.

Third: house demolition

The report term observed a continuation of the policy of house demolition and forcing owners to demolish their houses by their own. On May 28, the municipality ordered Mahmoud Aramin to demolish his home in Wadi al-Jouz by his own on claims that it was built without license. The house which comprised of three rooms was built on 80 sq. meters and used to provide shelter for 5 persons. Aramin told JCSER that he has been trying to obtain a license since 1999 and ordered to pay a fine of NIS 50,000. On May 30, the municipality ordered Nizar Basheer of Jabal al-Mukaber to demolish his house by his own. He reported to JCSER that the house was built on an area of 140 sq. meters of which 80 sq. was additional construction. Three rooms were built and ceiled with red bricks, in addition of a 60 meters long retaining wall. He reported the he was obliged to demolish the house by his own after receiving threats to arrest his old father since the house was registered in his name. His mother was also fined with NIS 70,000.

He added, the house was originally built in 1984 and the addition construction was added in 1987 and in 1998 he renovated the old ceiling bricks.

In another case, Jerusalem municipality's Court of Local Affaires decided on May 12 to fine four Palestinians from Silwan on allegation that their built their houses without licenses. The four are identified as Muhammad al-Rweidi and his wife who were fined with NIS 25,000 and two Abu Sneineh families who were fined with NIS 22,000.

In Issawiyeh village, the municipality fined three Palestinians for building without licenses. They are Musa Obeid who was fined (NIS 45,000) of which NIS 25,000 should be paid in cash, while Nabil and Hamzeh Obeid were fined NIS 20,000 each.

Meanwhile, the court postponed issuing its final say until June 28. The municipality also refused to extend the demolition freeze against the Palestinian homes in al-Bustan area of Silwan until June 22. According to lawyer Ziad Qi'war of the families, the court judge requested the two parties to achieve an agreement to postpone the demolition for one year, yet the municipality rejected the demand and insisted on converting the area into a biblical garden.

Fourth: attacking civilians

During May, Research and Documentation Unit documented several incidents of attacks perpetuated by setters and Israeli police against Palestinian civilians including children, women and workers on their way home from work, in addition to some private properties.

On May 1, a group of extremists Jews tried to storm part of al-Bakri house which locates inside the Old City. The same day Israeli soldiers attacked two workers from Al-Obeidiyeh at al-Za'yem check point while they were on their way to work inside Israel. The two workers who were identified as Mahmoud Ibrahim Abu Sarhan, 26, and Ali Mansour Abu Sarhan, 18, sustained middle injuries.

On May 7, members of the Israeli police attacked a group of Palestinian medics while they were trying to provide medical treatment to Palestinian youths who were injured during the clashes with the Israeli police in Silwan. Among the injured medics Salah al-Tamimi who was injured with a rubber coated metal bullet in addition to Ahmad Boujah and Hamzeh Abu Raja who suffered of gas inhalation.

On May 12, members of Israeli police fiercely attacked the Palestinian youth Khalil Mahmoud Nasser of Issawiyeh on the pretext that he resisted occupation. According to the grandfather of the victim, 12 members of the Israeli police attacked his grandson after raiding his home and attacking his mother before beginning to beat him. He was later taken bare footed to the Police station in Salah Eldin Street and afterwards was transferred to Hadassah Ein Kerem because of his sustained severe injuries. In al-Thouri, 3 students were injured after being attacked in the village school which was raided by Israeli soldiers, who arrested the school principal and his deputy for a couple of hours. In another incident, the house of Yassin Abu Madi was set on fire in Ein al-Louzeh after it was hit with a tear gas canister.

In another case, Israeli police arrested the Palestine child Lu'ay Siyyam, 9, of al-Abbasiyeh neighborhood of Silwan. During the arrest which took place on May 29, Israeli police attacked his father who tried to release him.

Fifth: more Juadization measures

JCSER documented additional measures of Jerusalem Juadization. Within this context, Israeli Knesset presented on May 26, a draft law to replace names of Arab neighborhoods with Jewish names. The action coincided with changing names of lands in Sheikh Jarrah with Jewish names, a fact that subject the Arab neighborhood in the area to the danger of appropriation and Judaization, in addition of encountering the threat of building more settlements units in the area, according to expert in settlement Khalil Tufakji.

During the same period, Israeli bulldozers began to raze land in front of the entrance to al-Kitan (Solomon) Cave outside Damascus Gate to pave the way to build a parking lot for tourism buses. The cave is expected to be connected through a network of tunnels with Rockefeller Museum and the Old City.

In conformity with the Israeli policy of Juadizing Arab Jerusalem, Israeli government decided on May 26 to allocate NIS 400 millions for investments in the city to reinforce the so called "Jerusalem economy" to convert it into a center of attraction for tourism, high education, research and Technology by expanding the infra structure and developing al-Buraq Plaza and building more hotels.

In which the Palestinians described as a provocative act, Israeli government convened its session on May 29 in David Citadel inside the Old City. During the session, Israeli cabinet decided to allocate NIS 145,5 million for building new hotels in the city and NIS 71,4 million for biotechnology research and development.

JCSER believes that the decisions of the Israeli occupation government, which convened an unprecedented meeting in the Holy City, bare dangerous significant ramifications on the Arab nature of the city and the Palestinian existence in it, in addition of impeding peace efforts to implement the two state - solutions which receives international support.

The center expresses fear that the Israeli insistence to include Jerusalem with its heart, the Old City in the scheme of Juadization, is intended to impede Palestinian demands to have East Jerusalem as the capital for the state of Palestinian state.

JCSER reiterates the position of international law which considers Jerusalem as part of the occupied Palestinian territories, in which the fourth Geneva Convention applies. This position has been repeated by International Court of Justice in its 2004 Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The court reaffirmed that under customary international law, East Jerusalem is part of the occupied territory and Israel has the status of Occupying Power.

Meanwhile, the international community has always rejected Israel's claims to both West and East Jerusalem as its "eternal undivided capital" and has consistently denounced Israeli attempts to change the status of the city.

Moreover, UN Security Council resolutions: 242, 252, 253, 254, 267, 298 and UN General Assembly resolutions: 3353 and 2254 do not recognize the illegal Israeli annexation of the city and consider it as null and void.

Consequently, JCSER calls upon signatories of the GC IV to honor their responsibility as slated in Art. 1 "To ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances."

JCSER calls upon members of the international community to restate their position in regards to the city and pressure the Israeli right wing government to honor signed agreements between PLO and the Israeli governments, which call both sides to refrain from adopting unilateral actions that may jeopardize outcome of the final status negotiations.

The center reiterates its position that Jerusalem forms the key to genuine peace in the Middle East and that the city of peace should be open to all believers and not being monopolized by one religion.

Sixth: deportation and restriction on the freedom of religion

The month observed several violations particularly the right to residency and movement. Within this context, Israeli authorities renewed the deportation order from Jerusalem which previously issued to Secretary of Fatah Movement in Silwan Adnan Gheith for four months after he was accused of inciting for violence in Silwan. Gheith was first deported on January 18 for four months.

In another incident, Israeli authorities extended on May 19 the travel ban order which was issued against Director of Mapping Department in Arab Studies Societies Khalil Tufakji. The order which was signed by Interior Minister Eli Yishai was extended for 3 months.

On the other hand, Israeli authorities shut down Iben Qudamah Mosque in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Jouz on claims that it was run by Hamas Movement.

Conclusions:

  1. The attacks against Palestinian on racist grounds have increased in addition of the violence by members of the police force and their lenience with settlers who were involved with sabotage and violence activities against the Palestinian population and their properties.
  2. May observed more confiscation of Palestinian lands and publishing bids for building new settlement housing units on Palestinian confiscated lands.
  3. An escalation that targets Palestinian holy shrines was also targeted in addition of the continued policy of Juadizing the Holy City.
  4. Also an escalation in arrests campaign was also reported particularly among children who were punished by deportation or house arrest.
  5. The month also observed the closure of more Palestinian institutions and forcing Palestinian to demolish their own houses.

Recommendations:

As long as the applicable law in the oPt comprises of the following:

- United Nations Charter,

- General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) Illegality of any territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force,

- Right of peoples to self-determination.

- International humanitarian law.

- Regulation annexed to the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907,

- Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 Applicability of Fourth Geneva Convention in the oPt.

- Human Rights Law,

- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

- Convention on the Rights of the Child,

- Relationship between international humanitarian law and human rights law,

- Applicability of human rights instruments outside national territory,

- Applicability of those instruments in the oPt.

JCSER calls upon:

The government of Israel:

- To put and end of its breaches to international humanitarian law, the Palestinians right to life, housing and gathering.

- To halts its settlement activities, appropriation of Palestinian land and house demolition.

- To halt the breaches of the Palestinian rights to religion, the desecration of Palestinian holy shrines and enable the Palestinians to enjoy the free access to their religious shrines.

- To end the systematic policy of arrest and deportation against the Palestinian population in occupied Jerusalem.

- To put and end to settlers' attacks against Palestinians in the city.

The international community:

- The high contracting parties to Geneva conventions should "undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present convention in all circumstances."

- All the states which have diplomatic relations with Israel are called to exploit these relation to pressures the occupation government to end its practices that contravene with the international law. This could be done by resorting to various available means to reach the end of Israeli occupation in the Holy City and the entire Palestinian territories which were occupied in 1967.

- The international community should condition signing agreements of cooperation and association with Israel with its respect of international norms, laws in addition to Palestinian rights including the right to self-determination on their land.

- All international institutions that are concerned with human rights should maintain the zealous efforts on the level of their governments to push them to expose Israeli occupation violations of Palestinian human rights in additional to hold those responsible for the violations before court.