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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 January 2012

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Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in Jerusalem

January 2012


Prepared by: Research and Documentation Unit
Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights

February 10, 2012




Introduction:

The report covers Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in January 2012. The violations revoke around settlement activities, house demolitions, desecration of holy shrines, arrest campaigns, physical attacks and closure of Palestinian institutions.

Key issues:

Israel announced building 3300 new settlement units while it approved 32 units and planned 204 units.

Israeli authorities confiscated 11,008 dunums of Palestinian land.

Israeli authorities demolished four Palestinian homes and three economic facilities. They also issued three new demolition orders against three Palestinian homes in Silwan.
Israel's Jerusalem municipality announced its intention to transfer the control over Jerusalem neighborhoods that are situated behind the wall to the Israeli military.
Israel authorities desecrated 4 times the Palestinian holy shrines and waged a campaign of incitement against the Palestinian grand mufti.
The authorities arrested 20 Palestinians including two children, one lawmaker and the ex-minister of Jerusalem affairs. They also prohibited one Palestinian political figure from entering West Bank.
Israeli authorities ordered closed two more Palestinian institutions.
Israeli police and settlers conducted two corporal attacks against Palestinians, while extremist settlers torched two Palestinian cars and hit with their car one Palestinian.

First: Settlement activities:

Israeli occupation authorities made announcement to build 3300 new settlement units in various parts of occupied Jerusalem. Meanwhile, they approved 32 new units and planned to build 204 other units. On the other hand, the occupation authorities confiscated 11,008 of Palestinian land in different parts of the occupied Palestinian city.

Figure1: Israeli settlement activities in January


On January 3, the Israeli government announced a project of building 300 new settlement units, of which 47 units will be built in Pisgat Ze'ev settlement and 247 units in Har Homa. Also, it announced the construction of new economic facilities and industrial zones in the same settlements.

One day later, the so-called Civil Administration of the Israeli army issued its order to confiscate 1161 dunums of Palestinian lands northwest Jerusalem to reallocate the section of the separation wall in area. The order was signed by commander of the Israeli army in West Bank Avi Mezrahi.


Pisgat Ze'ev settlement

According to the order, the Palestinian lands slated for confiscation belong to the Palestinian villages of Beit Duqou, Beit Sorik, Qattana, Beit Ejza, Bido, Alnabi Samuel and Beit Iksa.

On January 6, Israeli authorities announced its plans to build a new settlement neighborhood to house religious Jews on the foothill that stretches between the two settlements of Ramat Shlomo and Ramot comprising of 3000 settlement units.

Five days later, Israel's Jerusalem municipality began confiscation of 740 dunums of Palestinian lands in Mount of Olives and Issawiyeh under the pretext of establishing a national park.

It is worth mentioning that the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee, published last November the project number 11092a entitled National Parks on the slopes of Mount Scopus.

The purpose of the project is to limit the Palestinian construction growth in Mount of Olives and Issawiyeh, in addition of buttressing Israeli control over the city.


Mount Scopus "national parks."

On January 16, the District Committee published plans for building 204 new settlement units in the French Hill settlement.

One day later, the Israeli Jerusalem municipality ordered the confiscation of 117 dunums of land in Shu'fat and Beit Hanina under the pretext of expanding Ramat Shlomo settlement to the north and west.

A day earlier, Israeli District Committee approved the construction of 32 new settlement units in addition of commercial facilities and offices in Ras al-Amud in the occupied East Jerusalem.

It is worth mentioning that Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat announced on January 15 his municipality's intention to transfer the control of Palestinian neighborhoods which locate behind the segregation wall, to the army. The transfer of control endangers holders of Jerusalem ID cards who might loose their residency rights in the Holy City.

Second: house demolition

Israeli authorities demolished four Palestinian homes and conducted 3 other demolitions of economic facilities in various parts of the city. They also issued three new demolition orders against three Palestinian homes in Silwan.

Within this context, Israeli bulldozers of the so-called Civil Administration demolished on January 15, several industrial facilities and razed a park lot locating at the main entrance of Bethany.

Israeli demolitions included also a barracks that shelters 30 workers. It was owned by Mohammad Ayyad. The bulldozers also demolished another 200 sq. meters barracks for selling iron scraps belonging to Majed Abu Ghalyeh, in addition to a retaining wall with a length of 30 meters.

Moreover, on January 16, the municipality bulldozers demolished one store and a sheep pen in Sur Baher belonging to Mustafa Ali Mustafa Dabash. They also demolished home of Ibrahim Abu Khudair. In another incident, Israeli bulldozers demolished home of Yousef Jahalin on January 11.

Reporting the incident to JCSER, Jahalin said: That night, I was asleep with my family in our barracks in the Bedouin community which locate in Wa'ar al-Beik, southeast Anata. I woke up on sounds of car engines and dogs barking, and when I left the barracks to see what was going on, I saw dozens of Israeli soldiers besieging the area, accompanied with a large bulldozer. One of the soldiers asked me if I owned the barracks, however when I answered positively, he told me that I had 5 minutes only to evacuate the house. When I saw the soldiers arguing with my brothers, I realized that they were asking for the same thing."

He added: "The soldiers responded to my inquiry about my furniture by saying that the workers will take everything out. Together with my brothers, we couldnt do anything but to evacuate our wives and children out the barracks and wait in the cold. The soldiers forced us to stay at a distance of 10 meters away from the barracks, while the workers were moving our furniture. When I saw them throwing it out, I tried together with my brothers to come close to make sure that they will not break anything. By then, more than 10 soldiers attacked me. I was hit on my neck and one soldier beat me with his military boots on my feet causing it to bleed. Later, they pushed me on the muddy ground and started to call me with bad words. One soldier threatened to kill me if I did not remain quite."


Jahalin kids after the demolition of their house

Afterwards, Jahalin added, "The soldiers forced me to take off my shirt, and started to beat me for 15 minutes. Then, they ordered me to join my brothers and family members. From that location, I saw the bulldozer demolishing the five barracks which used to house six families. The demolition process continued until one o'clock after midnight, and that night we stayed out in the cold."

He concluded: Thirty two family members live in this community including my family (7 members), five brothers and one married sister. We work in the Palestinian construction sector. My oldest child is 12 years old and the youngest is 8 months. Originally, we are Palestinian refugees from Tal Arad in Beer Sheva, but Israel evicted us from our land in 1951.

In another incident, Israeli bulldozers demolished on January 24 home of Ahmad Omar Khalil al-Lahalyah from Fheidat in Anata.

Reporting the incident to JCSER, Lahalyah said: I am the breadwinner of a 20-member family, including 13 children under 18 and the youngest is 8 months old. We live in al-Fheidat neighborhood of Anata. The house was built on an area of 120 sq. meters. On Thursday January 19, employees of the so-called Civil Administration, accompanied with Israeli forces arrived at my house and handed my wife a demolition order and gave us an ultimatum of three days before executing the order."


Ahmad al-Lahalyah after the demolition of his house in Anata..

He added, "I Immediately approached my Israeli lawyer Michael Sfard, who in turn, asked the Civil Administration to clarify the order but his efforts were to no avail. I thought the order was normal because the authorities used to deliver such orders to the citizens, but on January 24 at 2:45 a.m. I woke up on loud knocking at my door. When I opened the door, I saw Israeli forces escorting a bulldozer, and one of them informed me that I had 10 minutes to evacuate the house. After I woke up my children, Israeli forces entered my house with the workers and began to evacuate my furniture. When I protested against they action and argued with the soldiers, seven of them beat me all over my body. One of them hit me on the eye while another beat my 37-year-old wife when she tried to help me, causing pain to her arm. Later, Israeli forces dragged me together with my family members out of the house and forced us to stay out in the cold weather while we were still wearing our sleeping clothes."

Lahalyah continued: "I saw the workers throwing my furniture and causing damages to most of it. Afterwards, the bulldozer started to knock down the house for about one and-a-half hour. I couldnt do anything but to watch my house being destroyed.

In another area, Israeli bulldozers demolished on January 30, one room with an area of 90 sq. meters which was an addition to an old house in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Shu'fat belonging to Fawaz Hasouneh who works in repairing cars.

Hasouneh confirmed to JCSER that he didnt receive an earlier notification about the demolition of his house, while the municipality claims that it delivered the order to the family on 26 January 2012.

On the same day, Israeli bulldozers demolished one house in Beit Hanina belonging to Mohammad Samarah. The house area was 72 sq. meters square and used to shelter six family members. Samarah is a painter and suffers of brain disease and receives special treatment.

During the demolition, Israeli Police attacked Samarahs nephew Mohammad Abu Gharbiyeh, 20, in addition of the elderly woman Hanan Salhab, 60, together with her three sons: Asaad (dentist), Abdel Kareem and Ahmad. Three of them were later arrested.

Hanan Salhab, 60.


Reporting the attack to JCSER, the elderly woman said: On Monday morning (Jan. 30) at around 6:30 a.m. while I was hanging the wash on the roof of the house, I saw a group of Israeli Special Forces attacking and beating a young man near our car, so I left the house to ask them to stay away from our car, but one member of the special forces attacked me violently and grasped my neck. He dragged me to the back of the car and began to hit my head against the car.

She added: Meanwhile, I heard my son Ahmad, 27, who works as a butcher, screaming at the soldiers to let me go, but one of the soldiers pointed his gun towards my sons face and shocked him with an electric wire. Consequently, he felt on the ground. After that, the soldiers dragged me to the front of the car and pulled off my veil. There, I saw my other son Abdel Kareem, who is a student at Birzeit University, handcuffed. Meanwhile, one soldier kept beating me all over my body while grasping my neck with other hand. At that point, my eldest son Asaad, who is a dentist, arrived but the Israeli Special Forces did not allow him to approach me. Instead, they began to beat and shock him with an electrical device. I saw him falling on the ground. Later, one soldier pushed me inside the house, and when I went up the roof, I saw my three sons and another young man called Mohammad Abu Gharbiyeh being arrested and dragged towards the police cars.

On his part, Dr. Asaad Salhab, 40, told JCSER, They investigated me, my brothers and Abu Gharbieh in Neve Yaqov settlement, where we faced charges of assaulting security officers and obstructing police work, but we were later released on bail.

Because of the corporal attack, Dr. Asaad sustained bruises in his feet, while his brother Ahmad was injured in the back of his head after he received a blow with the gun button on his head. The youngest brother suffered of bruises in the face and all over his body. On her part, the mother sustained bruises and pain in the neck.


Members of Slhab family who were beaten by the Israeli police

In regards to demolition orders, Israel's Jerusalem municipality handed on January 5, three house demolition orders to three Palestinian families from Silwan. The families were identified as: al-Froukh, Sharaf and Hamami.

On January 11 and 13, Khadijah Kayed Abdel Razeq and Hammoudah Siyam received demolition orders.

Third: desecration of holy shrines

Israel authorities desecrated the Palestinian holy shrines four times in addition of waging a campaign of incitement against the Palestinian grand mufti.

On January 5, rabbinical institution of the Israeli army circulated pictures of the Noble Sanctuary without the Dome of the Rock, a fact that hurt Moslems' religious feelings.

Within the same context, Israeli police permitted a group of Israeli soldiers in military uniforms to tour on January 12, premises of the Noble Sanctuary (al-Haram al-Sharif). Six days later, the police permitted another group to enter the premises. This is despite the fact that the Islamic Waqf who is in charge of Noble Sanctuary prohibited tourist visits to the area since 2000, when Israeli former premier Ariel Sharon paid his visit which provoked Al-Aqsa Intifada. Israeli police also installed more surveillance cameras inside the mosque yard.

The Grand Mufti Muhammad Hussein

Desecration of the Islamic shrine coincided with the incitement campaign against the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem which was waged by office of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Mufti was accused with anti-Semitism according to statements that were denied by the Mufti.

The incitement campaign the Grand Mufti was also encouraged by Rabbi Shlomo Avner, is a senior Jewish religious advisory who called for demolishing Mosques that incites against Jews.

On the other hand, Israeli authorities continued with their excavations under and near Al Aqsa Mosque. The authorities are planning to build the so-called "Talmudic Garden near the Umayyad palaces which locate to the south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Fourth: arrest campaigns

In January, Israeli authorities arrested 20 Palestinians from Jerusalem including 3 children, one parliamentarian and the ex-Palestinian minister of Jerusalem Affairs.

Undercover Israeli police stormed on January 23, offices of the International Red Cross in Sheikh Jarrah and abducted Khalid Abu Arafa, the former Palestinian minister of Jerusalem Affairs, in addition to member of the Palestinian legislative Council Sheikh Mohammed Totah. Both had been holding a sit in inside ICRC for more than one-and-a-half year to protest Israeli intentions to strip them of their residency rights in Jerusalem and deport them to the West Bank.

In another incident, Israeli secret police arrested on January 3, the Palestinian child Mohammad Dirbas, 6, from Issawiyeh and detained him for 4 hours before releasing him.

Daoud Dirbas reported to JCSER, that his grandson was arrested while passing a group of children who were throwing stones at the Israeli police. He asserted that the child was on his way to a neighboring store. After his arrest, he was taken to the police station in Salah Eldin Street for interrogation.

Israeli police also arrested two other children on January 8, during the clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in Issawiyeh.

On January 15, Israeli Police arrested 15 teenagers in the old city amid the clashes which erupted between them and Jewish settlers who were insulting the Prophet Muhammad.


Khaled Abu Arafe (L) and PLC member Muhammad Totah.

On the other hand, Avi Mizrahi the commander of the Israeli army delivered the political and media activist Rasim Obeidat an order prohibiting him from entering the west bank for 6 months.

Fifth: Closing Palestinian institutions

In January, Israeli occupation authorities ordered closed two more Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem.

In this regard, Israeli police shut down on January 29, Silwan Club and Silwan Charity Association according to orders of the police General Inspector on allegations that they were affiliated with Hamas.

Director of the charity association, Ibrahim Sarhan denied Israeli allegations and asserted that his organization is a non-profit organization which is specialized in teaching children in addition of its membership with the Union of Charitable Organizations. He added, the organization includes a kindergarten with four classes that provide services to 500 children Palestinian children.

On his part, Secretary of Silwan Club Fayez Sha'ban denied reported to JCSER that his club was affiliated with Hamas.

According to Israeli police sources, twelve Palestinian institutions have been closed in one year, after being accused of performing economic, cultural and educational activities on behalf of Hamas.

Sixth: corporal attacks

Israeli police and settlers launched two physical attacks against Palestinians, while extremist settlers torched two Palestinian cars and hit with their car another Palestinian.

On January 4, extremists Jewish settlers torched two Palestinian cars in front of their owners houses in Beit Safafa as part of the so-called tag price.

In another incident, one settler ran with his car over the Palestinian youth Suleiman Mahammad from Bethlehem.

On January 15, extremist Jews attacked the Palestinian worker Magdi Mahmoud Abu Ghazaleh, 21, with sticks and iron bars while he was work in Jaffa Street in West Jerusalem.

Abu Ghazaleh said in his affidavit to JCSER that the attack took place at four in the morning while he was working outside a restaurant in Jaffa Street. The incident began when a group of seven extremist Jews surrounded him while carrying knives, sticks and stones.

Abu Ghazaleh added: They surrounded me and called for killing me. They also beat me, I was miraculously able to escape from them to inside the restaurant where one of the officials who saw the attack called the police.

He continued: The police attended the scene and conducted a quick investigation with me. I identified the assailants, of whom three were still standing nearby, however the police registered their ID numbers and sent them away from the area.

He also said: On daily basis, we suffer of provocations by Jewish extremists. They insult and abuse us. They also called us with bad words. They find encouragement in the absence of deterrent actions by the police against them.

The assaults on Palestinians in various parts of West Jerusalem have become an increasing phenomenon in the last two years. JCSER documented several cases of attacks that targeted Palestinians. Some of the victims lost their lives, as was the case with martyr Husam al-Rowedi. Others sustained injuries and fractures in different parts of their bodies. Most of the cases were recorded as attacks perpetuated by unknown assailants.

Conclusions:

In January, Israeli authorities announced intentions to build 3300 new settlement units while approving other 32 units and planned 204 units. Meanwhile, the occupation authorities confiscated 11,008 dunums of Palestinian land.

Within the context of the policy of house of demolition, Israeli authorities demolished four Palestinian homes, 3 economic facilities and issued three new house demolition orders.

In another aspect, Israel's Jerusalem municipality announced its intention to transfer the control over Jerusalem neighborhoods that are situated behind the segregation wall to the Israeli military.

In regards to the Palestinian holy shrines, Israeli occupation authorities desecrated the holy sites 4 times in conformity with its campaign of incitement against the Palestinian grand mufti.

However, for the arrest campaigns, Israeli police arrested 20 Palestinians including two children, one law maker in addition of the ex Palestinian minister of Jerusalem affairs. On its part, Israeli army prohibited one Palestinian activist from entering the West Bank.

Israeli police also ordered closed two Palestinian institutions and prohibited them from operating in Jerusalem. However, for the physical attacks against Palestinians, Israeli settlers and police conducted two attacks. Meanwhile, extremist settlers torched two Palestinian cars and deliberately hit one Palestinian with their car.

Recommendations:

As long as the applicable law in the oPt consists 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.

- Regulations annexed to the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907

- Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 - Applicability of Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

- 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 Occupied Palestinian Territory,

JCSER calls upon:

Israel (the occupying power) to:

- Put an end for its breaches of international human law and the Palestinian people right to housing.

- Halt its settlement activities, appropriation of Palestinian land and the policy of demolishing Palestinian houses.

- End the breaches of the Palestinian right to religion, desecration of Palestinian holy shrines and enable the Palestinians the free access to their religious sites.

- End the systematic policy of ethnic cleansing and the racial discrimination against the Arab Palestinian people and to remove all the obstacles before enabling the Palestinians to political and economic self-determination.

- Halt the policy of targeting Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem and to honour Shimon Peres' letter to the Norwegian Foreign Minister John Holst on October 11, 1993, in which he promised not to "hamper their activities" and to encourage their important mission.

- Stop targeting Palestinian political figures with restrictions on movements such as prohibiting them from entering West Bank.

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 relations to pressures the occupation government to end its practices that contravene with the international humanitarian 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.