HRR 2013

Human Rights Report No. 481
Human Rights Summary: Army Violently Repressed Demonstration
Date of incidents: 19 July 2013
Place: Kufr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine
Witnesses: Residents of Kufr Qaddum, IWPS, ISM
Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:
On Friday 19 July, the residents of Kufr Qaddum gathered for a demonstration against the Prawer Plan, an Israeli government plan that will ethnically cleanse the occupied al-Naqab desert. Protesters were violently attacked by Israeli soldiers who repeatedly raided the village firing tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and sound grenades.

At approximately 11:00, residents attempted to construct a defensive barricade at the eastern edge of the village to prevent soldiers from entering; however, while they were building, nearly 50 Israeli soldiers ran down the main road closest to the illegal Israeli settlement of Qedumim, attempting to make arrests. The soldiers chased the people, including small children, back to the center of the village, where they fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets directly at the people. Nearly 25 soldiers then took a position on the top of the hill overlooking the village, which prevented many people from travelling down the main road in order to attend the Friday Ramadan prayers.

In the hours that followed, the Israeli army attempted to surround the village; they hid themselves in the olive groves and in the private gardens of several residents, effectively trapping the people inside their own homes. Several times the army attacked the protesters, firing tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and sound grenades. Some residents reported that the soldiers also fired live ammunition, just as they did during last week’s demonstration, when they fired at four teenage boys.

No arrests were made, though three people suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Kufr Qaddum is a 3,000-year-old agricultural village that sits on 24,000 dunams of land. The village was occupied by the Israeli army in 1967; in 1978, the illegal settler-colony of Qedumim was established nearby on the remains of a former Jordanian army camp, occupying 4,000 dunams of land stolen from Kufr Qaddum.
The villagers are currently unable to access an additional 11,000 dunams of land due to the closure by the Israeli army of the village’s main and only road leading to Nablus in 2003. The road was closed in three stages, ultimately restricting access for farmers to the 11,000 dunams of land that lie along either side to one or two times a year. Since the road closure, the people of Kufr Qaddum have been forced to rely on an animal trail to access this area; the road is narrow and, according to the locals, intended only for animals. In 2004 and 2006, three villagers died when they were unable to reach the hospital in time. The ambulances carrying them were prohibited from using the main road and were forced to take a 13 km detour. These deaths provoked even greater resentment in Kufr Qaddum and, on 1 July 2011, the villagers decided to unite in protest in order to re-open the road and protect the land in danger of settlement expansion along it.
Kufr Qaddum is home to 4,000 people; some 500 residents attend the weekly demonstrations. The villagers’ resilience, determination and organization have been met with extreme repression. More than 120 village residents have been arrested; most spend 3-8 months in prison; collectively they have paid over NIS 100,000 to the Israeli courts. Around 2,000 residents have suffocated from tear-gas inhalation, many in their own homes. Over 100 residents have been shot directly with tear-gas canisters. On 27 April 2012, one man was shot in the head by a tear-gas canister that fractured his skull in three places; the injury cost him his ability to speak. In another incident, on 16 March 2012 an Israeli soldier released his dog into the crowded demonstration, where it attacked a young man, biting him for nearly 15 minutes whilst the army watched. When other residents tried to assist him, some were pushed away while others were pepper-sprayed directly in the face.
The events of the past week are part of a continuous campaign by the Israeli military to harass and intimidate the people of Kufr Qaddum into passively accepting the human rights violations the Israeli occupation, military and the illegal settlers inflict upon them.
– See more at: http://iwps.info/#sthash.4RjAH6V8.dpuf

 

Human Rights Report No. 476

Human Rights Summary: Violent Repression Continues by the Israeli Army Against Protesters in Kufr Qaddum
Date of incidents: 31 May 2013
Place: Kufr Qaddum, Qalqilya Governorate, Occupied West Bank, Palestine
Witnesses: Residents of Kufr Qaddum, International Solidarity Activists

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

On 31 May the residents of Kufr Qaddum held their weekly demonstration after the Friday prayer and were violently repressed when the Israeli army invaded the village, firing tear gas and sound bombs directly at the protesters and into several houses and the local mosque.

The protest began at around 13:15 with the regular march to the eastern side of the village toward the road closure that separates Kufr Qaddum from the illegal Israeli settler colony Qedumim, which was built on land stolen from Kufr Qaddum. As protesters approached the last house on the edge of the village, the road was blocked by one Border Police jeep and a bulldozer. A standoff ensued between Israeli forces and local youth who built defensive stone barricades along the main road to prevent an army incursion. After half an hour, Israeli soldiers began to shoot tear gas canisters from a device know as “The Tempest,” which fires multiple canisters simultaneously. As the protesters retreated from the continuous barrage of tear gas from Israeli foot soldiers, the bulldozer advanced into the village, clearing the barricades along the way.

Residents at the western part of the village alerted the protesters in the east that the Israeli army was seen on the road outside the entrance. As residents attempted to construct new barricades, 3 Israeli army and Border Police jeeps charged into the village, accompanied by others invading from the north and the east, attempting to surround the protesters. Many residents took shelter in nearby houses as army and border police forces in the center of the village began to fire directly at people. Several women came out from their houses to confront the soldiers, who continued to shoot indiscriminately at local youth. Many tear gas canisters were shot into houses and into the mosque, where carpets were burnt by the canisters. Excessive amounts of tear gas entered one home and 5 children (ages 9, 7, 4, 1 and 6 months) suffered from tear gas inhalation. A journalist from PALMEDIA also passed out from gas inhalation after putting his gas mask onto a local woman, and was assisted by local paramedics.

After half an hour, the Israeli forces withdrew from the town, having fired more tear gas at the protesters who had once again gathered at the eastern side of the village. Two Israeli activists were arrested and taken to Ariel police station. One was later released, while the other has not yet been released (as of midnight 31 May). After the demonstration, witnesses observed many spent casings from live ammunition along the protest route, as well as a window that was broken by the soldiers.


Human Rights Report No. 475

Human Rights Summary: Israeli Army Uses Violence Against Weekly Friday Protest in Kufr Qaddum
Date of incidents: 24 May 2013
Place: Kufr Qaddum, Qalqilya Governorate, Occupied West Bank, Palestine
Witnesses: Residents of Kufr Qaddum, International Solidarity Activists

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:
At midday on May 24, 2013, residents of Kufr Qaddum and international solidarity activists participated in the weekly Friday demonstration, protesting the illegal closure of the village’s main road.

Before the demonstration began at 13:15, local residents reported that four Israeli soldiers were driven to the edge of the village where they hid behind a concrete construction wall and attempted to make arrests.

As the protest began, approximately 75 people marched along the main road toward the closure near the illegal Israeli settlement, Qedumim. Before the protesters reached the site, the Israeli army shot large quantities of tear gas into the crowd from an apparatus known as “the Tempest,” which fires tens of canisters simultaneously. This began a series of attacks over the next two hours, in which Palestinian demonstrators attempted to march to the main road and were attacked with tear gas.

Not long after the first attack by tear gas, an Israeli army bulldozer advanced along the main street, clearing defensive stone barricades, trailed by Israeli army jeeps and foot soldiers. Soldiers fired a barrage of tear gas onto the roofs of nearby houses and into the surrounding fields, which subsequently caught fire. Approximately five dunams of land and 15 olive trees were burnt. Residents and international activists were hindered in putting out the fire, as the Israeli army continued to fire upon the crowd with tear gas.

No arrests were made, though tens of people suffered from tear gas inhalation, including a 10-year-old boy who was taken to an ambulance. An employee of Palestine TV was shot in the face with a tear gas canister and suffered severe head trauma. He was taken by ambulance to Rafidia hospital in Nablus.

Residents reported that on the night of Thursday 23 May, the day before the weekly demonstration, the Israeli army entered the village and stole some 200 tyres that residents light up during the demonstrations to prevent Israeli military vehicles from entering the village. Additionally, one day after last week’s demonstration, Israeli soldiers in jeeps came to the house of one of the organisers at night and left some burning tires in his yard. This is not the first time the army takes such measures.

Kufr Qaddum is located in the Qalqiliya Governorate in northern West Bank. The town of approximately 4,000 people has been heavily affected by the nearby illegal settlement of Qedumim. Though the village lands are approximately 24,000 dunams, 11,000 dunams are located in Area C (under Israeli control) and are thus completely inaccessible to the residents of Kufr Qaddum; 4,000 dunams have been stolen for the establishment and expansion of Qedumim.

In 2003 during the Second Intifada, the main road of the village was closed by the Israeli army and has remained closed until the present. Residents are forced to travel longer routes to bypass the closure; travel to the neighbouring town of Jit has increased from 1.5 km to nearly 15 km and the distance to Nablus has doubled from 13 km to 26 km. Residents reported 3 deaths between 2004-2006 due to the inability to reach the nearest hospitals in Nablus.

Residents of Kufr Qaddum have held regular Friday demonstrations since July 2011. Ever since the demonstrations started, the town has experienced increasing repression by the Israeli army, including frequent night raids, twice-daily checkpoints at the village entrance, and violent attacks using stun grenades, tear gas, attack dogs, and rubber-coated steel bullets. In April 2012, a 17-year-old resident of Kufr Qaddum was shot in the head with a tear gas canister, causing multiple skull fractures. At present, the teen has not regained his ability to speak.

Most recently, the night before the latest demonstration, the Israeli army raided Kufr Qaddum and stole a large supply of tires that are normally used to construct a defensive barricade at the edge of the village.

Date of report: 24 May 2013


Human Rights Report No. 474

Human Rights Summary: Settlers backed by Israeli military destroy crops and prevent land cultivation
Date of incidents: 11 May 2013
Place: South Hebron hills, Um Il Aris, Yattoush
Witnesses: Residents, Anarchists Against the Wall, Ta’ayush, IWPS

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

Every week the farmers and herders of South Hebron hills request accompaniment from international activists to access their lands. At 07:00 this morning, IWPS and 23 other activists went to the South Hebron hills to document the aftermath of a settler attack the previous day, as well as accompany a farmer to his land.
The group met with the owner on his land, where he pointed out the illegal settlement outpost of Mitpe Yair which has been recently expanded (three greenhouses were illegally set up and soil prepared for wheat cultivation). As soon as we entered the area, 20 soldiers, four police and three border police attempted to deny us access to the land, stating it was a closed military zone. The entire group refused to stop walking until the documents were physically produced. The military never showed us the documents and we sat for an hour and a half while the Hebrew speakers and the land owners conversed with the army.
After two hours and the arrival of more than 10 Israeli military jeeps, the land owner decided it was time to leave. We then drove to Atwani, where last night the settlers set fields on fire, burning 60 olive trees. The owner of the land and his sons succeeded in putting the fires relatively quickly. After the owner contacted his local civil administration, the military came to the burned plot. They asked, “Whose land is this?” He told them it was his and his family’s; that he had tilled and planted it for 20 years. The soldiers then said, “No,” and said it was the settlers’ land and if he did not leave immediately he would be arrested. When we arrived a few settlers, all dressed in white, walked side by side with the army who unsuccessfully attempted to detain several Israeli activists.
During the British mandate this entire region of South Hebron hills was designated agricultural zone, meaning that no structures were allowed to be built, with the exception of settlements. The lands in this area are often re-appropriated by the Israeli government which in such cases issues a statement claiming the land was empty or underutilized, without taking violence from the settlers or the military into account.

Date of report: 11-5-13


Human Rights Report No.473
Human Rights Summary: Azmut residents protest land confiscation
Date of Incidents: 10 May 2013
Place: Azmut, Nablus Governorate, Palestine
Witnesses: Residents of Azmut, IWPS, ISM

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:
On Friday 10 May 2013 the residents of Azmut village organized a demonstration to protest the recent confiscation of village lands by the illegal Israeli settlement, Elon Moreh. At 10:00, approximately 60 residents of Azmut, joined by international solidarity activists, boarded a bus to drive to the nearby lands. Residents report that between 200 and 500 dunams were confiscated at the end of April by some 200 settlers, who have begun cultivating the land.

Protesters walked for nearly one hour through the nearby fields, eventually reaching the area where midday Friday prayers were held. Following the prayer, some protesters moved stones onto the newly constructed road leading from the Elon Moreh to the agricultural land in order to obstruct the settlers’ passage to the land. Protesters stated that the demonstrations will continue until the land is returned to its rightful owners and the settlers discontinue planting and working on the land.

Azmut is located east of Nablus city in the northern West Bank. The village has suffered land confiscation and violent settler attacks since the establishment of the illegal Israeli settlement, Elon Moreh in 1980. The harassment, intimidation and violence from the settlement are particularly severe during the annual olive harvest. In 2008, residents of Azmut were repeatedly attacked by Elon Moreh settlers, who destroyed a Palestinian family’s car as they attempted to harvest their crops. In 2010, armed settlers fired live ammunition at residents of Azmut during the harvest.

Date of report: 10 May 2013


Human Rights Report No. 472
Human Rights Summary: Settler demonstration leads to road closures
Date of incidents: 8 May 2013
Place: Zatara junction, Salfit Governorate, Palestine
Witnesses: IWPS

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:
At approximately 16:30 on May 8, the Israeli army closed Zatara checkpoint in the central West Bank due to a settler demonstration in the junction. The roads from Ramallah to Nablus, Zatara to Jericho and Yasuf to Zatara were all closed to Palestinian cars.

At 17:00, IWPS was notified that a flying checkpoint had been established on the road to Yasuf village.Cars were still allowed to pass through to Yasuf, but were prohibited from traveling in the other direction toward the junction. One army jeep and 4 soldiers were stationed at this flying checkpoint. When IWPS volunteers arrived to Zatara, the demonstration was over, though a large army presence was still built up in the area. A number of illegal settlers were still in the parking lot adjacent to the road junction. Hebrew graffiti was written over the Arabic portions of road signs and a number of settler protest signs had been erected in the junction. There was traffic congestion on the road that runs parallel to Route 60 from the East, as cars attempting to bypass Zatara to travel toward Jericho were prohibited by the Israeli military and Border Police, who also randomly searched cars that passed through the checkpoint. IWPS was notified by a resident of Yasuf that the flying checkpoint was removed at approximately 20:45, allowing travel to and from Yasuf.

Palestinians living close to Zatara junction have been recently subject to increased road closures, check points, and military and settler violence in the last week after a settler from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar was killed last week. Following his death, much of Road 60 north of Ramallah was closed, including Zatara and Huwarra junctions, as well as roads passing through Yasuf and Awarta villages.

In response to the settler’s death, there have been a number of demonstrations in Zatara junction, the first of which included an attempt to establish a new settlement on the site. Last Tuesday, in the area surrounding the illegal settlements of Yitzhar and Bracha, particularly in the villages of Burin, ‘Urif, Madama, and ‘Asira al-Qibliya, settlers set 57 fires on the lands and attacked local Palestinians with stones. The Israeli army assisted the settler attacks, firing tear gas at Palestinians and preventing local residents from putting out fires on their lands.

Date of report: 8 May 2013


Human Rights Report No.470

Human Rights Summary: Kufr Qaddum Demonstration; Youth chase soldiers away from town center
Date of incidents: 3-5-13
Place: Kufr Qaddum
Witnesses: Community of Kufr Qaddum. IWPS, ISM, AATW

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

On Friday 3 May 2013 the residents of Kufr Quaddum organized a demonstration in resistance to the closure of the village’s main road which leads to Nablus and the Israeli occupation. Prior to the official start of the demonstration, the Israeli army entered the road closest to Qedumim settlement and chased young men who had assembled back toward the village.

At approximately 13:00 the demonstration began, as a crowd of approximately 75 people marched along the main road, chanting anti-occupation slogans. As the crowd walked toward the road closure, the IWPS observed approximately 30 soldiers and 2 jeeps on the hill overlooking the village, a greater army presence than usual. Upon reaching the usual protest area down the road, protesters met Israel occupation forces and Border Police who were parked along the road toward the illegal settlement. The soldiers would sporadically speed into the village, driving around defensive barricades built by protesters, only to retreat back toward the settlement.

A group of men from the village gathered near a field nearly halfway down the march route to observe the soldiers at the top of the mountain. At nearly 13:30 soldiers began descending down the hill toward the protesters standing in the field. The army repeatedly shot tear gas canisters and threw sound bombs at the youth gathered in the field. At 13:45, fires erupted in the fields due to the tear gas canisters and nearly 40 olive trees were burned. Soldiers continued to fire tear gas at the young men who attempted to put out the fires.

After nearly 30 minutes of tear gassing the field, approximately 20 soldiers charged down the hill toward the protesters to try to make arrests. The protesters escaped down the hill and regrouped with others standing along the main road. The residents of Kufr Qaddum moved toward the village center and were chased by a bulldozer that was used to clear away defensive stone barricades erected by the townspeople. Once the road was cleared, the “skunk truck,” a truck which shoots foul-smelling chemical water, advanced upon the protestors, spraying them and the surrounding houses. Two military jeeps drove into the town as well and soldiers shot tear gas. The military also brought the “Tempest,” a weapon that is attached to the top of a military jeep that deploys multiple tear gas canisters simultaneously. By 15:00, the demonstration ended, though many residents returned to the fields to battle the wild fires in the olive groves as the soldiers looked on for the hill above. No arrests were made, though 2 people were injured by tear gas, a local organizer and a journalist who was shot in the face, and one teenager suffered a fractured arm while running from the tear gas.

Kufr Qaddum is located in the Qalqilya Governorate in the northern West Bank. The town of approximately 4000 people has been heavily affected by the nearby illegal settlement of Qedumim. Though the village lands are approximately 24,000 dunams, 11,000 dunams are located in Area C, under Israeli control and completely inaccessible to the residents of Kufr Qaddum and another 4,000 have been stolen for the establishment and expansion of Qedumim.

In 2003 during the Second Intifada, the main road of the village was closed by the Israeli army and has remained closed until the present. Residents must travel longer routes to bypass the closure; travel to the neighbouring town of Jit has increased from 1.5 km to nearly 15 km and the distance to Nablus has doubled from 13 km to 26 km. Residents reported three deaths from 2004-2006 due to the inability to reach the nearest hospitals in Nablus.

Residents of Kufr Qaddum have held regular Friday demonstrations since 2011. Since that time, the town has experienced increased repression by the Israeli army, including frequent night raids, twice daily checkpoints at the village entrance, and violent attacks using stun grenades, tear gas, attack dogs, and rubber-coated steel bullets. In April 2012, a 17 year old resident of Kufr Qaddum was shot in the head with a tear gas canister, causing multiple skull fractures. At present, the teen has not regained his ability to speak.

Report written by: Ashley
Report edited by: Alex
Date of report: 3-5-13


Human Rights Report No.469

Human Rights Summary: Municipality warns of settler attacks; Israeli military destroys property and arrests 6 youths
Date of incidents: 1-5-13, 2-5-13
Place: Deir Istiya, Hares, Kifl Hares
Witnesses: Community of Deir Istiya, Hares, Kifl Hares, IWPS

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:
1-5-13 at 21:40 an announcement was made over the mosque loudspeaker that settlers were planning an attack. A warning was issued to stay wake and on watch for possible violence. At 22:45 IWPS began a night watch in Deir Istiya and learned that DCO had contacted Salfit Government who communicated to Hares, Kifl Hares and Deir Istiya municipalities that settlers were surrounding villages and to be on the lookout for possible attacks targeting the mosques from the illegal settlement of Yakir, Ariel and Revava. The men of Deir Istiya, Hares and Kifl Hares stayed up all night on the streets keeping watch over the village.

2-5-13 at 1:00, approximately 30 Israeli soldiers were seen along with two army vehicles on the main road outside of Hares. At 2:00 the soldiers entered the village. The 30 soldiers entered a house premises on foot and asked a 15-year-old for his 21-year-old brother by name. The brother of the young man stated the person they were looking for is a university student and not in the house. The military entered the home and forced the 10 members of the household to sit in one of the downstairs rooms as the soldiers searched the house four times. When the soldiers did not find the 21-year-old student they were looking for, they grabbed the 15-year-old brother who had answered their questions at the door. One soldier began to bind the boy’s hands and blindfold him but another stopped him, stating they would continue when they were out of sight of the family. The soldiers stated to the family that their son “had caused some problems” and they would return him in two hours after questioning. The soldiers left the family a handwritten note for the 21-year-old older brother to meet Captain Afiq at the Qalqiliya checkpoint at 9:00 on 9/5/13.

Captain Afiq came to the door of another house in Hares ordering the family to “count your sons” and then referencing one by name whom he wanted to see outside for “five minutes”. The 16-year-old was then blindfolded and handcuffed from behind. The arrested youth’s 20-year-old brother is currently serving a total of nine months in Megiddo prison (three months for a stone throwing charge, plus six additional months for it being his second offence). The entire 10 person household, the youngest being 12 years old, were forced to stay in one room for two hours. The soldiers also broke the front gate and damaged the door by forcing it open.

Simultaneously, a 23-year-old was taken by the Israeli military for the second time. At 1:00 the mother of the household heard a noise, opened her window and saw an Israeli soldier jumping over the fence that surrounds her yard. Around 30 soldiers came into the family courtyard, some entered the house. The family of 11, with 9 children and a father with a neurological disorder who frequently loses consciousness, were pushed into one room. The soldiers had a slip of paper with one of the son’s name printed; the young man was woken up and brought to the next room where they would not let him retrieve his identification card nor would they allow him to dress. The soldiers blindfolded him and tied his hands behind his back while his mother attempted to give him clothing. This young man, who has previously been in prison for a year, was told that he was “again making problems” and will get a five year sentence.

Between 2:30 and 3 AM the army entered two separate houses in the village of Deir Istiya. The soldiers were observed entering from the illegal settlement of Yakir through the hillside olive groves. The soldiers took two minors outside and started questioning them about who was throwing stones and what the announcements from the mosque were. In one case the soldiers took the entire family outside and then searched their house while they were not present and then left. No arrests were made in Deir Istiya that night. A 22-year-old and 18-year-old were arrested in the village of Kifl Hares at 2:30 AM.


Human Rights Report No. 468

Human Rights Summary: militant illegal settlement gangs of armed settlers accompanied by Israeli occupation army attacked villages Burin, Asira and Urif.
Date of incidents: 30-4-13
Place: Burin, Asira, Urif
Witnesses: Communities of Burin, Asira, Urif, IWPS, ISM,

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents: Following a killing yesterday Jewish settler form the militant illegal Ytzhar settlement gangs of armed settlers accompanied by Israeli occupation army repeatedly attacked villages Burin, Asira and Urif.

At 8AM IWPS was notified Zatara junction was closed. The entrance to Yasuf was closed; no cars were allowed to enter or leave and no settlers were seen coming in. Burin reported 50 settlers attacked the town and set fires on the land, it took two hours to reach the town because Zatara, Huwarra and the road to Awarta were closed by Israeli Military. IWPS attempted to walk through Huwarra and were denied but were able to reach our destination through a back road. By this time the settlers were no longer present though the Israeli army stayed in Burin for most of the day.

Attacks began in the village of ‘Urif. 50 settlers came into the town and threw stones through the window of the boy’s high school. Three students were injured by broken glass before the the army came with five trucks and 30 soldiers. At 11:15 the school was showered with tear gas. One student was hit in the head by a tear gas canister and most of the students were all taken to the hospital. The school closed and standoff continued between the settlers/army and the residents of ‘Urif. The settlers lit at least five fires around the school and the army prevented anyone from putting out the fires. The army shot tear gas and sound bombs for the next three hours and pepper spraying several residents. 20 people from ‘Urif were hospitalized from the gas. Both the sound bombs and tear gas used was seemingly a new more intense variety. Later in the afternoon, settlers threw Molotov cocktails at heavy machinery in ‘Urif and continued to set fires to the land.

At 12:30 attacks began in ‘Asira al-Qibliyah the settlers “burned the mountain.” As we arrived in ‘Asira, the air was thick with smoke and we could see one fire still burning in the fields closest to the settlement, though the settlers had already left and the soldiers had retreated to the nearby fields. A team of two people stayed on a roof to observe, while another team of two accompanied journalists around the area to show them the damage. During the ‘tour’, the team observed many fires on the hillside close to Huwwara. The team also drove to the road near Awarta that was being used as an alternative route in order to bypass the closed Huwarra checkpoint. When we arrived, we saw hundreds of cars lined up at the intersection being held by 30 soldiers. Locals reported that the road had been closed for an hour and a half for cars and that people were only permitted to pass on foot. At this point, there were very few options for Palestinians to travel to their homes or to work and the most direct route from Nablus to Ramallah was completely impossible.

On the way back to ‘Urif 40 settlers had entered ‘Asira al-Qibliyah and were attacking the houses with stones. As we returned, we observed approximately 15 new fires set by the Yitzhar settlers. We ran into the fields, where many young men had gathered. Palestinian fire fighters were present, trying desperately to put out the dry, burning fields. Nearly 25 settlers were at the top of the mountain and approximately 75 soldiers and Border Police were positioned throughout the fields. As the settlers moved toward Madama, the soldiers and Border police began to push, assaulting Palestinians and ordering them back to their houses. This situation was very tense and it seemed at any time the soldiers would attack fully and start arresting people. Several times during skirmishes, soldiers cocked their guns and pointed them directly in the faces of Palestinians including boys as young as 10 years old. These altercations lasted approximately 45 minutes before the community noticed the settlers coming down the hill on the other side of the town.

Many people ran through the fields to attempt to protect the houses and people there. When we reached the opposite hill, there were nearly 20 settlers throwing large stones, some with slingshots. At the same time, soldiers shot many tear gas canisters, the majority of which were fired at head height and from an extremely close distance, in violation of Army regulations which require tear gas to be fired at an arc. The IWPS and ISM stood with the Palestinians for an hour. After being questioned about why the soldiers were not removing the settlers from Asira’s land the soldiers stated “trying, but can’t do anything.” A request was made to call the police, as Israeli settlers are subject to Israeli civil law and he shouted that they were “trying! But the police aren’t here yet.” The settlers retreated to the settlement and the soldiers and Border Police violently pushed many Palestinians back toward ‘Asira, the Palestinians refusing to leave until they had succeeded in driving the settlers out. One person was taken to the hospital after being shot in the hand with a tear gas canister.
At 18h30, there was a demonstration of nearly 600 settlers at Zatara junction. At 22:00 the army shot flares around the school in Burin and 20 police cars were observed driving into Yitzhar. The deceased settler‘s funeral has taken place and there is fear the settlers will focus on violent retaliation.

Report written by: Ashley
Report edited by: Alex
Date of report: 30-4-13

The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine.
Email: palhouse@iwps-pal.org Website: http://iwps.info

IWPS is currently accepting volunteers for 2013-2014. Please visit our website at http://iwps.info for more information on our organization and how you can be a part of it.


Human Rights Report No.467

Human Rights Summary: Israeli Military Terrorizes organizing efforts in Nabi Saleh
Date of incidents: 26-4-13
Place: An Nabi Saleh
Witnesses: Community of An Nabi Saleh, IWPS, AATW,

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:
On Friday, April 26, the residents of Nabi Saleh held a demonstration against the Israeli occupation. The residents were joined by Israeli and international solidarity activists, along with national and international media. Around 13:00, following the Friday prayer, the protesters met in the central square of the village and after a short speech, began the demonstration. The protesters marched from the center of town toward the main road that leads into the village. At the main junction, several Israeli military vehicles were present, along with the “skunk-truck” that is frequently used to shoot foul-smelling chemical water throughout the village.

Protesters marched up a hill toward the land that leads to the water spring, Ein al-Qaws. Residents of Nabi Saleh have been forbidden to access the spring due to its confiscation by settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Halamish. As the demonstrators reached the top of the hill, Israeli soldiers approached and immediately began shooting tear gas. The crowd dispersed and some of the protestors went back to the village, seeking shelter from the gas in nearby houses. As 10 soldiers approached from the land near the spring, another 10 soldiers advanced along the main road. The soldiers assembled near the gas station and surrounding houses and continued shooting tear gas at the protesters for approximately one hour. At approximately 14:00 the demonstration ended. No arrests were made.

Nabi Saleh is a village of 600 people, located in the Ramallah Governorate. Residents of Nabi Saleh began demonstrations against the Israeli occupation and the theft of their water spring in December 2009. The Friday demonstrations are met with violence from the Israeli forces each week, as soldiers and Border Police shoot “skunk water”, rubber coated steel bullets, tear gas, sound bombs and live ammunition at non-violent protesters. Two men, Mustafa and Rushdi Tamimi, were murdered by Israeli forces while attending the demonstrations, in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Most recently, a Spanish solidarity activist was shot 3 times with plastic-coated steel bullets and was hospitalized.

Report written by: Ashley
Report edited by: Alex
Date of report: 28- 4-13

The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine.
Email: palhouse@iwps-pal.org Website: http://iwps.info

IWPS is currently accepting volunteers for 2013-2014. Please visit our website at http://iwps.info for more information on our organization and how you can be a part of it.


Human Rights Report No. 466
Human Rights Summary: Kufr Qaddum Demonstration; hospitalization and fire due to Israeli military tear gas
Date of incidents: 26-4-13
Place:  Kufr Qaddum
Witnesses: Community of Kufr Qaddum. IWPS, ISM, AATW, Qalqilya municipality

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

On Friday 26 April 2013 in Kufr Quaddum a march took place following a festival at 14:00 in the courtyard of the local schools. Hundreds of people were in attendance including the Minster of Prisoner’s Affaires, representatives of the municipality of the Qalqilia district and the President of Prisoners Club.

Following the festival, there was a march through the center of the village to the main road where the people were met by Israeli Military jeeps and border police. The road, surrounding hills and houses were doused with tear gas using a weapon dubbed “the tempest”, shooting dozens of tear gas canisters simultaneously, causing a fire in the surrounding fields and hospitalizing five people. Thirty soldiers entered the village, shooting rubber coated bullets and the march completely dispersed.  Kufr Qaddum  regularly suffers abuses from the nearby settlement of Qedumim and constant violence from the Israeli Military. The weekly Friday protests targeting the main road closure are only one part of ongoing resistance. The people of Kufr Qaddum will continue to build strength in their struggle until the end of Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Kufr Qaddum is located in the Qalqilya Governorate in the northern West Bank. The town of approximately 4000 people has been heavily affected by the nearby illegal settlement of Qedumim. Though the village lands are approximately 24,000 dunams, 11,000 dunams are located in Area C, under Israeli control and completely inaccessible to the residents of Kufr Qaddum and another 4,000 have been stolen for the establishment and expansion of Qedumim.
In 2003 during the Second Intifada, the main road of the village was closed by the Israeli army and has remained closed until the present. Residents must travel longer routes to bypass the closure; travel to the neighbouring town of Jit has increased from 1.5 km to nearly 15 km and the distance to Nablus has doubled from 13 km to 26 km. Residents reported three deaths from 2004-2006 due to the inability to reach the nearest hospitals in Nablus.
Residents of Kufr Qaddum have held regular Friday demonstrations since 2011. Since that time, the town has experienced increased repression by the Israeli army, including frequent night raids, twice daily checkpoints at the village entrance, and violent attacks using stun grenades, tear gas, attack dogs, and rubber-coated steel bullets. In April 2012, a 17 year old resident of Kufr Qaddum was shot in the head with a tear gas canister, causing multiple skull fractures. At present, the teen has not regained his ability to speak.
Report written by: Alex
Report edited by:  Ashley
Date of report: 27-4-13


Human Rights Report No. 465

Human Rights Summary:  Treatment of families attending court cases of their teenage sons.
Date of incidents:  18th April 2013.

Place:  Salem Military Court

Witnesses:  IWPS, EAPPI, Anarchists against the Wall, Palestinian families.

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request. 

Description of Incidents:

On Thursday 18th April, IWPS arrived at Salem Military Court at 7.40 am, where a crowd of about 40 family members were waiting outside the high barbed-wire fencing, gates and watch-tower.  A shed-like structure provided some shelter, with some benches and a few plastic chairs which were wet from the night’s rain.  A water-fountain was provided, but no toilet facilities.  A solitary stall selling coffee and refreshments was being run from a van nearby, where personal possessions could also be deposited for a small fee, as no electronics are allowed inside the court.

At about 8 am, an army jeep arrived behind the fence, and some soldiers arrived to man the first checkpoint.  When the gate was opened, a soldier came out with a list of the names to be allowed priority entrance.  The first few family members, upon inspection of their IDs, were then allowed entrance through the first turnstile, and proceeded to a white door, through which they disappeared slowly, two at a time.

Gradually, as more people arrived, a considerable crowd was building at the first gate.  A maximum of two family members were allowed for each hearing.  Families are not given an appointment for these court-cases, so with every passing minute comes the worry that they may miss the chance to attend the hearing (See HRR 458).  An Israeli official shouted for order, after which a more orderly line was formed.  At one point, the vehicular gates opened, and an army jeep passed through, en route to military training.  Minutes later, gun shots were heard from the adjoining land.

After passing the first turnstile is a small yard with a crowd of about thirty people, all waiting to pass through a white door. The orderly queues of the early morning had disintegrated, and everyone focused on getting through the white door as soon as possible.  Gun shots were again heard from the Palestinian land adjoining the court.

Through the next door all are asked to remove any metal objects while identification cards are examined, following this, all must walk along an open-air path for about 100 metres, enclosed all the way by barbed-wire fencing on every side.  This leads to another building with a waiting room and toilet facilities which are in dire need of cleaning.  About twenty people were crowding to get through the next metal detector and another turnstile.  Following the next turnstile is a desk, where I.Ds, car keys and mobile phones are taken by Israeli soldiers before everyone must enter a small room independently for a full search with a soldier of the same sex.

Following that, a door opens on to the main waiting area.  A yard contained a drinking fountain and two toilet cubicles, a single pedestrian-width gate which led to the courtrooms and a pre-fabricated building with seats.  In this area, families wait without reading materials, food, tea or coffee facilities.  Some attend hearings and leave by10 or 11, others are there until court closes at 4pm.  People crowd around the single gate, through which the names of the defendants for the next court case are shouted.  Those sitting in the waiting room were relying on the fact that someone would alert them if it was their child’s case, as they would not hear the name otherwise.  Many crowding around the gate were trying to catch glimpses of the defendants on their way to and from the courtrooms.  At one point, an IDF soldier took it upon herself to move everybody back from the gate to an arbitrary point in the yard.

A mother waiting to attend a hearing reported to IWPS that she had become separated from her older son on the way through all the security measures.  EAPPI and Anarchists Against the Wall were there to attend several cases from a different village.  IWPS was also allowed admission to these cases, and all were led into benches in a court room.  At the top of the court-room was the judge’s desk.  To the right, was a stall into which the prisoners were led.  At right angles to the judge’s desk were three more desks, for the lawyers, and the IDF scribes and personnel.  In all cases, the parents were led to the bench in the far left of the room, the one furthest away from their imprisoned children.  A metal guard-rail separated the officials from the public area, where we sat.  The door was guarded by about three or four police, although they wandered in and out often.

The first few court cases witnessed by IWPS went quickly; few lasted more than ten minutes.  Prisoners, all of them teenage boys, were led to a stall handcuffed and shackled, wearing brown prison uniforms.  Handcuffs were removed for the duration of the court-case.   The proceedings are conducted in Hebrew and translated into Arabic.  It seemed that the majority of cases were being postponed.   From the position of the families at the far end of the court-room, they could do little but look at their sons, and communicate with a few hand gestures.  In one case, while parents were trying to mouth a message to their son, they were told by a police guard to stop.

After each court-case, the family members are allowed one minute to talk to their sons.  They do this from behind the guard-rail set at a right angle to where their sons stood.  In each case, the police-guard would point to where the family can stand – point 2 metres diagonally from where their son stood.  If they went closer, they were ushered back to this point.  No physical contact was possible, the conversation was usually abruptly ended with ‘Khalas, khalas’ – “enough, enough” from the soldier.  The son was handcuffed and led out of the court, while the parents were led out another door, sometimes getting a glimpse of their son behind them as he was led off in the opposite direction.

In one case, a father sat tearfully through the whole case, and refused the opportunity to talk to his son at the end.  After the court-case, this man was seen sitting dejectedly on the ground in the waiting area.  IWPS was informed by EAPPI that his wife had died about two weeks previously and his imprisoned teenage son was unable to attend the funeral.

In the next hearing IWPS attended, a mother and brother initially sat on the central bench of the court-room, but were ushered over to the far-left bench.  The mother tried to explain to the guard that she had difficulty hearing, but was still directed to the far-left bench, despite the central ones lying empty.  About eight Israeli soldiers and police were present.  Several were playing with their mobile phones.  The soldier who was translating to Arabic did so casually, and only within earshot of the imprisoned boy. The family were unable to hear this translation.  The mother signalled to him that she could not hear, but was ignored.  There were many interruptions to the case.  Doors were banging on both the left and the right sides of the room; police and IDF personnel were constantly coming in and out.   The mother’s view of her son was regularly obscured by lawyers and IDF personnel moving about.  At one point, the IDF soldier who was translating to Arabic left the room to answer a phone-call.  When the mother got the chance to talk to her son, there were conversations going on in close proximity on her left and on her right, and somebody sitting in front of her, while she struggled to communicate across the 2 meter distance.  Her son’s case was deferred for another four days, meaning that two members of her family would have to go through the same journey again later in the week.

 

Report written by: Annette
Report edited by:  Alex
Date of report:  Wednesday, 24th April 2013

 


Human Rights Report No.464
Human Rights Summary: Use of cruel and unusual punishment in An Nabi Saleh
Date of incidents: April 19 2013
Place: An Nabi Saleh
Witnesses: IWPS, ISM, Anarchists against the Wall, Community of An Nabi Saleh

IWPS arrived in An Nabi Saleh at 11 am, one hour before the demonstration was scheduled to start. At 11:30am, two Israeli Military jeeps were stationed at the main road and a group of four soldiers were observed walking on foot through the village.

Over a hundred gathered at An Nabi Saleh for their weekly demonstration against the occupation. The community of An Nabi Saleh was present with people from all ages alongside national, international activists and media. At 12 pm, following the afternoon prayer, there was a short speech that commenced the march through the centre of town down the main road. At the main road three Israeli Military Jeeps were stationed along with a large white “skunk-truck” equipped with a long range hose and a bulldozer apparatus in front.

Chanting and singing, the crowd walked 300 meters past the gas station before pausing to set up defensive barricades with rocks. Two rock lines were set up before the Jeep and Skunk truck came forward removing the barricades, shooting several cans of tear gas and spraying the crowd with a sickeningly foul-smelling liquid.

The crowd quickly dispersed and the truck and Jeep continued to drive the length of the village drenching each house and the street with the foul smelling liquid and tear gas as a form of collective punishment which is prohibited under international law. Furthermore, such attacks on private homes are unnecessary and dangerous to the families inside. Numerous people were soaked; many reported feeling ill from the overwhelming smell. By 2pm the jeeps and skunk-truck had parked at the surveillance-tower crossroads. The demonstration had dispersed into small groups of 4 to 10 people being met by similar numbers of Israeli soldiers on foot, regularly shooting tear gas.

Report written by: Alex
Report edited by: Meg and Sylvia
Date of report: April 19, 2013


Human Rights Report No. 463

Human Rights Summary:  Demonstration in Kufr Qaddum

Date of incidents:  12 April 2013

Place:  Kufr Qaddum

Witnesses: Residents of Kufr Qaddum, Israeli and International solidarity activists

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

On Friday 12 April the village of Kufr Qaddum held a demonstration against the illegal closure of its main road that leads to Nablus.

After the midday Friday prayers, approximately 100 Palestinians, along with Israeli and international activists, marched east from the village center toward the road. The march was surveyed by Israeli soldiers who were positioned in two jeeps in front of the protestors near Qedumin settlement and on a hilltop overlooking the village. As the protesters advanced along the road, they met Israeli military vehicles. The Israeli military jeep shot eight tear gas canisters simultaneously from a launcher on the hood of the vehicle. The crowd moved away and returned to find a bulldozer in front of the military jeeps. The bulldozer did not take action to remove defensive barricades from the road and the two jeeps and bulldozer retreated back down the road toward Qedumin.

Defensive Barricade against Military Incursion

A local activist reported to IWPS that this was the Israeli military’s new strategy of hiding a few soldiers behind the last house of the village and withdrawing the vehicles to lure people into a space they could easily be arrested.
This lead to an hour long standstill before the demonstration was declared over. There were no arrests, the people of Kufr Qaddum are determined to continue until the road is open and the occupation comes to an end.
Kufr Qaddum is located in the Qalqilya Governorate in the northern West Bank. The town of approximately 4000 people has been heavily affected by the nearby illegal settlement of Qedumim. Though the village lands are approximately 24,000 dunams, 11,000 dunams are located in Area C, under Israeli control and completely inaccessible to the residents of Kufr Qaddum and another 4,000 have been stolen for the establishment and expansion of Qedumim.

In 2003 during the Second Intifada, the main road of the village was closed by the Israeli army and has remained closed until the present. Residents must travel longer routes to bypass the closure; travel to the neighbouring town of Jit has increased from 1.5 km to nearly 15 km and the distance to Nablus has doubled from 13 km to 26 km. Residents reported three deaths from 2004-2006 due to the inability to reach the nearest hospitals in Nablus.

Residents of Kufr Qaddum have held regular Friday demonstrations since 2011. Since that time, the town has experienced increased repression by the Israeli army, including frequent night raids, twice daily checkpoints at the village entrance, and violent attacks using stun grenades, tear gas, attack dogs, and rubber-coated steel bullets. In April 2012, a 17 year old resident of Kufr Qaddum was shot in the head with a tear gas canister, causing multiple skull fractures. At present, the teen has not regained his ability to speak.

Report written by: Alex

Report edited by:   Ashley

Date of report:  15 April 2013

International Women’s Peace Service (IWPS)
Deir Istiya, Salfit
Telephone: 09 251 46 44
Website: http://iwps.info


Human Rights Report No. 462

Human Rights Summary:  Military Incursion in Burin; Destruction of Community Center

Date of incidents:  10-11 April 2013

Place:  Burin, Nablus Governorate

Witnesses: Residents of Burin

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you 
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

On Thursday, 11 April 2012, the IWPS team visited Burin village to witness the aftermath of an army invasion the night before that resulted in the arrest of three local youth, military raids in 50 houses and the destruction of the village community center . We spoke with a local activist who recounted the incursion:

Community Center following Israeli Army Raid

On Wednesday 10 April at 11:30 p.m., approximately 400 Israeli soldiers and border police entered the village. Nearly one hour later, they began raiding the homes of local residents. In the following hours, Israeli forces forcefully entered and ransacked approximately 50 houses.

At approximately 3:00 a.m., soldiers entered the community center, ripped posters from the walls, smashed five computers, cut wires for electricity to the building, and broke the photocopy machine, tables, chairs, the front door and the downstairs bathroom. Papers and files were taken from storage cabinets and scattered on the floor.

Destruction of Burin Community Center

Simultaneously, approximately 75 soldiers entered the home of the local activist that we interviewed, accompanied by three Shin Bet agents. They questioned the man for nearly two hours, during which his family, including three young children, were forced to wait outside. During the interrogation, soldiers searched the home and computers and told the young man that they would “be back to take [him] to prison.” The man had previously been imprisoned for one year in Megiddo Prison and spent 75 days in isolation at Al-Jalame Prison.

The latest raid is part of an ongoing wave of repression aimed at the local community center and its volunteers. The center was established in 2007 to teach language and computer classes and offer a space to organize community events for the nearly 3,000 residents of Burin. The center has been raided twice before in 2009 and 2010, after which many local residents have become fearful of visiting the center due to violence and repression of Israeli occupation forces. In 2010, Israeli forces arrested 50 residents of Burin, many of them volunteers at the center.

Destruction of Burin Community Center

During Wednesday’s incursion, all of the houses that were raided belong to volunteers of the center. Israeli Border Police beat 10 volunteers in the street and arrested 20. Of the 20 arrested, three remain imprisoned at Huwarra military base.

Burin is a town located in Nablus governorate, southwest of Nablus city, with approximately 3,000 residents. The village, together with ‘Asira al-Qibliya, Einabous, Huwwara, Madama and ‘Urif, are sandwiched between Yitzhar and Bracha settlements, which are considered among the most violent settlements in the West Bank. These villages have suffered from repeated attacks, and the aforementioned army intrusion is a regular occurrence in Burin.

The residents of Burin have suffered many acts of settler violence and vandalism during incursions in the area and inside the village itself, like the theft and killing of sheep, damage to houses, burning of cars, destruction of olive trees, and the wounding and even murder of villagers. The settlers of this region are also leaders of the so called “price tag,” which means revenge (with disproportionate violence) for any action they interpret as intended against them, either from Palestinians or from Israeli authorities themselves. The people of Burin have often required an international presence in the village as a result of this violence.

For reference, please see UNOCHA map of villages affected by violence from Yizhar settlement and outposts: http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_yitzhar_map_february_2012_map_english.pdf

Report written by: Ashley 
Report

Edited by:   Alex

Date of report:  14 April 2013

The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine. 
 Email: palhouse@iwps-pal.org Website:  http://iwps.info

IWPS is currently accepting volunteers for 2013-2014. Please visit our website at http://iwps.info for more information on our organization and how you can be a part of it.

Operating out of Deir Istiya, International Women’s Peace Service monitors and responds to Human Rights Abuses in the area. Part of our mission is to contact the relevant authorities in the case of any arrests that take place in the Salfit area.


Human Rights Report No. 461

Human Rights Summary:  Arrest of 3 adolescents in Hares, Salfit
Date of incidents:  April 9, 2013
Place:  Hares, Salfit

Witnesses: Family of Arrested Minor

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

On 9 April 2013, the IWPS team was notified of the arrest of three teenagers from Hares village. The team interviewed the family of one of the adolescents and learned the details of his arrest.

At 2:00 a.m., approximately 70 Israeli soldiers, along with 4 attack dogs, broke open the metal door of the neighboring house, which belongs to the boy’s uncle. The owner of the house stated that he awoke suddenly and thought that someone was trying to break into his home. When he confronted the soldiers, they demanded to know where his brother’s house was and to come inside. The man refused, stating that he has three young children who were sleeping. The commander did not believe the man and pushed his way into the home, only leaving after he entered the room of the sleeping youngest child.

After leaving the neighboring home, the soldiers broke open the metal gate of the boy’s family house, entered and demanded that the family go outside into the yard. The family protested, as they also have young children including an eight year old. Eventually the children were allowed to stay inside while the adults went outside.

The army commander asked for the 16 year old son by name and showed a paper with his name written on it in Hebrew. Two soldiers entered the house and went into the room where the boy was sleeping and demanded that he get dressed. The boy was taken outside, handcuffed, blindfolded and put into the military jeep.

According to the boy’s father, the commander stated that the boy was being arrested based on information gathered during interrogations at Al-Jalame Interrogation Center/Prison. The boy has no history of arrest and is currently employed as a construction worker. After the boy was taken, the father received a phone call from the Israeli army stating that his son was in Megiddo prison and will remain there for 8 days until his court hearing on 17 April.

Metal door broken open by IOF

Hares village has suffered from repeated night raids and arrests of minors following a March 14 car accident involving settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Yakir. Following the accident, 16 boys were arrested and interrogated under the suspicion of throwing stones, six of which currently remain imprisoned inside Israel.

The movement of individuals to prisons inside Israel is in contravention of the fourth Geneva Convention, article 76 which states that individuals detained or arrested in occupied territories cannot be transferred beyond the boundaries of the territory in question. Defense for Children International (DCI) recently reported that nearly 60 percent of Palestinian children arrested by the Israeli army are transferred to prisons inside Israel. Detention outside of the Occupied Territories nearly ensures that family members will not be able to visit the children due to restrictions imposed upon freedom of movement by the Israeli occupation.

Furthermore, keeping minors (below 18 years old) detained in the same prisons as adults is also a contravention of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

For more information:
See recent Human Rights Report Nº447 on the arrest of 10 other children from Hares

Also, see recent report released by UNICEF: Children in Israeli military detention: observations and recommendations:

See a video from Defense of Children International-Palestine Section about Palestinian children under detention: “Alone

Report written by: Ashley

Report edited by:   
Date of report:  April 14, 2013

The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine.

IWPS is currently accepting volunteers for 2013-2014. Please visit our website at http://iwps.info for more information on our organization and how you can be a part of it.

Operating out of Deir Istiya, International Women’s Peace Service monitors and responds to Human Rights Abuses in the area. Part of our mission is to contact the relevant authorities in the case of any arrests that take place in the Salfit area.

 


Human Rights Report No.460
Human Rights Summary: Israel army again violates its own regulations in Nabi Saleh

Date of incidents: March 12, 2013

Place: Nabi Saleh

Witnesses: IWPS and ISM volunteers, local villagers, Israeli activists

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

Demonstration started as usual, after the Friday prayer from the center square of the village. About 80 villagers, internationals and Israeli peace activists participated in the demonstration. The demonstrators
went down the road from the square to the folk junction then took a turn toward the spring that was stolen by illegal settlement, Haramish, cutting through the field toward route 465, rather than walking down one of the village main roads toward the Haramish.
Women and children protest in the demonstration.

Demonstrators chanted and clapped hands as they arrived to a hill looking down route 465. Almost as soon as they arrived, the first lot of tear gas was fired. Demonstrators stayed despite the tear gas but rubber bullets were then fired and they had to retreat into the village. One international activist was hit on the leg but not injured. They regrouped and started to walk down a main village road again, chanting and clapping. Some held their arms high up in the air with the V sign, for victory.

12 soldiers with Border Police and Army Jeep

Injured peace activist

Shortly afterwards, demonstrators at the front started to run back toward the village. Everyone followed. Soldiers were coming from the hill on the side of the road and shooting tear gas and rubber bullets straight into the fleeing crowd.

The same International Activist who had been hit earlier was hit twice more on her side, once at the front and once at the back. She was treated on the spot by Red Crescent before being taken to a local house, and then on to hospital by ambulance.

IOF again violated at least four of its own regulations: the rubber-coated steel bullets should only be fired from a minimum range of 50 meters, below which there is “a distinct possibility of severe or fatal injuries”. On this occasion, two IWPS volunteers were in the same group as the activist who was shot twice. The soldier who was seen aiming at the activists was at a distance of approximately 10 meters.

Secondly, another regulation is that rubber-coated steel bullets should only be fired when the shooter is stationary. On this occasion, the soldier was running towards the activists while shooting.

Thirdly, rubber-coated steel bullets should only be aimed at the legs of people. The activist who was shot was hit well above her legs, and is a tall person.

Fourthly, rubber-coated steel bullets should only be shot at people who have been identified as “inciters, key disrupters of order or individuals endangering the well-being of a soldier or another individual.” Furthermore, rubber-coated steel bullets should not be fired at women. The (largely female) group of non-violent peace activists who were being targeted were only monitoring a peaceful demonstration; they were being shot as they were running from the scene.

The violence in both locations was initiated by soldiers without any warning, and was not provoked in any way. There were a large number of women and children in the protest, and the protesters actions were very peaceful – mostly chanting and clapping hands.

Information regarding the regulations about the use of Crowd Control measures by Israel in the West Bank can be downloaded from B’Tselem: http://www.btselem.org/download/201212_crowd_control_eng.pdf

Report written by: Meg & Annette

Report edited by: Silje & Sylvia

Date of report: April 13, 2013


Human Rights Report No. 459

Human Rights Summary:  Weekly Military Training in ‘Atuf, Jordan Valley

Date of incidents:  9th April 2013

Place:  ‘Atuf, Jordan Valley

Witnesses: Villagers, international volunteers from ISM and IWPS

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information
you may require, on request.

On April 9th 2013 IWPS was asked to the village of ‘Atuf to witness the weekly Israeli Military training. Every week 22 families comprising 172 people are displaced from their homes from 4am to 5pm by the Israeli military who run dills and practice with live ammunition.

Fifty soldiers came today at 9am announcing the area of ‘Atuf as a closed military zone and vacated people from their homes. The Israeli military enters from the center of the village, past the municipality towards the valley.

The municipality and local villagers informed IWPS the soldiers force all of the Bedouin people to leave their houses once a week since 1967. Today whole families and their livestock are displaced in neighbors’ fields. The people sit on the outskirts of the land and have to move their livestock as the military guns and bombs are heard in the background.

During the weekly military practice live ammunition and explosives can be seen and heard from 9-12am and 1-5pm. During this one hour midday break the displaced villagers will return to their community in order to give the only available water to their livestock.

The entire area is considered area “C” and a closed military zone. Nothing is allowed to be built or improved. There is an entire valley of fertile farm land that the people wish to cultivate and are prohibited to do so.

Beqa ‘ot, the illegal settlement next to ‘Atuf is constantly expanding. Many of the young people of Tammoun and ‘Atuf work as farmers, in construction and in various other low level employment inside the settlement, because of the lack of jobs within their own community. During the Israeli military drills the people of Beqa ‘ot will utilize underground bunkers they have constructed.

After the Oslo agreement in 1994 the population in the Jordan Valley began to drop dramatically. In ‘Atuf and Tammoun countless houses have been demolished and many more have demolition orders. Since 1970 14 people have been killed by explosives left by these Military exercises. Thirty people have had their limbs blown off. Some of the explosives left undetonated are as small as the size of a pen, easily mistaken by children as harmless. Additionally there is a lot of trauma and psychological damage, especially to children, because of the sound of bombs and gunfire. The only school in the district is within earshot of the weekly Israeli Military drills.

Report written by: Alex
Report edited by: Sylvia
Date of report: 10th April, 2013

The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit,
Palestine.
Email: palhouse@iwps-pal.org

 


Human Rights Report No. 458

Human Rights Summary:  Military Court Hearing for Hares Arrest

Date of incidents:  9 April 2013

Place:  Salem Military Court

Witnesses: Sarah, family of detainee

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

IWPS attended the Salem military court for the hearing of one 16 year old boy arrested in Hares in March in a night raid by the army. He has been detained in connection with a car accident that took place in mid-March in which the young child of a settler was critically injured. It is alleged that the accident was caused by youths throwing stones. This is a high profile case which has been widely covered by the Israeli media and has involved the Israeli Prime Minister. This boy has been in detention since the early hours of March 17 and he is believed to have signed a confession. He has not been charged as of April 11.

The hearing took place at Salem Military Court. The family was not informed of the time of his hearing and was therefore required to arrive early at the court. The family waited for several hours for their son’s name to be called. When this did not happen, the family was eventually allowed through to the court reception area in order to be searched, where they were required to wait for more time. The family therefore missed the opportunity to be present at the hearing and the mother did not manage to see her son.

The boys’ father arrived in the court in time to have brief contact with his son. He described seeing his son ‘weeping and weeping.’ He said his son told him that he had been beaten in jail. He says a soldier held a hand to his throat and that he was forced to sign a confession with one hand cuffed to chair. He maintained that he was not in the vicinity at the time of the accident. His detention was extended for a further five days.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child defines anyone under the age of 18 as a child. Adameer, the prisoner’s rights organization, reports that approximately 700 Palestinian under the age of 18 are arrested each year and prosecuted in military courts after being arrested, interrogated and detained by the Israeli army. It also reports that children are regularly coerced into confessions that then serve as the primary evidence against them in court.

Report written by: Sarah

The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine. 
 Email: palhouse@iwps-pal.org

IWPS is currently accepting volunteers for 2013-2014. Please visit our website at http://iwps.info for more information on our organization and how you can be a part of it.

Operating out of Deir Istiya, International Women’s Peace Service monitors and responds to Human Rights Abuses in the area. Part of our mission is to contact the relevant authorities in the case of any arrests that take place in the Salfit area.


Human Rights Report No.457

Date of incidents: April 7 2013

Place:  Qusin

Witnesses: Villagers, Palestinian TV crew, international volunteers from IWPS and ISM

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

On 6 April 2013, approximately 60 residents of Qusin village, together with international solidarity activists, planted olive trees on village lands close to the illegal settlement of Qedumim.
Residents expressed concern that nearly 1,500 dunams may be confiscated in the future due to the location next to the industrial zone of Qedumim These lands are collectively owned by approximately 300 residents of Qusin.

As the residents of Qusin approached the Baron Road, near the Qedumim Industrial Zone, two Israeli military vehicles arrived, along with a private settler guard armed with a semiautomatic weapon. Approximately 12 soldiers surveilled the tree planting for nearly 20 minutes, after which they approached the residents of Qusin and demanded that they stop working or face arrest. The residents insisted that the soldiers contact the Israeli DCO, the civil administrative wing of the Israeli army charged with issuing permits for Palestinians to work their own lands in Area C. The army attempted to arrest several men from the village. One international activist was arrested and planting tools were confiscated, though both the activist and tools were later returned. A standoff ensued as the crowd awaited a representative of the Israeli DCO.

The Israeli DCO arrived along with the Border Police. The representative stated that the residents of Qusin were not allowed to plant in that area. He also stated that the DCO needed to consult a map of the area to ascertain the ownership of the land i.e. if it is state or privately-owned land. The mayor of Qusin and the DCO discussed the issue and in the end, the residents returned to lands closer to the village. During their departure, many protesters sought to leave the unplanted olive trees behind in order to plant them in the future. In response, one soldier was overhead saying that the residents must take the trees with them because he “can’t protect them from the settlers.”

Qusin is a town located in the northern West Bank, approximately 8 kilometers west of Nablus. Residents of Qusin began organizing demonstrations in February against the dumping of garbage on lands close to the village. These lands are located near a main aquifer that supplies water to many towns in the Nablus area.

Report written by: Ashley

Report edited by: Sarah

Date of report: April 7 2013


Human Rights Report No.456

Human Rights Summary: Israeli military excessive use of force against community organizing in Kufr Qaddum

Date of incidents: April 5 2013

Place:  Kufr Qaddum, Qalqilya Governorate, Palestine

Witnesses: 

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:
On Friday 5 April the village of Kufr Qaddum held a demonstration against the illegal closure of its main road that leads to Nablus.

After the midday Friday prayers, approximately 100 Palestinians, along with Israeli and international activists, marched east from the village center toward the road. The march was surveyed by Israeli soldiers who were positioned in front of the protestors near Qedumin settlement and on a hilltop overlooking the village. As the protesters advanced along the road, they met Israeli military vehicles, including a bulldozer that removed defensive barricades from the road.

The Israeli army began firing tear gas at the crowd and Palestinians responded by throwing stones at the advancing soldiers. The demonstration lasted nearly three hours, as youth from the village resisted the army incursions from the hilltop and the soldiers eventually retreated.

Kufr Qaddum is located in the Qalqilya Governorate in the northern West Bank. The town of approximately 4000 people has been heavily affected by the nearby illegal settlement of Qedumim. Though the village lands are approximately 24,000 dunams, 11,000 dunams are located in Area C,under Israeli control and completely inaccessible to the residents of Kufr Qaddum and another 4,000 have been stolen for the establishment and expansion of Qedumim.

In 2003 during the Second Intifada, the main road of the village was closed by the Israeli army and has remained closed until the present. Residents must travel longer routes to bypass the closure; travel to the neighbouring town of Jit has increased from 1.5 km to nearly 15 km and the distance to Nablus has doubled from 13 km to 26 km. Residents reported three deaths from 2004-2006 due to the inability to reach the nearest hospitals in Nablus.

Residents of Kufr Qaddum have held regular Friday demonstrations since 2011. Since that time, the town has experienced increased repression by the Israeli army, including frequent night raids, twice daily checkpoints at the village entrance, and violent attacks using stun grenades, tear gas, attack dogs, and rubber-coated steel bullets. In April 2012, a 17 year old resident of Kufr Qaddum was shot in the head with a tear gas canister, causing multiple skull fractures. At present, the teen has not regained his ability to speak.

Report written by: Ashley

Report edited by: Alex

Date of report: April 5 2013

The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine. 
 Email: palhouse@iwps-pal.org

IWPS is currently accepting volunteers for 2013-2014. Please visit our website at http://iwps.info for more information on our organization and how you can be a part of it.

Operating out of Deir Istiya, International Women’s Peace Service monitors and responds to Human Rights Abuses in the area. Part of our mission is to contact the relevant authorities in the case of any arrests that take place in the Salfit area.


Human Rights Report No.455

Human Rights Summary: Israeli military shoots to kill using live ammunition on teenagers
Date of incidents: 03/04/13-03/04/13
Place: Enav Checkpoint
Witnesses: Residents of ‘Anabta

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:
Today at ‘Anabta village hundreds attended a funeral precession for Naji Balbisi, 18 and Amer Nassar, 17. One is 18 so he is not considered as minor.

Amer Nassar was shot from the front through the left side of his chest at 22:30 on April 3 when Israeli soldiers opened fire with live ammunition near Enav checkpoint. A man trying to help him was shot in his forearm. The Israeli military did not allow the ambulance service or civilians to reach Amer Nassar for 30 minutes.

Naji Balbisi was found 04:15 the following morning in a nearby field having bled to death from a gunshot wound in his chest that entered through his back.

Residents of ‘Anabta walked from the center square carrying the boys to the homes of both families, ending at the mosque. This information was reported to IWPS by Red Crescent and community members. Amer Nassar and Naji Balbisi are cousins within a close community that is now completely devastated by the ongoing irrational and deadly behavior of the Israeli Military.

Report written by: Alex
Report edited by: Meg & Sarah
Date of report: 03/03/13


Human Rights Report No. 454

Human Rights Summary: Poisoning of Qusin Water Source Due To Trash Dump

Date of Incidents:  27 March 2013

Place:  Qusin, Nablus Governorate

Witnesses: Residents of Qusin, ISM and IWPS Volunteers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

On Wednesday March 27 at 15:00 the village of Qusin organized a tour of a nearby quarry that is regularly used as a garbage dump. The residents of Qusin invited the Minister of the Environment, IWPS and the International Solidarity Movement to inspect the amount of Israeli trash that has accumulated in the recent weeks.

When IWPS arrived, the quarry had been partially refilled with dirt and gravel covering the majority of the trash, leaving three large piles of plastic, wood and metal exposed. The effect was that of a large land fill in the middle of a mined industrial zone. The organizers of the visit explained to an IWPS volunteer that the toxins from the trash are seeping through the soil into the water sources of the nearby villages, endangering the local residents. Local community organizers from Qusin reported abnormally high cancer rates in the village.

Residents of Qusin have started to regularly visit and protest as a community at the dump site. Around 75 people attended the protest. The group arrived together via bus and saw a large white truck with two passengers unknown to the community parked at the site. The organizers of the event reported that these individuals were members of the Israeli security service. The individuals stayed within their vehicle throughout the event and were observed by IWPS taking photographs of the participants.

After a brief tour and discussion, one of the large piles of trash was set aflame. The majority of Qusin residents were exiting the dump site when Israeli military jeeps entered the area. No arrests were made.

Qusin is a small village outside of Nablus with approximately 1,941 residents. It is bordered by illegal Qedumim settlement. The village is known for its participation in prior demonstrations due to the unjust roadblocks that prevented residents from driving to Nablus from 2002 to 2009.

Report written by: Alex
Report edited by:   Ashley

Date of report:  28 March 2013
The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine.

Email: palhouse@iwps-pal.org

IWPS is currently accepting volunteers for 2013-2014. Please visit our website at http://iwps.info for more information on our organization and how you can be a part of it.

Operating out of Deir Istiya, International Women’s Peace Service monitors and responds to Human Rights Abuses in the area. Part of our mission is to contact the relevant authorities in the case of any arrests that take place in the Salfit area.

 


Human Rights Report Nº 453
Shepherd brutally attacked by settlers in Al-Mughayyir (Ramallah)

The IWPS team received a call from a local contact informing us that a shepherd had been attacked by settlers a couple of weeks ago in Al Mughayyir village (North of Ramallah). We decided to visit this village for the first time in order to hear the victim’s testimony and to establish a direct relationship with the community, in case they suffer future attacks.

On March 8, the shepherd (60 years old) was alone with his sheep in his field when a group of eight settlers from nearby colony of ‘Adi ‘Ad brutally attacked him. He was severely beaten in his head by a settler using brass knuckles. He managed to call for help, and some young men came from the village in his defence. While the shepherd fell unconscious due to the severe wound in his head, the settlers continued throwing stones at him. The Israeli army arrived to the site, only to fire tear gas and sound bombs, and to chase the Palestinians away, back to the village. Four youth were hurt, and the shepherd was taken to hospital, where he received 15 stitches on his head.

The man, who has suffered two heart attacks in the past, was still shocked and in bed when IWPS visited him in his home, two weeks after the attack. His niece told us that he still experiences dizziness when he wakes up and cannot go anywhere alone. He has not been able to go back to the field, so the neighbours and relatives are taking his sheep to graze every day.

Al-Mughayyir is a village of 3,000 people in the North of Ramallah governorate which has a record of settler violence like most of the villages in the area, including South of Nablus (Qaryut, Jalud, etc.). The villages are surrounded by the hard-line religious colonies of Eli, Shilo, Yechia, Shevot Rihel and Esh Khodesh. This colony was established in 1998, and has grown significantly since then, taking over more and more Palestinian land.

Most of Palestinian lands in Al-Mughayyir fall under Area C, so the farmers need to coordinate with the Israeli DCO (army in practice) in order to work on their own lands, and they receive permission to work on them only for two days. The residents of Al-Mughayyir have suffered many abuses from the settlers, including stolen and destroyed olive trees and harvest, killed or stolen sheep, etc. In May 2012, the settlers burnt the wheat which was ready to be harvested and even destroyed the farmers’ plow.

Our local contact, a female resident activist, and niece of the shepherd attacked, told us that other family members have also suffered abuses at the hands of settlers. Her husband received a video camera from B’Tselem to film the attacks, and the human rights organization did a report on the plight of the village, but so far no settler has been punished. About three years ago, an 11 year old boy from the village was shot dead for throwing stones to defend himself and his sheep from the settlers’ violence.

She mentioned that the average age of the settlers who attack the community is between 16-22 years old. When there is an attempt to make the attackers accountable for their violence, including filing many complaints before the Israeli authorities, the residents of the colony protect and hide them.

The residents of Al-Mughayyir are worried about the escalation of violence, since settlers’ attacks are not only targeting animals, land and property, but also people. “Our children are afraid, and we don’t know what to tell them,” she said, “because we are not able to protect them from the violence of the settlers”. She mentioned that children are also affected psychologically by the frequent incursions of the army inside the village, usually between3 and 4 o’clock in the morning, under the excuse that settlers’ sheep are missing and may have been stolen by the Palestinians.

She also pointed out that land confiscation, destruction of property and harvest creates an additional burden on the local families, because the land and the sheep are their only source of income.  “All we want is to live a normal life and to raise our children in peace”, she concluded.

Report written by: Maria

Report edited by:   Ashley

Date of report:  Monday 25 March 2013


Human Rights Report No. 452

Human Rights Summary:  Arbitrary arrest of minors

Date of incident:  Thursday 21st March

Place:  Hares, Salfit

Witnesses: Family of detainees

Description of Incident:

According to the testimony of the boys’ family, the children returned from school with their uncle and were eating lunch when four army jeeps approached the house. Approximately 20-25 soldiers entered the home through a door that was left open. The soldiers ordered all of the children in the house to exit into the front yard. The children were lined up in front of the soldiers and even the youngest of the children, age six, were made to put their hands behind their backs as if under arrest. The boys’ uncles who were present, one of which is a local school teacher, objected to the detention of the younger children, who were visibly traumatised. Both uncles were then assaulted by the soldiers, who pushed them with their guns, held them at gunpoint and threatened them with arrest.

After nearly 10 minutes, the soldiers pointed out the three eldest boys from the group. The 17 year old boy protested the treatment of his younger brother. In response, one soldier pushed the end of his gun into the boy’s neck. Each boy was handcuffed behind his back and blindfolded. The three youth, ages 13, 14 and 17 are all students at the local boy’s school secondary. While the army was present, none of the boys were referenced by name and it appears that they were chosen at random. Their parents were not given a reason for their detainment. When asked, the soldiers stated that the boys were being taken for questioning and would be returned in one hour. None of the boys has a history of arrest. The family has no information about the whereabouts of their children, though under Israeli law, minors must have a parent present during questioning.

Ten people live in the house. The parents stated that they no longer feel comfortable leaving their children at home, nor do they feel comfortable leaving the house for work.

Hares is a village in Salfit governorate, approximately 24 kilometers southwest of Nablus, and has a population of 3,500 people. Hares village has suffered from land confiscation from the nearby illegal settlements of Barqan, Ariel, Revava, and Qiryat Netafim. In the past week, 11 boys from Hares have been imprisoned at Huwarra and Al-Jalame prisons following a serious car accident in which stone-throwing was implicated. At present, five boys have been released. Two of the boys were released after paying 6,000 NIS each, and three others were released without charges.

On Sunday 24th March the boys’ family learnt that they had been taken to Megiddo prison.

For more details for the background of this arrest and interrogation, please see IWPS HRR447 and HRR448.

Report written by: Ashley and Alex

Report edited by: Sarah

Date of report:Sunday 24th March


Human Rights Report No. 451

Human Rights Summary: Interrogation of 16 year old
Date of incidents: From March 14 to March 20, 2013
Place: Watch tower at Hares entrance, Revava settlement, and Al-Jalame interrogation center in Israeli proper
Witnesses: Detainee and his family

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

At around 03:00am on March 15, the family was woken up by the sound of banging at their door. As the father opened the door, around 20 soldiers came in who demanded that everyone present in the house, at that time 5 members of the same family, should come downstairs. The soldiers asked for the 16 year old son by his name. The father told the soldier that the boy wanted to dress, and at the time of his arrest, he was properly dressed with a jacket and shoes. No reason was given as to why he was arrested. As he was taken away, a soldier kicked his leg.

According to the testimony of the boy and his family, the boy was blindfolded and handcuffed, before being put in an army jeep along with five other boys and a large dog. Any boy who tried to speak was threatened to be hit by the soldiers. They were taken initially to the watch tower at the entrance to Hares for around 5 minutes before being taken to the illegal settlement of Revava, where he was strip-searched in the presence of about seven soldiers. He was then given two pairs of prison uniforms while his clothes were taken away. The boy was then taken to al-Jalame interrogation center in Israel, where he was kept for six days, learning where he was being taken when he overhead the soldiers talking. The army called his family after 2 days to inform them where their son was.

For the first three days of his detention, the boy reported being kept in solitary confinement in a cell about 1 meter wide, 2 meters long and about 2-3 meters high. No mattress or blanket was provided. He slept on the floor with his second prison uniform as a makeshift pillow. There was no window and the six lights were kept on continually, so that he was not aware of the time of day. He also says that the air conditioning was switched on and off so that the temperature in the room was constantly changing from hot to cold. He also says that the toilet facilities were unpleasant, the food was bad and made him feel ill and any water he was given had sugar in it. He was not given the opportunity to leave the cell or get exercise and he had nothing to read or do. He says he passed the time by writing on the wall of his cell with soap, and playing Xs and Os with his bread. He described crying with fear on his first day. He says no-one spoke to him for 2 days. After 3 days another boy joined him in the cell.

He was interrogated one hour every two days by three soldiers, who told him that his friend said he had been throwing stones. They asked him if he threw stones toward the road to which he responded ‘no.’ The soldiers threatened him by saying ‘you will be here until you die,’ ‘we will hit you,’ and ‘if you do not speak, bad things will happen to your mother and sister.’ They also asked him if he knew anyone who threw stones for which he answered ‘I don’t know, I was playing football.’ The boy also reported that the soldiers shouted at him loudly during the interrogation. He was interrogated 3 times during his detention.

On the third day, he was taken to the court. After a second court hearing some days later, he was found not guilty. On Thursday 21st March, he was taken to the entrance to the Jalame interrogation centre in Jenin and released. The family was then contacted by a lawyer. They travelled there to collect him, a 3 hour drive.

He describes being happy at his release, but traumatized by his experience. Noises at night make him anxious and he no longer goes out.

For more details for the background of this arrest and interrogation, please see IWPS HRR447 and HRR448.

Report written by: Meg
Report edited by: Sarah and Annette
Date of report: March 24. 2013

The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine.
Email: palhouse@iwps-pal.org Website: http://iwps.info

Operating out of Deir Istiya, International Women’s Peace Service monitors and responds to Human Rights Abuses in the area. Part of our mission is to contact the relevant authorities in the case of any arrests that take place in the Salfit area.


Human Rights Report No. 450

Human Rights Summary:  Israeli Army cleared land close to Road Nº5, Closed road

Date of incidents:  Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Place:  Hares, Salfit governorate, West Bank
Witnesses: Residents of Hares and IWPS volunteers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

At approximately 10:00, March 20, 2013, the IWPS team received a call from a resident in Hares village, asking the team to come and monitor an army presence on the road between Hares and Kifl Hares villages. The sight of an army bulldozer alerted the residents because the village suffered the demolition of two houses in November 2012. There are 73 houses (located in lands of the village that fell under Area C) which have demolition orders pending. When the team arrived, there were two army jeeps and one military van that were positioned in the olive groves in the south eastern edge of the village. A military bulldozer, accompanied by three armed soldiers, was seen clearing out a field that lies adjacent to Road Nº5. The team could see two more army vehicles on the other side of Road Nº5.

At approximately 11:00, cars were prohibited from driving along the road for nearly 10 minutes, after which they were allowed to pass, granted through a maze of military vehicles and around 11-12 soldiers. The IWPS questioned a soldier present guarding the road about the purpose of the army’s actions. The soldier stated that the land was being cleared in order to construct a barbed wire fence along the border of Road Nº5. He stated that the reason for the fence was the recent car accident involving settlers from the illegal settlement of Yakir and the army’s supposition that Palestinian youth from Hares were responsible for throwing stones at the cars passing along Road Nº5.

Residents of Hares village stated that the army was not intending to construct a fence, but rather to build a watchtower that will overlook Road Nº5, similar to the IOF watchtower at the entrance to their village. The IOF commander stated that the work will last for two days. The army commander approached the men that were gathering at the site and asked them in Hebrew to withdraw from the area. At approximately 12:00, the residents and the IWPS team walked back to Hares. No arrests were made.

Upon returning to the village, the team learned that two of the recently arrested teens from Hares were released, each after paying 6,000 NIS (approximately $1,600). The two 17 year old boys were incarcerated for 6 days in Huwwara and Al-Jalame prisons. The team plans to return to Hares tomorrow morning to inspect the ongoing actions of the Israeli army.

Report written by: Ashley
Report edited by:   Abby & Maria
Date of report:  March 20, 2013
The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine. 
 Email: palhouse@iwps-pal.org


Human Rights Report No. 449

Human Rights Summary:  Army entered Burin; shot tear gas at villagers

Date of incidents:  March 18, 2013

Place:  Burin, Nablus

Description of Incidents:

The IWPS team arrived in Burin today for a routine meeting at 15:00. In route to the village, a flying checkpoint was set up on Road 60 in both directions. Soldiers present at the checkpoint stated that the closure was due to the shooting of a settler from the illegal settlement of Qedumim. The checkpoint directly impeded the travel of residents living in the nearby communities of Burin, Madama, and ‘Asira al-Qibliya.

When the team arrived to Burin, they were immediately informed of possible settler violence occurring in the hills of the village, which are overlooked by the illegal settlement Bracha and the outpost “Givat Arousa.” According to the team’s contact in the village, events of the morning had escalated and approximately 20 Israeli soldiers were present in the hills between Burin and “Givat Arousa” by early afternoon.

At around 07:30, a local shepherd approached his farmland to tend to his sheep and property. Between 20 and 25 settlers from “Givat Arousa” approached him and proceeded to vandalize his tractor, rendering it unusable. Settlers also attempted to steal some of the shepherd’s sheep. The shepherd left, even though he had coordinated with the DCO (Palestinians whose land is close to Israeli colonies and falls under Area C must coordinate permission with Israeli authorities to work on their own land). He returned approximately five hours later with supporters from Burin, and at around 13:30 the army came to force the man off of his land. Soldiers used physical force, pushing the farmer, and eventually he left.

Young men and children gathered nearby, around the time that the IWPS team reached the village. When they arrived at the scene, there were 20 soldiers at the top of the hill overlooking Burin, and they began shooting tear gas intermittently at the young men scattered below. The attack continued for approximately 30 minutes, when two army vehicles entered and blockaded the road leading to the hill.

At this point, the boys from the village ran towards the town. Most people ran into their houses, and two small fires erupted. The army began a barrage of tear gas that lasted about forty-five minutes, during which one 14 year old girl lost consciousness and the entire town was unable to leave their homes due to the army presence and excessive tear gas. Eventually, the two jeeps left Burin, though a number of soldiers were still present on the hill overlooking the town. No arrests were made.

Burin is a town located in Nablus governorate, southwest of Nablus city, with around 2,500 residents. The village, together with ‘Asira al-Qibliya, Einabous, Huwwara, Madama and ‘Urif, are sandwiched between Yitzhar and Bracha settlements, which are considered among the most violent settlements in the West Bank. These villages have suffered from repeated attacks, and the aforementioned army intrusion is a regular occurrence in Burin.

The residents of Burin have suffered many acts of settler violence and vandalism during incursions in the area and inside the village itself, like the theft and killing of sheep, damage to houses, burning of cars, destruction of olive trees, and the wounding and even murder of villagers. The settlers of this region are also leaders of the so called “price tag,” which means revenge (with disproportionate violence) for any action they interpret as intended against them, either from Palestinians or from Israeli authorities themselves. The people of Burin have often required an international presence in the village as a result of this violence.

For reference, please see UNOCHA map of villages affected by violence from Yizhar settlement and outposts: http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_yitzhar_map_february_2012_map_english.pdf

Report written by: Abby

Report edited by:   Maria, Ashley & Alex

Date of report:  March 18, 2013

The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine.


Human Rights Report No. 448

Human Rights Summary:  Arrest of 3 More Adolescents in Hares, Salfit

Date of incidents:  March 17, 2013

Place:  Hares, Salfit

Witnesses: Families arrested youth

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

Following the arrests of 10 youth on Friday, Israeli army again raided the village of Hares following the accident on route 505. (See Human Rights Report No.447)

Little after 04:00am, a Hares resident called IWPS and informed us of three more arrests of young boys in the village, including his son. According to him, the Israel army came to his door at 03:05 am on March 17.
IWPS volunteers went to his house to gather information on the arrest. The father of the boy gave us the following account:

The family arrived home at approximately 1:30 in the morning, after visiting a sick family member in the hospital in Nablus. At 3.05 AM, soldiers came to the door and banged it hard. He went to the door answering, “What do you want? I am opening it.” However, before he could open it the soldiers broke the steel door open. He saw 3 jeeps in front of his house and later witnessed two additional trucks leaving the village. Approximately 15 soldiers came into the house and placed all the family members in one room. All the soldiers wore face masks, exposing only their eyes. The soldiers were accompanied by two men who identified themselves as agents of the Israeli intelligence agency, commonly known as the Shabak or Shin Bet. The house was surrounded by the soldiers prior to the invasion. One of the soldiers was of Yemeni origin and spoke fluent Arabic.

The soldiers collected all the telephones, both landlines and mobiles, so that the family could not ask outside help. Furthermore, residents stated that the signals of the mobile phones were disrupted so that no outside contact could be established. During the interrogation, the Shabak agents took individual members of the family to the kitchen and demanded both the mobile number of the boy and the house phone number, appearing to cross-check the information with a paper written in Hebrew. The father stated that the paper appeared to be a list of children wanted by the IOF.

The boy who was arrested was sleeping when the soldiers broke into their home. Once he was identified, he was taken outside and handcuffed and blindfolded in front of his father. The boy is 15 years old and has no previous record of arrest. The father stated that most of the children arrested on Friday and Sunday morning are nearly the same age and in the same class at Hares secondary school. Before the boy was taken away, a Shabak agent told the boy to, “kiss and hug your mother good-bye. You may never see her again.”

 A hat left by IOF soldier

The family did not know where the boy was taken to, but the father saw army jeeps going direction of illegal settlement Qedumim. The family was not notified at any point why the child was being arrested. At approximately 09:00, the mother received a phone call from a member of the Israeli security service stating that the boy was taken to Al-Jalame prison and interrogation center near Haifa. Subsequently, the boy’s lawyer was denied to visit his client, and his parents were not allowed to be present during his interrogation.
IWPS volunteers went to another house where a 16-year old boy was also arrested for the first time. The father told us the following:

At about 03:00 am, 20 to 25 soldiers came into the house. The whole family was made to stay in one room while the soldiers questioned the family members one by one. They wanted to know their phone numbers, workplaces, etc. and again, cross-checked the information with a list written in Hebrew. The reason for the arrest was not given but the family was told, “this boy is a trouble maker “and the father was questioned about the recent car accident on Route 5 that injured a family from the illegal settlement of Yakir.

Following the interrogation, the boy was taken outside, handcuffed and blindfolded. At the time of invasion, there were nine people in the house; the youngest member of the family is a 6 year old child. The parents noted the trauma also experienced by their other children, who were frightened by the threats of the soldiers.
IWPS also visited the house of the third boy who was arrested. He is 16 years old and has no previous history of arrest.

The family members present at the house stated that:

At around 04:00, approximately 20-25 masked soldiers and 2 agents of the Shabak entered the home in search of the boy, who was sleeping. There are 12 people living in the house, the youngest of which is a 12 year old child. During the interrogation, the family was shown a paper in Hebrew and forced to state their telephone numbers and full names. The agents made notes about other young men present in the house. Afterwards, the boy was taken outside, handcuffed behind his back and blindfolded. The soldiers and Shabak agents did not state where the boy would be taken or the reason for his arrest.

Currently, residents of Hares report that two of the 13 children recently arrested are being held at Huwwara military base, two from Kifl Hares were released, seven in Al-Jalame prison (also known as Kishon) in northern Israel, and the whereabouts of two are unknown. A local residence reported that one released from Kifl Hares was taken to a hospital.

The movement of these youth to prisons inside Israel is in contravention of the fourth Geneva Convention, article 76 which states that individuals detained or arrested in occupied territories cannot be transferred beyond the boundaries of the territory in question. Defense for Children International (DCI) recently reported that nearly 60 percent of Palestinian children arrested by the Israeli army are transferred to prisons inside Israel. Detention outside of the Occupied Territories nearly ensures that family members will not be able to visit the children due to restrictions imposed upon freedom of movement by the Israeli occupation.

Furthermore, keeping minors (below 18 years old) detained in the same prisons as adults is also a contravention of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

For more information:

See recent report released by UNICEF: Children in Israeli military detention: observations and recommendations: http://www.unicef.org/media/media_68093.html

See IWPS Human Rights Report Nº447 on the arrest of 10 other children from Hares

See a video from Defense of Children International-Palestine Section about Palestinian children under detention: “Alone”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f5tPd3NtF0

Report written by: Meg & Ashley

Report edited by: Maria

Date of report:  March 17, 2013


Human Rights Report No. 447

Human Rights Summary:  Arrest of 10 adolescents in Hares, Salfit

Date of incidents:  March 15, 2013

Place: Haris, Salfit

Witnesses: Families of those arrested.

Description of Incidents:

At around 18:30 on Thursday, March 14, a woman from an illegal settlement and her three daughters were injured in a car accident allegedly caused by stones thrown by Palestinians on Route 5 connecting Tel Aviv and Ariel (Salfit governorate).

According to the Israeli website Ynet, the truck driver told police at the scene that he pulled over after he heard a thud, thinking it was the result of a flat tire. ‘At that point I noticed the stones on the road,” the driver said, “and when I came back to the truck I realized that the car had crashed into the truck and was basically buried under the truck.”Responding to settlers’ angry reaction to the incident, Israeli army set up flying checkpoints on Route 5 and at the entrances of some of the Salfit villages near the site of the accident.

Site of the accident on Route 5

Following this incident, IWPS team was called by the villagers of Hares to document the following facts: Israeli soldiers came in to the village between 5:00 am and 6:00 am on March 15. A father of a boy who was taken away gave us the following account:
“About fifty to sixty soldiers arrived at my home and knocked at the door, hitting it hard and shouting loudly. While I was trying to tell them ‘Wait a minute, I’m opening it,’ the soldiers broke open the iron door. Two of the soldiers were masked, and they were accompanied by two dogs. They demanded to know the whereabouts of my fifteen year-old son, so I called him from upstairs where he was sleeping.”

The son came down in his pajamas, and the soldiers immediately took him outside, made him stand against the wall, and proceeded to blindfold and handcuff him. One of the soldiers was holding him from the collar of his shirt, while four others were surrounding him. The father tried to go out to comfort his frightened son, but he was prevented by the soldiers, at gun point, to get back into the house. He only managed to bring shoes for his son, before they took him away. They also took the son’s ID.

The father told us that none of his children had previously been arrested by the army. He mentioned that his wife is bedridden because of her health issues, also implying that the shock of what happened had great impact on her. The family did not know where his son had been taken.

The iron door broken open by the soldiers

The IWPS team managed to talk to another family whose son was also arrested. The families live on the same street. The father of this boy told us that his son is fifteen years-old and that he is even too young to have his own ID yet. His son and the previous boy are classmates. He added that neither this son nor any of his other children had been arrested previously.

At the time of the invasion, ten family members were sleeping upstairs. They did not hear the soldiers break down the door. All of sudden, as our storyteller awoke in his bed, he realized that he was surrounded by the soldiers in his own bedroom. The soldiers were violent and rough, shouting and frightening the family. His son was taken away by the soldiers in his shorts. The father was allowed to provide the boy with a pair of shoes, but they did not allow any other provisions. The soldiers told him that they would take him “to the detectives” for investigation.

While the soldiers were still inside the house, they interrogated another son, who is twelve years-old, inquiring about his name, his activities and so on. They also took his photo.

The father said that the army took a piece of paper from his ID that listed the names of all of his children. He also said that the soldiers brought with them a paper with a list of children they were looking for. He mentioned that all of the boys arrested are friends and most of them school classmates. He did not know where his son had been taken.
Additionally, Israel soldiers also raided the neighboring village, Kifr Hares and arrested two teenagers who were released soon after. However, one of them was subsequently taken to a hospital because he had been seriously beaten.

Our village contact, who informed us of the arrests, told us that a local resident had followed the army bus that took the ten children and had seen that they were taken to Huwwara military base (south of Nablus). He speculated that they will be kept there for two days at the hands of the soldiers in order to weaken them and make them more vulnerable, before taking them to the military court on Sunday, or for more interrogation. He was afraid that the kids may be pressured to “confess” that they threw the stones that are said to have caused the car accident, which may lead to their imprisonment for up to 10 years.

It was speculated that the list with the boys’ names was provided to the army by the Shabak, based on information given by Palestinian local informants.

As of Saturday, March 16, the boys have been separated in pairs, and two of them were transferred to Jalame interrogation center in Israel; it is not clear where exactly the others were taken, and apparently some remain in Huwwara military base (there is no certainty about the numbers).

According to a report released early this month by UNICEF, Palestinian children detained by the Israeli military are subject to widespread, systematic ill-treatment that violates international law.

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) estimated that 700 Palestinian children aged 12-17, most of them boys, are arrested, interrogated and detained by the Israeli military, police and security agents every year in the occupied West Bank.

UNICEF said it had identified some examples of practices that “amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture”.
According to the report, ill-treatment of Palestinian minors typically begins with the arrest itself, often carried out in the middle of the night by heavily armed soldiers, and continuing all the way through prosecution and sentencing.
“The pattern of ill-treatment includes […] the practice of blindfolding children and tying their hands with plastic ties, physical and verbal abuse during transfer to an interrogation site, including the use of painful restraints,” the report said.

It said minors, most of whom are arrested for throwing stones, suffer physical violence and threats during their interrogation, are coerced into confession and do not have immediate access to a lawyer or family during questioning.

“Treatment inconsistent with child rights continues during court appearances, including shackling of children, denial of bail and imposition of custodial sentences and transfer of children outside occupied Palestinian territory to serve their sentences inside Israel,” the report noted. Such practices “appear to be widespread, systemic and institutionalized.”

UNICEF based its findings on more than 400 cases documented since 2009 as well as legal papers, reports by governmental and non-governmental groups and interviews with Palestinian minors and with Israeli and Palestinian officials and lawyers. (Maayan Lubell, Reuters, March 6).

See a video from Defense of Children International–Palestine section on children under detention: “Alone

Report written by: Maria
Report edited by:   Meg & Abby
Date of report:  March 16, 2013
The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine.

 


INCIDENT REPORT 2013-1
121 Olive Trees Stolen in Qaryout near Nablus
13 March 2013

The IWPS team was asked to go to Qaryout village located south of Nablus to document an incident affecting a local farmer. We met the 72 year old father of nine, at the Baladiya (Municipality Building) to find out what had happened.

The farmer went to his olive grove, which is located on the east side of the village, yesterday (12 March) at around 8.30 in the morning, only to discover that 121 out of his 211 olive trees were uprooted and taken away from his land.

He said that he believed that the settlers from the illegal Shevot Rahil settlement and the Yechia outpost were responsible for the devastation of his grove. The stolen trees were still small, as they had only been planted on 2 January this year. The farmer immediately contacted the Palestinian District Coordination Liaison Office (DCL), informing them what had happened. Two hours later, an Israeli officer from the District Coordination Office (DCO) arrived and advised him to file a complaint at the police station in Benyamin settlement.

Yechia Illegal Outpost

In spite of being very upset by the damage done to his olive grove, the farmer continued to work on his land, as he is only allowed to access it two days (March 12 and 13) from 8.30 until 3pm. This is because his land is located in an area defined by the Oslo Accords as ‘Area C’ and because it is located near the illegal settlement; the farmer has to get Israeli permission to access his land. The time given is not sufficient and to do all the work which needs doing, the farmer has to employ two tractors to work at the same time.

Shevot Rahil

Qaryout is a village in Nablus governorate with 2,800 inhabitants. It has 14,000 dunums of land, of which 9,000 is an ‘urban area’. The housing situation is dire because building is allowed only on 360 dunums, which fall outside Area C. Twelve houses received demolition orders and the road going through the middle of the village is also threatened with demolition. Very different building rules apply to the illegal settlement Shevot Rahil which was started on the same day that the Accords were signed.
Nowadays Qaryout is completely surrounded by six illegal settlements. The village, along with other villages in the region, such as Jalud and Qusra, have been a target of repeated settler attacks since the settlements colonized the area.

This particular farmer had numerous problems with the settlers from the surrounding settlers and outposts. On 13 January 2010, settlers used tractors to destroy the wheat planted in 30 dunums of his land which was ready to be harvested shortly after; on 17 June 2007, settlers uprooted 300 half a century old olive trees and on 23 October 2000 settlers stole olives the farmer had harvested.

On 2 November 2006 settlers attacked and beat up the farmer, his wife, his son and grandson. The beating was so severe that the farmer and his son had to spend time in the hospital.

After meeting the farmer we spoke with the Municipality spokesperson, who is also a coordinator of the Popular Struggle Committee in Qaryout and neighboring villages and a volunteer with the Human Rights organization B’Tselem and with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.

He took us to the roof top of the Baladiya, from where we could clearly see the settlements Eli, Shilo, and Shevot Rahil and outposts, such as Yechia, surrounding the village. He showed us a road that leads to the Shilo settlement, which is lined with cages housing dogs, which are a part of settlement security and together with video cameras, to monitor whoever gets closer to the road.

The spokesperson showed us photos and videos of the many settler incursions in the village and the surrounding areas, which would intensify during the harvest and ploughding seasons. The archeological site of Khirbet Sarra did not escape settlers attention and in one of their raids the settlers stole artifacts dating from Roman times.

Photos and footage of settler attacks and incursions into the village are available on the Qaryout Alsmood Facebook page.

Written by Meg and Marie
Edited by Rada


Human Rights Report No. 446
Human Rights Summary:  Olive Tree Planting to Commemorate Rachel Corrie

Date of incidents:  Monday, March 11, 2013

Place:  Asira al-Qibliya

Witnesses: Villagers, ISM and IWPS volunteers



Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents: 

At around 11: 00 a.m., residents of ‘Asira al-Qibliya (Asira, hereafter) gathered on a hill overlooking the
village near the illegal settlement of Yitzhar, and planted olive trees to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the murder of Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist who was working in solidarity with Palestinians.

Residents of Asira plant Olive Trees in memory of Rachael Corrie

Residents of Asira plant Olive Trees in memory of Rachael Corrie

The non-violent demonstration ended successfully with planting ten olive trees, despite the activity being cut short by military harassment and threats from settlers from the illegal settlement nearby.

Throughout the morning, soldiers stationed at the top of the hill overlooking ‘Asira continually harassed the residents and approximately twenty minutes after the planting began, 17 soldiers descended and demanded that the residents cease planting the trees. They claimed that agricultural work was not permitted on that part of the land, despite the fact that the land in question is privately-owned by a Palestinian and the owner was present during the planting.



After spending approximately 20 minutes speaking with the owner of the land, the IOF commander announced that everyone present must leave the area in five minutes or else the army would employ violent means against those who are remaining. The local residents decided to move down the hill where they were planting the trees, so that there would be a greater distance from the army.

All the trees were decorated with the photo of the slain activist.

Soon afterwards, settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar began to gather at the top of the hill closest to an outpost attached to the settlement. Sixteen masked settlers, some armed with slingshots and
 stones descended the hill toward the residents of ‘Asira.

Settlers menace villagers planting olive trees on their village land.

Settlers menace villagers planting olive trees on their village land.

In the ensuing altercation, tear gas and rubber bullets were fired by the IOF toward the residents of Asira, who were standing on their village lands. They were chased away by the soldiers to protect the settlers. The settlers went back to the outpost and 
around 14:00 p.m., the tree planting ended.

Asira al-Qibliya is a Palestinian village located 14 kilometers southwest of Nablus. The village, together with Burin, Einabous, Huwwara, Madama and Urif, has continually faced violence from the nearby
illegal settlement of Yitzhar, which is considered to be one of the most extremist settlements in the West Bank.

For reference, please see UNOCHA map of villages affected by violence from Yizhar settlement and outposts: http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_yitzhar_map_february_2012_map_english.pdf

Report written by: Ashley and Maria

Report edited by: Meg

Date of report: March 11, 2013


 

Human Rights Report No. 445

Human Rights Summary:  
Date of incidents:  Friday, March 8, 2013

Place:  Sebastiya, Nablus governorate, West Bank

Witnesses: Residents of Sebastiya, Israeli activists, ISM and IWPS volunteers
Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those 
involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you 
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

The residents of the town of Sebastiya held a demonstration for the first time on Friday 8th of March against the raw sewage that runs through their farm land from illegal settlement of Shave Shomron. It started last December and has since been endangering the health of farmers, animals and the land. The Palestinian community has been demanding the settlement to stop dumping the sewage, but to no avail.

Palestinian woman stand against settlers desecrating the lands of Sebastiya

Palestinian woman stand against settlers desecrating the lands of Sebastiya

Approximately 180 people attended the demonstration including children and a large number of women near Shave Shomron settlement. Some 5-6 Israeli activists, 3 volunteers from ISM and 3 from IWPS joined their protest.

Protesters gathered at 11:00am in front of the municipality of Sebastiya, and went to the farm land in buses and cars along road 5715. Once there, they performed the midday Friday prayers in the affected land. After the speeches by a few locals, protesters started to walk over the creek toward the separation fence between Sebastiya and the illegal settlement.

Sebastiya

Sebastiya

 
There were three army jeeps with soldiers standing by. Several soldiers were seen up the hill among the olive glove. As soon as the crowd started go up the hill toward the fence, without any provocation nor warning, the Israeli soldiers started to throw sound bombs and shoot tear gas into the crowd.

Some young boys started to throw stones at the soldiers. Around 10 people were treated by the paramedics of PMRS for tear gas inhalation. At about 13:30pm the demonstration was over and the people returned peacefully to the town.

Sebastiya is located in the Nablus governorate, in the northern West Bank. It is famous for its ancient archeological site from the Roman times, with the remains of King Herod’s palace and an amphitheater.

The town of approximately 3000 people has been suffering from the nearby illegal settlement of Shave Shomron. We heard that twice a year, the settlers celebrate students graduation ceremonies at the amphitheater, putting the whole town under curfew.

Report written by: Maria
Report edited by:   Meg & Ashley
Date of report:  March 9, 2013

The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine

Email: palhouse@iwps-pal.org

Website: www.iwps.info

Operating out of Deir Istiya, International Women’s Peace Service monitors and responds to Human Rights Abuses in the area. Part of our mission is to contact the relevant authorities in the case of any arrests that take place in the Salfit area.


 

Human Rights Report No. 444


Human Rights Summary:  
Date of incidents:  Friday, March 1, 2013

Place:  Olive Grove just outside Illegal Bruquin Industrial Settlement

Witnesses: Villagers and IWPS volunteers

Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those
involved. However, we will do our best to provide  you with the information you
may require, on request.

Description of Incidents:

The residents of Bruqin village and supporters from neighboring villages held a demonstration against the possible expansion of the illegal industrial settlement of Barqan and any industrial expansion of nearby Ariel on Friday March 1st. Approximately 200 demonstrators attended the protest, which was held on Waqf (local communal land trust) lands of the Salfit area, overlooking Barqan settlement.

Protesters walked from both Bruqin village and nearby road 4765 to meet for the midday Friday prayers. Approximately fifty protesters arriving from road 4765 were immediately confronted by two army jeeps and twenty soldiers, who prohibited them from sitting in the fields near the industrial area.

Upon reaching the protest site, members of the communities presented a recently issued document from the DCL, affirming the ownership of two hundred dunams by the Waqf, to the Israeli Occupation Forces.

Briefly following the presentation, Israeli soldiers began throwing sound bombs and firing tear gas into the crowd, particularly into the olive groves on the outskirts of Bruqin village. The soldiers fired tear gas for nearly one and a half hours, while intermittently raiding the olive groves to attempt to arrest local youth.

Three local men from Bruqin, between the ages of twenty-five and tweny-seven, were arrested while attempting to leave the demonstration. Two of the men are brothers; one of them is a teacher in Bruqin and the other is currently a student at Al-Najah University in Nablus. All those arrested were released five hours later.

Bruqin is located in the Salfit governorate in the central West Bank. The village of approximately 3,200 people has been targeted by the continued expansion of the illegal industrial settlement of Barqan and by Ariel, one of the largest illegal settlement in the West Bank. Bruqin and the surrounding communities are continually affected by industrial waste from the settlements that pollutes ground wells, endangering the health of local
residents.

Report written by: Ashley

Report edited by:   Meg & Abby

Date of report:  March 4, 2013

The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine.

Email: palhouse@imps-pal.org

Website: http://iwps.info


 

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