During the month of April, the Israeli Occupation continued to accelerate the construction of its illegal settlements and increased repression of the people resisting the colonization. The implementation of the settlement project, and the destruction of Palestinian farms and properties that comes with it, is part of the systematic policy of ethnic cleansing and population transfer. Stop The Wall documents below these and other crimes as witnessed in the West Bank during the month of April.
Repression has been acute during April. Five Palestinians, including one child, have been killed in the West Bank by the Israeli occupation forces. 86 people have been injured both in Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including 19 minors and female human rights defenders. 27 home confiscations and expulsions of entire communities have taken place, both, in the occupied Palestinian territories. Palestinian homes have been confiscated in specific areas in order to transform them into military outposts. As Palestinian homeowners, neighbours and other residents resisted the confiscation of their property, the Israeli Occupation arrested 68 Palestinians in Jerusalem, including 16 minors and 10 female human rights defenders, as part of these confiscations.
Palestinians protested the approval of 785 new settlement units during April 2015. This resulted in 63 attacks by settlers against Palestinians and their properties. Stop The Wall documented as much as possible of the Israeli crimes ad violations of human rights. The Israeli occupation forces destroyed a large number of Palestinian properties and farms. 900 trees were uprooted and damaged. The demolitions affected 31 homes, agricultural buildings and commercial properties. In addition, the Israeli Occupation announced the temporary forcible displacement of 57 Palestinian families proclaiming their communities as military training zones.
A short list of human rights violations committed by the Israeli occupation forces during April:
Killings: 5 Palestinians have been killed, including one minor
- On the early Morning of Wednesday April 8 2015, the Israeli occupation forces shot dead Mohammad Jasser Karakra. He was 27 years old from the town of Sinijl, located north of Ramallah. The Israeli occupation forces claimed that Mohammad Jasser stabbed three Israeli soldiers when he got stopped next to Shilo settlement. However, there are no witnesses for the account given by the Israeli military.
- Another Palestinian youth was shot dead by the Israeli occupation forces on April 10. The man was Ziyad Omar Awad and 29 years old from Beit Ummar village, to the north of Hebron. He got killed during the funeral of Jaffar Awad, who in turn had been killed in an Israeli prison due to medical neglect. During the funeral, a number of other Palestinians were wounded by live ammunition at the main entrance of the village and others got wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets.
- The number of Palestinian youth killed by the Israeli occupation forces under unclear or falsified circumstances is increasing. In another assault on April 25, the Israeli occupation forces murdered the Palestinian Mahmoud Yaha Younes Abu Jhesha. Mahmoud Yaha Younes Abu Jhesha was from the town of Ethna, located west Hebron. He was killed while trying to pass the electric gate located at the center of Hebron. The gate forces Palestinians to be stopped and searched by Israeli military even to enter their mosque to pray. Mahmoud was trying to pass the checkpoint to pray at the mosque, but the Israeli occupation forces killed him with eight live bullets. The Israeli occupation forces later claimed that he stabbed one of the Israeli soldiers stationed at the checkpoint.
- Another Palestinian killed in April is the minor Ali Mohammed Ali Saeed “Abu Ghanem” (17 years old). The Israeli occupation forces murdered him while he was trying to enter through Alzaeem checkpoint to occupied Jerusalem. According to witnesses, Ali and the soldiers at the checkpoint got into an argument. During the discussion, one of the soldiers at the checkpoint opened fire at Ali. He was killed by 10 bullets in his chest and other parts of his body. Ali was left on the ground and bled to death. The Palestinian Red Cross team was not allowed to assist him. Again, the Israeli occupation forces claimed that Ali tried to stab one of the soldiers.
- The Israeli occupation forces shot at the Palestinian Mohammad Murad Mohammad Saleh, 19 years old. A soldier shot at him with a live bullet while he was on his own land near the apartheid Wall, east of Jenin. Mohammad died a few hours later from his wounds.
Injuries: 86 Palestinian got injured, 8 from Gaza and the rest from the West Bank, 19 of the injured were children and women activists
- Hebron District:
29 Palestinians, including two minors, have been injured during an attempt by the Israeli occupation forces to invade the areas of Slwand and Alz’eem. Further 4 Palestinians, including one minor, have been shot at with live bullets in Beit Umar (north Hebron) during the funeral of Jaffar Abrahim Yousef, who had been killed in an Israeli prison due to medical neglect.
- Qalqilia District:
In Kufr Qaddoum, located north east of Qalqiliya, 17 Palestinians, including four minors, have been injured during the weekly demonstration against Israel’s apartheid Wall and colonization. Two minors have been injured in Azoon, south of Qalqiliya after they came across an explosive object that detonated.
- Ramallah district:
Several Palestinians, including one minor, got injured during two separate demonstrations. Both demonstrations were held in front of the Israeli prison Ofar, south west of Ramallah city. Another four Palestinians, including two minors, have been injured during demonstrations, which were organized at the entrance of Jalazoon Refugee Camp, north Ramallah city.
Two Palestinian women got injured during a demonstration, organized to protest the Psagot settlement. Six Palestinians, including 3 minors, have been shot at during demonstrations in Ni’lin and Bil’in. Three Palestinians, including two minors, got injured during demonstrations at the west entrance of Silwad, north east of Ramallah. Three Palestinians, including one woman activist, got injured during the weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh.
- Nablus District:
Two Palestinians, including one minor, got injured in the refugee camp of Al Farra, south of Nablus, after clashes with the Israeli occupation forces vehicles.
- Gaza District:
Eight Palestinian, including 3 minors, have been injured in the city of Khuzaa and Abasan, south of Khan Younes in the Gaza Strip. These injuries happened during separate incidents during which Israeli occupation forces opened fire at the population. The so-called ‘seam zone’ proclaimed by Israel transforms a large part of the Palestinian agricultural land in the Gaza Strip in a free firing zone. The Israeli occupation claimed that the injured people were close by the border.
Most of the injuries happened because of the tear gas grenades and during different demonstrations in different districts. Tear gas inhalation is not a minor issue and has in some cases lead to the death of participants in activities.
Invasions and arrests:
During April, besides repressing the popular action, the Israeli Occupation Forces invaded Palestinian areas 31 times, both in Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. 27 invasions occurred in Jerusalem and four invasions occurred in the Gaza Strip. 190 Palestinians got arrested, including 26 minors and 12 women. 68 Palestinians were arrested only in Jerusalem, including 16 minors and 10 women. All of those 68 were arrested in the process of takeovers of Palestinian homes in order to transform them into military bases.
Settlements and settler attacks:
The Israeli government approved constructions plans for 77 settlement units in East Jerusalem. The settlements will be built in the north of Jerusalem. Another settlement construction plan to build 708 settlement units in Gilo settlement, located in north of Bethlehem, has been published.
- We documented 63 attacks by Israeli settlers against the Palestinian and their properties. Most of these attacks happened in Jerusalem.
- There were 21 attacks in Jerusalem, 14 attacks in Hebron, nine in Bethlehem, seven attacks in Salfit, one attack in Ramallah, and one attack in Qalqiliya. These attacks included attacks at archeological and religious sites. Settlers carried out eleven physical attacks on Palestinians and there were six attacks that caused the closure of roads and cities.
- Uprooting of olive trees:
o During this month, the Israeli occupation forces and the settlers started a campaign that at uprooting and destroying trees owned by Palestinians. Settlers in Salfit uprooted 600 trees. 150 olive trees were uprooted in Wadi Qana under the pretext of the area being declared by Israel a natural reserve. Settlers from Imanuel settlerment uprooted 450 olive trees in the village of Deir Istia.
o In Bethlehem, settlers from Bat Ayin uprooted 185 trees in Bethlehem.100 olive trees have been uprooted in the village of Jab’a. Still in Bethlehem district, settlers destroyed 50 olive trees belonging to the Palestinian Mohammad Ibrahim Ghnem in the village of Al Khader. Settlers of Betar Ilit destroyed 35 olive and other kind of trees belonging to the Palestinians Rajee and Mohammad Sbateen from the Hosan village.
o In Hebron district, 115 trees have been destroyed by settlers from Karme Zur. 85 of them were grape trees and 30 olive trees. All cultivated in the lands of town of Halhul.
Demolitions and demolition orders for 31 houses, farms, and commercial properties
The bulldozers of the Israeli occupation vehicles destroyed eight homes and numerous structures in the West Bank districts.
- In Jericho, they destroyed five buildings – a tent, two barracks and three homes – in the area of Al-Mkhrook- Abu Ajaj in the village of Jeftlik. The buildings belonged to the three brothers Mahmoud and Mohammed Yaqoub and Mateb Al-De’es and to Fathi Abdullah Tareel. 32 people have been living in these structures.
- In Jerusalem, Israeli occupation forces destroyed three homes, a building, and commercial place. The Israeli occupation forces destroyed several commercial properties nearby Hizma village, in East Jerusalem.
- The Israeli occupation forces destroyed a store selling construction stones that belonged to Rafaa Hassan Al Khatib.
- The Israeli occupation forces confiscated a mobile house that was part of a wedding hall and belongs to Bashar Abu Khalil. In the same area, the occupation forces confiscated equipments from Zayd Ibrahim, including a vacuum cleaner and a mobile house to store construction equipments, and confiscated a vehicle full of construction stones that belongs to Rafaa Al Awfar.
- In Wadi Al Jooz in East Jerusalem, the Israeli occupation forces destroyed an entire four-floor building that belonged to Akram Abu Shleek. The pretext for the demolition was once again lack of permits.
- The occupation vehicles destroyed a mobile house that belonged to Mohammad Shobakeh in the town of Bet Hanina, north Jerusalem.
- In the E1 area, east of Jerusalem, Israeli occupation forces confiscated twelve solar panels installed in the area of Khan Akhmar. This latter confiscation was widely reported as it was part of an EU funded project.
- In Hebron district, Israeli occupation forces destroyed two properties claiming that these houses are located within the Area C as defined by the Oslo agreements and lack the proper permission. They announced demolition orders for another five homes in the district.
- In Tobas and the northern Jordan Valley, the Israeli occupation forces decided to evacuate 57 Palestinian families to hold military exercises in the area.
In addition, the Israeli Occupation handed out orders to stop construction for 19 houses in different areas of the West Bank. In Jerusalem, they decided to hand out such orders for 14 homes and properties.