Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. Even more, IOF continued its demolition operations and delivery of cease-construction and demolition notices in the West Bank, which includes occupied East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 193 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.
IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:
IOF killed Atef Y. A. Hanaysheh (46) on 19 March 2021 with a bullet in the head while suppressing a peaceful protest in Beit Dajan, northeastern Nablus. No threat was present to the lives of Israeli soldiers. IOF also shot and wounded another Palestinian in another peaceful protest in Nablus.
In the Gaza Strip, 4 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza; and 4 at fishing boats in the Gaza sea.
IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:
IOF carried out 167 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 98 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 children.
In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted one limited incursion into eastern Rafah.
PCHR documented 7 incidents:
East Jerusalem: 2-storey house demolished in Silwan; 3 houses were self-demolished in Isawiya and Shufat camp; land and cement pillars demolished (under-construction house) in Shufat.
Jenin: demolition notice served to car repair workshop in Arraba.
Salfit: military order to confiscate 17 dunums and 497 meters from Bruqin, Haris and Sarta.
PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 5 attacks:
Occupied east Jerusalem:
- 2 vehicles set ablaze.
Ramallah: 2400 almond seedlings uprooted, and fence cut
Bethlehem: lands razed in Kisan for construction of a settlement road
Nablus: 25 tree seedlings uprooted.
Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:
IOF imposed a complete 24-hour shutdown from Tuesday midnight, 23 March 2021, justifying it with the Israeli Knesset elections.
The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. The United Nations confirmed that the Gaza conditions are worsening, with deteriorating health, power, and water services. The UN emphasized that the Gaza Strip requires immense efforts in the housing and education sectors and to create job opportunities.
Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.
I. Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity
- At approximately 08:20 on Friday, 19 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
- At approximately 08:50, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Maghazi camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no casualties were reported.
- On Friday, 19 March 2021, in a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian during the suppression of a peaceful protest in Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus, northern West Bank. The civilian died after an Israeli soldier shot him in the head with a live round, despite being unarmed and posing no imminent threat to the soldiers’ lives. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 12:30 on Friday, 19 March 2021, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, northeast of Nablus, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the national labor factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers. They parked their vehicles in al-Marhan area, east of the village, and continued walking to the settlement outpost established on the eastern mount, around 2000 meters away from al-Marhan area. At approximately 12:50, the protesters were surprised with IOF deploying on the top of the mountain, around 1500 meters away from the outpost. IOF immediately opened fire at the protesters, and clashes that continued for 10 minutes broke out, during which the protesters threw stones where the Israeli soldiers were stationed. The soldiers moved forward until they were 70 meters away from the protesters. Meanwhile, one of the soldiers fired a live bullet at a protester; the bullet settled in his head wounding him under his right eye. The protesters carried the injured protester, whose face and head were all covered in blood, and took him to Harayeq al-Damanah prairie, where they put him in a civilian car that drove him to Nablus. A Palestinian ambulance was there, and when they wanted to put him inside the ambulance, he was already dead. His body was taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus. He was later identified as ‘Atef Yousif Ahmed Hanayshah (46), Imam of al-Jadeed Mosque from Beit Dajan village in Nablus. He was a father of 3 children, including a daughter with cancer.
- At approximately 14:00 on Friday, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest organized by the residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, international activists and representative of national activities in protest at vacating and displacing 7 Palestinian families from the neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, in favor of Israeli settlers. The protest started from the neighborhood, at the call of the families whose houses are threatened to be vacated, towards the neighborhood’s main entrance. The participants raised banners, chanted slogans against Israeli occupation and ethnic displacement in favor of Israeli settlers. The Israeli police surrounded the area and ordered the protestors to leave. Meanwhile, the participants headed to another place in the neighborhood. Few minutes later, IOF returned, attacked the suppressed the protest, prevented the protestors from raising the Palestinian flags, fired sounds bombs at them, beat them up, and attempted to arrest Bodour Hasan. It should be noted that the Israeli Central Court recently gave al-Kurd, al-Qasem, al-Ja’ouni, and Iskafi families until the beginning of May to vacate their houses for settlers, under the pretext that the ownership of the lands, where houses are established, belongs to settlers. Additionally, the Israeli Central Court gave Hammad, al-Dawoudi and al-Dejanu families until the beginning of August 2021 to vacate their houses.
- At approximately 07:50 on Saturday, 20 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
- At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city in the center of the Gaza Strip, and east of Gaza Valley (Juhor al-Deek) village, southeast of Gaza City, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no causalities were reported.
- At approximately 20:05 on Sunday, 31 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Gaza Seaport, west of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 6 nautical miles, causing fear among them and forcing them to leave. No causalities or material damage were reported.
- At approximately 21:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.
- At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 22 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, heavily opened fire around them and pumped water at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
- At approximately 20:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Al-Fukhari village, east of Khan Yunis; no casualties were reported.
- At approximately 01:40 on Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF along with Israeli settlers and accompanied with a bulldozer and a helicopter moved into al-‘Umra Mount, southeast of Beita village in Nablus, north of the West Bank. IOF suppressed dozens of civilians, who gathered in the area at 20:00 in the previous day to protect it from settlers. IOF fired live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters at the civilians to disperse them. The clashes continued until 11:40. As a result, a 25-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his head and taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. Also, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. IOF arrested Salem Hussain Dowikat, 38, taking him to an unknown destination.