Thursday, June 30, 2011

PCHR weekly report 23/6 - 29/6/2011: 1 disabled Palestinian arrested in Erez, attack on protesters in Beit Hanoun

extracts from PCHR weekly report 23/6 - 29/6/2011:

IOF arrested a physically disabled young man at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the Gaza Strip. 

On 28 June 2011, IOF opened fire at a number of Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists who demonstrated nearly 500 meters away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israeli in the northern Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

At approximately 11:00, Israeli soldiers stationed on observation towers along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire near a number of Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists who were demonstrating in the east of Beit Hanoun town. About 80 persons, including 6 members of the International Solidarity Movement, 13 members of the Local Initiative in Beit Hanoun town, 15 journalists, 10 farmers and 40 children. The children flew kites, which bore a number of slogans calling for freedom for Palestinian children and lifting the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. When the demonstrators got as close as to 500 meters away from the border, Israeli soldiers fired at them. No casualties were reported.

Arrests at Military Checkpoints 

On Thursday evening, 23 June 2011, Israeli soldiers positioned at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the far north of the Gaza Strip, arrested Ayoub Ameen ‘Atallah, 19, from Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip. ‘Atalllah had undergone a plastic surgery on Slovenia, as his right leg was amputated by an Israeli shelling near his house on 28 April 2011. He traveled to Slovenia together with another 16 Palestinians on 01 May 2011, and on that day he was on his way back to the Gaza Strip.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Demonstration in Beit Hanoun

21 June 2011 | International Solidarity Movement

At 11 A.M. this morning we gathered for the weekly demonstration against the occupation in Beit Hanoun.  This demonstration was different from the other demonstrations though.  Today, a troupe of young girls were joining us.  The girls were part of the Vittorio Arrigoni summer camp that had been organized by the Forsan Al Ghad center in Beit Hanoun.  Earlier in the morning the children had learned to sing Bella Ciao and had a 1K race.  The five fastest children were awarded t shirts as prizes.  The summer camp aims not only to provide a happy refuge for the children, but also to impress upon them the importance of being active, of giving back to their communities.  The camp hopes to inspire the campers through the life of Vittorio, with his devotion to standing in solidarity with the oppressed.  When Vittorio was alive he was a regular at the demonstrations in Beit Hanoun, every Tuesday he would march into the buffer zone to protest the injustice of the occupation.
Today, we gathered, maybe 50 people, the girls holding a giant Palestinian flag over their heads, the rest of us carrying our own Palestinian flags.  Bella Ciao played over a loudspeaker, the girls sang along.  After Bella Ciao we chanted, against the occupation, for justice, in memory of Vittorio.  As always, the closer we got to the buffer zone the more tense everyone became, a jackhammer started work in the distance, everyone flinched, looked around. Everyone was worried that for some unknown reason that the Israeli’s had decided to start shoting even earlier than usual.  Two weeks ago one of the young men in the march was injured by shrapnel from an Israeli shell, since then, everyone is tenser, more worried as we approach the buffer zone.  After realizing that it was just a jackhammer, people relaxed a bit, we continued on, to the edge of the buffer zone.
Usually, we go into the buffer zone, not today.  We stopped at the edge of the buffer zone; the children looked into the distance, into the land from which their grandfathers had been expelled in 1948, at the horrible ugly wall which Israel has erected to keep them from returning to their homes.  We sang, we chanted, Sabur gave a short speech, but we did not press on into the buffer zone, it is too dangerous to take the children there.  It is enough that the Israeli soldiers saw us, that they saw the children of the men their grandfathers had expelled from their homes, and that we raised our voices against injustice.

Updated on June 24, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

PCHR weekly report 16/6 - 22/6/2011: airstrike kills 3500 chickens, 2 incursions

extracts from PCHR weekly report 16/6 - 22/6/2011:

Israeli warplanes bombarded a chicken farm in the central Gaza Strip, killing 3,500 chick[en]s. 

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted two limited incursions into Palestinian areas in the central Gaza Strip, during which they leveled areas of Palestinian land.

  Monday, 20 June 2011

At approximately 08:30, IOF moved nearly 200 meters into Juhor al-Dik village, southeast of Gaza City. They searched the area for some time and withdrew later. 

At approximately 09:00, IOF moved nearly 300 meters into the east of al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. They leveled areas of land along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. They pulled back to the border at approximately 17:00.  

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

At approximately 00:25, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a 400-square-meter chicken farm belonging to ‘Alaa’ Hussein al-Louh in Wadi al-Salqa village in the central Gaza Strip. The farm was damaged and 3,500 out of 5,000 chicks were killed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

PCHR weekly report 9/6 - 15/6/2011: 1 incursion

extracts from PCHR weekly report 9/6 - 15/6/2011:

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

At approximately 06:00, IOF moved nearly 200 meters into the east of al-Boreij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. They leveled areas of land along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel amidst intensive shooting. They withdrew from the area at approximately 18:00 and no casualties were reported.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Walking to the Buffer Zone: Inside the Jail of Gaza

10 June 2011 | CounterPunchJohnny Barber

We marched to the buffer zone with about 20 others including members of the Beit Hanoun Local Initiative who have been organizing non-violent demonstrations for the past three years, as well as several members of GYBO (Gaza Youth Break Out). Carrying flags and alternately chanting, singing and walking in silence we approached the Israeli border. This is a no go zone for Palestinians. Israel has deemed that 300 meters from the wall is a buffer zone, so Palestinian farmland is taken away.
Waving flags and chanting we reached the edge of the buffer zone and continued walking. Almost immediately, dust kicked up just ahead of us, a warning shot rang out. We stopped, daring to go no further. Climbing a small embankment we waved our Palestinian flags and chanted to the soldiers hidden in the guard towers. Not five minutes passed and 2 shots rang out, one kicking up dust at our feet. 19 year old Mohammed Kafarna grabbed his neck, turned, and ran back in the direction we had come. He had been hit with shrapnel.
That effectively ended the demonstration; we turned and headed back toward the village. I was stunned that two dozen people could pose such a threat to Israel that the army would resort to using live rounds of ammunition against us. Of course, we were not a physical threat, I imagine the Israeli soldiers laughed at us as we turned and headed back. But non-violent demonstrations do cause a threat, especially when people walk to the wall and demand access to their land, their olive trees, their resources, and their homes. Israel has only one method to disperse non-violent demonstrators and that is through violent repression.
We often hear of Israel’s need for security, yet the people of Gaza are under occupation by the state of Israel and no one utters a word about their security. For years Palestinians have been killed with impunity, always with the words “Israel has a right to security.”  Over the weekend after dozens of unarmed protesters were killed by Israeli forces in the Golan, Netanyahu declared, ‘Unfortunately, extremist forces around us are trying today to breach our borders and threaten our communities and our citizens. We will not let them do that’. The Israeli military said troops fired warning shots into the air after people started approaching the border fence, then issued verbal warnings to protesters to stay away. After some of the protesters reached the fence, soldiers opened fire, ‘with precision’, at their legs. Amongst the dead was a 24 year old woman Enis Shriteh, a fourth year English student. There was no explanation on how she got confused with ‘extremist elements’. There was no explanation of how shots to demonstrator’s legs killed her. There was no questioning of Israeli statements at all. Enis Shriteh’s death did not warrant mention in the mainstream press.
Certainly no one in our group was an extremist, nor were we a threat, merely Palestinian youth and international supporters trying to reach Palestinian land. There is no denying this: Gaza is a jail and Israeli soldiers are the jailers. Imprisoned without charges, the people of Gaza are trapped. Israel would have the world believe they are beneficent and kindly jailers, desperately seeking peace. This is a lie. Gaza is under siege.
You don’t believe me? Come, we’ll walk with the people of Beit Hanoun down to the buffer zone.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

PCHR weekly report 2/6 - 8/6/2011: 1 protester wounded

extracts from PCHR weekly report 2/6 - 8/6/2011:

A Palestinian civilian was wounded in the Gaza Strip

Tuesday, 07 June 2011

At approximately 11:25, IOF positioned on observation towers at the border near Beit Hanoun "Erez" crossing, north of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, opened intensive fire at nearly 30 demonstrators, including 7 international solidarity activists, who were near the "landfill", northern the Agricultural School of al-Azhar University in the north of Beit Hanoun. The demonstrators were nearly 300 meters from the border fence. Mohammed Usama Uthman Ahmed (al-Kafarneh), 19, an activist of the Local Initiative from al-Fertah area in Beit Hanoun, sustained shrapnel wounds to the neck, the chest and the right foot. Ahmed was transferred to Beit Hanoun Public Hospital for treatment and his wounds were described to be between light and moderate. Saber al-Zaanin, coordinator for the Local Initiative in Beit Hanoun and supervision over demonstrations organized near the border against the imposition of a buffer zone by IOF to seize Palestinian property, reported that at approximately 10:50 on Tuesday, 07 June 2011, the demonstration started near the Agricultural School in Beit Hanoun and walked to the north to the border. As the demonstrators became nearly 300 meters from the border fence at approximately 11:25, the Israeli occupation soldiers sporadically opened fire into the air to cause fear to demonstrators and they then opened intensive fire near the demonstrators. Ahmed was wounded as a result and the demonstrators were in panic. The demonstrators fled the area especially as the Israeli occupation soldiers started firing directly at them. The Israeli occupation soldiers continue to fire for approximately 10 minutes and the demonstrators then managed to transfer Ahmed to Beit Hanoun Governmental Hospital.

Israeli forces build sand barrier at Gaza border town

[ 09/06/2011 - 12:04 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) mounting army tanks escorted three military bulldozers while building a huge sand barrier at the entrance to Khuza’a town, east of Khan Younis to the south of the Gaza Strip, on Thursday.
Safa news agency said that the IOF troops fired smoke bombs to cover soldiers who went on foot to escort the workers in building the barrier.
IOF soldiers regularly embark on provocative acts on Gaza’s eastern and southern borders such as shooting, bulldozing, and combing operations in a bid to lure Palestinian resistance fighters into a confrontation then blame it on them.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Palestinian teenager injured near Gaza border

7 June 2011 | International Solidarity Movement

Mohammed Kafarna

19-year-old Mohammed Kafarna was hit in the neck by bullet shrapnel during a weekly non-violent demonstration in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip.
According to the doctor treating him, there were three pieces of metal lodged in his neck, thigh and abdomen. Mohammed is in a stable condition, which will be monitored over the next 24 hours while doctors decide whether or not to operate.
Mohammed was attending a weekly demonstration that has been going for three years. Tamer Zaleen, a member of the Beit Hanoun Local Initiative which organises the event, was also at the demonstration. “We were about 150 metres from the border, standing on a mound. A warning shot was fired and then another shot, which was much closer. Shrapnel from the second shot hit Mohammed in the neck.”
Eba’a Razeq, a  blogger from Gaza, also attended the protest. She explained, “Mohammed shouted, ‘I’ve been injured!’ but we didn’t really get what was happening. Then he started running towards the car. When he arrived, he fainted.”
The demonstration protests against the Israeli-imposed “buffer zone” which prevents any person from accessing Palestinian land within 300 metres of the border with Israel. Those who enter this zone, even if they hold deeds to the land, are likely to face gunfire.
Zaleen explained, “This is the first time anyone has been injured in this peaceful demonstration since it began in 2008, but it will not stop us. This is just farming land! It is our land and we are not afraid.”

Thursday, June 2, 2011

PCHR weekly report 26/5 - 1/6/2011: 1 incursion

extracts from PCHR weekly report 26/5 - 1/6/2011:

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

At approximately 08:30, IOF moved nearly 300 meters into the east of al-Bureij refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip.  They conducted bulldozing and leveling works until 13:00. They then redeployed beyond the border fence.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Soldiers disperse protest in north Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces opened fire during a protest in Gaza early Tuesday, activists said.

There were no injuries in the incident in Beit Hanoun, along the border with Israel, the coordinator for the demonstration against Israel's no-go zone, Saber Zaanin, explained.

Residents walk toward the no-go zone each Tuesday demanding access to their farmland. Israel's army says it considers the area a combat zone and frequently opens fire.