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Report on Israel’s Crimes and Violations of Palestinians’ Rights in the West Bank in January and February 2024
22، Mar 2024

Since the beginning of 2024, the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) and Israeli settlers have escalated their violence against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, amounting to crimes and other violations of international law. These crimes have included willful killings, destruction of public and private property, arrests, threats, among others.

The remarkable spike in Israeli violations and crimes in the occupied West Bank has coincided with Israel’s brutal  genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip since 7 October 2023.  Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza  has materialised in many genocidal acts, including killing Palestinians as members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm, and deliberately inflicting on thegroup conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part. Therefore, following the proceedings instituted by South Africa, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has issued a provisional measures ruling on 26 January 2024, ordering Israel to take all measures within its power to halt the commission of genocidal acts; however, Israel has so far failed to implement any of such measures and abide by the Court’s order.

In this report, the Palestinian human rights organizations, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan and Al-Haq, highlight a number of monitored and documented crimes and violations committed by IOF and Israeli settlers against the Palestinian people and their properties from 1 January to 29 February 2024.

Killings and violation of the right to life and bodily integrity:

The IOF’s attacks during January and February of 2024 in the West Bank   have resulted in the killing of 98 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 22 children and 2 women.  Moreover, 5 Palestinian detainees and prisoners have been reported dead in Israeli prisons, as well as another detainee held for alleged civil offenses.

According to our field documentation, Israel has employed different methods and weaponry, either by shooting fire in protests or confrontations, military raids and assaults, drone strikes, or by carrying out extrajudicial killings by Israeli special units.

With complete disregard for international law principles, in one incident, a special unit of the IOF, disguised as civilians in medical attire and as women or sick persons, stormed into Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin, occupied West Bank, on 30 January 2024, and killed three Palestinian men at almost point-blank range, including a wounded man who was still undergoing treatment.

Moreover, during the reporting period, 319 Palestinians were injured, including 21 in critical condition, 67 children and 2 women.

Attacks on medical personnel

During the reporting period, we  have monitored 13 attacks by IOF on Palestinian medical personnel, hospitals, ambulances and paramedics in the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and private ambulance stations. Among the most violent attacks was the attack against the medical personnel and the targeted killing of three young men in the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin  on 30 January 2024.  Also, on 20 February and until late at night, while they raided Jenin refugee camp, the IOF denied PRCS and other private ambulance stations’ ambulances entry into Jenin refugee camp to evacuate the wounded to the City’s hospitals. When  a PRCS ambulance was finally allowed entry, the IOF ordered the ambulance’s driver and paramedic  to step out of the ambulance and walk a considerable distance along Israeli soldiers and military vehicles to reach the wounded.

Raids and arrests

The IOF have conducted hundreds of raids into Palestinian cities, refugee camps, and villages across the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem,storming into several houses, going through their residents’ belongings, while damaging some, and abusing and  subjecting their residents to ill-treatment. During these raids, the IOF have arrested 815 Palestinians, including 58 journalists, 18 children and 6 women.

Moreover, the IOF raided Nablus city several times and closed two printing shops allegedly for supporting terrorism. The first one, Al-Manahel Printing House owned by Dr. Ghassan Nayef Talab Thoqan (66), was raided and closed on 6 January 2024, and the IOF  confiscated the owner’s vehicle. The second one, Nablus Printing House owned by Belal Sedqi ‘Abdullah ‘Awertani (59), was raided and closed on 26 February , inflicting damage estimated at 100,000 Jordanian Dinars.

Demolition and land-razing

The IOF and Israeli settlers demolished 189 facilities in January and February 2024, including 108 houses; 50 of which were demolished under the pretext of construction without building permit, 8 were demolished as a punitive measure, 49 in military attacks, and one house for no given reason;  81 public and private facilities, amongst them animal farms, commercial facilities, agricultural rooms, a kindergarten, cement walls, and water wells (rainwater harvesters and groundwater wells). These demolitions have forcibly displaced 360 Palestinians, including 136 children and 104 women.

Moreover, during their raids,  the IOF have inflicted extensive destruction to the streets and infrastructure, including water supply networks and telecommunications and power systems, in Jenin refugee camp, Tulkarm refugee camp, Nour Shams refugee camp, eastern Tulkarm, and Balata refugee camp, eastern Nablus.

Alarming concerns have been raised about the possible drastic acceleration of these demolitions following granting Israeli far-right minister  Itamar Ben-Gvir the power to decide house demolitions, particularly in Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers demolished 8 facilities, including 6 agricultural rooms and a well in Tarqumiya, western Hebron.  This has significantly impacted the affected families’ income who rely on agriculture as their source of income.  Also, settlers burnt and completely destroyed an agricultural room in Thaher al-‘Abed village, southwestern Jenin.

Land confiscations and settlement expansion

During the reporting period, the IOF and Israeli settlers razed 12 dunums under the pretext of paving a settler road between Hebron and Qalqilya governorates. Also, a new settler road was built passing through al-Sawiyah village lands starting from Eli settlement to Route 60 (connecting  Nablus and Ramallah), while another road was built and 50 ancient olive trees were uprooted in Wad al-Sha’b area, east of Sarta village in Salfit.

Moreover, the IOF issued 3 military orders to confiscate 329.522 dunums from Palestinian-owned lands in the villages of Tamoun, southeast of Tubas, Deir Ista in Salfit, Al-Khader, Battir and Husan in Bethlehem, and Deir Dibwan in Ramallah for the purpose  of settlement expansion.

Meanwhile, a group of settlers razed plots of land and set up 10 light poles on Palestinian lands in Khellet al-Nahlah near Wadi Rahal village to supply electricity to Giv’at Etam settlement, which is established on the lands of Khellet al-Nahlah village in Bethlehem.

Settler violence

Throughout January and February of 2024, Israeli settlers have conducted 52 attacks against Palestinian villages and cities across the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, mainly in the vicinity of Nablus governorate and Sinjil and Deir Dibwan villages in Ramallah. They burnt 6 houses and agricultural rooms and 35 vehicles while they broke the windows of 26 vehicles and damaged others. They also attacked 36 houses, broke their windows and solar cells and damaged water tanks. Moreover, the IOF stole money from Palestinians, and stole 150 sheep and a four wheel drive  vehicle at gunpoint in Sinjil village in Ramallah.  The IOF also  damaged the electricity network by shooting at it in Al-Naqoura village in Nablus.

Settlers also assaulted Palestinians and threw stones at them, including the German chief priest Father Nikodemus Schnabel, the abbot of the Benedictine Abbey in the Holy Land. They also shot at and wounded Palestinians, including a child, in ‘Asira al-Qibliya village in Nablus, and expelled 4 families of 18 members, including 5 children and 2 women, from their houses in Kherbet Tana, eastern Nablus, threatening them at gunpoint not to ever return.

IOF attacks in Jerusalem

IOF’s violations and Judaization attempts continued in occupied Jerusalem by approving the building of hundreds of new settlement units and entrenching their house demolition policy against Palestinian civilians under various pretexts. Eight Palestinians were forced to self-demolish their houses. On 29 February, the Israeli occupation authorities ordered the confiscation of 417 dunums  for a project to turn Mitzpeh Yehuda outpost near Ma'ale Adumim settlement, eastern Jerusalem, into a major settlement named Mishmar Yehuda.

Since 22 February, the IOF have closed Al-Za’im checkpoint, eastern Jerusalem, from 05:00 to 09:00 am allegedly for securing settlers’ freedom of movement.

The IOF have also continued to restrict worshippers’ access into Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Friday prayer as only 15,000 worshippers have been allowed access, as compared to  tens of thousands at other times.

Restriction on freedom of movement and checkpoints

The IOF have established more military checkpoints in the West Bank and tightened restrictions on freedom of movement between the cities and villages, rendering them isolated and entrenching the geographical fragmentation. During the reporting period, the IOF established 968 temporary checkpoints along the streets and between the villages. They also erected tens of permanent checkpoints aiming to restrict Palestinians’ freedom of movement by searching and arresting them. The IOF also confiscated 14 private vehicles, two motorbikes, one bus, three trucks and a concrete pump while crossing those checkpoints.

The IOF closed with sand berms Al-Labban Road (an alternative road for Wadi al-Nar Road if Al-Container checkpoint is closed), as well as Bazaria village entrance in front of Homesh settlement on Nablus-Jenin Road, and established eight iron gates at the entrances of Burin village, ‘Einabus village in Huwara, Jama’in village, Beita village, Al-Liban al-Sharqiya village, south of Nablus, overlooking the main Ramallah-Nablus road, and Majdal village, Qasra village, ‘Aqrabah village, overlooking Za’tarah-Jericho Road, southeast of Nablus, The IOF also declared Wadi Qana in Salfit, a tourist attraction, as a closed military zone.

The IOF also set up an iron gate at ‘Atouf village entrance, southeast of Tubas, east of Tamoun village, which separates Tubas from northern and central Jordan Valley while Tayasir checkpoint separates the Jordan Valley in eastern Tubas and al-Hamrah checkpoint in southern Tubas.

Palestinians are subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment at checkpoints, hindering their movement and endangering their lives  based on mere fallacious suspicions that have led to their killing or arrest allegedly for being “wanted”. These checkpoints have also brought unbearable suffering to Palestinian women, particularly pregnant women, as two gave birth to their babies after being delayed at these checkpoints.

During the reporting period, particularly on Tuesday, 27 February 2024, Nizar Mahmoud ‘Abdel Mo’ati Al-Hasaynah (33), a construction worker from Al-‘Abidiyah village, eastern Bethlehem, was the latest victim of these checkpoints.  While Al-Hasaynah was trying to cross the annexation wall near Mazmouriah checkpoint, northern Bethlehem, to work in Israel, an Israeli soldier stationed at the checkpoint opened fire at him, wounding him in the chest. After making sure that he drew his last breath, the IOF allowed the Palestinian ambulance crew to reach him.

Our organizations believe that the main target of the Israeli crimes and violations in the West Bank is the existence of the Palestinian people in Mandatory Palestine, for the purpose of entrenching the Zionist settler-colonial project . This is particularily evident in Gaza as well, where the Israeli military aggression has led to the forced displacement of approximately 1.9 million Palestinians within the Gaza Strip amid systematic targeting and destruction, rendering the Strip unlivable and thereby forcing its people to flee. The absence of accountability and concrete enforcement of international law, the international community’s inaction and third states’ complicity are fueling the continuation of Israel’s settler-colonial project and ongoing genocide in Gaza .

Our organizations emphasize that these crimes and violations would not have continued without Israel’s long-enjoyed impunity and third states failure to hold perpetrators accountable and put and end to these crimes, according to Common Article 1 of the Four Geneva Conventions and Articles 146 and 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Our organizations also call upon the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to expedite the investigation into the situation in Palestine initiated more than two years ago and issue arrest warrants  to hold the perpetrators accountable for these crimes, particularly the ongoing genocide in the Gaza Strip.

As Israel attempts to eliminate the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination, our organizations reiterate that addressing the situation in Palestine requires tackling the root causes of the Palestinian struggle, emphasizing that the international community and the United Nations member states hold the primary responsibility for the violence in Palestine through their inaction and complicity in Israel’s systematic and widespread violations. We urge the international community to assume its responsibilities to stop the ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people.