- Killings: According to Al-Haq's documentation, from the outbreak of the secondIntifada in September 2000 until the end of December 2010, 1,919 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank, of whom 375 were children and 105 female. It is estimated that 313 Palestinians were killed in targeted assassinations.
- House demolitions: During the same period, Al-Haq documented a total of 587 punitive house demolitions in the West Bank (511 completely demolished, 70 partially demolished and six completely sealed), leading to the displacement of 3,372 people Israel has also carried out a large number of house demolitions based on claims that the houses were built without the required permits (administrative house demolition). Since 2004, the Israeli authorities have demolished 774 houses due to lack of building permit; of which 319 were in East Jerusalem.
The Gaza Strip
- Killings: According to Al-Haq documentation, 1001 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli occupying forces between January 2009 and the end of December 2010 (49 in Gaza City, 17 in Khan Younis, 22 in Deir al-Balah and 12 in Rafah), of whom 14 were children and 2 female. Of the 100 Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip, it is estimated that 3 were killed in targeted assassinations. During the same period, a total of 17 Palestinians were killed by Hamas government officials in the Gaza Strip, of whom 3 were female (13 in Gaza, 1 in Khan Younis, 2 in Deir al- Balah and 1 in Rafah).
Illegal Israeli Policies and Practices in East Jerusalem
From July to December 2010, Al-Haq field researchers documented numerous Israeli human rights violations that gravely impact Palestinians’ daily life in East Jerusalem. The Israeli authorities have been committing such violations through discriminatory policies from the outset of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory in 1967. These illegal practices result in the unlawful treatment of Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem as part of a wider policy to undermine their presence in the city.
Disregarding the occupied status of East Jerusalem, the Israeli parliament ratified its “Basic Law” on the city in 1980 declaring it the undivided capital of Israel. The Israeli declaration never received recognition from the international community and the United Nations (UN) adopted several resolutions rejecting Israel’s claim and reaffirming the status of East Jerusalem as occupied territory.
In defiance of numerous UN resolutions, Israel has been implementing expansionist policies in East Jerusalem by continuing to annex territory. The nature of these policies can be analysed as strategic steps by the State of Israel to systematically deny Palestinian Jerusalemites their civil, economic, social and cultural rights in an effort to displace them from the city (for more information on the status of East Jerusalem see Al- Haq position paper: The Jerusalem Trap).
Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem lack a basic sense of security in their neighbourhoods. They are constantly harassed, provoked and attacked by Israeli authorities, Israeli settlers or settler guards.2 On the one hand, Israeli authorities impose restrictions on the movement of Palestinian Jerusalemites, threaten their residency status, and prevent them from peacefully protesting against the illegal and discriminatory policies being carried out in the city. On the other hand, the Palestinian population in the West Bank, specifically in Jerusalem, is at constant risk of attacks by settlers and settler guards who enjoy complete impunity.
One example of settler violence took place on 22 September when an Israeli settler guard shot and killed Samer Mahmoud Sarhan (32 years old). At approximately 3:40 am, witnesses saw Samer and a friend being provoked by a group of five settler guards in Wadi Hilwa, Silwan. The heavily armed settler guards threatened the young men and the argument turned physical. Naser Muhammad Sarhan, an eye-witness, recalls that Samer had refrained from violence until the settler guards opened random and heavy fire on the men. Samer was hit by a bullet fired by one of the settler guards and subsequently died from the injuries sustained (see Al-Haq Affidavit No. 5853/2010). Al- Haq documentation further confirmed that Samer and his friend were deliberately provoked by the settler guards before any violence erupted (see Al-Haq Field Report on the Killing of Samer Mahmoud Sarhan).