The Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Department of International Relations has issued a brief report giving details of the 266 Palestinians killed by Israel in 2012. Israeli violations against the Palestinian people and their property last year include 2,300 who were wounded and 3,000 who were detained. Notable issues covered in the report are the following:
i. Israel’s violation of the right to life
In 2012, the so-called Israel Defence Forces (IDF) killed 266 Palestinians, including 60 children and a number of women. Of those, 170 people, including 49 children, were killed during Israel’s military offensive (“Operation Pillar of Clouds”) against civilians in Gaza last November. The attack took the lives of entire families, the most notable of which was the Al-Dalou family which lost 14 members in one bombing. Around 2,300 Palestinians were wounded in the past year, again mostly due to Israel’s recent attack on the Gaza Strip. Those wounded in the occupied West Bank received their injuries through the Israelis’ suppression of popular Palestinian resistance marches against the Apartheid Wall, land confiscation and settlement activities.
ii. Israeli attacks on journalists
The PLO report gives details of the many Israeli violations against journalists as they tried to cover the occupation and its effects. Three Palestinian journalists were among those killed by the Israelis in 2012: Mahmoud El-Komy, Hossam Salama and Mohamed Abu Aisha all lost their lives in Israel’s Gaza offensive in November. Journalists have also been injured as they covered Israel’s military actions in Gaza and suppression of popular protests in the occupied West Bank. In addition, media organisations have had premises and equipment destroyed and confiscated, and their staff members arrested.
iii. Palestinian prisoners
Israel detained more than 3,000 Palestinians in 2012, a year in which prisoners in Israeli jails went on hunger strike a number of times, individually and in mass protests against administrative detention and conditions in prisons. The year also witnessed an escalation in the oppressive measures taken by the Israeli authorities against Palestinian detainees.
iv. Israel’s destruction of trees
Israeli soldiers and illegal settlers uprooted, destroyed, damaged and burnt more than 7,700 fruit-bearing trees, mostly olive trees, in 2012. Settlers not only uprooted trees but also stole them, replanting them in their illegal settlements. Most of the destruction and theft of olive trees took place around Hebron in the occupied West Bank.
v. Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes and infrastructure
In 2012, the Israeli occupation authorities demolished 2,100 Palestinian homes and other structures, including residential buildings and tents. Farm buildings, wells and industrial units were also targeted.
More than 1,800 homes and structures were raided and demolished during the war on the Gaza Strip in November; these included residential blocks, mosques, graves, governmental and security premises, educational institutions, media bureaus, charity buildings, power grids, bridges, hotels, banks, hospitals, health centres, sport clubs, factories and craft workshops. The Israelis also persecuted Palestinian citizens in rural areas, especially in the Jordan Valley, the Bedouin areas around it and in south Hebron district; it deported citizens from those areas and demolished their homes. The number of house demolitions rose in the suburbs of occupied East Jerusalem.
vi. Israel’s illegal settlements
The report revealed that the Israelis issued 26,000 construction orders for new settlement units, in flagrant defiance of international law under which such settlements are illegal and thus condemned. The PLO has provided information on Israel’s confiscation of around 3,000 acres of Palestinian-owned land to be used for settlement expansion and work related to the Apartheid Wall.
vii. Judaising Jerusalem:
Israel continues to implement its Judaisation policies in occupied Jerusalem, aimed at the people and Palestinian landmarks and buildings of religious significance. Around 18,000 new settlement units have been approved in Jerusalem. Checkpoints restrict Palestinian movement into, out of and within the city. The sanctity of Islamic and Christian sites has been violated by Israelis throughout the year, including racist slogans written on places of worship by Jewish settlers; even graves have been desecrated.
Israeli courts have issued demolition and eviction orders against Palestinians and their homes across Jerusalem. The occupation authority’s ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the city has seen many lose their homes and resident permits, as well as being fined and imprisoned.