The Palestinian Return Centre in London submitted a written statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.
Entitled “Israeli aggressions during the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2022 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in Occupied Palestinian Territory”, the report said that since the start of 2022, the Israeli military has escalated aggressions on the occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip.
“Back in late April, Israel took profit from the advent of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan to pull the wool over the international community’s eyes by claiming that the struggle in Palestinian territories is of a religious nature”, said the report. “The truth is that the struggle is not a matter of religious belief. The Palestinian struggle is largely stirred by Israel’s apartheid and racist practices that deny the Palestinians their most basic and inalienable rights, most notably their right to build an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and to return to their homeland from which they have been displaced”.
The report tackled Israel’s human rights abuses and violations of the internationally-recognized rights of the Palestinian people during the second and third quarters of 2022, both in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The report said from April to June 2022, 47 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jenin, Jericho, the Jordan Valley, Nablus, Qalqilya, Tulkarem, and Gaza. The youngest victim was 13-year-old K.F.H., who breathed his last in Bethlehem.
It added that in July and August 2022, 60 Palestinians were pronounced dead in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the youngest among them being five-year-old A.A.R.K., from Gaza. 68-year-old Saadiya Salem Faraj, from AlKhalil, also breathed her last in an Israeli prison.
PRC said that in August, the Israeli military hit the blockaded Gaza Strip with a round of deadly air strikes. The three-day hostilities claimed the lives of 49 Palestinians, among them 19 children and four women. Another 360 Palestinians were left wounded. A total of 22 residential apartments were completely destroyed while another 77 buildings were severely damaged and became uninhabitable. Dozens of families have become without roofs over their heads.
PRC warned that since the Palestinian Nakba of 1948, when Israel drove 850,000 Palestinians from their homes, the occupation authorities continue to commit ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians, a political and military strategy that seeks the forced expulsion of civilian communities from their land and homes. In May, after a 20-year legal battle, Israel’s top court gave the armed forces the green light to use Masafer Yatta area, which includes 12 Palestinian villages in the southern Hebron Hills, as a firing zone and to evict its roughly 4,000 Palestinian inhabitants who lived in the area for generations — some in caves dug into the hillsides that provide respite from the harsh climate — with many earning their livelihoods through herding. The ruling paves the way for what activists and diplomats say would be the biggest eviction in decades and has highlighted the pressures Palestinians in the West Bank have faced since Israel’s occupation began in 1967.
PRC added that Palestinian communities in Beit Dajan, a village in the central Jordan Valley, have also been permanent targets of Israel’s ethnic cleansing policy. Once a town with 7,000 inhabitants, there are now barely 1,000 residents due to Israel’s policies of home demolitions and land grabbing. Surrounded by Israeli military bases, closed military areas, illegal settlements and bypass roads linking these settlements, 83% of the village’s land (about 10,000 dunums) has been seized by Israel, while the residents live now on less than 3,000 dunums of land.
The report concluded that Israel is allowed to act with impunity and that “it is high time the international community reacted to such practices committed by the alleged only democracy in the Middle East”.