PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations against Palestinians (09 – 15 January 2020)

Source

January 18, 2020 4:20 AM

Summary

This week, PCHR documented 179 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory. They were as follows:

As part of the Israeli shooting and excessive use of force:

In terms of excessive use of force, IOF suppression of 4 peaceful protests in the West Bank resulted in the suffocation of dozens of Palestinian civilians. Furthermore, 4 IOF shootings were reported at agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip and 3 at fishing boats at Gaza Sea; no casualties were reported.

This week, IOF aircrafts sprayed herbicides along the Gaza Strip’s eastern border fence with Israel from its north to its Central Governorate. According to PCHR’s fieldworkers, Israeli aircrafts were flying at a low altitude over the border fence while spraying the herbicides, which reached a distance of 700 to 1200 meters into the Gaza Strip, depending on wind speed and direction. IOF’s herbicide-attack on agricultural lands is repeated twice annually (the end of December and the begging of January and April), which are the beginning of the cultivation of winter and summer crops. It should be noted that spraying herbicides caused damage to leafy crops at lands adjacent to the border fence, which caused heavy losses. Some farmers are deterred from planting their lands that are located near the border fence in fear of such attacks. IOF claim that they intend to eliminate grass and crops that impair vision in the areas adjacent to the border fence.

Under IOF incursions and house raids in addition to arresting Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 96 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, arresting and/or injuring many others. During this week’s incursions, 69 Palestinians were arrested, including 10 children and a woman. Also during their raids, IOF confiscated Palestinian civilians’ money, equipment and other properties under various excuses. In the Gaza Strip, IOF arrested 4 Palestinians, 2 while attempting to cross into Israel via the border fence and 2 at Beit Hanoun Crossing.

In a move unprecedented for more than 25 years, Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett issued a decision on 15 January 2020 establishing 7 new natural reserves and expanding 12 others in the West Bank. Under the Minister’s decision, the Area “C” lands were put under the authority of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. It should be noted that Area “C” lands constitute over 60% of the West Bank and falls under the Israeli military and civil control. It is no secret that Israel intends to annex Area “C” lands; this decision came a few day after Minister Bennett announced his intent to annex Area “C” to Israel and to enhance settlement activity.

Under the settlement expansion activities in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, PCHR documented 8 demolitions, land razing and demolition notices by IOF, including confiscating a barracks used for livestock and a construction vehicle in Ramallah. IOF also distributed 9 demolition notices and orders to stop construction vehicles in Hebron. Additionally, a blacksmith workshop was destroyed in Jerusalem.

On 15 January 2020, IOF issued a military order to confiscate 350 dunums of agricultural land in Bethlehem in order to expand Bypass road (60), which ties settlements near Bethlehem with Jerusalem, including “Gush Etzion,” “Beitar Illi,” “Eilya,” “Efrat” and “Tzur Hadassah;” as well as “Kiryat Arba” in Hebron.

PCHR also documented 3 settler-attacks that included cutting 80 olive trees and assaulting Palestinian civilians in Nablus.

In terms of collective punishment policy, IOF gave demolition notices to the families of 4 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails targeting their houses in Jenin, Ramallah and Hebron. IOF alleged that their imprisoned sons carried out attacks against IOF and settlers.

In terms of the Israeli closure policy, the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.  Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted and they are subject to arrest. This week, IOF arrested 7 Palestinians, including a child and a woman, at temporary military checkpoints.

  1. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
  2. Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the West Bank
  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday afternoon, 10 January 2019, a peaceful protest took off in Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, and marched towards the village’s eastern entrance, which has been closed for 15 years allegedly for the security of “Kedumim” settlement. The protestors chanted national slogans, demanded an end of the occupation and the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinians. The protestors threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand berms and the latter responded with sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a few people suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • A similar protest launched on the same day in the same village. The protestors threw stones at IOF, who responded with rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, several civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 16:00 on Thursday, 09 January 2020, Dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-Zawiyah area in the center of Hebron and threw stones at the Israeli military checkpoint established at the entrance to al-Shuhada’a Street, which is closed. Israeli soldiers stationed at the abovementioned checkpoint deliberately opened fire at stone-throwers. As a result, a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 10 January 2020, a number of Palestinian young men gathered at the western entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They threw stones at the Israeli military watchtower established at the main road to the camp. Israeli soldiers chased the young men between houses and fired sound bombs and tear gas canister at them. The confrontations, which continued until 17:00, resulted in several civilians suffocating due to tear gas inhalation. No other incidents were reported.
  • At approximately 14:50, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 11 January 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern ‘Abasan area, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 12 January 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Jabalia shore in northern Gaza Strip, chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:10 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed at Beit Hanoun crossing in northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area and fired dozens of flare bombs in the sky of the area. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 13 January 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Jabalia shore in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. The shooting recurred at 09:00 on the same day. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:20 on Tuesday, 14 January 2020, Israeli aircrafts sprayed herbicides on the agricultural lands along the border fence, northeast of al-Buraij, and headed north to Gaza Valley and southeast of Gaza City, claiming to eliminate the grass for security reasons in the area. The spraying process continued until 10:30 on the same day morning. These pesticides caused damage to the leafy crops in the area adjacent to the border fence.
  • At approximately 09:30 on the same Tuesday, Israeli aircrafts sprayed herbicides on the agricultural lands along the border fence, from northeast of Beit Hanoun to Beit Hanoun Crossing, northwest of the village. The Spraying process continued until 10:30 on the same Tuesday.
  • At approximately 08:50 on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, Israeli aircrafts sprayed herbicides on lands adjacent to the border fence, east of al-Buraij refugee camp and headed to the east of Deir al-Balah. The spraying process continued until 11:00 on the same day morning.

According to PCHR’s fieldworkers, Israeli aircrafts were flying at a low altitude over the border fence while spraying the herbicides, which reached a distance of 700 to 1200 meters into the Gaza Strip, depending on wind speed and direction. IOF’s herbicide-attack on agricultural lands is repeated twice annually (the end of December and the begging of January and April), which are the beginning of the cultivation of winter and summer crops. it should be noted that spraying herbicides caused damage to leafy crops at lands adjacent to the border fence, which caused heavy losses. Some farmers are deterred from planting their lands that are located near the border fence in fear of such attacks. IOF claim that they intend to eliminate grass and crops that impair vision in the areas adjacent to the border fence.

It should be noted that in 2016, Israeli authorities revealed that the used substances in the air spraying are Glyphosate, Oxygal, and Durex. One of these substances at least are classified as Carcinogenic substances. In 2015, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), affiliated with the World Health Organization (WHO), classified Glyphosate substance as carcinogenic and causes birth defects. Therefore, a number of states prohibited some of these substances.

  • At approximately 14:10 on the same Tuesday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of Palestinian shepherds, east of al-Qararah. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:30 on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, Israeli aircrafts sprayed herbicides on the agricultural lands along the border fence, from southeast of Beit Hanoun to the east of al-Amal neighborhood, northeast of the village. It should be noted that the spraying process target the buffer zone ranging between 200 – 300 meters in an attempt to burn the grass that is adjacent to the border fence.
  • At approximately 14:30, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, southeast of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at agricultural lands in eastern al-Fukhari village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  1. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem
  1. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
  • At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 09 January 2020, IOF accompanied with workers of Israeli special companies moved into Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah, and stationed on the main street. They dismantled and confiscated a 30-sqaure-meter barrack of ‘Emad Ghanem Sayis, from Kafur Ni’meh village, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • On Saturday, 11 January 2020, Sayil Ibrahim Ja’abees and Sami Mansour Mashahra implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished their houses in al-Mukaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Ja’abees said that his 80-sqaure-meter house built 4 years ago and sheltered 5 members, including 3 children. He added that on last Thursday, he was shocked by raiding his house by the Israeli Municipality staff to hand him the Israeli court’s decision that gave him until Sunday morning to self-demolish his house, and if he will not be implemented the decision, the municipality staff will do so and impose a fine on him. Ja’abees also said that his house was comprised of 2 caravans and a bathroom built on his father’s land, because he could not afford construction costs. Ja’abees pointed out that he and his family became homeless in the cold weather.

Regarding Mashahra, he said that his 65-sqaure-meter house built in 2014 and sheltered his wife and their child. Masharhra added that during the past years, the Israeli Municipality staff raided his house many times and handed him several demolition notices. He clarified that the self-demolition of his house was so difficult.

  • At approximately 07:00 on Sunday, 12 January 2020, a force of IOF accompanied with the Israeli police officers surrounded itinerant vendors and owners of stalls, which were placed in Metar Checkpoint, west of al-Dahiriyia village in southern Hebron. The bulldozer demolished the stalls, damaged the goods and confiscated them, under the pretext of causing a traffic jam at the checkpoint. It should be noted that in 2019, the Israeli authorities damaged the stalls of itinerant vendors 9 times.
  • At approximately 09:30 on Monday, 15 January 2020, IOF accompanied with a driver from “Shillo” settlement, which is established on al-Moghair village’s lands, moved into agricultural lands in al-Sahel area, 500 meters away from the mentioned settlement. IOF expelled Salem al-‘Asi, a bulldozer driver, and confiscated his bulldozer. Al-‘Asi was building an agricultural road on Palestinians’ lands to facilitate their access to their lands. It should be noted that this agricultural work is part of a project to rehabilitate and reclaim agricultural lands funded by the Agricultural Development Association, “Agricultural Relief”. IOF claimed these agricultural lands are classified as Area S, despite the existence of a land registry owned by the Palestinian farmers.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 13 January 2020, IOF accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers and backed by military construction vehicles moved into Eghziwa area in southern Nablus. The Israeli Civil Administration officers distributed notices to stop construction works and demolish some facilities, under the pretext of non-licensing. The notices included:
  1. Demolishing a 120-sqaure-meter under-construction house property of ‘Anan Mohamed ‘Abed Rabbu.
  2. Demolishing a 12-sqaure-meter residential room and 50-sqaure-meter barrack property of Belal ‘Issa al-Yateem.
  3. Demolishing a 140-sqaure-meter house property of Belal ‘Issa al-Yateem.
  4. Demolishing a 150-sqaure-meter house property of Mohamed Khalil ‘Issa Abu ‘Arram.
  5. Stop Construction works in a 80-sqaure-meter house property of Qasem Mohamed Abu Tuhffa.
  6. Demolishing a 140-sqaure-meter house property of Mohamed Mousa Makhamrah.
  7. Demolishing an 1800-sqaure-meter barrack property of Ahmed Isma’il Dababsah.
  • At approximately 11:00, Hisham Dari self-demolished a retaining wall surrounding his plot of land located at the eastern entrance to al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. He implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and levelled his land. Dari added that the Israeli Municipality prevented him from using his land and imposed fines on him. The municipality also closed the entrance of his land with concrete blocks and chains.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers and backed by military construction vehicles moved into Zaif area in southern Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed ‘Issa ‘Ali Abu ‘Arram a 96-hour- notice to demolish his 200-sqaure-meter barrack, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Tuesday, 14 January 2020, the Israeli Municipality bulldozer backed by IOF demolished Khaled Nimer Abu Kahlil’s blacksmith workshop built of tin plates and bricks near Hizmah military checkpoint, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and confiscated its equipment, under the pretext of non-licensing, according to the Mayor of Hizmah Village municipality, Musallam Abu Helou.
  • In a move unprecedented for more than 25 years, Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett issued a decision on 15 January 2020 establishing 7 new natural reserves and expanding 12 others in the West Bank. Under the Minister’s decision, the Area “C” lands were put under the authority of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. The project included the following areas: Soreek cave, al-Moqleq valley, Malha Valley, southern Jordan River, al-Fari’ah valley, and northern Jordan valley.

According to the statement, the 12 natural reserves that will be expanded are: Mountain peaks in western Dead Sea, southeast of Nablus, Fasayil in Jordan valley, Um Zoka in Jordan valley, an area in the Dead Sea, Kharouba village in eastern al-Ramlah, inside the West Bank, northern the Dead Sea, eastern Tubas, northern the Dead Sea, Malha valley, and in Jericho.

Bennett said about his decision to seize areas from the West Bank and establish settlement projects: “Today we are greatly strengthening the Land of Israel by developing Jewish settlement in Area C – with actions, not words,” Bennett said. “Judea and Samaria have natural sites with amazing views. We will expand existing sites and develop new ones…. I invite all Israeli citizens to get up and walk the land, to tour Judea and Samaria, hike, and discover new things and to continue the Zionist enterprise.”

It should be noted that Area “C” lands constitute over 60% of the West Bank and falls under the Israeli military and civil control.

The Minister’s decision came a few day after Minister Bennett announced his intent to annex Area “C” to Israel and to enhance settlement activity.

  • At approximately 14:00 on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, IOF accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers and backed by military construction vehicles moved into Kherbet Tuba in southern Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Huda ‘Isaa ‘Awad Najajrah a notice to stop construction works in a 35-sqaure-meter residential room, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • On Wednesday evening, the Israeli authorities issued military orders to seize 350 agricultural dunums from the lands of al-Khader and Artas villages, south of Bethlehem, according to Hasan Barijiyah, Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance in Bethlehem. Barijiyah pointed out that the Israeli decision aims at expanding Bypass Road (60) and denying Palestinians’ access to their lands.
  1. Israeli Settler Violence
  • On Thursday, 09 January 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Rihlem” settlement established in northern al-Sawiyia village, east of Nablus, moved into al-Wad area, which is classified as Area C. The settlers attacked agricultural lands, where they damaged Hamad Saleh Mahmoud Jazi’s olive trees (80) planted 8 years ago. Also, the settlers set fire to Nader ‘Abed al-Rahim Kafina land and burned 30 olive trees.
  • At approximately 06:00 on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, which is established on ‘Oreef, Hewarah, ‘Inabous and Ma’dama village’s lands, attacked with stones the outskirts of ‘Oreef village from the eastern direction. The Palestinian civilians confronted them and threw stones at them. After that, IOF intervene and secure the settlers’ withdrawal. No injuries among Palestinian civilians were reported.
  • At approximately 12:42 on Wednesday, Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, attacked the outskirts of Ma’dama village from the southern direction. They attacked Yehia Mohamed Sa’ied Qat’s house and broke the windows before the Palestinian civilians intervened and confronted them.
  1. Collective Punishment Policy
  • At approximately 02:30 on Thursday, 09 January 2020, IOF moved into Jenin and handed the family of prisoner Ahmed Jamal Ahmed al-Qumbu’, who has been arrested since 17 January 2018, a notice to demolish their 220-sqaure-meter house in al-Basateen neighborhood in northern Jenin for the 2nd time. It should be noted that the family house sheltering 8 members, including 2 children, was re-built 8 months ago. IOF blew-up the house of al-Qumbu’, who was charged with participation in the killing of an Israeli settler namely Arail Shefeh, from “Hefat Gilad” settlement, southwest of Nablus, on 09 January 2018.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Friday, 10 January 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Birzeit in northern Ramallah. They raided and searched a house of prisoner Yazan Hussaim Maghames (25), who was arrested on 11 September 2019. The soldiers handed Yazan’s father a demolition notice and no arrest among the family members was reported. It should be noted that Maghames was charged with participation in the attack at Ein Bubin near Deir Bzai’a village, west of Ramallah on 23 August 2019, which caused the killing of Israeli female settler and injuring her father and brother.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ramallah and stationed in al-Tirah neighborhood. They raided and searched the house of prisoner Waleed Mohamed Hanatsha and handed his family a demolition noticr. No arrest among the family members war reported. It should be noted that Hanatsha, the financial director at Union of Health Work Committees, was arrested on 03 October 2019. He was accused of participation in the attack at Ein Bubin near Deir Bzai’a village, west of Ramallah on 23 August 2019, which caused the killing of Israeli female settler and injuring her father and brother.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 10 January 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Beit Kahel village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched the house of Kamel Mohamed ‘Asafrah (63) and handed his daughter-in-law married to his son Mahmoud (40), who was arrested on 20 August 2019, a notice to demolish their 120-square-apartment located on the 2nd floor. It should be noted that ‘Asafrah was accused of participation in the killing of an Israeli soldier “ David Soreek” on 07 August 2019, near “Gosh Etizon” settlement, south of Bethlehem. The soldier photographed the house and later withdrew. On 20 November 2019, the Israeli authorities demolished 4 houses of Sa’ied ‘Atiyah Mahmoud Zhour (46), Saleh Khalil al-‘Asafrah (60), and Qasem ‘Aref Khalil ‘Asafrah (34) and his brother Ahmed (37) in Biet Kahel village. The Israeli Military Court handed the mentioned persons indictment, accusing their sons of participation in the killing of David Soreek.

Full document available at PCHR official.

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (19– 25 December 2019)

19 – 25 December 2019

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (19– 25 December 2019)

  • 45 Palestinians shot and injured, including 18 children, 3 women and a journalist, by IOF near the Gaza border fence at Great March of Return (GMR) protests in eastern Gaza.
  • 7 shootings reported against Palestinian agricultural lands, and 3 shootings reported against Palestinian fishing boats, east and west of Gaza Strip Shore
  • During 121 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 76 civilians arrested, including 8 children and 5 women.
  • During 2 incursions into the Gaza Strip: 4 Palestinian civilians arrested, including 3 children; one of them was shot and injured, while attempting to sneak into Israel in eastern Gaza Strip.
  • 4 houses in occupied Jerusalem and Hebron demolished, while vehicles confiscated from the West Bank cities.
  • 10 settlers’ attacks reported, including burning and puncturing tires, throwing stones at vehicles and uprooting trees in the West Bank.
  • 71 temporary checkpoints erupted in the West Bank, where 4 Palestinian civilians were arrested

Summary

This week, PCHR documented 224 violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory. This week witnessed an increase of Israeli violation regarding demolition and settlement activities in addition to settlers’ attacks and incursions. They were as follows:

As part of the Israeli shooting and excessive use of force:

In terms of excessive use of force, IOF wounded 45 Palestinian civilians, including 18 children and 3 women, on the 85th Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege protest (GMR) in eastern Gaza Strip. IOF shot and injured 11 civilians with live bullets and shrapnel; 4 of them deemed in serious health conditions, in addition to targeting protestors’ upper body. As a result, many civilians injured despite the peaceful nature of the protests in the 5 encampments. Moreover, 7 shootings were reported by IOF at agricultural lands in the Gaza Strip; while 3 shootings were reported by the Israeli gunboats against the Palestinian fishing boats, east and west of the Gaza Strip; no casualties were reported. Furthermore, a civilian shot and injured in the lower part of his body and arrested while attempting to sneak into Israel via the border fence.

Under IOF incursions and house raids in addition to arresting Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 121 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, arresting and/or injuring many others. During this week’s incursions, 76 Palestinians were arrested, including 8 children and 5 women.  In the Gaza Strip, IOF carried out 2 incursions in eastern Khan Younis and northern Gaza Strip; no levelling works were reported.

Under the settlement expansion activities in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, PCHR documented 12 IOF violations that included banning farmers from afforestation of their lands in Tulkarm and Kisan village, east of Bethlehem, claiming that these lands are confiscated by IOF; demolishing 2 residential tents; levelling works to expand  ” Shvut Rachel” settlement established in lands of Jaloud village in Nablus; demolishing livestock barns, confiscating water tanks and an agricultural tractor in Tubas; demolishing 2 houses in Jerusalem; confiscating a bulldozer and digger; and demolishing 2 houses in Hebron.

PCHR also documented 10 settler-attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, including puncturing vehicles’ tires, writing racist slogans in Jerusalem; attacking farmers in Bethlehem; writing racist slogans in Hebron; uprooting 300 olive trees in Bethlhem; throwing stones at vehicles in Nablus; setting fire in 2 vehicles in Qalqiliyah; attacking ‘Ain al-Helwas spring in Northern Jordan Valleys; raiding  Solomon’s Pools’ archaeological site, south of Bethlehem; putting the “Menorah Lampstand” at the roof of Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron Old City; and cutting 35 olive trees in Ramallah.

In terms of the Israeli closure policy, on 19 December 2019, Israeli authorities decided to decrease the fishing area from 10 to 6 nautical miles off the Gaza Strip shores, before increasing it to 15 nautical miles in southern Gaza Strip shores starting from Tuesday morning, 24 December 2019. This comes in a time where the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.  Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilians movement is restricted and they are subject to arrest. In this week, IOF established 71 temporary checkpoints and arrested 4  Palestinians.

Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity

  1. Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the Gaza Strip

On the 85th Friday, 20 December 2019, weekly protests were launched in eastern Gaza Strip, in solidarity with Hebron Governorate, which has been lately the target of Israeli settlement schemes. This Friday’s protest titled: “Hebron is a thorn in the way of efforts to create a Jewish majority”, resulted in the injury of 45 civilians, including 18 children, 3 women and a journalist.

The incidents were as follows:

  • Northern Gaza Strip: demonstrations took place in northeast of Jabalia, and northern Gaza Strip. A few protesters threw stones at IOF stationed along the border fence. Israeli attacks resulted in the injury of 15 civilians, including 6 children, a woman and a journalist; one of them was deemed in serious condition: 3 civilians, including a child and 3 of them, including a girl and an elderly woman, were shot with live bullets and shrapnel; 11, including 3 children, were shot with rubber bullets; and a child was hit with a tear gas canister. The wounded journalist, Thair Khaled Fahmi Abu Rayash (24), was shot with a rubber bullet in his left leg. ‘Emad Fraij Mohammed Soboh (43), was deemed in  serious condition after being shot with a live bullet that entered his back and exited his abdomen.
  • Gaza City: protests took part in Malaka area in eastern Gaza City. IOF shot and injured protestors with live and rubber bullets as well as tear gas canisters. As a result, a child was shot with a rubber bullet in the face.
  • Central Gaza Strip: IOF stationed behind sand berms and in military SUVs along the border fence in eastern al-Buriej Camp fired live and rubber bullets as well as tear gas canisters at protestors. The shooting which lasted until 17:00, resulted in the injury of 6 civilians, including a woman and a child: 3 were shot with live bullets and 3 were shot with rubber bullets. The wounded were taken to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah: Ibrahim Mahmoud Saleh Abu Khashab (24), was deemed in serious condition after being shot with a live bullet in his abdomen and admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU), while others’ injuries were classified between moderate to minor. Furthermore, dozens of protestors suffocated due to tear gas inhalation; some of them were treated on spot while others were taken to hospitals.
  • Khan Younis: Hundreds civilians joined today’s protests in Khuza’ah area in eastern Khan Younis.  Most of the protesters stayed in the encampment for the activities while only few dozens gathered near the border fence and attempted to throw stones and Molotov cocktails. IOF fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 9 civilians, including 2 children and a woman, were shot with rubber bullets. Moreover, dozens of protestors suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • Rafah: hundreds of protestors gathered in eastern al-Shawka neighborhood while others remained at the protest encampment, where speeches and theatrical performances were performed. Dozens attempted to approach the fence and throw stones. IOF fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at protestors. As a result, 14 civilians, including 8 children, were injured; 2 were deemed in serious condition, including a child: 5 shot with live bullets, 5 with rubber bullets and 4 were hit with tear gas canisters. Those sustained serious wounds were identified:
  • Hazem Khaled Abu Jaridah (20), who was shot with a live bullet in his neck and referred to the Gaza European Hospital.
  • Basel ‘Abdul Raouf Salam al-Lolahi (15), who was shot with a live bullet upper his thigh.
  1. Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the West Bank
  • At the end of Friday prayer on 20 December 2019, dozens of civilians carrying olive trees to implant them in al-Qubeyat area, which is threatened to be confiscated by IOF. Al-Qubeyat area is located near “Homesh” settlement that is unpopulated, northwest of Nablus. When the protestors approached the abovementioned area, a number of soldiers were waiting them. The soldiers dispersed the protestors by firing tear gas canisters at them and chasing them.
  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 07:30 on Thursday, 19 December 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence in eastern Khan Younis, north of the Gaza Strip, fired a number of tear gas canisters at agricultural lands, northeast of the city. As a result, many farmers, the area residents and schools’ students suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. Abu al-‘Ala’a al-Ma’ari School for girls, which is about 1 kilo meter away from the border fence, was evacuated for few minutes.
  • At approximately 09:15 on the same Thursday, Israeli gunboats stationed in northwest of Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza Strip, pumped water at a fishing boat that was moored at a distance of 2 nautical miles. The boat is owned by Zuhair Abdul Rahman Zuhair al-‘Amoudi (21), from al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City. As a result, the boats sustained damage, including 6 searchlights, a generator, and a number of fishing nets in the area.
  • At approximately 16:00 on the same Thursday, a number of Palestinian young men, gathered at the western entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed at a watchtower located in the camp’s main entrance. The soldiers chased stone-throwers and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 23:05 on the same Thursday, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at an empty land in eastern al-Shoka village, east of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 07:50 on Friday, 20 December 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern of the Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:00 on the same Friday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence in eastern al-Shoka village, east of Rafah, fired tear gas canisters at a number of Palestinian shepherds. As a result, the shepherds suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and left the area.
  • At approximately 21:00 on the same Friday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:30 on Sunday, 22 December 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Buraij, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00 on the same Sunday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at a fishing boat that was moored at a distance of 1.5 nautical miles. The boat is owned by Fahed Zeyad Hasan Baker (43), from al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City. As a result, 8 searchlights were broken.

It should be noted that this kind of boats is called “Felucca Boats”, which is uninhabited boat where lambs are installed on it to gather the fish around it to facilitate fishing. Fishermen usually leave these boats in the water. At approximately 16:00 on the same Sunday, fisherman Baker went to check the boat and found all the searchlights were damaged after Israeli naval forces opened fire at them.

  • At approximately 07:30 on Monday, 23 December 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence in eastern Khan Younis, opened fire at a group of bird hunters, east of al-Farahin neighbourhood in ‘Abasan. As a result, bird hunters left the area fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00 on the same Monday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence in eastern al-Buraij, opened fire at Sami Namer Salem al-Nabahin (32) when he attempted to sneak through the border fence to Israel. As a result, al-Nabahin was wounded in his lower extremities and arrested by IOF and taken to Soroka Medical Center for treatment. Al-Nabahin (32), from al-Buraij refugee camp, was interrogated at the hospital and released at approximately 16:00 on the next day evening via Erez crossing, north of the Gaza Strip.
  • At approximately 19:30 on the same Monday, IOF stationed along the border fence fired flare bombs and artillery shells at the east of Wadi al-Salqa village, east of Deir al-Balah. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:00 on Wednesday, 25 December 2019, a number of Palestinian young men gathered at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, and threw stones at Israeli military vehicles stationed near the military watchtower. Israeli soldiers chased stone-throwers between houses and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. The clashes continued until 18:00 on the same day. The soldiers arrested Mohammed Mahmoud Jawabrah (18) and Jamal Nawaf Jawabrah (19).

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 19 December 2019:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into ‘Eliyan neighborhood in al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They arrested Ahmed Abdul Salam Abu Roumi (19)  and beat him after raiding and searching his house.
  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Mousa Jalamnah (20), from the eastern neighborhood in the city.
  • At the same time, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of the city. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Nidal Rebhi al-Shalabi (23) and Walid Jamal Mohammed Husein (26).
  • At approximately 01:00, an Israeli force, reinforced with several military SUVs, moved into al-Thahriyah village, south of Hebron, and stationed in Duma area. They raided and searched the house of Ibrahim Mahmoud Hawarin (40) and withdrew later from the area. No casualties were reported.
  • Half an hour later, an Israeli forces , reinforced with several military SUVs, moved into Beit Kahel village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Ahmed Sami al-‘Atawnah (23)’s house and arrested him. The same force also raided and searched other houses of al-‘Atawnah family. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. A number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers. The soldiers chased the protestors between residential buildings and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result,  a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. In the meanwhile, IOF raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 civilians, including a child, namely: Mousa ‘Essa Sharakah 917), Jihad Mesbah Abu Sbaih (23), and ‘Eliyan Jihad Sharakah (46). An Israeli Intelligence officer phone called ‘Elyain’s wife and ordered her to turn on her son Jihad.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Abu Shkhiedem village, north of Ramallah. They arrested Kamal Faisal Qendah (25) after they raided and searched his house.
  • At the same time, IOF moved into ‘Ein Yabrud village, northeast of Ramallah. They arrested Suleiman Samih Qatash (14) after raiding and searching his house.
  • At approximately 15:30, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence in eastern al-Buraij area, arrested 3 Palestinian children, who attempted to sneak into Israel and cross the border fence. The arrested children were identified as: Mahmoud Ahmed Abdul Qader al-Dabbagh (16), Mohanned Tahseen Faraj (17), Osamah Omer Shehdah al-Khaldi (16), all of them are from al-Buraij refugee camp. At approximately 02:30 on the next day, IOF released the them through Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing.
  • IOF carried out (12) incursions in Dura and al-Shuyoukh village in Hebron; ‘Alar village in Tulkarm; ‘Azzoun village in Qalqiliyah; Haras village in Salfit; al-Zababdah village, southeast of Jenin; Madama village, southeast of Nablus; Birzeit, Kuber, Betunia, Abu Qash and Sarda villages in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 20 December 2019:

  • At approximately 08:30, IOF moved into the northern entrance to Talfit village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched commercial shops located at the village main entrance and confiscated the recordings of the surveillance cameras, the head office of the Village Council and a house.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Nablus and Qabatiyah, southeast of Jenin. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 21 December 2019:

  • At approximately 08:30, IOF moved into al-Ras al-Ahmar area in the Northern Jordan Valleys. They raided and searched a number of residential tents and then withdrew from the area. No arrests were reported.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in ‘Azzoun and Juyous villages in Qalqiliyah; al-Samou’a, Yatta, Beit al-Roush al-Fouqa, and Sa’ir villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 22 December 2019:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Hendazah area, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Hasan al-Wardiyan (42)’s house and hnded him a summons to refer to Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • At approximately 01:40, an Israeli force , reinforced with a number of military SU, moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron, and stationed in Khelat al-‘Ain and al-Thuhor areas. The soldiers deployed between houses and patrolled the area. They raided and searched 3 houses of Jawdat Suleiman Bahar and his brother Jawad, Mohammed ‘Essa Bahar, and Mohammed Mohsen Za’aqiq. The soldiers used police dogs during their search and locked each family in a room for 2 hours. They also damaged the houses’ contents. Before their withdrawal, the soldiers arrested Suleiman Jawdat Suleiman Bahar (19) and Mohsen Mohammed Mohsen Za’aqiq (19).
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Bab al-Rahmah prayer hall, east of al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem. They arrested Netham Rushdi Abu Romouz (38) while performing prayers. Abu Romouz was chased several times by the Israeli police due to his constant presence at al-Aqsa Mosque and denied access to al-Aqsa Mosque 3 times. Meanwhile, more than 80 settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque square.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into Taqou’a village, east of Bethlehem. They banned municipality crews from practicing their job at the village northern entrance and detained a number of them. Taiseer Abu Mefreh, head of Taqou’a’s Municipality said that IOF moved into the village northern entrance during the municipality crew’s work. The soldiers banned them and detained a number of them claiming that the crew need a permit from Israeli authorities to do their job.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Mohammed ‘Ali Hasan Shana’ah (32), from ‘Anata village, north of Qalqiliyah, taking him to “Gilad Zohar” settlement established in the east of Far’ata village. Shana’ah was released after being questioned about a Palestinian flag that was present near his house.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF moved into ‘Ain al-Baida village, east of Tubas. They raidd and searched the house of Abdullah Mustafa Qabha and confiscated a forklift claiming that it was stolen. Qabha confirmed that he owns the forklift and he bought it from Jerusalem and have the purchase papers. He added that the cost of the forklift was about NIS 20,000.
  • At the same time, IOF arrested Abdul Rahman Kahlil Mohammed Mahmoud (39) while he was at his vehicle in north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Mahmoud is from al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem and served 17 years in the Israeli prison and was released in last February.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into ‘Obeid neighborhood in al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested 3 civilians, including 2 children, namely: Ahmed Moneer ‘Obeid (14), Ahmed Maher ‘Obeid (16) and Amir Abdullah ‘Awad (19).
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF moved into Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched 2 houses of Mohammed Salah Abu Madi (16) and Omer ‘Amer Abu Madi (18) and arrested them.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Yatma and Qablan villages, southeast of Nablus. Durra; Hebron; Nuba; and Taffuh villages in Qalqiliyah.

Monday, 23 December 2019:

  • At approximately 01:00, an Israeli force , reinforced with several military SUVs, moved into Surif village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched 3 houses and arrested 3 civilians namely: Nadim Khalid Ghuneimat (24), ‘Odai Khalid Ghuneimat (26) and Loai Hasan Abu Saleh (19).
  • At the same time, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Nayef Abu Shanab (23)’s house and arrested
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into ‘Alar village, north of Tulkarm. They arrested Diya’a Namer ‘Adnan Taqatqah (25) after they raided and searched his house.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They arrested Rawhi Mahmoud al-Kalaghasi (23) after they raided and searched his house.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF, reinforced with several military SUVs, moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Shaher Rayan Tamizi (33)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:20, IOF moved into Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested 3 civilians namely: Mohammed Salah Sorour (24), Hamed Ibrahim Srour (23) and Sadeq Yasser Sorour (25).
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into Bab al-Rahmah prayer hall in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They arrested and attacked 4 women, who are constantly present in the area and attend religious seminars at al-Aqsa Mosque. IOF claimed that these women were present in the path of Israeli settlers’ incursions. The arrested women were identified as: Fatmab al-Sous (57), Sou’ad Ghurab (60), Lawaheth al-Shuyoukhi (55) and Elham Abu Sbaih (51). It should be noted that arresting these women coincided with the incursion of more than 232 settlers of al-Aqsa Mosque square from Bab al-Magharbah area. The settlers were secured by Israeli police that restricted the entrance of Palestinian civilians and students receiving religious lessons at al-Aqsa Mosque and detained ID cards of some of them.
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli soldiers stationed at Checkpoint (160), east of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the center of Hebron’s Old City, arrested Nour Eden Ra’ed Hasan (16), a child with a disability, claiming that they found a knife with him. The soldiers took him to a police center.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested ‘Ali Hashem Abu ‘Ayash (19), from Beit Ummer village, north of Tulkarm, after detaining him at a temporary checkpoint near the entrance at al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. Abu ‘Ayash was taken to a detention center in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At the same time, IOF moved into Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Majd Ismail al-‘Abasi (21)’s house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Ouz” police station, south of occupied Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF arrested 3 children adjacent to Bethlehem’s northern entrance. The arrestees were identified as Abdullah ‘Essa al-Najjar (15), ‘Ezz Eden Majed al-‘Ezzah (15), and Mohammed Bashir al-‘Ezzah (15).
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Sa’ir and Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into ‘Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, south of Jericho. They raided and searched Shadi Mohammed Abu Hadid (26)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit Daqu village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Khaled Bassam Dawoud (33)’s house and arrested him.
  • At the same time, IOF moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Adam Fathi al-Ghoul (24) and ‘Asef Omer Abdul Ghani (22).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Nablus and stationed in Nablus neighborhood. They raided and searched Osama Emad al-Masimi (30)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, an Israeli force, reinforced with military SUVs, moved into Beit ‘Awa village, west of Durra, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Yahiya Mahmoud Saleh (23)’s house and arrested him.
  • At the same time, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested 3 civilians, including a child, namely: Omer Kayed Taqatqa (22), Fadi Fayez Taqatqa (23) and Sanad Amjad Taqatqa (16).
  • At approximately 03:00, an Israeli force, reinforced with several military SUVs, moved into Halhoul, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Eyad al-Baw (33) and arrested him.
  • At the same time, an Israeli force, reinforced with several military SUVs, moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron, and stationed in Saf neighborhood. They raided and searched 2 houses and arrested ‘Obeid Ghazi Hasan ‘Adi (20) and Nadim Falah Mohammed Abu ‘Ayash (28).
  • At the same time, IOF moved into Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Ja’afar ‘Aziz Haroun Kayed (19).
  • At the same time, IOF moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested 13 civilians, including a child, and took them to an unknown destination.

(The names of the arrestees are available at PCHR)

  • At approximately 03:20, IOF, reinforced with a number of military SUVs moved into Um al-Sharayet and Sateh Marhaba neighborhoods in the southern side of the city. A number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli vehicles. IOF chased the protestors between houses and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them; no casualties were reported. In the meanwhile, Israeli soldiers raided and searched a number of houses, including the house of Ahmed Suleiman Qatamesh (69), political writer and researcher in the Palestinian cause affairs, and arrested him. Qatamesh served more than 12 years in the Israeli prison as he was arrested several times. Israeli soldiers also raided and searched Diya’a Jamil Nawarah (20), a students at Birzeit University from Sateh Marhaba neighborhood, and arrested him.
  • At the same time, IOF moved into Betunia village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Akram Mohammed Salmah (27)’s house and arrested him.
  • At the same time, IOF moved into Ramallah and stationed in al-Irsal neighborhood. They arrested Ja’far ‘Aziz Kayed (21), a student at Birzeit University, after they raided and searched his house.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Daniel Zuhair Abu Nasrah (18)’s house, and beat and arrested him.
  • At approximately 00:00, IOF, reinforced with a number of military SUVs, moved about 100 meters into the east of ‘Abasan villages, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip. They leveled lands adjacent to the border fence for hours and later redeployed along the border fence.
  • IOF carried out (23) incursions in Tal and ‘Iraq burin villages, southeast of Nablus; Yatta, Masafer Yatta, Surif, al-Rihiyah villages and al-Fawa refugee camp in Heborn; al-Zababdah, Rabab, Masliyah, Sanour, al-Silah al-Harithiyah, Romanah and Ta’nak villages in Jenin; Deir Sharaf, Qablan, Yatma and Madama villages in Nablus; Kuber, Deir Netham and al-Mazra’a al-Gharbiyah villages, north of Ramallah; Jericho and al-‘Ouja villages, northeast of Jericho.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF, reinforced with a number of military SUVs, moved into Kherbat Um al-Safa, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 civilians namely Ibrahim Hasan Dawoud (22), Majdi Mahmoud Dawoud (19) and Mohammed Mahmoud Dawoud.
  • At approximately 01:30, an Israeli force, reinforced with a number of military SUVs, moved into al-Samou’s village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed ‘Omran al-Daghamin (33)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 08:15, IOF, reinforced with a number of military SUVs, moved about 100 meters into the south of the border fence, north of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip. they leveled and combed lands that were leveled previously and sporadically opened fire at the area. At approximately 22:30 on the same day evening, IOF withdrew from the area; no casualties were reported.
  • In the morning, IOF arrested Ahmed ‘Ali Wahdan (21), from Jenin refugee camp, while passing through a temporary checkpoint established by IOF in the west of
  • IOF carried out (12) incursions in Nablus, Deir Sharaf, ‘Aqraba, Burin, Madama and ‘Ourta villages in Nablus; al-Zababdah and Zabuba villages in Jenin; al-Burj, Dura, Hebron ad Beit Awla villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.
  1. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem
  1. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
  • At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 21 December 2019, IOF moved into Middle Mount area, southeast of Tulkarm. They prevented civilians from planting trees in their lands, claiming these lands were confiscated and forcing the farmers to leave the area at gunpoint.

The farmers had planted part of the lands with olive and forest seedlings as part of activities organized by the national factions in Tulkarm and local councils in the villages of al-Kafriyat and ‘Ezbet Shofah.  Those activities came after the Israeli government announced seizure of 788 dunums of these lands in favor of a new industrial settlement area.  According to this project, the agricultural area will turn into industrial and commercial areas where there are transportation, buildings, public institutions, car parking and roads for the new industrial settlement.

  • On the same day morning, an Israeli military force moved into agricultural lands in Kisan village, east of Bethlehem. They prevented the lands’ owners from plowing their lands and forced them to leave after threatening to arrest them.

Hussein Ghazal, an activist, said that IOF moved into this 100-dunum land and the officer in charge informed the Palestinian farmers that they are only allowed to enter their lands if they refer to the Military Governance office in “Gosh ‘Etzion” settlement complex in order to obtain an entry permit.  Ghazal said that IOF impose obstacles before lands’ owners, preluding to seize the lands as the settlers in the nearby settlements  continuously chase and attack farmers; the latest was against farmer ‘Atallah Ibrahim ‘Abyat when settlers sic their dogs on him.

  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 23 December 2019, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers and a construction vehicle moved into Kherbet Tana, northeast of Nablus. The construction vehicle demolished 2 residential tents of 50 square meters belonging to Hakam Zohdi Nasasrah and Yousif Fayez Nasasrah and confiscated their pillars.  They then damaged the trees planted by the Ministry of Agriculture and the international and local organizations in Tana Nature Reserve, which is around 90 dunums and planted with 3000 forest trees.
  • At approximately 08:30 on the same day, IOF accompanied with a construction vehicle moved into Khelet Abu Salah in the Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The construction vehicle demolished residential tents and sheep barns in addition to confiscating drinking water tanks, aiming to displace farmers.

Those affected were:

  1. Ibrahim Sa’id Zayed Abu Thaher: his 60-square-meter tent, which sheltered 9 family members, including 5 children, was demolished as well as a barrack for sheep; and a water tank was confiscated.
  2. Zainab Soliman Salem Abu Thaher: his 60-square-meter sheltering 2 persons was demolished as well as a 120-square-meter sheep barn; and a water tank was confiscated.
  • During the demolition, IOF detained ‘Aref Ahmed Tawfiq Daraghmah (50), B’tselem’s fieldworker, in his own car. After the demolition, an Israeli officer sat next to Daraghmah in his car and forced him to drive to Bak’out settlement, where a Civil Administration officer handed Daraghmah a decision to confiscate his car after telling him that he makes trouble for the Israeli soldiers and settlers in the valleys.  Daraghmah was released but his car was confiscated and taken to al-Mazkouh camp around 2 kilometers away from the settlement.
  • On the same day morning, IOF construction vehicles was leveling in favour of expanding and building more settlement units in ” Shiloh” and “Shvut Rachel” settlements established on the lands of Jaloud, Qaryout and Qesrah villages, southeast of Nablus. Building these units came despite the decision issued last year by the Israeli High Court to stop all the construction and expansion works in “Shvut Rachel” settlement and despite the challenge filed by the Jaloud and Qaryout village councils via “Yish Din” Organization against the plan of expanding “Shiloh” settlement and building more than 175 new settlement units. Although the challenge is being considered by the High Court, IOF started leveling Jaloud village lands without waiting for the final court ruling.
  • At approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, Israeli Muncipality construction vehicles demolished a house belonging to Shqeirat Family in “Khelet al-‘Abed” area in al-Mukaber Mount village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a license. The house was built in 2016 on an area of 260 square meters and divided into 3 residential units sheltering Montaser Salah Shqeirat with his wife and child; and Amin Salah Shqeirat with his wife and 4 children.

Montaser Shqeirat, one of the houses’ owners, said that Israeli Muncipality staffs raided his family house in the early morning and expelled the house residents despite the cold weather in addition to banning them from taking out the house contents.

He added that the Israeli municipality staffs only took out some furniture before starting the demolition.  He also said that the Israeli Municipality imposed on him an “unlicensed construction fine” of 120,000 NIS, forcing the family to pay it monthly.  It should be noted that the municipality surrounded the family house last month to demolish it; however, the demolition decision was frozen.  The court later rejected the decision to freeze the demolition, so the municipality staffs headed on that morning and carried out the demolition.

  • At approximately 10:00 on the same day, the Israeli municipality construction vehicles demolished a residential under-construction building in al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Jamal ‘Ata ‘Elian said that the Israeli vehicles demolished his building for the second time consecutively as it was of 3 floors and demolished last May.  He added that after months of the first demolition he rebuilt it so he can live there with his family and started the licensing measures.  However, on that day morning, he was surprised with the Israeli municipality staffs demolishing the building, which comprised of 2 floors; the ground floor used as a parking and the first floor as an apartment to shelter his family.

  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Thaghret al-Shabak area adjacent to Bypass Road (60), northeast of Hebron. They stormed an agricultural land of 14 dunums belonging to Nabil Munir Baraghit (55) and his brothers and then declared the area as a closed military zone.  They prevented the vehicles from plowing the land and confiscated a construction vehicle belonging to Mohammed ‘Omer Abu Ayyash and an excavator belonging to Samer Mohammed Ikhalyel.  They took the confiscated vehicles to “Gosh ‘Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.  It should be noted that the mentioned land is located near “Beit al-Berkah” that was seized months ago by the Israeli settlers, claiming they bought it from a Swedish organization
  • Around the same time, IOF accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the Civil Administration moved into Kherbet Ghwein, west of al-Samou’a village, south of Hebron. The soldiers were deployed between houses while the excavator started demolishing a house belonging to Ibrahim Khader Isma’il Hawamdah (46) and sheltering his 10-member family.  The 100-square-meter house built of tin plates was demolished under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

It should be mentioned that the Israeli authorities notified on 03 July 2019 to demolish the new building within 96 hours under the pretext of building without a license.  The family then challenged the demolition notice before the court while the Israeli authorities again notified the house under the pretext of rioting archeology. The court rejected the challenge 2 months ago and issued a decision to demolish the building.

  • At approximately 11:30, IOF moved into Moghayer al-‘Abid area, southeast of Yata, southwest of Hebron. The excavator demolished a 66-square-meter dwelling built of bricks and tin plates and belonging to Fayez Ibrahim Shehadah Abu ‘Aram and his 4 member family.  It should be noted that the Israeli authorities notified the dwelling’s owner that they would demolish it within 96 hours, not giving the family enough time to prepare a legal file to challenge the decision before the Beit El Military Court.
  • On Wednesday morning, 25 December 2019, the Israeli construction vehicles leveled lands in favor of expansion activities and construction of new settlement units in “Yitsihar” settlement that was established on the lands of Madma, Burin, ‘Asirah al-Qabaliyah, ‘Einabous and Howarah villages, southeast of Nablus. Eyewitnesses said that the IOF leveled those lands in an area in southern Madama village that is classified Area “B” in a prelude to confiscate it.
  1. Israeli Settler Violence
  • At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, 19 December 2019, Israeli settlers moved into al-Khalaylah neighborhood, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. They punctured the tires of Palestinian vehicles and wrote racist slogans on the walls threatening the Palestinian residents.  Recently, the attacks by the “Price Tag” extreme groups against the Palestinian property repeated, especially burning vehicles and puncturing tires in Jerusalem.

It should be mentioned that IOF always arrive at the scene, interrogate the Palestinian civilians and take their testimonies.  However, the incidents are always recorded anonymously.  The Price Tag groups include extreme settlers who carry out hostilities against the Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.

  • On the same day morning, Israeli settlers moved into Kisan village, east of Bethlehem, and prevented the Palestinian farmers from plowing their lands. They forced the farmers to leave and attacked ‘Atallah Ibrahim ‘Abayat (53).  They sic their dogs on him, and he was taken to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital to receive medical treatment.

Ahmed Ghazal, Deputy Head of the Kisan Village Council, said “settlers from “Evi Hanahel” settlement beat up the mentioned farmer and sic their dogs on him.  As a result, ‘Abayat sustained various wounds and taken to Beit Jala Hospital for medical treatment.”  Ghazal added that the settlers attacked ‘Abayat after he refused to obey their orders to leave his land for them, noting that such attacks recently recurred and shepherds have become afraid for their lives.

  • At approximately 04:20, 2 settlers from Giv’at Ha’avot settlement outpost established on the lands of eastern Hebron arrived at the house of ‘Abdel Karim Mahmoud al-Ja’bari in al-Hussein Valley adjacent to the outpost and wrote racist slogans against Arabs signed by the “Price Tag” groups on 2 vehicles parked on the main road.
  • At approximately 06:00, settlers moved into the lands al-Ghawit Valley area in al-Khader village, west of Bethlehem. They uprooted 300 olive trees and seized them.

The land’s owner, Hisham al-Barmil, said that he was surprised with a call from his neighbors telling him about what happened.  He immediately headed to his 30-dunum land to see hundreds of the trees that were planted tens of years ago uprooted and seized by settlers.  It should be mentioned that it was not the first attack by settlers on the area as 2 months ago they attacked plantings in the area, causing losses to the farmers.

  • At approximately 15:30 on the same day, settlers from Yitsihar settlement established on the lands of Burin, Madma, ‘Asiret al-Qabilah and ‘Orif villages, southeast of Nablus, threw stones at the Palestinian cars traveling on “Yitsihar” Bypass Road and Madma Bridge near “Yitshar” settlement. As a result, the windshield of a bus belonging to Redwan Ma’arouf Hussein ‘Asayrah (58) was broken.
  • At approximately 02:00 on Friday, 20 December 2019, settlers from “Havat Gilad” settlement moved into the southeastern area of Fre’ata village, north of Qalqilya. They set fire to 2 vehicles belonging to Saher ‘Abdel Rahim Rafiq Salim and Thaer Raed ‘Abdel Rahim Salim. They wrote racist slogans against Arabs on the floor and walls of a house belonging to Saher ‘Abdel Rahim Salim.

‘Abdel Men’em Shana’ah, Head of Fre’ata Village Council, said:

“At approximately 02:30 on Friday, 20 December 2019, one of the area residents called to tell me that the area and cars were on fire.  I immediately headed to the area, where 2 cars parked in front of Saher Salim’s house were on fire, but we could not do anything. The Civil Defense arrived to extinguish the fire, and the area was full of racist slogans on the walls and floor of Saher Salim’s house.  Next morning, we contacted the competent authority to tell them about what happened.”

  • On the same day morning, settlers moved into the Northern Valleys area, east of Tubas. They started repairing ‘Ein al-Helweh Spring that is used by the Valleys’ farmers for drinking and irrigation.  The farmers said that they were surprised with settlers’ repairing the spring, aiming to seize it and prevent civilians from using it.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 21 December 2019, around 100 armed Israeli settlers moved into ancient Solomon’s Pools, south of Bethlehem. They wandered with their dogs and bathed in the springs while others swam in one of the pools under the IOF protection.  It should be mentioned that settlers come to the pools from time to time under the IOF protection and the area residents are afraid of the Israeli territorial appetites although the pools are located in Area “A” and many Palestinian projects are established there.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 23 December 2019, Israeli settlers under the IOF heavy guard placed the “Menorah” lampstand on the roof of al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City. This step is part of the settlers’ ongoing attempts to take over the mosque that started in 1994 when a settler carried out a massacre against the worshippers in the mosque.
  • On the same day afternoon, Israeli settlers from “‘Aadi ‘Aad” settlement under the IOF protection cut and damaged 35 olive trees in a land belonging to Ratib Haj Na’asan in al-Seder area in al-Moghir village, northeast of Ramallah.

Nash’at Nas’asan (38) said that at approximately 15:30 on the same day he saw 10 settlers approaching the barbed wire surrounding the trees in al-Seder area.  They destroyed it and then entered the land to cut the olive trees and damage the branches.  They then fled away to their settlement.

  • Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

Gaza Strip

On Thursday morning, 19 December 2019, IOF decided to decrease the allowed fishing area between 6 to 10 nautical miles off the Gaza Strip shore.

Nizar ‘Ayash, Head of the Palestinian Fishermen’s Syndicate in the Gaza Strip, said that the Israeli authorities informed the Palestinian Civil Affairs of reducing the fishing area all the way to the northern Gaza Strip to 6 nautical miles, and to 10 nautical miles in the central and southern Gaza Strip.  It should be noted that the allowed fishing area before the decision was 15 nautical miles off the southern Gaza Strip.  However, Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun, known as the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, said that the fishing area will be expanded back to 15 nautical miles starting from Tuesday, 23 December 2019 at 08:00.  He added that the Gaza fishing area expansion would remain only as long as Gaza fishermen stayed within the permitted boundaries.

West Bank

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 70 temporary checkpoints and arrested 3Palestinian civilians.

The military checkpoint were as follows:

Jerusalem:

  • At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 22 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Daqo village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. They denied the movement of hundreds of cars and civilians for hours.  Eyewitnesses said that the checkpoint is being almost daily established, especially in the peak hours, only aiming at obstructing civilians’ daily life.
  • On the same day, IOF established 3 checkpoints at Jaba’a village intersection, the entrance to Badou village and the entrance to ‘Anata village in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • On Monday, 23 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Ram village, north of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • On Tuesday, 24 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Badou village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem.

Bethlehem:

  • On Sunday, 22 December 2019, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance of Nahalin village, intersection of al-Freides village, in ‘Aqabet Hasnah area and at the western entrance to Housan village.
  • On Monday, 23 December 2019, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Taqou’a village, near the intersection of al-Nashash, in ‘Aqbet Hasnah area and at the western entrance to Taqou’a village.
  • On Tuesday, 24 December 2019, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Taqou’a village, the entrance to Beit Jala, the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and ‘Aqbet Hasnah area near the main road to the western villages of Bethlehem.

Hebron: 

  • On Thursday, 19 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Halhoul, and no arrests were reported.
  • On Friday, 20 December 2019, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, al-Nabi Mousa, and Halhoul and northern entrance to Hebron.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Saturday, 21 December 2019, IOF closed the entrances to the villages in Yatta, south of Hebron and established checkpoints. They denied Yatta residents access to the main road under the pretext that a marathon would be organized by settlers.  The closure continued for 4 consecutive hours, forcing the Palestinian civilians to take roads that are far away from the main road.
  • On the same day, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hahoul and the entrance to Tarqoumia village. On Sunday, 22 December 2019, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron and the entrances to Ethna, al-Shyoukh and Deir Razeh villages.
  • On Monday, 23 December 2019, IOF established 3 checkpoints at al-Fawar refugee camp, al-Thaheriyah village and al-Kom village.
  • On Tuesday, 24 December 2019, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, Beit Ummar village and Deir Samit village.
  • On Wednesday, 25 December 2019, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Aroub refugee camp, Sa’ir village, Yatta and al-Thaheriyah village.

Ramallah and al-Bireh:

  • On Thursday, 19 December 2019, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit ‘Or village and al-Jalazone refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 23 December 2019, IOF established 3 similar checkpoints at the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh and ‘Otarah villages, northwest of Ramallah.
  • On Tuesday, 24 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village.

Qalqiliyah and Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 19 December 2019, IOF established checkpoints at the entrances to ‘Azoun village in Qalqiliyah and Deir Balout village in Salfit. On Friday, 20 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Ezbet al-Tabib village in Qalqiliyah. On Saturday, 21 December 2019, IOF established checkpoints at the entrances to ‘Ezbet al-Tabib and Jeet villages in Qalqiliyah.
  • On Sunday, 22 December 2019, IOF established checkpoints at the entrance to al-Nabi Elias in Qalqiliyah, at the northern entrance to Salfit and at the entrance to Marda village. At approximately 17:00 on Monday, 23 December 2019, IOF closed the entrances to Salfit City and the entrances to Yasouf and Kafl Haris villages in Salfit.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 19 December 2019, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to Qeblan village, southeast of Nablus and at the southern entrance to Tal village, southwest of Nablus. On Friday, 20 December 2019, IOF stationed at ‘Awerta checkpoint at the southern entrance to Nablus tightened their arbitrary restrictions against the Palestinian civilians who cross the checkpoint and undergo thorough searches before being allowed to cross.
  • On Monday, 23 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Bita village branching from Ramallah-Nablus Street. On the same day, IOF obstructed the movement at the checkpoints of Shavi Shamron, northwest of Nablus; Za’tarah, southeast of Nablus; and Beit Forik village, northeast of Nablus.  They checked the passengers’ ID cards, but no arrests were reported.
  • On Tuesday, 23 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint in al-Moraba’ah area that connects the villages of Tal, Burin and ‘Iraq Burin with Nablus, south of the city.

Jenin:

  • On Saturday, 21 December 2019, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to al-Zababdah village and at the entrance to ‘Arabah village, southwest of Jenin.
  • On Monday, 23 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint on the Bypass Road, northeast of Jenin. They stopped the Palestinian vehicles and checked the passengers’ ID cards. However, no arrests were reported.

German Politician: “Ami Go Home!”… The US is waging bloody economic wars against the entire world

By InfoBrics

Global Research, December 26, 2019

InfoBrics

Oskar Lafontaine

Oskar Lafontaine is a German politician, candidate for Chancellor in the German federal election of 1990, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party from 1995 to 1999, Minister of Finance from 1998 to 1999, leader of The Left in Saarland since 2010.

The United States of America is waging bloody economic wars against the entire world, and now against us Germans. The German government is talking interference with our sovereignty. What a fallacy! We have never been a sovereign state. After the end of the World War II, it is the Americans who have been handling issues of war and peace in Germany.

In 1963, Charles de Gaulle said:

“Having allies… is a matter of course for us in the historical era in which we find ourselves. But to have your own free choice… is also a categorical imperative, because alliances have no absolute virtue, no matter what feelings they are based on. And if you give up control over yourself, you run the risk of never regaining it.”

Later, Francois Mitterrand would add:

“You can’t hand the solution over to others when life or death is at stake.”

American military bases in Germany imperil us instead of protecting. The United States is pushing us to a war with its aggressive policy of encircling Russia and China, with allocating huge amounts of $738 billion for military purposes, by means of withdrawing from the INF Treaty and placing short-range missiles next to the Russian borders. It is in our interest to liberate the German soil from US military bases.The Real New World Order. Bankers Taking over the World

“Ami go home!” the students chanted in 1968, when the United States killed millions of people in Vietnam, using its military bases in Germany. “Ami go home!” the Germans urged when the United States, under the guise of lying about Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, unleashed the war in Iraq using its military facilities in Germany – a war that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. “Ami go home!” – this appeal should become the motto of German politics today, when the greatest military power in the world is obviously violating international law and terrorizing all of the world.

This has been taken from Oscar Lafontaine’s Facebook and distributed by the German NachdenkSeiten run by another “heavyweight” of German politics – Albrecht Müller, a long-term ally of German Chancellor Willy Brandt, Bundestag member from 1987 to 1994.

“People like Oscar Lafontaine,” Albrecht Müller writes in his commentary, “able to get across their ideas, are a must-have in politics. The demand [on the US to leave Germany] is by no means radical. It’s appropriate. Many Germans believe so, but not those who shape today’s politics in Berlin. The German establishment and representatives of the major news outlets are either associated with the United States and dependent on them, or serve the interests of the military establishment. There are also people who simply lack courage and consider the ‘Ami go home’ demand unduly radical.

What else should happen? Sanctions have been imposed against us Germans. The weaponization process is at our expense. We are involved in maneuvers next to the Russian borders. Convoys with military equipment block our railways. What is finally going to make the cup run over?”

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Featured image is from Wikimedia CommonsThe original source of this article is InfoBricsCopyright © InfoBricsInfoBrics, 2019

Why Western Media Ignore OPCW Scandal

Image result for Why Western Media Ignore OPCW Scandal

December 20, 2019

The credibility of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is on the line after a series of devastating leaks from whistleblowers has shown that the UN body distorted an alleged CW incident in Syria in 2018. The distortion by the OPCW of the incident suggests that senior directors at the organization were pressured into doing so by Western governments.

This has grave implications because the United States, Britain and France launched over 100 air strikes against Syria following the CW incident near Damascus in April 2018. The Western powers rushed to blame the Syrian government forces, alleging the use of banned weapons against civilians. This was in spite of objections by Russia at the time and in spite of evidence from independent investigators that the CW incident was a provocation staged by anti-government militants.

Subsequent reports by the OPCW later in 2018 and 2019 distort the incident in such a way as to indict the Syrian government and retrospectively exculpate the Western powers over their “retaliatory” strikes.

However, the whistleblower site Wikileaks has released more internal communications provided by 20 OPCW experts who protest that senior officials at the organization’s headquarters in The Hague engaged in “doctoring” their field reports from Syria.

Copies of the doctored OPCW reports are seen to have suppressed important evidence casting doubt on the official Western narrative claiming that the Syrian government was to blame. That indicates the OPCW was engaged in a cover-up to retrospectively “justify” the air strikes by Western powers. This is a colossal scandal which implies the US, Britain and France wrongly attacked Syria and are therefore guilty of aggression. Yet, despite the gravity of the scandal, Western media have, by and large, ignored it. Indicating that these media are subordinated by their governments’ agenda on Syria, rather than exposing the truth as independent journalistic services.

An honorable exception is Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson who has given prominence to the scandal on US national TV. So too has veteran British journalist Peter Hitchens who has helped expose the debacle in the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Apart from those sources, the mainstream Western media have looked away. This is an astounding dereliction of journalistic duty to serve the public interest and to hold governments to account for abusing power.

Major American news outlets have been engrossed in the Trump impeachment case over his alleged abuse of power. But these same media have ignored an arguably far more serious abuse of power with regard to launching missiles on Syria over a falsehood. That says a lot about the warped priorities of such media.

However, their indifference to the OPCW scandal also reflects their culpability in fomenting the narrative blaming the Assad government, and thereby setting up the country for military strikes. In short, the corporate media are complicit in a deception and potentially a war crime against Syria. Therefore they ignore the OPCW scandal.

That illustrates how Western news media are not “independent” as they pompously claim but rather serve as propaganda channels to facilitate their governments’ agenda.

An enlightening case study was published by Tareq Haddad who quit from Newsweek recently because the editors censored his reports on the unfolding OPCW scandal. Haddad explained that he had important details to further expose the OPCW cover-up, but despite careful deliberation on the story he was inexplicably knocked back by senior editors at Newsweek who told him to drop it. There is more than a hint in Haddad’s insider-telling that senior staff at the publication are working as assets for Western intelligence agencies, and thus able to spike stories that make trouble for their governments.

Given the eerie silence among US, British and European media towards the OPCW scandal it is reasonable to posit that there is a systematic control over editorial policies about which stories to cover or not to. What else explains the blanket silence?

The scandal comes as Western powers are attempting to widen the powers of the OPCW for attributing blame in such incidents. Russia has objected to this move, saying it undermines the authority of the UN Security Council. Given the scandal over Syria, Russia is correct to challenge the credibility of the OPCW. The organization has become a tool for Western powers.

Russian envoy to the OPCW and ambassador to the Netherlands Alexander Shulgin says that Moscow categorically objects to expanding the OPCW’s functions and its powers of attributing blame. The extension of powers is being recommended by the US, Britain and France – the three countries implicated in abusing the OPCW in Syria to justify air strikes against that country.

The Russian envoy added: “The OPCW’s attribution mechanism is a mandate imposed by the US and its allies, which has nothing to do with international law and the Chemical Weapons Convention’s provisions. Any steps in this direction are nothing more than meddling in the UN Security Council’s exclusive domain. We cannot accept this flagrant violation of international law.”

Thus, the OPCW – a UN body – is being turned into a rubber-stamp mechanism by Western powers to legalize their acts of aggression. And yet despite the mounting evidence of corruption and malfeasance, Western corporate media studiously ignore the matter. Is it any wonder these media are losing credibility? And, ironically, they have the gall to disdain other countries’ media as “controlled” or “influence operations”.The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations On Palestinians (12– 18 December 2019)

Source

  • 9 Palestinians shot and injured by IOF, including 4 children, near the Gaza border fence at Great March of Return (GMR) protests in eastern Gaza.
  • West Bank: 4 Palestinian civilians shot and injured by IOF, including a child and a paramedic.
  • During 99 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 77 civilians arrested, including 22 children and 5 women.
  • IOF demolished 3 houses in occupied East Jerusalem and Bethlehem, 25 stalls in Jenin and 4 facilities in Hebron and Jerusalem.
  • 6 shootings reported against Palestinian agricultural lands and 3 others reported against Palestinian fishing boats, east and west of Gaza Strip.
  • Settlers attacked Palestinians’ vehicles in Bethlehem, damaged road construction machines in Northern Jordan Valleys, and opened fire at a house in Qalqiliyah.
  • 35 temporary checkpoints erupted in the West Bank, where 5 Palestinian civilians were arrested

Summary

This week, PCHR documented 149 violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory.

As part of the Israeli violations of the right to life and bodily integrity:

In terms of excessive use of force, IOF wounded 9 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, on the 84th Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege protest (GMR) in eastern Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile in the West Bank, 4 civilians were injured, including a paramedic and a child. IOF arrested the child, claiming that he attempted to throw a Molotov Cocktails in Bethlehem.

Under IOF incursions and house raids, 99 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, were reported. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, arresting and/or injuring many others. During this week’s incursions, 77 Palestinians were arrested, including 22 children and 5 women.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF carried out 2 limited incursions in northern Gaza Strip and eastern Khan Younis. A Palestinian civilian was arrested by IOF while travelling via Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.

Moreover, 6 shootings were reported by IOF at agricultural lands in the northern and eastern of the Gaza Strip; while 3 others were reported by the Israeli gunboats against the Palestinian fishing boats sailing off Gaza Shore.

Under the settlement expansion activities in the West Bank, PCHR documented 6 IOF violations that included demolishing 3 residential houses in occupied East Jerusalem and Bethlehem, 25 stalls in Jenin, 2 buses’ structures in Hebron, and a car showroom as well as 2 car washes in occupied East Jerusalem.

PCHR also documented 3 settler-attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, including attacking busses in Bethlehem; damaging road construction machines in Northern Jordan Valleys, and shootings in eastern Qalqiliyah, which caused material damage to a house and fear among its residents, but no injuries among them were reported.

In terms of the Israeli closure policy, the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.  During the reporting period, IOF arrested a Palestinian civilian, from Gaza City, while travelling to Turkey via Erez Crossing.  Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted and they are subject to arrest as 5 Palestinians were arrested this week only.

Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity

  1. Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the Gaza Strip

On the 84th Friday, 13 December 2019, weekly protests were launched in the Rafah, al-Buraij refugee camp in addition to Gaza City and were cancelled in Khan Younis and northern Gaza Strip, on the anniversary of the founding of Hamas Movement. This Friday’s protest titled: “Palestine Unites us and Jerusalem is our Capital”, resulted in the injury of 9 civilians, including 4 children.

The incidents were as follows:

  • Gaza City: hundreds took part in Malaka area in eastern Gaza City. IOF targeted them with teargas canisters and rubber bullets. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teat gas inhalation; no casualties were reported.
  • Central Gaza Strip: at approximately 14:30, hundreds of civilians, including women, men, young men, elderlies, children and entire families, took part in eastern al-Buraij camps, which were about 400 meters away from the border fence. The demonstrations were organized in support with those, who lost their eyes (Mai Abu Ruweidah, and journalists Sami Matran and ‘Atiyah Darwish), in the GMR protests. Dozens gathered adjacent to the border fence at a range varying between 0 – 100 meters, while others were about 300 meters away from the border fence. The Israeli soldiers launched a drone to photograph protestors who threw stones at them. IOF fired live and rubber bullets  and tear gas canisters at the protestors without posing threat to the lives of Israeli soldiers. The shooting, which continued until 17:00, resulted in the injury of 4 civilians: one of them was shot with a lived bullet, and 3 were shot with rubber bullets. The wounded civilians were transferred to al-Aqsa Hospital and their injuries were classified between minor and moderate. Moreover, a number of civilians suffocated due tear gas inhalation. Some of them were taken to hospitals while others received medical treatment in the field.
  • Khan Younis: Although the GMR’s Supreme National Authority officially cancelled the protests, 30 civilians took part in eastern Khuza’ah protests. Dozens approached the border fence and attempted to threw stones and Molotov Cocktail at IOF stationed along the border fence. IOF fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment in the field.
  • Rafah: hundreds of protestors gathered in eastern al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, where speeches and theatrical performances were performed. Dozens attempted to approach the fence and throw stones. IOF fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at protestors. As a result, 5 civilians, including 4 children, were injured.
  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 13:40 on Thursday, 12 December 2019, moved into Ramallah and stationed in ‘Ein Mesbah neighborhood in the center of the city. Dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers, who responded with live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. As a result, volunteer paramedic, Majd Omer (25), was shot with a rubber bullet in the foot. He was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex for treatment and his injury was classified as moderate. Meanwhile, an Israeli force raided and searched the house of Shatha Majed Hasan (20), a student at Birzeit University, and arrested her.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Friday, 13 December 2019, IOF moved into al-Janiyah village, northwest of Ramallah. A number of young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli forces, who responded with live bullets and tear gas canisters. A live bullet hit the window of Mohammed Ahmed Nassar’s house and settled in the walls; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Saturday, 14 December 2019, IOF signed to guard the annexation wall gate, adjacent to Nazlet ‘Essa village, north of Tulkarm, opened fire at a group of civilians present at the area. As a result,  2 civilians, from western al-Nazlah village, were wounded while attempting to enter the gate to work in Israel. The wounded civilians were identified as Ahmed Hasan Katanah (26), who was shot with a live bullet in the right leg; while Darrar Rasem Katanah (28) was shot with a live bullet in the left foot.
  • At approximately 13:30 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, adjacent to the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the agricultural lands in eastern Beit Hanoun. As a result, a tilling machine that was about 150 meters into the west of the border fence and dragged by a farmer was hit with 2 live bullets, causing its damage. The machine is owned by Mohammed Hasan Ahmed al-Za’anin (40). IOF also fired a number of sound bombs in the area, causing fear among farmers.
  • At approximately 16:40 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and fired a number of tear gas canisters at the border As a result, farmers, whose lands are nearby the area, forced to leave it fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 15 December 2019, IOF stationed along the border north of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Beit Hanoun Municipality crews, who were adjacent to a land fill in the area. As a result, the municipality truck was hit with several live bullets; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:30 on the same Sunday, Israeli gunboats stationed in west of Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:30 on the same Sunday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Kahn Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired tear gas canisters adjacent to al-Najjar neighbourhood, east of Khuza’ah village; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:15 on Tuesday, 17 December 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed in northwest of Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within3 nautical miles. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 19:00 on the same Tuesday, IOF opened fire at a Palestinian civilian while being present on al-Anfaq Street, west of Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem. As a result, he was shot and injured in the thigh. He was arrested by IOF and taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel for treatment.

Abdul Halim Ja’afrah, Head of Emergency & Ambulance Services at Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), said to PCHR’s fieldworker that he received an information about a civilian shot and injured by IOF in al-Anfaq area. An ambulance headed to the area, but IOF banned it from reaching the wounded civilian, who was identified as Hamzah Khalid ‘Ayad al-Haremi (16).

Avichay Adraee, the spokesperson of the Israeli forces, claimed that IOF spotted  a person throwing a Molotov Cocktail at Israeli vehicles near Beit Jala village. He added that IOF opened fire at him, wounding him. They then chased and arrested him, without revealing the nature of his injury.

According to local sources, PCHR’s fieldworker stated that IOF took the wounded child to “Ofer” military prison established on lands, west of Ramallah. After that, al-Haremi underwent a surgery at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel. An extension hearing will be held  for the arrested child next Thursday in the Israeli Military Court.

  • At approximately 02:30 on Friday, 18 December 2019, IOF moved into al-Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. A number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli vehicles. IOF chased the young men between house and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers arrested Yusuf ‘Ezzat Abu Diaya (21) and Yusuf Mohammed Sadouq (22) after they raided and searched their houses.
  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli gunboats stationed, west of Jabalia, northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. They also fired flare bombs in the sky. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern Khuza’ah village, south of the Gaza Strip. As a result, farmers fled away fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 12 December 2019:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Hebron, where they raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested 6 leaders and supporters of the Hamas Movement, including the former Minister of Local Government in the 10th Palestinian Government. The arrestees were identified as: the Former Minister Essa Khairi Essa al-Ja’bari  (53), Omar Abdulqader al-Qawasmi (22), Abdul Khaliq Hasan al-Natsha (65), Mohammed Jamal al-Natsha (61), Jawad Bahar al-Natsha (61), and Mazen Jamal al-Natsha (47).
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Betounya village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Malek al-Lawzi (25)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Mousa Khaizaran (32).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF stationed at Jeet checkpoint, which is established at the southwestern entrance to Nablus, arrested Lina Faisal al-Bizro (23), from Raba village, southwest of Jenin, and took her to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 06:15, IOF moved into ‘Aqaba refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. They raided and searched Mohammed Khalil al-Shaikh Ibrahim (32)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into Shu’afat village, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched the houses of Ishaq Sa’eed Abu Khdair (58), Head of Shu’afat Village Council, and his Deputy Naser Subhi Abu Khdair (56). Both of them were later arrested. It should be noted that Ishaq issued a statement calling the village residents for participating in a protest following the Friday prayer on 13 December 2019 in front of Shuafat Mosque. The protest was organized to condemn the latest settlers’ attacks.
  • IOF carried out (16) incursions in Hebron, Yatta, Dura, Sa’er villages in Hebron; Tulkarm, Nour Shams and Tulkarm refugee camps in Tulkarm; Ezbet al-Tabib, Ezbet Salman in Qalqiliya; Azzaweya village west of Salfit; al-Beira, Beit Rima, Na’leen, Shaqba, Qabya, and Badrs villages in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 13 December 2019:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched several houses, including the houses of Nizar Ramadan and Mohammed Maher Bader; the members of Change and Reform Bloc of the PLC. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Ahmed ‘Atif al-Shareef (17) while present in al-Razazah area, south of Qalqiliyia, and took him to an unknown destination. IOF claimed that he threw stones at them.
  • IOF carried out (8) incursions in Hebron, Beit Kahel, and Bani Na’em villages in Hebron; Baqa al-Sharqeya, Zeita, Ateel, and Abu al-Nar villages in Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 14 December 2019:

  • At approximately 20:30, IOF stationed at al-Jalama checkpoint, which is established at the northern entrance to Jenin, arrested Salama Mahmoud Salama Qasem (25) and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 13:30, three Israeli military vehicles moved into al-Jadeera village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. The Israel soldiers stepped out of the military vehicles and were deployed along the annexation wall. Two siblings namely Bilal (13) and ‘Abdo Mohammed Qasem (14) were arrested by IOF and taken to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (7) incursions in Hebron, Beit Kahel, Bani Na’em, al-Zahereya villages in Hebron; Kafr al-Labd in Tulkarm, Hajja village in Qalqiliya, and Fasayel village north of Jericho. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 15 December 2019:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into the African community neighborhood in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Salman al-Firawi’s house and arrested his son Issa (17).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ibrahim Issa Syam (26)’s house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in Moscovia investigation center in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested 4 civilians, including 3 children. The arrestees were identified as: Ammar Mahmoud Jawabra (16); Hani Jawabra (14) and his brother Khaled (16); and Emad Khaled Jawabra (27).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Osama Hazem Halawa (32) while present in his house in Ra’s al-Ein neighborhood, south of the City.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Hanina, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched the house of Shadi Abdullah al-Motor (42), the Secretary of Fatah Movement in Jerusalem, and took him to ” Moscovia  ” investigation center. It should be noted that during this years, IOF arrested al-Motor for five times and charged him with inciting and dealing with the PNA within Jerusalem’s boundaries. The latest of these changes was on 14 October 2019, and he was released on a 5,000 NIS bail.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Bani Na’em village, east of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ehab Khaled Zidat (25).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Wadi al-Jooz neighborhood, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched ‘Areen Haitham Hasan al-Za’anin (24)’s house and took him to ” Moscovia  ” investigation center.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved to al-Sowana neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Majdi Mahmoud Abu Ghazala (28)’s house and took him to ” Moscovia  ” investigation center.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Ein al-Lawza neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched the house of Ahmed Mousa al-‘Abassi (46), the Secretary of Fatah Movement in the city, and him took to ” Moscovia  ” investigation center.

Monday, 16 December 2019:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Beit Kahel village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians: Ra’ed Salem al-Atawna (25), Qasam Haitham Asafra (22) and Osaid Sabri Zahour (25).
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians: Hussam Ahmed al-Badawi (15), Monjed Ahmed al-Badawi (16) and Ma’an Nayef al-Badawi (16).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Marwan Mahmoud Hudaib (30).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Omar Abdullatif Eshtaya (55).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Beirh and stationed in al-Baloua’ neighborhood. They raided and searched Mohammed Ali al-Muhaisery (29)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Talfit village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hussam Maher Mansour (19).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Dir al-Ghosoun village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses in al-Shwaika suburb and arrested 4 civilians: Majd Abdulsalam al-Jondob and Ramzi Na’alwa, former prisoners, Salah Ahmed Dhaileya, and Ahmad Akbareya.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested 3 civilians identified as Yousef Muhana, Moa’tasem Tayseer Alia and Abdullah Naser. All of them were later released.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-‘Izareya village, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Hakam Mujahed Abu Roumi (32), and Sayaf Nidal Abu Roumi (34), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Zawata village, west of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested 2 civilians: Islam Hasan Jouda (29) and Mohammed Thabet Abu Amsha (48).
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF reinforced by military vehicles moved about 100 meters from Zikim military base, north of the Gaza Strip, to south of the border fence with Israeli, northwest of Beit Lahya. They leveled and combed lands that were previously leveled amidst Israeli sporadic shooting.  However, no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF stationed in Za’tra military checkpoint, which is established at the southeastern entrance to Nablus, arrested Mahmoud Jehad Hithnawi (34), from Jenin, while passing through the checkpoint. Hithnawi was taken to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Sebastya, Roujib, ‘Aqraba, Madma villages in Nablus; Romana village, west of Jenin; Deir Nizam village, northwest of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019:

  • At approximately 12:00, IOF stormed al-Rahmah prayer hall, east of al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They banned (5) children as well as a civilian from praying and arrested them. The arrestees were taken to “al-Qishla” police center in the Old City and released in the evening. The arrestees were identified as: Aya Osama Ashour (15); Doha Mohammed Ghazawi (16); Mayar Emran al-Natsha (15); Maram Ahmed al-Natsha (15); Tala Naser (15); and Jamal Mohammed al-Asali (23).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Jabal Jawhar neighborhood in Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Abdullah Borqan (15).
  • At the same time, IOF raided a lathe belonging to the brothers Yousef and Nidal Abdulqader al-‘Awiwi and confiscated its contents. IOF claimed that they were manufacturing weapons in it.
  • At the same time, IOF moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and handed 2 summonses to fromer prisoners ‘Amar Jamal Abu Maria (26) and Mo’men Hasan al-Teet (16), to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qalqiliya. They raided and searched Osaid Firas Abu Libda (23)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF stationed at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing, north of the Gaza Strip, arrested Ahmed ‘Emad Owda (22), while heading to Turkey for studying engineering. According to his father’s statement “At approximately 06:00, Ahmed headed to Erez Crossing via a bus operating under the Civil Affairs in Gaza. At approximately 11:00, Owda was detained at the crossing and his family lost contact with him. At 19:00 on the same day, Ahmed’s father received a phone call informing him that his son was arrested for security reasons.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into al-Shaq neighborhood in the northern valleys. IOF banned the farmers from working in their agricultural lands, and confiscated a tractor belonging to Mafdi Lafi Daraghma.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF stationed in Shu’afat military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, arrested ‘Areen Haitham al-Za’anin (24) while passing through the checkpoint, and took him to an unknown destination. Before releasing al-Za’anin, IOF handed him a summons to refer to IOF Intelligence Services. Al-Za’anin was arrested from his house on Sunday, and released on the next day morning.
  • In evening, IOF moved into Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. IOF arrested 3 civilians, from al-Ezareya, after they finished a meeting with the General Women’s Union in the camp. The arrestees are: Najat al-Sharif, official of women’s file at Fatah Movement in al-Izareya; her daughter Ayat al-Sharif, a student at al-Quds University; and Dina Faroun, director of Bonal al-Mustaqbal Organization. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into al-Shayah neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mahmoud Issam Abu Nab (17)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved to Ra’s al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Bassam Salem Abu Nab (52)’s house and arrested him with his three sons after IOF severely beat them. The arrestees were identified as Mohammed (21); Yousef (17); and Saif (17).
    It should be noted that Bassam Abu Nab is Fares’s father, who was killed by IOF at al-Nafaq checkpoint, south of Bethlehem, on 17 November 2019.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Obaid neighborhood in al-Issaweya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested 5 civilians, including 2 children, namely: Younis Sufian Obaid (16); Ali Sufian Obaid (17); Mohammed Marwan Obaid (19); Waseen Nayef Obaid (38); and Lo’ay Faisal Obaid (18).
  • At the same time, IOF moved into al-Nobani village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses, and arrested and beat Laith Mahmoud Yaqoub al-Nobani (15), taking him to “’Ofer” investigation center, west of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into “Um al-Jamal” neighborhood in the Northern Jordan valleys. They banned the farmers from working in their lands and threatened them to confiscate any tractor in the neighborhood.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF stationed at ‘Atara military checkpoint, north of Ramallah, arrested Ezz al-Dein Abu Adwan (28), from Qalqiliya, while passing through the checkpoint. Adwan was taken to one of their military sites.
  • IOF carried out (9) incursions in Dura, Nablus; Hebron; Balata refugee camp; Bazarya and Burqa villages, northwest of Nablus; Jama’een, south of Nablus; Beit Qad and Deir Abu Da’ef, northeast of Jenin and al-Beira. No arrests were reported.
  1. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem
  1. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
  • On Saturday, 14 December 2019, Naser Za’atrah implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his tin-plate house willing of 25 square meters in al-Mokaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Za’atrah said that the Israeli authorities ordered him several times to demolish his house and threatened him if he did not demolish it, he would pay the demolition costs. Za’atrah added that the construction of his house cost NIS 90.000 and the Israeli Municipality imposed a construction fine on him of NIS 115.000, noting that he is still paying it. Lately, the Israeli Municipality escalated its self-demolition policy in occupied East Jerusalem and forced over 50 civilians to self-demolish their houses.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 16 December 2019, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Hebron’s Dir Razzah area. They demolished two buses’ structures of Basel Rashid Suliman D’ais used as café and auto repair workshop. After that, IOF levelled and dug the plot of land to ban using it again, under the pretext of being in Area C. It should be noted that on 19 August 2019, IOF demolished D’ais’s barrack established on the mentioned plot of land.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 16 December 2019, Israeli vehicles demolished Sameeh Ahmed Salah’s house in Kherbet ‘Alia, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Salah said that IOF accompanied with military construction vehicles raided his 120-sqaure-meter house, which sheltered 5 persons, and demolished it. Salah clarified that his plot of land is officially registered, but IOF prevented him from building on it, claiming that there was a military order banning any construction works in the area. He added that in 1996, IOF demolished his plot of land and agricultural rooms. In 2002, IOF demolished a house built there. Salah pointed out that he re-built the house for the 2nd time years ago, but IOF notified him that they would demolish it. After that, he requested help from St. Yves Society and headed to the Israeli Supreme Court that issued the demolition decision, but IOF did not recognize the court’s decision and demolished the house. It should be noted that IOF aims at evacuating Kherbet ‘Alia from all houses and seizing over 120 dunums in order to build a bypass road, which would be the northern entrance to “Afrat” settlement.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF accompanied with military construction vehicles moved into al-Jalma village, where they demolished at least 25 vegetable and fruit stalls roofed with sheds, under the pretext of being in Area C. These stalls were established near al-Jalma checkpoint due to the traffic jam at the checkpoint. PCHR keeps the names of stalls’ owners, who were deprived of the sole source of income.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 17 December 2019, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished Hatem Hussain Aby Riyalah’s under construction house in al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Raied Abu Riyalah, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, said that Israeli special forces accompanied with military vehicles moved into Abu Riyalah neighborhood, where they imposed a tight security cordon near Hatem Hussain Abu Riyalah house and demolished the second storey of his house for the 3rd Raied Abu Riyalah pointed out that Hatem attempted to license his house, but in vain. It should be noted that Hatem’s house was built on an area of 180 sqaure meters and comprised of 2 stories; the first was inhabited while the second was under-construction.
  • Around the same day, IOF accompanied with military construction vehicles moved into Sho’fat village in occupied East Jerusalem and demolished a car showroom and 2 car washes of Meswada, Bader and Abu Isninah families. Wadi al-Helwa Information Center stated that Israeli bulldozers demolished ‘Azzam Meswada’s car showroom built of tin plates and damaged walls surrounding it. In addition, IOF demolished Bashar Bader’s car wash, comprising of 3 tin-plate rooms, and another car wash belonging to Kamal Abu Isninah. IOF confiscated a container from Kamal’s car wash.
  1. Israeli Settler Violence
  • At approximately 23:00 on Friday, 13 December 2019, Diyab Mash’alah, Head of al-Jab’a Village Council, said that, dozens of Israeli settlers, from “Beit Ayin” settlement, which is established on Palestinians’ lands, moved into al-Jamjoum area in western Bethlehem. They attacked and threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles. As a result, the windshield, rear window and lights of  Akrama Hamdan’s vehicle were broken as well as many vehicles sustained damage.  Mash’alah added that settlers continued to carry out ongoing attacks against Palestinians and their properties years ago, clarifying that these attacks have recently increased. Mash’alah said that settlers from time to time threw Molotov Cocktails at Palestinian vehicles, causing incidents and injuries among them, without taking any measures by IOF to end and stop these attacks.
  • On Monday, 16 December 2019, settlers from the “Price Tag” group damaged road construction machines of Salah al-Zayed in northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas, for the 2nd
  • At approximately 20:00 on Monday, 16 December 2019, settlers opened fire at ‘Ali al-Sedaa’s house in the outskirts of Qalqiliyia’s Jeet village. As a result, the house sustained material damage and its residents were terrified, but no injuries among them were reported.
  • On Tuesday, 17 December 2019, a group of Israeli settlers damaged road construction machines in northern Jordan Valley, north of the West Bank.
  • Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

West Bank

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 35 temporary checkpoints and arrested 5 Palestinian civilians.

The military checkpoint were as follows:

Jerusalem:

  • On Tuesday, 17 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Jadirah village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. They prevented the movement hundreds of vehicles and civilians for few hours. Eyewitnesses said that there were massive car queues in both directions at the checkpoint, which is daily established at the village entrance during rush hours to provoke Palestinian civilians. It should be noted that the residents of 15 villages located in the northwest of occupied East Jerusalem are suffering from the establishment of this checkpoint, which closes the only road leading to these villages.

Hebron: 

  • At approximately 08:15 on Friday, 13 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Hebron. They stopped Palestinians’ vehicles and checked their IDs. No arrests among them were reported.
  • On Saturday, 14 December 2019, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Halhoul village and at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp.
  • On Sunday, 15 December 2019, IOF established 2 checkpoint in Halhoul village bridge and at the entrance to Yatta village, south of Hebron.
  • On Monday, 16 December 2019, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit ‘Awaa village and at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp.
  • On Tuesday, 17 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron.

Ramallah and al-Bireh:

  • On Friday, 13 December 2019, IOF established 2 checkpoints near the intersection of “Hallamish” settlement, northwest of Ramallah, and at the entrance to Dir Buziegh village, west of the city.
  • On Saturday, 14 December 2019, a similar checkpoint was established near the intersection of “Hallamish” settlement.
  • On Sunday, 15 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint near ‘Atarah village’s bridge, northwest of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 18 December 2019, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to ‘Ain Yabroud and al-Nabi Saleh villages.

Qalqiliyah:

  • On Thursday, 12 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint near the intersection of Kafur Laqef village, east of Qalqiliyia. They searched Palestinians’ vehicles and checked their IDs.
  • On Friday, 13 December 2019, IOF established 5 checkpoints near the intersection of ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village, near Jeet village, at the entrance to Kafur Laqef village, at the entrance to Amateen village, and at the entrance to ‘Azoun village.
  • On Sunday, 15 December 2019, IOF established 3 checkpoints near the entrance to Jensafout village, at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia and at the entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village.
  • On Monday, 16 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyia.
  • On Tuesday, 17 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Hejjah village, east of Qalqiliyia.

Salfit:

  • On Sunday, 15 December 2019, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Dirsityia and Dir Ballout villages, and between Kaful Hares and Hares villages.
  • On Wednesday, 18 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Kaful Hares village, north of Salfit.

Nablus:

  • On Sunday, 15 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Yatizhar Street, southeast of Nablus. They searched Palestinians’ vehicles and checked their IDs.

Tulkarm:

  • On Monday, 16 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Baqah al-Sharqiyia village, north of Tulkarm.
  • On Wednesday, 18 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Tulkarm.

Jericho:

  • On Saturday, 14 December 2019, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Fasayil village, north of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 18 December 2019, a similar checkpoint was established at the intersection of the Dead Sea.

The Icon of ‘Lebanese Revolution’ is a Zionist Sympathizer!

By Zeinab Daher

Beirut – The infamous and notorious female that became an icon of the Lebanese washed-up protests turned to be a sympathizer with the nation’s enemy.

In a flashback to her history, Perla Joe Maalouly was spotted doing the criminal act of normalization with the Zionist entity’s military account on Twitter, in a reply to the so-called ‘Israel’ Defense Forces’ tweet that was praising the vigilance of Adi, an 18-year-old soldier that foiled a smuggling attempt of 40 guns from Lebanon into ‘Israel’.

Though setting some privacy to her account, and hiding replies from users who don’t share the ‘following’ privilege with her, we managed to track her reply on the tweet that dates back to October 3rd:

“From Lebanon I tell you, we are humanly, mentally and soulfully sick of this war. We want no guns being smuggled, nor airplanes on top of our heads. Part of us just want to live, love, heart fully interact and create and I’m sure that the same goes to part of you [flower],” she replied.

The same Perla, however, was featured in many videos, since the beginning of Lebnon protests, being super nasty to the Lebanese Army and Security Forces who were maintaining protection for protesters and other people on the streets while the so-called rebels were blocking the roads and hindering the living of thousands of the Lebanese people for two months so far.

Additionally, when two ‘Israeli’ spy drones breached the Lebanese sovereignty and entered Beirut’s southern suburb [Dahiyeh], Lebanese President Michel Aoun stated that what happened is a ‘declaration of war’ that allows us to turn to our right to defend our sovereignty, independence and safety of our lands.

Perla, the tenderhearted, replied to the head of state:

“We want peace, enough is enough.”

Here in this case, there are two options that would describe the status of this fierce defender of the demands of the ‘rebels’. Either she is a schizophrenic whose state of mind shifts between caring for the interests of her nationals and putting them above all, but still the poor Perla turns her back to defend also the enemy that occupied the lands of the same nationals and killed, detained and tortured thousands along its history of occupation of Lebanon; or, she does this on purpose, which must be considered a report to the concerned parties that deal with individuals practicing such a criminal act of normalizing ties with the ‘Israeli’ enemy, plus showing sympathy to them.

Until proving the opposite of the theory that considers those influencing the violent protests across Lebanon are dictated by foreign embassies, may God save Lebanon from the malicious intentions and its enemies’ interventions.

Plea for the Liberation of Julian Assange. Response from the Archbishop of Canterbury

Dear Friends,

The plea which you kindly signed calling on the Archbishop of Canterbury to use his moral influence to bring about liberation of Julian Assange from Belmarsh prison was delivered to Lambeth Palace in London last November 29. On December 12, Lambeth Palace acknowledged reception of the letter in the attached message, which appears to be addressed to all the letter’s signatories.  

Elections held that same day leave scant hope for political intervention on behalf of Julian Assange.  This enforces our belief that this issue must be urgently addressed on purely moral and humanitarian grounds.  As Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has been entrusted by the Church of England with a moral authority which we invite him to exercise.  

On behalf of the Archbishop, the Lambeth Palace Correspondence Officer Dominic Goodall writes that: “For him not to speak out about an issue does not necessarily mean that it is not of concern to him, but the context and opportunity must be right if any intervention is to be effective.”

For our part, with due respect, we believe that the Christmas season provides an eminently appropriate “context” and “opportunity” for the Christian Church of England to demonstrate human kindness by speaking out on behalf of a political prisoner who is being treated more harshly than the worst of criminals. Julian Assange is fervently admired worldwide for his courageous commitment to speaking truth. His life is at stake, and also at stake is any remnant of the United Kingdom’s reputation as land of respect for individual rights and freedoms. The world watches and cares.

Dear signatories, 

If you care to follow up with your own message to Lambeth Palace, please note the addresses on the message below from Lambeth Palace.

Sincerely,

Diana Johnstone, Paris, France, diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr

***

Below is the message from Lambeth Palace

From: Lambeth Palace <contact@lambethpalace.org.uk>

Subject: 60053 Your letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Date: 12 December 2019 at 13:21:26 CET

To: “diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr”, “mnm@nachdenkseiten.de”

Dear Ms Johnstone and Mr Müller,

Thank you for your recent letter addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, for and on behalf of your other signatories. Much as he would like to, the Archbishop is unable to respond personally and in detail to all the emails and letters that he receives, so I have been asked to reply to you on his behalf.

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns in this matter, which have been noted. Archbishop Justin is often asked to make statements on a wide range of issues and many people write asking him to intervene in domestic and international matters.

Letters like your own just go to show that people are seeking to respond to the current uncertainties which is a constant encouragement to Archbishop Justin. He is grateful to you for writing and hopes that you will understand that it must be for him to decide when and about what subjects he raises in public. For him not to speak out about an issue does not necessarily mean that it is not of concern to him, but the context and opportunity must be right if any intervention is to be effective.

Nevertheless, thank you again for taking the time to write.

Yours sincerely,

Dominic Goodall

***

Reply to Lambeth Palace, 15 December 2019

Dear Mr Goodall,

Thank you for your reply to our recent letter[1] concerning Julian Assange. From your opening paragraph we assume that Archbishop Welby has read our letter, and we are passing your response on to the signatories of our letter.

Dear Archbishop Justin Welby,

The time to speak out about the treatment of Julian Assange by the British and the US Authorities seems quite urgently to be now. His health is deteriorating, as outlined in a recent open letter by 60 medical Doctors.[2]  On Friday 13 December, there was another technical hearing of the case, where it transpired that Julian Assange has not even been able to read key evidence against him in the case that has been prepared against him by the US for nearly ten years.  His court hearing is in just over two months. Such treatment goes contrary to the tradition of English rights initiated by the Magna Carta over 800 years ago.

Moreover, the result of the recent general election means that there will be a government with a huge majority including numerous Members who have publicly prejudiced Mr. Assange. There is no mercy to be expected from political authorities. This situation increases the urgency of calling on you to act as a higher moral authority. We ask you to share these thoughts with Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II.

It takes a high degree of courage to go against the mood of one’s own milieu.  But those who dare speak out in favour of the victim of a lynch mob gain a place of honour in history.  When the writer Emile Zola spoke out in defence of Captain Dreyfus, he was forced to seek asylum in London, but a century later his example is remembered as a shining beacon in the whole affair. You have shown that you are not shy to speak up on current affairs, when you spoke out on behalf of Britain’s Jews.

We are writing these lines from human beings to human beings on behalf of another human being in dire distress.

Whatever mistakes he may have made, like any human being, Julian Assange is fervently admired worldwide for his courageous commitment to speaking truth. His life is at stake, and also at stake is the United Kingdom’s reputation as land of respect for individual rights and freedoms. The world watches and cares.History will take note of what is done now.

Yours sincerely,

Moritz Müller, Skibbereen, Republic of Ireland. mnm@nachdenkseiten.de

Diana Johnstone, Paris, France. diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr

Notes

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88Kzf9ivQSQ&feature=youtu.be

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/nov/25/julian-assanges-health-is-so-bad-he-could-die-in-prison-say-60-doctors

You can read the plea here.

*

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Featured image: Julian Assange court sketch, October 21, 2019, supplied by Julia Quenzler.

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