Just another day in Palestine

68-year-old Palestinian Woman Dies when Israeli Forces Block Ambulance

An elderly Palestinian woman died Saturday in Jerusalem when she suffered a heart attack while praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque. She was identified as Sumayya Mahmoud Nasser, 68, from the Jit area in the land that is now Israel. Israeli forces stationed outside the mosque prevented an ambulance from reaching […]

West Bank Witnesses Worst Escalation in This Year, Israeli Forces Kill 4 Palestinian Civilians within Only 48 Hours; Two of Them Were Extra-Judicially Executed

Ref: 133/2018 – Date: 15 December 2018 – Time: 13:00 GMT: The West Bank is witnessing the worst and most violent escalation by the Israeli forces and settlers in this year. Only within 48 hours, the Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including an elderly and 2 extra-judicially killed

Israeli Soldiers Shoot Four Teens, Undercover Forces Kidnap One Palestinian, Near Ramallah

Israeli soldiers shot, Saturday, four Palestinian teenage boys at the entrance of the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the al-Biereh city, in the Ramallah and al-Biereh governorate in central West Bank, and attacked dozens of protesters, following the burial ceremony of a slain Palestinian. Undercover Israeli soldiers infiltrated into Kobar

Israeli Soldiers Invade Al-‘Arroub Refugee Camp

Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Saturday at night, the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and fired at local protesters, in addition to spraying homes and cars with wastewater mixed with chemicals. Media sources in Hebron said the soldiers fired many rubber-coated steel

Army Injures 23 Palestinians Who Intercepted Invasion By Colonists In Kufur Qaddoum

Israeli soldiers injured, on Saturday evening, 23 Palestinians after they intercepted illegal colonialist settlers, who were infiltrating by car into the southeastern area of Kufur Qaddoum town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia. Morad Eshteiwi, the coordinator of the Popular Committee in Kufur Qaddoum, said dozens of

Israeli Navy Abducts Two Fishermen In Gaza

Israeli navy ships attacked, on Saturday morning, several Palestinian fishing boats with live fire, abducted two sibling fishermen, including a child, and confiscated their boat. Zakariya Bakr, the head of the Gaza Fishermen Committee of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, has reported that the soldiers fired many live rounds

Army Abducts Four Palestinians In Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Saturday at dawn, four Palestinians, including a former political prisoner and a child, in occupied East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that the soldiers ambushed a former political prisoner, identified as Rami al-Fakhouri, in Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood, in the Old City. It added

Mass Collective Punishment Targeting Entire Families, As Israeli Army Detonates Home In Ramallah

In an all-night massive Israeli military offensive into Ramallah, centered on the al-Am’ari refugee camp, to demolish the family home of Islam Abu Hmeid, Israeli soldiers forcibly removed more than 500 Palestinians from their homes in the dead of night. The families were forced out of their homes at gunpoint

 

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War on Palestine’s food supplies: israeli (apartheid state) navy opens fire, detains 4 fishermen in Gaza

Israeli navy opens fire, detains 4 fishermen in Gaza

(File)

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained four Palestinian fishermen, on Saturday morning, including two brothers, off the coast of the western besieged Gaza Strip.

Head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union in Gaza, Zakariya Bakr, said that Israeli war boats opened fire targeting Palestinian fishing boats and chased a boat belonging to fisherman Saleh Abu Riyaleh. 

Bakr added that Israeli forces then detained fisherman Muhammad Saleh Abu Riyaleh, 28, and his 15-year-old brother, while at 4 nautical miles off the coast of western Gaza City. 

Israeli war boats had also opened fire towards fishermen off the coast of the al-Sudaniya area in the northern Gaza Strip.

No injuries were reported.

War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields

Global Research, December 15, 2018
Global Research 8 January 2009

Almost ten years ago, Israel invaded Gaza under “Operation Cast Lead”.

The following article was first published by Global Research in January 2009 at the height of the Israeli bombing and invasion under Operation Cast Lead.

In the wake of the invasion, Palestinian gas fields were de facto confiscated by Israel in derogation of international law.

A year following “Operation Cast Lead”,  Tel Aviv announced the discovery of  the Leviathan natural gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean “off the coast of Israel.”

At the time the gas field was: “ … the most prominent field ever found in the sub-explored area of the Levantine Basin, which covers about 83,000 square kilometres of the eastern Mediterranean region.” (i)

Coupled with Tamar field, in the same location, discovered in 2009, the prospects are for an energy bonanza for Israel, for Houston, Texas based Noble Energy and partners Delek Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration and Ratio Oil Exploration. (See Felicity Arbuthnot, Israel: Gas, Oil and Trouble in the Levant, Global Research, December 30, 2013

The Gazan gas fields are part of the broader Levant assessment area.

What is now unfolding is the integration of these adjoining gas fields including those belonging to Palestine into the orbit of Israel. (see map below).

It should be noted that the entire Eastern Mediterranean coastline extending from Egypt’s Sinai to Syria constitutes an area encompassing large gas as well as oil reserves.

It is important to relate issue of Gaza’s offshore gas reserves to the recent massacres undertaken by IDF forces directed against the People of Palestine who own the offshore gas fields.

Michel Chossudovsky, June 12, 2018


War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields

by Michel Chossudovsky

January 8, 2009

The December 2008 military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves. 

This is a war of conquest. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline. 

British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon’s Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority.

The rights to the offshore gas field are respectively British Gas (60 percent); Consolidated Contractors (CCC) (30 percent); and the Investment Fund of the Palestinian Authority (10 percent). (Haaretz, October 21,  2007).

The PA-BG-CCC agreement includes field development and the construction of a gas pipeline.(Middle East Economic Digest, Jan 5, 2001).

The BG licence covers the entire Gazan offshore marine area, which is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities. (See Map below). It should be noted that 60 percent of the gas reserves along the Gaza-Israel coastline belong to Palestine.

The BG Group drilled two wells in 2000: Gaza Marine-1 and Gaza Marine-2. Reserves are estimated by British Gas to be of the order of 1.4 trillion cubic feet, valued at approximately 4 billion dollars. These are the figures made public by British Gas. The size of Palestine’s gas reserves could be much larger.


Map 1

Map 2

Who Owns the Gas Fields

The issue of sovereignty over Gaza’s gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine.

The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza’s offshore gas reserves.

British Gas (BG Group) has been dealing with the Tel Aviv government. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields.

The election of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001 was a major turning point. Palestine’s sovereignty over the offshore gas fields was challenged in the Israeli Supreme Court. Sharon stated unequivocally that “Israel would never buy gas from Palestine” intimating that Gaza’s offshore gas reserves belong to Israel.

In 2003, Ariel Sharon, vetoed an initial deal, which would allow British Gas to supply Israel with natural gas from Gaza’s offshore wells. (The Independent, August 19, 2003)

The election victory of Hamas in 2006 was conducive to the demise of the Palestinian Authority, which became confined to the West Bank, under the proxy regime of Mahmoud Abbas.

In 2006, British Gas “was close to signing a deal to pump the gas to Egypt.” (Times, May, 23, 2007). According to reports, British Prime Minister Tony Blair intervened on behalf of Israel with a view to shunting the agreement with Egypt.

The following year, in May 2007, the Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert  “to buy gas from the Palestinian Authority.” The proposed contract was for $4 billion, with profits of the order of $2 billion of which one billion was to go the Palestinians.

Tel Aviv, however, had no intention on sharing the revenues with Palestine. An Israeli team of negotiators was set up by the Israeli Cabinet to thrash out a deal with the BG Group, bypassing both the Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority:

Israeli defence authorities want the Palestinians to be paid in goods and services and insist that no money go to the Hamas-controlled Government.” (Ibid, emphasis added)

The objective was essentially to nullify the contract signed in 1999 between the BG Group and the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat.

Under the proposed 2007 agreement with BG, Palestinian gas from Gaza’s offshore wells was to be channeled by an undersea pipeline to the Israeli seaport of Ashkelon, thereby transferring control over the sale of the natural gas to Israel.

The deal fell through. The negotiations were suspended:

 “Mossad Chief Meir Dagan opposed the transaction on security grounds, that the proceeds would fund terror”. (Member of Knesset Gilad Erdan, Address to the Knesset on “The Intention of Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Purchase Gas from the Palestinians When Payment Will Serve Hamas,” March 1, 2006, quoted in Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon, Does the Prospective Purchase of British Gas from Gaza’s Coastal Waters Threaten Israel’s National Security?  Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, October 2007)

Israel’s intent was to foreclose the possibility that royalties be paid to the Palestinians. In December 2007, The BG Group withdrew from the negotiations with Israel and in January 2008 they closed their office in Israel.(BG website).

Invasion Plan on The Drawing Board

The invasion plan of the Gaza Strip under “Operation Cast Lead” was set in motion in June 2008, according to Israeli military sources:

“Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago [June or before June] , even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas.”(Barak Ravid, Operation “Cast Lead”: Israeli Air Force strike followed months of planning, Haaretz, December 27, 2008)

That very same month, the Israeli authorities contacted British Gas, with a view to resuming crucial negotiations pertaining to the purchase of Gaza’s natural gas:

“Both Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler agreed to inform BG of Israel’s wish to renew the talks.

The sources added that BG has not yet officially responded to Israel’s request, but that company executives would probably come to Israel in a few weeks to hold talks with government officials.” (Globes online- Israel’s Business Arena, June 23, 2008)

The decision to speed up negotiations with British Gas (BG Group) coincided, chronologically, with the planning of the invasion of Gaza initiated in June. It would appear that Israel was anxious to reach an agreement with the BG Group prior to the invasion, which was already in an advanced planning stage.

Moreover, these negotiations with British Gas were conducted by the Ehud Olmert government with the knowledge that a military invasion was on the drawing board. In all likelihood, a new “post war” political-territorial arrangement for the Gaza strip was also being contemplated by the Israeli government.

In fact, negotiations between British Gas and Israeli officials were ongoing in October 2008, 2-3 months prior to the commencement of the bombings on December 27th.

In November 2008, the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Infrastructures instructed Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to enter into negotiations with British Gas, on the purchase of natural gas from the BG’s offshore concession in Gaza. (Globes, November 13, 2008)

“Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler wrote to IEC CEO Amos Lasker recently, informing him of the government’s decision to allow negotiations to go forward, in line with the framework proposal it approved earlier this year.

The IEC board, headed by chairman Moti Friedman, approved the principles of the framework proposal a few weeks ago. The talks with BG Group will begin once the board approves the exemption from a tender.” (Globes Nov. 13, 2008)

Gaza and Energy Geopolitics 

The military occupation of Gaza is intent upon transferring the sovereignty of the gas fields to Israel in violation of international law.

What can we expect in the wake of the invasion?

What is the intent of Israel with regard to Palestine’s Natural Gas reserves?

A new territorial arrangement, with the stationing of Israeli and/or “peacekeeping” troops?

The militarization of the entire Gaza coastline, which is strategic for Israel?

The outright confiscation of Palestinian gas fields and the unilateral declaration of Israeli sovereignty over Gaza’s maritime areas?

If this were to occur, the Gaza gas fields would be integrated into Israel’s offshore installations, which are contiguous to those of the Gaza Strip. (See Map 1 above).

These various offshore installations are also linked up to Israel’s energy transport corridor, extending from the port of Eilat, which is an oil pipeline terminal, on the Red Sea to the seaport – pipeline terminal at Ashkelon, and northwards to Haifa, and eventually linking up through a proposed Israeli-Turkish pipeline with the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Ceyhan is the terminal of the Baku, Tblisi Ceyhan Trans Caspian pipeline. “What is envisaged is to link the BTC pipeline to the Trans-Israel Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as Israel’s Tipline.” (See Michel Chossudovsky, The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil, Global Research, July 23, 2006)


Map 3

The Intifada of the Century: Sami Klaib

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Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against Palestinians Territory (06 – 12 December 2018

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations 

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 06 – 12 December, 2018.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against protestors in the Gaza Strip. A 4-year-old child was killed in the southern Gaza Strip, while 93 civilians, including 22 children, 2 women, 2 journalists, and 2 paramedics, were wounded; the injury of 3 of them was reported as serious.

Shooting:

 

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 35th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip.  They also continued to use armed force as well during the incursions into the West Bank.  In the West Bank, the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in southern Hebron and wounded 29 others, including 4 children, in separate shooting incidents.  In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces wounded 93 civilians, including 23 children, 2 women, 2 journalists, and 2 paramedics.  The injury of 3 of those wounded was reported serious.

 

In the West Bank, on 11 December 2018, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian from Ethna village, west of Hebron after opening fire at his vehicle in al-Ras neighborhood, west of the abovementioned village. He was then taken via a PRCS ambulance to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron, where medical sources declared his death shortly after his arrival.  The Israeli forces claimed that Civil Administration officers were carrying out a mission in Ethna village when a car driver attempted to run over Israeli Border Guard officers who were with the Civil Adminstration officers.  The soldiers then opened fire at the car after its driver refused to stop for searching him.  As a result, the driver was wounded.

 

In the same context, the Israeli forces during the reporting period wounded 29 civilians, including 4 children, in separate shooting incidents.

 

In the Gaza Strip, as part of using excessive force against the peaceful protesters along the Gaza Strip borders, during the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 93 civilians, including 23 children, 2 women, 2 journalists, and 2 paramedics.  The injury of 3 of those wounded was reported serious.

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip between 06 and 12 December 2018 According to the Governorate

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 37 12 1 2 1 1
Gaza City 25 3 1 0 1 0
Central Gaza Strip 21 5 0 0 0 1
Khan Younis 9 2 0 0 0 1
Rafah 1 1 0 0 0 0
Total 93 23 2 2 2 3

 

As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, PCHR documented 3 incidents against fishermen; 1 of them off the northern Gaza Strip shore, and 2 off the southern Gaza Strip shore.  As a result, 2 fishermen were arrested and their boat was drowned off Rafah shore in the southern Gaza Strip.

 

As part of targeting the border areas on 12 December 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at the shepherds in eastern al-Qararah village, east of Khan Younis, but no injuries were reported.

 

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 98 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 8 similar incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 55 Palestinians, including 3 children and 2 journalists, in the West Bank.  Moreover, 16 others, including 2 children, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

Israeli Forces continued to create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem:

 

As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 08 December 2018, Hashimah family self-demolished their houses in Wad Qadoum neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of East occupied Jerusalem’s Old City, to implement the Israeli municipal decision under the pretext of building without a license.  Johar Hashimah said that he and his brother Murad started demolishing parts of their houses to implement the Israeli municipal decision which gave them until 10 December 2018 to implement the decision or the Municipality will impellent it at its own expense.

 

On 12 December 2018, Israeli municipal bulldozers demolished a house belonging to Anwar Dolah in Beit Hanina neighborhood, in northern occupied City.

 

 

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

As part of the Israeli house demolitions and demolition notices, on 11 December 2018, Israeli forces demolished an under-construction house belonging to ‘Omer Rahaliyah (37) in al-Jaftalak village, north of Jericho.  The 170-square-meter house is comprised of 2 floors.  During the demolition, the Israeli soldiers opened fire at the above-mentioned civilian’s vehicle and caused material damage to its structure.  He was then beaten up, arrested and then taken to an unknown destination.  It should be noted that the abovementioned civilian lives in one room with his wife and 3 children while he started building this house 6 months ago.

 

On the same day, the Israeli forces demolished and confiscated 3 tents that were established in the place of al-Tahadi and al-Somoud (13) School that was established by the Ministry of Education in al-Simiya village, south of al-Samou’a village, south of Hebron.

 

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinians civilians and their property, PCHR’s fieldworkers in the West Bank documented 2 attacks that were carried out by the Israeli settlers during the reporting period.  As a result, 11 cars sustained damage in the villages of Ramin, east of Tulkarm and Bitin, east of Ramallah.

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

 

Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

 

Gaza Strip:

 

In the Thirty-Seven week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces wounded 93 civilians, including 23 children, 2 women, 2 journalists and 2 paramedics. The incidents were as follows:

 

  • The Northern Gaza Strip: 10 civilians, including 5 children and a photojournalist, were wounded. One of them was hit a live bullet and 9 were hit  with tear gas canisters.

 

  • Gaza City: 25 civilians, including 3 children, a woman and a paramedic, were wounded. Eighteen of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 7 were hit with rubber bullets. The wounded paramedic identified as Saif Eden Suleiman Mousa al-Satari (30), who works at the Military Medical Services, was hit with a rubber bullet to the face.

 

  • Central Gaza Strip: 21 civilians, including 5 children, were wounded. Twenty of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel and one was hit with a tear gas canister. Doctors classified one civilian’s injury as serious.

 

  • Khan Younis: 9 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded and doctors classified a child’s injury as serious. At approximately 20:00 on Tuesday, 11 December 2018, medical sources at Gaza European hospital in Khan Younis announced the death of Ahmed Sabri Abu ‘Abed (4), from Bani Suheila, east of the city, succumbing to his wounds. Ahmed was with his father, who sustained a live bullet to the left leg in the same time while both of them were about 200 meters away from the border fence. Ahmed was hit with a live bullet shrapnel to the face and chest. He was taken to Gaza European Hospital and doctors classified his injury as serious. Later, doctors announced Ahmed’s death succumbing to his wounds.

 

  • Rafah: a child was hit with a live bullet shrapnel.

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Monday, 10 December 2018, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, and Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, opened fire and fired sound bombs at dozens of Palestinian civilians who were at the Return camp along the border coastal, adjacent to adjacent to “Zikim” military base, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. It should be noted that this is the 18thtime for Palestinian boats to sail for Breaking the Siege. As a result, 27 civilians, including 7 children, a woman, a paramedic and a journalist, were wounded. Twelve of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 6 were hit with rubber bullets and 9 were hit with tear gas canisters. Doctors classified one civilian’s injury as serious while the other civilians’ injuries were between minor and moderate. The wounded paramedic identified as Ahmed Abdul Bari al-‘Abed Abu Foul (35), a paramedic volunteering at Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), was hit with a tear gas canister to the right arm. The wounded journalist identified as Mohammed Wa’el Abdul Jawad al-Duweik, a journalist at Al-Ittihad Press Agency, was hit with a tear gas canister to the head.

Efforts to Create A Jewish majority

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

 

Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • On Thursday, 07 December 2018, the Israeli Intelligence Service handed ‘Adnan ‘Adel Ghaith (46), Governor of Jerusalem, a decision to prevent him from entering the West Bank for 6 months. The Israeli Intelligence Service summoned ‘Adnan on Thursday afternoon in order to question him. During the investigation, the Intelligence Service handed him a decision that prevents him from entering the West Bank from 05 December 2018 to 05 June 2019. This decision was taken by the Israeli forces commander, Naddaf Faddan, who claimed that ‘Adnan’s presence in the West Bank poses danger, in addition to participating in illegal activities. The Israeli forces previously arrested ‘Adnan for a week and then released him on one condition that he will not enter the West Bank in addition to impose a house arrest on him for 3 days and pay a bail. The Israeli forces prosecuted ‘Adnan along with other Palestinian Intelligence officers, who follow-up the cases of selling Palestinian property to Israeli settlers.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Friday, 07 December 2018, Israeli forces moved into Hizmah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Ammar ‘Abed Rabbou al-Khatib (20) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Sunday, 09 December 2018, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Ahmed Eyad al-Rajbi (13) and Mahdi Hamza Jaber (15).
  • At approximately 01:00 on Monday, 10 December 2018, Israeli forces moved into Hizmah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Anwar Mohamed Salah al-Deen (21) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested 8 civilians identified as Ibrahim Mohamed Derbas (23), Mohamed Suhaib Muhasin (19), Wadee’ Taqfiq Abu al-Humus (21), Majd Mohamed Mousa Darwish (28), Anas Khaled Dawish (22), ‘Abdul QaDER Dari (19), Anas ‘Ali Abu ‘Asab (18), and Yousef al-Kaswani (20).
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Majd Mohamed ‘Owais (25) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Monday, Israeli forces moved into Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Samer Husam Abu ‘Aisha (31) and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00 on Monday, Israeli forces moved into al-Mukaber Mount village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Khaled Ibrahim Ziydan (20) and Mohamed Thaier ‘Eliyan (19).
  • On Wednesday, 12 December 2018, Israeli forces raided the campus of Abu Dis University, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem. The Israeli forces raided many offices in the university, in addition to stores and other service offices. They also damaged many main and interior doors and other property. The university issued a statement clarifying in it that it attempts to assess the damages that carried out by the Israeli forces, who attacked the university for 3 hours.

 

  • House Demolitions and Notices:

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 08 December 2018, Hashima family self-demolished his 2 houses in Wad Qaddoum neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to implement the Israeli Municipality decision, under the pretext of non-licensing. Jawhar Hashima (20) said that he along with his brother Morad demolished large parts of their house, which was a structure newly attached to the house, but the new structure was built 20 years ago. They demolished those parts to implement the Israeli Municipality decision, which gave them until 10 December 2018, to carry out the demolition or the Israeli Municipality staff will carry out the demolition.  Jawhar said that he and Morad  attempted to license the house and paid a fine estimated at NIS 61.000, in addition to other expenses to the court. The final decision was issued in the late June to self-demolish the house or the Israeli Municipality staff will demolish it and they will pay the demolition costs and new fines. Hashima pointed out that the two houses built on an area of 140 square meters sheltering 14 members.
  • On Wednesday, 12 December 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with the Israeli Municipality staff and a bulldozer moved into Beit Haninah neighborhood, north of occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli forces imposed a tight military cordon in the area. They then demolished a garage belonging to Anwar Dolah, under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli forces’ attack:

  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 11 December 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles, a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into al-Jeftlik village, north of Jericho. They Israeli forces stationed near the village’s main street while other soldiers imposed a security cordon on an under-construction house belonging to Omar ‘Abed al-Kareem Rahiylah (37) and then demolished it under the pretext of non-licensing. Omar’s brother, ‘Abed al-Hafiz, said that the Israeli forces surrounded his brother Omar house without a prior warning and then completely demolished it. He added that the house was comprised of 2 storey built on an area of 170 square meters. Meanwhile, he conducted a phone call with his brother and told him about what happened. After that, Omar quickly came into the area and when he arrived the Israeli forces fired live bullet at his car, which resulted in smashing the windshield. The Israeli soldiers then ordered Omar to step out of the car and then arrested him after severely beating him with gun butts. ‘Abed al-Hafiz pointed out that Omar is living in one room along with his wife and their 3 children and her started to build his house 6 months ago.

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, 09 December 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into al-Simiyia village, south of al-Samou’a village, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration staff confiscated 3 tents, which were placed in al-Tahadi and al-Somoud School and dismantled them a week ago, under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

Israeli settlers’ attack:

 

  • At approximately 02:20 on Monday, 10 December 2018, a group of Israeli settlers moved into Rameen village, east of Tulkarm, and damaged the windows of 8 cars in addition to puncturing their tires. The damaged cars belong to Zafir Jameel Isma’il Barham, Ihab ‘Abdullah Ahmed Thabit, Mahmoud ‘Abdullah Salman, Salah ‘Awad Hamad, Rami ‘Abdul Latif Mohamed Hamad, Mas’oud Raghib Ahmed Hamad, Ghazi Ahmed Fawzi Salman, and ‘Abdullah Salman.
  • At approximately 02:30 on Tuesday, 11 December 2018, a group of Israeli settlers attacked 3 vehicles belonging to civilians, from Biteen village, east of Ramallah. The settlers wrote racist slogans on the vehicles and punctured their tires.

 

Recommendations to the International Community:

 

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC to continue to investigate the Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and grave violations in the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  7. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  8. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  9. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  10. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  11. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

israel’s (apartheid state) alleged impersonation of Gaza aid workers raises concern

 

Israel’s alleged impersonation of Gaza aid workers raises concern

Ben White – Al Jazeera Dec 11, 2018

Israeli commandos operated undercover in Gaza disguised as aid workers. Click to enlarge

Israeli commandos operated undercover in Gaza disguised as aid workers. Click to enlarge

Since the exposure of Israeli undercover forces by Hamas fighters in the occupied Gaza Strip on November 11, an incident that triggered the most intense round of escalation since 2014, a number of reports have emerged about the circumstances surrounding Israel’s thwarted raid.

On November 22, Hamas published photos of individuals it said were involved, images that Israel’s military censor immediately subjected to a publication ban.

Since then, a number of articles in Israeli and international media have claimed the Israeli forces impersonated humanitarian workers, used fake ID cards of real Palestinian residents, and operated inside Gaza for weeks with a cover story of distributing medical equipment and wheelchairs.

Such reports have caused consternation; as one Israeli human rights campaigner and journalist put it: “If true, the operation could put bona fide humanitarian operations and employees at risk in the coastal strip, where two-thirds of the population is reliant on humanitarian aid”.

Israel’s actions may also have constituted a violation of international humanitarian law.

“Soldiers who disguise themselves as civilians endanger civilians and thus frustrate the objective of the principle of distinction”, Yael Stein, head of research at Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem, said.

“One danger that the prohibition seeks to prevent is that civilians would be marked for attack because of the suspicion they are combatants in disguise,” she said.

“In this last case, there’s also the danger to the status of international aid workers – that the local population might suspect in the future, putting their lives in danger and their much-needed work in question.”

Stein further noted that while undercover operations can be lawful in the context of law enforcement operations, “since Israel claims there’s a situation of war in Gaza, it cannot claim that these operations are legal”.

Israeli authorities did not respond to several requests for comment.

Undercover forces

For human rights lawyer Eitay Mack, the operation in Gaza “shows the cynicism of the Israeli government, who for years have claimed that Palestinians are using humanitarian disguises for terrorist activity”, allegations even used “as an excuse for rejecting Palestinians seeking exit permits from the Gaza Strip for medical treatment”.

Israeli authorities do indeed frequently claim that Palestinian fighters “deliberately disguise themselves as civilians” – in May, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations told the Security Council that even Great March of Return demonstrators were “terrorists disguised as civilians”.

According to Diana Buttu, a lawyer and former adviser to Palestine Liberation Organization negotiators, “this isn’t the only thing that Israel has lied about”.

“For example, Israel has routinely used Palestinians as human shields and it has routinely covered military targets in civilian areas while wrongly alleging that Palestinians do this”, she said.

The botched mission inside Gaza threw light on the Israeli military’s broader use of undercover forces in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in the West Bank.

In October 2015, Israeli forces were captured on film infiltrating a protest, assaulting Palestinian youths and shooting a detained demonstrator in the leg. Weeks later, undercover forces – including one pretending to a pregnant woman – raided a Hebron hospital and killed an unarmed civilian.

A spokesperson for prisoners’ rights NGO, Addameer, told Al Jazeera “undercover forces are usually seen in protests, raids or arrest operations”, adding that the group sees those kinds of arrests as “more like a kidnapping operation” than an arrest.

Addameer stressed it “considers all arrests in the West Bank to be carried out illegally especially because almost none of them would have a legal arrest warrant to present during the arrest”.

While the NGO does not hold exact statistics as to how many Palestinians are arrested in this manner, it pointed to an example earlier this year of Israeli undercover forces raiding Birzeit University campus – reportedly posing as journalists – to detain the student union head.

No accountability

Such actions, however, generate little to no debate within Israel, according to Mack.

“Nobody is talking about it, what it means in terms of international law,” he said. “And in the case of Gaza, for most Israelis it’s not even that they don’t care – they simply don’t even see that there is a place called Gaza. It’s a blind spot; what happens in Gaza is left in Gaza.”

In the absence of public pressure, there is even less possibility of accountability, observers say.

“In Israel, no one pays for undertaking covert operations, killing Palestinians and placing foreign workers at harm,” Buttu said.

“Sadly, the international community has barely spoken out, preferring instead to focus on ‘ceasefires’ and condemning ‘both sides’.”

Mack similarly believes that the silence of the international community – including “humanitarian organisations” – is part of what emboldens Israel to conduct such operations.

“It’s very, very worrying, because one of the basic principles of international humanitarian law is that the fighting groups will not use humanitarian groups as symbols to shield themselves.”

“This kind of operation always has a risk,” Mack continued, “so if the Netanyahu government felt that there would be international accountability for using a humanitarian NGO as a cover, it wouldn’t do it.”

Yet not only has there been no accountability, but there are signs that the Israeli authorities’ own efforts to censor the story are being supported by Twitter, with a number of accounts ordered to delete tweets pertaining to Israeli undercover forces’ actions in Gaza.

Stein told Al Jazeera she would be surprised if anyone would be held to account for the actions in Gaza.

“According to publications in the press, this operation was approved by high-ranking officers in the army and in the political level”, she said.

“And in any case, as B’Tselem has written in the past, the so-called law enforcement system in the army hardly results in meaningful action against any of the forces involved and is more concerned with whitewashing than with justice and truth”.

Source

Shocking testimonies released about israeli (apartheid state) crimes at Gaza border

Shocking testimonies released about Israeli crimes at Gaza border

Palestine Information Center – December 12, 2018

On the 70th anniversary of UN resolution 194, the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) issued a new report entitled “Voices of Return: Documenting Israel’s Repression of the Great March of Return.”

The new report is based on a PRC submission to the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests that began on March 30th in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip. The series of demonstrations named the “Great March of Return” called on Israel to end the ongoing siege and implement the refugees’ collective right of return to the lands from which they were displaced in 1948.

The demonstrations have been widely covered in the mainstream media, in particular around May 14th, when the Israeli military killed 52 Palestinians and injured over 2,400 in one single day. Yet, beneath the headlines and numbers of casualties, detailed witness accounts of the events remain underreported. PRC’s investigation seeks to fill this gap by bringing to light the voices of Palestinian protesters and victims injured during the demonstrations.

The testimonies and other information gathered in the report show in detail how Israeli soldiers shot unarmed protesters, bystanders, journalists and medical staff approximately 100-400m from the fence, constituting extrajudicial executions and deliberate maiming of civilians. Prima facie evidence and testimonies show that none of the Palestinians victim included in this report were endangering Israeli forces, who remained located on the other side of the fence.

PRC interviewed two journalists who were both shot in their legs while wearing a “press” vest. Khalil was shot in the upper left thigh while standing approximately 200 meters away from the fence and was wounded while taking a “selfie” with friends. Khalil said that the Israeli military shot him from the back as he was not facing the barrier separating the Gaza Strip from Israel.

The other journalist interviewed, Duaa, was hit by a sniper shot as she was filming another protester being treated by paramedics after being injured. Both journalists were hit with a particular type of bullet, which expands and mushrooms inside the body, that indicates the military’s intention to cause maximum harm and greater possibility to inflict life-changing injuries.

Amnesty International has reported Israel’s use of US-manufactured M24 Remington sniper rifles shooting 7.62mm hunting ammunition, which have the “mushrooming” effects described by the victims we interviewed.

Jihad, a young Palestinian woman in her twenties was standing on Jakar street, a road roughly parallel to the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel, at approximately 100 meters from the barrier when she was first hit with hunting ammunition in her left leg below the knee. Jihad was further hit two times, in her right hand and shoulder, with regular bullets by gunshots seemingly targeting the medical staff that was attending to her.

PRC interviewed a child that lost a leg after being targeted for merely raising the Palestinian flag during one of the demonstrations. Muhannad was also tending to a fellow protester injured at the time he was shot. He was hit with hunting ammunition above the knee in the thigh which caused him to undergo arterial amputation.

“The bullet came in from my ear and out from my head.” said Adelmalek, an 18-year old who was shot while standing 300 meters from the fence near the Awda refugee camp, east of Jabalia.

Another young Palestinian, Ouni, was hopeful that the peaceful demonstration will be effective as he explained “We wanted to push for lifting the siege, unblock border crossings . . . we simply wanted to live a normal life!” He was also shot with hunting ammunition that caused bone fragmentation in his leg.

Contrary to claims of Israeli authorities, a grassroots network of activists led the creation and organization of this series of mass demonstrations. The report argues that driving the open-fire policy of the Israeli government against protesters is a longstanding criminalization of Palestinian refugees attempting to cross the armistice lines. Palestinian refugees are criminalized by the Israeli state and media as “infiltrators” and prevented to return to the lands from which they were displaced through a series of state laws and policies.

PRC concluded that the Israeli army’s response to Palestinians protesting against a colonial siege along the 1949 armistice line clearly violates a number of core principles of international humanitarian law. The killing and maiming of protesters, journalists, paramedics and children not engaged in any military activity amounts to a violation of the international legal principles of distinction, proportionality and of precautions in attack.

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