israel (apartheid state) normalizing war crimes in Gaza

Israel normalizing war crimes in Gaza

Maureen Clare Murphy

Palestinian medics treat a wounded protester after he was shot by Israeli soldiers during Great March of Return protests in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, 10 August.

Ashraf Amra APA images

Gaza’s fuel crisis remains unresolved a week after a United Nations humanitarian official warned that hospitals and water sanitation facilities would soon shut down as a result.

“Despite our continued engagement with the concerned bodies, we have not encountered any preparations to contain the fuel crisis that threatens health services and facilities in the Gaza Strip,” the health ministry in the territory stated on Monday.

Six human rights groups urgently petitioned Israel’s high court on Thursday to reverse all restrictions on the movement of goods through Gaza’s sole commercial crossing, which is controlled by Israel.

Israel tightened its blockade on Gaza a month ago, banning imports to and exports from the territory with the exception, at its discretion, of food and medicine.

Gisha, one of the groups petitioning Israel’s high court, noted that “Gaza’s devastated economy is almost entirely dependent on the operation of the Israeli-controlled crossing,” adding that the new sanctions “threaten an already delicate humanitarian situation.”

The tightened blockade is a new disaster for Gaza’s economy, all but destroyed after 11 years of siege and successive full-scale military assaults.

Unemployment had soared beyond 50 percent even before the ban on the movement of goods last month.

Collective punishment

The ban on exports and imports is a form of collective punishment that Israel has admitted is “intended to mount pressure on Hamas in response to incendiary kites and balloons being launched from Gaza,” Gisha stated.

“Collective punishment of the civilian population for actions that are beyond its control is both immoral and illegal, further propelling Gaza toward a foreseeable humanitarian disaster,” Gisha added.

Collective punishment is a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

In 2010 the International Committee of the Red Cross affirmed that Israel’s blockade on Gaza – imposed after Hamas won legislative elections and began administering the internal affairs of the territory in 2007 – “constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law.”

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the high court ordered the state to respond to the petition by Sunday.

Citing a report by a Gaza manufacturers association, Haaretz added that the continued closure of the commercial crossing will result in the folding of hundreds of companies.

“Some 350 companies have already stopped working over the last month, and the association says that if the closure continues, about half the 1,800 companies now operating in Gaza will shut down and more than 1,500 workers will be dismissed,” the paper stated.

Israel mulled assassinations

Haaretz reported on Sunday that Israel was prepared to assassinate senior Hamas figures in Gaza in response to the Great March of Return protests held along the eastern perimeter of the territory since 30 March.

Israel has killed more than 125 Palestinians during the Great March of Return demonstrations, and 50 more men, women and children in Gaza in other circumstances since that date.

On Monday Israel’s defense minister made the outlandish claim that every Palestinian killed by Israel in Gaza since 30 March was a member of Hamas – an assertion later walked back by his office.

“Since the start of the March of Return events, Hamas has sustained 168 deaths, 4,348 injured and dozens of terror facilities destroyed,” Avigdor Lieberman stated.

Lieberman’s claim is demonstrably untrue. Those killed have included a pregnant woman and her toddler daughter sleeping in their home when it was hit in an airstrike, as well as 23 children, some as young as 11, gunned down during protests.

It also has no bearing on the legality of Israel’s actions, human rights groups have previously said.

In July Lieberman inadvertently confirmed that he makes no distinction between civilians and combatants killed during the ongoing crackdown on popular protests.

“There are 159 dead terrorists, there are some 5,000 wounded,” he claimed.

The principle of distinction between civilians and combatants is the first rule of international humanitarian law governing armed conflict.

Lieberman’s statements could therefore potentially be viewed as evidence of intent to commit war crimes by International Criminal Court prosecutors currently examining the situation in Gaza.

Lieberman’s lies, threats

Lieberman previously claimed without basis that Yaser Murtaja, a journalist who was wearing a flak jacket marked with the word PRESS when he was fatally wounded by an Israeli sniper on 6 April, was a high-ranking member of Hamas’ military wing who used drones to collect intelligence on Israeli forces.

The International Federation of Journalists accused Israel of “fabricating lies to justify murder” in the case of Murtaja.

Lieberman reportedly stated at the end of Monday’s meeting with the Israeli army chief of staff and other military and intelligence officials that “I want to thank the determined commanders and soldiers, who are infused with the spirit of battle and do holy work for the sake of ensuring the security of Israel’s citizens.”

He also declared Israel’s intent to inflict further violence on Gaza after pounding the territory in more than 150 strikes last week.

“The question of the next round is not a question of ‘if’ but of ‘when.’ I am sure that we will do what is necessary, the way it needs to be done,” he stated, according to Israeli media.

Designs on Gaza

The military reportedly seeks to defer a full confrontation until at least the end of next year, when an “above- and below-ground obstacle” along Gaza’s perimeter is due to be completed.

Haaretz reported that “completion of the barrier will be the most important strategic event on the Gaza front, a senior defense official recently told a closed forum.”

Such a calculation further demonstrates that, as I wrote last month, any future major assault on Gaza will be another of Israel’s wars of choice aimed at maintaining Israeli ascendancy through the violent, permanent subjugation of millions of Palestinians.

Last month Lieberman indicated that Israel would once again target civilians in any new major operation in order to exact political concessions from Hamas.

“Unfortunately, residents of Gaza will be among those who will have to pay the price,” the defense minister stated.

Israel targeted civilian infrastructure during its bombing campaign in Gaza last week.

Cultural center targeted

Drones and warplanes struck a building housing the Said al-Mishal Institute for Culture and Science and the Egyptian delegation in Gaza with several missiles on Thursday, obliterating the five-story structure.

Al Mezan, a human rights group based in Gaza, said that at least 24 persons were injured during the airstrikes, among them four children, four women and a journalist. Nearby buildings sustained substantial damage.

According to Al Mezan, the Said al-Mishal Institute was “founded in 1996 to promote cultural development by providing space, resources, and opportunities for creative children and young people in Gaza.”

It opened a cultural center in 2004 featuring “a theater, conference hall, library and digital library, research and study center and computer labs,” as well as art exhibition galleries.

“A cultural center is civilian property enjoying protection under international humanitarian law, as in Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” Al Mezan stated.

Cultural sites are also protected under the Hague Convention and the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, “whereby making cultural property the object of retaliatory attacks is prohibited, and under the principles set out by UNESCO,” Al Mezan added.

“The unnecessary destruction of the cultural center, which affords Israel no military gain, points to an act of retaliation,” according to the rights group.

Noting that “attacks on civilian targets have become a feature of Israel’s military engagement in the Gaza Strip,” Al Mezan added that such attacks “must not become normalized.”

Medic killed

Abdallah al-Qatati, at right, was killed on 10 August. (WHO)

Meanwhile the World Health Organization has reiterated its call for the protection of health workers, patients and health facilities following the killing of a medic during last Friday’s Great March of Return protests.

Abdallah al-Qatati, 22, was a volunteer medic providing care to a 55-year-old man who had been shot when he too came under fire.

Both al-Qatati and the injured patient he was treating, Ali Said al-Aloul, died from their injuries.

The third medic killed during the Great March of Return demonstrations, al-Qatati was in the final year of his psychology degree at a Gaza City university.

Since January he had been volunteering with Nabd al-Hayat (Pulse of Life), providing first aid training and mental health and psychosocial support around Rafah in southern Gaza, according to the World Health Organization.

Al-Qatati and Nabd al-Hayat had been volunteering as first responders since the outset of the Great March of Return demonstrations.

He “liked to be photographed in his white coat, and his colleagues say he was proud of the work he was doing and the service he could offer to his community,” the World Health Organization stated.

On Saturday, a third Palestinian, Ahmad Jamal Suleiman Abu Luli, 40, succumbed to wounds sustained the previous day east of Rafah.

Wissam Yousif Hijazi, 30, died on Monday from injuries sustained on 14 May, the deadliest day yet during the Great March of Return.

 

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israel’s (apartheid state) IDF Sets New Annual Record for Killing Children in Palestine

Source

Despite the IDF’s killing of over 160 and the wounding of 17,000 unarmed Palestinian protesters, and despite the great international outcry this has caused, the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the IDF’s rules of engagement are in line with “international parameters.”

GAZA CITY, PALESTINE — The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have killed at least 35 Palestinian children, around 30 in Gaza and five in the occupied West Bank, making 2018 a record-breaking year for child fatalities in Palestine with nearly four months still to go. The NGO Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) determined the total number of casualties in a report published Monday.Since the latest casualty figures were released, Israeli airstrikes in Gaza killed an 18-month-old along with her mother who was nine months pregnant, meaning casualty figures are only continuing to grow since the report’s publication.

According to DCIP, this year has seen the number of Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces exceed the number for any single year within the past decade, outside of large-scale Israeli military offensives. The previous record was set in 2016, when the IDF killed 32 Palestinian children, mostly in the occupied West Bank.

Unsurprisingly, those figures are small compared to the number of Palestinian children that have been killed in past IDF offensives targeting Gaza, such as the 2014 conflict that led to the deaths of an estimated 504 children, comprising nearly a quarter of the total Palestinian death toll.

Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP, said in a statement:

Israeli forces have operated with near complete impunity for so long that unlawful killings and other flagrant violations of international law have become the norm. Impunity combined with the rise in Israel’s use of live ammunition as a method of quelling demonstrators since 2014 means there is no legal mechanism that will halt this bloodshed.”

Indeed, as Eqtaish hints, Israel’s use of live ammunition as a means of addressing unrest is a key factor in this year’s record high death toll among Palestinian children, as most of this year’s child casualties were tallied in the Gaza Strip during protests along the Gaza-Israel border fence. The IDF response to the protest has also seen a high number of children hospitalized for injuries, with the UN recently reporting that, between March 30 and August 2, 1,467 children in Gaza were hospitalized, mostly for bullet wounds or tear gas inhalation.

In total, the protests in Gaza — part of the “Great Return March” — have seen the IDF kill over 164 Palestinians and injure over 17,000. All of the Gazans injured and killed during the protests were unarmed. Despite this, and despite the international outcry, the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the IDF’s rules of engagement are in line with “international parameters.”

Beyond the killings, the Israeli state also keeps an astoundingly high number of Palestinian children prisoners. The only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts, Israel has prosecuted and arrested at least 8,000 Palestinian children since 2000 and detains between 500 to 700 Palestinian children annually. Three out of every four Palestinian child prisoners experience physical violence during arrest, transfer or interrogation.

However, no Israeli child has ever been processed through the military court system, underscoring the sad reality that Palestinian children are born targets of a cruel apartheid system.

Top Photo | Palestinian children near the wreckage of the Said al-Mis’hal cultural center in the Shati refugee camp after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, Aug. 9, 2018. Khalil Hamra | AP

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

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Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

israel (apartheid state) bombs Gaza as hospitals run out of fuel

Israel Bombs Gaza as Hospitals Run Out of Fuel

Maureen Clare Murphy

A fireball explodes over Gaza City during Israeli bombing on 8 August.

Mahmoud Ajour APA images

Israel pummeled the occupied Gaza Strip in more than a dozen strikes Wednesday night amid warnings from a United Nations official that hospitals in Gaza were about to run out of emergency fuel.

Gaza’s health ministry stated that Inas Muhammad Khamash, a pregnant 23-year-old, was killed by bombing in central Gaza along with her daughter Bayan, one and a half years old. The woman’s husband, Muhammad Khamash, was moderately injured.

Gaza’s health ministry also announced the death of Ali al-Ghandour, 30, in northern Gaza. The circumstances of his death were not immediately clear.

The assault followed a series of escalations beginning with the killing of two Gaza fighters Tuesday morning.

The Ma’an News Agency named the two men as Ahmad Murjan and Abd al-Hafiz al-Silawi, members of the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.

In that incident, Israel claimed that it hit a Hamas facility in response to fire from Gaza.

Hamas denied Israel’s claims and it later transpired that soldiers mistook gunfire during an exercise at a Hamas naval commando base for a sniper attack.

“Israeli troops mistakenly thought the gunfire was aimed at them and responded with tank fire,” the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The shooting took place two kilometers away from where the soldiers, part of an engineering corps, were operating.

Palestinian groups fired dozens of rockets towards Israel – four of them hitting the southern Israeli town of Sderot – earlier in the evening on Wednesday after Israel attacked a “Hamas target” in northern Gaza.

 

israel (apartheid state) is ‘killing Palestinian children at record rates,’

Israel Is ‘Killing Palestinian Children at Record Rates,’ Group Says

Mourners carry the body of Palestinian teenager Arkan Mezeher, who was killed by Israeli soldiers during a raid, during his funeral in Dheishe refugee camp, near West Bank city of Bethlehem on July 23, 2018. (Photo: Wisam Hashlamoun/APA Images)

The first half of 2018 has been deadly for Palestinian children, with at least 35 children killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip, according to Defense for Children International — Palestine (DCIP).

In a report published on Monday, DCIP said that between January and July, the number of slain Palestinian children was three times higher than during the same time period in 2017.

According to the group, Israeli forces have killed more Palestinian children since January this year than in any previous year of the past decade, outside of large-scale Israeli military offensives.

On August 5th, the day before the report was published, 17-year-old Ahmad Jihad Ahmad al-Aydi from Gaza succumbed to wounds he had sustained on the first day of Great March of Return protests on March 30th.

Al-Aydi was one of four minors who died of gunshot wounds between July 27 and August 5 after Israeli forces shot them during protests on the the Gaza border.

The other three were identified as Muath Ziad Ibrahim al-Soury, 15, Moemen Fathi Yousef al-Hams, 16, and Majdi Ramzi Kamal al-Satri, 11.

The majority of the children killed in 2018 were killed in Gaza, according to DCIP, with at least 22 of those children killed in the context of the Great March of Return protests.

The ongoing popular demonstrations have been violently suppressed by Israeli forces, who have killed 160 Palestinians and injured over 17,000 more, according to numbers from the Gaza Ministry of Health.

The majority of the slain children, according to DCI, were shot with live ammunition, while two were struck by artillery shells.

Of those killed by live ammunition, 13 children were shot in the head, neck, or chest, the group said said.

Arkan Mezher. (Photo: Twitter)

One of those children shot in the chest was 14-year-old Arkan Mizher, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces shot during an arrest raid in Dheisheh refugee camp in the middle of the night on July 23.

“Israeli forces have operated with near complete impunity for so long that unlawful killings and other flagrant violations of international law have become the norm,” Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP said in the report.

The group added that “DCIP evidence has determined on multiple occasions that children killed along the Gaza Strip perimeter did not pose a direct, mortal threat at the time of their death,” while noting that under international law, the use lethal force is strictly reserved for instances when a”direct and mortal threat to life or of serious injury exists.”

The number of Palestinian children who died at the hands of the Israeli occupation this year has doubled in comparison to 2017, during which 15 children were killed, according to DCIP records.

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against Palestinians (26 July – 01 August 2018)

PCHR Weekly Report

03 Aug
6:54 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 26 July – 01 August, 2018.

Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful Palestinian protestors in the Gaza Strip. 3 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were killed in the southern Gaza Strip. 138 Palestinian civilians, including 28 children, 2 women, a journalist, and 6 paramedics, were wounded; 22 of them sustained serious wounds. Fifty-one Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded in the West Bank; 40 of them were wounded in Al-Aqsa Mosque yards.

Shooting:

 

Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against Palestinian civilians, who participated in peaceful demonstrations organized within the activities of the “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed for the 18th week in a row peaceful demonstrations along the eastern and northern Gaza Strip border area. During the reporting period in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children.  Moreover, the Israeli forces wounded 138 others, including 28 children, 2 women, a journalist, and 6 paramedics. Twenty-two of those wounded sustained serious wounds. In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 51 civilians, including 4 children; 40 of them were wounded in al-Aqsa Mosque yards in occupied Jerusalem.

 

  • In the Gaza Strip, on 27 July 2018, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, while participating in the Return and Breaking Siege March. Majdi al-Satari (12) and Mo’min al-Hams (17) were killed while participating in the demonstrations organized in Rafah, while Ghazi Abu Mustafa (43) was killed while participating the a demonstrations organized in Khan Yunis.

 

  • During the reporting period, while using the excessive force against the peaceful protesters along the Gaza Strip borders, the Israeli forces wounded 138 Palestinian civilians, including 28 children, 2 women, a journalist, and 6 paramedics. Twenty-two of those wounded sustained serious wounds.

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip during this Week

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 59 13 1 1 6 16
Gaza City 22 3 0 0 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 17 5 0 0 0 3
Khan Younis 10 1 1 0 0 0
Rafah 30 6 0 0 0 3
Total 138 28 2 1 6 22

 

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 26 July 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Dir al-Balah in the centre of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands. On 27 July 2018, an Israeli artillery fired a sell at an empty land, east of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip, and no injuries were reported.

 

As part of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, pointing out to the ongoing Israeli policy of targeting their livelihoods. During the reporting period, PCHR documented 7 shooting incidents at the fishermen, including 6 in the northern Gaza Strip and 1 in the centre of the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 51 civilians, including 4 children; 40 of them were wounded in al-Aqsa Mosque yards in occupied Jerusalem.

 

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 79 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 9 similar ones into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 52 Palestinians, including 4 children, in the West Bank.  Meanwhile, 38 other civilians, including 12 children, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs. Among those arrested were 5 journalists; 4 of them work at al-Quds Satellite Channel while the last one works as a Director of Hawa Nablus Radio and a reporter at Quds News Agency.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 30 July 2018, Israeli forces moved into Return encampments, east of Abu Safiyia Hill, northeast of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip, and levelled lands, which are previously levelled.

 

 

Israeli Forces continued their Measures to Create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem

 

Following the Friday prayer, on 27 July 2018, Israeli forces raided al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and turned it into a military  barrack after surrounding it, closing it for 4 hours, forcibly evicting its yards, attacking Palestinian worshipers, firing rubber bullets and sound bombs at them, and beating and pushing them. As a result, around 40 worshipers sustained sound bombs and rubber bullets shrapnel wounds. Moreover, about 22 worshipers, including 7 children, were arrested after getting out of the mosque and some of them were arrested from al-Qibali Mosque.

 

As part of demolishing houses and civilian facilities, on 31 July 2018, Israeli forces notified the owners of 7 houses in al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem, to demolish their houses, under the pretext of non-licensing. Khadir al-‘Araj, Head of al-Walaja Village Council, said that Jerusalem Municipality staff distributed 7 notices to the owners of these inhabited houses.

 

As part of settlement activities in occupied Jerusalem, on 01 August 2018, the Israeli authorities opened a new settlement project in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to serve Israeli settlers, under the name of ” Jewish Yemeni Heritage Center”. It should be noted that the Israel authorities opened the settlement project in Abu Nab property, which is built on an area of 700 square meter and seized in 2015.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

As part of demolishing crimes, on 29 July 2018, Israeli forces demolished a barrack built of tin plates in al-Shareef area in Kherbit Tuba, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The 150-square-meter barrack belonging to Tawfiq ‘Awad was used for breeding livestock. The barrack was demolished under the pretext of non-licensing in area classified as Area C.

 

On 01 August 2018, Israeli forces demolished unused graves built of concrete in the Western Ahrash area in al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron.

 

As part of settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property, on 27 July 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yish Kodesh” outpost established in eastern side of Jaloud village, southeast of Nablus, attacked Palestinian civilians’ houses in al-Khila al-Wasta area, east of the village. The Israeli settlers set fire to an under-construction house and attacked another house after destroying its main door and damaging its contents.

 

On 28 July 2018, three Israeli settlers attacked Samir Mutlaq Ibrahime Ghanem (39) and his wife, Lina, with pepper gas and contaminated water while returning home in Tal al-Ramida neighborhood in Hebron. The Israeli forcrs did not intervene to stop them. Samir and his wife were taken to Hebron Governmental Hospital for treatment.

 

On 30 July 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Adi Ad” outpost established on al-Magheer village’s lands, northeast of Ramallah, moved into the outskirts of the village from the northwest side. The Israeli settlers burned tires of 8 Palestinian vehicles and wrote racist slogans on the walls of the houses calling for revenge and killing the Palestinian civilians. The Israeli settlers later withdrew.

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 for the  18th consecutive Friday against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The demonstrations were named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege. The demonstrations were also in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. The demonstrations were as follows during the reporting period:

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Friday 27 July 2018, hundreds of civilians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis. The numbers of participants increased at approximately 16:30, as the participants gathered inside and outside the encampment’s yard and raised flags, chanted national slogans and flew dozens of kites and balloons as dozens of them, including women and children, approached the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and set fire. A number of them attempted to throw stones at Israeli forces. The Israeli snipers stationed behind sand barriers and hills, more of which were established this week, along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, deliberately and selectively opened fire at participants of the peaceful demonstrations that included hundreds of civilians. On this week, the shooting was more than firing tear gas canisters, which were limitedly used in the last 2 hours of the demonstration by the military vehicles and drones. The shooting, which continued until approximately 20:00, resulted in the killing of Ghazi Mohammed Mustafa Abu Mustafa (43), from Khan Younis, after being hit with a live bullet that penetrated the right side of the head and exited the left ear at approximately 16:30, as he was sitting under an olive tree, which is about 150 meters away from the border fence. Ghazi’s death was announced after half an hour of his transfer to Gaza European Hospital. It should be noted that Ghazi was wounded to the left leg by Israeli forces on 08 June 2018, and he walks on crutches since his injury. Moreover, 10 others, including a child and a woman were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel throughout their bodies. The wounded civilians were taken to the field hospital and then transferred to Nasser, Gaza European and Algerian Hospitals. Dozens further suffered tear gas inhalation and received medical treatment on the spot or at the field hospital. Some of them were transferred to hospitals due to suffering severe tear gas inhalation and seizures.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 27 July 2018, thousands of civilians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, east of Malakah intersection, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City in the 18th consecutive Friday titled “Our Martyrs Children.” The activities included raising flags, chanting national slogans, setting fire to tires and flying kites. Though the demonstrations were fully peaceful, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel deliberately and randomly fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 22 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded. Nineteen of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel and 3 were hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • Around the same time, hundreds of civilians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, 400 meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip. Dozens of them approached the border fence, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence. The Israeli forces fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the participants. The clashes continued until approximately 20:00 on the same day. As a result, 15 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded. Thirteen of them were hit with live bullets and 2 others were hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were taken via ambulances belonging to Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Doctors classified 3 civilians’ injuries as serious and they were then transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The injuries of the other wounded civilians were classified between minor and moderate.

 

  • At approximately 16:30, hundreds of Palestinian swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return, east of Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia hundreds of Palestinian swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return, east of Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. The protestors raised Palestinian flags, chanted national slogans and set fire to tires. Dozens of them approached the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence. The Israeli forces deliberately and randomly fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. The clashes continued until approximately 21:00 on the same day. As a result, 59 civilians, including 12 children, a woman, 6 paramedics and a journalist, were wounded. Forty eight of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel while 11 were hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were transferred via ambulances belonging to PRCS, Medical Services and the Ministry of Health to the Indonesian and al-Awda Hospitals. Doctors classified the injury of 16 civilians as serious. The wounded journalist identified as Samer Sa’adallah Abdul ‘Ati al-Za’anin (26), a freelance journalist, was hit with a tear gas canister to the right thigh. As for the paramedics, they were identified as follows:

 

  1. Fares ‘Awad ‘Atiyah ‘Afanah (37), Director of the Emergency Medical Services, was hit with a live bullet to the right leg;
  2. Hani Mahmoud Husein Wadi (32), a paramedic at PRCS, was hit with live bullet to the head and back;
  3. Ramez Mesbah Mohammed Abu Dayer (27), a paramedic at the Palestinian Civil Defense, was hit with a live bullet to the head ad back;
  4. Maisa’a ‘Aref Salman al-‘Aar (20), a paramedic at the Palestinian Ministry of Health, was hit with a live bullet shrapnel to the right hand;
  5. Alin Yahiya Rashad ‘Ashour (22), a volunteer paramedic at the Ministry of Health, was hit with a live bullet to the left leg; and
  6. Ahmed Abdul Bari al-‘Abed Abu Foul (34), a volunteer paramedic at PRCS, was hit with a tear gas canister to the neck.

 

  • At approximately 17:00, hundreds of Palestinian swarmed to the Return encampment established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. A number of young men approached the border fence, flew kites, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. The clashes continued until approximately 20:30. As a result, Majdi Ramzi Kamal al-Satri (12) was killed after being hit with a live bullet that entered the front and exited the back of the head. Majdi died in the ambulance that transferred him from the field hospital in the Return encampment to Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis. Moreover, 30 civilians, including 6 children, were wounded. Twenty nine of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel and one civilian was hit with a tear gas canister. Those wounded civilians were taken to the field hospital and then transferred to Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah and Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis. Doctors classified the injuries of 3 civilians as serious. At approximately 05:00 on Saturday, 28 July 2018, medical sources at Gaza European Hospital announced the death of Mo’men Fathi Yusuf al-Hams (17), succumbing to his wounds. Mo’men was hit with a live bullet that entered the left shoulder and exited the chest. Mo’men underwent a Surgery that continued for 5 hours and then stayed at the ICU until his death was announced.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Sunday, 30 July 2018, dozens of Palestinian children and young men gathered near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip, to participate in the Return encampment. They threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the b order fence. the soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 children were hit with live bullets to the lower limbs. They were transferred via a PRCS ambulance to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Doctors classified their injuries as moderate.

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 13:40 on Friday, 27 July 2018, a group of Palestinian civilians moved from Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, to the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years. The protestors chanted national slogans demanding end of occupation, condemning the decisions to demolish Khan al-Ahmer Bedouin Community and condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip within “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities. Several representatives of national factions and representatives of National Action Factions in the north of the West Bank and a number of foreign and Israeli activists participated in the demonstration. Israeli soldiers suppressed the demonstration and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 5 civilians, including a 3 children age between 12 and 13, was hit with a live bullet shrapnel to the left hand.

 

  • At approximately 16:40 on Saturday, 28 July 2018, a group of Palestinian organized a peaceful demonstration from the center of Kufor Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah and headed to the eastern entrance, which has been closed for 15 years. Israeli forces opened fire at the protestors. As a result, a 40-year-old civilian was hit with a rubber bullet to the right hand.

House Demolitions and Notices:

 

  • At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 31 July 2018, Israeli forces notified the owners of 7 houses in al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem, to demolish their houses, under the pretext of non-licensing. Khadir al-‘Araj, Head of al-Walaja Village Council, said that an Israeli military force accompanied with the Jerusalem Municipality staff moved into ‘Ein al-Jwaiza neighborhood in al-Walaja village. The municipality staff distributed 7 notices to the owners of these inhabited houses. The notices included summonses for the houses’ owners forcing them to self-demolish their houses, or they will be forced to pay the demolition costs. Al-‘Araj pointed out that the neighborhood, which is adjacent to al-Malha village that its residents were evicted, is clearly targeted in order to be fully annexed to the Jerusalem Municipality boundaries. It should be noted that the Jerusalem Municipality, during the past 30 years, attempted to annex the neighborhood. The Israeli authorities are also seeking to deport the neighborhood residents in favor of expanding the Israeli settlement as a prelude to add 330 settlement units in “Har Gilo” settlement established on the village lands. The Israeli forces also demolished al-Nour Mosque in the same neighborhood 20 years ago and destroyed the paved street that connects the neighborhood with the rest of the village. Additionally, they demolished over 30 houses and there are about forty cases in the Israeli Courts due to issuing demolition notices against those houses.

 

  • Opening New Settlement Project in Silwan:

 

  • On Wednesday evening, 1 August 2018, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and turned it into a military barrack. This happened in coinciding with opening a new settlement project in the village to serve the settlers, under the name of ” Jewish Yemeni Heritage Center”. According to eyewitnesses, a large force of Israeli soldiers moved into the neighborhoods and stationed at its entrances. They then deployed in Batn al-Hawa, al-Wosta, al-Bostan, and ‘Ein al-Lawza neighborhoods and closed some streets and roads to facilitate the access of participants to the opening ceremony of the settlement project. The eyewitnesses also said that before the beginning of the ceremony, the Israeli forces, arrested Zuhair al-Rajabi, Head of Batn al-Hawa Committee, and Jawad seyam, Head of the Wadi Helweh Information Center, while they were in the neighborhood. After that, the Israeli forces evicted the streets, forced the residents to enter their houses, and kept the press crews and some of foreign and Israeli activists away from the area.  Meanwhile, they prevented Silwan village’s residents from heading to the neighborhood and many residents were prevented from reaching their homes. Ze’ev Elkin, Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Israeli Minister, Miri Regev, Israeli Minister of culture, Rabbi of Jerusalem, and representatives of the settlement associations participated in the opening Ceremony of the Cultural Center. It should be noted that the Israel authorities opened the settlement project in Abu Nab property, which is built on an area of 700 square meter and seized in 2015.

Last year, a synagogue was built in the same property, in which Israeli authorities claim that the property was a synagogue for the Jews of Yemen in the late 19th century.

 

 

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

 Israeli forces’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 9:00 on Sunday, 29 July 2018, Israeli Border Guard officers, accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into al-Sharif area in Khirbet Tuba, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli forces deployed in the area while the bulldozer demolished a 150-square-meter barrack built of tin plates and used for breeding livestock. The barrack belongs to Tawfiq Isma’il ‘Elyan Awad. The barrack was built in 2016 and demolished under the pretext of non-licensing in areas classified as Area C. Tawfiq was notified to stop construction on 23 April 2017.

 

  • At approximately 8:00 on Wednesday, 1 August 2018, Israeli forces backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into the western al-Ahrash area in al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. The bulldozer demolished a number of unused graves built of concrete under the pretext of non-licensing in an area classified as security area by the Israeli forces. It should be noted that the Israeli forces previously notified to hold construction in these graves.

 

 Israeli settlers’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 22:00 on Monday, 26 July 2018, a group of Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forces’ protection, moved into al-Nabi Yunis neighborhood, north of Halhool village, north of Hebron. The Israeli soldiers deployed in the vicinity of al-Nabi Yunis Old Mosque while the Israeli settlers performed their Talmudic prayers in the area. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian youngsters gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, many stone throwers suffered tear gas inhalation and were then treated on the spot.

 

  • At approximately 12:45 on Friday, 27 July 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yish Kodesh” outpost established in eastern side of Jaloud village, southeast of Nablus, attacked Palestinian civilians’ houses in al-Khila al-Wasta area, east of the village, 200 meters away from the abovementioned outpost. The Israeli settlers set fire to an under-construction house belonging to a civilian, from Kafur Qasem village in Israel. The 100- square-meter under-construction house was burnt. The Israeli settlers attacked another 60- square-meter house belonging to Tawfiq al-Showiki after destroying its main door and damaging its contents.

 

  • At approximately 22:30 on Saturday, 28 July 2018, three Israeli settlers attacked Samir Mutlaq Ibrahime Ghanem (39) and his wife, Lina, with pepper gas and contaminated water while returning home in Tal al-Ramida neighborhood. The attack happened near the military checkpoint at the entrance to the neighborhood (checkpoint 56) but Israeli soldiers did not intervene to stop it. Samir along with his wife were admitted to Hebron Governmental Hospital for treatment. Samir Ghanem said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “We were returning home after a visit to my wife’s family house in al-Namra area and my nephew, Tariq (14), was with us. When we arrived at the Container checkpoint in Tal al-Ramida neighborhood at approximately 22:30, there were three settlers between 15 and 18 years old, sitting 3 meters away from the checkpoint. My nephew was holding a shopping cart and the settlers began to curse and threaten us. I took Tariq away and moved one meter forward. The settlers sprayed us with a contaminated water and a pepper gas that hit our heads and clothes. My wife fell on the ground and I started shouting. The settlers approached us and pepper-sprayed us. I was shouting, but the soldiers, who stationed 3 meters away, didn’t move and continued to watch what was happening through cameras covering the area. Moments later, a red car arrived, and a settler, in thirties, stepped out of the car and tried to attack us, but I tried to defend myself. The three settlers pepper-sprayed us again. Two soldiers arrived as I was raising my hands up and one of them pointed his rifle at my face and asked me to let my hands down. I called my relatives in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, a number of civilians gathered and a number of soldiers, including an officer, arrived as well. The officer approached the settlers, spoke to themand moved away after two minutes. We talked to the soldiers who denied knowing what was happening. An ambulance of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society arrived and took us to Hebron governmental hospital for treatment.”

 

  • On Monday morning, 30 July 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Adi Ad” outpost established on al-Magheer village’s lands, northeast of Ramallah, moved into the outskirts of the village from the northwest side. The Israeli settlers burned tires of 8 Palestinian vehicles and wrote racist slogans on the walls of the houses calling for revenge and killing the Palestinian civilians. The Israeli settlers later withdrew.

 

 

Recommendations to the International Community

 

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 11 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

  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 this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on 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 international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. 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.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 official website for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

The Unbelievable israeli (Apartheid State) Oppression of Palestinian Children

Source

by Alice Speri

NABI SALEH, West Bank — As if anyone needed reminding, even on the day of her release from prison, Israeli authorities seemed to want to show Ahed Tamimi, her family, and her many supporters that they control Palestinian lives.

Ahed and her mother, Nariman, were supposed to be freed on Saturday after serving an eight-month sentence in an Israeli military prison, but because Saturday is not a work day in Israel, their release was postponed. On Sunday, their family was told that they would be freed at 7 a.m. at a military checkpoint in the northern West Bank, nearly an hour and a half drive from their village, Nabi Saleh. When relatives and friends arrived there, the military sent them, as well as dozens of members of the press, to a different checkpoint, nearly two hours in the opposite direction. When they reached there, Bassem Tamimi was told, again, that his daughter and wife would be released at the first checkpoint. As the convoy of cars turned around one more time, they received another call telling them to head back to the second checkpoint.

“They were playing cat and mouse; they were trying to break everyone,” Manal Tamimi, Ahed’s aunt, told The Intercept. “They don’t need to give any justification. They just do what they want.”

Relatives and jouranslists wait at Ahed Tamimi's house in Nabi Saleh following her release on July 29, 2018.
young girls hold posters of Ahed at her house on July 29, 2018 as they wait for her to arrive

Relatives and journalists gather at the Tamimi home as they wait for Ahed’s arrival after being released.Photos: Samar Hazboun for The Intercept

Hours after Israeli officials confirmed that Ahed and Nariman Tamimi had been released from prison, Bassem Tamimi was still trying to figure out where they were. At one of the two checkpoints, where crowds had gathered to wait for the two women, a settler, flanked by soldiers, waved an Israeli flag, soon joined by others, yelling, “Ahed is a terrorist” and “death to Arabs,” a relative told The Intercept. Ahed’s supporters responded by singing and waving Palestinian flags.Then someone spotted the two women in a military jeep, which didn’t stop at the checkpoint but drove straight through toward Nabi Saleh. Everyone rushed to follow it.But if Israeli soldiers were hoping a show of force would remind Palestinians who’s in charge, Ahed Tamimi responded much like she did last winter, when she slapped and pushed a soldier who had broken into her backyard. “The resistance continues,” she declared shortly after her release, as she visited the family of another young member of the Tamimi family, killed in June by soldiers. Swarmed by hundreds of cameras that followed her every step, she then paid tribute to the grave of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, before returning to a village that had been decked out with dozens of posters of her and her mother — but mostly her. Children, teenagers, and elderly relatives waited for her return among hundreds of activists and journalists, as music blasted from loudspeakers and relatives chronicled the family’s long history of resistance to the Israeli occupation. When Ahed finally arrived home, the crowd broke into triumphant cheers, dancing, and hugs.

Ahed, Basem and Nariman Tamimi speak to the press in Nabi Saleh on July 29, 2018

Bassem, Ahed, and Nariman Tamimi speak during a press conference in Nabi Saleh following the womens’ release on July 29, 2018.

Photo: Samar Hazboun for The Intercept

Ahed Tamimi caught the world’s attention when a video showing her slapping the soldier went viral last December. The episode followed a day of heated protests in Nabi Saleh, during which soldiers shot her cousin Mohammed at close range with a rubber bullet, severely wounding him. Mohammed had part of his skull removed following the incident — as Israeli military officials falsely claimed that the boy injured himself when he “fell of his bike.”

Days after the slapping incident, which Ahed said in court was in response to the soldiers injuring her cousin, the military raided her home and arrested her. Shortly after, they arrested her mother and another cousin, Nour, also pictured in the video. In March, Ahed, who turned 17 in prison, agreed to a plea bargain and an eight-month sentence. Her mother was convicted of incitement for sharing the video, and also sentenced to eight months in prison. Several people have compared the sentence to that of Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, who served nine months in prison for executing wounded Palestinian Abdel Fattah al-Sharif. Leaving court after her sentencing hearing, Ahed defiantly declared, “There is no justice under occupation and this court is illegal.”

Ahed’s story drew rare attention to the plight of Palestinian children held in Israeli military prisons — an overwhelming majority of them over stone-throwing incidents or for participation in protests — and the sham court proceedings, abuse and threat-filled interrogations, and extracted confessions to which they are subject. In the weeks before Ahed’s release, The Intercept spoke with more than a dozen formerly imprisoned children, parents of children currently in prison, attorneys and advocates, as well as several members of the Tamimi family. They shared similar stories of predawn raids during which soldiers separated children from their families, physically and verbally assaulted them, blindfolded and handcuffed them, and drove them to interrogation centers where — almost always without an attorney or parent present — they were subjected to further abuse and forced to confess, before being summarily sentenced to months in prison.

The Israel Defense Forces, which were responsible for Ahed’s arrest, prosecution, and incarceration, as well as the detention of hundreds of other Palestinian minors, declined to answer The Intercept’s questions on the record.

A general view taken from Nabi Saleh on July 29, 2018 shows the Israeli settlement of Halamish (C).

A view of the Israeli settlement of Halamish as seen from Nabi Saleh.

Photo: Samar Hazboun for The Intercept

The Children of Nabi Saleh

Nabi Saleh, a Palestinian village of about 600 residents in the occupied West Bank, has long been at the forefront of what is arguably the greatest impediment to a peaceful resolution in the region: the ongoing encroachment of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. There are 129 Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and 101 additional outposts not recognized by the Israeli government, according to the settlement watchdog group Peace Now. (These statistics do not include settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.) Up to half a million settlers live in the West Bank, alongside nearly 3 million Palestinians. The Israeli government continues to approve the building of new settlements and recognize existing outposts — both of which are illegal under international law.

Settlements are a common sight across the occupied West Bank, their tidy rows of red-roofed houses sitting atop hills, usually towering above Palestinian villages below and distinguishable by the fences and security towers that surround them, as well as the absence of the water tanks that are the hallmark of Palestinian rooftops. (Israel controls access to water, and Palestinians, who are plagued by shortages, get their water supplies delivered by trucks.) Over the decades, settlers have moved closer and closer to Palestinian villages, taking over more of the villagers’ land. In Nabi Saleh, the nearby settlement of Halamish is so close that if you squint, you can almost look inside its backyards. From Halamish, a surveillance aerostat watches over Nabi Saleh at all times.

For years, Nabi Saleh’s residents taught their children what to do should soldiers detain them. They brought lawyers to the village to explain to them their rights to silence and counsel, and former prisoners to share their experiences in detention. But in February, two months after Ahed’s arrest and in anticipation of increased military activity against the village, they took the training a step further: They gathered a few dozen children in a hall used for community meetings, handcuffed them, blindfolded them, and blasted a recording of a real interrogation through loudspeakers. Then they removed the blindfolds and cuffs, asked the children how they felt, and talked to them about their rights.

Just days after the training, the youngest child in the room that day — 13-year-old Suhaib – was detained by soldiers. Taken before interrogators, the child refused to speak. When a psychologist was brought in, per his lawyer’s request, he again refused to speak. And when an Israeli activist close to the Tamimi family was allowed to call him to encourage him to speak to the psychologist, the child thanked him for his concern but told him he’d exercise his right to silence.

Manal Tamimi, the aunt of Ahed Tamimi, looks on as she waits outside her house in Nabi Saleh on July 29, 2018 following the release of the Tamimi women.

Manal Tamimi, Ahed Tamimi’s aunt, in Nabi Saleh following the release of the Tamimi women.

Photo: Samar Hazboun for The Intercept

“I wish that instead of giving them training about interrogations and their rights in prison and what to do if you get arrested, I wish I could take them to swimming training, or karate, or basketball,” said Manal Tamimi, who has four children, including two currently in prison. “But this is our life, and they should be strong enough to deal with this life.”

“The most common question I get is, why are you putting your children in danger, you have to protect them, you are not a good mother,” added Manal Tamimi, who is a well-known activist in Nabi Saleh and has often traveled to speak about the village to foreign audiences. “We tried to do everything we can, we tried to learn how to save children, but at the end, it’s not about us. … I don’t know what else we can do to protect them.”

“When they arrested Ahed, it was a lesson to the village,” she said. “We’re going to punish you through your children.”

In 2009, the residents of Nabi Saleh joined other villages similarly situated near expanding settlements and launched a nonviolent, popular resistance movement to protest the occupation and settlement expansion. Every Friday for nearly a decade, village residents, sometimes accompanied by foreign and Israeli activists, would march toward Halamish waving Palestinian flags, trying to reach a water spring that had once belonged to the village and was now annexed to the settlement. Every Friday, they were detained or turned back by soldiers, who fired tear gas and sometimes live ammunition at them.

Palestinian protesters are raising a huge Palestine flag on flagpole in An Nabi Saleh on Sep 11, 2015. (Photo by Mohammad Alhaj/NurPhoto) (Photo by NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Palestinian protesters raise a large Palestine flag in Nabi Saleh on Sep 11, 2015.

Photo: Mohammad Alhaj/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The residents kept tabs on the cost of their protest. Three people have been killed in Nabi Saleh since the weekly marches started. About 550 people were injured at least once, and many dozens of times — a tally that only takes into account hospital visits. Fifteen were shot at with live ammunition. Some 350 people were arrested in connection to the weekly protests, including more than 50 women, 48 children under 18, 10 children under 15, and two under age 12. By the end of 2016, when the protests started to lose steam and ultimately ended, 22 Nabi Saleh residents were in prison.

Since the beginning, the children of Nabi Saleh — most of whom are related and share the Tamimi surname — took part in the protests. “When we started, the first question in our mind was, what with the children?” Ahed Tamimi’s father, Bassem, told The Intercept. “We had two options: to keep them home and scared of the army, or to let them participate.”

“If we scare them, they will be psychologically broken, in trauma, they may lose their self-confidence and their trust in their families. They won’t be able to solve any problems they’ll face,” he explained, comparing the logic to the practice of immunizing children against snake bites by administering a small dose of poison. “To make them scared is more dangerous than to let them confront it. So we decided to let them be part of the struggle.”

“Sometimes parents don’t have any choice,” he added, noting that even outside the Friday marches, soldiers regularly raided the village, barging into homes in the middle of the night, sometimes multiple times a week, and taking people away while leaving behind a cloud of tear gas. “There is no safe space in Palestine.”

And so Friday after Friday, and as the demonstrations periodically caught the attention of international audiences, “the world saw the Tamimi children grow up,” said Manal. “Since the beginning, the children were involved to break the wall of fear inside them.”

In this Nov. 2, 2012 photo, then 12-year-old Ahed Tamimi tries to punch an Israeli soldier during a protest, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Tamimi is to go on trial Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, before an Israeli military court, for slapping and punching two Israeli soldiers in December. Palestinians say her actions embody their David vs. Goliath struggle against a brutal military occupation, while Israel portrays them as a staged provocation meant to embarrass its military. Tamimi is one of an estimated 350 Palestinian minors in Israeli jails. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

In Nov. 2, 2012, then 11-year-old Ahed Tamimi tries to punch an Israeli soldier during a protest in Nabi Saleh.

Photo: Majdi Mohammed/AP

Raising Ahed

Ahed was just one of the many children of Nabi Saleh — but long before the video of her slapping a soldier went viral last winter, her encounters with the military had led to iconic moments and earned her global fame.

In 2012, when she was 11, Ahed waved her skinny fist at a soldier — a gesture that was caught on camera and captivated the world’s attention. Three years later, at 14, she bit another soldier who was holding her brother. That image, too, went viral.

Her father, who was standing nearby when Ahed bit the soldier, was terrified but not surprised at his daughter’s reaction and remembers the moment as one of his hardest as a parent, as he found himself paralyzed between wanting to intervene — putting the whole family at an even greater risk of violence — or walking away, thus showing his children that he was powerless to protect them.

But there were other moments, outside the spotlight, when Ahed showed her character, her father told The Intercept, his blue eyes beaming somewhere between pride and incredulity at his own daughter’s strength. One evening, the family was held up at a military checkpoint into the village. As often happened, the soldiers aggressively kept them from going back to their homes. Ahed, who was 15 at the time, started calling the army commander at the checkpoint a “terrorist.” “Why are you holding these weapons? To kill all the children?” her father recalled her asking. The commander replied that he had the weapons to defend himself and didn’t want to kill anybody. Ahed shot back, “Are you sure you’re not going to kill anybody? So if I just go through, you won’t shoot me?” She then proceeded to walk across the checkpoint, astonishing both the soldiers and her parents. Her father joked, “I told her, come back and get us!” — then added that the commander was so stunned, he just let the whole family go.

In 2012, after the raised fist incident, then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, invited Ahed to visit Turkey, where she was met at the airport by scores of children wearing T-shirts with her face on them. When Erdogan told Ahed he stood with the Palestinians, she thanked him and then asked why she had needed a visa to travel to Turkey when Israelis didn’t. Erdogan’s face reddened, Ahed’s father said with amusement. Relentless, Ahed asked Erdogan to go visit Syrian refugee camps with her.

But last year’s slapping incident catapulted Ahed into worldwide fame in ways that the earlier incidents had not. While she was in prison, a huge mural with her face was painted along the separation wall built by Israel around the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, and her photo was paraded at rallies in the United States and Europe. (Two Italian artists who painted the mural were arrested by Israeli authorities on Saturday and ordered to leave the country.)

Ahed was likened to Arafat and Che Guevara.

Palestinian women figth to free a Palestinian boy (bottom) held by an Israeli soldier (C) during clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters following a march against Palestinian land confiscation to expand the nearby Jewish Hallamish settlement on August 28, 2015 in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah. AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Ahed, at left, holds her brother after she and other Palestinian women fought to free him from an Israeli soldier during clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters on Aug. 28, 2015.

Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images

In private, Bassem said, Ahed is not the way that people who have watched her on video expect her to be. She is shy, quiet, and protective of her three brothers. But she also has great self-confidence and poise, and a “poker face,” which she inherited from her grandfather. “You cannot guess what she’s thinking,” he said, noting that she’s also a typical teenager who will sometimes cry and fight with her parents. “I can’t control her, nobody can control anybody,” said Bassem. “She is free. And she is brave. But that can be a danger to her.”

Speaking to The Intercept from Nabi Saleh a week before his daughter and wife’s release, Bassem Tamimi alternated between his roles as lifelong activist for the Palestinian cause, and as a father and husband. He was renovating the family’s stone house at the top of the village — a surprise for his wife — and joked about how he would be in trouble if the construction mess wasn’t cleared before her return.

But mostly, he worried about Ahed’s future — anticipating the questions she’d be faced with upon her release, while recognizing that she’d have to make her own choices about how to handle them. Should she go greet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, he mused, noting that she would inevitably face criticism either way over a divisive figure in Palestine. “If she goes, it’s a problem – if she doesn’t, it’s a problem.” (On Sunday, Ahed did meet with Abbas, though she later said she requested a longer meeting with him in the future to discuss the needs of Palestinian political prisoners.)

And where should his daughter go to college? Ahed, who wants to be a lawyer, studied for her final high school exams while in prison, and used the time to read novels, improve her English, and work on a research project comparing her own interrogation and detention to the standards set by international law. Abroad, where she has received scholarship offers, Ahed would be safer and get a better education, her father said. At Birzeit, a Palestinian university near Nabi Saleh, she would be closer to her family and her people, but she would also be more likely to be arrested again. Her older brother Wa’ed, 21, is a student at Birzeit, but he is currently in prison, after being arrested by the Israeli military last May, his third time.

A general view shows the bedroom of Nariman Tamimi's imprisoned sons at their house in Nabi Saleh on July 29, 2018
Posters of Nariman's imprisoned sons are seen inside their house in Nabi Saleh on July 29, 2018

The empty bedroom of Manal’s sons, Mohammad and Osama Tamimi. Their photos adorn a table in the family home.Photos: Samar Hazboun for The Intercept

“She’ll be in more danger here, she’ll be in jail again soon,” Bassem said. “I wish there was no occupation and she could be a dancer or a football player, or whatever she wants. … But it’s hard to plan for the future here.”Awaiting her return, Bassem mostly seemed to be coming to terms with his new role, as much of a spectator of his daughter’s life today as he was when she bit the soldier as a 14-year-old. Ahed grew up before her age, he said, and she now would face the challenges that came with her symbol status. She would have to navigate people’s opinions and agendas for her, and be watched closely by enemies and supporters alike. “This will bring more responsibility and more danger,” he said. “They’ll think she’s even stronger than she is. She is a child.”“I feel my responsibility now is to be an adviser,” he added. “She needs me to support her, not to plan her life. She can decide, and I must be the person she trusts.”

An Italian activist paints a portrait of Palestinian Ahed Tamimi on a part of the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem on July 25, 2018.

An Italian activist paints a portrait of Ahed Tamimi on a portion of the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem.

Photo: Samar Hazboun for The Intercept

Hundreds of Aheds

If Ahed’s story brought some awareness to the plight of Palestinian children in Israeli military jails, it didn’t stop the detention, interrogation, and imprisonment of scores of others. At the end of May, 291 Palestinian minors were held in Israeli prisons as “security detainees,” including 49 children under the age of 16, according to figures by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. Between 500 and 700 Palestinian minors are detained by the Israeli military every year, according to Defense for Children International-Palestine, a human rights group that has long monitored abuses against Palestinian children at all steps of the detention process. Since 2010, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military system.

An overwhelming majority of these children are detained over offenses that range from participating in demonstrations and clashes, to social media posts or “insulting the honor of a soldier,” said Ruba Awadallah, a research and advocacy officer with DCI. While some minors are arrested for more serious, violent offenses — like stabbings or attempted stabbings — most are accused of what has become the de facto symbol of Palestinian resistance: throwing rocks.

In Nabi Saleh alone, about 50 people, including several minors and young adults, have been arrested since Ahed slapped the soldier, including Wa’ed and Manal’s two oldest sons. Fourteen of them, including three minors, remain in prison. Mohammed Tamimi — the cousin who was shot by soldiers at close range in December — was arrested in February despite his critical condition, and released only following public pressure. “Now he’s better, so we expect they’ll come take him any day,” said Manal.

As Manal spoke, her husband Bilal unrolled a poster the family made, with photos of 19 recently detained members of the Tamimi family displayed as rays around the image of a sun and the words “Nabi Saleh” and “resist.” One of those photographed, Wiam Tamimi, another 17-year-old cousin of Ahed, was released two days before my visit. I met him while he and other relatives FaceTimed with his father, who lives in New York. Wiam didn’t talk much about his five-month stay in prison — but an uncle said that soldiers had barged into his home in the middle of the night and taken him away. It was his second detention by the army, but the first time he was sentenced to prison time. In prison, Wiam said, he was mostly bored. “I wasn’t scared,” he said with a shy smile. “I had heard what would happen from everyone else.”

A picture taken on July 29, 2018 shows the place where Ahed Tamimi's cousin was killed in Nabi Saleh.
A picture taken on July 29, 2018 shows a wall with a bullet hole where Ahed Tamimi's cousin was killed.

The patch of ground and bullet holes in the wall showing where ‘Iz a-Din Tamimi was killed.Photos: Samar Hazboun for The Intercept

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK - JUNE 06: Palestinians carry the dead body of Ezz al-Tamimi, 21, who was killed by Israeli forces, at a checkpoint, as Israeli soldiers intervene them during his funeral ceremony near Nabi Saleh district of Ramallah, in West Bank on June 06, 2018. (Photo by Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Palestinians carry the dead body of ‘Iz a-Din Tamimi, during his funeral on June 06, 2018.

Photo: Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Tamimi children are not only experienced with interrogations and prisons: They have also watched Israeli soldiers kill some of their relatives. The latest, 20-year-old ‘Iz a-Din Tamimi, was killed in June, shot from the back as he fled after throwing rocks at soldiers who had come into the village. The Israeli military’s open-fire regulations allow the use of lethal fire only when security forces or others are in mortal danger and no other alternative is available. B’Tselem, which investigated Tamimi’s death, said his killing failed to meet those standards, and was “illegal and unjustified.”‘Iz a-Din was killed just outside Manal’s home, at the entrance of the village. Her youngest children, 14-year-old Rand and 11-year-old Samer, were home at the time and ran outside when they heard the gunshots, to find a soldier kicking their cousin’s body. The soldier pointed his weapon at Samer and told him, “You have one second and if you don’t leave, I will shoot you like him,” Manal said. So the kids went back inside and watched from the windows as the soldiers took the body away and threw stun grenades at the crowd that had gathered.

Samer, who listened in as I spoke with Manal, has been having a hard time sleeping since that day, Manal said. “Nobody wants their 11-year-old child to see their cousin being killed and kicked and bleeding in front of him and being afraid that he’ll be shot,” she said. “It’s not easy to see your cousin die in front of you. They are children.”

Then she added — “It’s the worst thing to be a Palestinian mother.”

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Nisreen Masaeed holds a photo of her 16-year-old son, Mohammad, who is currently serving 10 months in prison. She has been sleeping in his bed, pictured here, since he went to prison.

Photo: Anthony Tucker for The Intercept

Children in Prison 

As Ahed’s story captivated the world, Nabi Saleh saw an outpouring of international solidarity, even if it was sometimes based on questionable premises. A senior Israeli official — who had called the Tamimis “paid actors” — said that Ahed was chosen because of her striking, long blond hair. Manal dismissed the notion as ridiculous, but agreed that Ahed’s looks helped her popularity.

“To me this feels racist,” she said, noting that she received many messages from Europeans and Americans telling her that Ahed looked like their daughter. “To feel sympathy or solidarity with a child just because she’s blond, and turn a blind eye to other children’s suffering, this is racism.”

On Sunday, after Ahed’s release, Manal said that while she was elated to have her niece home, her return also brought about “mixed feelings” — not least because Ahed’s brother, and Manal’s two sons, remained in prison. Another young Palestinian woman, Yasmin Abu Srour, was released from an Israeli prison last week, also after serving an eight-month sentence.

“But nobody cares about her,” said Manal. “We are not the only family that has prisoners.”

In fact, if Nabi Saleh has become a symbol of Palestinian resistance and a recipient of international attention and solidarity, stories like Ahed’s and her cousins’ are common across the West Bank and East Jerusalem — though most remain virtually unknown to the outside world.

Nearly half of all detained children are arrested by soldiers who break into their homes in the middle of the night, according to DCI’s documentation. Sometimes children are separated from their parents in their own homes; other times, the parents are there but prevented from intervening. “It’s the beginning of breaking the parent-child relationship,” said Awadallah. “Because children feel that, my parents are not able to protect me.”

Sleep-deprived, alone, blindfolded, and handcuffed, children are then driven away — often forced to sit on the metal floor of military jeeps. Many describe that first journey as one of the most traumatizing phases of their detention, and the time when they are more likely to be verbally and physically assaulted.

The next step is an interrogation — sometimes the first of several. According to Israeli military law, children have a right to legal consultation before they are interrogated, but in practice that rarely happens. “Sometimes they will tell them, ‘You have a right to talk to a lawyer,’ but they won’t usually wait for the lawyer,” Yael Stein, B’Tselem’s research director, told The Intercept. “They’ll say, ‘Do you have the number of a lawyer? No? So no, it doesn’t matter.’”

Detained children are required by law to appear before a judge within 96 hours of their arrest (adults can wait weeks to see a judge). That’s when they get to see their families for the first time, though relatives sit across the courtroom and are not allowed to speak to them or touch them. Children come into court wearing brown prison wear, their feet in shackles, and all court proceedings are in Hebrew — with an interpreter translating into Arabic only questions posed directly to the child.

Most children are sentenced to between three and 12 months in prison, plus fines and probation. If their families can’t pay the fines, they get longer sentences. Probation, too, is problematic, because many of the children who enter the Israeli detention system live near checkpoints or the separation wall, where clashes and demonstrations are frequent. A child walking home from the store can easily be photographed by one of the many military watchtowers, and the military can then use the image as evidence he was in the streets during protests — a probation violation, said Awadallah. “It really restricts their life.”

After sentencing, most of the abuse ends. Children are given access to education in prison, though the lessons don’t follow the Palestinian curriculum — a 10th grader interviewed by The Intercept said the classes he attended in prison were “first-grade level.” Detained children receive no science instruction. “They’re thinking of these children as terrorists or bad people or so on, so maybe they’re thinking, ‘What would happen if we teach Palestinian children in prison chemistry?” said Awadallah. Often, children drop out of school after their release, and many are arrested again.

Mohammed Masaeed, a 16-year-old from the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, was 14 when he was arrested the first time, along with his 13-year-old brother Anas. The boys were accused of throwing stones at soldiers who had raided the camp. They were fined and sentenced to three months in prison. A year later, last January, Mohammed was walking to a sneaker store near his house when soldiers arrested him again. There had been clashes in the camp and again, soldiers accused him of throwing stones. Because Mohammed was on probation, he was sentenced to 10 months in prison, which he is currently serving.

His mother, Nisreen Masaeed, told The Intercept that on the day of his arrest, she rushed to the entrance of the camp to find him and other children on their knees with their hands tied behind their back. When the children fidgeted, a soldier would hit them in front of their parents. (Later, when Nisreen visited Mohammed in prison, he told her that he had been beaten on his legs and knees during the arrest, making the forced kneeling even more painful).

But despite the longer sentence and the fact that Mohammed would be forced to miss 10th grade, Nisreen said the first arrest had been harder on the family — because at the time they had no understanding of the military court system, and they were unfamiliar with the long waits and curt treatment they’d receive during court hearings and prison visits. The first imprisonment, she added, transformed her children’s personalities. Mohammed never talked about it, and when his younger brother said he had been beaten, and that he had cried, he would deny it.

“It’s his personality to hide his true feelings,” said Nisreen. “He always says he’s fine.”

“It’s not normal life,” she added. But then she recalled what a school counselor told her youngest son, whose grades dropped as he reacted to his brothers’ first arrest. “As Palestinians, this is the situation we live in. You have to get used to it.” The family, she said, was getting used to it.

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian boy during clashes at a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the West Bank city of Hebron, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian boy in Hebron on Dec. 15, 2017, during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Photo: Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Soldiers Don’t Lie 

Israeli military courts boast an astonishing 99.7 conviction rate. But the majority of those convictions, advocates say, are based on confessions extracted during interrogations. For both children and adults, verbal and often physical abuse at the hands of the soldiers who first detain them are followed by psychological abuse, intimidation, and threats by interrogators with Israel’s security services, the “Shabak.”

In 2017, DCI documented the cases of 161 detained children — an incomplete list — including six under the age of 13. Of those, 74 percent reported physical violence and 61 percent reported being subjected to verbal abuse, intimidation, and threats — with interrogators routinely telling them that they would arrest their family members or demolish their homes. Many reported being strip-searched, denied food and water and access to a toilet, being forced into stress positions, and held in solitary confinement. Most had no lawyer or parent present during their interrogation, and more than half were made to sign papers in Hebrew, a language most Palestinians can’t read. By that point in an interrogation, said Awadallah, “many children confess because they just want this traumatizing experience to end.”

Nasser Nassar and Usayed Mazyad, two 16-year-old cousins from the town on Anabta, in the northern West Bank, were detained in February while walking in the hills behind Usayed’s home, a quiet stretch of olive trees and rocky terrain. In separate interviews, the boys told The Intercept that they heard voices speaking in Hebrew, and before they knew it, they found themselves surrounded by two dozen soldiers, who pushed them to the ground, and handcuffed and blindfolded them. (In sworn statements later obtained by The Intercept, the boys also said the soldiers called them “dog” and “son of a whore,” and that they kicked and slapped them “whenever they felt like it.”) The soldiers then drove the cousins to a police station in a nearby settlement. During the transport, the abuse continued. At one point, a soldier stepped on Nasser’s feet shackles, making him fall onto the floor.

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Usayed Mazyad, left, and Nasser Nassar.Photos: Anthony Tucker for The Intercept

At the police station, adult Palestinian prisoners, noticing Nasser and Usayed’s young age, asked soldiers to give them water or let them use the bathroom. They didn’t. The cousins were finally brought before interrogators, alone, in the middle of the night.Nasser said that the interrogator asked him why he was throwing rocks, slamming his fists on the table and pacing around him “to create an atmosphere of fear,” he said. When the boy replied that he hadn’t been throwing rocks, the interrogator “got up and slapped me and said soldiers did not lie and that they said in their statements they saw us throwing stones,” Nasser said in his sworn statement. When he told the interrogator that he wanted to file a complaint against the soldiers who beat him, the man responded that “the defense soldiers are polite and treat people well and act in accordance with the law.”Usayed said he told the interrogator that he wouldn’t speak unless his handcuffs and blindfold were removed, and he could speak with a lawyer. The interrogator removed the blindfold but not the handcuffs, and told him he’d get to call a lawyer “when I’m done with you,” the boy told The Intercept. Then the interrogator handed him a piece of paper and told him, “These are your rights.” The boy read on the paper that he had a right to stay silent and told the interrogator that he would do that — but the interrogator started yelling at him, asking him, “Why do you think I brought you here? You have to say something.”

The boys didn’t see their parents until their first court appearance. There, Nasser’s mom worked up the courage to ask her son from across the courtroom how he was doing, but soldiers cut her off.

After the sentencing — to six months in prison and the equivalent of a $1,600 fine — the fear and mistreatment subsided, turning into boredom. Informal agreements with prison administrators allow adult Palestinian prisoners to care for the kids. Families can’t visit their children for the first three months — the average length of time it takes to obtain permits through the International Committee of the Red Cross — and even then, they can only see their children through a glass. “He looked so tired,” Nasser’s mom said about her first visit. “I just wanted to hug him.”

Nasser and Usayed blushed and sometimes chuckled as they told their stories, looking younger than their 16 years. They talked about the huge party held in their honor when they were released: a convoy of cars packed with friends paraded them through town as at a wedding. Nasser was a bit more talkative, while Usayed mostly nodded his answers. His mother said that when his older brother came home from prison, he didn’t want to talk about it. “He thought that if he tells us the details, we’ll be very sad,” she said. But when Usayed came home, she added, the family barraged him with questions about the way he was treated. “Because in our mind, he’s the baby.”

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Ahmad Shamaly, photographed at his home in Bethlehem.

Photo: Anthony Tucker for The Intercept

Justice Under Occupation 

Like Nasser and Usayed, many of the children interviewed by The Intercept denied throwing stones or participating in demonstrations — but others readily admitted they did.

Ahmad Shamaly, a 16-year-old from Bethlehem, told The Intercept that when soldiers arrested him last January, he at first denied throwing stones. When interrogators showed him two videos that appeared to show him doing just that, he again denied it. Then, he said, an interrogator warned him, “If you don’t confess, we’re going to use another method.”

Ahmad had heard from friends that he would be held in solitary confinement until he confessed — or worse. “I knew the other method,” he said. “Since I knew what happened to other people, I said I’ll take the shortcut.” He asked to see the videos again and confessed to throwing stones only in the instance in which the video evidence against him was undeniable. He ended up serving four months in prison, getting out on the first day of his finals, which he passed without studying.

When I asked him whether he thought the punishment had been fair or proportionate, Ahmad hesitated. Then his older brother, who had listened in on the conversation, butted in. “You’re under occupation. You’re on your own land. You’re not guilty of anything.”

“We’re not saying that all Palestinian children are innocent; we’re not saying that no Palestinian child has ever thrown a stone or stabbed a soldier,” said Awadallah, noting the irony that the children of Israeli settlers frequently throw stones or attack Palestinians, often under the eyes of Israeli soldiers who do nothing to stop them. (Even though they live in the West Bank, settlers committing crimes are prosecuted under the Israeli criminal justice system, not the military one used for Palestinians.)

“What we are saying is that, no matter what they did, no matter their innocence or guilt, no child should be treated this way.”

Stein, of B’Tselem, said the Israeli public hailed the creation of the court as proof of the country’s humane values and human rights standards. “When you get to the military juvenile court, it doesn’t do anything,” she said. “It looks better. The courtroom is bigger. The atmosphere is nicer. But it stops there. … But Israel is still proud of that. They do not let the facts bother them.”

As with adults, Stein noted, proceedings for minors rarely see the introduction of evidence or witnesses. Sentences are almost always decided in plea bargains, and extension of detention proceedings — by which the military extends children’s pretrial detention in order to obtain confessions or force a plea — continue to happen in adult courts. “All the cases are based on either the admission of the minor or framing by somebody else, usually another minor that was detained and interrogated and threatened,” said Stein. “It’s a twisted system. It’s hard to call it a justice system. … It’s called a court, but it’s something else.”

“All the military courts represent the interests of the Israeli occupation, not Palestinian society,” she added, noting systemic due process issues were only a reflection of a much broader problem with the courts’ very legitimacy. “A child who is throwing stones shouldn’t go to jail.”

Ahed Tamimi speaks over the phone after journalsist and relatives left her house in Nabi Saleh on July 29, 2018 following the release of the Tamimi women.

Ahed takes a phone call after journalists and relatives left her house after post-release festivities wound down.

Photo: Samar Hazboun for The Intercept

On Sunday, Ahed and her mother called on the public not to forget about the hundreds of Palestinian children who remain in Israeli prisons — and those otherwise impacted by the occupation.

“Our children are the future, they are the future of our struggle, and we should always make sure that we support them in pursuing their freedom and in pursuing their rights,” Nariman Tamimi said at a press conference hours after her release. “Because the children are the salt of the earth, because they are our future, we need to stand behind them, and we need to make sure that they have the strength to continue and move forward.”

But in line with her message, she let her daughter do most of the talking.

“Of course, I felt extremely happy to be released from prison,” Ahed told the crowd, visibly exhausted by the emotions of the day, but powering through unperturbed, a natural in the spotlight. “But my happiness was not full because I have brothers and sisters who remain in prison.”

“My happiness will be fulfilled when they are released.”

Top photo: Ahed Tamimi, right, with her father, Bassem, and her mother, Nariman, arrive in Nabi Saleh following the womens’ release on July 29, 2018.

Palestinian child killings by israel (apartheid state) spike in 2018

Palestinian child killings spike in 2018

Maureen Clare Murphy

Women and girls mourn over body of youth wrapped in PFLP flags with a wreath placed on his torso

Relatives of Arkan Mizher, killed by Israeli soldiers during a raid, mourn over his body during his funeral in Dheisheh refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, 23 July.

Wisam Hashlamoun APA images

Israeli occupation forces raiding a refugee camp in the West Bank shot a 14-year-old boy in the chest, killing him, on Monday.

Arkan Thaer Halami Mizher was wounded as residents of Dheisheh camp near the city of Bethlehem confronted raiding soldiers.

“Israeli forces closed the main road, preventing ambulances from reaching the area,” Defense for Children International Palestine stated. The boy was taken in a private car to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Such raids are commonplace throughout the West Bank.

Israeli occupation forces conducted around 7,200 night raids on homes across the West Bank in the year 2010, according to Al-Haq, a human rights group based in the territory.

The pre-dawn raids, undertaken without a warrant or notice while residents are typically asleep, are used to ensure Israel’s “subjugation of the Palestinian population and as a method of social control,” Al-Haq states.

Palestinians living in Dheisheh refugee camp are constantly subjected to such raids.

Night raids

Smiling boy wearing dress shirt and bow-tie sits on chair in what appears to be a wedding hall
Arkan Mizher

Raed al-Salhi, a 22-year-old camp resident, died in September 2017, one month after being shot seven times at close range during a raid on his home.

“Night raids have become something usual for Dheisheh,” another camp resident told The Electronic Intifada last year. “We often wake up to the smell of tear gas and never sleep deeply – you must keep one eye open to protect your family as much as you can.”

The boy fatally wounded during Monday’s raid on Dheisheh was the sixth Palestinian child slain by Israeli forces in July.

“Israeli forces regularly fire live ammunition during night raids in the West Bank,” Ayed Abu Eqtaish of Defense for Children International Palestine stated.

“Live ammunition is a lethal amount of force and puts Palestinian children at grave risk.”

At least 31 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel so far this year, according to Defense for Children International Palestine. No children are among the nine Israelis killed by Palestinians in 2018.

Child fatalities spike

Defense for Children International Palestine has noted that the number of Palestinian child fatalities in the first half of 2018 was nearly three times that of the same period last year.

Eighteen of those killings took place in the context of the Great March of Return protests along Gaza’s eastern perimeter beginning in late March.

More than 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza since then, 115 of them during protests. Another 4,200 Palestinians in Gaza were wounded by live ammunition during that period.

The youngest among those killed was Yasir Abu al-Naja, 11, who died instantly after being shot in the head during protests east of Khan Younis on 29 June.

Five children in Gaza were killed with live fire and missiles in July.

Two 14-year-old boys sitting on the rooftop of a building were killed in an airstrike on 14 July.

Children’s bodies withheld

Israel is withholding the bodies of two Palestinian children killed by its forces.

Khaled Abd al-Al, 17, and three others were shot at after crossing the boundary fence with Israel and setting a military post on fire near Rafah, southernmost Gaza, on 2 July.

“An eyewitness told [Defense for Children International Palestine] that the group was running away toward the Palestinian side of the fence when they came under heavy fire and Khaled was struck by live ammunition,” the group reported.

“Israeli soldiers then dragged Khaled away by his hands, according to the eyewitness, and his family was later notified of his death,” Defense for Children International Palestine added.

Yusif Abu Jazar, 15, reportedly died in an Israeli hospital after he was shot while attempting to cross the boundary fence on 29 April. His body has not yet been returned to his family.

Senior Israeli officer Zvika Fogel explained that same month how army snipers take deliberate aim at children, only firing when given the order by a superior.

“To my great sorrow, sometimes when you shoot at a small body and you intended to hit his arm or shoulder, it goes even higher,” Fogel said in an attempt to justify the deaths of children.

 

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