Video: Fighting to show the truth in Gaza

Video: Fighting to show the truth in Gaza

 

“I want to change my perspective, go and see different places in the world,” says Ezz Zanoun, a Palestinian photographer in Gaza.

In 2006, Ezz witnessed his brother Mohammad, a photographer, get hit by an Israeli missile that exploded 10 meters from him.

Mohammad was severely injured, but eventually recovered.

The incident motivated Ezz to pick up the camera and start taking pictures. He photographs Israeli assaults on Gaza, but also daily life, hardship and beauty in the Strip.

“Although we are tied up and besieged, and every day I’m personally affected by the siege,” Ezz says, “we keep fighting to tell people the truth.”

While he is grounded in Gaza, Ezz adds, “My pictures get to travel around the world every day.”

Video by ActiveStills

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Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (09– 15 November 2017)

Source

A house belonging to the family of Nemer al-Jamal was blown up in Beit Sorik villageA house belonging to the family of Nemer al-Jamal was blown up in Beit Sorik village

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

(09 – 15 November 2017)

 

  • Israeli forces continued to apply the collective punishment policy
  • A house belonging to the family of Nemer al-Jamal was blown up in Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces conducted 89 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 similar incursions in Jerusalem.
  • 82 civilians, including 20 children and 2 women, were arrested.
  • 34 of them, including 19 children and the 2 women, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.
  • Israeli forces continue to target the border areas in the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
  • Israeli authorities continue to make a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • A shop and part of a house were self-demolished in Silwan village.
  • Israeli forces demolished an under-construction building and agricultural facility in al-‘Issawiyah village.
  • A storehouse was demolished, and a container was confiscated in al-Joz Valley neighbourhood.
  • Israeli forces continue settlement activities in the West Bank
  • A waterline supplying 250 dumums planted with onion was levelled in al-Baqi’ah area in the Northern Jordan Valley.
  • A road was built for military purposes, and 300 meters of the road between ‘Atouf and al-Ras al-Ahmar were destroyed.
  • Israeli forces continued to target the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea.
  • 4 shooting incidents targeting the Palestinian fishing boats occurred in the Northern Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 10th
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 14 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children, were arrested at the checkpoints in the West Bank.

 

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (09 – 15 November 2017).

 

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces continued to use force against the protests in the West Bank.  In the Gaze Strip, They also continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Sea and target farmers and houses in the border areas.

 

In the Gaza Strip, as part of targeting fishermen in the sea, PCHR monitored the Israeli naval forces’ escalation against fishermen in the Gaza Sea although it was announced that the Gaza fishermen are allowed to sail to 9 nautical miles instead of 6.  This proves that the Israeli forces continue their policy of targeting fishermen in their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, Israeli gunboats chased fishing boats and opened fire at them 4 times; 3 of them in the north-western Beit Lahia and one in the western Soudaniyah area, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 09 November 2017, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Gaza Valley village in the central  Gaza Strip opened fire at the agricultural lands along the eastern areas.

 

On 13 November 2017, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of ‘Abasan al-Kabirah.  As a result in both incidents, farmers there were terrified and forced to flee and leave their work behind.  Neither casualties nor property damage was reorted.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to use force against the protests organized by Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders against the annexation wall, confiscation of lands and crimes of settlement expansion.  During the reporting period, dozens of Palestinian civilians, international human rights defenders and Israelis organized protests in Ni’lin and Bil’in villages, west of Ramallah, al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, and Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests. As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 89 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank while they conducted 7 incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 48 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank while 34 civilians, including 19 children and 2 women, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

Collective Punishment Measures:

 

As part of the collective punishment policy applied by the Israeli forces against the families of Palestinians accused of and/or carried out attacks against the Israeli soldiers and/or settlers, on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, Israeli soldiers blew up a house belonging to the family of Nemer Mahmoud al-Jamal in Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem.  The house is an apartment in a residential building.  As a result of blowing up the house, the other apartments in the building sustained severe damage in addition to the nearby houses.  Residents of the area said that their houses are in danger of collapse due to the severe damage and cracked walls.  It should be mentioned that al-Jamal carried out an armed attack on 27 September 2017 against the soldiers stationed at the entrance to “Har Adar” settlement and killed 3 of them before al-Jamal being killed by an Israeli military force in the area.

 

Measures to Make a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem

 

As part of house demolitions and demolition notices, on 11 November 2017, ‘Abdel Moghni Dweik self-demolished parts of his house in al-Bustan neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of Jerusalem’s Old City, upon a decision by the Israeli municipality, which threatened him of demolishing the house and charging him with all the demolition costs, which are usually very high.  Dweik said that the Israeli Municipality threatened to fine him with 80,000 shekels.  He added that he built his house 2 years ago and tried to obtain a license but in vain, noting that the 60-square-meter house sheltered 4 family members.

 

On 14 November 2017, Amin al-‘Abasi self-demolished his shop in ‘Ayn al-Lozah neighborhood in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City, upon the Israeli Municipality’s decision.  The abovementioned civilian said that his 55-square-meter shop was built of reinforced sheet 2 years ago.  It should be mentioned that in the latest incursion, the municipality officers orally threatened of forcing him to pay the demolition costs in case he did not self-demolish the shop.

 

On 15 November 2017, Israeli municipality’s heavy vehicles demolished an under-construction building belonging to Ibrahim Salamah in al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of East Jerusalem, without any prior warning.

 

Following this, an Israeli municipality bulldozer demolished an agricultural facility belonging to ‘Omer Dari and comprised of rooms built of tin plates and a storehouse in al-‘Issawiyah village. Meanwhile in al-Joz Valley neighborhood, the Israeli municipality and Nature Authority crews demolished a storehouse and confiscated a container.

 

Settlement Activities and Settlers’ Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and their property:

 

As part of the demolition of houses and other civil facilities, on 13 November 2017, Israeli forces built a road for military purposes passing in the civilians’ lands in al-Ras al-Ahmar area in the Northern Jordan Valley.  Meanwhile, the Israeli forces destroyed 300 meters of the road between ‘Atouf and al-Ras al-Ahmar.

 

On the same day, the Israeli forces levelled a 70-meter waterline belonging to al-Baqi’ah Modern Company in al-Baqi’ah area in the Northern Jordan Valley.  This waterline supplied 250 dunums planted with onion, so this would cause severe damage to the area.

 

On the same day, the Israeli forces established an iron gate, which is the third of its kind in al-Khelat in al-Ras al-Ahmar area in the Northern Jordan Valley.  Therefore, civilians and owners of lands can hardly reach their lands in al-Baqi’ah area.

 

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 09 November 2017, Israeli settlers in the outposts in Hebron’s Old City set up tents in al-Ibrahimiyah yard adjacent to the Ibrahimi Mosque to receive the settlers coming to the city to celebrate the “Sarah Shabbat.”

 

On 11 November 2017, Israeli settlers raided an archeological tomb, claiming it is a tomb for one of their ancestors namely “Othniel.”  The tomb is a Palestinian archeological building on Beersheba Street where the religious rituals are held.  While the Israeli soldiers were protecting settlers, an Israeli soldier attacked Ahmed Merwan Hadib (16) by hitting him with the riffle’s nozzle.  As a result, Ahmed started to bleed and then taken to the government hospital in the city.  A number of young men threw stones at the Israeli soldiers; meanwhile, the settlers left the area and went back behind Checkpoint 56 after finishing their religious rituals.  The soldiers then randomly fired sound bombs and gas canisters at the civilians, and one of the sound bombs fell in front of Salah Wa’ed al-Zarou (22), who suffers from a mental disorder. A number of soldiers attacked him and started severely hitting him with the riffles’ butts and kicking him.  He was then handcuffed, blindfolded and taken to the abovementioned military checkpoint.  He was later released and taken by a PRCS ambulance to the government hospital in the city to receive medical treatment.

 

 

Restrictions on movement:

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people.  The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy.  They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons.  Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.

 

 

Details

 

  1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

 

Thursday, 09 November 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Qabatyah village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested 4 civilians namely Mustafa Hamdi Zakarnah (20), Mahmoud ‘Ali Jaber Zakarnah (22), Ahmed Sati Abu al-Rab (24), and Jawad Hasan kamil (19).

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aydah refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Khader Abu Rafi’ah and Khader J’aiwi (55).

 

  • At approximately 08:20, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Gaza Valley (Johr al-Deek) in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in the eastern areas. As a result, the farmers were forced to leave their work fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 10:00, dozens of Israeli soldiers moved into the vicinity of al-Mutanabi, al-Hajeriah, and al-Khalil Primary Schools in al-Hasin Valley area in the southern area in Hebron. This area is adjacent to the street used by the Israeli settlers from “Kiryat Arba” settlement established on confiscated lands, east of the city, to reach the Ibrahimi Mosque. The raid occured to ban establishing a celebration to be held by students on the 13th death anniversary of the Late Palestinian President Yasser ‘Arafat. The soldiers forced the students and school staff to cancel the celebration for security claims and threatened to fire tear gas canisters at the schools if the students and staffs did not obey their orders. Meanwhile, further Israeli backups arrived accompanying a settler known as “Ofer”, who cursed and insulted the teachers and students. The Israeli forces arrested 2 teachers from al-Mutanabi School namely as Ibrahim Rateb Ibrahim Zaherda (32) and Rashad Ahmed Ezreqat (28) and took them to “Kiryat Arba” settlement to interrogate them.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Betounia village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Mohammed Maher al-Shawamrah (22) and Abdullah Abdul Karim al-Tarri (28).

 

  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces moved from “Carmi Tsur” settlement into al-Thaher area, south of Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. The soldiers deployed between houses and topped roofs of several houses belonging to Baher family. A number of youngsters gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who fired tear gas canisters at them in response. However, no incidents were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Shuweikah Suburb, east of Tulkarm; Bruqin and Kafer al-Deek villages, west of Salfit; Sa’ir, Bani Na’im, al-Burj, and Deir Samet villages in Hebron.

 

Friday, 03 November 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Ya’bud village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Khalid Fathi Zaki Abdullah Abu Baker (20), Mahmoud Bassam Hamarshah (19) and Noor Eden Mahmoud Ibrahim Qabha (22).

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Shuweikah Suburb, east of Tulkarm; Far’oun village, south of the city; Bruqin and Kafer al-Deek villages, west of Salfit; Birzeit village, northwest of Ramallah; al-Shuyoukh and Beit Awla villages in Hebron.

 

Saturday 11 November 2017:

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 4 civilians namely Mohammed (20), Ehab Hasan Wushahi (21), Omer Mohammed al-Sa’di (20), and Yahya Mahmoud Balalu (26).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Kafer Dan village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and then handed summonses to 4 civilians namely Mohammed  Mohyee Eden Salah (21), Maher Hani ‘Abed (200, Baraa’ Mohammed Sobhi ‘Abed (19), and Ahmed Abdul Rahman ‘Abed (26),  to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in Salem military camp, west of the city.

 

  • At approximately 06:25, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and chased them. The shooting continued for 20 minutes. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 08:05, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (9) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Dura, Deir al-‘Asal, Beit Ummer and Sa’ir villages in Hebron; Shuweikeh Suburb, east of Tulkarm; Nazlah and Baqah al-Sharqiyah villages, north of the city; Far’oun village, south of the city, and Deir Ballout village, west of Salfit.

 

Sunday, 12 November 2017:

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Wa’el Khalil ‘Atallah (23), ‘Omran (28) and his brother Ma’ali ‘Essa Ma’ali (36).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Beit Awa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Na’im Abdul Hamid Masalmah (36) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Walid Mohammed Nowarah and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into Taqou’ village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Muhanned Husain Abdul Khalil al-Badan (20) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (13) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Hebron, Tulkarm, al-Burj village, Shuweikah Suburb, and Noor Shams refugee camp, east of the city; ‘Ezbet Shufah village, southeast of the city; Qafin, Baqah al-Sharqiyah, Zetaa, Nazlet ‘Essa villages, Nazlet Abu al-Nar, al-Nazlah al-Wusta, north of the city, and Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron.

 

Monday, 13 November 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Yatta, south of Hebron, and stationed in al-Faqir and Roq’ah neighborhood. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Mahmoud Jebril Makhmrah (51), Nezar Mousa Mohammed (21) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 00:50, Israeli force moved into Kafer al-Deek village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched a house belonging to Nabil Abdullah ‘Ali Ahmed (55) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Arabah village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Tareq Husaim ‘Awad Dar Husain Qa’dan (45) and then arrested him. It should be noted that Qa’dan is member of the Islamic Jehad Movement in the West Bank.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Taqou’ village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Mohammed Na’el Hamdah (20) and Yusuf Jamal Sabbah (18).

 

  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron, and stationed near Tomb of prophet Matta (Matthew) in the center of the city. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Abdul Jawad Ekhleil (55) and then arrested his son Amir (19).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Waljah village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Husam Omer Abu Khalifa (17) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands located into the east of ‘Abasan al-Kabirah. As a result, the farmers were forced to leave their work and flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Hebron, Halhoul, al-Thaheriyah, Ethna, Baqah al-Sharqiyah, Zeta and Nazlet al-Nar villages, northeast of Tulkarm.

 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

 

  • At approximately 00:30, Israeli forces moved into Qafin village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed ‘Adel Mahmoud ‘Ammar (23) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Siada village, northeast of Tulkarm. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Eyad Lutfi al-Ashqer (24) and Nidal Bilal ‘Ajaj (22) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 00:50, Israeli forces moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested 3 civilians namely ‘Alaa’ Abu Shanab (22), Khaldoun Mohammed al-Qetta (23), and Hesham Rabah Farij (24).

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron, and stationed in Khelat al-‘Ein, al-Ettesalat and al-Khellah neighborhoods. They raided and searched 4 houses belonging to Mohammed ‘Essa Mousa ‘Awad, ‘Essa Mohammed Mousa ‘Awad, whose house windows were broken by the soldiers, Montaser Abdul Hamid ‘Awad where the Israeli soldiers damaged the floor tiles claiming to search for weapons, and Mohammed Kamel Mousa Za’aqiq. After three hours, the Israeli forces withdrew, and no arrests were reported.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 3 civilians namely ‘Ali Yusuf Kamil (32), Abdul Rahman Mohammed al-Rab (30), and Ibrahim Khalid Saba’nah (22).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Bara’a Saleh ‘Ata. The soldiers locked the family members in one room and searched the house for 3 hours. They then arrested Bara’a’s brother Nidal Saleh ‘Ata (19). They also confiscated about NIS 5,000.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mo’ath ‘Ammar Haroun (30) and then arrested him. It should be noted that Mo’ath is a former prisoner since 2012 as he served 2 years imprisonment in the Israeli prisons.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron, and stationed into the west of the village. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Tareq Ibrahim ‘Awad (25) and Mohammed ‘Ali Abu jahishah (30) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 16:30, Israeli forces moved into Tulkarm for the second time. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Jamal Abu Hasnah (22) and then arrested him.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (14) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-Samou’, Karmah, Deir Razeh villages and Dura in Hebron; Shuweikah Suburb, Noor Shams refugee camp, ‘Atil, ‘Alar, Deir al-Ghusoun and Bal’a villages, north of Tulkarm; Nazelt ‘Essa and al-Jaroushiyah villages, southeast of the city; Joyous village, north of Qalqiliyah; and Deir Estia village, northwest of Salfit.

 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Obaidiyah village, east of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Amin Dawoud al-‘Esawi and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 08:30, Israeli gunboats sailing offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boat sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: ‘ Ejjah village, south of Jenin, Fahmah village, southwest of the city, and Howrah village, south of Nablus.

 

 

Demonstrations in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following Friday prayer on 10 November 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians, international human rights defenders and Israelis organized protests in Ni’lin and Bil’in villages, west of Ramallah, al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, and Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased the protesters into olive fields and between houses. As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers.

 

  • Following the end of Friday prayer, dozens of civilians from Kherbet Qalqas, east of Hebron, organized a protest at the southern entrance to the village that has been closed by the Israeli forces for 17 years under security claims, hindering the movement of the village residents. Large Israeli forces arrived at the area, and an Israeli officer in the Civil Administration known as “Hariz” promised the residents to find solutions. However, the soldiers threatened the residents if they do not leave the area they will use force to disperse them. It should be noted that the village residents are about 1300 persons, who take dirt roads while others use the entrance, which is closed with sand down to the main street. During those years, 7 deaths were reported in the village due to run-over accidents by the vehicles on the bypass road when civilians walk on it.

 

Collective Punishment Procedures:

 

  • As part of the collective punishment policy applied by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian families of those accused of carrying out attacks against the Israeli forces and/or settlers, on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, Israeli forces blew up a house belonging to the family of Nemer Mahmoud al-Jamal from Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem.

According to PCHR’s investigation and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 05:00 on Wednesday, large force of Israeli soldiers moved into Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem and imposed a security cordon on it. They then surrounded the neighborhood, raided the house of Nemer Mahmoud al-Jamal and forced its residents, who were about 15 persons, to leave it immediately. The soldiers also evacuated the neighboring houses and gathered all the residents in a school yard in the village. Following that, special forces planted a big amount of explosives in the house, which is an apartment in a residential building and then blew it up.  As a result, the apartment was demolished, and the other apartments sustained cracks. Moreover, the owners of the neighboring houses said that their houses might collapse due to the material damage as the walls cracked. It should be noted that the Israeli forces handed the family through their lawyer an evacuation decision until the 4th of this month in preamble to demolish it. They also raided the house on 09 November 2017 and handed al-Jamal family a decision to evacuate the house within a week to demolish it. It should be noted that al-Jamal carried out an armed attack on 27 September 2017 against Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrance to “Har Adar” settlement. As a result, 3 soldiers were killed and then al-Jamal was killed by an Israeli military force that was in the area.

 

  1. Continued closure of the oPt

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Gaza Strip

 

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.

Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

 

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

 

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

 

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested.

Movement at Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, southeast of Rafah, is designated for the movement of goods

 

Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing, in the north of the Gaza Strip, is designated for the movement of individuals, and links the Gaza Strip with the West Bank.

Note:

PCHR apologizes for not publishing the tables of the Movement at Beit Hanoun and Karm Abu Salem Crossings and will publish them in the weekly report next week.

 

Israel has imposed a tightened closure on the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians:

 

  • Hebron: Israeli forces established (17) checkpoints all over the city.

On Thursday 09 November 2017, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummer village and al-Fawar refugee camps.

On Friday, 10 November 2017, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Dahiriyia and al-Hadab villages and at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp.

On Saturday, 11 November 2017, 4 similar checkpoints were established at the entrances to Yatta, Samou’a, and al- Simah villages and on al-Fahes road, south of Hebron.

On Sunday, 12 November 2017, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Ethna and Sureef villages, at the western entrance to Hebron, and at the entrance to ‘Oyoun Abu Said Road.

On Monday, 13 November 2017, 2 similar checkpoints were established at the northern entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to al-Shayyoukh village.

On Tuesday, 14 November 2017, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to Hebron and at the northern entrance to Halhoul village.

 

Qalqiliyia: Israeli forces established (4) checkpoints all over the city.

At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 09 November 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyia.

On 11 November 2017, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia and at the entrance to ‘Azoun village, east of the city.

At approximately 13:20 on Sunday, 12 November 2017, Israeli forces re-established the checkpoint again.

 

Salfit: Israeli forces established (4) checkpoints all over the city.

At approximately 10:25 on Thursday, 09 November 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Salfit.

On 11 November 2017, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Salfit and at the entrance to Kaful Hares village, north of the city. At approximately 13:25 on Sunday, 12 November 2017, the Israeli forces re-established the checkpoint again at the entrance to Kaful Hares village.

 

Tulkarm:

At approximately 13:20 on Sunday, 12 November 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Tulkarm.

 

Maltreatment at Checkpoints 

 

  • On Thursday, 09 November 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the main entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. They searched Palestinian civilians’ vehicles and checked their IDs. During which, an Israeli soldier severely beat Ramiz Yehia Rahimy (17), from Beit Rimah village.

Ramiz said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

At approximately 13:30 on Thursday, 09 November 2017, while I was crossing the military checkpoint established at the entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, returning to my house in Beit Rimah village, an Israeli soldier approached the vehicle I was in and ordered the all the passengers to step out of the vehicle. The soldier then approached and told me in Arabic “give me your ID card” I told him that my ID card is not with me. In the meantime, he pulled a stick and then started hitting me throughout my body and I was shouting. The soldier stopped beating me and then ordered the driver to take me to the vehicle. The driver then took me to Yaser ‘Arafat Hospital in Salfit, where the X-ray showed that I sustained fracture to the right hand and sustained bruises throughout my body. I was treated and exited hospital on the same day.”

 

 

Arrests at Military Checkpoints:

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, 09 November 2017, Israeli forces stationed at the northern entrance to Bethlehem, arrested Ahmed Muhanad al-‘Izzah (11), from al-‘Izzah refugee camp, north of the city. The Israeli forces took Ahmed to an unknown destination without revealing the arrest reasons.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Friday, 10 November 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ya’boud village, branching from Nablus-Jenin Street. The Israeli forces stopped Palestinian civilians’ vehicles and checked the passengers’ IDs. They then arrested Mohamed Khalid Sa’ied Kamil (22), from Qabatia village, southeast of the city.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Dahiriyia village, south of Hebron. The Israeli forces stopped Palestinian civilians’ vehicles and checked the passengers’ IDs. They then arrested Ahmed ‘Amer Nassar (21), from Madamah village, south of Nablus.

 

  • At approximately 17:30 on Friday, 10 November 2017, Israeli forces arrested the Jerusalem’s Suburbs Police Chief, Colonel Ali al-Qumiri, while he was on his way back home in Ramallah. He was arrested at a military checkpoint in “Gosh ‘Etzion” area, south of Bethlehem. The Israeli forces claimed that Ali was arrested because he has secret information, so his detention was extended. The Jerusalem’s Suburb Police stated that the Colonel Ali al-Qumiri is arrested pending investigation in al-Maskobiyia Police Station in West Jerusalem. Persons close to Ali said that his arrest may be on grounds of chasing drug dealers and thieves by the Jerusalem’s Suburb Police. On Sunday, 12 November, Ali was released.

 

  • At approximately 21:00 on Friday, Israeli forces arrested 4 civilians, including 2 children, from Nahaleen village, west of Bethlehem, while they were at the eastern entrance to the village. The Israeli forces claimed that the Israeli forces chased and then arrested a number of Palestinian young men attempted to sneak into “Neve Daniel” settlement in “Gosh Etzion” Complex, south of Bethlehem. The arrested persons were then taken to the Israeli Intelligence Service for interrogation. The arrested persons were identified as Mo’min Mohamed Mahmoud Fanoun (22), Mahmoud Ibrahim Fanoun (27), Dawoud Mahmoud Fanoun (17), and Jamal Mohamed Fanoun (17).

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 13 November 2017, Israeli forces stationed at a military checkpoint established at the entrance to al-Salimah neighborhood, north of al-Ibrahim Mosque in Hebron’s Old City, arrested 3 children while heading to school. The Israeli forces claimed that the children threw stones at the Israeli soldiers. The children were then taken to al-Ibrahim Mosque police station and then handed him to the Palestinian Liaison. The children were identified as Samer Hussain Nahnoush (12), Othman Ibrahim Murad (11), and Abed al-Raheem Abed al-‘Azeez al-Rajbi (12).

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Monday, Israeli forces arrested Khalil Zahran Abu Qubitah (26), from Roq’a neighborhood in Yatta, south of Hebron, after stopping him at a military checkpoint at the northern entrance to the city.

 

  • At approximately 20:00 on Monday, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near al-Majd Petrol Station between ‘Aqabah and Tubas. The Israeli forces stopped Palestinian civilians’ vehicles and checked the passengers’ IDs. They then arrested Mohammed Jameel Moahmed Sawaftah (30).

 

  • On Wednesday, 15 November 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jabi’ village, south of Jenin. The Israeli forces stopped Palestinian civilians’ vehicles and checked the passengers’ IDs. They then arrested Ma’moun Ghasan Abu ‘Oun (25), from Qabatia village, southeast of the city.

 

Efforts to Create Jewish majority

 

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

 

  • Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • At approximately 00:00 on Thursday, 09 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Nemer al-Jamal and handed his family a decision to vacate the house within this week to demolish it.

 

  • At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces moved into Hizmah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Khattab al-Khatib and arrested his son Suliman (24) and his daughter Mervat.

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 10 November 2017, Israeli forces arrested Rami ‘Emad Mmansour (19), from Qalandia refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem. Rami was arrested while he was near “Kochav Ya’akov” settlement, northeast of the city. The Israeli police later issued a statement claiming that Rami was arrested under the pretext of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the area.

 

  • At approximately 18:30 on Saturday, 11 November 2017, Israeli forces arrested Ameer Khalid Abu Mefreh (15) while walking in al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

 

  • At approximately 01:30 on Sunday, 12 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into many neighborhoods in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched many houses from which they arrested 5 civilians, including 4 children. The arrested persons were then taken to al-Mascobiyia police center in West Jerusalem. They arrested persons were identified as Abed al-Rahman Showiki (14), Qusai Husam Zaitoun (13), ‘Imran Mofeed Mansour (15), Mahdi Mofeed Mansour (12) and Khalid Waleed Abu Maiyalah (20).

 

  • At approximately 18:00 on Sunday, Israeli forces moved into Beit Haninah neighborhood, north of occupied Jerusalem. They raided a house belonging to the colonel in the Palestinian police, Hussain al-Kasawani, who was not home during the incursion. The Israeli forces then arrested his wife and 2 children, taking them to a police station in “Prophet Jacob” Colonel Hussain al-Kasawani said that the Israeli forces along with Israeli Intelligence officers raided and searched his house for 3 hours and then arrested his wife and 2 children. He added that the Israeli forces called him and summoned him for interrogation. Al-Kasawani said that the Israeli Intelligence Service did not tell him anything about the arrest or summons reasons. It should be noted that the Israeli forces arrested the Police Chief of Jerusalem’s Suburbs, Colonel Ali al-Qumairi, 2 days ago and asked him about the Palestinian Security Services’ activities in the areas around occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli forces released later him.

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 14 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into many neighborhoods in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched many houses from which they arrested 5 children. The arrested children were identified as Mo’taz Abdullah Zaytoun (15), Mohamed Zaytoun (16), Qusai Nidal al-Rajbi (11), ‘Odai al-Rajbi (16) and Mahdi Qara’een (14).

 

  • At approximately 03:00 on Tuesday, 14 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Baraa’ Khalil ‘Isaa (22) and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 00:30 on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested 16 civilians, including 7 children. The arrested persons were then taken to Salah al-Deen Police Station for investigation. PCHR keeps the names of the arrested persons.

 

  • House Demolitions and Notices:

 

  • On Saturday, 11 November 2017, ‘Abed al-Moghni al-Doweek self-demolished parts of his house in al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, after the Israeli municipality threatened to demolish his house and force him to pay all demolition costs. Al-Doweek said that on Saturday, he vacated his house contents and then demolished it to implement the Municipality decision. The Israeli Municipality threatened him to fine him with NIS 80,000, unless he demolished it himself. Abed al- Moghni said that his house was built 2 years ago and he attempted to license it but in vain. The abovementioned 60-square-meter house was comprised of 2 rooms and sheltered 4 persons.

 

  • On Friday, 10 November 2017, the Israeli Municipality staff, under the Israeli forces’ protection, moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The Municipality staff took photos of the houses and streets in many neighborhoods before handing house demolition notices to civilian under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

  • On Monday, 13 November 2017, the Israeli Municipality staff took photos of shops in al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. Mohamed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, said that the Israeli Municipality staff accompanied with an Israeli military force moved into al-‘Issawiyia village and took photos of 5 shops, including a pharmacy. He also said that the Municipality staff hanged a decision to vacate and remove a commercial container in the village. It should be noted in the morning that the Municipality staff handed administrative demolition notices and summonses for many civilians, ordering them to refer to the Israeli Municipality, west of the city, regarding their houses under the pretext of building without licenses.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Monday, 13 November 2017, Ameen al-‘Abasi self-demolished his shop in ‘Ain al-Louza neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to implement the Israeli Municipality decision. Ameen said that he forced to demolish his house after the Israeli Municipality raided his shop many times and 2 weeks ago the Municipality raided the shop and hanged a demolition decision issued by the Israeli Court. The Israeli Municipality gave Ameen 30 days to carry out the demolition. Ameen said that his 55-square-meter shop was built of tin plates 2 years ago. It should be noted that the Israeli Municipality staff orally threatened him of paying the Municipality’s demolition costs, if he did not obey the orders.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, Israeli Municipality bulldozer without prior warning demolished an under-construction residential building in al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

Mohamed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, said that the Israeli forces accompanied with the Israeli Municipality staff and bulldozers moved into al-‘Issawiyia village and stationed in the center of the village.  The Israeli forces surrounded a residential building belonging to Ibrahim Mousa Salamah and denied him access to the building. They then demolished the building under the pretext of non-licensing. Ibrahim Salamah said that he was surprised with a phone call from one of the neighbors informing him of the demolition. When Ibrahim arrived at the village, the Israeli forces refused to allow him to enter the area until they finish the demolition. Ibrahim said that he received a demolition decision under the pretext of licensing months ago, and his lawyer managed to extend the demolition decision until Wednesday, 15 November 2017, but the Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished the building without waiting the court to issue the decision to stop the demolition. It should be noted that Salamah built the 350-square-meter building 8 months ago comprised of 2 floors and another one under-construction. Lately, the Israeli Municipality targeted al-‘Issawiyia village by raiding the village and taking photos of houses, buildings and shops.

 

  • In the same context, at approximately 12:00, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished an agricultural facility and storehouse in al-‘Issawiyia village. Mohamed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, said that the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished an agricultural facility comprised of many agricultural rooms built of tin plates. The agricultural facility belonging to Omar Dari was demolished under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that Dari attempted to license the facility and had a decision to stop the demolition. Abu al-Humus added that the demolition was in the area, which is threatened of confiscation in favor of the “National Park.”
  • In al-Joz Valley neighborhood, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, the Israeli Municipality accompanied with the Nature Authority staff demolished a storehouse and also confiscated a container in Imro’a al-Qais Street in Wad al-Jouz neighborhood.

 

  • Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 13 November 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with 2 military bulldozers moved into Ras al-Ahmar area in Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The bulldozers built a road for military purposes in the civilian’s lands. The road is 1000 meters long and 6 meters wide. While building the road, the Israeli forces destroyed parts of a road between ‘Atouf and Ras al-Ahmar. The destroyed parts were 300 meters long. This project was carried out at the end of 2016 and donated by institutions in the European Union (EU).

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer moved into al-Boq’iyia al-Haditha area in Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The bulldozer demolished a 700- meter -long water line belonging to al-Boq’iyia al-Haditha Company. It should be noted that the abovementioned water line was supplying a 250-dumums planted with onion. This demolition completely damaged the area.
  • At approximately 14:30 on Monday, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer and a crane moved into al-Khilaat area in al-Ras alAhmar in Northern Jordan Valley. They established an iron gate in the area, which is the 3rd one in the area. As a result, civilians and lands’ owner were denied access to their lands located in al-Boqi’a area.
  • On Tuesday, 14 November 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with a military vehicle and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Khelit al-Dabie’ area, between “Mitzpe Yair” and “Maon” settlements, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Jaber Ali al-Dababsah (39) a notice to stop construction and vacated his 40-square-meter house, which is comprised of 2 rooms built of bricks and roofed with tin plates, under the pretext of non-licensing. Jaber was given 7 days to carry out the orders.
  • At approximately 14:55 on Tuesday, Israeli forces accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Hares village, northwest of Salfit. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed a notice to stop building of an under-construction house belonging to Husam Ali Jaber. Moreover, Jameel Moahmed Dawoud was handed a notice to stop construction a barrack for breeding livestock, under the pretext of non-licensing in the area (C) which is under the Israeli control, according to Oslo Accord.
  • Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli Forces’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 13 November 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with 2 military bulldozers moved into Ras al-Ahmar area in Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The bulldozers built a 1000-meter road for military purposes on Palestinians’ lands. While building the road, the Israeli forces destroyed 300 meters of the road between ‘Atouf and Ras al-Ahmar.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer moved into al-Boq’iyia al-Haditha area in Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The bulldozer demolished a 700-meter waterline belonging to al-Boq’iyia Modern Company. It should be noted that the abovementioned waterline was supplying 250 dumums planted with onion, so this would completely damage the area.At approximately 14:30 on Monday, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer and crane moved into al-Khilaat area in al-Ras alAhmar in Northern Jordan Valley. They established an iron gate in the area, which is the 3rd of its kind in the area. As a result, civilians and lands’ owner were denied access to their lands in al-Boqi’a area.
  • On Tuesday, 14 November 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with a military vehicle and vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Khelit al-Dabie’ area, between “Mitzpe Yair” and “Maon” settlements, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Jaber Ali al-Dababsah (39) a notice to stop the construction and vacated his 40-square-meter house, which is comprised of 2 rooms built of bricks and roofed with tin plates, under the pretext of non-licensing. Jaber was given 7 days to apply the notice.
  • At approximately 14:55 on Tuesday, Israeli forces accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Hares village, northwest of Salfit. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed a notice to stop the construction works in an under-construction house belonging to Husam Ali Jaber. Moreover, Jameel Moahmed Dawoud was handed a notice to stop construction works in a barrack for breeding livestock under the pretext of non-licensing in Area (C) which is under the Israeli control, according to Oslo Accords.

 

  • Israeli settlers’ attacks

 

  • On Thursday, 09 November 2017, Israeli settlers from the outposts in Hebron’s Old City, set up tents in in al-Ibrahimiyah yard adjacent to the Ibrahimi Mosque in order to receive settlers coming to the city to celebrate the “Sarah Shabbat”. This coincided with the Israeli closure of the area and tightening the security measures in the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque and checkpoints leading to the Old City. The Israeli forces also prevented civilians outside the village from entering the area.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 11 November 2017, Israeli forces closed Bab al-Zawiyia area and Beersheba Street in the center of Hebron and forced the shops’ owners to close. A large force of Israeli soldiers and border guard officers deployed in the area in preparation for the arrival of Israeli settlers via the closed Shushed Street at an archeological site, which the settlers claim it is a tomb for one of their ancestors namely “Othniel.” The tomb is a Palestinian archeological building on Beersheba Street where the religious rituals are held.  While settlers were passing by, some of them attempted to climb to remove the Palestinian flags attached to the shops’ doors in the area.  The Palestinians who were in the area expressed their anger by chanting slogans and exclaiming Allah is great under the very eye of the Israeli soldiers.  During the soldiers’ movement between the gathered civilians, an Israeli soldier attacked Ahmed Merwan Hadib (16) by hitting him with the riffle’s nozzle.  As a result, Hadeeb started to bleed and then taken to the government hospital in the city.  A number of young men threw stones at the Israeli soldiers; meanwhile, the settlers left the area and went back behind Checkpoint 56 after finishing their religious rituals.  The soldiers then randomly fired sound bombs and gas canisters at the civilians, and one of the sound bombs fell in front of Salah Wa’ed al-Zarou (22), who suffers from a mental disorder.  As a result, his pants was torn, and a number of soldiers attacked him and started severely hitting him with the riffles’ butts and kicking him.  He was then handcuffed, blindfolded and taken to the abovementioned military checkpoint.  A number of civilians attempted to intervene so he would be released, but in vain.  His detention continued for a few hours before being released and taken by a PRCS ambulance to the government hospital in the city to receive medical treatment.

 

  • 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 in 2017 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.

UN Panel: Sanctions Needed Against israel to Stop Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine #BDS

Source

By Darius Shahtahmasebi

The U.N. recently launched a scathing critique of Israel’s occupation when the U.N. rapporteur for human rights in the occupied territories delivered a report condemning Israel’s conduct to date.

According to the report, published October 23, the “duration of this occupation is without precedent or parallel in today’s world.” In fact, Israel has “driven Gaza back to the dark ages” due to its particularly stringent denial of water and electricity and its restrictions on movement since 2007.

According to Mondoweiss, the U.N. rapporteur didn’t hold back at a press conference. He demanded the international community be held accountable for Israel’s actions:

“At a press conference about his report, S. Michael Lynk, a Canadian professor of law and human rights expert, said it is time the international community reach into its ‘toolbox’ of enforcement mechanisms, so as to ‘raise the stakes’ against the occupation and change international ‘opinion’ of Israel. The country had been worried by the Goldstone Report in 2009 and is today worried by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), Lynk said; so if the international community took ‘unified actions on an escalating basis’ to declare the occupation illegal and demand Israel’s withdrawal, Israel would respond.”

Mondoweiss suggested Mr. Lynk was indirectly advocating for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that has started to take off in recent years.

The report notes that the Special Rapporteur has indicated his desire to conduct a mission to the Occupied Palestinian Territory but that Israeli authorities have not granted permission. Even at the time of the report’s publication last week, he was yet to receive a reply from a request as far back as March this year. Conversely, the report even went so far as to thank the Palestinian government for its cooperation.

Regarding the human rights situation inflicted by the Israeli authorities, the report stated:

“In the 50th year of the occupation, the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is in a state of severe deterioration. The human rights and humanitarian law violations associated with the occupation impact every aspect of life for Palestinians living in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.”

The report didn’t hold back in its criticism of the illegality of Israel’s actions with respect to the occupied territories:

“In June 2017, Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory – the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza – marked its 50th anniversary. This is the longest-running military occupation in the modern world. Notwithstanding insistent calls by the international community, most recently in 2016, that the Israeli occupation must come to a complete end, that many of its features are in profound breach of international law, and that its perpetuation both violates the fundamental right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and undermines the possibility of a two-state solution, it has become more entrenched and harsher than ever. Indeed, the Israeli occupation has become a legal and humanitarian oxymoron: an occupation without end.”

Though most major media outlets have failed to pay much attention to the report, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Friday that the U.S. was “deeply disturbed” by the report’s findings and by Mr. Lynk’s support for the “economic and academic boycott” of Israel.

Considering the report’s content, Haley’s rejection of its findings is not remotely surprising. For example, while Mr. Lynk didn’t directly use the term apartheid, Mondoweiss notes that this is essentially what his report has accurately described. It stated:

“According to recent reports by the World Bank and the United Nations, the expanding Israeli settlement enterprise and the supporting apparatus of occupation has deepened the already separate and distinctly inferior civil and economic conditions imposed upon Palestinians in the West Bank. There, the Palestinians are subject to a harsh and arbitrary legal system quite unequal to that enjoyed by the Israeli settlers.”

The report also seemed to acknowledge something akin to ethnic cleansing, stating:

“Israel employs practices that in some cases may amount to the forcible transfer of Palestinians, primarily those living in rural areas, as a means of confiscating land for settlements…As for East Jerusalem, the occupation has increasingly detached it from its traditional national, economic, cultural and family connections with the West Bank because of the Wall, the growing ring of settlements and related checkpoints, and the discriminatory permit regime…”

While it is certainly progress to have the Special Rapporteur explicitly state the truth regarding Israel’s brutal occupation, America’s longstanding support of Israel will most likely entail that the country will have free rein to continue its discriminatory policies with impunity.

Setting the Stage to Commit a Massacre in Gaza

Setting the Stage to Commit a Massacre in Gaza

By Ilan Pappe,

Excerpt from Ilan Pappe’s book, The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories

Fifty years after the Six-Day War, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip shows no end in sight. Acclaimed historian Ilan Pappé provides a comprehensive and damning account of the occupation in his new book, The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories, based on groundbreaking archival research and eyewitness accounts. 

Ilan Pappé contends that Israel was preparing for a massive assault on Gaza since at least 2004. The following excerpt describes the militarization of Israeli policy towards Gaza leading up to the massacre of 2008-2009 known in Israel as Operation Cast Lead.

2004: The Dummy City 

In 2004 the Israeli army began building a dummy Arab city in the Negev Desert. It was the size of a real city, with streets (all of them given names), mosques, public buildings and cars. Built at a cost of $45 million, this phantom city became a fake Gaza in the winter of 2006, after Hezbollah fought Israel to a standstill in the north, so that the Israeli army could prepare to fight a ‘better war’ against Hamas in the south.

When the Israeli Chief of General Staff, Dan Halutz, visited the site after the Lebanon war, he told the press that soldiers ‘were preparing for the scenario that will unfold in the dense neighbourhood of Gaza City.’ A week into the bombardment of Gaza, Ehud Barak attended a rehearsal for the ground war. Foreign television crews filmed him as he watched ground troops conquer the mock city, storming the empty houses and no doubt killing the ‘terrorists’ hiding in them.

In 2009 the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence published a report of its members’, reserve soldiers’ and other soldiers’ preparation for Operation Cast Lead, when the attack on the dummy city was replaced by an assault on the real Gaza. The gist of the testimonies was that the soldiers had orders to attack Gaza as if they were attacking a massive enemy stronghold: this became clear from the firepower employed, the absence of any orders or procedures about acting properly within a civilian environment, and the synchronized effort from land, sea and air. Among the worst practices they rehearsed were the senseless demolition of houses, the spraying of civilians with phosphorus shells, the killing of innocent civilians by light weaponry and obeying orders from their commanders generally to act with no moral compass.

“You feel like an infantile child with a magnifying glass that torments ants, you burn them,” one soldier testified.

In short, they practised the total destruction of the real city as they trained in the mock city.

This was the new version of the maximum security prison that awaited the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, as the Israeli government and its security policymakers realized that the open-prison model, which was meant to enclose the people of the Strip under a collaborative rule of the PA, had been foiled by the people themselves. The retaliation that came in the form of besieging and blockading the Strip into surrendering to the preferred Israeli model had not worked either. The Palestinian political groups in the Strip, led by Hamas, decided to retaliate by launching occasional barrages of primitive missiles so that the world, and Israel, would not forget them and their life within a hermetically closed prison.

This is how the Israeli fiasco unfolded in 2005, which turned into what I have referred to elsewhere as the incremental genocide of Palestine. The Israelis referred to their first operation against Gaza as ‘First Rain’; it was more a rain of fire from the sky than of blessed water from above.

2005: The First Rain

The militarization of the Israeli policy towards the Gaza strip began in 2005. That year Gaza became an official military target from the Israeli point of view, as if it were a huge enemy base rather than a place of civilian habitation. Gaza is a city like any other in the world, and yet for the Israelis it became a dummy city for soldiers to experiment with the most recent and advanced weapons.

This policy was enabled by the Israeli government’s decision to evict the Jewish settlers who had colonized the Gaza Strip since 1967. The settlers were allegedly moved as part of what the government described as a unilateral policy of disengagement, the argument being that since there was no progress in the peace talks with the Palestinians, it was up to Israel to determine how its borders with the Palestinian areas would ultimately look. In essence, Prime Minister Sharon was willing to turn the Strip into a West Bank Area A and in turn strengthen Israel’s grip on the West Bank (and in evicting the Gazan settlers against their will, it would create an alleged trauma that would absolve Israel from ever repeating it again).

But things did not turn out as expected. The eviction of the settlers was followed by a Hamas takeover, first in democratic elections, then in a pre-emptive coup staged to avert an American-backed seizure by Fatah. The immediate Israeli response was to impose an economic blockade on the Gaza Strip, to which Hamas retaliated by firing missiles at the nearest town to the Strip, Sderot. This gave Israel the pretext to use its air force, artillery and gunships. Israel claimed it was firing at the launching areas of the missiles, but in practice this meant anywhere and everywhere in the Strip.

Creating the prison and throwing the key into the sea, as UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard has put it, was an action against which the Palestinians in Gaza reacted with force in September 2005. They were determined to show that at the very least they were still part of the West Bank and Palestine. That same month they launched the first significant barrage (in number only, not quality) of missiles into the western Negev — as so often, these resulted in damage to some properties but very rarely in human casualties. The events of that month deserve to be mentioned in detail, because the early Hamas response before September had been the sporadic trickle of missiles. The launching in September 2005 was in response to an Israeli campaign of mass arrests of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists in the Tul Karem area; one could not escape the impression at the time that the army was looking to trigger a Hamas response. Indeed, when it came, it was a harsh policy of massive killings, the first of its kind, code-named ‘First Rain.’

It is worth dwelling for a moment on the nature of that operation. The discourse that accompanied it was one of punishment and it resembled the punitive measures inflicted in the more distant past by colonial powers, and more recently by dictatorships, against rebellious imprisoned or banished communities. A frightening show of aggression by the oppressor ended with large numbers of dead and wounded among the victims. In Operation First Rain, supersonic flights took place over Gaza to terrorize the entire population, followed by the heavy bombardment of vast areas from the sea, sky and land. The logic, the Israeli army explained, was to create pressure in order to weaken the Gaza community’s support for the rocket launchers. As everyone expected, the Israelis included, the operation only increased support for the rocket launchers and gave impetus to their next attempts.

In hindsight, and especially given the Israeli military commanders’ explanation that the army had long been preparing the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead, it is possible that the real purpose of that particular operation was experimental. And if the Israeli generals wanted to know how such operations would be received at home, in the region and in the wider world, it seems that the quick answer was ‘very well’; namely, no governments showed any interest in the scores of dead and hundreds of wounded Palestinians left behind after First Rain subsided.

Ilan Pappé is an Israeli-born historian, author and advocate of human rights for Palestinians. He is a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter, director of the university’s European Centre for Palestine Studies, and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies.

Copyright (2017) by Ilan Pappé. Not to be reproduced without permission of the publisher, Oneworld Publications.


Title: The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories

Author: Ilan Pappe

ISBN: 9781851685875

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

Click here to order.

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60 Parliamentarians Urge UK Government Action on Gaza Emergency

60 Parliamentarians Urge UK Government Action on Gaza Emergency

By Medical Aid for Palestinians and Richard Burden,

A group of 60 British MPs and Peers have this week written to Minister Alistair Burt (Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development) to call on the UK Government to take urgent action to address Gaza’s continuing humanitarian emergency.

In August, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) warned of Gaza’s humanitarian emergency, amid a deepening electricity crisis, medical shortages, and increased restrictions on exit for treatment faced by patients.  In 2012, the UN warned that Gaza could be unliveable by 2020. For patients now unable to access the care they need inside or get out for treatment elsewhere, Gaza is already unliveable.

In the letter sent this week, parliamentarians – many of them members of the Britain-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group – urged the UK Government to provide additional humanitarian funding to Gaza, and to “use all diplomatic means – including multilateral forums such as the UN Human Rights Council and bilateral relations with Israel and the Palestinian Authority – to pursue accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory and bring an end to the closure of Gaza.”

You can read the letter in full below and here.


Dear Alistair

Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

As a group of cross-party MPs and Peers, we are writing to express our deep concern regarding the current and worsening humanitarian emergency in Gaza, and to urge the government to take urgent action to address this situation.

As you are aware, Gaza’s already-dire humanitarian situation has been exacerbated by an electricity crisis since April 2017, which has resulted in daily blackouts of up to 20 hours. This has, in turn, seriously affected livelihoods and caused cuts to the provision of healthcare. A chronic lack of infrastructure development to meet the needs of Gaza’s growing population, as well as lack of power for water treatment, has now resulted in two thirds of Gaza’s shoreline being polluted by untreated sewage.

In 2012, the UN warned that Gaza would be ‘unliveable’ by 2020, though the seriousness of the current crisis has caused Save the Children to declare Gaza unliveable now. Likewise, UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently stated that Gaza is experiencing “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises that [he has] seen in many years working as a humanitarian in the United Nations.”

Nevertheless, UN OCHA’s appeal for US$25 million urgent humanitarian funding appeal to stabilise Gaza, announced this summer, remains largely unmet. US$14 million is still urgently needed for non-fuel related requirements within the water and sanitation, health and food security sectors. As winter approaches, needs are expected to increase as demand for electricity increases and further stretches Gaza’s already-overloaded water, sanitation and health service systems.

Israel continues to be the occupying power in Gaza, as it has been now for 50 years, and as such holds primary responsibility for addressing the humanitarian needs of the population of Gaza. Israel has furthermore imposed a closure on Gaza since 2007 which the International Committee of the Red Cross has termed a “collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law”. People in Gaza cannot wait for the resolution of a decades-long peace process to release them from this violation and the humanitarian crisis they face.

Similarly, though greater political integration between the West Bank and Gaza would be a welcome forward step, a reconciliation between Fatah and the de-facto authorities in Gaza cannot alone address the humanitarian needs of Gaza’s beleaguered residents.

We therefore urge you to use your joint FCO-DfID brief to help bring relief to Gaza in two ways:

  • Provide urgent relief to the people of Gaza, by both supporting UN OCHA’s US$25 million urgent humanitarian funding appeal for Gaza, and ensure that the UK’s aid funding to the occupied Palestinian territory invests in the long-term development of essential infrastructure and services such as water treatment, education, and healthcare; and
  • Use all diplomatic means – including multilateral forums such as the UN Human Rights Council and bilateral relations with Israel and the Palestinian Authority – to pursue accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory and bring an end to the closure of Gaza.

Furthermore, though the UK already provides some support to the people of Gaza through DfID-funded projects and initiatives, as parliamentarians we face challenges to accessing Gaza to visit these and provide necessary democratic oversight of this aid spending and assess the situation for ourselves as you have recently done. We also therefore ask that you make representations to the Government of Israel to ask them to facilitate the unhindered entry of British parliamentarians to Gaza, and remove any unnecessary bureaucratic barriers to entry through the Erez crossing. It is vital that British parliamentarians bear witness to the current humanitarian disaster in Gaza and how UK taxpayers’ money is being used in terms of aid.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Burden MP (Chair, Britain-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group)

Co-signed by:

Grahame Morris MP (Chair, Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East)
Rt Hon Hugo Swire, KCMG, MP (Chairman, Conservative Middle East Council)
Debbie Abrahams MP
Lord Ahmed
Rushanara Ali MP
Hilary Benn MP
Clive Betts MP
Baroness Blackstone
Crispin Blunt MP
Sir Peter Bottomley MP
Ben Bradshaw MP
Tom Brake MP
Alan Brown MP
Karen Buck MP
Liam Byrne MP
Alistair Carmichael MP
Sarah Champion MP
Joanna Cherry MP
Ann Clywd MP
Julie Cooper MP
Alex Cunningham MP
Lord Dubs
Julie Elliott MP
Lilian Greenwood MP
Louise Haigh MP
David Hanson MP
Mark Hendrick MP
Kate Hollern MP
Lord Hylton
Dan Jarvis MP
Lord Kilclooney
Stephen Kinnock MP
Afzal Khan MP
Jeremy Lefroy MP
Baroness Lister of Burtersett
Tony Lloyd MP
Caroline Lucas MP
Gordon Marsden MP
Kerry McCarthy MP
Baroness Meacher
Ian Murray MP
Lisa Nandy MP
Yasmin Qureshi MP
Faisal Rashid MP
The Earl of Sandwich
Tommy Sheppard MP
Baroness Sheehan
Paula Sherriff MP
Andy Slaughter MP
Cat Smith MP
Sir Nicholas Soames MP
Wes Streeting MP
Rt Hon Sir Desmond Swayne MP
Stephen Timms MP
Kelly Tolhurst MP
Stephen Twigg MP
Lord Tyler
Lord Warner
Philippa Whitford MP

Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis and the United Nations

Source

By Canadian Boat to Gaza,

Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Dear Secretary General,

On your recent visit to Gaza, you saw with your own eyes some of the deplorable and inhumane conditions suffered by the Palestinians living in Gaza. You called it “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises” that you had seen. We hope that, backed by the strength of the United Nations, this experience encourages you to bring maximum pressure on the State of Israel to lift the illegal and inhumane blockade the people of Gaza have been living under for ten years.

We want to remind you that there are many civil society and religious groups around the world who are watching the worsening situation in horror. We are depending on the United Nations, under your leadership, to work at the international level to increase the pressure from all nation states to use every economic and political measure to remind the State of Israel of the standards expected of the civilized nations of the world.

We are also pleased that you noticed specifically that the blockade on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt is upheld by that Arab state in defiance of both international resolutions and a sense of solidarity with a fellow Arab people. Israel is imposing the blockade not only by land, but also by air. They have destroyed Gaza airport, which was financed with international aid (including from Spain). At sea, Israeli forces attack Palestinian fishers from Gaza on a daily basis. They also illegally attack international vessels that challenge the blockade non-violently in the Freedom Flotilla missions that have taken place since 2010.

There are political reasons that make a resolution to the crisis of Gaza imperative at the international level. But even more important are the humanitarian reasons to release an entire people from the appalling situation in which they are currently forced to live.

Your own officers and researchers have concluded that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. Many other reports, including those by the UN, OCHA have documented the many threats to the health and even the survival of people in Gaza. The UN has drawn particular attention to the power deficit. Since April 2017 access to electricity is often for four hours or less per day and always unpredictable. Power cuts make sewage treatment impossible leading to pollution of the beaches. Attacks on inshore fishers deprive the people of access to the nutritional value of fish. Your own research has shown up to 57% of Gaza people are ‘food insecure’. Not only is the Gaza economy paralyzed by the blockade, but restrictions on entry of building materials makes it very difficult to reconstruct bombed schools, for example. The blockade also restricts entry of school supplies and other goods that pose no threat to Israel whatsoever. This entire generation of children and young people in Gaza are growing up without the minimum to develop into educated and well-nourished adults.

The situation is so serious that you have announced an emergency grant of $4 million. But the Palestinians of Gaza do not want to have to take emergency payouts; they wants – and need – a cessation of Israeli aggression and real international peace-keeping to prevent further aggression. The so-called “Middle East Quartet” has been a disaster, accomplishing nothing and whitewashing Israeli violation of international law and the breaking of numerous agreements. The State of Israel has also ignored countless UN resolutions aimed at curtailing its activities, as well as continuing the illegal blockade of Gaza and the harassment of its fishing fleets.

In other words, despite its good intentions, the UN has a deplorable record in effectively safeguarding the Palestinians of Gaza and in promoting their security and independence.

We call on you to immediately:

Demand that the State of Israel complies with all UN resolutions, with the threat of sanctions if it does not do so.

Disband the Middle East Quartet and replace it with an effective oversight body.

Resume real peace keeping and effective protection of the civil population of Gaza.

Insist that the State of Israel respects and conforms with all UN resolutions that relate to its relations with Gaza.

Ensure that the world knows that the blockade is illegal and should demand that it be removed immediately.

Sincerely and persistently.
(list of signing organizations, below**)

Freedom Flotilla Coalition Member and Partner Organizations: freedomflotilla.org

Canadian Boat to Gaza  canadaboatgaza.org

Freedom Flotilla Italy www.freedomflotilla.it

MyCARE Malaysia www. mycare.org.my

Kia Ora Gaza [New Zealand / Aotearoa] kiaoragaza.wordpress.com

Palestine Solidarity Alliance [South Africa] www. palestinesa.co.za

Rumbo a Gaza [Spain] www.rumboagaza.org

Ship to Gaza Norway www. shiptogaza.no

Ship to Gaza Sweden shiptog aza.se

International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza en.breakgazasiege.org

US Boat to Gaza womensbo attogaza.us

Miles of Smiles miles-smiles.org

Free Gaza Australia www.facebook.com/ GazaAustralia

Other Organizations

Gaza Action Ireland gazaactionireland.weebly.com

Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign www.ipsc.ie

ShannonWatch (Ireland) www.shannonwatch.org

Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la Palestine plateforme-palestine.org

Council of Canadians / Conseil des Canadiens canadians.org

Bestemødre For Fred (Grandmothers For Peace, Norway) www.bestemodreforfred.com

Veterans for Peace (US) www.veteransforpeace.org

CODEPINK: Women for Peace (US) codepink.org

Voice of Women for Peace (Canada) vowpeace.org

Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine www.facebook.com/CJACPalestine

Palestina Solidariteit (Belgium) www.palestinasolidariteit.be

Association France Palestine Solidarité www.france-palestine.org

Cultura e libertà (Italy) palestinaculturaliberta.wordpress.com

Alternative refugee Center (Switzerland)

Badil resource center for Palestinian residency and refugee rights (Switzerland) www.badil.org/en

Women for development (Switzerland)

Union Juive Française pour la Paix (France) www.ujfp.org

Deutsch-Palästinensische Gesellschaft dpg-netz.de

Frauen in Schwarz (Vienna, Austria) www.facebook.com/pg/fraueninschwarzwien

Netherlands Palestine Committee www.palestina-komitee.nl

Palestijnse Gemeenschap in Nederland

Nederlands Arabische Stichting (Netherlands)

TIYE International (Netherlands) www.tiye-international.org/wordpress

Diensten en Onderzoek Centrum Palestina (Netherlands) www.docp.nl

Stop Represión Málaga, Voces Alternativas, Kontrapunto (Spain)

Breed Platform Palestina (Haarlem, Netherlands)

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (Gaza, Palestine) pchrgaza.org

Asociación de la Comunidad Hispano-Palestina “Jerusalén”

Asociación Medica Hispano Palestina (Spain)

Asociación Pablo de la Torriente Brau

El movimiento de mujeres palestinas Alkarama www.alkarama.es

RESCOP – Network of Solidarity against the occupation of Palestine (with 49 member organizations in Spain)

Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (Malaysia) www.ikram.org.my

Viva Palestina Malaysia www.vpm.org.my

BDS Malaysia bdsmalaysia.com

Persatuan Ulama Malaysia pum.org.my

Al-Quds Foundation Malaysia alqudsmalaysia.org

Association of Norwegian NGOs for Palestine palestina.no

Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos aedidh.org/es

Parallelo Palestina (Italy) sites.google.com/site/parallel-opalestina

Canadian BDS Coalition bdscoalition.ca

Palestine Solidarity Network (Edmonton, Canada) psnedmonton.ca

People for Peace (London, Canada)

United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI) www.unjppi.org

Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR), Canada www.usw.ca/act/activism/soar

Boundary Peace Initiative boundarypeace.20m.com

Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East midislanders.com

Palestine Solidarity Working Group (Sudbury, Canada)

B.C. Southern Interior Peace Coalition (Canada)

Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (Victoria, Canada) caiavictoria.ca

Hawai’i Peace and Justice www.wp.hawaiipeaceandjustice.org

Hawai’i Coalition for Justice in Palestine www.facebook.com/HawaiiCoalition4JusticeInPalestine

Malu ‘Aina Center for Nonviolence Education malu-aina.org

Break the Maritime Blockade of Gaza (BMBG)

EBN – End Blockade Now

Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine www.aurdip.fr

Collectif inter-universitaire pour la coopération avec les universités palestiniennes www.aurdip.fr/_cicup-35_.html

Comité de Vigilance pour une Paix Réelle au Proche-Orient plateforme-palestine.org/Comite-de-Vigilance-pour-une-Paix-Reelle-au-Proche-Orient

Comité La Courneuve-Palestine (France) lacourneuve-palestine.fr

Zambra Málaga www.asociacionzambra.org

Confederación General de Trabajadores: Huelva, Málaga, Osuna (Spain) www.cgtandalucia.org

Christian Peacemaker Teams (Palestine) www.cptpalestine.com

Independent Jewish Voices / Voix juives indépendantes (Canada) ijvcanada.org

Palestinian Forum in Britain PFB

Europal Forum (UK) europalforum.org.uk

BDS Colombia

BDS Slovenia

New Zealand Palestine Solidarity Network (Aotearoa / NZ) www.palestinesolidaritynz.net

Palestine Human Rights Campaign (Aotearoa / NZ) palestine.org.nz

Ignore the spin, the siege of Gaza endangers everyone, israelis included, so end it now

Ignore the spin, the siege of Gaza endangers everyone, Israelis included, so end it now

By Alastair Sloan | MEMO | September 16, 2017

Palestinian children sit on a horse cart in Gaza [file photo]

Save the Children reckons that the Israelis have delivered a major project in record time, with the Gaza Strip described in the NGO’s latest report as “unliveable.” The United Nations made its own prediction in 2012, giving the territory until 2020 before it would be at that inhospitable stage.

As autumn wears on and some three years ahead of the UN deadline, the Israeli government has turned basic essentials such as food, water, hospital access, education and shelter into luxury items in an enclave that the state and its supporters still claim somewhat disingenuously to have “withdrawn” from in 2005.

Of course, Save the Children and the UN aren’t to be trusted; it you pay heed to the pro-Israel lobby you will know this. The lobby has a convenient conspiracy theory that the UN is engaged in “anti-Semitism” rather than reasonable criticism of the Israeli state and its policies. Much of this lobby nonsense comes from mysterious pro-Israel organisations like “UN Watch”, which routinely derides UN predictions and announcements the moment that they are made public.

Another such group is “NGO Monitor”; it has already dismissed the Save the Children report as a “renewed anti-Israel campaign.” Which, of course, it is, and rightly so. This group condemns the respected NGO for daring to publicise the suffering of children, and suggests that Save the Children “should return to a policy of providing aid without adopting the Palestinian political narrative.”

Telling NGOs what they can and cannot do and say is in vogue in Israel, much as it is in autocratic Turkey or Hungary, but the illogical positions of NGO Monitor are still worth exposing. Consider this: “[Save the Children] also called on Israel to blindly ‘lift the Gaza blockade’ without acknowledging the rationale behind it.” NGO Monitor claims that the siege is in place, “to prevent weapon smuggling into Hamas-controlled Gaza.”

We should test this thesis that it is all the fault of Hamas, and the Israeli-led blockade of Gaza is simply the state acting in self-defence.

Fifteen year old Ali suffers from cerebral palsy, and is an example of the kind of problems engulfing a Palestinian youngster which NGO Monitor cannot have missed because his story was included in the press release which accompanied the charity’s report. Ali’s mother Yara told Save the Children:

“My son is dying in front of my eyes. He can’t sleep most nights, and suffers from continuous pain. We don’t have enough power to get his electric wheelchair and mattress fully charged. If his wheelchair doesn’t get charged, he suffers psychologically, as he sees people around him move and walk but he can’t. He feels depressed and often fights with other children. When the wheelchair runs out of battery, Ali becomes totally paralysed. He also needs constant showers as he is wearing diapers, but there is no water. We don’t get water unless there is electricity. If I don’t change his diapers and wash him regularly he will suffer from skin rashes and other problems. We have not had any tap water for two days. I feel suffocated.”

The problem here then, as with so many of the problems outlined in the report, is primarily one of electricity, or the lack thereof. This is why Ali is growing up soaked by his urine and faeces, is unnecessarily paralysed and is suffering psychologically as he grapples with one of the world’s most cruel medical conditions.

In April, Gaza’s sole power plant was forced to shut down after completely exhausting its fuel reserves; the company which runs the plant was unable to obtain fuel due to a shortage of funds. How this makes Israel any safer is unclear, but its government claims that the blockade is all about security. Having 2 million Palestinians living in Gaza in darkness surely doesn’t make Israelis more secure, does it?

Likewise the contamination of Gaza’s water supply. The Palestinian Water Authority and the UN have now warned that the territory’s fresh water aquifer, shared by Israel and Egypt, may be “completely contaminated” by the end of this year. Israel says it won’t let in more aid or spare parts to repair the water treatment plants that it destroyed in its 2008/9 military offensive. Why? Because of Hamas. That, though, doesn’t explain why Israel has repeatedly refused to allow UN Environment Programme inspectors to assess the water situation and try to improve it.

As yet another curious pro-Israel lobby organisation – the American-Israeli Co-operative Enterprise (AICE) – puts it, “There is indeed a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, but it is not to be blamed on Israel.” Thus does the lobby acknowledge the pain that is being caused, and yet it denies that its favoured state, Israel, has anything to do with it, despite controlling everything that goes into or comes out of the Gaza Strip. “Israel has consistently sent aid in many forms through the border,” claims AICE, “and the blockade will be lifted once the violent Hamas government is ousted and the people of the Gaza Strip are ready to live in peace with Israel as their neighbour.”

There is no suggestion by the lobby that Israel, which is the relative newcomer in the neighbourhood, might decide to live in peace with the Palestinians. It is, after all, Israel which has repeatedly broken ceasefires, before telling the world that Hamas started firing rockets. It is also a fact that Hamas can be remarkably quiet when given the choice. Every few years, however, the Israelis re-invade Gaza unnecessarily, launching massive military offensives with accompanying death and destruction, and then withdraw, killing, maiming or traumatising a million children in the process.

The reality is that the siege of Gaza is a manifestation of Israeli military weakness. There is no chance that Israel will re-take Gaza from Hamas by force; the resistance movement not only enjoys general popular support amongst Palestinians but, more importantly, is also expert in the kind of guerrilla warfare that the founders of Israel used to such devastating effect themselves not so many years ago. Conventional armies of the kind that Israel deploys never, ever, win against Middle Eastern militias, particularly those with a religious mindset faced with a Western-backed enemy.

The siege tactic is the only option that the Israeli government can resort to. Ten years on, it appears to be working. As making somewhere “unliveable” is essentially a form of ethnic cleansing by what claims to be a democracy, a coterie of propaganda organisations and lots of media-spin groups are required to defend Israel and gloss over that very distasteful fact.

Perhaps these spin doctors should be asking their government why it can’t defend its citizens, who all pay for the Israel Defence Forces. The answer – or their own conclusion – might then be, because the increasingly right-wing governments of Israel which control the military are stubborn and stupid. They alone are endangering the people of Israel every day through their thankless and pointless siege. So ignore the spin, the siege needs to end now, not in 2020; that will be too late for all concerned.

Read also:

Poverty rate hits 80% in Gaza

Oslo: 24 years of Palestinian losses

WHO: Israel hinders 40% of Gaza patients’ access to health care abroad

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