Israel’s Money Machine

[ Ed. note — Another excellent article from Philip Giraldi about Jewish power in the US. The fact that the Russian news outlet RT is forced to register in America as a foreign agent–while Jewish billionaires raising money for Israeli occupiers are not–speaks for itself. Beyond this context, however, Giraldi provides some additional information that should outrage each and every American.

For one thing, the actual amount of US tax dollars funneled to Israel each each is far beyond the $3.8 billion we customarily hear about. Additional monies, described by Giraldi as “special funding for Israeli-connected projects,” are also given. These include funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system, as well as a $12 million “legislative amendment” that was proposed by one congress member, ostensibly for the purpose of helping Israel settle its “Ethiopian community.”

And then on top of all that we have a network of some 3,600 Jewish tax-exempt charitable foundations, with net assets of $26 billion, a number of which are funding illegal settlements. One such foundation is that operated by the family of Trump son-in-law Jared  Kushner. Why isn’t Kushner forced to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? Why is AIPAC likewise not forced to register, along with Jewish billionaires such as Sheldon Adelson of Haim Saban? But no, the Trump Justice Department seems to think RT poses a greater threat to US security.

Ironically, all this comes just as a bill has been introduced in Congress to require the Secretary of State to certify that US funds to Israel do not go to support detention, interrogation or abuse of children. The bill is called “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act,”H.R. 439, and was introduced yesterday by Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota. Its chances of passage are probably slim, but certainly that such a bill has been introduced in the first place is a welcomed sign. ]

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By Philip Giraldi

The stars came out in Hollywood on November 2nd, or at least some of them did. The gala event celebrated the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and raised funds to support its mission in Israel itself and on the occupied West Bank. The organization being fêted was the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), which has fourteen regional offices in the United States and operates under the slogan “Their job is to look after Israel. Our job is to look after them.” In attendance were Arnold Schwarzenegger and actor Gerald Butler. Entertainment was provided by the singer Seal.

Hollywood Jewish royalty was thick on the ground, the grub was strictly kosher and billionaires competed to see who could give the most to such a worthy cause. The 1,200 attendees at the Beverly Hilton Hotel donated a record $53.8 million, with Oracle founder Larry Ellison leading the pack with a contribution of $16.6 million. Israeli media mogul Haim Saban, Hillary Clinton’s most generous supporter, served as host of the event and donated $5 million. Two weeks ago, a similar gathering of 1,200 in New York City dubbed “A Night of Heroes,” attended by GOP major donor casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, raised $35 million, $7 million coming from Adelson personally. FIDF reportedly was sitting on $190 million in contributions for the year before the Hollywood and New York events.

Donations to FIDF are tax deductible as the organization is registered with the U.S. Treasury as a 501(c)3 educational and charitable non-profit foundation. One might well ask how it is possible that the American taxpayer should subsidize a foreign military organization that is regularly accused of war crimes in its ongoing brutal and genocidal occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem? One might also wonder how an organization that continues a military occupation in opposition to multiple United Nations resolutions that have been endorsed by Washington gets any kind of tax break at all? And finally, one might reasonably ask why an organization that already gets in excess of $3.8 billion annually directly from the U.S. Treasury needs more money to allegedly provide creature comforts for its soldiers?

The answer to all of the above would be that Jewish power in the United States makes it happen. But more particularly, it is Jewish money that does the trick since cash on the table provides access both to the media and to the people that matter in Washington. A tight circle of billionaire oligarchs, including Saban, Ellison and Adelson as well as Paul Singer and Bernard Marcus directly support organizations like FIDF as well as major pro-Israel groups like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Institute for National Security of America. The billionaires are not shy about where their loyalty lies, boasting as does Saban, that he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel. Adelson has stated that he wishes that he had served in the Israeli army instead of the U.S. military and wants his son to grow up to “be a sniper for the IDF.” Both have publicly advocated bombing Iran. In Adelson’s case, the bomb would be nuclear.

Sometimes both the Israel agenda and the financial support is deliberately hidden, as in the case of the recently launched “Christian engagement in the Middle East” anti-Iran Philos Project, which was funded by Singer. The billionaires also directly donate to the campaigns of politicians and support projects that engage in the message management that is used to justify pro-Israel policies in Congress and the media.

Much of the current agitation to “do something” about Iran comes, for example, from these groups and media assets. In truth, American aid to Israel has become virtually untouchable and is something like a goose that keeps on laying golden eggs. The operation of “The Lobby,” generally regarded as the most powerful voice on foreign policy in Washington, led Professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer to ask, “Why has the U.S. been willing to set aside its own security … in order to advance the interests of another state? [No] explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the U.S. provides.” They observed that “Other special interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that U.S. interests and those of the other country—in this case, Israel—are essentially identical.”

The money committed by the Jewish oligarchs on behalf of Israel has turned out to be a good investment, returning billions for millions spent. Since the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948, it has been “the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II,” according to the Congressional Research Service. The United States has provided Israel with $233.7 billion in adjusted for inflation aid between 1948 through the end of 2012, reports Haaretz.

The $38 billion over ten years in military assistance that the Obama recently promised to Israel is far less than what will actually be received from the United States Treasury and from other American sources, including handouts from Congress. To cite only one recent example, in September Congressman Alcee Hastings proposed a legislative amendment that would give $12 million to help settle Israel’s Ethiopian community. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), speaking in the most recent legislative discussion over Israeli aid, stated that the $38 billion should be regarded as a minimum amount, and that Congress should approve additional funds for Israeli defense as needed.

At its most recent meeting in March 2017, AIPAC announced the latest windfall from America, applauding “the U.S. House of Representatives for significantly bolstering its support of U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation in the FY 2017 defense appropriations bill. The House appropriated $600.7 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs.” And there is a long history of such special funding for Israeli-connected projects. The Iron Dome missile-defense system was largely funded by the United States, to the tune of more than $1 billion. In the 1980s, the Israeli Lavi jet-fighter development program was funded by Washington, costing $2 billion to the U.S. taxpayer before it was terminated over technical and other problems, part of $5.45 billion in Pentagon funding of various Israeli weapons projects through 2002.

How Israel gets money from the United States Treasury is actually quite complex and not very transparent to the American public, going well beyond the check for $3.8 billion handed over at the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1st. Even that check, uniquely given to aid recipient Israel as one lump sum on the first day of the year, is manipulated to produce extra revenue. It is normally immediately redeposited with the U.S. Treasury, which then, because it operates on a deficit, borrows the money to pay interest on it as the Israelis draw it down. That interest payment costs the American taxpayer an estimated $100 million more per year. Israel has also been adept at using “loan guarantees,” an issue that may have contributed to the downfall of President George H.W. Bush. The reality is that the loans, totaling $42 billion, are never repaid by Israel, meaning that the United States Treasury picks up the tab on principle and interest, a form of additional assistance. The Bush-era loan amounted to $10 billion.

Continued here

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Palestinian torture survivors hunt ghosts of their past

Palestinian torture survivors hunt ghosts of their past

Jesse Rubin The Electronic Intifada 14 November 2017

Six men wearing hoods in a dark room are put in various stress positions while a seventh man wearing a guard's uniform stands next to one of them
A scene from Raed Andoni’s Ghost Hunting.

Somewhere in Ramallah, footsteps echo against the concrete of an empty warehouse basement. Raed Andoni guides a handcuffed and hooded man into a cavernous, gray room, his hand on the man’s shoulder.

“Here?” Andoni asks the hooded man, whose sight is blocked and hearing muffled.

“Yes,” the man replies, and Andoni lifts off the hood to reveal Mohammed Khattab, family man and former political prisoner.

Khattab, or Abu Atta, is a warm and fatherly figure, calm despite deeply repressed trauma from his time in prison, as the film reveals.

He exhales, looks at Andoni and the two men share a smile – not between jailer and jailed, but between comrades – in contradiction to the tension built to this point in the film.

So opens Ghost Hunting, director Raed Andoni’s latest genre-blurring feature which abandons standard portrayals of interrogation and imprisonment for an understated glimpse into the chaos that occupies and sometimes consumes prisoners’ minds.

The loose narrative depicts Abu Atta’s real encounters with the cruelty of Israel’s penitentiary system. But when the director cuts, the camera keeps rolling.

Moving between fiction and documentary, Ghost Hunting leaves room for its subjects to simultaneously express their deepest emotions from within the safety of fiction and also display their enduring trauma. Merging the two genres together translates the prisoners’ anxieties to the viewer; visually, it portrays an inability to distinguish a nightmare from being awake.

A very Palestinian experience

While familiar to the incarcerated everywhere, the film specifically speaks to the experience of the more than 800,000 Palestinians who have passed through Israeli detention, jail and prison.

First released at the Berlin International Film Festival or Berlinale in February this year, where it won first prize for best documentary, Ghost Hunting made its way to Washington, DC in October, where it showed at a sold-out opening night at the seventh annual DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival.

After the screening, Randa Wahbe, a former international advocacy officer at Addameer, a Palestinian human rights group, spoke about solidarity with Palestinians prisoners tried by Israeli military courts, where the conviction rate is more than 99 percent.

Palestinian prisoners are frequently tortured, psychologically and physically, held in interrogation for up to 75 days and often denied access to a lawyer for the majority of that time, said Wahbe. The film reveals the “depth of what happens [behind the statistics] and how long it stays with the prisoner.”

The effect on Palestinian society has been devastating, she added.

“This is exactly why incarceration is used as a tool of colonization and as a tool of occupation,” Wahbe told The Electronic Intifada. “It is an effective tool at trying to break down social structures.”

Ghost Hunting shows the minute pressures exerted by the system of incarceration which, she said, succeeds when it breaks the spirit of prisoners.

“The solidarity and the community that’s built,” as well as the individual resistance of the mind, is “a way to remember why they’re in prison, that they’re fighting for their nation and that is really what is at the center of it,” according to Wahbe.

Searching for Ghosts

Andoni assembled a cast entirely of former prisoners by placing a small ad in a Ramallah newspaper, he explains in the film. The ad sought former prisoners with some experience in architecture, general contracting or acting.

The viewer sees the casting process in one of the first scenes; Andoni sits on one side of a flimsy white desk interrogating ex-prisoners on their experiences the way an Israeli agent might press a current prisoner about their political affiliations.

The camera never leaves the gray room; it bears witness as former political prisoners, among them Mohammed Khattab, Atef al-Akhras, Adnan al-Hatab, Abdallah Moubarak, Ramzi Maqdisi and Andoni himself, rebuild from collective memory the infamous interrogation center in Jerusalem’s Russian Compound.

Their political affiliations are deliberately left out. With between 15 to 20 percent of the Palestinian population “at least jailed once,” said Andoni, “the reasons are not important.”

Andoni was born in Ramallah in 1967, the same year Israel occupied the West Bank. In 1985, he was arrested by Israeli soldiers and taken from his Beit Sahour home near Bethlehem to the Russian Compound.

Charged with belonging to a faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, a young Andoni was interrogated, tortured and imprisoned for a year – an experience that he said will never leave him.

Making Ghost Hunting was therefore not a question of “how” or “why” but “when,” Andoni said.

“This issue has been living with me since I was arrested at the age of 18, so the story is part of my unconscious behavior – like something living inside of me,” he told The Electronic Intifada. “As a filmmaker, as an artist, I think it’s about time to express these deep emotions that I experienced.”

Freedom of the mind

Not without a sense of humor, Andoni recalls the feeling of physical imprisonment, noting that for one year the only freedom he found was in his imagination.

“My first lesson in cinema was in that interrogation center,” he joked. “I thank the Israelis for teaching me cinema.”

Andoni says the idea for the film came as part of an effort to confront his trauma.

“I asked myself what could happen if I brought a group of ex-prisoners [together] and asked them to rebuild the interrogation center,” he said.

“But the moment the film started and I started to meet the characters, my script [became] useless.”

The former prisoners – including Maqdisi, the only professional actor in the group, who himself spent a year in prison – bring their own insight to Ghost Hunting.

Much of the film shows the process of drawing, planning and physically reconstructing the interrogation center under the quiet direction of Abu Atta.

When Adnan al-Hatab finishes reconstructing one of the cells, he calls over Abu Atta to examine the shade of gray of the cell’s interior.

Abu Atta approves the color and squeezes into a cell with barely enough room for a man to stand and turn around in. In what seems to be a playful gesture, he hunches down and smiles at the camera. But this is the kind of cell, the viewer is reminded, where Abu Atta spent 19 days of interrogation and torture.

Ghost Hunting has many such scenes, where the brutality of imprisonment is the underlying context but not the story.

Prisoners yesterday, comrades today

Man looking at camera is seen from chest up
Raed Andoni

Searching for this specific balance would have been impossible, Andoni said, if he was not an ex-prisoner himself. Forging relationships with his subjects was easier because he was not an outsider, both in regards to prison but also based on his own participation as a character in the film.

“[The cast] don’t feel that I’m a stranger, that they have to explain to me what prison is,” he told The Electronic Intifada. “We are already in front of that; that is behind us.”

Acquainted with the varied perceptions of prisoners within larger Palestinian society, Andoni said from the beginning he never approached the cast as victims “who need a kind of therapy … I would not do such a film.”

“We are all survivors who went through an extraordinary experience,” he told The Electronic Intifada. “This film was done with the pride of sharing … not with victimizing.”

In fact, the victim narrative so often applied to Palestinians undermines the collective struggle for liberation, the director argued.

“I think to free Palestine first we have to free our souls and believe in ourselves; if internally we are free, freeing the land is a matter of time,” he said.

“[If] we start to see ourselves as the victims, begging for support and help and money and funds, I think this is a kind of occupation of the soul.”

Weaponizing “tolerance”

The only scene that is entirely fictionalized in the film is one in which Anbar Ghannan, playing an Israeli interrogator, makes sexual advances on Ramzi Maqdisi, playing Ghannan, who was an actual victim of sexual assault by an Israeli guard.

Where one might expect this to be a commentary on how Israel markets itself as the only safe place for LGBTQ individuals in the region while simultaneously weaponizing the notion in the form of sexual assault – the scene has implications far deeper than criticism of this hypocrisy.

As the tension builds, a defiant Maqdisi finally breaks the nerve of the interrogator when he asks: “How does your fiancée stand you?”

At this, he is beaten and pushed against the wall, fiction becomes reality, as the participants later explain, and the real Ghannan must be restrained in order to keep from hurting the real Maqdisi.

In a subsequent scene, a more relaxed Ghannan explains that the dramatization became, for a moment, too real when “[Ramzi] provoked me by talking about my fiancée.”

Someone off-screen points out that the insult was directed at him, not his fiancée.

“I’ll get married before the film is screened,” Ghannan quips and the characters in the film laugh.

The harrowing scene was not, Andoni said, meant as a commentary on Israeli brutality but a celebration of Palestinian resistance. He called it the psychology of survivors.

“Palestinian society in general is a society of survivors because that’s what we do. We make a lot of jokes.”

The film, Andoni added, is intended to shine a spotlight on the “Palestinian soul.”

Palestinians, he said, “are fighters. They are survivors and they are humans. They are nice and kind and simple and sophisticated.”

“This is how we are.”

Jesse Rubin is a freelance journalist from New York. Twitter: @JesseJDRubin.

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.

Historic US Bill Would Outlaw «Israel» Aid Used To Abuse Children

15-11-2017 | 15:59

Ten members of Congress are cosponsoring a bill to bar the US from financially supporting human rights abuses of Palestinian children by the “Israeli” military.

Palestinian boy arrested by

The Promoting Human Rights by Ending Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act, introduced on Tuesday, is the first ever bill to prioritize the human rights of Palestinian children as a condition for US support, according to campaigners.

The bill requires the Secretary of State to annually certify that no US funds allocated to the “Israeli” entity will have been used to “support military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children.”

The legislation would block funds used by the entity to inflict “torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment,” “physical violence, including restraint in stress positions,” “hooding, sensory deprivation, death threats or other forms of psychological abuse.”

It would also target solitary confinement, administrative detention, denial of access to parents or lawyers during interrogations and “confessions obtained by force or coercion.”

It add that while “children under the age of 12 cannot be persecuted in ‘Israeli’ military courts,” the “Israeli” military has in the past detained children under that age for interrogations lasting hours. The sponsors rely on information from Human Rights Watch and the United Nations, as well as on the State Department’s annual human rights report.

They note that the State Department’s 2016 report mentioned “a significant increase in detentions of minors” and accused the “Israeli” authorities of having Palestinian minors sign confessions written in Hebrew, which most of them could not read.

The bill sends a clear message to “Israeli” officials “that widespread ill-treatment of Palestinian child detainees must end and is a direct challenge to the systemic impunity enjoyed by ‘Israeli’ forces” in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, Parker told The Electronic Intifada.

The legislation was proposed by Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnesota, who in 2015 wrote a letter asking the previous secretary of state, John Kerry, to take action on the detention of Palestinian minors.

“‘Israel’s’ military detention of Palestinian children is an indefensible abuse of human rights. I hope this letter results in State Department pressure on the Government of ‘Israel’ to end this systemic abuse immediately,” McCollum wrote.

A number of members of Congress who signed that letter in 2015 have now joined as co-sponsors to McCollum’s legislation. They include House Democrats Earl Blumenauer (Oregon), Peter DeFazio (Oregon), Danny Davis (Illinois), John Conyers (Michigan) and Raul Grijalva (Arizona).

The fact that the legislation drew support from 10 Democrats overall, before being formally introduced in the House, is seen as a sign of success for pro-Palestinian activists in the United States, even if the legislation does not pass in the end.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

There’s No Beautifying israel’s Treatment of Palestinian Children

Source

By Sarit Michaeli,

The central problem at the heart of Israel’s half-century old military court system is clear: these courts will never reflect the interests of the defendants, but rather that of the regime of occupation.

Featured image: Israeli border police officer chases Palestinian children during land day demonstration in Damascus gate, East Jerusalem, March 30, 2014. (Source: Activestills.org via +972 Magazine)

Israeli occupation apologists masquerading as protectors of Palestinian children in military detention? Few displays of alternative facts should shock us these days, but somehow an upcoming event by the Israeli right-wing group NGO Monitor’s at the UN Palais De Nations in Geneva comes close. Under the Orwellian title “Protecting Children: The realities of Israeli Military Juvenile Justice in a Terror Environment,” the event planned for Sept 25th features such doyens of child protection as the former IDF Chief West Bank Prosecutor, Lt. Col. (Res) Maurice Hirsch.

A recent recruit to the Israeli hasbara (public relations) industry, Hirsch seems committed to denying Israel’s 50 year-long occupation — instead, he euphemistically refers to “the changing borders of the State of Israel” — as well as trying to legitimize Israel’s military court system, which has faced broad criticism by British experts, UNICEF, as well as B’Tselem, for its systematic and widespread mistreatment of Palestinian minors.

Hirsch oversaw the prosecution’s part in the assembly line that forces virtually all Palestinian minors prosecuted by the army to accept conviction by plea bargains — which usually lead to incarceration. In 2015, the last year for which official data is available, 95 percent of the approximately 540 Palestinian minors indicted in the military courts were convicted. This is done through interrogations that violate minors’ rights, such that they incriminate themselves and others; these incriminations are later presented to the military court, with no other evidence. Military courts deny most minors bail and the few exceptions are routinely appealed by the military prosecution, which is also responsible for the high percent of indictments – 62 percent of the 871 minors arrested in 2015.

In response to criticism, Israel has implemented tried and true tactic: cosmetic changes that enable it to continue imprisoning Palestinian children. These included several changes to the military legislation, such as formalizing the age for prosecuting Palestinians as adults, the establishment of the military court for youth, and changes in detention and remand periods. Legal cosmetics, however, will not meaningfully improve the treatment of Palestinian minors or the protection of their rights.

Israel soldiers in a courtroom at the Ofer Military Court near the West Bank town of Beitunia, February 8, 2015. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israel soldiers in a courtroom at the Ofer Military Court near the West Bank town of Beitunia, February 8, 2015. (Source: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israel has also attempted to deflect criticism by initiating a “secret dialogue” with UNICEF, the UN program that provides humanitarian assistance to children in developing countries, in order to improve its image. But according to the latest UNICEF update, “the data demonstrates the need for further actions to improve the protection of children in military detention, as reports of alleged ill-treatment of children during arrest, transfer, interrogation and detention have not significantly decreased in 2013 and 2014.” And this comes following the “secret dialogue”. Official Israeli statistics present a large increase in the numbers of Palestinian minors serving prison sentences since the round of violence that broke out in late 2015, and a renewal of administrative detention of minors. All this indicates that the situation has not improved, and that the system still rejects the principle that the detention of minors should be a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate time.

The central problem at the heart of Israel’s half-century old military court system is clear: these courts do not – and never will – reflect the interests of the defendants, but rather that of the regime of occupation. Under Israel’s two separate and unequal legal systems, military judges and prosecutors act as Israeli army officers enforcing martial law over a civilian Palestinian population living under military rule.

In 2012, a delegation of eminent British jurists concluded that

“it may be that much of the reluctance to treat Palestinian children in conformity with international norms stems from a belief, which was advanced to us by a military prosecutor, that every Palestinian child is a ‘potential terrorist’. Such a stance seems to us to be the starting point of a spiral of injustice.”

The jurists did not speak to Hirsch, who took up his post in 2013, but his conduct seems to reflect a similar position: treating all Palestinian child detainees, regardless of age, as terrorists, while denying Israel’s obligations as an occupying power in the West Bank.

Israeli Border Police officer detains a Palestinian child at a protest in Kufr Qaddum, January 25, 2013. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Israeli Border Police officer detains a Palestinian child at a protest in Kufr Qaddum, January 25, 2013. (Source: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

In 2016, bloggers Noam Rotem and John Brown revealed a series of private Facebook posts published by Hirsch, in which he demanded to hang the killers who committed the horrific killing of five members of the Fogel Family in March 2011, and for the “elimination” of Hamas heads on a daily basis until Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is freed. According to Rotem and Brown, these comments “reflect on the head of the military prosecution in the West Bank, who should at least pay lip service to providing a fair hearing for Palestinians.” Hirsch’s deeply disturbing indictment of a troubled 12-year-old Palestinian girl, arrested near a settlement carrying a concealed knife is another telling indication of his take on protecting Palestinian children, with the entire military legal system’s backing and participation. The girl was sentenced to four-and-a-half months in prison, of which she served two-and-a-half months, eventually released following an international outcry.

The steady entrenchment of Israel’s occupation and dispossession of Palestinians, while eliciting some condemnation, has not yet led to meaningful international action. Still, the abuse of Palestinian minors in the military court system is one of the few matters that some countries have been willing to take up seriously with Israel. This is the context of the forthcoming event in Geneva: yet another example of NGO Monitor’s role in promoting Israeli government’s propaganda while smearing critical human rights groups. Now they have moved to trying to justify systematic abusive treatment of minors. But no PR exercise can eliminate the contradiction in terms known to the world as Israel’s “military justice system.” Only ending the occupation will.

Sarit Michaeli is B’Tselem’s international advocacy officer.

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

israel denies aid workers visas

Source

MEMO | September 5, 2017

Humanitarian aid sent by Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey (AFAD) and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) are being distributed in Gaza City, Gaza on 16 July, 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Israel has suspended granting work visas to foreign charity workers delivering aid to Palestinians, according to AFP. Humanitarian organisations have noted numerous refusals or delays on the part of the Israeli government for over a year, affecting dozens of aid workers as they try to enter the country.

“This situation could escalate into crippled humanitarian operations,” a senior aid worker told AFP. “A country director who is waiting outside the country for months means timely delivery of aid will be affected.”

Israel has suspended various visas since August 2016, and in June of this year stopped issuing the B1 work visa, the most common documentation sought by those working with NGOs. Many are left working illegally on tourist visas only and fear that they could be expelled at any time.

Israeli authorities deny that the delays have been intentional and the Ministry of Social Affairs has attributed them to “ongoing inter-ministerial considerations regarding the applications approval procedure”.

Read: 15 Gazans die after Israel denies them treatment

Aid workers however, cite the length and extent of the refusals as evidence of other motives, pointing to the recent Israeli decision that would give the government the right to deny entry to those who support the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement. They argue that the right wing stance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government have resulted in their work being curtailed.

In the past, Israel has accused aid workers of supporting Hamas, and the Gaza head of the international Christian charity World Vision Mohammed El-Halabi, is currently on trial after facing such allegations. He denies all charges.

In February, Israel also refused a visa to the US head of Human Rights Watch, claiming the group was “fundamentally biased” towards Palestinians. The authorities were forced to reverse the decision following international condemnation.

Palestinians in the occupied territories and the besieged Gaza Strip are heavily dependent on aid, the vast majority of which is distributed by international charities crossing through Israel. Such dependency has only increased in recent months as the situation in Gaza deteriorates even further. The coastal enclave faces an energy, water and healthcare crisis prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on his visit to the region last week to label conditions as “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises that I’ve seen”.

 

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